Tea-time with a Difference

When we think of tea these days, many types of tea come to mind. Bubble tea is very fashionable in Singapore. When you see a long queue in a shopping mall, it’s usually a queue for bubble tea. What is bubble tea? The original bubble tea, which has its origin in Taiwan, is tea with chewy tapioca balls (or pearls). Visitors to Singapore are often fascinated by bubble tea, and some insist on having it everyday and at every opportunity. It easily becomes a craze.

I was introduced to a new type of tea recently by a friend who was giving away culture for kombucha (fermented tea). I had never heard of it before and was wondering why everyone was raving about it. Another friend said she had a few bottles of kombucha brewing at home. The whole process sounded a bit complicated, and I was intrigued by the jelly culture used to ferment the tea. The culture is called SCOBY for short and is “a symbiotic growth of acetic acid bacteria and osmophilic yeast species in a zoogleal mat”. The scientific terms and processes were beyond me, but I was willing to try the tea.

Kombucha is an interesting drink. It’s fizzy, sour and fruity (as fruit is usually added to give flavour). I prefer it to bubble tea, but then I have never been a fan of bubble tea. Advocates of kombucha will tell you that it has probiotics. I did some reading up on it, and being the cautious person that I am, I was happy to try a little of it. Regina, my friend who makes kombucha, also advised that it be taken in moderation.

Going back to the traditional concept of tea, I thought of cake as an accompaniment. Chocolate cake is great for a special occasion, or a lighter cake like sour cream walnut cake.

I loved the sour cream walnut cake that we had today, and I asked Elena, who baked it, for the recipe. She said she used a recipe from the internet. I googled and found a few. I didn’t manage to get Angie’s recipe for the chocolate cake, but will try to get it for another post. There is a strange correlation between chocolate cake and happiness.

Today is a holiday. In Singapore and Malaysia it’s Hari Raya. In some other countries it’s Eid. It is also the feast of the Ascension. It is a day for celebrating, but everyone agrees – in moderation.

By Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 13 May 2021

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