|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 0g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||1%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
We customarily think of bay leaves as an essential ingredient in fall soups, hearty stews and, of course, a necessary component in making homemade tomato sauce. You pop them in during cooking and then remove them before serving. But there is more than one kind of bay leaf, and if you choose the right one, these savory leaves can do a whole lot more than infuse your cooking with flavor. West Indian bay leaves (Pimenta racemosa) are great on their own, brewed as a tea.
This type of bay leaf is different from what's usually used in savory applications. West Indian bay leaves have more of a spicy taste: think cinnamon and cloves, along with some hints of vanilla and cardamom. In addition to being used in this tea, they're also a signature ingredient in many Caribbean dishes and the popular Christmas drink sorrel. Note that the culinary bay leaves you are accustomed to typically exhibit flavors and aromas of lemon and pine and won't taste the same as West Indian bay leaves if you use them in this tea.
A hot cup of West Indian bay leaf tea is comforting—almost like aromatherapy. The fragrant leaves release their essence and give you a spiced herbal tea with no caffeine that will have you going back for a second cup.
Click Play to See This West Indian Bay Leaf Tea Come Together
"Soothing, aromatic, and comforting are just a few words that describe this Caribbean-style tea that can be enjoyed anytime with practically no effort." —Diana Andrews
3 large fresh West Indian bay leaves
2 cups water
Sugar, to taste, optional
Splash milk, optional
Gather the ingredients.
In a small pot, add the bay leaves and water. Cover and boil over high heat. Once the water boils, lower the heat to medium-high and continue to boil for 3 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and let the tea steep for 4 minutes.
Strain out the bay leaves.
If desired, sweeten or add milk to suit your taste.
- If you're using milk, only use a small splash, as too much milk will dilute the flavor of the tea.
- Honey is especially delicious in this tea, but you might try a little bit of brown sugar, granulated sugar, agave syrup, or even maple syrup.
- Add a cinnamon stick with the bay leaf and water during the boiling process, or add some loose cloves, to boost the flavors of warm spices. Strain and discard before drinking.
- Double the recipe's ingredients but not the amount of water to make a double-strength concentrate. Then, keep the concentrate in the refrigerator and use it to make iced tea by adding a little bit of water, until it meets your desired strength.