Today I’m featuring a recipe from one of my books, Red Rope of Fate. In Red Rope of Fate one of the ways the Translators’ Circle is able to swindle Tari into meeting with them, is by offering her their fantastic tea. Little does Tari know the tea is excessively easy to make.
- A black tea of your choice (Early Gray or breakfast teas are the best)
- Cream (or milk)
- Sugar (or honey)
- a pinch of Cocoa
- a pinch cinnamon
Preparation: There are two ways you can go about this. If you want to do it the quick/easy route buy black tea bags, boil water, and pour into a mug. Place the teabag in the mug and let it seep for a while before pushing the tea bag aside and adding the milk. Let it seep a little while longer before adding the sugar, and cinnamon, followed by a little bit of cocoa. Add just enough cocoa to get that nutty chocolate taste, the sweetness comes from the sugar, not the cocoa.
If you want to brew the tea the way the translators would have you’ll need some extra equipment.
For starters you’ll want to pick up actual black tea leaves. There are specialty tea stores in malls now, like Teavanna, otherwise you can purchase tea leaves online. Note: if you use tea leaves you’ll need to let it brew for a longer period of time then if you were to use a tea bag.
You will also need something to brew your tea leaves in. There’s a few ways of doing this. You can use an actual teapot with a built in strainer (just about all Japanese tea sets have these. You can pick up a Japanese tea set for a reasonable price at second hand stores/thrift shops.) or can use any tea pot and hold the tea strainer physically outside the pot as you pour yourself a cup, or you can purchase a steel tea ball which can be used to brew tea in a mug. (Just stuff the tea ball with the tea leaves and drop it in.)
If using a teapot place the tea leaves on the bottom of the teapot and then add the boiled water. Once your tea has brewed for a while add milk, or if you’re looking for a richer taste, cream. Again, Sugar or honey will serve as your as a sweetener. If you’re aiming for authenticity I recommend honey, as that would be the cheapest resource. Then add the cocoa and the cinnamon–you will need to stir the tea to mix these in.
I actually do have some pretty complex reasoning behind the ingredients. Since the elves only traded with Calnor they didn’t buy a wide variety of goods. Of course they were fine with this–they don’t really like change anyway so they would be unlikely to adopt foreign foods–but this means their sweeteners are fairly limited. When crafting their culture I decided they mostly use honey, fruit, and a little bit of sugar for their sweetening agents/baking.
Humans from Calnor, on the other hand, trade with the rest of the human countries. This means chocolate and cinnamon are available to them if they’re willing to pay the price and import them from other countries. (Which the translators circle does.)
Enjoy your tea and this bit of geeky goodness, Champions! I promise my next few Book Banquets will be actual recipes. 😉