In the same way that some folks identify as “cat people” versus “dog people,” I’m more of a coffee person than a tea person. I’ll almost always take a cup of joe if given the choice.
There are a couple of rare exceptions:
1) Iced sweet tea with lemon (confession: I acquired this taste while growing up in the south. If I did not have Proustian-like attachment to the beverage, I don’t think I could enjoy what’s essentially — at its worst — straight simple syrup.)
2) The following Earl Grey tea infusion recipe by Marie-Pierre Troisgros of the much lauded Maison Troisgros in Roanne, France. Might sound fancy, but I assure you that it’s not. In fact, it’s quite simple and can work wonders against the winter blues. On some dark February days, I would even call it an elixir for the common winter doldrum.
This drink can’t stop the rain, but it can brighten your beverage repertoire. Here’s what you need:
Earl Grey rafraichi aux épices
Translation: Refreshing Earl Grey with Spices
Makes 1 quart of tea
1 quart of Earl Grey tea (I use Teapigs’ Darjeeling Earl Grey from The Brooklyn Kitchen)
7 tablespoons sugar
1 star anise
1/2 cinnamon stick
12 g fresh ginger, ground
A few drops of lime juice
Begin by brewing the tea. While it’s still hot, pour into a large glass jar and add the sugar, star anise, cinnamon and fresh ginger. Close the lid, place in the fridge and leave to infuse overnight.
The next day, fliter the tea infusion by pouring the liquid through a sieve. Add a few drops of fresh lime juice and serve chilled.