Use Tea as a Culinary Ingredient? Yes you can!
Did You Know You Can Use Tea As A Culinary Ingredient?
Yes you can. Many teas lend themselves to great flavor profile pairings with desserts, meats, seafood and more.
When you use premium loose-leaf teas as a culinary ingredient you not only add delicious flavors to your food creations, you also add the health benefits of ingesting tea.
In my bakery and tearoom, The Confection Cottage, we use tea as a culinary ingredient to flavor icings, cakes, cookies, salads, breads and more.
This may sound unusual, but once you experiment with some recipes you will love adding teas to your cooking experience.
For example, Earl Grey tea is a fantastic flavor added to anything chocolate. Lapsang Souchong tea is great used as a rub on steak or chicken or use the liquor to steam seafood. The smokiness gives the meats a grilled flavor without using the grill. Matcha, a Japanese tea processed into a powder form, is used often in cookies.
These are just a few ideas for using loose-leaf tea as a culinary ingredient. The options are endless and only limited by your creativity.
Tea infused Cocktails are another fairly new use for loose-leaf teas. Use the tea to infuse the flavor into a mixer like gin, vodka, etc. This is a delicious twist on flavors.
The simplest way to begin using tea as a culinary ingredient is to replace the liquid ingredient in your recipes with tea liquor (the beverage you create after steeping your tea). You will want to experiment with the flavor profile by steeping more tea leaves for a stronger flavor.
Here are a few recipes to try:
Lavender Easy Icing
(this is great for dipping cookies like Madeleines)
Confectionery Sugar (amount is determined by how much icing you will need)
Lavender Tea Liquor
Blend Tea Liquor in slowly until you reach the consistency you are looking for. A thicker consistency will stay soft, a thinner consistency will harden.
Earl Grey Gin
Earl Grey is a wonderful flavor profile choice because it’s Bergamot Oil is complementary to the juniper in Gin.
1 Tablespoon loose-Leaf Earl Grey Tea Leaves
1 (1-liter) bottle Gin.
Combine tea leaves and gin in a glass pitcher. Infuse overnight at room temperature. Stir and then strain well. Store in an airtight glass bottle at room temperature or chilled. Use this in your favorite gin-based recipes.
Lapsang Souchong Rubbed Roaster Chicken
Your family will love the smokey flavor this gives to the chicken.
Rub Lapsang Souchong tea leaves directly on to the outside of the chicken. I would suggest about 2 Tablespoons for a 3lb. chicken. The leaves will rehydrate while cooking, infusing the smokey flavor into the chicken. You can experiment with more or less leaves for the flavor you are looking for.
*Bonus: Eating the tea leaves gives you all of the health benefits of tea including the fiber.
For more ways to use Tea as a culinary ingredient, I recommend these cookbooks available at Amazon.