New ways to use tea

 Chai ice cream

Much like wine, tea is much more than just a drink, and its culinary uses often go overlooked. Indexed blog Serious Eats praises tea's versatility in the kitchen, noting that its distinctive flavors-- "woodsy and vegetal or ripe and sweet, pleasantly astringent or perfumed" can "add layers to sweet and savory dishes that no other ingredient can touch." The site shows us seven ways we can use tea in our cooking.

One use for tea is in smoothies. Freeze the cubes and add green tea to vegetal smoothies and black tea to more fruit-forward concoctions. The tea's "subtle sweetness and natural astringency add a complex bite to smoothies while keeping the focus solidly on the fruit." A second use includes adding tea to cookies and other baked goods. The EYB Library is chock full of recipes for delectable treats that use tea, like Earl Grey cookies, cakes & icings, other baked goods, and desserts (including the Chai ice cream from Serious Eats pictured above). 

Tea doesn't have to be relegated to the sweet side of the kitchen, however; it works equally well in savory foods. The classic tea-smoked duck technique can be applied to a variety of meats. You can also use tea in a brine like in this Creole-spiced fried chicken from Food & Wine, or in a sauce like these cold noodles in peanut sauce from David Lebovitz.

Cocktails also benefit from tea's herbal and fruity notes. Gin pairs especially well with tea, rounding out the piney notes of the spirit. Give it a whirl in The Leland Palmer Bon Appétit Magazine or in Gunpowder gin punch from Serious Eats.  If you aren't a fan of gin, try the highly rated Rosé, bourbon, and blue from The Grilling Book or the Chivalry from Donna Hay Magazine.

1 Comment

  • sir_ken_g  on  9/5/2015 at 1:24 PM

    One unique way is Burmese Tea Salad. http://www.arborteas.com/burmese-tea-leaf-salad/ One can buy kits that allow you make this http://www.amazon.com/Yuzana-Tea-Leaf-Salad-Mix/dp/B00FY8UCT2/ref=sr_1_5?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1441477365&sr=1-5&keywords=tea+salad

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