Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]

a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes

Hibiscus-Lavender Frappé

On the hottest day of May on record in Denver – 91 degrees according to the news, but 108 degrees on my deck according to my outdoor thermometer – this chilly tea treat seemed like the perfect recipe to share.

For this round of recipe testing, I experimented with a special batch of hibiscus that my friend Cami brought back from her recent Guatemala vacation adventure. Cami is one of my non tea-drinking friends who usually says of my Zanitea Organic Tea Blends, “I don’t like tea, but I love this!” She knew I’d know what to do with this homegrown, hand-dried flower, known as flor de Jamaica to Guatemalans.

I offer two tea steeping options in this recipe – cold or hot. I prefer a cold steep, where you soak the flowers overnight in cold water in the fridge. A cold steep releases the flavor of the flowers slowly and you end up with a more mellow tasting brew. But if you’re short on time you can do a traditional hot steep, soaking the flowers in boiled water for 15 minutes. The heat will extract the flavor and chemical properties of the flowers more rapidly and completely, so it will be slightly stronger, perhaps a tad more bitter depending on the hibiscus flower, and the lavender flavor will be more prominent. (If you want to read more about cold brewing vs. hot brewing, check out this helpful New York Times article.)

This special batch of Guatemalan hibiscus flowers brewed into a beautiful, ruby red colored liquor, with a bold, tart flavor. But I think it’s the touch of lavender that ultimately makes this refreshing tea blend so interesting.

I highly recommend sipping your Hibiscus-Lavender Frappé while nibbling on a lavender shortbread cookie, using one of the variations on the Indian Rose Shortbread Cookie recipe I recently posted.

Happy cooking and sipping!

Hibiscus-Lavender Frappé

(By Zanitea)

Makes about 2 large or 4 small servings

Ingredients:

6 cups (1 ½ quarts) cold, filtered water

½ cup dried hibiscus flowers

¼ cup dried lavender flowers

2 cups frozen strawberries (about 1 lb)

2 teaspoons agave nectar (or to taste)

Preparation:

1. Steep the hibiscus and lavender flowers in cold, filtered water overnight in the refrigerator in a sealed container. In the morning, strain the mixture, discard the flowers, and return the hibiscus-lavender tea liquid to the refrigerator in a sealed container.  (If you want to make this a same-day recipe, steep the flowers in boiled water for 15 minutes, strain, and allow the tea to chill thoroughly in the refrigerator before continuing.)

2. When you’re ready to prepare the frappé, add the frozen berries, agave nectar and 2 cups of the hibiscus-lavender tea to a blender. Blend thoroughly, adding additional tea as necessary to facilitate smooth blending. Less tea results in a thicker frappé that you can eat with a spoon, and more tea results in a thinner, smoothie-like drink.

Tips:

  • To freeze an abundance of strawberries, or any other fresh fruit, cut the fruit into bite size chunks and lie the pieces flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet uncovered in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours, long enough for each piece of fruit to start to freeze. Place the just frozen pieces into a plastic freezer bag or other airtight container and return to the freezer. This method ensures that the fruit doesn’t stick together in the freezer bag.

Variations:

  • Use frozen mixed berries instead of only strawberries.
  • Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to create a creamier dessert “shake”. (Omit agave nectar if using ice cream.)
  • This recipe makes more tea than you actually need for the frappé. The tea will keep in a sealed container for several days. To use up the additional brewed tea, try one of these options:
      • Sweeten with agave nectar to taste and drink as an iced tea, served with lemon.
      • For a spritzer, mix 1 part tea with 1 part sparkling water or sparkling wine, and serve with a fresh mint or strawberry garnish.
      • Use the tea as a base for your favorite sorbet recipe.
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This entry was posted on May 22, 2012 by in Cooking With Tea Recipes and tagged , , , , , , .

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About Zanitea

Combining a love of tea and food through hand blended teas and cooking with tea inspiration.

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