Traditionally people drank tea not only for the fragrantly great taste but for the naturally great benefits that came with it. But if you think tea is only for drinking, you need to think again! Cooking with tea can enhance the flavor as well as the health benefits of foods, making ordinary meals extra ordinary.
The varieties of tea that can be used, whether green, black, earthy, or spicy are truly endless. The aromas and delicate flavors can help enhance any meal. The trick is to know or to have fun in figuring out which tea best works with what recipe.
You can use brewed tea in place of water in many recipes and you can also use tea leaves directly in your dishes. But before beginning your culinary adventure with tea, a few simple tips need to be kept in
- Cooking with tea is an adventure
- Only cook with teas that you would be willing to drink
- Trust your palate! Make sure the tea smells good and sounds appealing with the type of food you are preparing (soups, salads, meats, pastas etc.)
- Remember, there are thousands of varieties of tea from all over the world, each with their own unique characteristics. Green and white teas tend to be on the mellow side while black tea is strong and full-bodied.
- Take into consideration each teas flavor and aroma when choosing the right tea for your recipe
- Relax, have fun and let your imagination guide you as you experiment with tea or tea leaves for memorably delicious dishes
Now that you are ready to be creative, here are a few tips in helping you get started.
- Replace water with tea
- Infuse milk or other liquid ingredients with tea
- Melt solid ingredients and infuse them with tea and then use then in solid or liquid form (example, chocolate or butter)
- Marinate meats with brewed tea. Remember black teas such as Ceylon and Assam can be used for beef or pork while Sencha and lighter tasting green teas can best be used for chicken and seafood
- Smoke meat with tea leaves
- Infuse tea into broths for soups