On my recent trip to Kauai, I was spoiled by the wide availability of fresh turmeric, so much so that I created a daily ritual of turmeric tea. Research comes out every day linking turmeric to decreased risk of cancer and to improved brain health. Adding a daily beverage made with fresh turmeric may be just what the doctor ordered — and a great “ Good Day Strategy” that I love to talk about. I know I felt great at the end of my two-week stay in Kauai but, of course, that was likely due to quite a number of reasons (rest, sunshine, exquisite fruit, all things I desperate hope to experience again one day…).
Increasingly, fresh turmeric is available in health food stores in the United States and so I am able to get my fix at home as well but availability is a bit limited. I take what I can get and consider fresh turmeric a luxury until I manage a dedicated green house situation to grow it here on the property.
Fresh turmeric has a stronger flavor than you would expect give the dehydrated turmeric powder. The powder can be added to just about anything, particular in curry-type dishes, and you may notice only the vibrant color change. Fresh turmeric has a slightly bitter bite. The flavor is good but it is unique — it is worthy of experiencing it yourself before you dedicate a protected area of your garden to it, as I am about to do.
To make a tea, you simply make an herbal infusion as you would any other herb or root. In this case, I simply added a couple of inches of turmeric, sliced, to a few cups of water. I brought it to a boil, let it simmer for a half hour or so, and then put the lid on and let it sit over night.
Warm your infusion up in the morning, dilute it to taste, and add a bit of honey.
As an alternative, I have enjoyed using a diluted infusion (about half water and half turmeric infusion) as a base for black tea. Using my favorite Earl Grey tea or, more thematically, a chai-like tea, I heat the infusion to nearly boiling and pour it in my cup over my tea bag. The tea is a richer drink with a little more body and wonderfully satisfying on a cold morning.
As an added tip, use the turmeric in your cooking and throw the little nubs and peels into your water instead. Keep the inner root portion for your cooking.
To make a turmeric tea from a powder, we really like this turmeric tea paste idea (here). It is simple, convenient, and portable.
- Thin slice two inches of fresh turmeric
- Add turmeric to 3-4 cups of water
- Bring to boil
- Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour
- Cover and set aside over night
- Reheat the mixture when you are ready for tea
- Dilute the infusion to taste. Sweeten with honey.
The Vintage Pyrex Tea Pot
We do get asked, “Where did you find the tea pot?” A friend gave me this particular tea pot but I have seen them in antique stores. I am sure that the occasional lucky person will find them at a thrift store. You can also lose yourself for hours hunting for vintage Pyrex on eBay, our website partner.