Saturday, January 9, 2010

Invigorating and Spicy Green Tea--A "Simple Saturday Sipper" to Warm You Up

No trip to Portland is complete without at least a quick trip to Powell's--my all time favorite book store. Because I had already purchased a few books at another used bookstore (see them posted here), and had luggage weight restrictions to consider (not to mention my out of control cookbook collection!), I behaved myself pretty well and just picked up a couple of small books. One was a sale copy of "Green Tea: 50 Hot Drinks, Cool Quenchers and Sweet and Savory Treats" by Mary Lou Heiss. There are several intriguing recipes for savory foods in the book as well as some delicious sounding hot and iced tea and cocktail recipes. In need of a little pick-me-up while studying for a test, I tried the recipe for the Invigorating and Spicy Green Tea. I liked the idea of adding three of my favorite spices; cardamom, pepper and cinnamon to green tea.

Mary Lou Heiss says, "The bold flavors of these warm spices are tamed a bit so as to add a subtle flavor that imparts a nice bit of underlying heat without overpowering the delicacy of the tea."

Invigorating and Spicy Green Tea
"Green Tea" by Mary Lou Heiss
(Serves 2-4)

2 Tbsp (8 grams) medium-size loose-leaf green tea or 4 green tea bags
9 freshly cracked green or white cardamom pods
9 whole white peppercorns (recommend bruising/crushing to release more flavor)
1 3-inch piece cinnamon stick
4 cups boiling water

Put the tea leaves or tea bags into a pre-warmed large teapot and set aside. Place the spices in a 4-cup heatproof measuring cup and add the boiling water. Stir to mix, then let the spices infuse for 2 minutes. Quickly pour the infusion into the teapot, straining carefully to prevent the spices from going into the tea pot. Steep the tea in the spice infusion for an additional 2 minutes. Strain the brewed tea into teacups and serve immediately.

Notes/Results: Delicious. The warming spices are a nice change to the normal cup of green tea. One note--I tried this tea twice, the first time I just added the white peppercorns as the recipe stated but didn't get much peppery spice--tasting much more of the cardamom and cinnamon instead. It was good, but I really wanted the kick of the pepper so the second time I crushed the peppercorns a bit before adding them in and that made all the difference. If you want a milder-tasting spiced tea, you can just leave them whole. This tea was the perfect afternoon snack with a couple of the raw "donut holes" from yesterday's post. I will make it again.

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. Deb, this sounds wonderful! I am definitely going to try this one.
    I drink at least a couple of cups of tea a day.

  2. "I behaved myself. So I only bought a few small books." - Priceless. Of course, if I had said "small" I probably would have meant "smaller than the Oxford English Dictionary"...size is relative right?

    The tea looks wonderful! What an interesting cookbook.

  3. What a fun book. Great tea and such pretty photos!

  4. Deb, I bet this mixture would warm the soul on these cold "deep freeze" winter days & nights. Thanks...

  5. Your pictures are really, really nice. I also love the instructions for the tea itself. What a lovely pick-me-up. Have a great day.

  6. Do you have the nutritional info for the raw donut holes? They look yummy!

  7. A nice hot cup of tea certainly does warm the soul. I normally drink peppermint tea, but my daughter-in-law gave me some chocolate chai for Christmas, so for now, I'm in heaven.

  8. You raise tea drinking to a whole new level, Debbie.

  9. Ha ha - I love how you "behaved" and only bought a few books. As far as addictions go, this won't require a call to Dr. Drew for Celebrity Rehab!

  10. Kat--Thanks! ;-)

    Pam--I hope you like it. I drink about the same amount. ;-)

    Joanne--trust me that is really behaving myself. ;-)

    Lea Ann--Mahalo!

    Natashya--Thanks. It seems like it will be a fun book.

    George--It is a very warming drink.

    Rebecca--Thank you!

    Mary--thanks for the positive feedback!

    Deborah--Ani's book list some of the nutrition info but for a larger portion size and I changed it up a bit. Still for her recipe (24 pieces) it is Calories 131, protein 6g, carbs 21g, fat 5g, sugar 15g--hope that helps! ;-)

    Teresa--chocolate chai sounds great!

    Arlene--thanks! ;-)

    Megan--I don't know if he ever has a cookbook addiction rehab I think I had better sign up! ;-)

  11. wow great soup and so balanced a complete meal in a bowl

  12. I think we should all sign up for cookbooks anonymous ;D
    I love how the spices in this will warm you up and comfort you!


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