Even though Spring has skipped on stage, winter won't seem to make its graceful exit and has continued to show us sprinkles of snow and send in whipping chilled winds. So, until we bit the cold nights adieu I am keeping cozy with three tea infused sips that warm me to the core: Earl Grey Hot Cocoa with Orange Blossom Earl Grey Whipped Cream, Horchaita, and Spiced Hojicha Green Tea.
While I developed these recipes for the fall for a Fresh Cup Magazine printed piece, I find myself readily embracing warming spices and tastes as they will soon be tucked into the back of cabinets. Plus, even as the sun filled days are screaming spring, these tea infused sips will get you through the cold spring nights. You can jump over to Fresh Cup to read the full piece that offers the inspiration behind each sip, tips/tricks and tasting tales. But if you want to settle into the recipe details first, you find those here as well.
Tell me...what cozy creations are near and dear to your heart as you're waiting for spring's warm up?
Horchaita (p.s. you'll want to pop over to the article to get the full story behind this sip)
Makes three cups
• 1/3 cup long grain white rice
• 1½ cups water
• 2 tablespoons masala chai tea
• One 2-inch piece Mexican cinnamon stick (or substitute regular cinnamon stick)
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1½ cups rice milk
• Ground cinnamon, for serving
Bring water to a boil and steep chai for five minutes. Strain leaves and cool tea until warm. While cooling, grind the rice in a blender so it is in fine pieces (think coarse cornmeal). Pour warm tea over the rice in the blender and add the cinnamon stick. Cover and refrigerate for at least eight hours, but preferably overnight.
Remove the cinnamon stick, then puree the rice and tea until it’s completely smooth. For a truly smooth texture, strain the mixture through cheesecloth, extracting as much liquid as possible (note: if working with high-power blender the cheesecloth may not be needed). Pour the rice and tea mixture into a small pot on the stove and warm over medium heat until hot. Stir in the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and serve immediately with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a spoon.
Note: Infuse the rice with tea/cinnamon stick and blend with rice milk and sugar ahead of time, then refrigerate in an airtight container. Heat until very hot via stove or hot plate. Be sure to stir well.
Earl Grey Hot Cocoa with Orange Blossom Earl Grey Whipped Cream
Makes two cups
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
• 2 teaspoons honey
• 2 teaspoons Earl Grey tea
Add cream and orange blossom water to small pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir in honey until dissolved, then stir in the Earl Grey. Take off the burner and steep for fifteen minutes. Strain the leaves, pour into airtight container and let cool in the fridge for an hour. When ready to serve the Earl Grey hot cocoa, whisk the mixture by hand or with an electric whisk until light and airy. The cream can also be served from a chargeable dispenser.
Earl Grey Hot Cocoa
• 2 cups whole milk
• 4 teaspoons Earl Grey tea
• 2-3 ounces chocolate syrup, or sweetened cocoa powder
Heat two cups of milk to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the Earl Grey, take off the heat and let steep for ten minutes. Strain the leaves. Stir in the cocoa (amount according to directions of your particular mix) or chocolate syrup, testing desired sweetness, and top with orange blossom Earl Grey whipped cream. Optional: Top whipped cream with chocolate shavings.
Note: To make a batch of this tea infusion ahead of time, infuse the warm milk with tea, strain, mix in the chocolate and refrigerate in an airtight container. Heat tea-infused hot cocoa via steamwand.
Spiced Hojicha Green Tea
Makes two cups
• 3 cups water
• 5 tablespoons Hojicha green tea
• 1/3 cup fresh ginger, sliced
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 3 tablespoons honey
Bring three cups of water to a boil, cool to 185 degrees and steep the tea for four minutes. Strain the leaves. Heat tea in a medium pot over medium-high heat until boiling. Lower to a simmer and add ginger. Simmer for fifteen minutes. Strain the ginger and stir in the lemon juice and honey until dissolved. Serve hot.
Note: Make this tea infusion ahead of time. Infuse the hojicha with ginger, lemon, and honey, refrigerate in an airtight container, and heat to serve.