Cooking with Tea, Know your Basics

Cooking with Tea, Know your Basics

Cooking with Tea, Know your Basics

Do you want to try something different than the usual tea shop fare? It's never been easier to make your favorite tea or herbal tea blends. Blending is not only simple, but it also allows you to experiment with flavors and create those that you enjoy the most. Tea may be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen, in addition to being an excellent drink. 

Tea as a spice

In a pepper mill, crush tea leaves (especially Oolong) and mix with white pepper. This rub is extremely tasty, and it's ideal for a steak or pork chop. The tea gives this otherwise regular dish a very fresh Asian-cuisine flavor.

Tea as a tenderizer:

Tea is an effective tenderizer, among its numerous advantages and impacts. Want that fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth sensation for that meal that's already good but might be better? Add some tea to the mix! Rooibos "Red" tea has been found to have comparable benefits to camellia tea and may offer even another distinct dimension to your culinary delights. Tea is laced with sweeteners or artificial flavors, which are sometimes hidden in blends.

Tea with vinegar

The acidity of the vinegar, on the other hand, allows it to absorb the tea flavor rapidly. This makes making tea-flavored vinaigrettes and other salad dressings a breeze. Bring the vinegar to the same temperature as you would for brewing tea water, then add the tea leaves, remove from the heat, let cool to room temperature, and strain immediately.

Why Should You Bake or Cook With Tea?

You may add a new depth to your sweet or savory recipes by baking or cooking using tea. This is also simple to achieve since all you need is one more strong ingredient to amp up your cuisine and offer you something new to explore. Tea may help seal in moisture so you don't have to struggle with dry bits of food depending on how you use it in a dish.

With so many various teas available throughout the world, you have a plethora of flavors to choose from. To add flowery, earthy, smoky, spicy, sweet, creamy, or even herbal flavors to major meals or desserts, cook with tea.

4 DIY Recipes for Your Tea Blends

We've compiled a list of 5 do-it-yourself recipes for creating your tea blend. These recipes can be used as guidelines and as a starting point for blending. Depending on the recipe, the amount of leaves used in recipes is enough for 2-3 infusions. Our recipes include the most commonly used herbs, fruits, and spices for simple blending. Because each herb, fruit, and spice is unique, the amounts should be adjusted to suit your preferences. The intensity of ingredients will vary depending on the type, quality, and storage conditions, among other factors. We recommend starting with small amounts and experimenting with them.

Herbal Apple Pie Tea

What about a liquified Sunday dessert? Please accept my thanks. Because of its naturally sweet flavor, rooibos is used as a base in Apple Pie herbal blend. Furthermore, we wanted to avoid using caffeine-containing teas in this dessert because it should be suitable for children as well. It's simple to make and yields a cup of tea with a delightfully sweet and slightly tangy flavor.


  • 2 tbsp. Rooibos tea
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon dried apple
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 1 inch
  • 1/2 inch vanilla pod

Extra tip: For a creamier and sweeter tea, add white chocolate drops.

Deeper-Flavored Smoothies

Does your smoothie recipe call for the addition of ice? Why not replace the ice with frozen tea cubes? Brew your tea strong so it can withstand all of the toppings; dark, fruity black teas for fruit smoothies and light, springy green teas for vegetable-based dishes like kale. The tea's subtle sweetness and natural astringency give smoothies a complex bite while keeping the focus firmly on the fruit.

Green Tea Chicken Noodle Soup

While the West is most familiar with using tea in sweet applications, in China, tea-as-food is frequently a savory affair, with tea's purported medicinal qualities often being used to reduce the number of greasy ingredients. Enter green tea-flavored chicken soup—just a pinch or two, simmered in stock until the leaves are tender—to add subtle grassy and creamy flavors to the broth. In this case, cheaper teas are a better choice; budget greens often have a more roasted, savory flavor that pairs particularly well with chicken and noodles.

It's difficult not to become overwhelmed when you walk into the tea aisle at the grocery store. Aside from the standard black, green, and herbal teas, there is now a plethora of options with added fruit and spices, many of which tout additional health benefits. However, some teas, particularly specialty varieties, can be expensive, not to mention have an environmental impact if consumed in large quantities. Making your tea at home reduces both of these risks and allows you to fully control the strength and flavor.

Homemade Chai

The beauty of chai tea is that you can tweak the recipe until you get the flavor you like. Chai is always made with a black tea base, preferably stronger Assam tea, milk, and a spice blend. In a mortar, crush the spices and combine them with the black tea.


  • 3-5 teaspoons Assam black tea
  • 1 tablespoon dried ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • a cinnamon stick measuring 2 inches
  • 1 cardamom teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

Extra tip: Blend in star anise, nutmeg, cocoa shells, or vanilla. To create a lighter or stronger flavor, adjust the spice-to-black-tea-leaves ratio.

Final tea-cooking tips:

- Purchase only premium teas, entire leaves, and premium brands;

- If you don't have any loose leaves, cut the tea bags open and use the loose herb instead;

- Keep the tea in a cold, dark location in an airtight container.

- Each tea requires a unique preparation, so follow the instructions carefully;

- Make the tea as though you're going to drink it;

- Adding flavor to soups, stews, and stews by substituting fresh tea for the water;

- Use a tea instead of water for cooking pasta, rice, risotto, quinoa, or any other grain or vegetable that is typically cooked in water;

- Toss a big amount of tea leaves into the soup liquid, along with the rest of the ingredients. Cook until done, then strain.

-Choose a coffee or spice grinder to use as tea seasoning. Then add straight to sauces, baked products, or even butter, oil, and salts to infuse.