Sunny Salubri-tea

black tea leaves

The spirit was willing…but the flesh very weak. But here I am after a not-too-long hiatus from blogging. I guess, we all need a break now and then, to get the juices flowing again.

JFI:Rice came. And went. Nothing from the Kashmir stables after having admitted “there is much Kashmiris do with rice.” That too when I have, at the least, nine varieties of rice in my pantry! And I had so planned to cook ver, the Kashmiri rice gruel/konji/risotto named after the spice mix that goes into it, that is cooked to kick off all auspicious functions. It will have to wait for some time, though I do have just the rice for it.

Meanwhile, let me serve you something cool and refreshing, while there is still some heat in the sun and warmth in the weather. Just in time for Meeta’s Monthly Mingle: Liquid Dreams.

Not all my buys at Dilli Haat are great. But most are. Besides, spotting something new is always thrilling.

On my last visit there during the annual Basant Saras festival (Spring Fest), I bought produce from all over the country. These were mostly small time farmers or cooperatives representing small farmers. I bought three kinds of beans from the Uttaranchal ladies – two types of pahadi rajma, and also black beans; short grain fragrant rice and tamarind from Madhya Pradesh. From a small stall selling the produce of Kerala I bought kudampulli (fish-tamarind, I’m still to use it though), light-as-air amaranth seed laddus, jawbreaker sesame laddus, and coffee and tea. All this was from Munnar in Kerala.

While I’ve sampled tea and coffee from the Annamalai hills in Tamil Nadu – both excellent products, I might add – I wasn’t aware of tea estates in Kerala. But, what do we North Indians know about the Southern States beyond idli-dosa? Not much.

So I sampled the excellent coffee. And some black tea. The tea, I was disappointed to find, wasn’t quite up to the standards. It was definitely a very inferior tea that I had bought – large leaves with a fair bit of twigs too. Could they be the coarser lower leaves instead of the delicate tips…tea that the poor farmers keep for themselves?

Unfortunately, I had already passed on some of the stuff without having sampled it first. I wrote my friend warning him not to serve it to discerning drinkers of the brew. He waved it off assuring me that iced tea always tastes good. And therein lies my inspiration.

In addition, I was going to use the bounty of the sun – directly in its warming rays, and also in the ripened limes from the garden. After sun-cooked lemon and lime pickles madness all over the blogosphere, and then cookies baked inside cars, there is sani-tea in sun tea.

sun tea

I brewed the tea in the sun for some time; you could also brew it in cool water on your kitchen counter. Use some orange juice for sweetening. I used Tang – sacrilegious you think? But I rarely have orange juice in the fridge, and good oranges have become rarer still. If I make it during Kinnow season, I will be sure to add fresh Kinnow juice. Just that one lime adds a whole another refreshing flavour. You can always use good black tea leaves. But these not-so-great leaves made a great iced tea! You were right, friend.

iced tea

Sunny Salubri-tea
(Iced Sun Tea)
3 ½ C water
3 t black tea leaves
1 T Tang Orange Drink powder (or 1 C orange or any other sweet citrus juice)
1 lime, sliced thin

Liquid DreamsTake the water (at room temperature) in a glass carafe or jug. Add the tea leaves (approximately one level teaspoonful for every cup of water). Leave the carafe out in the sun for an hour, or let steep indoors for a lighter tea. Strain. Stir in orange drink mix powder (or orange juice 🙄 ). Add the sliced lime and let steep in the refrigerator a further one hour. Serve in tall glasses over ice cubes.

Tags: tea, iced tea, black tea, sun tea, lime tea

36 thoughts on “Sunny Salubri-tea

  1. Tang? OMG! Not Tang! That is worse than sacrilege, I tell you!

    As for cookies baked in the sun, I could have done that all summer long. No longer though. The temps have plunged about 30F in the last day. It’s almost 2pm here and we’ve barely crossed the 60F mark. Now why couldn’t you post this when we were engulfed in blistering heat? You and the weather-gods are in some sort of cahoots, I tell you!

    How hot does it need to get to make this sun-brewed tea?

    Already into fall…you have the beautiful aspens to look forward to.
    We never did the sun-dried cheese…

    You don’t need the sun if you like your tea light. I would think, if the sun is hot, and you keep the jug out of draft, it should get plenty hot to brew the tea.

  2. I second Manisha….just this week, the weather has started to cool off! But when next summer rolls around in its blistering glory, I’ll have this recipe ready 🙂

    Didn’t want to miss the Mingle! Though there was a fruity Margarita that I could have talked about…summery still.

  3. Very nice! I make sun-tea several times every summer, I only need to remember to place the jar in the yard in the morning, and by evening I can have warm or iced tea. The ‘Tang’ however – not expected from you, Anita, but maaf. 🙂

    😀 You guys can always reach out for OJ in your fridge…expensive here, and mostly with “sugar added!” Don’t need that additional sugar. But, thanks for being a forgiving friend. 😉

  4. Hmmm… Munnar not only produces tea, but is a beautiful tourist spot as well… Add it to your list of places to visit when you plan that Kerala trip… 🙂
    Looks like you were ripped off, if the tea was that bad… While I wouldn’t call the Munnar tea the best in India, it is normally pretty good… Well, when life gives you bad tea leaves, make iced tea out of it, right… That looks very refreshing…. I won’t be able to sun brew the tea this year, but the idea sounds great!

    Yup, and now I am better informed.

    Dilli Haat can be like that – there is no standardasation…but that is okay. Standardisation is overrated anyway! “Nothing touched by human hands.” Why ever not?! It did make a swell iced tea anyway, and I got a new drink.

  5. Hey Anita, the orange-chai combo sounds lovely! Due to my limited knowledge, i had to Google to find out what “Tang” was 😀

    Oh, and i do recall you saying somewhere in the comments section of the haak post that you would post “ver”: how long do we have to wait 🙂 that and tsur-tschot 😉

    and aren’t kinnus the best!

  6. Just what I need when I reach work every morning… after a 2/5 hour drive.

    Keep ready in the fridge and carry with you in the morning! (That a 25min drive…? I pray you work in G’gaon itself!)

  7. I just visited Munnar last to last month. Heaven is the word which would do justice to the beauty of the place. I could write a whole essay on it.

    …..& did get some really good Tea & spices from there.

    It looks like heaven in the pictures…putting it down on my list, as Sig suggested.

  8. wow munnar is soooo beautiful… i was running up and down the tea plantations…singing.. ‘ki mere dil ne tadapke jab naam tera pukara…aaja ho aaja’ and i remember buying tea from there … and making it at my sis-in-law’s in-law’s place….its wasnt bad hey…

    making ice tea in the sun is new… and since its all warm and summery in africa…. im defintely trying this… 🙂 thanks anita

    So, this Punjabi (?) girl new about this region in the South! 😉 You are our saving grace.
    I think I just got unlucky with the tea…maybe I should try brewing it differently (how? 😀 ). The coffee was excellent, though with elachi in it already…I prefer my coffee unspiced.

  9. Anita, am I glad to see you back though I don’t drink any tea. Reading the post was refreshing by itself. If Manisha is talking of a cold wave in her parts, it is not far behind for us too 😦

    It’s cooled down here but ways to go before it gets cold. Min 23, and max still in mid thirties!

  10. Looks fabulous like English Tea which I love although I am from coffee plantations of Hassan!! Hope you don’t miss RCI K!!!;D

    As soon as I can sort out my JFI from RCI!!
    Psst: I know only one dish: Bisi Bele Huli Anna! And a winner it is!

  11. wow! that first pic had my head spinning for a while.. nice and long strands 🙂 nice post!

    That’s what it did to TH – and I had to show him that I hadn’t rotated it or anything – just cropped! Ain’t the bamboo can beautiful?

  12. Seems like someone took you for a ride with those tea leaves! 🙂 Munnar tea is not all that bad 🙂

    It must have been me! But, there is always a silver lining, if only we look for it! 😉

  13. I love this sunny version of Chai with fruity flavors, nice blend of flavors, and I think you wrote it RCI: Rice which is actually JFI Rice, that RCI Rice kept me pondering for few mins :O another event????

    Thanks, for pointing that out, Padma! Fixed it. The chai taste amazing with the citrus flavours.

  14. Oh Anita, I hope this sunny tea sends some real sun my way. After a week of cold and rain I hope we get one last sunny stint before we hit winter! Hugs!

    For all of you in the West, it is already time for warm spicy drinks…

  15. A gorgeous colour Anita….but I am more into hot chai with masala (red label + earl grey + milk + sugar + elaichi 🙂

    Mostly I too am a hot chai person. Milk and sugar. 🙂 But now I make this on hot evenings and make it large, and sip slowly, waiting for certain friends on the other side of the globe to wake up to chat with.

  16. Looks fabulous, love the pictures of the tea brewing in the sun. Fruity tea… maybe we’ll have a hot summer burst before the winter!

    I hope you do so that you may try all the cool 😀 things still surfacing on the blogs…a granita is on my list next! ;-)…as you brrr.

  17. No Anita… It was meant to be a 2.5 hour drive… I work in NOIDA 🙂 and live in Gurgaon. I so wish it was 25 minutes 🙂

    How can you be part of this mad race?!!! And have energy left to cook and bake! I am going to be in Noida a lot this weekend…and the following couple of weeks.

  18. Sani-tea in sun-tea eh? 😀 That friend of yours was very wise; hopefully you also sent him some Kashmiri kahve so that your tea-choosing reputation wasn’t totally compromised! 😉

    It’s darned chilly here right now- 45F/7.22C- so I can’t possibly think of iced tea at the moment. I suppose I ought to close the windows eh? I must be mad…

    And you are absolutely correct: there is always a silver lining to every seeming misfortune; apparantly, at times, Lakshmi enjoys hiding treasure just beyond sight!

    Well…the lime pickle is quite sane, but baking in your car?!!! Park your cars in the shade, people! And get a solar cooker if you are keen on the sun!

    I’d forgotten how soon it gets cold over there…Lakshmi can be very naughty sometimes – dangling carrots and then nothing! 😆

  19. On hot days like we have here in the Caribbean, this would be very welcoming.

    So, you will give me company as the rest of our friends huddle around cups of hot coffee, or whatever is their poison?

  20. XX’s and OO’s to you too Manishy; you know, one could always prepare tea the old-fashioned way: with hot water…very strong brew…then chill and ice it. Perhaps with avalanche-snow? 😉 And don’t forget the Tang!(registered trademark) 😀

  21. So it was the invigorating and salubrious atmosphere that prevails here. I knew Anita was to blame.

    Avalanche snow? Bah! May you be blessed with this cold front hanging over us, may it come your way and stay there. You might want to think of getting some panes for them windows, y’know!

    In other news, I might see some real snow – like falling from the sky and not ice cos it survived the summer – this weekend though.

    Hya barobar aajchya baatmya samaapt.

    Can’t beat the relaxation and rejuvenation of stirring and contemplating though!

    Panes in the windows sounds like a swell idea – especially if you want to keep cats (and intruders) out.

    What baatmya – weather news doesn’t count. Give us some real news. So, what’s up with that neighbour of your’s – shares his lemons now?

  22. Park your cars in the shade? What shade? No parking lots I know have any shade! The covered ones cost mucho moolah and can only be found in large cities. My driveway has no shade – great for lime and lemon pickles. I could put up a canopy but the winds will take that away, smash it against my neighbor’s house and I will be looking at a a claim for damages. Which do you want to sponsor?

    But think about it – if the temps can go up to 200F in the car – no wonder that poor child died when its mother forgot it in the car. Such a sad and terrible story. 😦

    Sugar in your tea? No! Ruins everything. No sugar in coffee either! Try reducing it by a teeny bit over a long-ish period of time. One day you’ll realize that you can do without it. And you will actually prefer it that way. That’s what happened to me. Shuttling between India and here, my tea was either too sweet or not sweet enough. So I just stopped adding sugar. You get to taste the tea, you know?!

    I would stir this weekend but sleeping is more inviting right now. Although I doubt I will be able to do much of that!

    Weather news is the only news. My life revolves around it. How cold it is now. How warm it will get. Will it rain.

    Neighbor didn’t grow any lemons. Has some corn on steroids and tons of roses. No sharing. 😦

    Stick with them pickles.

    With the sugar in my tea – almost where it is getting hard for anyone else to sweeten my tea. I add just a fourth of a teaspoon to a large cup – a tad bit more and it gets to be too sweet. Soon enough it will have to be none at all! You’re right – then you really taste the tea!

    How come these moms never learn that a closed car can be like an oven?! There seems to be a case every now and then – this one is recent! Maybe the car-baking needs more publicizing so everyone really understands. (PS: OMG – she is an assistant principal in a school! She forgot her daughter?!)

    Here’s the local weather – the wind is turning here as well – temperature drops by half a degree every two days (shos my temperature gauge). There is a hint of approaching winter in the cool mornings and evenings,but the days are still warm. And it is always sunny – just like Denver! Same for you in Boulder?

  23. Hey we had a gorgeous warm day. I could have made this today. I forgot cos I went for a long walk with my beloved! And then I had to play chauffeur. Maybe tomorrow!

    See, if only you wish from the heart…

  24. I’m loving the sound of this! And summer is on the way here too….

    It is!
    And it’s never winter all around the world! (Bee, please note). Yay, to that. 😀

  25. We had a gorgeous warm(75F)day here too, and my beloved-for-as-long-as-it-lasts and I went cloud-gazing on a bluff, and bumped into a strange group wielding trumpets and picnic-ing. Anita’s iced tea must have cast a day-long spell of certain madness! 🙂

    Just so you guys don’t go on and on about my bad timing! 😉

  26. Oh, I would never do that Anita! Iced tea would have been very nice these last few days, let me tell ya! But there is already talk ensuing about preparing your kadhi pakode-wali for the chilly evenings ahead; you’ve no idea how splendid it is ’til you’ve tasted it in the frozen landscapes! 🙂

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