10 tea—based drinks to ring in Spring

Helen Best-Shaw 6 May 2021

May is the month when tea production booms in many countries, so why not get inspired by these 10 tea—based drinks

There are times when nothing but a proper cup of tea will do, be it a gentle, cold brewed green tea or hot builders’ tea strong enough to stand a spoon in, with a good splash of milk and two heaped spoonfuls of sugar; I find that there really is a time and a place for both, and everything in between.

Here are ten ideas for tea-based drinks for this year’s International Tea Day, held in May when tea production starts in many countries, to give you some new ideas.

How to make the perfect cup of tea

Tea

Let’s start with the basics: a cup of black tea with or without milk and/or sugar. Here’s a six-point plan to make the perfect pot or cuppa. Don’t forget to warm the pot!

Teh Tarik Recipe—Malaysian Pulled Tea

Malaysian Pulled Tea

This Southeast Asian sweet drink, locally known as teh tarik or “pulled tea”, is a blast to make. Test your pouring skills to the max for the perfect froth on top of this addictive bittersweet teh tarik recipe. Teh Tarik is a strong, hot tea mixed with sweet and creamy condensed milk that’s repeatedly poured (“pulled”) between two cups or mugs until it transforms into rich, frothy tea heaven.

Lavender Earl Grey Frappuccino with Honey Vanilla Whipped Cream

Lavender Early Grey Frappuccino with Honey Vanilla Whipped Cream

This Earl Grey Frappuccino is a honey-sweetened, creamy, frozen blended drink infused with the iconic bergamot flavour of Earl Grey and the floral essence of lavender. Topped with a delicious honey vanilla whipped cream, this frappe is a perfect summer treat!

Easy Matcha Horchata

Matcha Horchata

A twist on the classic Latin American drink. Horchata is a traditional creamy cold drink that's popular in many different forms across Latin America and Spain. Each country and region have their own method and flavours in horchata, though it usually uses rice, nut or seed milk, and is spiced with cinnamon. But this recipe takes a shortcut and uses ready-made rice milk. Horchata is perfect for warm days; a bit like a nice iced latte, a horchata is creamy, chilled and full of flavour.

Peach tea

Peach tea

Peach Tea is the quintessential end-of-summer drink that reminds me of the American South. This peach iced tea is easy because the sun does all the work and it’s perfect for summer picnics and BBQs. One great advantage of making my own from scratch is that I can adjust the sugar to taste. I find that I prefer far less sugar than is generally found in American recipes.

Ginger Orange Tea

Ginger orange tea

This Ginger Orange Tea is fruity, sweet with a rich and bold flavour of black tea. The addition of ginger and lemongrass adds fragrance and just a bit of heat. The recipe calls for the lemongrass to be simmered for several minutes and then use the liquid to steep the black tea. It also adds ginger syrup, with a link to an easy homemade ginger syrup recipe.

Chai Masala + Chai Lattes

Chai latte

No need to head to the local coffee shop for a spiced tea Chai Latte! This from-scratch recipe is delicious in the Instant Pot or on the stove top. Easy and ready in a flash. The difference between chai masala and chai latte is that a chai masala is black tea with milk and spices, while a latte has added frothed milk.

Strawberry Cheese Tea

Strawberry cheese tea

Cheese tea sounds a bit crazy, but it makes more sense when you drink it. The cheese topping is made of cream cheese, milk, whipping cream, and sugar. It’s whipped until foamy and then poured over a drink. Before you drink, mix well. It tastes like a richer version of milk tea. You can barely taste the cream cheese, it’s more the cream and milk.

Kashmiri Pink Chai (Noon Tea)

Kashmiri pink chai

 Kashmiri Pink Chai is a rich, creamy and sweet pink tea from Pakistan. A kehwa (tea base) is prepared and then boiled with milk and sugar. The key to getting that beautiful rosy hue lies in the reaction of baking soda with tea leaves and the beating of the “kehwa”. The more air you incorporate into the “kehwa” the pinker your tea will get. No food colour is used in this recipe!

Matcha Latte

Matcha latte

Swap your coffee for matcha latte. Matcha is powdered whole green tea leaves that are filled with antioxidants. I love the grassy flavours of matcha, especially in ice cream—if you haven’t discovered it yet, then is well worth searching out! As a drink, I think it has a stronger and more full-bodied flavour compared to green tea made with leaves.

Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours since 2007Follow her on Twitter, Instagram , and Facebook.

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