Barley Tea

Barley tea has many uses. Known as Mugicha in Japan and Boricha in Korea, roasted barley tea is a very popular hot weather beverage that's noted for cooling down the body and cleansing the system. If you want a caffeine-free coffee substitute this is for you. A remedy for cold and flu, for breaking up congestion, phlegm and other symptoms of the nasty seasonal bug. Barley-based teas are used as treatment for hemorrhoids, inflammatory arthritis and are believed to help reduce toxicity and side-effects of radiation and chemotherapy. Herbalists use barley concoctions to treat gravel stones and flush out kidneys and for centuries Old World doctors have recommended this plain barley water as a first food for babies and for bedridden patients whose stomachs cannot handle solid foods.

2 ounces roasted barley (1/4 cup)
1 1/2 pints water
honey, can be added to help sooth sore throat
lemon, can be added to help sooth sore throat

To make plain barley water — put two ounces of barley into a small saucepan along with 1-1/2 pints of water. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 minutes.
Strain through cheesecloth, forcing out all the juice.
Barley water is a very nutritious cooling drink that helps bring down fever.
It is also useful for those suffering from bronchitis and asthma.

To Roast barley (use pot or pearl barley—pearled barley being more refined than pot barley but making no difference to the tea). Roast in a hot cast iron skillet until a drop of water sizzles when dropped into pan.

Measure barley into a sieve and rinse under cold running water. Towel dry.

Put barley in skillet and dry roast, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for even toasting, until it turns golden. Over-roasting will produce a coffee-like drink!

To make a caffeine-free coffee substitute, roast the barley until it is brown.
Cool and grind. Then roast again until fragrant and very dark-- but not burnt.
Use in place of regular ground coffee, experimenting with amounts until desired strength is reached.

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