Dubai: how do you like your cup of tea? Sweet, strong, with or without milk, lemon or mint, sugar, salt or spices? There are so many ways to drink and brew tea. On International Tea Day, which is tomorrow, the Gulf News Food team has crafted tea rituals and recipes loved by people around the world.
Whether you like to sip your tea the Mumbai way – cut chai or prefer herb-flavored Japanese matcha, the tea resonates with sentiment. In many South Asian homes, steeping tea is a morning ritual. The aroma of loose tea leaves in hot water wafts through the house, signaling an awakening.
Tea can be consumed alone, accompanied by snacks and different types of food – sweet, salty, umami; there is a whole guide to understanding tea and food pairings. For starters, if you understand the 10 essential rules to follow while sipping your cup of tea, that should be enough.
Here are recipes for brewing the perfect cup of hot or cold tea:
1. The Best Mumbai Masala Chai Recipe
Here is a recipe from our founding editor for the famous cutting chai from the western Indian state of Maharashtra – Mumbai. It’s called cut for a reason and basically means half a cup. Pair it with the classic vada pav and you’re ready to take on the day. This strong and refreshing tea is served in the iconic conical glass and has become a true signature, synonymous with Mumbai’s vibrant culture.
2. Te Tarik
Tea taken from Singapore and Malaysia – Teh Tarik (pronounced as Te ta rik) is a hot milk tea, much like Karak Chai from the United Arab Emirates, but with a twist. It is popular in South Asian countries like Singapore and Malaysia. A unique technique goes into making this tea, and it also gets its name from ‘pulled tea’.
3. Kashmiri noon chai or pink tea
It is a traditional drink from the Indian state of Kashmir which has a unique pink tint and salty taste. That’s right, this recipe uses butter and salt with Kashmiri green tea leaves. Here is a recipe shared by a Kashmiri expat based in the UAE for Kashmiri rose tea.
4. Japanese matcha tea
Traditional Japanese matcha tea is easy to prepare at home. In addition to knowing the correct technique, you need to have high-quality matcha tea powder (here’s how to identify high-quality matcha tea) and some essential equipment – a bamboo whisk, chashaku (spoon used in the Japanese tea ceremony) and bowl of matcha. Don’t worry if you don’t have them. Instead of a whisk, you can use an electric frother or a spoon and replace the bowl with a ceramic bowl and an electric frother. Here is the recipe.
5. Sulaimani Chai
This tea from the coastal Indian state of Kerala is also popular in the United Arab Emirates. Known as Sulaimani chayya (chai or tea in Malayalam), it is a mild tea made from loose leaf tea and flavored with lemon or mint.
According to folklore, Sulaimani tea has Arab origins. Here’s the story and a recipe to try.
6. Malta Ricotta Tea
This refreshing cold tea drink comes from the island country of Malta. The drink is divided into four layers – Panna cotta, lemon ricotta, lemon mousse and crumble. Here is a recipe from Michelin-starred chef Jonathan Brincat, owner of the Noni restaurant in Malta.
7. Masala chai or spiced tea
This is the famous Indian chai, which is spicy. A mixture of the spice blend is added to the tea as it steeps, giving it plenty of time to blend. Each Indian state has its own combination of the spice blend for tea. Learn how to make your own blend with this recipe.
How do you like your cup of tea? Share your favorite recipe with us at [email protected]