Sunday, July 10, 2011

Yemeni Tea

I am lucky enough to have close family friends who come an visit occasionally from far off lands, bringing the wind of a different culture into my stale everyday life.

On this visit, I was able to learn how to make Yemeni tea. My mother has been raving about this tea for years and I had never been in a position to try any. As an avid tea drinker, I was always extremely curious.

This trip, I volunteered to help make it, with the very selfish motive of wanting to blog about it. When we finished the tea and I was finally able to taste some, I was pleasantly surprised. It was smokey and sweet, much like the chai tea I indulge in from Starbucks, yet with flavors I do believe I had never experienced before. I did tweak the recipe some on my first solo attempt, and am very pleased with the results. (I added cinnamon, ok? It just didn't seem right without cinnamon.)

This will definitely be a staple on cold mornings when I am back at school.

Yemeni Tea

Start with 5 cups of water in a large pot.

Add to the water:
  •  3 teaspoons Cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg (I grated mine fresh, because I am at home, but at school, you can be this will be pre-ground as well. 
  • 1 Cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 6 whole Cloves or 1 teaspoon ground Cloves   
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar
Bring this mixture to a boil, at around medium to medium high heat. This will give the spices time to mingle with each other before adding the tea.

Once boiling, add 5 black tea bags. I used Liptons, so I know that works well, but I have grand plans to mess around with more exotic tea. Let me know if you discover anything awesome. 

Allow the tea to steep in the boiling water, on the HEAT, for 5-10 minutes. If you rush this step, you will regret it later, when the final product is weak. 

Once the tea has boiled, add a can of Evaporated Milk. 

Then let this mixture boil for another 2 minutes.

Then comes the hardest part of this recipe. You must let everything sit, covered if you can, for about 10 minutes. The tea needs to finish brewing, the spices need to finish making everything spicy, and the milk needs to get over it's separation anxiety issues from the can. 10 minutes. Full minutes. 

After this, strain out the cloves, cinnamon stick, and tea bags.

The end result is a cup of tea that will put any Starbucks to shame. Enjoy!

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