Monday, May 30, 2016

10 Tips For Tea

Tea is a wonderful thing. No matter what kind of tea you prefer it goes great with most things. Here are a few tips and tricks for a more tea filled life.
1. While there’s lots of detailed information about brewing times and temperatures, 1st and 2nd infusions, pre-heating cups and teapots etc, I think the biggest impact on whether you are going to enjoy your tea or not, can be simplified to this - if you are having any other tea besides green tea, you can use water that has just been boiled, all other teas, bar green, are very forgiving - if you are having green tea, wait for the water temperature to drop down to 90°C before you brew your tea. If you boil the kettle and then spend 5 minutes choosing your favourite cup, getting a little tea snack, or patting the dog, that should be the perfect temperature for green tea.
2. If you like Earl Grey, or any other tea that uses highly aromatic essential oils, the flavour will be more amazing if you store your tea in an airtight glass jar.
3. If you love Matcha tea, keep the powder in fridge! 
4. There are so many ways to cook with tea, but one of the best discoveries I’ve made is to simply swap any amount of water in a recipe, with strongly brewed and cooled tea. This works for both savoury and sweet recipes and let’s you create some amazing new flavour combinations with tried and true favourites.
5. Whenever a recipe asks to hydrate dried fruit, try using tea, it adds a subtle but delicious undertone.
6. Tea makes ice cream or sorbet feel a little bit fancier - I love coming up with new flavours based on tea. How about Earl Grey and Blood Orange Sorbet, Peppermint and Matcha, or Chamomile and Coconut Ice Cream? So good.
7. Tea works beautifully in jam making too, just swap out the water component with your favourite tea. 
8. I love making my porridge with tea - not all teas work in this case, anything too herby doesn’t quite fit the bill, but strongly brewed Breakfast Tea works a treat.
9. Tea is a fantastic ingredient for mixing drinks; either non-alcoholic, or for cocktails. At the simplest end of the scale you can add sparkling water and a squeeze of fresh citrus to any brewed and cooled tea, or if you want to really get fancy, you can make a reduced syrup from tea and add to your favourite cocktail. We have a local brewer that has even made stout beer based on our breakfast tea!
10. Always have tea exactly how you like it - there’s no right or wrong when tea is at the table in my books, but especially when you can allow the time to enjoy the ritual that tea drinking is, it can be a day changer. Here in the Barossa, I’ve always loved the country response of ‘let’s put the kettle on’, regardless of what the situation may be.
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