Saturday, September 3, 2011

Iced Green Tea with Lemongrass

Iced Green Tea with Lemongrass is great thirst quencher

Lemongrass is pretty amazing.

It is supposed to be able to help with relieving cough and nasal congestion. The Thais use lemongrass as a natural detoxifier. Lemon grass helps to cut down uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats and other toxins in the body while stimulating digestion, blood circulation.

It is known for its calming effect that relieves insomnia or stress.

It contains antibacterial and antifungal properties, and can even to used as a mild, all-natural insect repellant.

I like using fresh lemongrass when cooking Thai or Peranakan dishes (like Tom Yum Soup and Prawns in Pineapple Gravy). I also like using fresh lemongrass to make drinks.

Iced lemongrass green tea is pretty easy to make.

1. Boil some water with a few stalks of bruised lemongrass
- Cut the lemongrass into 5cm pieces and bruise with the back of a knife
- You can add 3 - 4 stalks for every litre of water, depending on how strong you want the drink to be
- Boil for about 20 mins
2. Let the lemongrass water cool
3. In the meantime, put some green tea leaves on a strainer and pour hot water over it
- This is to clean the tea leaves.
4. Put the tea leaves into the lemongrass water and let it steep for at least 12 hours
- I usually bottle the mixture in an airtight bottle and leave it overnight in the fridge

Strain the tea leaves and you are ready to serve this drink. Add honey before serving if you like sweet drinks. I like it without any syrup or honey - it's healthier this way.

Steeping the tea in cold water overnight makes the tea taste different.

This way of making tea is also sometimes called "cold brewed tea" and yields sweeter cold tea, without the bitter aftertaste of iced tea made by cooling down tea brewed with hot water. This is because iced tea made this way has less tannins, which means less astringency.

I sometimes use just normal room temperature water instead of hot water in Step 3 as using hot water can make the tea a little more bitter.

Another benefit of making iced tea the "cold brewed" way is that the tea remains clear, unlike normal tea, which turns cloudy after you cool it down with ice.

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