My friend Sahar is a cardamom tea connoisseur. Milky and minty with a bold cardamom profile, her morning sips are robust and comforting.
On a recent visit to her home in Sydney, I studied her technique through my bleary morning fog. Her cardamom teabags are an easy reach from the electric kettle. As the water comes to a boil, she places one or two teabags in her favorite mug. She pulls fresh mint and milk from the refrigerator. She places a small container of cardamom pods on the counter.
When the water reaches a rolling boil, Sahar pours it into her mug, leaving room for milk. She brews a strong cardamom tea, sometimes boosting the flavor by dropping a cardamom pod in the mug. She pinches three or four mint leaves from a branch and slips them into the mug. The tea steeps for several minutes. Before drinking, she adds a splash of milk.
I was thrilled by her cardamom tea ritual, and she sent me home with cardamom teabags and loose tea. Sahar shared Wagh Bakri, Ahmad, and Premier’s Cardamom Tea. I have enjoyed preparing all of these teas à la Sahar. When I make “her” cardamom tea, my mind drifts back to her warm welcome and gentle spirit.
I have made a small adjustment to Sahar’s morning cardamom tea, adding about ½ teaspoon honey to each serving. Sometimes I zap the milk in the microwave for 15 seconds before adding it to the tea. I have also used her method to prepare Masala Chai, a symphony of black tea ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, black and white pepper, clove, and nutmeg. I find the fresh mint to be a lovely addition. This fall, I plan to work up a caffeine-free Sahar tea with this Chai Rooibos Caffeine-Free Infusion.