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Tea Recipes

Everything You Need for a Patriotic 4th of Tea-ly

July 1, 2023

With the 4th of July just around the corner and the temperatures reaching the 90’s, we are more ready than ever to celebrate. It’s almost time to gather with your family and friends and start the cook out. America loves to celebrate the 4th of July and we love getting into the red, white and blue theme each year! Since we are lovers of tea, we thought we would spice up your typical 4th of July snacks with some tea infused and tea pairings for the holiday.

Hibiscus Iced Tea

Hibiscus tea is a favorite iced tea among many and seems to be sold everywhere these days. It has a beautiful reddish-deep-pink color to it which fits right into the patriotic theme we strive for during the holiday! 4th of July tends to get pretty hot and a tall glass of this iced tea is sure to quench everyone’s thirst! If you want to add a bit more of the theme to this, add frozen blueberries to the pitcher before serving. Not only will this add color but it will keep the tea colder for longer!

Sweet Tea Jello Shots

These Sweet Tea shots are so cute and would make the perfect addition to any cook out celebration or to pass around at your party.

What you’ll need: 1/2 ounce of loose leaf black tea, 1/2 cup of whisky, 4 cups of boiling water, 1 cup of sugar and 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin.

  1. Start by boiling your water. Once boiling, pour the water into a pitcher, then add your black tea and sugar. Stir well.
  2. Let Tea steep for 20 minutes, and strain tea.   Sprinkle the gelatin envelopes over the tea, and let the gelatin bloom for 15 minutes, until completely dissolved.  Stir well, and add Whiskey.  Stir to combine so that tea and gelatin are well mixed.
  3. Line a baking sheet with your shot cups/glasses. Pour the gelatin mixture into the shot glasses.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Garnish with a lemon wedge, serve, and enjoy!

Iced Tea Popsicles

Is there anything better than a Popsicle on a hot summer day? It’s pretty hard to beat. This iced tea popscile is the perfect treat to have for your Fourth of July! You can get as creative as you want with this recipe and choose whichever tea you want! The recipe below calls for black iced tea but feel free to switch it out for whatever flavor you are feeling that day. These tea popsicles are slightly sweet, infused with lemon and easy to make. You will need popscile molds for these so be sure to order them beforehand! If you are reading this and want to make this the day of, paper cups will work in a pinch!

What you’ll need: 1/2 ounce of black loose leaf tea, 2 cups of cold water (yes, cold!), juice of 1/2 lemon and sugar to taste.

  1. Place the tea and cold water in a bowl and let steep overnight (or for at least 4 hours)
  2. The next day, strain the tea. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar until dissolved. Taste and adjust with a bit more of either or both lemon and sugar to suit your tastes (tip: both flavors will be less apparent when frozen)
  3. Pour the tea into your popsicle molds (or paper cups) and freeze for 1 hour
  4. Let these freeze for at least 3 hours. To release the popsicles from the molds, run the molds under warm water for just the briefest of moments. Then devour!

Charcuterie Board

There is nothing better than a charcuterie board any time of the year. The sweet and salty snacks that fill the board pair perfectly with any tea! To stick with the patriotic theme, try to add as much red white and blue to the board as possible! Here are some ideas for the themed board: raspberries, sausage slices, salami, strawberries, cherries, brie, burrata, gruyere cheeses, blueberries, figs and blackberries.

Cucumber Avocado Tea Sandwiches

Which tea lovers don’t love to snack on finger food? These cucumber avocado sandwiches are so easy to make and incredibly light and refreshing! Inside of these cute sandwiches are:

  • 2 ripe avocados, kept cold in the fridge
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoon fresh chopped dill

For these small sandwiches in particular we suggest using white bread. Although it may not be the healthiest on the shelf, it is that tastiest! To assemble this tasty snack, start by cutting the crust off the bread. Then add your avocado, lemon and salt into a food processor or blender. This will assure that the spread is creamy and smooth! Finely chop your cucumber with a knife and add to the mix. Next, add your mint and dill. Finish by spreading the mixture on to your bread and cutting the bread diagonal twice to create triangles. Plate and enjoy!

Tea Recipes

3 Energy drink recipes with tea

November 15, 2022

Because it has a low to moderate quantity of caffeine, tea might provide you with the boost of energy you require when you are feeling lethargic. Additionally, in comparison to other caffeinated beverages such as coffee and energy drinks, tea is a more beneficial option to consume. People who drink caffeinated tea often report that its effects on their energy levels are different from those of other caffeinated beverages. Instead of the high and subsequent crash that is typically associated with energy-boosting beverages, people who drink caffeinated tea often experience a more sustained energizing effect. This is due, in part, to a special chemical called l-theanine, which is found in tea and is responsible for promoting calmness, relaxation, and concentration. People who are attempting to abstain from caffeine completely may find that the constituents in herbal teas, such as peppermint and ginger, nonetheless provide them with the same stimulating and invigorating effects. You can get a surge of energy from tea, but without the negative consequences that energy drinks might have on your body in the long run. Because tea includes theanine, in addition to naturally invigorating you, the burst of energy you get from the caffeine will be more sustained and less jolting. We’re well aware that by now, you understand the significance of tea when it comes to energy but that’s not what this post is about, it’s about three unique energy drink recipes made with tea to give you that extra boost and also make your day a little bit more interesting.

  1. Peach and Ginger Smoothie

Instead of using water as a base for this smoothie, we decided on a peach green tea.

Why use Green Tea? Well, for starters, it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial benefits. Also, the fact that you can increase energy levels, boost concentration, and even inceease fat burning with green tea, it’s a no brainer given the added taste and health benefits!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup brewed peach green tea cooled
  • 1 cup silk almond milk
  • 1 inch ginger knob peeled and grated
  • 3-4 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 lemon juice only
  • 2-3 drops vanilla extract

Recipe

  • Put all of the ingredients into the blender, and then process them until you get a beverage that is smooth and creamy.
  • Pour the mixture into glass bottles with lids, and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  1. Cherry Lime Energy Drink

This jitter-free energy drink will leave you feeling naturally energized and revitalized. This beverage is stimulating without causing jitters because it is made with cherry rose sencha green tea and does not contain any added sugar. This energy drink consists of only four basic components and has none that are manufactured in a lab.

Cherries with a tart flavor are loaded with vitamin C, which helps the immune system, as well as antioxidants, which aid in the fight against oxidative stress. Cherry polyphenols aid in the maintenance of healthy cells as well as a healthy anti-inflammatory response, making them an excellent choice for promoting muscle recovery following an intense workout.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened tart cherry juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Cherry Rose Sencha Green Tea
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water
  • Ice
  • Lime wheel for garnish
  • Fresh mint for garnish

Recipe

  • To make a refreshing cocktail, fill a tall glass with tart cherry juice, lime juice, and cherry rose sencha green tea. 
  • To dissolve the green tea, stir it. Ice the glass, then fill it with sparkling water, squeeze in some lime juice, and garnish with some fresh mint.
  1. Lime and honey energy drink

A recipe for a revitalizing energy drink with lemon that is high in caffeine and will give you a surge of energy when you don’t feel like drinking coffee. This recipe for a homemade energy drink contains roughly 150 less calories and less than half the sugar of store-bought energy drinks, so it’s a better option for those watching their calorie and sugar intake. The addition of chopped mint to the rim of the glass gives it an extra-refreshing flavor. The leaves of a South American tree are used to make the beverage known as yerba mate tea, which is similar to tea. You can find it in the natural foods area of large supermarkets or in places that specialize in natural foods, along with other types of tea.

Ingredients

  • Yerba Mate loose leaf tea
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey
  • Fresh Mint
  • Iced Cubes

Recipe

  • Place water that is boiling in a measuring cup that can withstand the heat. After adding the yerba mate tea, let the mixture steep for five minutes.
  •  Filter out the tea and discard the loose leaves once you have squeezed any excess liquid out of them into the cup. 
  • Sweetener and lemon juice should be stirred in at this point. After adding six ice cubes, give the drink a good swirl until the ice has melted and it has reached the desired temperature.
  •  If you’d like, you can moisten the edge of your serving glass and then coat it with chopped mint. Pour the drink into the glass after additional ice has been added.

We hope these recipes give you an energy boost and you fall in love with our collection of loose leaf tea. Let us know your favorite in the comments below!

Tea Recipes

3 Simple and Delicious Matcha Recipes You’ll Make Over And Over Again!

November 12, 2022

Matcha is a powder that is manufactured from specially grown green tea and is prepared using a traditional Japanese tea-making technique that dates back to the 12th century. In China and Japan, the process of preparing and drinking matcha, as well as serving and drinking it, is considered ceremonial, and the drink itself has gained popularity all over the world. Matcha has been compared to the protein powder used in the world of tea: Smoothies, baked goods, yogurt, and just about anything else you can think of are all wonderful candidates for its incorporation. You’ve probably heard of matcha, a sort of green tea that is pounded into a fine powder and has a flavor described as having hints of earth, spinach, and umami. You are aware that it is said to be beneficial to your health: It is strong in antioxidants, just like traditional green tea (that is, the leaves-in-a-bag type), but because it is a powder, you wind up swallowing the full leaf, and as a result, more nutrients—at least, that is what many people speculate. But what in the world are you supposed to do with it? Matcha is traditionally consumed by adding water that has been brought to a boil and then whisking the mixture with a bamboo whisk until it becomes frothy. However, that is only the beginning of things to come. Matcha has been compared to the protein powder used in the world of tea: Smoothies, baked goods, yogurt, and just about anything else you can think of are all wonderful candidates for its incorporation. In this collection of recipes, we have included a few of our favorite ways to prepare food with matcha, we hope you enjoy making these recipes as much as we do! 

  1. Matcha White Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

  • Matcha Powder
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 oz white chocolate

Recipe:

  • Sift matcha powder into a double boiler and whisk in 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Add white chocolate and 3 more tablespoons cream. Melt chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring. Remove from heat and cool, stirring periodically, for 15 minutes.
  • Beat remaining heavy cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Fold the leftover whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate 4 small dishes for 2 hours.
  • Serve fresh, add whipped cream, white chocolate shavings, or berries.
  1. Matcha Coated Almonds 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of almonds
  • 60g dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp matcha powder

Recipe:

  • Line a baking tray with baking paper. Set aside.
  • You can melt the dark chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. If you like, you can temper the chocolate.
  • After adding almonds to chocolate that has been melted, give the mixture a good swirl so that the almonds are evenly coated in chocolate.
  • Spread the almonds out on the prepared baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Take special care to maintain the separation of one component from the others.
  • If you are using tempered chocolate, you should let the chocolate set at room temperature. If you are using chocolate that has not been tempered, allow it to harden in the refrigerator.
  • When the chocolate has cooled and hardened, place the almonds in a container that has a lid and sprinkle the matcha powder on top. Put the lid back on the jar and shake it vigorously until each almond is covered in matcha.
  • Voila, you have a perfectly healthy snack filled with matcha goodness. 
  1. Matcha Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

Recipe:

  • In a dish, combine the chia seeds and the non-dairy milk, making sure to break up any clusters of chia seeds that may have formed. In a second bowl, whisk together the matcha powder and the warm water, and mix until smooth.
  • After thoroughly combining the matcha mixture, maple syrup, and vanilla with the chia seed mixture, place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill for at least two and a half to four hours, or for as long as overnight.
  • When you are ready to have your matcha chia seed pudding, I highly recommend garnishing it with some of your favorite fresh fruit, granola, almonds, or a dollop of non-dairy yogurt. Alternatively, you could also try serving it with a spoonful of chia seed pudding.

We have curated some of our favorite recipes with matcha, which are not only healthy but also really simple and easy to make. We’re hoping you get to try them and fall in love as much as we did! Let us know your favorite in the comments below and share it with a loved one. Give them a push to try a healthy but really yummy match recipe…maybe even this weekend?!

Tea Guides Tea Recipes Types of Tea

3 Teas to Enjoy this Fall

November 9, 2022

Even for people who consider themselves to be tea drinkers all year round and sachet connoisseurs, there is something indisputably special about sipping from a steaming mug during the fall and winter months. It’s possible that the evident connection between cold weather and hot drinks is what causes tea to work its magic on us. In addition to this, one of our favorite things about this time of year is the abundance of delicious tins with flavors that are appropriate for the season. The possibilities range from unique interpretations on some of our most beloved holiday sweets to spices and seasonings that perfectly encapsulate the essence of autumn. 

It’s the most delightful time of the year to be merry and bright! Not the winter holidays; it’s autumn! 

The start of cooler weather is something that we here at The Tea Kitchen couldn’t be happier about. Even while we enjoy passing the warm summer days by the lake or on our front porch with a glass of iced tea in hand, there is nothing quite like wrapping yourself in a cozy sweater and wrapping your hands around a mug of your favorite fall-flavored tea as the temperature begins to drop. A cup of a hot drink is an essential accessory for cold weather attire, such as sweaters, blankets, and rainy days. To get the most out of a cup of tea, you should drink it in the fall. It’s time to switch things up from your usual chamomile and honey infusion and find a new fall-flavored tea that quickly becomes your go-to beverage. We have compiled a list of the most unique tastes of tea to enjoy during the fall season.

  1. Apple Spice Black Tea

Our Apple spice black tea delightfully fresh and sweet, with hints of lovely cinnamon spice. Cinnamon and red wine can be used to create your own Gluwein at home. Apple Cinnamon is a soothing blend of black loose leaf tea that is reminiscent of the autumn season in New England. This tea was made to honor the beauty and flavors of fall, and if you prefer sipping on a glass of warm apple cider, you’re going to absolutely adore this tea. This particular tea is best enjoyed on days and nights that are cool, wet, and cloudy. Apple Cinnamon herbal tea is perfect for cinnamon enthusiasts since it satisfies all of their cravings: double apples, double cinnamon, a touch of rooibos, and a sprinkling of marigold flowers. This tea has a flavor that is truly traditional for the fall season.

  1. Holiday Fruit & Spice Blend

Our Holiday Fruit & Spice Blend is the perfect tea for this holiday season. A great cup of tea is the perfect way to warm up on a chilly day or night, and it also has the added benefit of soothing. A fan favorite throughout the colder months, our Holiday Fruit & Spice Blend is the ideal beverage to share with your loved ones over the holiday season. This energizing tea is a mixture of select black tea leaves from India, chunks of sweet orange, small bits of tart cranberries, small bits of spicy ginger, and warming cinnamon sticks. It is a concoction that is sure to wake you up. Our Holiday Fruit & Spice Blend is going to become one of your favorites very fast because of the careful blending that went into it.

  1. Cinnamon Orange Spice

The South Indian black tea, orange peels, cinnamon, and cloves that go into our Cinnamon Orange Spice Tea help give it its signature flavor. This tea’s popularity as a hot beverage as well as an iced beverage can be attributed in part to its enticing aroma, which is accompanied with a pleasant taste that is reminiscent of orange and spices. Even the chilliest winter night can be made more bearable with a cup of this tea, as well as any tropical evening! The zesty and invigorating Cinnamon Orange Spice tea is perfect for a warming pick-me-up first thing in the morning or as an afternoon pick-me-upper.

We are ardent believers that tea may be enjoyed throughout the whole year, from calming hot teas in the depths of winter to reviving iced teas in the middle of summer and any season in between. There is, however, nothing that quite hits the spot like a good cup of tea, particularly during the beginning of fall when the temps begin to turn and the leaves change color. We wish you the best of luck in savoring these flavors of autumn while also taking pleasure in the changing of the seasons and everything that October has to offer.

Tea Recipes

Tea Sweeteners You Can Use To Make Your Next Tea That Much MoreDelicious

June 27, 2022

Every cup of tea is unique — just like the person enjoying it. We all have specific ways to enjoy our favorite brew, but sometimes it’s good to mix it up a little. The next time you reach for your favorite leaves, consider trying a new type of sweetener than your favorite go-to. After all,  no two sweeteners are alike, with different additions often offering a rich and delicious, more nuanced taste to your favorite tea blends. Below, we’re discussing five of the most popular ways to sweeten tea below and covering the health benefits and taste profiles of each. 

What is the healthiest way to use tea sweeteners?

This question is entirely subjective and depends on the user’s health goals. The best way to sweeten your tea is to consider if you’re looking for a sugar substitute. Those who have diabetes may be interested in such an option or those trying to lose weight. If so, you may consider safe plant-based alternatives that aren’t as glycemic all demanding. 

If not, you might consider a more organic or whole food alternative to traditionally bleached table sugar. You also may benefit from reviewing the six main types of teas and flavor profiles that you’re looking for and experimenting with different sweeteners across your favorite blends.  Dietary goal setting is your first step to help you determine what the healthiest way to sweeten tea is for your unique physical needs. 

Below, we’ve outlined some of the top tea sweeteners that you can enjoy for your next cup of tea: 

1. Raw sugar 

What is the difference between raw sugar and table sugar? Fundamentally, they come from the same source. The only difference between raw and regular sugar is the refinement process. There is no proven health benefit to either one besides acting as an additional form of energy. Raw sugar is slightly less refined and maintains certain levels of molasses in its final form. With traditional table sugar, you will not see any of the molasses content, and it will often go through an additional bleaching or refinement process. Raw and traditional sugar make delicious additions to your favorite teas, often pairing well with high-quality loose leaf green tea with it’s lighter, grassier flavors. 

2. Agave 

Agave does not come from sugarcane, instead sourced from the agave plant. It is as refined as sugar but is made of fructose instead of sucrose. This allows it to have a lower glycemic index while still offering double or triple the sweetness of traditional table sugar. This powerful sweetness also means that you can use less over time, which is a cost-effective benefit that you can enjoy. You can also use your agave outside of tea time as a naturally-sourced sweetener for your next amazing tea infused brownie recipe (or dessert of choice!) 

3. Honey 

Honey has long been associated with tea time, with its rich, golden stream and botanical flavors to enjoy. Honey is unique because it will take on different flavors based on whatever plants the bees have recently pollinated. This is why regional honey often has different tastes depending on where you travel. Honey is a fantastic inclusion to any tea blend of choice, tasting particularly delicious against the bold palettes of black caffeinated blends. However, while honey offers a deliciously scented, warm addition to your favorite cup of tea, it is incredibly high in glucose and is not considered vegan. These are essential considerations to take for more conscientious tea drinkers. 

4. Stevia 

Stevia has risen in popularity over the years, becoming a popular “sugar-free” option to enjoy in your favorite teas, drinks, and desserts. Stevia is harvested from plants in the chrysanthemum family, giving it a more deep, floral taste than traditional sugars. Before its rise in popularity in America, it was a favorite in South America and the Asian islands. While it comes in many forms, the FDA currently has only approved the crystallized form available at grocery stores for safe ingestion. Additional studies will continue to be done on the effect of pure leaves used for edible purposes. Stevia is safe for diabetic patients as it promotes lower blood sugar levels than traditional sugar. 

5. Maple Syrup 

While this is untraditional, maple syrup can give any of your favorite fall teas a delicious, earthy flavor. Depending on how you source your maple syrup, you may enjoy additional health benefits along with its unique and deep flavor profile. This sweetener can be used seamlessly in virtually any tea blend of choice and adds an infusion of “fall” into every cup. You can also use it interchangeably with sugar in your favorite tea time recipe or dessert. 

Tea Recipes

Tea Party Favorites: Ten Top Snacks for Your Next Gathering 

May 18, 2022

There’s nothing quite as social and fun as a tea party. With lessened pandemic restrictions, we’re seeing more and more people gather for parties with their friends and loved ones. Or, maybe you feel like having a tea-centered date night with you and a partner. No matter what type of event you’re planning, there’s one inspiration that you can draw from for all of them: the delicious food you can pair with any number of loose leaf tea options.  If you’re looking for the perfect snacks for your next gathering, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive into the ten top snacks and favorites that you can make for your next tea party. 

What type of food is served at a tea party? 

Tea parties are known for their light eats and snacks that are generally enjoyed after lunch but before dinner. Because of this, we want to avoid anything excessively rich or fried. If you do have something that’s rich (i.e. lemon curd,) it’s served with something that is light to give the visitor the best of both experiences without overpowering the tea. Food made should be complementary to the tea, so we also want to avoid any overly strong flavors or smells that would dull the taste and sensory experience of the tea. 

1. Mixed Berry Tartlets 

Tarts are delicious at a tea party, no matter what filling is used. Tartlets are even better and give you the full taste and experience of a tart without being excessively heavy or large. This mixed berry tartlet is an excellent pick to kick off your tea party, as its rich custard filling is tempered by the light, floral-tasting fruit and berry mixture. The crust is buttery soft and flakes to the touch, making this the perfect snack to enjoy next to a cup of your favorite tea.

2. Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze 

What better snack for your tea party than a snack that intermingles delicious flavors with raw, pure-tasting Earl Grey tea? These shortbread cookies are decadent without being too heavy and offer a delicious, crumbled texture. The lemon glaze offers that familiar “zing” that you can enjoy with lemon in tea and makes the flavor profile brighter and more suitable for similar teas. We know you won’t be able to get enough of this delicious cookie! 

 3. Charcuterie Boards with Extra Cheese 

We know that this suggestion comes as a surprise to many of you, but rich and harder cheeses can actually pair excellently with tea. This is especially true in the case of a charcuterie board, where you can enjoy a variety of other bread, biscuits, jams, and treats alongside your cup! Our favorite unconventional pairings include a Creme Brulee Oolong tea with a rich, salty-savory sheep’s milk cheese, or another loose leaf black tea alongside some imported French Camembert. You can always mix and match pairings for yourself as well, and see if anything else unconventional and new suits your taste preference! 

Looking for more new tea recipes to try? Check out our top list of tea-infused desserts you won’t be able to put down!

 4. Basil & Shrimp Tea Sandwiches

This sandwich is more nutrient-dense than most tea sandwich types you’ll see and is perfect for a late afternoon tea that will precede your lighter dinner choices. The shrimp provides a nutty, sweet flavor to the spread that cuts nicely with the herby notes of the basil, making this the perfect sandwich to enjoy next to a cup of herbal tea. This recipe is also rare to find used, so we believe that this will be the “one” to impress your next tea party guests! 

5. Mini Quiches 

Mini quiches are delicious and exceptionally easy to make, despite their complex and rich flavor profile. Quiches are very versatile as well, allowing you to adapt the taste and additions to your overall taste and preference. This recipe can be made in minutes, using items you find around the house, in your fridge, and with your mini muffin tin. Greet your guests with the delicious smell of their tea party favorites and your favorite tea blends…we’re sure you won’t be able to get enough! 

6. Mini Lemon Meringue Pies 

This recipe is a bit more involved, but nothing quite beats the flavor and freshness that mini lemon meringues can bring to your next gathering or celebration. These pies feature a rich, creamy meringue topping and the famous lemon-pie filling that blends perfectly with really any flavored tea blend you choose. They are delicious, light, and the overall perfect tea snack for any season or occasion — but we especially love these in the summer months. 

7. Smoked Salmon Canapes 

While this one may seem unconventional, it’s another blend that can’t be missed at your next gathering. Smoked salmon is delicious in any vessel or recipe, and offers that unique, savory-smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with a variety of tea blends. Smoked salmon has become fairly easy to find at your local grocery store, making this recipe both easy to make and next-level tasty for your next tea party! 

Tea Recipes

How to Make Kombucha At Home

May 12, 2022

Kombucha is renowned for its outstanding health benefits, including its probiotic-rich digestive support and its ability to give your immune system a boost. The drink can be mixed and flavored with any of your favorite blends without compromising the health benefits that you can gain and can be safely consumed between 1 and 3 times per day according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Given all of its benefits and support, it’s not a surprise to know that many tea drinkers want to know how to safely make kombucha at home. Below, we outline some key points that you should consider before making kombucha at home, and offer a safe process to follow to enjoy delicious, nutritious, home-brewed kombucha. 

Is kombucha dangerous to make at home? 

So long as you follow a safe process and work with clean materials, kombucha is not considered to be risky to make at home. The concern comes from using dirty or “old” materials, improper storage, and other manufacturing mistakes that can leave you open to overgrowth and other issues. Kombucha is a living probiotic drink, which is why a process must be followed to both preserve the health benefits and the safety of the drink. 

What are the health benefits of kombucha? 

Beyond its digestive and motility support, kombucha offers a healthy boost of B vitamins which can support your neurological function and mental health. This, coupled with its naturally occurring probiotics, can be a great support for those who struggle with anxiety and other related mental health issues. It also offers support against the following

  • Heart Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes 
  • Cancer 

This is largely due to the high dose of antioxidants and vitamins that you can enjoy with every sip — working overtime to enhance your health naturally. 

How to make kombucha at home 

You can make kombucha at home safely. Kombucha is a fermented drink, requiring very little care past the original investment of time and cost at the start of the process. Below, we outline how you can enjoy a moderately-sized batch of kombucha at home, and everything that you’ll need to get started. 

Ingredients and Materials: 

  • Pitcher
  • Tea towels
  • SCOBY* 
  • 2 cups of plain, unpasteurized kombucha 
  • 13 cups of water 
  • 2 cups of cane or coconut sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons of loose-leaf black tea 

Before you continue, you’re likely wondering where to find SCOBY. SCOBY is actually an acronym that stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast, which will be the key to creating your kombucha. We recommend sourcing this from a reputable source to ensure that it is properly and safely balanced. There are specialty stores online, or you can sometimes find them through local vendors and farms. Be vigilant when sourcing this part of your recipe, as picking a poor quality SCOBY could make you sick. 

Homemade kombucha recipe 

Mix your black tea, water, and sugar into a medium-large pot over high heat. You’ll want to stir continuously until the tea is fully steeped, and the sugar is fully dissolved. After this, remove from heat and cool completely, so you don’t compromise the bacterial colonies in your SCOBY. 

Once cooled, add into your pitcher, and mix in your unpasteurized kombucha until dispersed. Add your SCOBY, and cover with a tea towel. You can also choose to add a rubber band around the tea towel so it won’t slide off in transit. 

Move to a dark corner of your kitchen, and let sit for 1-2 weeks. Expect to see carbonization, and opaque, sudsy-looking film form. That’s indicative of proper fermentation. Your SCOBY will likely grow as well. After 2 weeks, and if you see the bubbles and signs listed above, you will have the proper base for your kombucha. 

Although the recipe above is technically “kombucha,” it’s really designed to help grow your SCOBY puck for future use. For now, you’ll use this kombucha to make your first large batch of kombucha, which will result in a more carbonated and pure first fermentation. 

To create your next batch, simply follow these steps and use your homemade SCOBY-growth kombucha drink in place of the unpasteurized kombucha that’s store-bought. Your next batch will be deliciously carbonated and can be sweetened with your favorite sweetener, or boosted with just a squeeze of lemon. You can even use it as a fun champagne mixer for special occasions! 

Tea Recipes

Tea Pairing 101: What Tea Should I Pair with my Meal

February 17, 2022

You may have heard of the traditional tea time foods like sandwiches, scones and cakes to pair with tea but what about every other meal? Just like certain wines pair perfectly with certain foods, tea is exactly the same. With their different flavor profiles, this makes for some delicious pairings that will enhance your culinary experience. Pairing tea with food is the perfect way to enhance the taste of a dish as well as the drink itself. For centuries, sommeliers and chefs have paired certain wines with certain foods. Most of us are familiar with the basic rules: Red wines to accompany rich, red meat dishes. White wines to accompany white meats, fish and vegetarian dishes. Dessert wines for… well, dessert!

There are a number of different types of tea including white, green, oolong pu’erh and black. Generally white tea has the most delicate and subtle flavors, black and dark teas having the deepest flavors and black tea the highest tannin content/astringency. When you have a dish in mind that you want to match a tea with, consider the weight of the dish and what type of tea has a similar intensity.

White Teas

Because of the extremely subtle flavor of white teas, we recommend pairing them with only the mildest of flavors so you do not miss the sweetness that is so loved in white tea. Pure white tea has a very delicate flavor, sometimes with notes of apricot and has a buttery mouthfeel. It is often seen in blends with fruits like peaches or flowers like roses or orange blossoms. Think of white tea as you would a delicate white fish. Its taste easily melds with whatever flavors it’s paired with. 

Pairing suggestions: oatmeal, yogurt, or other light dishes with fresh berries for breakfast and basmati rice, white fish and basic salads with lunch and dinner.

Our favorite white teas: White Peony, Dragonfruit and Citrus Blossom.

Green Teas

Green tea is known for its subtle taste and light and refreshing flavor profile in comparison to other types of tea like many varieties of black tea.  In general, the subtle, vegetative flavor and aroma of most green tea is well suited to mild or subtly flavored foods, such as seafood, rice, salads, melon or chicken. Green tea is also great to drink after meals as it has been shown to help aid in digestion!

Pairing suggestions: Fish, lemon, mint, basil, vinegar, smoked or barbecued meat.

Our favorite green teas: Gunpowder Green, Sencha, Moroccan Mint

Oolong

Many argue that the subtle complexity of flavor and aroma attributed to oolong tea demand drinking it on its own. However, because oolongs can range in character between green and black teas, many can be paired with food along the same lines as their green or black counterparts. For instance, greener oolongs tend to go well with scallops, lobster and other sweet rich foods, while darker oolongs compliment somewhat stronger-flavored foods such as duck and grilled meats.

Pairing suggestions: Bread and butter, fruit, roasted vegetables, milk chocolate, lightly salted foods.

Our favorite oolongs: Morning Oolong and Formosa.

Black Teas

The more robust flavors and aromas of most black teas, as well as the most pronounced tannins, are well suited to pairing with full-flavored foods such as meat and spicy dishes. Unlike green teas, black tea leaves have been cured and are therefore fully oxidized, resulting in a somewhat more astringent taste, together with malty and woody, roasted flavors similar to bread.

Pairing suggestions: Spicy food, beef, lamb, ham and chicken, lightly salted food, pasta dishes (like lasagna), and fruits.

Our favorite black teas: Darjeeling, Ceylon and Lapsang Souchong.

Pu’erh Tea

Worthy of special note, pu-erh teas are known for their digestive benefits. Pu-erh teas have a strong, earthy and distinctive flavor, and they make great choices alongside a chicken or stir-fry recipe, as they can neutralize the oily and greasy tastes. Thanks to their digestive benefits, these beverages are often preferred after large meals.

Pairing suggestions: After meal, eggs, red meat, wild mushrooms, chocolate, poultry.

Desserts and Tea

For desserts, we suggest seeking out English Breakfast black tea. Our Chinese teas are hearty, rich, and taste perfect when complementing baked custards, chocolate cakes, or a rich, dense strawberry shortcake. Assam is another rich black tea that complements chocolate desserts, yet is a surprising foil against lemony or custard dishes. Some may be sensitive to caffeine. To that we suggest our Decaf Earl Grey or Decaf English Breakfast. Due to the naturally sweet, floral nature of a Jasmine, it is also ideal to serve with a dessert such as fruit, macaroons and any coconut desserts! Chai tea also pairs wonderfully with light pastries and scones.

Tea Recipes

Quick and Easy Vegan Matcha Green Tea Pancakes

February 7, 2022

After a long week at work, what are you looking forward to? Sleeping in? Getting outdoors? A delicious brunch? Look no further because we are showing you an easy and delicious matcha pancake recipe that is going to make all your brunch dreams come true! And, its vegan! Not only are these pancakes delicious, they are ready to eat in just 15 minutes! Let’s jump right in.

About Matcha

Matcha is loaded with antioxidants. Matcha is also chock full of polyphenols, which may also prevent cancer and heart disease and help to regulate blood sugar. Since you’re consuming actual leaves, matcha powder also contains a bit of fiber, which can aid digestion. It is made from a green tea called tencha. Tencha is a shade-grown tea like Gyokuro, covered over during the last three weeks before the early May harvest. The best tencha comes from the Uji tea fields in Kyoto prefecture of Japan, where it originated, as well as from Mie prefecture to the southeast.

Beyond the flavor, what makes this tea different is how it is processed. Tencha is not rolled and dried according to the sencha rolling method, nor is it fired in a hot oven. Merely chopped up and air-dried, tencha offers one of the purest expressions of mature tea leaves. Tencha has no roasted flavors, only pure vegetal notes. While you can certainly drink a cup of tencha, it is rarely drunk in its pure form. Tencha leaves are almost always ground into a powder: matcha. The word “matcha” comes from the Japanese “ma” which means “rubbed” or “ground,”and “cha” which means “tea.” Matcha is simply the powdered form of tencha.

Choosing your Matcha

Quality matcha should be a bright green. Dull olive or brown hues indicate low chlorophyll content or oxidation. Then smell the powder. You should detect rich vegetal and pine aromas, with hints of nuts, and cream. If a matcha’s aroma is muted, its taste likely will be as well. The consistency should be fine, like cornstarch. Clumps are totally normal! They can be a result of electrostatic charges that build up as the canister is agitated during shipping. If there are clumps, you can easily put them through a strainer or give them an extra whisk while making and they should go away!

Now let’s get to the main event. Let’s make the pancakes!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder⁣
  • 1 tbsp sugar⁣
  • 1 tbsp matcha powder
  • 1 cup dairy free milk⁣
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil⁣
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Add flour, baking soda, sugar and matcha powder to a bowl and mix well.
  2. Next, add in the milk, coconut oil and vanilla. Mix well again.
  3. Heat up your pan to medium heat and grease. If using a nonstick pan, there is no need to grease.
  4. Cook each pancake for a few minutes each side (typically 3-4 min) and flip and do the same on the other side.
  5. Stack those pancakes and enjoy!

Matcha Benefits

Matcha has been buzzing around making headlines for years now because of its superfood qualities. It is an antioxidant powerhouse! According to the latest innovation in antioxidant research, matcha is packed with exponentially more antioxidants than any other ‘superfood’. Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemical compounds that prevent aging and chronic diseases. Nowadays, a variety of fruits and vegetables are lauded for their antioxidant properties, leading to a host of products with all kinds of claims. But matcha is unparalleled in comparison. Matcha tea contains a unique, potent class of antioxidant known as catechins, which aren’t found in other foods. In particular, the catechin EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) provides potent cancer-fighting properties. Most importantly, EGCg and other catechins counteract the effects of free radicals from the likes of pollution, UV rays, radiation, and chemicals, which can lead to cell and DNA damage. Since over 60% of the catechins in matcha are actually EGCg, a daily matcha regimen can help restore and preserve the body’s integral well-being and balance. Matcha has also been shown in studies to detoxify the body effectively and naturally, calm the mind and relaxes the body, is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins, enhance mood and aids in concentration, provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium and lowers cholesterol and blood sugar!

We hope you enjoy these amazing matcha pancakes. If you try them, be sure to tag us! Looking for more matcha deliciousness? Check out our matcha dessert recipes here! For daily tea inspo and content, follow us @theteakitchen in Instagram!

Tea Recipes

5 Tea-Infused Desserts You’ll Love in 2022

January 24, 2022

Tea is delicious on it’s own and pretty much good any time of the day, but imagine it’s infusion into decadent desserts that will leave you wanting more! That’s why infusing teas like earl grey have risen to popularity as of late. Tea maintains its delicate, floral flavor when cooked or baked, adding an extra level of sophistication and taste to your favorite treats. In this article, we dive into the top five tasty tea-based desserts that you can enjoy at your next gathering, event, or slow Tuesday afternoon! 

1. Wattleseed-Infused Custards With Jam Drop Biscuits 

This dessert pairing can be assembled with few ingredients and a streamlined cooking process — featuring the rich and decadent chocolate-nutty tastes of Wattleseed. This taste tea-turned-coffee staple from Australia boosts your dessert into a more exotic, delectable class of its own, pairing well with the fruity notes of your jam drop biscuits. These are delicious to enjoy as a standalone dessert for any occasion, or alongside your favorite cup of black tea. The notes and flavors are complementary and offer you a delicious pairing and mouthfeel. The recipe was popularized by Chef Devlin of Halcyon House as he developed a menu for the perfect summer gathering. 

2. Thai Tea Cheesecake With a Chocolate Crumb Crust 

This delightful “un-bake” dessert will have you captivated with its luscious, delicate flavor infusion of Thai tea coupled with tangy, traditional dairy-like tastes of the cheesecake. The versatility of this dessert is what makes it a well-known favorite, thanks to its ability to adapt to dairy and gluten-free substitutions. This makes for the perfect refreshing summer dish, as it requires no baking and leaves you with the feeling of cool, crisp refreshment with each bite. The short ingredients list and the easy assembly make this one of our favorite tea-infused desserts on the list! 

3. Frosted Chai Spiced Snickerdoodles

If you’ve been looking for all of the tastes and nostalgia of fall in a single dessert…this is the dessert for you. Chai is notoriously known for its delightful herbal bouquet and cloyingly sweet undertones, making this the perfect addition to these gently spiced cookies. You can enjoy the scents and flavors of the season with each bite, pairing this dessert with a well-brewed cup of masala chai for double the experience. The texture of the cookie is a soft, chunky crumble that melts in your mouth with each delicious bite. You can take it a step farther and dip the cookie in either frosting or chai for an even more cakey experience. These are the perfect handheld desserts for any dinner party or gathering, and can leave your guests feeling festive and ready to welcome the change of season! 

4.  Earl Grey Infused Tea Cake

This delicious, fragrant tea cake is the perfect, versatile dish for busy mornings or an afternoon pick-me-up. Earl Grey is arguably one of the most comforting and common teas that you can find on any shelf of the grocery store, making this one of the most accessible desserts on our list. You can pair this delectable cake with honey, your favorite tea, or of course; a hot cup of steaming Earl Grey. The moist, cakey crumble that this cake offers with each bite is tantalizing when paired with the gentle, fragrant notes of the tea. You can double down on the taste and undertones by creating your own tea-infused frosting or glaze!  This recipe is quick to assemble and features an attractively short ingredients list, making this an easy treat to indulge in any time of the week. Get ready to wow your guests with moist, delicious, and delicate Earl Grey-infused cake! 

5. Southern Sweet Tea Cookies 

When you think of sweet tea, you normally then think of the sticky-sweet summers of the deep South, and the natural beauty surrounding you. These cookies are thick with the flavor of the South in the summer, boasting a rich and luxurious, sugary-sweet icing and flavor profile. Get ready to enjoy your pitcher of sweet tea in a whole new way with these easy-to-bake cookies! Refreshingly lemony, minty, and of course, honey hive sweet, these are perfect for your next summer gathering or dinner party. You can sit down and enjoy these cookies any time of year, best pairing them with lemon or mint-based tea to make those flavors pop!