Dubai: How do you like your cup of tea? Mild, strong, with or without milk, lemon or mint, sugar, salt or spices? There are so many ways to drink and brew tea. Gulf News Food team has put together tea rituals and recipes loved by people worldwide.
Whether you like to sip your tea the Mumbai way - cutting chai or prefer the herby flavoured - Japanese matcha, tea resonates with a feeling. In many South Asian households, brewing tea is an early morning ritual. The aroma of loose tea leaves in hot water wafts through the house, signalling a wake-up call.
Tea can be had on its own, paired with snacks and different kinds of food – sweet, savoury, umami; there is a whole guide to understating tea and food pairing. To begin with, if you understand the 10 essential rules to follow while sipping your cuppa, that should do.
Here are recipes to brew the perfect cup of hot or cold tea:
1. The best Mumbai Masala Chai recipe
Here's a recipe by our founding editor for the famous cutting chai from the Western Indian state of Maharashtra - Mumbai. It's called cutting for a reason and basically means half a cup. Pair it with the classic vada pav, and you are ready to take on the day. This strong refreshing tea is served in the iconic conical glass and has become quite a signature, synonymous with Mumbai's vibrant culture.
2. Teh Tarik
Pulled tea from Singapore and Malaysia – Teh Tarik (pronounced as Te ta rik) is hot milk tea, somewhat like the UAE's Karak Chai, 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 gets its name from it too, 'pulled tea'.
3. Kashmiri noon chai or pink tea
This is a traditional drink from the Indian state of Kashmir that has a unique pink hue and a salty taste. That's right, this recipe uses butter and salt along with Kashmiri green tea leaves. Here is a recipe shared by a UAE-based Kashmiri expatriate for Kashmiri pink tea.
4. Japanese Matcha tea
Traditional Japanese matcha tea is easy to make at home. Apart from knowing the correct technique, you need to have high-quality matcha tea powder (here's how to identify a high-quality matcha tea) and a few essential pieces of equipment -a bamboo whisk, chashaku (spoon used in Japanese tea ceremony) and matcha bowl. Don't worry if you don't have them. Instead of a whisk, you can use an electric frother or spoon and replace the bowl with a ceramic one and an electric frother. Here's the recipe.
5. Sulaimani Chai
This tea from the coastal Indian state of Kerala is popular in the UAE too. Known as Sulaimani chayya (chai or tea in Malayalam), this is a mild tea made with loose tea leaves and flavoured with either lemon or mint.
According to folklore, Sulaimani tea is believed to have Arab origins. Here is the story and a recipe to try.
6. Maltese Tea Ricotta
This refreshing cold tea drink comes from the island country of Malta. The drink, is divided into four layers - Panna cotta, lemon ricotta, lemon foam and the crumble. Here is a recipe by Michelin-starred chef Jonathan Brincat, owner of Noni restaurant in Malta.
7. Masala chai or Spiced Tea
This is the famous Indian chai, which is spiced. A mix of the spiced blend is added to the tea as it brews, giving it enough time to blend in. Every Indian state has its own combination of the tea spice blend. Learn how to make your own blend with this recipe.
How do you like your cup of tea? Share your favourite recipe with us on email@example.com