Cooking With Tea

When cooking this summer begin to explore the vast taste sensations that tea can bring to your meals. Perfect as an addition to creative main dishes, sauces and desserts, tea adds taste, flair and health benefit. One of the easiest ways to begin cooking with tea is by adding it to freshly made marinades and sauces for your summertime barbeques.

When planning your menu consider the balance of the meal. Yin and yang are symbolic of the perfect balance of cool and heat. Apply this to your meals and discover wonderful tasty combinations that feel just right. Use the yin (cool) of a Green Tea Sesame Sauce to balance the yang (heat) of barbequed meats, fish and even tofu. The cooling effect and delicious taste will delight guests and add a unique touch.

Some of the important elements to keep in mind when cooking with tea are:
Experiment and use your imagination
Brew tea as follows to ensure that it is not bitter or astringent
Use 1 teaspoon of tea per 8 ounces of water
Steep about 3 minutes in water that is under a boil (180-185°)
Cold brewing is also a good method of preparation, start with 2 teaspoons of tea per 8 ounces of cold water and let it steep for 2 hours
Fats bring out the flavor in foods so infusing tea leaves with cream will add spectacular taste to desserts and sauces, try an Orange Blossom Oolong or Bi Lo Chun green tea
Citrus juices are also great vehicles for tea infusions and are complimented by black and oolong teas such as Ti Kuan Yin, Nilgiri Organic or even Earl Grey

Rubs are simple to make and add a nice flavorful crust. Hearty black teas like the Ceylon Kandy, Lapsang Souchong or Assam. Combine dry leaves with spices and herbs to create rubs for meats, poultry and fish adding an interesting, delicious twist.

Remember using a good quality loose tea will bring out the best in any meal. Whether cooking with, or drinking tea you cannot get good taste using low quality leaves.

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Beth Johnston, a tea importer and noted tea expert, publishes an informative monthly newsletter on tea, tea history, health and lifestyle enhancements. To learn more about the world of tea, join her free newsletter at http://www.TeasEtc.com/Newsletter.asp or visit http://www.TeasEtc.com.

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