RECIPE Enjoy a sorbet made with green tea and a dash of mint, this season

A n Oriental evergreen that can reach a height of 30 feet in the wild, the tea plant is raised as a shrub on plantations, where it is pruned to a height of about 3 feet to encourage new growth. A relative of the camellia, the tea plant produces abundant foliage, a camellia-like flower and berries containing one or two seeds. Only the smallest, youngest parts of the plant — the two leaves and bud at the tip of each new shoot — are picked for tea.

Whenever possible, ask for a sample of prepared tea before buying. Most high-quality teas are pale green to yellow green. To test for freshness, tightly squeeze a small quantity and smell it. The freshest and most flavourful tea will smell sweet and grassy.

To test tea bags for freshness, remove the tea from a bag, place the empty bag in a cup, pour hot water over it, and let it steep for 2-3 minutes. If the result tastes like ordinary hot water, the tea is likely to be fresh. If the tea bag water tastes like tea, then the tea is old and the paper has absorbed its flavour.

To retain freshness and flavour in both loose and bagged tea, store it in an air-tight opaque container to protect it from light, moisture and food odours.

It's best to store tea in a dark, cool and dry cupboard. A bag of green tea contains zero calories. Besides being rich in antioxidants, green tea is believed to have anti-cancer properties.

Now, for a recipe.

Green Tea and Mint Sorbet

Ingredients

Green tea extract: 30 ml

Fresh mint leaves: 250 gm

Sugar: 200 gm

Honey: 200 ml

Method: To a litre of water add the desired green tea extract, finely shredded mint leaves and sugar. Mix it till the sugar dissolves and keep it aside. Switch on the sorbet machine and pour the dissolved mixture with honey in it. Run the machine till the sorbet freezes. Use as desired.

CHEF BHOLANATH JHA

Junior Sous Chef

Vivanta by Taj Connemara

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