When in the afternoon I need a break to lighten up my mind and warm up my hands and my spirit, I put the kettle on the fire and brew a flavored black tea. The cardamom black tea is my latest passion.
When it comes to food, I am a fairly daring person, I taste with pleasure and a hint of challenge every kind of food, even those I might not like at first glance. Basically I am very curious and this pushes me beyond my comfort zone.
The same can not be said of my attitude towards drinking. You already know that I am basically a soft drink person, but do not be surprised if I tell you that I had the first sip of Coke when I was more than 25 years old, and obviously I did not like it. My friends laugh at me, saying I’m definitely more English than Italian as my favorite drink, at any time of the day, is tea.
I usually drink from 2 up to 6 cups of green tea a day – sencha or jasmine bancha tea – but in the morning or afternoon, when I need a boost of energy, there is nothing better than a strong cup of black tea flavoured with different spices accordingly to the season.
Shortly before Christmas Claudia and I decided to dedicate some time to the DIY, creating our favourite shades of flavoured afternoon black tea. We bought a wonderful Chinese Keemun black tea and we divided it into two glass jars: one turned romantic and feminine with dried rose petals and vanilla bean, ideal for slow afternoons and rice biscuits.
The other one was enriched with cardamom, a spice that goes well with tea, coffee and chocolate, to turn it into a fresh and energizing drink with a subtle Arabic tone. You can make it in a minute and then leave it to rest patiently for a while.
- 50 g of loose leaf black tea
- 1 teaspoon of cardamom pods
- 1 glass jar or tin
- Open the cardamom berries and crush the seeds in a mortar to release the essential oils.
- Mix the black tea leaves with the cardamom pods and seeds and close them in a glass jar or tin.
- Let it sit for a month or so before using it, so that cardamom has time to release its essence and enrich the tea.
After two weeks of care-free life in London I found myself in the Tuscan countryside, completely covered in snow, silent, peaceful and fairly isolated. A cup of steaming tea is the perfect antidote to the piercing cold and the freezing wind.