Have you had enough of the same old black or green tea? Trying something completely different might be a good idea if your usual cup of tea no longer stimulates your taste buds.
Tea is a beautiful word, there is a nuance and contradiction to tea that makes it beautiful. The huge array of varieties, flavours, aroma, describes a culture, it gives an insight to a country or a region. Here we have compiled a list of a few unique teas that you probably might not have heard about, so you may consider going through and exploring some unique teas that might add a twist to your regimen.
Unique Teas You Might Not Have Heard Of
Listed below is a unique collection of teas you might not be familiar with, aside from your favourite black or green teas.
1. Butter Tea or Po Cha
Since Tibetan butter tea, or po cha, is salty rather than sweet and has an entirely unexpected flavour, it is typically an acquired taste. Many non-Tibetans don't particularly like it at first, but they grow to enjoy it when it's connected to warmth on a chilly day, fun times with Tibetan friends, or the thrill of travelling to Tibet or Tibetan communities in India or Nepal. There is a complicated process involved in making butter tea in Tibet that can take an incredibly long time. Here’s how you can make it at the ease of your kitchen.
How to brew?
- The very first thing you need to do is boil four cups of water.
- Two tea bags or two heaping tablespoons of loose tea should be placed in boiling water and allow it to steep for a few minutes.
- Add a generous 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Remove the tea bags, or sieve the tea grounds if you used loose tea.
- Add one to two tablespoons of milk powder or one-third to one cup of milk.
- Finally, shut off the stove. Adding butter and two tablespoons of tea mixture to a chandong, a type of churn, will help the mixture to churn. Since churns aren't very common outside of Tibet, you can use a blender, which also works extremely well, or you can do like some Tibetans do and use any large container with a top so you can shake the tea.
- For two to three minutes, churn, blend, or shake the mixture. The Tibetans believe that churning the po cha longer improves its flavour.
- Consider it more like a very light soup than tea because the flavour is so foreign to non-Tibetans.
- Since po cha tastes best when it's really hot, serve the tea soon away and enjoy.
Due to its stick-like appearance, Kukicha is sometimes known as Bōcha or "twig tea" in English. It is grown from the same plant as Sencha and Bancha, but instead of having leaves like other varieties of tea, it has stems, stalks, and twigs.
The stems and twigs that are left behind after processing Sencha and Matcha are the main source of it. These are divided using either manual labour or sorting equipment. It is chosen above many other green teas for everyday use because it takes longer to brew than Sencha, has a less bitter flavour than Sencha, and has a more energising scent.
Theanine, a vitamin found in both tea stems and leaves, becomes equally bitter and transforms into catechin when exposed to sunshine. Sencha has stronger astringent overtones than Kukicha because leaves always get more sunlight than stems.
Flavour, Aroma and How To Brew?
If properly brewed, kukicha has a mild nutty, somewhat sweet, and creamy flavour. Furthermore, it has a characteristic woody aroma and a dark yellowish colour when brewed.
- To prepare Kukicha at home and enjoy it, all you need is a tea set, boiling water, and Kukicha.
- Adding a teaspoon of Kukicha or 4 grams to each cup in a teapot and boiling water will bring them to 80 degrees, and the water will cool down again.
- After adding the Kukicha, pour this water into your teapot.
- Steep it for around one minute. Avoid overbrewing it as it may get bitter and deeper in colour.
- You should pour half and half into a cup before adding the other because if you pour one cup first, then the other, the second cup will be stronger.
- Enjoy nutty and creamy-flavoured tea after every meal if you prepare it properly.
- Last but not least, make the second and third infusions with the same leaves but shorten the steeping time.
3. Purple Tea
Purple tea is a unique variety of tea made primarily in Kenya, with minor quantities also produced in Japan, China, and India. Except for purple tea, all types of tea are made from the jade-green leaves of the tea plant. The leaves of organically cultivated purple tea are actually purple because of the abundance of super-antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are native to Kenya. Purple tea is produced using a method similar to that of green tea, except it has more antioxidants, less caffeine, and a flavour that has won awards.
- Never boil the same water twice; always use fresh spring water whenever possible.
- Calculate the appropriate number of tea leaves per cup of water and change the ratio as necessary. This percentage will have a significant impact on the flavour.
- Tea leaves should be put into a linen tea bag and steeped for simple brewing.
- Re-steep the tea leaves just like you would any other type of tea.
It's usually better to adhere to the instructions on the container when preparing a cup of purple tea. For black purple tea, brew it for two to three minutes in nearly boiling water, just like you would for black tea. When brewing green purple tea, use water that is around 176°F and brew for an estimated one to two minutes.
4. Cha Yen
This sweet, creamy drink is popular in Thailand and is available at Thai restaurants all over the world. It hardly even resembles a typical cup of black tea. There aren't many beverages that are more reviving if you like sweet and creamy drinks.
Both sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk are required for the recipe for Thai iced tea. While evaporated milk is similar to heavy cream and is unsweetened, sweetened condensed milk is thick and sweet, almost like a syrup.
How To Brew?
- Water must first be brought to a boil. I'm using a saucepan, but you could also use a water boiler or a microwave.
- Add around 1 tablespoon of black Thai tea to your tea cup.
- The simplest way to steep the tea is to place your tea sock into a bowl or large cup.
- To steep the tea and extract all of the flavor, pour 1 cup of boiling water into the tea bag and squeeze it in and out.
- Tea should be steeped for a few minutes to achieve a good, dark colour.
- Fill a fresh cup with one glass of hot tea.
- Give it a good toss after adding 2 tablespoons each of sugar and sweetened condensed milk.
- Then, add 2 tablespoons of evaporated milk, and stir the tea again until everything is thoroughly incorporated.
- Optional: Use two pitchers and pour the tea from one to another while remaining slightly elevated. The ideal Thai iced tea should have some froth or bubbles on top. Although there are other ways you could do this, it's still a lot of fun!
- Pour crushed ice into a cup and fill it to the brim.
- Place a cup of ice in it and pour the hot tea over it.
- Pour some extra evaporated milk on top of your cup to give your Thai iced tea one last creamy flourish.
- You can start suckling it down after adding a straw.
5. Yellow Tea
Yet another beverage that originated in China and has steadily spread over the world is yellow tea. This one has a slightly unusual flavour in that it has a fruity aftertaste that is distinct, a smooth texture, and a pleasant scent.
It is comparable to green tea in terms of advantages. But compared to other teas and even green tea, it is softer on the stomach. This hot beverage's vivid yellow tint was artificially created through a procedure known as "Sealed Yellowing." In this method, the catechins in tea, which give it its yellow tint, are first oxidised before being further processed to maintain the dried leaves' colour and aroma.
Yellow Tea has various potential health benefits from anti-ageing properties, to promoting liver health, it is a great choice.
How To Brew?
The brewing technique is very simple and minimal, all you need to do is pour fresh spring water and let it boil. Pour it into a teacup or glass, and add around 5 grams of yellow tea, you can add even more if you would like your tea to be strong. Now, you can add any sweetener of your choice, or even skip this step. After 5 minutes you will need to strain it, and your aromatic, delicious cup of yellow tea is ready to be slurped.
We made the choice to highlight tea and compile a list of unique yet delectable tea recipes from throughout the world. Please give these a try and let us know what you think.