How to Make Loomi Tea
Using Dried Limes to Make Tea
Black lime tea, also known as loomi tea or noomi basra tea, is a simple-to-make hot beverage enjoyed in many Middle Eastern countries—especially Iraq. Though it’s not a true tea due to the lack of tea leaves, it is just as satisfying and, like true tea, is fantastic hot or iced. This aromatic beverage isn’t just found in the Middle East anymore, however. Its popularity is growing globally due to increasing awareness of foods and beverages from various cultures, the quick spread of information regarding natural health remedies and food/beverage as medicine, and its incredible, unique flavor.
It’s tart, refreshing, slightly sweet, and—you guessed it—citrusy. That’s not the only reason people partake in this delicious concoction, however. Even beyond its obvious benefit of hydrating the body, it is incredibly beneficial to one's health—including a supply of many important nutrients for maintaining a healthy immune system.
Loomi tea can be made using just dried limes and water, though many recipes will call for a sweetener and a few other choice ingredients to add complexity to the flavor. Saffron and honey are two popular choices, so we incorporated them into our recipe. If you want to go for a more simplistic beverage, feel free to leave one or both of them out.
For our tea, we use whole black limes, which we pierced several times to encourage the flavor to escape more easily. Dried black lime powder can also be used to shorten the simmer time but if you do so, we still recommend you purchase whole black limes and fresh-grind them yourself, as the store-bought, pre-ground powders will have already began to lose some of those important volatile oils.
Black Lime Tea with Honey and Saffron
- 3 black limes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon saffron threads
- 3 cups water
- Pierce the black limes several times each, using the prongs of a fork or a metal skewer.
- Place them in a pot with water and turn your burner to high heat.
- Bring the water to a boil and turn the heat down to medium.
- Crush the saffron threads with the back of a spoon and gently stir them into the water.
- Stirring occasionally, simmer for approximately 15 minutes.
- Stir in the honey until it thoroughly melts into the tea.
- If desired, strain the tea, as there may be bits of dried lime floating throughout. Otherwise, you can just ladle it into a mug and avoid the larger pieces of dried limes.
- Serve hot or feel free to let it cool and pour it over ice for a refreshing warm-weather beverage.