I eat a lot of food that is locally grown, raised or otherwise produced, but when it comes to beverages, to drink local is usually reduced to water and maybe some fruit juices in the summer. I was reading about a popular Japanese tea called mugicha, a tea made with roasted barley. After experimenting with Gold Forest Grains’ delicious Tibetan barley in many ways I thought that this interesting beverage was worth a try. The roasting process is similar to what one would do with green coffee beans, but on a smaller scale. All you need is a medium sized wok, a wooden spoon and a bit of bravery tossing the tiny barley pearls as they roast.
Roasted Barley Tea
1/2 cup Gold Forest Grains Tibetan barley
3 cups boiling water
2 Tbsp Coal Lake Honey Farms honey (or to taste)
Preheat a wok over medium heat on the stove top for about a minute. Add the barley and begin to stir with a wooden spoon. Alternate the stirring with the occasional shaking of the barley in the wok and tossing it to ensure even roasting of the barley. Continue this stirring, shaking and tossing motion over the course of 7-9 minutes until most of the barley has turned a very deep, caramel brown colour.
Place roasted barley in a large measuring cup or medium bowl, pour over the boiling water and allow to steep for 5-7 minutes. Strain into a pitcher with the honey, stir to dissolve the honey and serve immediately or if you wish pour over ice and serve chilled. Serves 2-3.