During this tea marathon, my fascination with the origin of tea and the making of tea has increased. One evening I spent the whole time reading about the tea making process, which extremely interesting and complex. I cannot think of any type of drink except maybe hard liqueur that has so many different ways to make different kinds of “tea”. I am speaking primarily about black, green, white, and Pur-reh tea. These all come from the same type of leaf, but are different aromas and flavors. I read all about it on Wikipedia. Included in my research was tasted different teas and read about different tea traditions. The most interesting (besides British) is the Japanese tea ceremony. I was introduced to this, as I am sure many of you were as well, when watching the Karate Kid II. (I love the movie.) When I first watched Kumiko make tea for Daniel, I loved her grace and beauty of the ceremony. Though in the movie the ceremony is done for love, the real ceremony, Chanoyu, is done for the spiritual reflection of the guests. Learning the tea ceremony takes many years, and for Kumiko to share that is Daniel is special, indeed. The guests should begin to understand and appreciate the four elements of the tea ceremony: harmony, respect, purity, and loneliness. At the end of this post, I will have several links for those who want to learn more. In the ceremony, green tea powder is used and is called Matcha. This tea powder is grown in Japan and is made from crushed green tea leaves. I used a sweetened Matcha for my ice cream, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it is the base in Starbuck’s Green Tea Frappacinos (which I adore). I will probably never be able to experience a true Japanese tea ceremony, but when eating this ice cream or drinking the frappacino, I will ponder on the four elements of the ceremony and find beauty in the simple pleasure of the green tea.
Green Tea Ice Cream
¾ cup milk
6 tablespoons Sweet Green Tea Powder
Pinch of Salt
2 egg yolks
1 cup half and half
Whisk the milk, salt, and green tea powder together in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until hot, then add about ¼ cup slowly into the egg yolks, whisking continually. Add the mixtures back into the saucepan, and heat on low until the temperature is 174 degrees or coats the back of a spoon. Pour through a strainer, and chill until cold. Add the half and half. Pour into your ice cream maker, and mix according to the manufacture’s directions. Place in freezer until frozen.
Makes ½ quart.