“Tea. Adoulla leaned his face farther over the small bowl and inhaled deeply, needing its aromatic cure for the fatigue of life. The spicy-sweet cardamom steam enveloped him, moistening his face and his beard, and for the first time that groggy morning he felt truly alive.”
–The Throne of the Crescent Moon, by Saladin Ahmad
Now, let’s start with the simple fact that I love cardamom. As soon as I heard about this beverage, I knew I had to try it.
The book is set in a quasi Middle Eastern setting, which I took as my starting point. Having lived in Turkey for a year, I know how essential tea is to everyday life. I decided to go for spiced added to a base of actual tea (rather than just an herbal/spice infusion). As I constructed the recipe, though, the realization slowly dawned that I knew this beverage I was making.
What a wonderful example of how slightly changing the name of something defamiliarizes it enough for us to discover and wonder over it all over again. The flavor of the tea is rich and spicy, with the cardamom and ginger at the forefront.
Cardamom Tea Recipe
Making: 15 minutes
Makes 2 servings
Cook’s Notes: As with all recipes, feel free to tweak this one to suit your own tastes!
- 2 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 ” fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 4-6 cloves
- 7 cardamom pods, crushed (or 1 tbs. seeds)
- 1 heaping Tbs. black tea leaves
- sugar or honey to taste
Combine ingredients except for milk and sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Keep on the heat for about 5 minutes, then strain into serving cups. Add milk until it is a rich tan color, and sweeten to taste. Enjoy!