擂茶 Hakka tea in Mei３Nong1 美濃
Just northeast of Kaohsiung city is a wonderful Hakka village named MeiNong. The village is well-known for its paper umbrellas and Hakka culture museum. Unfortunately, we didn't get there in time to go the museum, but we did have the opportunity to make some Hakka style tea called Lei1Cha1 擂茶 at a restaurant in MeiNong. The restaurant's food smelled delicious, but we only drank tea. Here's what you do:
Step 1: You are brought the ingredients. In the big bowl are crispy popped rice, white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, and dried tea leaves. On the plate are peanuts, pinenuts, and green sunflower (?) seeds. Farthest to the the right is the powder--a soybean based powder that we will use later. On the bottom right is a plate of cookies to nibble on while you drink your tea.
Step 2: Using a mortar and a pestle made from a guava tree, grind the rice, sesame seeds and tea leaves to a powder. After that, add the nuts and seeds, and grind those into a powder, too. Use those muscles!