Fresh Bergamot Coconut Iced Tea (Vegan)
My friend Vee* has started delivering to my house. So, along with the perks of not having to bike into town and hump my farm fresh groceries back home in my backpack, Vee sticks around to geek out with me about recipes. I traded her some sour cherries for a lil jar of the creamiest sweet potato & maple custard I ever did taste. And, thankfully, she asked if I knew what to do with the bergamot bee balm she brought me before she headed back into town.
I figured I would dry the leaves and maybe blend it with black tea leaves, or brainstorm how to combine it with chocolate (this is generally where my mind goes when working with new-to-me herbs). Her eyes got all big and she practically started levitating with excitement to show me how she uses fresh bergamot at home. She showed me step by step how to make this delicious, foamy tea. We tweaked it for sweetness bit by bit, and I added some coconut milk at the very end. Oh man, you guys. This is some next level shit.
Herbal, sweet, cold, and creamy. It's an iced tea dream! One of the reasons I tend to shy away from iced tea on hot Summer days is the caffeine content -- almost every iced tea is made with black tea leaves. Including earl grey, which, paired with honey and cream, makes a brilliant iced tea. This tea has potent earl grey flavor but without the caffeine high. I won't deny that I happy jumped around my kitchen A LOT when I tried the finished tea. Vee and I were in giggle fit mode for sure. I will never look at fresh, herbal tea the same way again.
Oh, and here's a little nutrition knowledge bomb on bergamot for ya: bergamot is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, calming, diuretic (re: cleansing), and aids in digestion and in respiratory healthy. Super herb status.
*Vee prefers to remain anonymous, as she is part of the underground raw dairy movement.
- 1 cup packed fresh bergamot leaves
- filtered water
- 3 tbsp honey, + more to taste
- 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk (optional)
- 5 large ice cubes
- Add bergamot to the bowl of your blender, and add enough water to just cover the leaves.
- Blend on high until the greens are totally liquified.
- Place cheesecloth (double folded) over a wide bowl and hold in place with a rubber band around the outside. (You could also use a fine mesh sieve instead.)
- Pour contents of blender over the cheesecloth (or strainer) and press out the leaves to get all of that delicious earl grey flavor out.
- Discard herb-pulp (compost it or save & dry it for potpourri or the like).
- Pour your herbal water back into your blender, add honey and ice and blend until frothy.
- Pour into a tall glass, and add coconut milk (I like the way it swirls in the glass, but you could always add it into the blender directly).
- Serve ice cold.