Sunday, October 5, 2014

Honey Mint Tea

Today we have a special guest post by my favorite (ie only) brother - this is his recipe and writing :)

Hello! I’m Hans, Chef Uy’s younger brother and often a sous chef in her kitchen (I’m sometimes mentioned in her recipes). However, I’m here with a special recipe of my own, my honey mint green tea.
I first got into honey mint green tea because of Sweet Leaf, an iced tea brand in Texas. I really like the “Mint & Honey” flavor, and I decided to recreate that recipe myself. I found my inspiration in Charleston, South Carolina at the Charleston Tea Plantation - surprisingly the only place where tea is actually grown in the United States. All the major tea companies (like Nestea) acquire tea grown in other countries like China and India. Anyways, we bought a small tin of their “Island Mint Green Tea,” and when I got home, I knew that I had the right tea leaves to make my recipe.
It took me several tries to get my recipe right since I experimented with some other ingredients like agave and mint extract. I also just estimate the amount of honey and sugar I add, and on a few occasions, I accidentally made the tea way too sweet, so the only remedy was to dilute it with more tea, leaving us with two huge pitchers of it. But the nice thing about my recipe is everything can be adjusted according to your preferences, so if you like it sweeter, or you like more honey than sugar, then you can do it easily.
Chef Uy remarked what an elaborate process it is when I make my honey mint green tea, since I’m always hovering around my teapot to make sure the tea is the right temperature before I pour it in the pitcher or carefully pouring out honey without making a mess. Pulling a quote from Toy Story 2, I proclaimed, “You can’t rush art!” This is absolutely my favorite drink to make in the summer, and I hope you all enjoy it!

Ingredients
Hot water
Bigelow Mint Medley tea bags or some similar mint green tea (I’ve run out of my Charleston green tea, but I’ve found that Bigelow works just as well)
Fresh mint leaves
Sugar
Honey


Directions
I would use one Bigelow tea bag for every 200mL of tea you plan on making, as well as a nice bunch of mint leaves that I just soak in the hot water with the tea. I’m really picky** about not soaking the tea bags too long since that makes the tea bitter, so just soak them for about a minute, bobbing the tea bags in the water a few times to get the flavor out. Afterwards, remove the tea bags and mint leaves and let the tea sit until it is just warm, not boiling hot. Do not immediately pour the tea into the pitcher, as the sudden heat may crack the pitcher.

While you wait for the tea to cool down a bit, add the honey and sugar into the empty pitcher. Once the tea is the right temperature, carefully pour it into the pitcher. Since the tea is still warm, it shouldn’t be too hard to get the sugar and honey to mix.

Once all the tea is made, put it in the refrigerator until it is cold and ready to serve.

** Ok, Chef Uy can't help comment that "really picky" is an huge understatement. He was positively horrified when I suggest he let it sit and go to something else. Apparently, I'm terribly uncultured since I'm content drinking the "bitter dredges of mushy leaves." My apologies to the tea connoisseur of the family. 

4 comments:

  1. This is obviously the best recipe on the blog

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  2. Can you provide your sugar/honey measurements that you used to "copycat" sweet leaf? Thx.

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