Weird Beverages! A Change of Pace

I promised I’d write about something less controversial today. And I will. Before I start, I want to share that I took my post about getting to know people unlike myself and wrote a version for real estate investors. It needs to be said there, too, so we can all meet our goals.

Okay. Tea.

My workplace in Austin is a hotbed of foodies and coffee/tea fanatics. That’s given me the chance to try many different beverages through the years. Last week it was both tea and coffee. Tea first.

Chriztine was in town, and while here she checked out one of our many Asian markets. There she found an unfamiliar ball-shaped tea that she didn’t know what it was. So of course, she bought some.

Hey, if you know what this says, let me know. Isn’t the dried lime cool?

It turned out to be tiny dried limes stuffed with black tea. It was a kind she liked. But there were no brewing instructions. The first time, she put the whole ball in hot water, thinking maybe it would bloom or something.

She tried something else that worked okay, then planned to smash up the lime container. I haven’t heard how that worked.

Ready to hack into the lime and brew it. This is the only teapot I have at the ranch. I have a least ten at the other house. Hmm.

What I did was scrape all the tea out of the lime, then brew it all in a teapot. With the lime. It was a delicious, smoky tea, rather reddish in color. It seemed like rooibos to me, but I think Chriztine had a Chinese name for it, and it obviously wasn’t in South African packaging.

And Coffee, Sort of

Another colleague and her friends really love to sample craft coffees and have probably tried every coffee roaster in Austin. I don’t go out with them, but I enjoy hearing them talk about coffee. I actually had tried Wild Gift coffee before when I went to meet one of my kids once, so when my coworker came up with a bag from there and said, “Smell this!” I just had to! The one I tried was really good, so I was ready for a lovely coffee aroma.

But no, it wasn’t coffee! It’s the skin of the berries that surround coffee beans! And as you can see above, they call it tea, not coffee. Let me tell you, it smells fantastic, like tart cherries.

Here’s what the little cherries look like.

I tried it made into iced tea with a little Stevia, and that convinced me to order some of my own. I’ve been having it every day, iced, since it arrived. The “tea” tastes at first like cherry cider, but when you swallow it, you really do get echoes of caramel. It’s refreshing, and not even all that expensive. I’m going to get more.

Now, it does have caffeine in it, so I’m considering it my afternoon beverage. Oh, and here’s more about the cascara.

So there you go, beverages. Give them a try! If you can find the round tea balls.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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