Why hello there! Today’s very simple spicy fresh mint tea is brought to you by
1) My lovely friend Dawn, who gave me this idea, and
2) The endless rain/total disappearance of the sun in NL right now.
But seriously, we have Dawn to thank for this one! I met her in Amsterdam for a good ol’ catch up this weekend, and we ended up grabbing drinks and treats at Coffee and Coconuts. It’s a café/eatery in an old theatre with hanging plants and bean bag chairs and hanging coconuts everywhere, and it’s right in the heart of De Pijp, which is a super hip neighbourhood – highly recommended if you’re ever in Amsterdam. (And then go to the Albert Cuypmarkt and get a fresh stroopwafel… If you don’t know what that is, Google it immediately!)
As we chatted and devoured our goodies – a super fudgy brownie for me, and coconut lime pound cake for her – Dawn told me about this place near her building where they make all sorts of variations on the classic fresh mint tea (verse munt thee in Dutch). Side note: I think that every single café and restaurant in the Netherlands has fresh mint tea on the menu – literally just hot water, fresh mint leaves and honey. It’s a simple but genius idea, warming but refreshing at the same time, and a good alternative when you’re just not in the mood for coffee or tea.
Anyway! Back to my story. Apparently there’s a place near Dawn’s where they make all sorts of variations on this drink, one of them being a spicy version with chili peppers and cinnamon. As soon as I heard that I was sold, but splish-splashing through icy puddles to catch the tram home in the midst of a torrential downpour certainly helped! I tried it the very next day, and let me tell you: if this doesn’t warm you up, nothing will.
I’m including very basic instructions but, as always, tailor this to your preferences! For example, if you’re not too keen on spicy things, start with a really mild pepper and only use one quarter or one half of it. The first time I made this I thought the peppers I had didn’t smell spicy, so I threw in an extra one, and my mouth burned for about an hour afterwards! Turns out they were super hot Indonesian rawit peppers 😛 And I was reminded of that fact later on that day when I wiped some fluff out of my eye… 😱
So that’s it from me on this rainy Monday. I hope you have a great one!! xx
*If you're not sure about your spice tolerance, start with a quarter or half of a pepper. It's a lot easier to add extra spice than it is to remove it!