February is often one of the coldest months of Winter, unless you live in Australia or Brazil.
When it’s that cold outside, there is one kind of tea I really like to have: Ginger Milk Tea. The first time I really discovered this type of tea, I was at Radiance Tea House in Manhattan. The have a Ginger Milk Tea on their tea menu and the ingredients are as follows: Fresh ginger, black tea, milk, unrefined sugar. It is said to be good for: warming the body, blood circulation, congestion. It felt really great drinking it, the flavor was spicy and stimulating. I usually don’t eat much ginger at all, I guess it’s a matter of culture or preference. But ginger is very commonly used in Chinese cuisine, actually ginger root, along with green onion (scallion), and garlic are the 3 most popular spices in Chinese cooking.
So, let’s get to the recipe of Ginger Milk tea.
The ginger adds to the warmth of the tea. You get really a warming feeling when you drink it. It’s really a lovely. I admit, I didn’t like ginger until I learned to appreciate it in the tea, with milk. So, to prepare some at home I usually use my blender:
- I chop some fresh ginger (most of the time with the peel, unless it’s a bit too old and wrinkly),
- add some black tea (preferably un-aromatized tea, but I tried it with Russian Earl Grey and it was amazing too, be ready to explore many flavors then, I also tried the recipe with green tea & Oolong and it’s nice as well)
- Add some evaporated milk (If you don’t have it, add milk but it won’t be as thick)
- Add some condensed milk (or raw sugar, or honey)
You noticed I didn’t mention the cups etc, well it’s because I don’t really cook or prepare teas “per cup”, it’s kind of by instinct, and it works just fine. Get a feeling of how strong you want it and adjust how strong you want your tea, how much ginger for a stronger spicy taste, more or less milk etc… I’ll stil add a recipe below. You can brew the tea with the ginger or brew the tea separately and add the ginger in the blender later on, just try different ways and adjust it to your taste.
- 3 1/4 cups hot water
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh ginger (left unpeeled)
- 2 tablespoons loose black tea leaves
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk, or raw sugar, honey.
Bring water and ginger to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart saucepan, then remove from heat. Stir in tea and cover. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in milks, then pour through a sieve into a large (6-cup) blender, pressing hard on and then discarding solids. Blend until foamy (use caution when blending hot liquids), then pour into mugs and sweeten with more condensed milk if desired.
If you have a cold or a cough, a great way to soothe is to try the combo Ginger + lemon + honey + boiling water (or…… tea). I also read somewhere that it helps to prevent motion sickness. I doubt they funded huge studies to back this information, they have conducted limited studies on this and it has been successful apparently. I used to struggle with motion sickness as a child, I do feel it sometimes too when I am seating in the back of a car, so I have to see if it helps me as well.
More about the medicinal aspect of ginger
According to the American Cancer Society, ginger has been promoted as a cancer treatment “to keep tumors from developing“*, but they still don’t know how to prove it works on humans and to back it up. I think it could be wise to see what Chinese medicine practicians have to say about ginger. From what I know, it’s a balance in your body that keeps it healthy. If your energy channels are all open and not blocked, then you’re usually healthy. So if ginger helps to balance your body.
Ginger (姜, 薑) is a herb and a spice that is used in Chinese cuisine. There are four main kinds of preparations in Chinese herbology: fresh ginger, dried ginger, roasted ginger, and ginger charcoal, all made of the rhizomes.
- Species: Zingiber officinalis.
- Pinyin: Sheng Jiang (生姜, 生薑).
- Common Name: Fresh Ginger Rhizome.
- Quality: Pungent(Acrid), Slightly warm.
- Meridians: Lung, Spleen, Stomach.
- Actions: Release the exterior, expel cold, warm the middle jiao, relieve nausea, transform phlegm, warm lung to stop coughing, treat toxicity, and moderate the toxicity of other herbs.
- Species: Zingiber officinalis.
- Pinyin: Gan Jiang (干姜, 乾薑).
- Common Name: Dried Ginger Rhizome.
- Quality: Pungent(Acrid), Hot.
- Meridians: Heart, Lung, Spleen, Stomach.
- Actions: Warms the spleen and stomach, restores devastated yang, warms the lung to transform thin mucus, warms and unblocks channels.
Anyway, try ginger milk tea sometime, unless you have plenty of ginger in your diet already, then make sure you don’t mess up and overheat your spleen, heart, lung and stomach meridians!