Truth is, I was a tiny bit amused by the flock of defenders, friendly or hostile, who rushed to my incidental black tea cake to affirm America’s tea presence. To the flag-swinging crusaders, amused at how unreceptive people are to a relative comparison and because the upset words validated just as much as saying… Asians eat burgers. Lots of it at that, too. Doesn’t translate to Asia having as much burger-culture as America. And the rest tea-lovers – who were nice enough to comment (thank you!) and certainly more gracious of a human being than I ever was, who simply wanted to inform this blunt-mouthed cook that there’s a growing tea-culture in America (thanks again!) – made me feel a bit undeserved because I would totally, upmost whole-heartedly agree with you if not because of the fact that… I was too busy drinking coffee to notice.
Yep, I’m actually a coffee person.. and why am I feuding over tea? I amuse myself. When Jason asked what’s up with another tea recipe with me lately? Am I sticking it to the gun? No. In all honesty I squeezed this jasmine green tea granita out of my coffee-intoxicated brain because… well, coffee is taken. Beat me to the punch. Wouldn’t leave a crumb for us little people. So instead, I tried to dream up the boldest, flavour-infused, wouldn’t-recoil-put-next-to-something-as-intimidating-as-espresso kind of granita, and I think I might have it. What’s going on with this mysterious luck with teas? It put a merciful end to my 10-days long streak of mega flops. I think this tea god is kind.
Tea-lovers shouldn’t be unfamiliar with Japanese, powder-form ground green tea leaves called matcha, which carries a popping color and extra-boldness that sets itself apart from the rest of the gang. Not to mention the economic ingenuity lays in the fact that a MUCH SMALLER amount of tea leaves can produce a MUCH LARGER volume of product (how much whole tea leaves have to be brewed to a tea THAT green?)! You think green tea ice-cream could accelerate to its global status if weren’t for it? Which makes you think why couldn’t the concept be applied to ALL teas (hear hear)? Not that I’m saying there’s anything lacking with matcha granita alone (with a good pouring of evaporated milk/cream, it tastes just like green tea ice-cream!), but a hefty addition (50% actually) of ground jasmine tea brings a floral, summery accent to the mundane tea party, filling every mouthful with pleasant, breezy perfumes to surprise anyone who isn’t expecting at that beautiful rooftop party you are pulling. Yeah, I knew you were planing something without me. Whatever. Because on top of this fabulous granita, I’d bring this pork belly skewer and a few of these boys. Too late…
You will need a spice-grinder of some sort to grind the tea leaves for this recipe. You can easily find already-ground unsweetened Japanese matcha green tea powder online or in grocery stores, but probably not ground jasmine green tea. It’s very important to obliterate the tea leaves to a SUPER FINE powder-consistency (almost flour-like), otherwise the coarse texture will affect the granita and makes it too grainy.
- 2 tbsp (7 grams) of jasmine green tea leaves
- 2 tbsp (7 grams) of regular green tea leaves
- 4 cups (950 ml) of water
- 2/3 cup (132 grams) of granulated sugar
- 1 cup of evaporated milk for pouring
Combine jasmine green tea leaves and regular green tea leaves in a spice-grinder. Run it for at least 2~3 min to grind the tea leaves into SUPER FINE, flour-like powder. Set aside. Bring the water and granulated sugar to a simmer, and stir to make sure the sugar has completely melted. Remove from the heat and add the tea-powder. Give it a stir and chill in the fridge until cooled down to room-temperature (or submerge the pot in an ice-bath).
The tea-powder would settle and accumulate at the bottom of the pot, so give it a thorough stir before pouring the mixture into a shallow dish. Place the dish in the freezer, and about every 2 hours or so, go back and scrape the ice-crystals with a fork, mixing them thoroughly with the rest of the liquid. Repeat until the entire dish is frozen and become little bits and pieces of crushed ice. Make sure it reaches this stage if/before you want to leave it in the freezer overnight. You might have some ice-crystals with more concentrated tea-powder than others. That’s fine. Pretty colors.
To serve, scoop the granita into a serving glass and pour evaporated milk over the top (approx 1/4 cup for each serving).