Discover the Versatility of Cooking with Tea
Bob and I have been avid tea drinkers for decades. Food is also a passion of mine and in recent years, I have become more confident in my skills and have really enjoyed improvising and experimenting with new flavors and combinations. Bob has always been more comfortable with experimentation and first began exploring cooking with tea. I had dabbled in some Earl Grey teacakes and frostings but not really branched out.
I began reading several tea cookbooks, some old 70’s cooking with Nestea and newer Matcha cookbooks among others. (I collect cookbooks so this is a labor of love for sure😊) I began to appreciate all of the ways that you can incorporate teas into recipes with delicious results.
Its not easy being green
Of course, you can’t open any social media without running into a new Matcha recipe. I think the vibrant color and availability of cheap culinary Matcha in grocery stores have fed the craze. The fact is with all recipes, the quality ingredients great affects the quality of the end product. Garbage in, garbage out. Most grocery store brand matcha have other added ingredients such as rice flour or other fillers. Worst of all they sit on the shelves for months which affects the flavor of the end product.
If you are looking for good Matcha flavor and not just a green product, starting with high quality fresh Organic Matcha from Japan will make a tremendous difference in your results. The color will be brighter and the flavor will be fresh and delicious. Check out our recipe for No Churn Matcha Ice Cream Here. It is great in cookies, cakes and savory recipes as well.
Matcha Mochi is a tasty treat as well as vegan and gluten free. But there are so many teas and so many flavors to explore beyond Matcha.
Life after Matcha
If you enjoy powdered teas, you might consider Organic Houjicha Powder. Unlike Matcha, it has very little caffeine and is roasted so it provides a carmelized nutty flavor that is so comforting. Check out our recipe for Houjicha Latte here.
Matcha and Houjicha are unique because you are consuming the whole tea and not just the infusion. You can add dried teas to your dry ingredients in recipes. We added a dusting of Houjicha powder to a simple bread recipe to create a striking and tasty loaf of bread.
Just make sure you grind the tea (if you are not using powdered teas) before adding to dry ingredients or you may get larger pieces of tea that you are your guests might not enjoy as much. I have added ground Earl Grey or Lavender Earl Grey to simple pound cake or quick bread recipes. They add a lovely flavor and the specks of tea in the loaf are visually appealing as well.
Another options is substituting liquids in recipes with tea or tea infused milk. We love the subtle flavors that are created in our Chaiberry tea bread.
Out of the box and on the fly
Once I became comfortable with improvising, I realized how easy it was to add an interesting twist to recipes. Try soaking dried fruit in brewed Oolong or Darjeeling to rehydrate before adding to your next baking project.
Lapsang Souchong is great for cooking and marinades. We add it to coarse ground Sea Salt to make a smoked salt. This is fabulous as a rub on Meat or Poultry or veggies. (Phenomenal on duck!)
Looking for a quick way to add interest to holiday sugar cookies, try a tea glaze. Simply add a tablespoon of brewed tea to powdered sugar and combine to create a tea flavored glaze. We have done this with Matcha, Chai, or Lavender Haze Grey. If you have it Butterfly Pea Flower added to the Lavender Haze Grey makes a lovely lavender color that just highlights the flavor even more. Colorful and delicious, it really couldn’t’ be easier and the best part is I get to drink the rest of the tea😊!
Check out our recipe section on our website for more ideas! We are adding new tips and tricks all the time. Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment. There are so many flavors to explore!
Paula Stocker is an entrepreneur, foodie and tea lover. She is the owner of Zerama Tea and the Market Master at the Historic City Market in Kansas City. When she isn’t working she is usually drinking tea and exploring delicious ideas with Bob Stocker, co owner of Zerama Tea. Together they cook, explore, travel and you guessed it, drink more tea!