“擂茶”, in Chinese literally means Lei Tea (pounded tea). The name Lei arises from the Lei stick (wooden stick) that was used to grind the ingredients. This iconic Hakka food is healthy and body cleansing. It was known that Lei Tea was originated from the Three Kingdom, China.
In Singapore, Lei Tea is also known as “Thunder Tea” as the word “Lei” has the same pronunciation as “Thunder” in Chinese language. The dish is served with brown or white rice, tops up with various chopped ingredients like long beans, tofu, peanuts, cabbage, pickled radish and green vegetables. The ingredients can be varies, as for vegetarian Ikan Bilis (anchovies) is optional.
The tea soup itself is a composite of different types of tea leaves. Herbs (like mint, basil), nuts, seeds and beans ground together with the Lei stick to form a light green paste or powder. Hot water is then added to the tea paste/powder to go along with the rice.
For some, trying the savory soup for the first time may find it raw. But it has a refreshing after taste! The healthy green fragrance may lure you back for more each time! Unlike the normal tea we have daily, Lei Tea is a healthy food mix with tint of ancient culture and healthy modern lifestyle people adore these days!
If you happen to see it, try it! You may like it! But beware, not to let the tea steal the thunder out of you!