If you’ve been following along with my travels, then you may have noticed I’ve landed back in New York City. And while I miss Berlin terribly, right now this place seems right. (It’s so wonderful being back with friends and family.) But just like Berlin does around this time, New York has turned cold. And then warm. And then cold. In the past two weeks, we’ve had extremely chilly, wish-I-wore-my-winter-coat days, followed by mild, sunny days of autumn splendor. As this type of wishy washy weather is just the kind that will get you sick, it’s no surprise that I came down with a nasty cold when I first arrived on the East Coast. So when I saw this “Cough Suppressant” hot tea posted on Bon Appétit, I knew I would be making a pot as soon as possible.
If the idea of mixing savory herbs like thyme and oregano into a hot drink seems odd, don’t worry, I thought the same thing at first. But not only does this concoction taste great (bright! citrusy! spicy!), the recipe was also based around the healthy qualities in the ingredients. The BA editors explain the why behind each one here, but the gist is that turmeric and oregano are anti-inflammtories, the citrus juice adds a nice dose of Vitamin C, and the raw honey has antibacterial properties. BA also suggests adding garlic, but I couldn’t swallow the idea of drinking garlic-infused tea. Feel free to add, especially if you want the boost of antioxidants and antiviral properties. (I’d rather eat a nice bowl of garlicky pasta.) I also skipped adding the recipe’s suggested almond milk, wanting a brighter, clear and tart tea. The lime juice, ginger, turmeric, and black pepper combine into just that, and the thyme and oregano add just a hint of savory spice. In the future, I’ll probably use a combination of oranges, lemons, and limes for the citrus, and may even throw in some additional spices, like star anise or cinnamon, for a more chai tea flavor. Just be careful: the bright yellow of turmeric stains, so using a glass mug is suggested.
Cold Weather Tea, adapted loosely from Bon Appétit
Yield: About 6 cups
1 bunch oregano
1 bunch thyme
1 1-inch piece ginger, grated
1 1-inch piece turmeric, grated
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ cup honey, preferably raw
Use the back of a knife to lightly smash the thyme and oregano, bruising the herbs and releasing some of their oil. Place the herbs, ginger, turmeric, and peppercorns into a pot and zest the lime on top. Add 6 cups of water, and heat slowly, until the mixture is very hot to the touch, around 130°F. Turn heat off, and let mixture steep for 6 minutes. Add the honey and juice of the lime. Stir together well, making sure honey is dissolved, then strain, pushing on the ingredients to release as much flavor as possible. Divide among mugs and serve, or chill, reserve, and gently heat before drinking.