White Peony Tea Infused Watermelon
It's summertime here in the Northern Hemisphere, and I can't think of anything more explosively refreshing to my belly than cold brewed white peony tea (loose leaf!), and watermelon chunks... put these two together, and cue the fireworks for some serious palate-bliss.
Indeed, July 4th in the US of A is in full swing, so barbecues, block parties, beach hangouts and cat naps are aplenty. And at our house, my boys are all in snooze mode... So I'm snacking on these sexy organic white peony tea-infused watermelon chunks, and taking a moment to gift you all the recipe. Yes, you.
Tea Notes: White Peony (aka Bai Mu Dan) is a classic white tea, crafted of young tea leaves and silvery leaf buds from the camellia sinensis plant. The original birthplace of this tea was Fujian, China, where I travelled to with some fellow tea geeks a couple months ago. In eastern Fujian, the cultivar Fuding Dai Bai is used, and in northern Fujian, it's the Zhenghe Dai Bai cultivar. The tea makers pluck 'budsets' in one or two leaves and a bud, and then gently sun-dry these in a simple withering process, pile them briefly, and finally baked at a low temperature, or via hot air indoor drying. The resulting slightly oxidized tea has a wonderfully bold taste of oak, sweet hay, sometimes leather, with sweet fruity nectar accents. Bonus: white tea is packed with antioxidants, and is linked in studies to help combat skin aging. It contains moderate levels of caffeine.
Organic White Peony Tea Infused Watermelon Recipe
- organic watermelon, sliced into wedges or chunks
- organic white peony tea from Fujian, China
- spring water
Cold brew your organic loose leaf tea overnight. Where to purchase the white peony, you ask? Bellocq sources a good one... and who doesn't love their packaging. Check out Rishi, too. Or teance has a nice 'King's Grade'. You only need a couple spoonfuls of loose leaf tea, and fresh spring water. (I was a bit heavy handed in my image to the left!) As far as cold brewing goes, I like this Eilong glass pot. A number of tea houses like Teance sell them. And here is a nice alternate version, from Samovar.
Once the cold brew is complete, slice your watermelon however you like it (if you're doing wedges I recommend washing the rind first). Toss that into a bowl, and pour the white peony brew over, fully submerging the melon. If it doesn't completely cover all the way, no worries - just add a bit of spring water to it - trust me, the brew will be strong enough.
Cover, and refrigerate anywhere from ten minutes up until you're ready to serve.
And certainly enjoy the resulting watermelon infused cold brew tea, as well! It's amazing straight-up, and as a mixer, too, that you can add to coconut water, or booze. Experiment!