Tea, with its subtle aromas and attendant soothing rituals, has slipped quietly into our daily lives. A look at tea shop and restaurant menus and even the bottled-drink aisle of supermarkets reveals that all are brimming with once-exotic teas from around the world, any of which can lend calming, aromatic properties to sweet sherbets or sorbets.
These refreshing desserts are equally good even if you don't have an ice cream maker; to make any of these recipes into a granita instead, just pour the tea mixture into a 9- by 13-inch dish and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. Scrape ice with a large fork to form fluffy crystals, then spoon into bowls. Either way, tea makes a delicate background for berries, honey, or chocolate in these intensely flavored treats.