The many types of tea might not cover all of the colors in the rainbow, but they certainly come close. The best known, of course, are green and black. After that come white and oolong. Of course the latter is not a “colored” tea in the strictest sense of the world, but there are those who sometimes refer to it as blue tea. Just as the idea that what many Chinese know as red tea is what the rest of us call black tea. Some of the more obscure types of colored teas are yellow, a Chinese variety that’s not unlike green or white. Then there’s purple tea, a type developed relatively recently by African researchers.
All of which is a rather roundabout way of introducing a concoction known as pink tea. Which is not actually a type of tea, in the strictest sense of the word, at least not in the way that the aforementioned are. I don’t claim to be an expert on pink tea, but in my research I’ve found that it’s apparently quite popular in the Kashmir region, which includes portions of India, China, and Pakistan.
Given the popularity of masala chai in this region, a drink that most of us know simply as chai, it’s probably not surprising that pink tea bears at least a passing resemblance to that beverage. Also known as shirchai, the recipes I’ve run across vary somewhat, but there tend to be a few ingredients that typically make it into the mix.
While recipes for masala chai are most often made with a base of black tea, those for pink tea often call for a loose leaf green variety, though there are variations that recommend oolong. To this, the ingredients that are most often added are milk and cream, salt and bicarbonate of soda, and almonds and/or pistachios. In keeping with the chai part of the name, there’s also the addition of such spices as cardamom and/or cinnamon.
If you’d like to take a crack at making your own version of pink tea, you can start with one of the recipes located here, here or here. If you prefer visual aids, a search for “pink tea” on YouTube will get you a number of how-to videos on the subject.
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