Cook With Tea on WAMC!

Seasonal Cooking with Tea

Tune in to Food Friday on WAMC, Friday, November 14th, from 2-3 PM. Linda Smith, owner of Divinitea, will be featuring seasonal recipes that incorporate the best teas to use with cooking. Just in time for Thanksgiving!

Check out Food Friday’s program info on WAMC: http://wamc.org/topic/food-friday

How To Make Organic Chai with Milk

how to make organic chai tea

When the cold chill of autumn leaves you reaching for a hot cup of tea, try making a traditional spicy organic chai with milk. Organic chai has many great health benefits, and has its roots in ancient Ayurvedic medicine.

This recipe makes for a rich cup of chai, and goes well with any of our hand-crafted organic chai blends.

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 1/2 cup organic milk (cow milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, hemp milk, or oat milk)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 tsp. sugar or sugar substitute
  • 1-2 heaped tsp. organic loose leaf chai tea

Instructions

  1. Pour all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat.
  2. Heat to a boil. Stir the chai while heating, scraping the bottom to avoid scalding the milk.
  3. When the milk comes to a boil, turn off the heat and stir well. Allow to steep for 5-10 minutes, depending how strong you like your chai.
  4. Carefully pour tea over fine mesh strainer into a cup and serve.
  5. Optional: If you like a frothy chai, use a wire whisk and vigorously whisk the tea in after it is strained. Or use an electric frother

How To Make Popsicles With Iced Tea

iced tea popsicle recipe

Image courtesy of Jennifer Chait

When the mercury rises, try putting your favorite tea in the freezer to make a healthy and flavorful organic iced tea popsicle.

What you’ll need (makes one dozen):

  • A popsicle mold kit, or dixie cups, popsicle sticks, and aluminum foil.
  • An iced tea brewer, or saucepan and strainer
  • 8 Tbs. organic loose leaf tea
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen fruit
  • 2 cups sugar (optional)
  • 1 Tsp. lemon juice

Instructions

The sky is the limit when you’re making your own popsicles. Use any flavored tea and fresh fruit combination you like. Check out our iced tea category for some ideas.

Step I: Brew Tea

In your iced tea brewer, add 8 TBS loose leaf tea of your choosing. Then add two cups cold water. Let sit overnight. If you’re in a rush, use hot water, and steep for the recommended brewing time.

If you don’t have an iced tea brewer: you’ll need to add the water and tea leaves to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat for five minutes, strain the tea leaves out.

Step 2: Simple Syrup (optional)

For a sweeter popsicle, heat your tea concentrate to a simmer. Add 2 cups of sugar. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.

Step 3: Blend Ingredients

In a blender, combine your tea concentrate (sweetened or unsweetened) with fruit and lemon juice. Blend until you reach desired consistency.

Step 4: Pour into molds, Freeze

Pour cooled mixture into molds, following manufacturer instructions. If you’re using dixie cups, top off with mixture. Add foil to top, poke hole in foil, and slide popsicle sticks in.

Freeze for about 8 hours. Serve and enjoy!

5 Iced Tea Cocktail Recipes For Summer

organic iced tea cocktail

Here are 5 diverse iced tea cocktail recipes that will add some flare to your summer gatherings.

Sparkling Green Tea Cocktail

This refreshing green tea cocktail by Food, Fashion, And Fun has a champagne effervescence. Very uplifting!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Chinese green tea, chilled
  • 1/4 cup gin
  • 1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Champagne

Instructions

Brew 1 tsp loose leaf green tea in 1/2 cup water.

Combine green tea, gin, lime juice, and agave nectar into a glass. Stir to combine.

Serve in champagne glasse


Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktail

Here’s a straightforward, refreshing bourbon cocktail recipe from Joythebaker.com. Try this after a long day in the sun to unwind.

This recipe uses Organic Nilgiri Black tea, a crisp, clean black tea that doesn’t cloud up when iced.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 6 tsp. Organic Nilgiri Black tea
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup (honey will do too)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup bourbon (depending on how strong you want your cocktail)
  • 4 to 6 sliced orange rounds
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint
  • Ice

Instructions

Using the hot brew method, or cold brew method, prepare 6 cups of Organic Nilgiri black tea

Muddle orange slices and mint in a medium bowl with bourbon.

Pour the muddled mixture into an Iced Tea Pitcher with the black tea. Strain, if desired, and serve


Peach Tea Cocktail

These sweet peach tea cocktails are a great summer indulgence. A little vodka and rum give this an adult twist. Variation of Spicyicecream.com.au recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 heaped tablespoons Sunshine Peach Tea
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 ripe peaches, cut into eighths.
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz spiced rum
  • Ice

Instructions:

Brew a tea concentrate using 3 tbs Sunshine Peach Tea in 3/4 cup water

Dissolve sugar in tea while water is hot. Add peaches. Let cool.

Add vodka and rum. Top with ice cubes and serve


Earl Grey Infused Gin

This Earl Grey infused gin cocktail recipe from The Framed Table makes a sophisticated and distinguished beverage.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz simple syrup*
  • 1.5 oz lemon juice
  • 3 oz Earl Grey infused gin**
  • ice
  • club soda

Instructions

  1. In a glass, combine simple syrup, lemon juice and infused gin. Stir.
  2. Add ice and top off the glass with club soda. Stir again.

*To make simple syrup, boil 1 cup water. Stir in 1 cup sugar. Let cool

**To make Earl Grey infused gin, add 2 tbsp loose leaf Organic Earl Grey tea to 8oz Gin and it let set for 2 hours covered at room temperature. Strain for later use.


Smoky Iced Tea and Whiskey

This cockail recipe from Seriouseats.comhas an intriguing smoky finish that compliments the rye whiskey. A little lemon juice brightens things up.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces brewed Organic Lapsang Souchong tea, chilled.
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • 1 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur.
  • 1 ounce rye whiskey.
  • Dash Angostura bitters.
  • Garnish: Lemon twist.

Instructions:

Brew 1 tsp. loose leaf Lapsang Souchong in 1 cup water. Set aside 2 oz for the cocktail.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine tea, lemon, ginger liqueur, whisky, and bitters. Shake 12 seconds.

Strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon twist and serve.

Peach Tea Cocktail Recipe

These sweet peach tea cocktails are a great summer indulgence. A little vodka and rum give this an adult twist. Variation of Spicyicecream.com.au recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 heaped tablespoons Sunshine Peach Tea
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 ripe peaches, cut into eighths.
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz spiced rum
  • Ice

Instructions:

Brew a tea concentrate using 3 tbs Sunshine Peach Tea in 3/4 cup water

Dissolve sugar in tea while water is hot. Add peaches. Let cool.

Add vodka and rum. Top with ice cubes and serve

Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktail Recipe

Here’s a straightforward, refreshing bourbon cocktail recipe from Joythebaker.com. Try this after a long day in the sun to unwind.

This recipe uses Organic Nilgiri Black tea, a crisp, clean black tea that doesn’t cloud up when iced.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 6 tsp. Organic Nilgiri Black tea
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup (honey will do too)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup bourbon (depending on how strong you want your cocktail)
  • 4 to 6 sliced orange rounds
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint
  • Ice

Instructions

Using the hot brew method, or cold brew method, prepare 6 cups of Organic Nilgiri black tea

Muddle orange slices and mint in a medium bowl with bourbon.

Pour the muddled mixture into an Iced Tea Pitcher with the black tea. Strain, if desired, and serve

Natural Liquid Smoke Substitute: Lapsang Souchong

Lapsang Souchong in Food

Lapsang Souchong might just belong in your spice cabinet more than your tea pantry. If you’ve ever brewed a pot of Lapsang Souchong, you are familiar with the heady campfire aroma.

This rich, smoky black tea is not only a tasty tea, it’s great for adding depth and smoky notes to meats and soups. It adds a savory quality to mushrooms and tofu, and extra pizzazz to hummus and dips. Next time your recipe calls for liquid smoke, reach for Organic Lapsang Souchong instead. It’s a lot better for you!

Hot Tea Concentrate

One way to incorporate Lapsang Souchong into your foods is to brew a hot tea concentrate. Try brewing 1-2 heaping teaspoon tea per half cup water for 5 minutes. Add this “liquid smoke” to your soups and stews. Experiment to see how much smoke you like

Dry Rub/Powder

If you have a spice grinder, try pulverizing the tea leaves into a powder. Store it in a spice jar and add a few teaspoons to anything that could use a little smoke and savory boost.

  • Makes a great rub on meats, or ground into burgers.
  • Add a few teaspoons to soups and stews.
  • Add to dips and hummus
  • Add it to marinades for tofu and mushrooms

Check out our Organic Lapsang Souchong Here

How To Make Organic Kombucha

how to make organic kombucha from home

Kombucha is a popular fizzy tea beverage that makes a great soda substitute. It’s full of antioxidants and probiotics, making it a great healthy beverage to enjoy every day.

If you buy kombucha from the grocery store, you may find it burning a hole through your wallet. Try making kombucha at home to save a lot of money and add just the right amount of flavor you enjoy.

Supplies:

  • 1 Gallon Glass Jar
  • 4 Mason Jars, 1 Quart
  • 8 Cup Capacity Measuring Cup
  • 2 Cup Capacity Measuring Cup
  • Fine Mesh Sieve
  • Kitchen Towel
  • Large Rubber Band
  • Kitchen Thermometer

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C Organic Loose Leaf Tea: Dragonwell for depth, Japanese Sencha for light, grassy flavor, or a Jade Oolong for complexity.
  • 1 C White Sugar
  • 4. Tsp. Spirulina, or other flavoring
  • 1 SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). Need a SCOBY? Check out Kombucha Brooklyn.
  • 2 C Kombucha (for starter)

Instructions

  1. Bring 1 gallon (16 C) water to 195° F
  2. Add 1/2 C organic loose leaf tea to 8 cup measuring cup.
  3. Pour 8 cups of 195° F water over tea leaves. Steep 3 minutes
  4. While tea is steeping, pour 1 C sugar in 1 gallon glass jar.
  5. After 3 minutes, place fine mesh sieve over 1 gallon glass jar. Pour steeped tea in glass jar. Keep tea leaves in 8 C measuring cup
  6. Pour another 8 C water into measuring cup with tea leaves. Steep for 5 minutes
  7. Pour second steeping into gallon jar. Let cool to room temperature.
  8. Once tea is cooled, add SCOBY and 2 C kombucha starter
  9. Secure cloth over jar to protect from fruit flies. Secure with rubber band
  10. Mark date on jar. After 7-10 days, remove SCOBY from jar.
  11. Set aside 2 C of kombucha for your next batch. You can brew another 16 C tea at this point to get your next batch started. Simply start from step 1 to get your next batch going. Or continue on to finish your current batch:
  12. Strain the rest of your kombucha through mesh sieve over 8 C measuring cup.
  13. Prepare mason jars by placing 1 tsp of spiraling in each jar, or whatever flavoring you prefer.
  14. Transfer strained kombucha to quart mason jars. Mark date on jars. Let sit, sealed, at room temperature for 3 days. This allows carbonation
  15. After 3 days, refrigerate. Serve at your leisure!

Irish Tea Party – Green Tea Cocktail

Irish Tea Party Cocktail Recipe

Celebrate your St. Patrick’s Day with this refreshing green tea cocktail. All you need is some green tea, Jameson Irish whiskey, and an Absinthe rinse.

Recipe:

  • 4 parts gunpowder green tea, sweetened and chilled
  • 1 part Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 part Absinthe
  • Lime slice for garnish

Preparation:

  • Rinse glass with Pernod Absinthe.
  • Add ice.
  • Pour Jameson over the ice.
  • Add Green tea and garnish with a lime slice.

Pairing Food with Tea

Tea, Food Paring: what teas go well with meals

Beer, wine, and coffee are common companions to many meals. However, tea is a great tasting and healthy alternative. Plus there are many options, from a light flavored white tea, to a full bodied and robust Assam tea. Here is a guideline for what teas go well with different type of foods.

White Tea

White tea is very smooth and delicate. It’s best paired with light flavored foods, such as salads, rice dishes, and lighter dessert items.

Green Tea

Green tea has a vegetative, grassy smoothness and a medium body. It’s well suited for subtly flavored foods such as seafood, rice, and chicken.

A more robust Pinhead Gunpowder green tea pairs well with Asian or Middle Eastern foods. A cool refreshing Moroccan Mint tea does wonders for digestion.

Oolong Tea

A popular tea served in Chinese restaurants, oolong tea goes well with many foods. A greener Jade Oolong will go well with chicken, seafood, and fruits. A toastier Wu Yi Oolong will hold up well to heavier dishes such as grilled meats and duck.

Black Tea

Another versatile beverage, black tea goes well with a wide range of foods. A lighter bodied Second-Flus Darjeeling goes well with salads, seafood, and chicken. A fuller bodied Keemun or Yunnan goes well with Chinese foods; spicy Mexican, Italian, or Indian dishes. While robust Assam teas and breakfast teas go well hearty foods, breakfast items, and decadent desserts.

Try a pine smoked Lapsang Souchong or Russian Caravan for barbeque food or smoked salmon; anything that can benefit from a smoky finish.

Chai

A traditional Indian beverage with spices, chai is great for hearty dishes and dessert items. With milk and sugar, chai is a warming, filling beverage that is a meal all its own.

Pu-Erh

Pu-erh is great for large meals. This fermented tea is exceptionally smooth and full-bodied, and has been used for centuries in China as a digestive aid. It has a number of compounds that cut grease and limit fat absorption. Serve this after a large meal, or with oily foods and red meats.

Herbal Teas

For late meals or for those with caffeine sensitivity, a nice herbal tea might be ideal. An herbal peppermint tea soothes the stomach. A sweet and full-bodied rooibos blend goes well with desserts. Try a Cranberry Apple tisane to pair with desserts, or maybe a Chamomile Lavender tisane to wrap up the evening.