It's that time of the year, when my well-windowed apartment gets really cold and I have to bring out multiple space heaters to supplement the un-strategically placed central heater that seems to whisper lukewarm puffs of air. Luckily, my Zojirushi water boiler and warmer just arrived in the mail and I will have a steady supply of hot water.
Tea is my year-round choice for a hot beverage. My favorite teas for this year are bancha from Japan and jasmine tea from Taiwan. Both are really gentle on my stomach. So much so, that I can drink either first thing in the morning.
But when winter time comes around, I am desperate for a caffeine-free option -- a hot beverage that I can have at 11:30pm without worrying about if I will be able to sleep thirty minutes later. Enter the yuzu.
This year seems to be a great year for yuzu trees in the Bay Area. Both my mom and sister's trees are busting with fruit. The rinds are colored to perfection, not quite as bright as a lemon but not at all green. For my caffeine-free drink, I thought I'd make use of the bounty of winter and use the zest of a yuzu, grated ginger and a dollop of honey.
1 or 2 small zest shavings of yuzu
1 tsp of freshly grated ginger
1 tsp of honey
1. Drop the zest and ginger into your tea pot.
2. Add hot water.
3. Steep for 4-5 minutes.
4. Pour tea into your cup and add honey.
After a few sips, my body is so warm that I forget about how my "central heating" is blowing thin slivers of lukewarm air.
TIP: Since you only use a little bit of the yuzu at a time for this, you can wrap your yuzu tightly in saran wrap and freeze it. The next time you make this, you can take the yuzu out of the freezer and shave off another piece of rind.