Hibiscus Infused Kangda Tea

Contributed by Sangeeta Khanna

Kangda tea has a distinct flavor of it’s own. Not as fragrant as Darjeeling, tinged with tannin and earthy in taste; quite refreshing as a whole. Some like it combined with citrus or fruity flavors. In this recipe I have used a spiced Hibiscus infusion to liven up this tea and keeps it’s promise.

I source my Kangra tea from IHBT, Palampur, HP where it is grown inside the campus alongside Roses and Lavender and many varieties of Orchids and other exotic flowers.

Ingredients: (for one pot of tea)

  • 1tsp Loose Kangda tea leaves
  • 12 nos Fresh flowers of red Hibiscus
  • 3-4 petals Star anise
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • Honey to taste (optional)
  • Filtered chlorine free water, one pot full
  • Ice cubes made using filtered water

Method:

  1.  Heat the water in a pan till it boils.
  2. Put a teaspoon of tea leaves into the pot and pour half the water over the tea leaves.
  3. Cover the lid and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the Star anise and Cinnamon to the boiling water, simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add clean Hibiscus petals in the boiling water and take the pan off heat.
  6. Let it rest till cool.
  7. The fluid should be purplish-red in color and the flower petals, bleached.
  8. Filter the brewed Kangra tea
  9. Mix with the decanted Hibiscus infusion
  10. Tip in loads of ice cubes.

Hibiscus infusion is mildly sweet on it’s own and star anise and cinnamon add to the sweetness. There is a spicy-sweet depth to the taste of this tea so a sweetener is not required. Add honey if you wish. Serve immediately after adding ice; a very refreshing tea for summers with many medicinal properties.

Note : You wont need to clean the flowers if they are from your own garden and are showered every day. Just remove the green parts and the yellow tip of the stigma.

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