Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekend Herb Blogging: Red Dates Tea

Chinese New Year had been a busy round of spring cleaning and visiting. After one week of hiatus from WHB, the Pancakes are back again! Cinzia from Cindystar is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week's feature will be none other than red dates!

Dates contain easily digested carbohydrates with a high sugar content of 60%. They are also an excellent source of fiber and trace elements like copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. Dates are often served with milk in the Middle East to make it a complete meal and they are also served alone or in desserts.

Dates are usually harvested in late autumn and early winter, but they store quite well and is available all year round. The dates used here are from China, and dried version is usually used by the Chinese in soups and nourishing desserts.

The extra large fruit you see, comparatively with the rest in the bowl, was brought back from Xi'an by my parents late last year when they went for a trip there. They are amazingly sweet, especially after adding them to a soup.

Red Dates Tea is considered nourishing and because of the colour (ruby-red) it is considered good luck to drink it, especially during this festive season (Lunar New Year).

Apart from red dates, dried honey dates and dried longans were used to add sweetness and give a much mellow taste to the whole drink.

You will need:

50 dried red dates
3 -5 dried honey dates
3 dried longans (large) / 8 dried longans (small)
1 large knob of ginger, smashed
8 cups water
1 medium piece rock sugar

Simply but water to boil and add all ingredients to it. Put over low heat overnight and viola! I used a slow cooker here.

The longer the brewing time, the more ruby red the tea will be. The larger dates were cut up to release the flavours to the water. A more direct way to make this drink is to boil a kettle of water (3/4 full) and once the water is boiling, throw in all the ingredients to make the water level up to the 'full' mark. Leave it overnight or place under low heat. 

Serve warm or chilled.


  1. I LOVE dates! Really any dried fruit, but dates are high on the list. What a great idea for a homemade tea blend!

  2. that sounds so relaxing!
    and I would definetely like to have a cup now, it's heavenly raining outside, just good only for plants and gardens!
    thanks again for participating!


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