Coming down with a cold or flu? Rootology recommends a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) recipe for ba bao cha—“eight-treasure tea”—a nutritious concoction that aims to bring your system back into balance.
While there are a number of different recipes for ba bao cha and some versions contain real tea; others are simply infusions of various dried fruits and flowers. It’s important for the blend to be visually appealing as well as tasty. Our version (according to Divine Caroline) of ba bao cha only has seven ingredients, and no tea. Determining quantities of each ingredient is something of an art. When you look at the mixture you should be able to see each component, but no one item should dominate. A good ba bao cha is all about balance. Flavor is important too, and quantities can be tweaked to improve taste.
We suggest to fresh ingredients from a Chinese market, however you can also order ingredients online. It’s also possible to buy premixed ba bao cha, but they are seldom fresh or as nourishing. View the ingredients (all dried) for ba bao cha and directions below.
- Long yan (sometimes called longan in English—dragon eye fruit. Get the peeled, pitted variety)
- Go ji (sometimes called wolfberries in English)
- Hong zao (Chinese red dates—get the pitted variety if possible)
- Chen pi (dried tangerine peel—break it up into fingernail-sized pieces)
- Chinese rock sugar (comes in large, tawny rocks that you’ll need to break into small chunks)
- Once you have your mix, fill your pot about one-third full with the dry ingredients
- Add near-boiling water, and steep a couple of minutes
- Continue re-steeping as long as there’s good flavor (increase steeping times accordingly)
- Serve and enjoy!