In Bulgaria, people associate tea with below zero degrees and bad colds. Still, the properties of Camellia Sinensis, otherwise known as Chai or Chinese tea, can be useful not only during the winter. High quality black, green and white teas are a source of a number of healthy substances, which benefit the overall well-being of the mind and body. A hot cup of black tea in the summer morning speeds up the process of perspiration which in turn lowers your body temperature. Black tea is refreshing and can also serve as a substitute for coffee since it has a healthy amount of caffeine in it. Green and white teas are the better choice for the afternoon hours. They have a smooth and delicate taste and significantly lower levels of caffeine.
Even if the idea of hot tea in the heat does not seem very appealing to you, do not be quick to erase the drink of the Chinese Emperors from your list of summer beverages. The growing popularity of Chai around the world has brought along the iced tea. Of course, we're not talking about bottled iced tea or instant tea granules but real, home-made Chai with all its qualities preserved. Here is some advice on how to prepare it.
Brew some Chai of your choice (2 tbsp Chai to 200 ml water). Fill up the glasses with ice and pour the brewed Chai on top. The interaction of hot and cold preserves the aroma, taste and colour of the tea intact. Some fruit syrup, sugar or lemon can also be added.
Another elegant and energising drink is the Chai punch. Prepare 1-2 litres of Chai (7-8tbsp/1L) and leave it in the fridge for a day. 1-2 hours before serving, cut some fruit – strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, mango – and add it to the Chai. To finish off the drink, pour in some white wine or champagne.
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers