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Tea Recipes

Tea Infusions: What Are They and How to Make Them

December 21, 2021

Let’s talk about infusions. You may see infusions while shopping at your local grocery store next to all of your favorite teas. But, what exactly is an infusion? And what is the difference between tea and infusion? In simple terms, tea is the drink obtained by steeping camellia sinensis (tea leaves) in water. An infusion is the generic name of the method, which involves soaking any leaves or herbs in hot water. You may be saying, well isn’t that the same thing? Well, sort of. The main difference is that infusions are not limited to just the camellia sinensis plant. Infusions can be any herbal substance that go into hot water to create the drink. For example, you can mix black tea, black licorice root, dried elder flower and peppermint leaf to create a cold busting drink during cold season. Infusions are also steeped for longer periods of time and use larger quantities of herb. Then main purpose of this is to create a drink that is higher in vitamins and minerals. For example, a cup of nettle tea has 5-10 mg. of calcium, while a cup of nettle infusion can contain up to 500 mg. of calcium!

How To Brew Your Infusion

What should you brew your infusion in? Is a tea ball good to use? Can I use my everyday tea mug? While you are able to use those, the best vessels to make your infusion in are a French press or a quart-sized mason jar. Both of these work great and give your herb blend space to move around and release all their healing compounds! Just fill your jar or French press with an adequate amount of herbs (about 1/4 cup of herbs and/or tea blend) and then cover with boiling water. Make sure to cover your container tightly.

Infusion Recipes

There is an endless amount of infusion recipes you can make. For example, you can mix chamomile, lavender and lemon bomb leaves for a good nights rest, ginger and licorice for an upset stomach, and so many more! Here are a few tea infusion recipes courtesy of Mother Earth News:

High-C Tonic Tea Recipe

Who couldn’t use more vitamin C this time of year? This is a wonderfully refreshing blend filled with vitamin-C (and great for children, too!)

Ingredients:

4 parts rose hips
3 parts hibiscus
2 parts lemongrass
1 part cinnamon chips

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. To make a tea, prepare as an infusion.

Berry Good Tea Recipe

When you are in need of a boost during the cold and flu season, this is the perfect drink to do so!

Ingredients:

2 parts elderberries
2 parts dried hawthorn berries
2 parts lycium berries
1 part huckleberries or bilberries
1 part raspberry leaf
Honey (optional)

Instructions:

Mix together all of the ingredients. Brew as an infusion, using 1 tablespoon of the herb mixture per cup of water, and steeping for 30 to 60 minutes. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink 1 cup daily.

Pick-Me-Up Tea Recipe

Has the clock struck 3:00 pm on a Monday and you are looking for a pick me up that isn’t a coffee? Try this recipe!

Ingredients:

2 parts hawthorn berry, leaf and/or flower
2 parts nettle
1 part ginkgo
1 part licorice
1/4 part cinnamon
1/4 part ginger

Instructions:

Prepare as an infusion, using 1 ounce of herb mixture per quart of water, and allowing it to steep for 45 minutes or longer.

Herbal infusions pack a powerful punch, and offer many medicinal benefits for your overall health. They are definitely worth adding to your tea drinking routine. Let us know if you try any of these or if you come up with one on your own!

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @theteakitchen 

Tea History & Culture

The Rich History of Chai Tea

December 7, 2021

This delightful, steaming cup of tea that everyone loves, is full of rich history that dates back over 5,000 years. Chai tea contains Assam black tea, as well as a mixture of aromatic spices, which was passed down through many generations and is now many customers’ favorite tea! In this article, we’ll be exploring the history of chai, and what’s inside each steaming cup.

What is Chai Tea?

Chai is a Hindi word that means “tea.” Although the origin of masala chai remains a mystery, the original chai tea comes from South Asia. The Assam region in India is where the origins of chai tea are found. Native tea plants were commonly used by South Asians in ancient times as forms of herbal medicine. They also appeared to be able to treat simple illnesses such as the common cold. Chai tea has been loved throughout the centuries due to its many health benefits. 

Traditional chai spices are black tea mixed with cinnamon, star anise, and cardamom. However, chai recipes vary from one household to another and from region to region, as they were passed down through many different generations. The modern chai latte is made by steeping Assam black tea leaves in boiled whole milk.

In the early 1700s, chai tea cultures had spread all the way from East Asia and Western Europe. The British East India Company began cultivating the crop in British India in the 1830s.

India was overwhelmed with the beginning introduction of morning chai. A lot of the Indians now drink at least two to three cups daily at the very minimum. Traditional chai tea was introduced to the world around the 1900s. It later quickly became a popular drink. 

What’s Inside a Cup of Chai?

Traditional chai drinks can be made in many different places, so there is no single recipe that defines chai. These are the main ingredients that chai contains.

Tea: Most popular chai bases are the Darjeeling and Assam black tea from India. You can also make chai with different types of green teas such as the South American herb Yerba Mate and the South African herbal red rooibos ingredients. There are also herbal blends that contain no tea leaves and are made entirely from herbs.

Sweetener: While honey, brown sugar, and white sugar are the most common chai sweeteners for maintaining sweetness, other sugars such as demerara or turbinado can also be used when making chai. Jaggery is an unrefined sugar from cane that is used in India and is almost always used when producing chai. 

Milk: Buffalo milk is popular milk used in India when making chai. The modern-day version of chai is more commonly made with alternative dairy products like soy milk, coconut milk, almond, and rice. To have the best tasting chai possible it may be necessary to steep strong chai in water and add some milk to it. You will find many recipes telling you to simmer the spices with a mixture of milk and water or to even use all milk when doing so.

Spices: Spices such as chai (also known as masala) can vary depending on where they are originating and the cultural preferences. Cardamom, ginger, and cloves were the most common chai spices, and they were all easily available in India to be used in the production of chai. Traditional recipes may include vanilla, nutmeg, and star anise. Bay leaf, allspice, and cacao became increasingly popular as chai moved west. In some recipes, cumin and coriander may also be a selection of ingredients to be used.

Chai tasting

There are many chai recipes, so the beverage can be made in many different ways depending on what ingredients are used. Chai with a lot of ginger and black peppercorns may have a fiery taste. Other chai that contains more vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg might leave behind a lasting sweeter taste on your palate. Some chai teas may have a bitter earthiness from cacao or saffron. Other times, fennel and cumin could have a more savory flavor.

Many chai teas are made differently based on the culture in which you are purchasing, and it is helpful to know and understand the different varieties and rich cultural history of chai tea. These teas are made all over the world.

Interested in brewing your own steaming cup?

Tea Recipes

Tea Infused Cocktails to Impress Everyone This Holiday Season

November 23, 2021

What do tea and alcohol have in common? They are both in our cocktails this holiday season! It is now that time of the year where the weather is cooling off, the leaves are changing colors and the holidays are right around the corner. We created a list of the best cocktails for this time of year! Whether you need a holiday drink to serve at a party or just want to mix up holiday cocktails at home, we know that something on our list will cheer every tea lover up. Check out our tea inspired cocktails to wow your friends and family this holiday season!

Autumn Chai-Tea-Ni Martini 

Courtesy of The Happy Housie

Smooth. Creamy. A tad bit of spice. This Chai tea based cocktail is sure to warm you up this season!

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Vodka (preferably Vanilla)
  • 1 oz Light Cream (or milk of choice)
  • 2 oz Chai Tea (chilled)
  • Additional:
  • Cinnamon for the rim or top
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Measure the vodka, light cream, and chai tea mix into a martini shaker with ice. Shake lightly until blended and pour into a Martini glass that has been rimmed with cinnamon. Add some whipped cream or a light dusting of cinnamon on top and enjoy this incredibly delicious drink!

Spiced Pear Burbon Iced Tea

This fall cocktail made with spiced pear, bourbon, and aromatic chai tea is exactly what you need for any fall gathering. We like it over ice, but it would be great hot, too!

Ingredients
Pear Simple Syrup

  • 1 pear sliced
  • ½ cup sugar

Cocktail Mix

  • 12 oz chai tea brewed
  • 5 oz pear simple syrup
  • 4 oz bourbon


In a small pot, bring ½ cup of water, sliced pear and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature. Strain out fruit and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Combine chai tea, 5 oz simple syrup, and bourbon in a cocktail shaker and shake to combine. Pour over ice split between 2 glasses and enjoy!

Apple Cider Hot Toddy

Courtesy of Cookie + Kate

This apple cider hot toddy recipe is light and warming, perfect for the holidays. The quality of ingredients goes a long way here, so be sure to use real, unfiltered apple cider (it should be murky). Locally produced cider tends to be fresher and contain fewer (if any) additives. Spiced cider is good, too!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 green tea or black tea
  • 1 ½ ounces rye whiskey or bourbon
  • 1 ounce real apple cider
  • ½ small lemon
  • Suggested garnishes: thin, round slices of lemon, a cinnamon stick, and star anise

Bring the water to a simmer and carefully pour it over the tea bag into a standard-sized mug, leaving about an inch of room in your mug for the whiskey and cider. Let the tea steep for a few minutes, then discard the bag so the tea doesn’t get bitter.
Pour in the whiskey or bourbon and a hefty splash of apple cider (adjust these amounts to suit your tastes). Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and garnish with lemon slices, a cinnamon stick and a star anise. Sip up!

Other recipes use a lot more apple cider, which makes them overwhelmingly sweet. This drink isn’t so heavy that it’ll spoil your appetite for mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Cheers!

The Harvest Orchard

Courtesy of Kitchen Konfidence

Vodka, apple brandy, pear juice and chilled black tea are shaken together until well-chilled.  Simple syrup is added for sweetness while a flurry of lemon zest on top provides citrusy aromatics.  This pear-forward drink is smooth, sweet and can be prepared in bulk for a crowd!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce apple brandy
  • 2 1/2 ounces pear juice
  • 2 1/2 ounces chilled black tea
  • 1 ounce simple syrup

Add vodka, apple brandy, pear juice, black tea and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Cap and shake until well-chilled. Strain into 2 copper mugs filled with crushed ice. Top with grated lemon zest.

Chai Apple Cider Slush

Courtesy of Kitchen Konfidence

This Chai Apple Cider Slushie requires a bit of preparation (frozen cider cubes) so make sure to start this one the night before! For this drink, apple cider is frozen into ice cubes, then blended with apple brandy, ginger beer, lemon juice and cold, spiced chai tea.  You can make a lot of apple cider cubes in advance, and then just blend up a big batch once your are ready to serve!

Ingredients

  • 18 ounces apple cider, frozen in ice cube trays
  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce apple brandy
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • 3 ounces chilled chai tea
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Cinnamon sticks, to garnish

Combine apple cider cubes, vodka, apple brandy, ginger beer and chai tea in a blender, and blend to a slushie consistency. Pour into short glasses and garnish with cinnamon sticks.



Let us know if you tried any of these cocktails by tagging us and the above creators above or by commenting below! We hope you enjoy them all and have a wonderful holiday season!

Tea History & Culture

Pinky’s Up or Down? Tea Etiquette 101

November 16, 2021

Etiquette, in simpler words, is defined as good behavior which distinguishes human beings from animals. Etiquette refers to behaving in a socially responsible way.  From dipping you scone in your teacup to who pours the tea, we are diving in and discussing it all. In order to discuss proper tea etiquette, it must be understood that there are two different types of tea traditions: Afternoon Tea and High Tea. Afternoon Tea and High Tea are often mistaken for one another because many people don’t know that they are completely different meals. In traditional British tea ceremonies, afternoon tea was understood as tea that is meant for the upper class whereas high tea was meant for the lower class. Nowadays, we distinguish the two by the times in which they are served and the food dishes that accompany the tea.

Afternoon Tea

As we know it today, afternoon tea is traditionally served between 3 and 5pm. English afternoon teatime usually falls at 4pm, but in the US it is sometimes served as early as 2pm. Afternoon Tea can be credited by Anna Maria Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. In 1840 during Anna’s reign as Duchess, she would become hungry in the mid-afternoon which is when her staff would serve her tea and light sandwiches to keep her full until dinnertime. This habit became a tea tradition in the United Kingdom and has since become a fashionable social event.

Afternoon tea has also been referred to as “low tea” because of the table setting at a low table, in contrast to high tea which is served at higher tables. It was a time meant for the upper class to enjoy tea paired with a lite bite to fill the gap between lunchtime and dinnertime. Some of the lite bites served at afternoon tea include bite-sized sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and delicate pastries. It is important to note that food should be eaten in order of savory to sweet; no dunking your scone into your tea cup!

High Tea

High tea is offered in the early evening. Although high tea includes a more substantive fare when it comes to food, it is less fancy than afternoon tea as it was originally intended for people of the middle or lower classes. High tea is served at a dining table or high counter at the end of the workday. When the tea traditions were first started, afternoon tea was meant for the rich to enjoy while they go about their afternoon waiting for dinnertime. Afternoon tea was not an option to the working class as they were still working at that time and could not afford to spend several hours sipping tea during the workday. High tea is when the working class was expected to enjoy their tea as it was after the work day.

As mentioned earlier, high tea’s food menu was much more substantive than afternoon tea. Some items include: steak, kidney pie, pickled salmon, crumpets and potato to name a few. The reason that high tea was heartier was because this was essentially dinner for the people of the lower class. Whereas afternoon tea was just to hold people of the upper class over until their dinner which was usually around 8 pm.

Tea Etiquette

When attending afternoon tea and high tea, it is important to follow the dress code for afternoon tea and arrive in “smart casual” fashion. Your outfit should be neat and appropriate. For women this may include an appropriate length dress with a sweater or light jacket. For men, proper attire can include pants and a collared shirt. Clothing items that are not appropriate for afternoon tea include t-shirts shorts, or any type of athleisure. It is also not appropriate to wear anything that may be too revealing such as lowcut shirts and skin-tight dresses. The attire for afternoon tea should be a simple “smart casual” outfit similar to what some may wear to church.

Proper manners are also expected when attending both tea ceremonies. Proper manners include sipping your tea quietly, holding the teacup by the handle, and having your pinkie fingers down (yes, you read that right. Pinky’s are meant to be down!) Another expected rule includes keeping electronic devices away. There are also rules in place when it comes to tea and food.

The entire tea set should remain together. If someone asks for tea then the entire set should be passed to them. The saucer remains on the table and is not meant to be picked up while enjoying a cup of tea unless standing or sitting without a table. When adding anything to your tea, milk is expected to be added first. Do not over stir your tea. As previously noted, the order in which you eat your food is also important. Savory foods including bite-sized sandwiches should be consumed first, followed by scones, and saving the sweets for last. Food must be eaten with your hands, and a scone should be broken into smaller pieces before indulging. The handle of your teacup should be pointed a 3 o’clock if right handed and 9 o’clock if left handed.

What to serve

Food differs when attending afternoon or high tea. Afternoon tea can expect light food bites such as mini sandwiches, scones, and mini desserts. High tea requires silverware to eat the food and typically includes some sort of meat dish. Just as there are certain foods served during afternoon tea, there are certain teas served as well. Teas served during afternoon tea include Earl Grey, and other variations of black teas such as Assam and Darjeeling which can be found on our online collection of loose leaf teas. Our earl grey tea is perfect to serve at afternoon tea as it offers a light taste of delicately blended large leaf black tea and Bergamot oil. Although it is less traditional, herbal teas may also be offered during afternoon tea. Stronger teas are served during High Tea to compliment the heartier meal. This may include a black tea such as the Blackcurrant black tea listed on our online collection of black teas.

While many use the terms afternoon tea and high tea interchangeably, it is important to know and understand the differences between the tea. Tea rooms are found all across the world and may differ in traditions. Read our post on Tea Rooms to Add to Your Bucket List to find a place near you today.

Tea Health Benefits

Energizing Teas to Help Start Your Morning Off On The Right Foot

July 19, 2021

There is nothing better than starting your morning off with a little bit of caffeine to kick off your day. While many look to coffee for their caffeine kick of the day, we recommend tea to give you that extra boost of energy in the morning. The caffeine found in tea differs from the caffeine found in coffee as it delivers longer energy boosts and fewer adverse side effects. Tea offers a more focused and sustained amount of energy levels without that dreadful caffeine crash often experienced with coffee. While coffee can cause jittery feelings, drinking tea can reduce your stress level while also making you feel more alert. 

Caffeine is one of the main sources of energy that is found in many teas. Not only does it boost your energy, but it also promotes focus and calmness. There are different amounts of caffeine found in different teas. The antioxidant properties and compounds found in tea allow for energy-boosting and other health benefits which is far more than coffee can say. This is primarily due to the presence of L-Theanine, a compound found in tea that promotes these side effects. L-Theanine is a unique amino acid that is commonly associated with brain function and its effects on the central nervous system. Similar to caffeine, different types of teas contain different amounts of l-theanine. L-Theanine works in conjunction with caffeine to provide improved brain function.

So, take the alternate route and get your caffeine intake from tea with these 4 energizing teas to help kick off your morning.

Green Tea (nutritional benefits + caffeine)

Although Green Tea contains less caffeine than coffee, it still has enough to provide a more stable energy supply. Recent studies have shown that consuming a glass of green tea every day can significantly boost your endurance and energy. Aside from green tea acts as an energy booster, it also can help lower blood pressure levels, repair damaged skin, and provide your body with other healthy nutrients to supplement a healthy lifestyle. Drinking green tea can result in mental alertness without the caffeine crash associated with other energy drinks. Green Tea also is known to contain small amounts of vitamin C which is another compound linked to energy boosting.

One type of Green Tea that is a big caffeine boost that is loaded with catechizes & polyphenols is Matcha. A single serving of Matcha can boost your alertness for an entire day, whereas coffee is typically absorbed in just 30 minutes. This is due to the high concentration of antioxidants and amino acids found in Matcha. L-theanine works with caffeine to absorb caffeine over time which equates to a prolonged effect of alertness. It also means that you do not face the harsh side effects commonly associated with caffeine. Our Green Tea Collection is full of teas that can provide you with all of the side effects listed above, try it today.

Black Tea (bold & comparable to coffee)

Black Tea is another tea drink that is high in caffeine, in fact, it may contain the highest amount of caffeine when compared to others. It is low-calorie and packed with antioxidants. Not only can Black Tea assist in promoting alertness, but it also can improve your gut health, reduce blood sugar levels, and lower your risk of heart disease. According to the FDA, certain blends of black tea may contain up to 90 milligrams of caffeine in a single 8-oz serving. This is due to the long fermentation process associated with the preparation of black tea leaves. Though 90 milligrams may be only half of the amount of caffeine found in coffee, it also means that there is less risk for caffeine crashes or jittery feelings. We recommend checking out our collection of Black Teas to experience the effects it has on your energy levels.

White tea (less aggressive)

White tea provides the most subtle effect of caffeine as it contains a high number of antioxidants but a lesser amount of caffeine. Some of the other impressive benefits associated with white tea include acting as an aid in weight loss, benefitting your dental health, and combatting skin aging. White tea provides you with an alternate approach to caffeine intake as it has a gentler effect. Because white tea leaves go through less processing, we do not see a higher level of caffeine present in it. Our White Peony Tea is a great way to get your subtle dose of caffeine.

If you are looking for a caffeine boost of energy but don’t want to experience the uncertainty of adverse effects found in coffee, try tea. Among the many other health benefits, tea takes a more practical approach to boost your energy and prolonging your alertness throughout the day. Tea is guaranteed to give you a subtle mental boost and can assist in improving your health in many other ways.

Tea Health Benefits

Black Tea May Fight Flu

September 7, 2017

As the fall approaches, so does flu season. But this year, you may have an extra defense against the flu: black tea.

Black Tea

Black Tea | A Girl With Tea at Flickr CC BY 2.0

According to researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, the flavonoids in black tea (and red wine and blueberries) may work with a microbe in your intestines to better fight the flu and other infections.

Vocab refresher: a flavonoid is a group of plant-derived compounds that are also antioxidants. Tea has many.

The researchers at Washington University found that certain microbes in the gut can work with flavonoids to unleash a strong immune response to the flu—in mice at least.

“We were able to identify at least one type of bacteria that uses [flavonoids] to boost interferon, a signaling molecule that aids the immune response,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Thaddeus Stappenbeck, a Conan Professor of Pathology & Immunology. “This prevented influenza-related lung damage in the mice,” he added, which can result in life-threatening complications like pneumonia.

While the researchers focused on mice, they did find a gut microbe in humans that they think will help people in the same way that it helps mice:

The microbe, Clostridium orbiscindens, interacts with flavonoids to create a metabolite that signals the immune system to beef things up. The metabolite is called desaminotyrosine, aka DAT.
The researchers found that mice who had both DAT and the flu experienced much less lung damage than mice with the flu who did not have DAT.

As the researchers put it, “Without DAT, influenza virus causes inflammation and severe disease.”

Conclusion: DAT helps fight the flu. And since humans can get DAT from things like black tea, they can experience the same flu-fighting properties as mice.

While the flavonoids in black tea are not going to prevent the flu, they can help your immune system fight off a serious complication. So this fall, in addition to getting a flu shot, stock your pantry with black tea!

 

Tea Health Benefits

Why You Should Start Drinking Tea Now

May 22, 2017

The ceremony of tea evokes a grey-haired British grandmother with Victorian fine silver teapots; porcelain cups hand-painted with violets; Emily Post place settings on rustic William and Mary style antique chestnut dining tables; doilies on every available surface; dusty heirlooms and curio cabinets – you get the picture. And, certainly, the British have owned the domain of tea—originally discovered by China—since the 1600s and the advent of the East India Company.

And yet tea is not just for elderly grandmothers or the British. The beverage appeals to all generations and cultures. What’s more, the beverage provides certain health benefits as we age. These can only be fully taken advantage of by creating your tea drinking habit sooner rather than later. Here’s our guide to getting the most from your tea. The fountain of youth may very well be flowing with tea.

Detoxification

In the article, “Anti-Aging Research Brief” published by the Academy of Anti-Aging, tea is brimming with antioxidant polyphenols called catechins, flavonols, theaflavins and thearubigins. Antioxidants ultimately help prevent cancerous cells from forming, repair damage to cells and to protect blood vessel walls from free radicals. The article cites a study from King’s College in London that compared a group of black tea drinkers with a group of coffee drinkers. Scientists studied the health of both groups after one year, and found “that the tea drinkers’ risk of a heart attack approached half of the non-tea drinkers.” The scientists speculated “that tea’s beneficial cardio effects are due to the beverage’s large amounts of flavonoids.”

So what teas contain the highest levels of antioxidants? Many brands you can purchase at large chain grocery stores contain high levels of antioxidants, including Celestial Seasonings Green Tea, with 217 milligrams (mg) of antioxidants, Lipton Green Tea (201 mg), Bigelow Darjeeling Blend (164 mg). Surprisingly, a few brands of popular teas have absolutely no antioxidant content, including Lipton Lemon Iced Tea and Snapple Peach Iced Tea.

Prevent Cancer

Studies have shown that caffeine and consuming two cups of coffee can “harden a person’s arteries for several hours afterwards. This puts extra pressure on the heart, thus increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.” Further, “it is evident today that many of our cancers are related to a dominance of estrogen. In a world flooded with estrogen and estrogen-like compounds, it is important for our bodies to have as low of an estrogen load as possible.” So drinking more than two cups of coffee can increase estrogen and lead to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Reducing caffeine is integral to cancer prevention, and replacing coffee with tea can easily half caffeine consumption and decrease the risk of cancer.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Teas, especially the variety of green tea known as matcha, can help regulate blood sugar. Matcha is actually powdered green tea leaves prepared with boiled water and a bamboo whisk, and is known to stabilize metabolism for those with hypo- or hyperglycemic maladies. Taking an active role in regulating blood sugar at a younger age can help prevent complications down the road.

Weight Loss

An ingredient in matcha tea, EGCG, boosts metabolism. While matcha has a high level of caffeine and may contribute to higher estrogen levels, which will help you burn fat and lose weight.

Tea Guides

Brew Buds: Beer & Tea

March 23, 2017

Like the tea industry, the beer market is enjoying a period of extreme creativity.  Like tea drinkers, beer drinkers now expect a wide array of flavors that reflect a mixture of ethnic backgrounds, flavor profiles, and aromas. Both tea and craft beer consumption have been on the rise in recent years, so it only makes sense that brewers would put them together with inventive tea-beer hybrids.  Here are a few beers infused with tea that we think are worth toasting:

1) Yogi Beer

Yogi Beer Glasses

This beer from Texas-based Rogness Brewing Company counts black tea among its ingredients, joining cinnamon, clove, ginger, cardamom, and black pepper to create an exotic, spicy, and bitter mix of flavors. The 5.2% ABV (Alcohol By Volume) beer comes in 22-ounce bottles or can be served on draught. Rogness suggests pairing this beer with “bold” Asian dishes such as curry and tandoori chicken. This Indian-inspired beverage also boasts notes of caramel, and judging by the name, we think it’s a great post-yoga treat.

2) Chamomile Wheat Beer

Beaver Brewing Company Logo

This beer from Beaver Brewing Company blends the calming power and lovely scent of chamomile flowers with cracked and torrified wheat, malt, fuggle, and hallertau hops to create a distinctive beer with 4.2% ABV. Made in a nanobrewery in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, each beer is crafted by hand in a 1.5 barrel system. You can try out this herbal tea-infused beer onsite at the brewery’s restaurant/brewpub in Pennsylvania, or email dan@beaverbrewingcompany.com to order your own batch of the artisan beverage.

3) Sah’tea

Dogfish Sah'tea

This beer from Dogfish puts a tea spin on a classic 9th century Finnish beer known as sahti, combining black tea and juniper berries for a modern take on a beverage that Vikings enjoyed centuries ago.   Dogfish promises, “The spicing is subtle and balanced, and Sah’tea is a highly-quaffable, truly unique brew with a full mouthfeel.” The New Yorker’s Burkhard Bilger wrote about Dogfish’s Sah’tea in his article “A Better Brew: The Rise of Extreme Beer,” describing Sah’tea as follows:

“…The tea and spices in it hovered politely in the background, leaving the yeast to run the show. Cloudy and golden, with a lush flowering of bananas and cloves, it tasted like something a trader might have sipped a century ago, standing in a colonial market in Ceylon, with open baskets of tea and spices all around. It wasn’t an extreme beer by any stretch, and it certainly didn’t taste Finnish. But it was a time capsule nonetheless.”

Try it for yourself and see if you agree!

4) Kombucha Beer

Kombucha Beer

On-trend kombucha gets in on over-21 fun with this collection of kombucha-based Triple Goodness beers from United Vibration. Organic, gluten-free, and vegan, each beer is raw and contains 30-day brewed Kombucha. Flavors include: Raspberry, Ginger, Bourbon Peach, and K.P.A (Kombucha Pale Ale).

5) Par-Tea Pale Ale

Par-Tea Pale Ale Prism Brewing Company

Prism Beer Company wanted to create a pale ale that was “approachable” and “not to bitter,” and turned to whole leaf Orange Peko tea to achieve the combination. With a modest 5.5% ABV, this Par-Tea Pale Ale is a flavorful alternative to a standard pale ale. Prism recommends combining this beer with lemonade for an extra sweet refreshment.

Tea History & Culture

Tea Trends for 2017

January 3, 2017

This year, tea’s not just here to stay—it’s poised to rise. According to MarketWatch, the global tea market will grow by 6.88 billion from 14.45 billion at the end of 2016 to 21.33 billion in 2024. Louise Pollock, the President of food, health, and wellness PR firm Pollock Communications, told Beverage Daily, “The beverage category has grown exponentially and tea is set to experience a lot of growth moving into 2017 and 2018.” But what exactly can we expect from the tea industry this year? We noticed a few prominent trends you can look forward to this year:

1) Green Tea

After surveying 1700 registered dieticians, Pollock Communications named green tea one of the Top Ten Superfoods of 2017. As busy Americans look for beverages on the go that are both convenient and healthy, look out for more bottled green teas. In addition to green teas, Pollock Communications expects teas made with whole leaves and natural ingredients to rise, thanks to our increasingly health-conscious population.

2) Matcha 

According to Datassential, matcha grew by 50% in the US from 2010 to 2015, and multiple sources say it will continue to rise in availability and popularity in the coming years. In 2015, just 1% of non-alcoholic beverage menus included matcha, so it’s still in its early stage of consumer awareness and demand, but get ready to watch that number climb. Matcha most commonly appears on menus as a tea or in blended beverages, but it’s also a great ingredient in baking, as we illustrated with White Chocolate Matcha Brownies. So look out for this green powder on dessert menus or in the grocery aisle to make your own tea-infused baked goods.

3) Tea on Tap

Restaurants want to make it easy to deliver you a new, exciting product. FoodBytes says, “Suddenly everything is on tap—wine, cocktails, nitro and cold brew coffee, kombucha, on-tred spirits like amaro.” That’s right: this year we predict you’ll see kombucha and other teas on tap with greater frequency. It’s part of a larger trend you’ll see in 2017: packaging and formatting that makes tea even easier to grab in a restaurant or on the go. From eateries that have self-serving taps at your table to coffee shops, movie theaters, and supermarkets offering exotic bottled teas, 2017 will see more grab ‘n sip options than ever before.

4) More, More, More

Tea trends from the last several years will drive the growth of tea consumption at home, at restaurants, and on the go in 2017. We’ll continue to see teas blending herbs and spices to deliver exotic and flavorful beverages, lesser-known leaves like oolong and rooibos sharing shelf space with black and green teas, tea dishes incorporating on-trend flavors like cateja, tea-infused cocktails, coffee-inspired teas (i.e. a green tea latte or mocha), ingredients like berries and fruit replacing milk and sugar as co-stars in every cup, and the strong performance of iced tea—85% of tea consumption in the USA is iced, per the Tea Association of the United States. These trends are far from over, and we’ll continue to see them grow this year. 

Whatever way you pour it, the teacup is looking half full for 2017!

 

 

Tea Recipes

Tea Mocktails for a Sober New Year’s Eve

December 13, 2016

You don’t need alcohol to have a fun, delicious New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re hosting a sober event or hosting a party where the alcohol’s flowing, it’s important to offer non-alcoholic drinks so that all your guests are comfortable. Creating a signature mocktail is one way to add intrigue to your affair and make it a night to remember for both booze lovers and avoiders.  Here are 5 tea-based mocktails that will knock your socks off and make this New Year’s Eve a hit.

1) Peach Sweet Tea Mocktail

This mocktail from The Chew is a sweet treat that’s perfect for any party. Start by making a black tea simple syrup: Simply heat sugar and water in a saucepan, then add 2 black tea bags. Next, fire up your blender and blend frozen peaches, peach jam, and almond. Set aside while you decorate your glass rims with a combination of crushed almond, lemon, and sugar.  Then pour your simple syrup and blended concoction in the glasses, topping off with soda water.  Peachy keen!

2) Green Tea Apple Mocktail

This recipe from Delicious must be made one day in advance, so plan ahead. Start by brewing green tea. Combine with apple juice and then chill overnight. The next day, add red and green apple slices, mint springs, and sparkling mineral water. Serve over crushed ice and you have a beautiful, fruity mix sure to go down easy.

3) Frosty Coconut Mint Green Tea Mocktail

This gorgeous mocktail from Strength and Sunshine combines the tasty prowess and trend power of green tea and coconut water. Start by putting two mint leaves and a green tea bag in a bottle of coconut water.  Chill the bottle for one hour. Then pour into a blender, add two more mint leaves and ice cubes, and blend away. Stop once the consistency is nice and frosty. Pour into a glass, garnish as desired, and marvel at your green creation.

5) Lipton Tea and Honey Sparkling Sangria Mocktail

A little Lipton goes a long way, as evidenced by this sangria mocktail from Flour on my Face. Pick up a packet of Lipton’s Tea & Honey Iced Green Tea Blackberry Pomegranate mix (try saying that five times fast). Combine with water in a pitcher. Add orange, lemon, and lime wedges, blackberries, and ice to the pitcher. Pour in sparkling grape juice. Then pour into glasses over ice and garnish with lime and mint.  Colorful, delicious, and fruity, this mocktail has all the trappings of an auspicious signature drink.