Chef Charles Royal incorporates traditional Māori kai with modern cuisine. Check out Charles showing a visitor from the US the way brewing is done Aotearoa-style, with a dollop of mānuka honey: tu meke tea!
Brew up a storm with the ultimate homegrown tea made from native plant leaves, then get your parents or teacher to judge the results.
What to do
Your mission is:
1. GOT YOUR ID?
Find a native tree that is fit-to-a-T for tea making in your garden or nearest park. Kawakawa is easy to recognize, but only grows as far south as Banks Peninsula. If you’re stewing in the south, you could swap kawakawa with horopito (try chewing horopito leaf raw: it’s hotter than a dragon’s burp!).
Only choose leaves that you know are safe to eat (check with an adult). Check out this list of poisonous NZ garden plants, and don't use them! If you're not sure = don't use! Got it?
2. BE-LEAF IN YOURSELF
Pick a handful of leaves. Don’t skip the leaves with the holes in them: kawakawa has its very only caterpillar taste-tester who only eats the best leaves so they have the seal of approval.
3. MAGIC POTION MAKING
Get your leaves, mug and boiling water. Be like Harry Potter and mix your magic potion: add the leaves to the water.
Let your brew stew!
4. BREW AND IMPROVED
Most leaves should only need 5-10 mins to infuse in the hot water.
Then, give it a sip – what does it need?
Is it sweet-as how it is, or do you need to flava up your brew with some secret herbs’n’spices from your kitchen’s spice rack? Or there’s the ol’ classic slice of lemon and a spoonful of mānuka honey. Or go radical with some ginger.
5. TEA REFEREES
Present your brew to your tea party judging panel. Run a master-chef tea-brewing competition with a friend and get your parents or teacher to judge the results.
And remember to UPLOAD a photo of you with your brew to Wild Eyes and level up to make your avatar's eyes go WILDER!
Take it even further and set up a stall on your street to see who can be the best kawakawa tea shopkeeper! Most sales wins!
K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid): Then you’ll be able to taste the different flavours of the leaves.