Category Archives: Food & Drink

POST WORKOUT SPICED CHAI

By Val the Cookie Queen of APJ

 
I have a fairly tough workout regime twice a week at the moment.  There are of course a host of post-workout drinks and shakes to chose from, most of them bordering on the unpleasant, at least taste-wise.  I am usually ready to pass out at the end of my program and want something that has a hit and kicks in immediately.  Which is why I started to make and take my own post workout drink.  Simple as that.  It literally brings me back to life, believe me.  
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There is no correct recipe for chai masala or spiced chai.  You can use cloves, star anise and cinnamon but I don’t care for so many spices all at once, and I actively dislike cinnamon in a drink.  And in perfume.  Yuck.
 
Cookie Queen´S CHAI – this makes about a liter
Ingredients:
Fresh ginger. About two inches of root, grated
8 Green cardamom pods
20 Black peppercorns
5 Tea bags or loose black tea.  (I use bog standard PG Tips bags)
A good 250mls of milk
Sugar to taste
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Crush the cardamom pods and black pepper in a pestle and mortar, or whatever you have to hand to do the job.

 

 

Grate the ginger.
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Put about a liter of cold water into a pan.  Chuck in the crushed cardamom and pepper and bring to the boil.
Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, more if you want.  It will smell divine, and might make you sneeze.
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Throw in the grated ginger root. Keep it simmering for another 10 minutes. 
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Add the milk.
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Bring it to the boil, watching it so that it doesn´t boil over your stovetop, but hopefully you have used a big enough pan!
Throw in the teabags.  Let it simmer until you have a good deep tan colour, probably about three minutes.  
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You will then need to pour it through a decent sized strainer over another saucepan or a bowl and strain the whole lot, pushing down on all the stuff to get every last bit of goodness out.
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Sugar to taste.  This chai needs to be really sweet, you can decide yourself though.
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Sip slowly and enjoy the immediate kick.
 
Deadlift Bussis
CQ
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Fragranced Organic Teas by Aftelier Perfumes

After I shared a surprisingly popular post about tea a couple of weeks ago, the wonderful indie perfumer Mandy Aftel kindly sent me samples from her own tea collection. I was thrilled and had a fine time trying each one.

 

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I drank them without milk and without sugar (on my first cup at least) to get the true taste. All four teas are organic and use edible essential oils and absolutes on a base of premium tea leaves. Depending on what method of infusion you use, on the first steeping you can watch the leaves unfurl in the water. You can also re-infuse them several times, which is great. Below are my impressions of each variety.tea-roseginger-2tOolong Tea Rose & Ginger 

This organic Tieguanyin oolong tea from Taiwan is infused with Mandy’s Chef Essences of Turkish Rose and Fresh Ginger. I thought I didn’t like floral teas, however either rose is an exception or this tea is so subtly flavoured/scented it’s a joy. I was also concerned the ginger might be overpowering but it added a lovely gingerbread background warmth. I think I might struggle with straight-up oolong but this combination of flavours gives it body and make it work beautifully for me. Now I’m looking forward to trying more rose flavoured teas.

Black Tea Cardamom & Orange

I love the scent of black tea, cardamom and orange so it’s no surprise that this turned out to be a hit with me. The cardamom comes through more than the orange but it’s a gentle backnote to the tea itself which is full, rounded and satisfying in the way black tea usually is for me. According to the website this is “Organic Red Pearls Black Tea, a rare tea from Fujian, is fully-oxidized Mao Feng tea leaves that have been rolled into small black pearls. They are then pan-fired where they develop a burnished sheen, toasty caramel-like aroma, and spicy, assertive — yet wonderfully sweet — flavor.”

Oolong Tea Frankincense GABA

An incense tea! I love incense so this was a novel and fun experience for me. The scent is fantastically resinous, rather than smoky and it’s the fullest oolong tea I can imagine.  The oolong tea from Taiwan has fruit and honey notes and is infused with hojary incense. GABA is a natural enzyme that calms and relaxes which is a definite plus. You’d think it might feel strange drinking incense but doesn’t. It’s perfect for de-stressing after work on a cold winter’s evening.

Aged Pu’erh in Tangerine Peel

Until late last year I hadn’t even heard of Pu’erh. It’s actually a fermented tea from Yunnan, China. Here, the leaves are packed into the rind of a whole tangerine.and aged for four years. They take on the flavour of the tangerine and the citrus is enhanced further by the addition of Mandy’s Yellow Mandarin Chef’s Essence. I found the unique scent very comforting.  It’s earthy and rubbery and laced delicately with citrus. Perhaps surprisingly, this tea is really refreshing and I found it easy to drink without sugar, which is rare. I also love that it comes in the tangerine peel.

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Each tea composition is expertly balanced with essences and absolutes that complement and enhance the leaves; never overwhelming them.  They are clearly created with the same care and artistry as the Aftelier perfumes. They’ve brought home to me just how closely smell and taste are connected and how making a cup of tea can become, in Mandy’s own words, “a time-stopping pleasure” during a demanding day.

 

Do you like the sound of any of Mandy’s teas? Are there any scented teas you currently enjoy?

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