Pandan Tropical Tea
Pandan leaves are harvested from the fragrant screwpine tree (Pandanus amaryllifolius or Pandanus odorus), which is cultivated in Asia, Australia and the Pacific islands. The tree, which can no longer be found growing wild, can reach a maximum height of about 20 feet. However it is usually just a few meters tall and supported by large and twisted aerial roots. It prefers heat and humidity, moist soil and full sun or partial shade. Many Asian families have a small tree in its backyard since it is extremely useful, takes up little room and is relatively easy to grow. Even in the US and Canada, fresh pandan leaves can now be bought quite cheap at Asian or specialty markets and in regular supermarkets.
Pandan leaves are long, narrow and bright green, with a unique fragrance that has been described as resembling vanilla or newly harvested rice-sweet but nutty, grassy and extremely appetizing. In the past, pandan leaves were woven into hats or mats. Chewing a pandan leaf was a quick and easy way to freshen your breath. A pandan bath was also believed to soothe cases of sunburn and skin irritations and recommended for women who had just given birth. Pandan leaves were dropped into open wells to make the water taste and smell better.
But the most popular use of pandan leaves is for cooking, and especially cooking in the Southeast Asian region. A piece of knotted pandan leaf is often added to rice while it is being cooked to ensure that it becomes fragrant and appetizing. Pandan is also used to wrap meat, chicken and seafood before it is fried or broiled over coals. Pandan leaves can be pounded (old school) or blitzed in a processor into a paste to add flavor, fragrance and color to cakes and other desserts. Several pieces of pandan leaves can be used to flavor regular tea or they can be brewed as a separate tea, delicious, easy to prepare, cheap and good whether served hot or cold.
Neuleaf Pandan Tea is one of Neuleaf's Cleansing Teas, made from carefully selected, hand picked and naturally dried pandan leaves, fragrant and delicious-a perfect way to end or begin your day, or better still, both.