Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Monday's requested recipe... III
(on Tuesday)
How to brew a good cup of Coca tea?

Preparing coca tea or any other Bolivian tea comes natural to me. The truth is that brewing tea requires hot water, tea and a vessel in which to bring the two together, but a good cup of tea needs love and attention. Once you learn a few simple rules, brewing the perfect cup of coca tea can be quite simple:
  1. Use 1 bag of coca tea for each cup of tea (usual tea cup capacity is 5.5 liquid oz). You will get better results using the teabags in a teapot, rather than teabags directly to the cup.
  2. Important note about the water: Remember that a cup of coca tea is a tiny bit of tea in a whole lot of water. So use water that is fresh, clean and odorless. Bottled spring water or freshly drawn filtered water is ideal. Avoid using water directly from the tap or distilled water. Tap water usually has intrusive odors due to many impurities and chlorine content and distilled water has a total lack of dissolved minerals making tea 'dull' tasting.
  3. Boil the water. It is important to note that correct water temperature is imperative for great coca tea.
  4. For Trimate, boil the water to a full rolling boil (96-100°C/195-212°F). Do not let water boil for too long as it will lose all oxygen content.
  5. Pure coca tea require cooler water (85°C/180°F)- an effect that can be achieved by bringing water to the tea instead of tea to water.
  6. For better results, warm the tea pot first as it will maintain the brewing temperature for longer so that it will extract the full flavor from the leaves.
  7. Steep the tea bags in the freshly prepared water of the right temperature.
  8. Time is of the essence here. Over steeping causes the coca leaves to be released excessively resulting in an unpleasant bitterness in the brew.
  9. Coca tea bags contain coca leaves that are broken into smaller pieces, thus having more exposure of surface area to water.
    Use the following as a guide:
    Trimate: 3 to 5 mins;
    Coca Tea: 3 to 4 mins
    Fruit Teas 4 to 5 mins.
    Other Herbal Teas 4-6 mins
  10. Strain the teabags to separate the coca tea leaves or herbs from the infusion.
  11. Serve with some milk or cream (delicious in the morning)
  12. Do not add sugar! ,use honey , splenda or sweetener instead to taste or add a slice of lime if you prefer.
  13. Coca tea and Trimate can be consumed with or without milk, you can also add a Fruit tea for a special flavored tea. All teas however can be enjoyed plain without any milk or sugar.

Bolivian teas are better when fresh brewed but you can always enjoy a delicious Coca or trimate Ice tea ( recipe previously published)......That's it! enjoy your coca tea!

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