I discovered Eight Treasure Tea in Chinatown a few years ago. I was wandering around and found a little tea shop/cafe where you can order any one of their hundreds of teas and enjoy a cup brewed for you. There was one tea propped up on the shelf behind the counter, and the name sounded intriguing; Eight Treasure Tea - so I ordered it. It was sweet and light all at the same time, not too strong or too deep, but a lovely, fragrant flavor. I was hooked.
Eight Treasure Tea, called Ba Bao Cha in Chinese, is originally from Yunnan, China and is considered to have medicinal properties and health benefits in Chinese medicine. It is believed promote energy, circulation, tonify the liver, stimulate blood production, and to replenish 'chi'. The "Eight Treasures" refer to the eight main ingredients; goji berries, jujube (a type of red date,) dried citrus peel, dried ginseng root, rock sugar crystals, dried chrysanthemum flowers, green tea, and dried longan fruit.
The tea is simply brewed and strained in hot water and stirred. No milk is added, and no additional sweeteners are added.
• Shop for Eight Treasure Tea online.
Related: Recipe: DIY Thai Iced Tea
(Images: Kathryn Hill)