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Brown rice-buckwheat tea

Lightly caffeinated, this blend has spice notes from cinnamon and star anise.

“This is an ideal tea for late winter or early spring, when you’re in need of something deep and earthy that will warm you to the core,” says New York City–based recipe developer Sarah Jampel. The roasted flavor, she explains, comes from two sources: toasted buckwheat groats (hulled grain kernels) and genmaicha, a green tea mixed with roasted rice. Research has shown that buckwheat has health benefits like lowering cholesterol, providing antioxidants, and reducing blood pressure levels. If you can’t find pre-toasted groats, simply toast them in a dry skillet. Warming spices like star anise and cinnamon add even more complexity to the tea, which can be finished with maple syrup and a squeeze of bright Meyer lemon juice.

Brew Time: 20 minutes
Makes about 2 cups

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Photography by Robert Bredvad

Ingredients

2 tablespoons toasted buckwheat groats (also called kasha)
1 star anise pod
One 3- to 4-inch cinnamon stick, gently smashed with the back of a chef's knife
2 genmaicha (roasted brown rice) tea bags or 1 tablespoon loose-leaf genmaicha tea
Meyer lemon, for serving (optional)
Maple syrup, for sweetening (optional)

Directions

1.
In a small pot, combine the groats, star anise, and cinnamon stick with 2 ½ cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by about half.
2.
Remove and discard the groats, star anise, and cinnamon, then add in an additional ½ cup hot water and the genmaicha tea bags or loose-leaf tea. Steep for 4 minutes.
3.
Remove tea bags (or, if using loose-leaf tea, strain the liquid) and serve with a wedge of Meyer lemon and a drizzle of maple syrup, if desired.
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