Unlike other tea concoctions where everything begins by infusing the tea leaves, this green tea with ginger, lemon and mint starts with a ginger brew. The tea leaves are added after the ginger slices have simmered for 20 minutes so the resulting drink has a bolder flavor and more heat. Lemon, honey and mint are added to create a delicate balance to the heat of the ginger.
Reminiscent of the native salabat but with so many other flavors and sensations flirting with the taste buds, it defies anyone to even remotely suggest that ginger brew belongs nowhere else but the sick room. This is a delightful drink that belongs in a garden tea party, at the breakfast table or even on a side table in the study where it is within reach of the bookworm who just wants to curl up with a good read on a rainy afternoon.
Start with a ginger brew. Peel and slice a two-inch piece of ginger, drop into a pan, pour in about three cups of water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for twenty minutes. Then, turn off the heat and drop in the green tea leaves. We’re partial to loose leaf tea at home but a teabag of green tea is okay. Cover the pan and leave to infuse for about five minutes. Tea turns bitter if allowed to infuse for too long.
Take a bunch of mint leaves and pound lightly to release the essential oil. That’s where the flavor and aroma are.
Drop in some mint leaves into the individual tea cups and put the rest into the teapot. Pour the brew into the teapot (you have the option of straining the brew before pouring it into the teapot) and allow to infuse for another minute. Add lemon or lime juice and honey, the amount of each depending on the balance that tickles your taste buds in the best possible way. Stir. Pour. Serve.