This is a guest post by Gina Kelly.
I love tea. I’m always on the search for new flavors. I scan the health store shelves and get excited when I read about the health benefits of each leaf. Admittedly I’m a tea fanatic but I wasn’t always such an advocate. I used to shrink away when someone would offer me a cup. I just couldn’t handle the tannins and bitter flavor and much preferred to get my morning jolt from a cup of coffee.
My obsession with tea stated when I visited Franchia, a Korean vegan cafe in midtown Manhattan. I was in awe all of their exotic concoctions. Their teas are filled with nuts, fruit pastes, juices, herbs and fruits and are unlike any teas I’ve tried to date.
After a long and apprehensive analysis of the extensive Franchia tea menu, my curiosity got the best of my taste buds and I decided to try their Ginger Tea. When it was placed in front of me, I was overcome by the aroma and excited by the fresh ginger and pine nuts floating in my mug. One sip and I was hooked. The Ginger Tea was refreshing, spicy and sweet.
Franchia uses 100% all natural Wild Korean Green Tea as the base for all of their teas. Korean green tea is lighter and has a more subtle flavor than the Japanese version most of us are familiar with. The health benefits of tea are well-known. Green tea is a potent antioxidant, which is believed to fight certain cancers, aging, obesity and quite possibly even heart disease.
Some of my other Franchia tea favorites are Date Paste Tea, Korean Plum Tea, and Citron Paste Tea but their entire selection is worth trying. Franchia also serves delicious Asian fusion vegan food. Their dishes are fresh and flavorful and loaded with tons of veggies.
I have yet to find a tea spot in New York that even comes close to Franchia’s unique teas but if you’re not in New York here’s how you can make your own version of their Ginger Tea (which remains my favorite!).
Recipe for Ginger Tea
1 teaspoon of high quality Korean green tea leaves (you can find these on Amazon, i.e.: Korean Organic Green Tea & Strainer Set)
1 tablespoon of pine nuts
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Combine tea leaves and ground ginger in a tea strainer and steep in water for 3 to 5 minutes. Add fresh ginger and pine nuts straight to the cup and enjoy!
If you aren’t a fan of ginger or want to try something different, you can use different nuts, juices, pastes, and even fresh fruit to customize your cup.
Francia’s inventive concoctions have opened up a whole new world of tea for me!