Iced Green Tea with Lemongrass Infusion

We are only beginning to appreciate the curative qualities of green tea. A powerful antioxidant, it appears to protect against cancer and many help lower cholesterol. Green tea contains hundreds of phytochemicals, and no one yet knows exactly which deserve the credit.  Slender stalks of lemongrass can be found in Asian markets or in the produce section of many supermarkets.  This is a terrific drink to accompany lighter-style meals.

3 stalks lemongrass
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons Japanese green tea leaves (Sencha)

Remove the tough outer leaves from 2 stalks of lemongrass and finely chop, including the darker tops.  Bring 4-1/2 cups water, chopped lemongrass, and hone to a rapid boil.  Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes. Place tea leaves in a heatproof pitcher.  Pour lemongrass infusion over the tea and steep 2 minutes.  (If you leave it longer it may become bitter.)  Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.  Cut remaining lemongrass stalk in half lengthwise, then crosswise. Let sit in tea until cool.  Refrigerate until very cold.  Serve over ice, garnished with a lemongrass stick. 

Serves 4