Recipes using tea and tea leaves hot trend for 2013, food experts say
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
1/09/13 at 6:56 AM
Coffee beats tea consumption in the United States, unlike most other countries of the world.
But tea - whether it's served hot in a cup, iced in a glass or as a food flavor infusion - is gradually gaining on coffee here. Tea has been named as one of the hot food trends to watch for in 2013 by multiple food experts.
That's something Sara Creed-Piper and Susan Blair, owners of Dragonmoon Tea Co. at 1927 S. Harvard Ave., already knew.
"It is really interesting to see how, in just a few years, a much larger portion of the population is interested in tea," Blair said. "I think it has to do with the way we have become such an isolated society, with all of our electronics, and we don't spend enough time with each other.
"That was our focus with opening this place - to provide a place where people could come and just slow down and have a chance for community with each other."
Tea's popularity has slowly risen, and 2011 was the 20th consecutive year that consumer purchases of tea increased, according to the Tea Association of the United States. And the industry anticipates strong, continuous growth over the next five years.
Interestingly, Creed-Piper believes that a stigma was attached to tea when the country was founded and England placed a tax on tea imported by America.
"After the tax, it just never gained strength and we just became a country of coffee drinkers," Creed-Piper said. "But now, people are finding there are a lot of health benefits from tea."
For example, Creed-Piper said they have a customer who swears by the benefits of matcha, which is finely ground green tea leaves that are whisked into nearly boiling water.
"She drinks it religiously every day, and she has not had a cold in four years," Creed-Piper said.
Dragonmoon has more than a hundred different varieties of tea and several different brands. Each has its own flavor. But some may not realize that the different varieties have different brewing times.
And one of the biggest mistakes people make when brewing tea is getting the water too hot, Creed-Piper explained.
"You never want to boil water for tea because it takes the oxygen out, and that is what you need for tea to taste good," Creed-Piper said. "You want to get the water just under boiling - for some of them, a little less, like 185 degrees for green teas."
It can take two to eight minutes to properly steep tea, depending on the variety, she said. She also explained how to know how much tea to use.
"The general rule is that it depends on the size of the leaf. If the leaves are small, use a teaspoon. If the leaves are big, use a tablespoon," Creed-Piper said.
And to make the best iced tea, it takes patience.
"The biggest problem people have is they get the water really hot and cool it down too fast," Creed-Piper said.
At their tea house, Blair and Creed-Piper put the tea bags in room-temperature water and steep the tea overnight.
"If you can brew it overnight, you will be better off. It won't be cloudy that way," Creed-Piper said.
And teas can impart wonderful flavors to food, Blair and Creed-Piper explained.
Dragonmoon sells tea flavored chocolate truffles, such as chai and Earl Grey.
"Cooking with tea is a great thing to do. We just did a ham, using Earl Grey tea as a part of the glaze," Blair said.
They used a strong cup of Earl Grey mixed with brown sugar and mustard.
"Tea is kind of like lavender: It has been used in cooking for a long time, but the general population really does not know about it and they don't do it," Blair said. "There are a lot of great things you can do."
Here are some recipes using tea as an ingredient.
MATCHA GREEN TEA CUPCAKES
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons matcha tea
1. Set oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs/egg yolks one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add to batter and mix to combine.
5. Mix matcha with the milk. Add to the batter and mix until combined.
6. Scoop batter into prepared cupcake papers. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
EARL GREY TEA SHORTBREAD COOKIES
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, tea and salt, until the tea is just spotted throughout the flour. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and butter. Pulse just until a dough is formed.
2. Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log, about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. Tightly twist each end of wrap and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3. Slice the log into 1/3-inch-thick disks. Place on parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart (2 probably needed depending on size of sheets). Bake until the edges are just brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and cool to room temperature.
- adapted from FoodNetwork.com
FIRESIDE TEA RECIPE
1 ounce dark rum
5 ounces hot black tea
1 lemon wedge
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon sugar
1. Pour tea into a heat-proof goblet and sweeten to taste. Add rum, wedge-shaped slice of lemon and a cinnamon stick. Serve.
- from drinksmixer.com
MAHOGANY GLAZED CHICKEN
1/2 cup rice wine, or medium-dry sherry
1/4 cup strong-brewed black tea
1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice, or orange juice
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil, divided
1 small red bell pepper, diced
2 scallions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1. Combine rice wine (or sherry), tea, juice, soy sauce and honey in a 2-cup glass measure; set aside.
2. Combine cinnamon, ginger, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture evenly on both sides of chicken breasts.
3. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, reduce heat to medium and cook until golden outside and no longer pink inside, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
4. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add bell pepper, scallions and garlic; sauté for 30 seconds. Add the reserved rice wine-tea mixture. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 2 to 4 minutes.
5. Reduce heat to low and return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Simmer gently, spooning the sauce over the chicken, until heated through, about 1 minute.
6. Slice the chicken into thin diagonal slices and fan on plates. Spoon the sauce and vegetables over. Serve immediately.
- from Eating Well magazine
Getting to know tea
Source: The Tea Association of the USA
- In 2011, Americans consumed more than 65 billion servings of tea.
- About 85 percent of all tea consumed in the U.S. during 2011 was black tea: 14 percent was green tea, and the remaining amount was oolong and white tea.
- On any given day, about half of the American population drinks tea. On a regional basis, the South and Northeast have the greatest concentration of tea drinkers.
- Approximately 85 percent of tea consumed in the U.S. is iced.
- In 2011, more than 65 percent of the tea brewed in the United States was prepared using tea bags.
- Ready-to-drink tea sales have grown by more than 17.5 times in the past 10 years.
- Black, green, oolong and white teas all come from the same plant, a warm-weather evergreen named Camellia sinensis. Differences among the four types of tea result from the various degrees of processing and the level of oxidization.
Here are some general guidelines for how long you should steep different types of teas.
Black tea: 3 minutes
White tea: 4-5 minutes
Green tea: at least 4 minutes
Herbal teas: 4-6 or up to 8 depending on the strength
Pu-erh: up to 3 minutes
Yoga tea: 8 minutes
Chai: 4 minutes
Oolongs: 3 minutes
Original Print Headline: Tea time
Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459
Blue Eyes tea is served at the Dragonmoon Tea Co. in Tulsa. Many national food experts say tea is a hot trend for 2013, and it is gaining on coffee as a popular beverage in the U.S. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Various tea leaves including (clockwise from bottom left) Blue Eyes, Dragon Moon, Snow Dragon, China Beauty Rings, Milk Oolong, green tea with mango, Madam Butterfly and Organic Irish Breakfast (middle) are shown at the Dragonmoon Tea Co. in Tulsa. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
A flower-burst tea is served at the Dragonmoon Tea Co. in Tulsa. There are hundreds of varieties of tea, and many people don't realize there are multiple brewing methods, water temperatures and steeping times that can be used depending on the kind of tea. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Sara Creed-Piper (left) and Susan Blair own Dragonmoon Tea Co. The shop near 21st Street and Harvard Avenue is a place where people can slow down and have a chance for community with one another, Blair says. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World