Greetings, tea compadres! We hope that you are all doing well and staying safe, healthy, and full! Speaking of being full, who's hungry this morning? I know I am and with my mind on the munchies, I figured a good topic to touch upon today would be cooking with tea!
If you are saying to yourself, "Hold up, did I read that right? I can put tea in my cooking?", then let me reassure you. Yes! You did read that right! You can and SHOULD cook with tea! This blog post is going to give you a few, in my humble opinion, GREAT options for doing so!
We've chatted before about baking with tea. Often times people forget adding tea to your baking endeavors is both viable and could be just the flavor that you are looking for! Just last week at Good Life Tea we tried Earl Grey Cookies! These cookies were absolutely delicious and full of the flavors of our Decaf Earl Grey. If you choose one of our other teas to experiment with in your cookies, we recommend using a butter or shortbread cookie recipe to add to! These cookies are otherwise rather bland and allow the flavors from the added tea to really shine through. When doing so, we also recommend that you use a mortar and pestle, electric grinder, or perhaps a coffee bean grinder to grind the leaves into a powder. This is just a nicer consistency to have in your cookies while still allowing the flavors to be fully present!
The next way we want to talk about for using tea in your cooking, is infusing your dairy products (i.e. milk, cream, butter, etc) with tea. This one was a new one even for me to learn about and I cannot wait to try it! In order to do so, pick a tea that you are partial too. For me, I may start with our Vanilla black tea. I love vanilla creamer in my coffee in the morning and using Good Life Tea to make this sounds like a great plan to me! In order to do so, add your choice of tea to your dairy of choice. I will be using milk. Bring your mixture to just below boiling and allow the components to mingle so that you draw out as much flavor as possible. When this is finished, let your, now flavored, liquid cool and strain out the tea leaves. Wah-la! You will find yourself with a fully flavored milk or cream to add to whatever you like! I have done some reading on this process and found that others used teas such as Lavender or Chamomile to infuse cream, which they then poured over the top of desserts such a crème brûlées or ice cream. If you are trying to impress your next dinner guest, this is an easy way to do so!
Another interesting way to use tea in your cooking that I recently read about is using tea in your stir fry! Being partial to Asian cuisine, myself, and knowing the origin of many of my favorite teas being from this part of the world, I don't know how I didn't think of this! As I was reading, I found that many individuals found Genmaicha tea to be a delectable addition to their stir dry dishes. Our Genmaicha tea is comprised of a base green "Bancha" tea, with popped rice, and corn. It is a very distinct and memorable, nutty flavor that will shine through in your wok works. The leaves in this tea will added toasted notes to complement the popular toasted sesame oil that is often used. Similarly, the rice and corn pick up a roasted flavor that goes along with whichever other vegetables or meats you choose! Make sure to add your tea while you are still stirring and sautéing your dish as it does need time to really unfold and unveil it's flavors. You will not be disappointed, and, again, if you are trying to show off your culinary skills to someone, this is an easy way to do so!
One last, unsuspecting, way to use our teas in your cooking is to incorporate them into your rubs for meat and fish. Tea leaves and the flavors that they pack are not to confined to just your tea cup! Think of the rubs that you use now to flavor your meats. They are made up of different spices and herbs, just like we use in our teas! For this, we recommend one of our smokier flavored teas. You may decide to try our Lapsang Souchong. This is a tea that I often recommend for our customers looking to switch from coffee to our teas. It is a strong, black tea that is packed with not only caffeine, but smoky, oak like flavors as well. Imagine cooking your protein over a campfire or in a smoke box. The flavors of our Lapsang Souchong allow you to have this if you use them in your rub!
If you have any other suggestions for using tea in the culinary arts, please let us know! We like to keep our blogs up to date and I love updating them with any comments or suggestions from you guys! Have a little fun in the kitchen this week using our teas, not just to fill your teacups, but your tummies too! - Kaytea :)
P.S. I just read another suggestion! Why not try infusing your oils with our teas to use when sautéing?! Use something like our Formosa Oolong tea! Leave about a tablespoon of our tea in your olive oil overnight and let the flavors infuse. Our Formosa is abounding with nutty and toasted flavors that finish with a subtle but sweet peachy note. Use this to sauté vegetables or in rice for an extra boost of decadence!