It’s as if a breath of fresh air has entered my tea cabinet in the form of a new line of teas, leavened with an element of fun, subverting the expected.  Recently launched,  Rangsaa (rang for color in Hindi and saa for tea in Assamese) is just that zephyr.  With its use of a traditional tea tin adorned with shades of fuchsia and orange, this brand announces its distinctiveness from the first by the bold color palette of its packaging.

One of six signature blends, Insignia includes green tea, lemongrass, licorice root, rosella (hibiscus flowers), Brazil wood bark, cloves and stevia for natural sweetness which all commingle in the cup. Its founder, Ruhani Sandhu, an American-educated,  Indian born and fearless career changer, is committed to tapping into the world market, using Indian raw materials, buying with a social and environmental conscience and lightening up the tea drinking experience for all. She seems to say, “Don’t take your tea drinking too seriously,” and even gives a nod to a subject dear to my heart–using tea in cooking, a revolutionary concept, particularly from a woman raised with a tea drinking tradition where milk and spice were arguably more important than the quality of the tea leaves being used.

Though an unscented black tea drinker myself, Rangsaa’s blend has opened up my palate to a new experience and  has set my culinary wheels turning–will the subtly flavored brewed tea or dry blend be used in a sauce, a broth, an ice cream, or a sorbet?Or maybe flavor a custard, a filling for a cream puff, or éclair? Ideas abound.  With Ruhani’s example, I am imbued with faith in the ability of creative and passionate entrepreneurs to make an old beverage new and appealing to a wider audience.

Here’s a quick way to use this blend beyond the hand thrown pottery mug:8281487642_6915cd2af1_k

Insignia tea crème anglaise

Yield: approximately 1 cup
Generous tablespoon of the tea
1 c. (8 ozs.) whole milk
3 egg yolks from large eggs (approximately 2 ozs.)
¼ c. (1.75 ozs) granulated sugar

Place the milk and tea in a heavy sauce pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the mixture stand for another 5 minutes. Pour through a fine meshed sieve and set aside.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the sugar dissolves and the mixture has lightened in color. In a clean saucepan, reheat the infused milk to the simmer. Pour gradually over the egg yolks and sugar mixture, stirring to combine. Return that mixture to the saucepan and cook until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (180 degrees F.)  Do not overcook or the mixture will curdle. Once thickened pour it through a fine meshed sieve into a bowl set over ice water. Stir to cool quickly. Store in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 2 days.  Use in the following ways:

  • As the basis for an ice cream . Stir in 1 c. ( 8 ozs.) heavy cream to the mixture  and freeze in an ice cream machine
  • As a dipping sauce for brownies or other rich cookies or bars
  • As a sauce over the ice cream of your choice
  • As a plating sauce for a seasonal fruit tart
  • As a pour over fresh berries