Growing up, my father used to make ice tea every morning by boiling a bunch of Lipton tea bags and some sugar on the stove and then letting it cool. He poured the tea in a carafes and pitchers and placed it in the refrigerator. The entire family would drink it all day.
I’ve started a similar tradition of my own in recent months. I make pots of Ginger Tea by slicing fresh ginger and boiling it in water with some honey. The colour of the tea seems to end up lighter or darker depending on how much honey I put in (more makes it darker). The spiciness of the flavour depends on the spiciness of the ginger. I’ve found that organically produced ginger spicier. It is also nice to add some lemon, especially when drinking it warm. I would not recommend putting slices of lemon in the tea when it’s in the refrigerator as the rinds will make it bitter over time.
Ginger can be old and young, which literally relates to the time when it was picked. According to this article, old ginger root tends to increase body temperature and is preferable when you want to warm up (for people with hypothyroidism, when you are fasting or in winter). Young ginger tends to cool your body temperature and is good when you have a fever, during summer, or if you have hyperthyroidism an feel warm most of the time. According to this article, young ginger has a milder spicy flavour, while old ginger is spicier.
I got the idea to make ginger tea during a business trip. When I first moved to Asia, I was working with one of the owners of a resort called The Farm at San Benito (or just ‘The Farm’). Amazing place. At that time, I was not nearly as healthy as I am now, which is a shame. The Farm is a medically-driven wellness retreat in the Philippines. It’s an absolute oasis. It was founded by a gentleman named Eckard Rempe, a German who married a Filipina. Years ago, Mr. Rempe was diagnosed with a serious cancer that had progressed to the point where doctors did not think he would survive more than 6 months or so. Instead of subjecting himself to chemotherapy he decided to try to cure himself through food, which he did! The knowledge he gained during this time of convalescence underpins The Farm and its philosophy. A truly special place if you ever have a chance to get there.
Besides being a magical oasis, they made amazing Ginger Tea! While I initially began drinking it because I liked the taste, I now have learned that ginger is an incredible superfood with a wide variety of health benefits, as summarized in this article. I drink it in a variety of ways. I started by drinking it as a warm tea, which I could drink at any time of the day with lemon and honey. I also place ginger tea in bottles and place them in the fridge. I like to add ginger from the cooking pot into the bottles, which adds spiciness over time. I add this cold ginger tea to many different drinks including: apples juice, ginger tea and club soda; and ginger tea, cranberry and tonic. I will write more about this in another entry.