One of my coworkers is a tea expert!! Well, kind of! He certainly knows a whole lot about tea, and has a collection of different kinds inside the cupboard next to his desk. He makes his own personal stash of bancha (which is roasted green tea) and umeboshi (pickled pums, that I usually get my very own container of every now and again). Today was a pretty chilly inside our lovely concrete block of a school, even though the plum trees outside are blooming and making their best effort to make spring start happening. So, in an effort to warm up, he made me some ume-bancha, which goes a little something like this:
you will need:
- bancha (or just roast some medium-grade green tea yourself!)
- plum blossoms (optional)
- honey (optional)
First, bring some water to boil for the tea. Once the water has boiled, turn off the heat and wait a minute!! Then, pour the boiling water into your tea pot with the dry leaves on the bottom, and steep for two minutes.
While the tea is steeping, remove the seed from inside the umeboshi, and place in a teacup. Pour your steeped tea through a fine strainer and over the pickled plum and float a plum blossom on top.
Plum blossoms should have a sweet fragrance, and are bitter to the taste. Make sure your flowers are safe enough to be consumed!! (i.e. no pesticides!)
If you like your tea sweetened, add some honey to this, and it will be really REALLY nice. The overall flavors are actually quite bitter and then sour at the end, but honey will add a really nice sweetness that compliments the umeboshi really well.