Fair Thai iced tea with honey

Those of you who know me or have been reading my blog for a while now, know that I love tea more than I love coffee. I must say though, that I am learning to appreciate a good cup of coffee more and more. Nevertheless, there is almost nothing that makes me happier than a comforting bowl (yes I like to drink tea out of bowls), of tea. Rooibos is a favorite, reminds me of my childhood, green tea too, and you can wake me up for a matcha latte any day of the year. 

I am not much of a black tea drinker. It's way too strong for me, which was kind of a challenge when I was in Sri Lanka. But when you use it to brew ice tea, the flavors of a good quality black tea, like Ceylon, become much more enriched. A few months back, I was invited to a tea workshop in Amsterdam, organized by Fairtrade Netherlands. Last winter I traveled with them to Sri Lanka and visited tea gardens and coconut farmers. A dream come true.

It was a very special afternoon, because one of the tea pluckers we met on the other side of the world, Sakuntala Devi, came for this event to The Netherlands to talk about her life on Norwood, a certified plantation. I already knew her story, but it was still very inspiring to hear her speak in that beautiful language of hers, smiling and observing everybody and everything. But there was a lot more to do during the workshop.

We cooked with tea. Let me give you some examples of that, to give you an idea of what was on the menu. Roasted veggies, smoked in lapsing soughing tea, green tea rice crackers, tuscan kale rubbed with oil and tea leaves, and labeled rolled in a tea rub as well. All of us bloggers got the chance to do some cooking ourselves, which we enjoyed a lot of course. There was a big kitchen, lots of beautiful ingredients and a great atmosphere.

While some of us were in the kitchen, others listened to a presentation of Clipper Tea. Clipper is one of my favorite brands. I love their vision (natural, fair and delicious), the high quality, and the pretty packaging. No artificial additions here. Clipper makes its tea in one of England's most quaint towns: Dorset. Now, I've seen this place though the eyes of Marte Marie Forsberg's Instagram account, and I can tell you, I would happily move there if I could. But back to the presentation.

Hayley, who is Senior Brand Manager told us that Clipper has been a Fairtrade partner for more then 20 years. That fact alone I find amazing. I talked extensively about why Fairtrade is so important to me in my blogs about Sri Lanka, which you can find in the travel section. Apart from making tea from fairtrade certificated plantations, Clipper also make sure the leaves are of the finest quality and they put the tea in unbleached bags (no chemicals!). Hayley showed us an introduction video which gave me goosebumps, because it reminded me so much of my journey through Sri Lanka and the fact that we have to remind ourselves everyday that an evident product like tea is not evident at all. There goes so much energy and work into making sure we get to drink it day after day, all over the world. I found the video on YouTube and I'd like to share it with you. The girl in the video says: I can't bring everybody to India, but I can share a little bit of the people that I met. And that's exactly what I've been trying to do with my stories too. 

After the presentation we filled out a little quiz about the company and tea in general. Which I won, I almost felt guilty... So now there's this huge box of Clipper with many kinds of tea, standing in my living room! The workshop was concluded with a dinner, made up of all the things we cooked and baked that afternoon. 

The recipe I'd like to share is a Thai iced tea, which is traditionally ice made with Ceylon tea, from Sri Lanka. So I am sorry Clipper, but I hope you understand that I used the loose tea I received at the tea plantations during my travels to make this ice tea with. But of course, you can use any kind of black tea, like Clipper's earl grey tea for instance.

Other recipes with tea I really like:

Cinnamon and matcha rice pudding
Wild rice rocket salad with chai soaked raisins
Earl grey waffles with whipped honey cream

(Photos workshop: Ernie Enkelaar/Labl.nl)

thai iced tea

Thai Iced Tea with honey & coconut milk

|serves 4-6 persons|

You need:

1 liter water
2 bags of ceylon tea, or Clipper's English Breakfast, or Clipper's Earl Grey
1/3 cup of honey
rice milk
coconut milk (room temperature)

How to make it:

1. Bring water to boil and brew a pot of tea.

2. Add the honey stir and let the tea steep and cool for half an hour.

3. Remove the tea bags.

4. Add ice cubes to the glasses.

5. Blend the rice milk with coconut milk (half half).

6. Pour 2/3 of the tea in each glas and top the other 1/3 with the milk mix.

7. Give it a stir and drink up!