When you travel, what is it that most inspires you? Is it the landscape, the food, the culture? For me, it is all of the above and then some. I always try to learn something new when I venture to another country, something I can bring back with me and share with others. My friends Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell recently returned from a trip to Africa, specifically the Samburu region of Kenya, and brought back with them a host of new ideas and experiences that they were anxious to share with readers of their blogs at Beekman1802.com - a lifestyle website designed to inspire and teach. There was one post about their trip to Africa that really capitvated me. It was about a delicious tea they had tried while in Kenya called Smoky Milk Tea.
The key to its flavour is its smokiness, which is traditionally achieved by inserting a smoldering stick into the vessel the tea will be made in. The Samburu people use a vessel carved out of wood or a hollowed-out gourd, shown below, to store their goats' milk. Brent and Josh were told that this vessel could store milk for up to four days without any refrigeration. The intense heat of the embers at the tip of the burning stick acts as a sterilizer but has the added benefit of imparting a luscious smoky taste to the milk. When they tasted tea made with this milk for the first time, they knew they had to see how it was made. Below are beautiful photographs taken by Josh of the tea and its various components. Following the photos is the recipe that Brent and Josh developed to replicate the same delicious smoky milk tea. In the midst of a cold February weekend, I can think of nothing I'd rather try! Please click here to read the full story.
Prep time: 15 Min
Cook time: 10 Min
Total time: 25 Min
1 ½ cup water
2 bags of black tea (not herbal,) or 1 ½ tablespoons of loose black tea.
8 crushed cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick (or ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon)
6 whole cloves (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves)
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 inch segment of fresh ginger, sliced thinly
2 cups milk
½ cup sugar or honey
Follow instructions above for making “smoky” water. Heat the water in a heavy saucepan with tea, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns & ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer over low heat for four minutes.
Add milk and sugar (or honey.) Bring back to simmer (not boil) while stirring over low heat.
Strain directly into mugs and serve immediately. (Strained mixture can also be chilled and served over ice.)