Trips to the market and cool drinks to fight the heat - a tea that's a dream to drink!

    *this is NOT a sponsored post*

I've stated plenty of times that my favourite market is the one at Caldas da Rainha. Although I'm lucky enough to have a Summer home in its vicinity, I do not get to go to this market every weekend. So, and because I really am serious about trying to find the freshest, best ingredients when it comes to fruit and veggies, I have tried to find alternatives that are somewhat closer to home. And I was happy to come across two markets that are pretty good, and somewhat convenient so that I can afford to visit every weekend. One of those is really close by, and I only just recently found it.

It was through one of my husband's work colleagues that we heard about this particular market, in Tires/ S. Domingos de Rana, and we have been going there for about a month, now. It's not the Caldas market, grant it, but there's a cheese stall there that drives me crazy, and there's a stall where they sell the biggest, best courgettes I have ever tried, and although it tends to be a bit pricier than the Caldas market, it is still a lot cheaper than going to the supermarket, and the quality of the produce does beat that down to a pulp. I mean, there's this supermarket near me where I usually see rotten fruit and vegetables being sold for sky high prices - and their motto is all about freshness, go figure!

Even though we've been going to this market for nearly a month, truth is there are stalls I still haven't noticed fully. I realised this when just last Saturday, as we were taking our first stroll around the market, I happened to notice one tiny stall where they had spices arranged in neat little hemp bags, all looking lovely and smelling divine. As we walked by, I mentioned it to my husband and son, and the kid immediately said he wanted to go and visit that stall - kid loves his spices!! So as we rounded the first stroll, we made it to the area where that stall had been, and after having bought most of our produce, we headed there just to see what they had.

Well, they had a lot of herbs and spices lovely scented, colourful an gorgeous looking. They had a lot of teas and infusions, mixes with names as cacthy as Mojito Tea, blends as delicious sounding as Papaya, Peach and Spices, they had green tea, rooibos tea, black tea and so many other delightful things we couldn't stop staring. And as my son was telling me what he would like to try - he is quite verbose and expressive - the lady was laughing and suggesting teas for him. She then handed us a flask with a mix so we could smell, it was the Ginger Lemon tea, and it was divine! I asked for a sniff of the Mojito tea and was swooning - really!! and then she passed me a jar with THE most wonderful scented mix of herbs I have ever come across. It was the Amora Preta tea - Blackberry tea - and the scent was heavenly.

We thanked the lady - she was really nice! - and went on our way to get a cheese, leaving without a tea mix to my son's silent chagrin, and when I turned the corner, it was like something hit me. I said out loud that I really wished I had bought a pack of the Amora Preta tea, and my husband asks why didn't I, so I simply grabbed my son and ran back to the stall, to the lady's amusement where I proceeded to buy myself a pack of said tea. If I tell you I was sniffing the pack all the way hoe, I do not lie, it is so sweetly scented and redolent, it is just amazing. If you're curious about their things, you can find them here, it's worth a visit, trust me!

So, ya'll know me by now, and know that I simply cannot resist coming up with stuff of my own, so as soon as I got home from the market, my head was buzzing with ideas for this mix of herbs. I was thinking of infusing milk with it and make a custard, or an ice cream, I was thinking ice teas, I was thinking cocktails, you name it. Even a syrup of sorts crossed my mind, to add to cake batters! But I wanted to try it first, and see what it really tasted like, how sweet it was, how intense the flavours were, before I settled on a recipe or other. Try it first, decide later, as I would probably feel the taste would not work in certain recipes. I settled for an ice tea at first, because it was darn hot!

For this particularly easy ice tea I used:
  • one heaped tablespoon of Amora Preta tea mix from Ervanarea
  • one litre of boiled water
  • some strawberries, ice and a sprig of basil
Bring the water to a boil on an electric kettle and let it rest for a few seconds. Place the mix in a container that is high temperature resistant and pour the hot water over it. Let it sit for about five to seven minutes, so it infuses the water - you can go up to the ten minute mark, it will be more intense, the flavour. Sieve the herbs out of the infusion and let it cool with the aid of a couple of ice cubes. Chill it in the fridge for a couple of hours so it gets really cold and refreshing, then add slices of strawberries and a sprig of basil. You can substitute the strawberry for blackberries or other red berries you might have around. Severcold and enjoy, it is a great drink for this upcoming weekend, where there is supposed to be a heatwave coming to this country!


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