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Lei cha (擂茶)

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Lei cha (擂茶 léi chá), literally translated as pounded tea, is a Hakka tea-based beverage or gruel, very popular in Taiwan, consisting of a mix of tea leaves and herbs that are ground or pounded together with various roasted nuts, seeds, and grains. The tea is drunk for breakfast or on cold winters as a tasty and healthy restorative. Traditionally lei cha is a savory brew; in contemporary interpretations it is often consumed as a sweet drink.

Although commercially prepared and prepackaged, Lei cha is usually made "from scratch" just as it is about to be consumed. Though any type of tea leaf can be used, the most popular and common are either Green tea or Oolong, sometimes matcha is used. Roasted peanuts, mung beans, and sesame are the most commonly used seeds and nuts, however other types may be used such as: cooked or puffed rice, roasted soybeans, lentils, lotus seeds, pinenuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat. The ingredients are ground in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle until it is reduced to a powder resembling fine cornmeal which is then placed into a serving bowl and hot water is stirred into it such that a thin soup-like beverage is produced.

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