Over the Teacups

Giving Voice to the Tea Industry

Tea Foodies Cooking with Tea

Posted on | March 22, 2013 | Comments

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Cooking with Tea

It never ceases to amaze me that there is such a correlation between tea and food, culinary tea, tea and food pairings and tea tastings. Tea is currently a very popular topic with culinary insiders from the Culinary Institute of America to local tea tasting classes such as these (try search engines for “tea tasting class” and your city name): The Jasmine Pearl in Portland, OR, NW Wu-Wo Tea CeremonyCooking with Tea – Le Cordon Bleu, Fezziwig’s Marketplace, Breakaway Cooking with Tea – San Francisco, or Cooking With Tea – Philip Gelb,  amongst others.

Ellen Leaf-Moore

Ellen Leaf-Moore
Cooking with Tea and Chocolate

Culinary Tea Trends – 2013

Bon Appetit includes tea in their Top 25 Trends for 2013, commenting that “tea is the new coffee”.  Really?

One of the best tea and food books that I’ve read and used lately is Culinary Tea by Cynthia Gold and Lise Stern. Editorial reviews for the book are outstanding. Culinary Tea will not disappoint the reader looking for tea, culinary and recipes for most cooks and chefs.

In addition to other credentials, Ms. Gold serves on the Specialty Tea Institute’s Advisory Board and its Education Committee.

Tea soup? Tea dessert? Tea on the grill? Tea greens?

Chris Cason, in an interesting Adagio Tea blog post article, Think Outside the Cup: Cooking with Tea, gives us a variety of ways of use tea, camellia sinensis,  reflecting tea’s versatility.

If you enjoy short videos, Robert Godden, The Devotea, has fourteen cooking with tea videos on You Tube.  Do you know Robert? He’s @The_Devotea on Twitter, “I see you when you’re steeping, I know when you’ve a cake, I know if you’ve used loose or bagged, so stay loose for goodness sake! Devotea is coming to town “ Such fun!

STI, Specialty Tea Institute, announced on March 11 the addition of two new classes for their members and I heard that a tea culinary class is in the works. I’ll keep you posted!

To develop your own tea recipes, it is wise to have a good foundation in tea.  That means learning about it with teacup in hand and tasting, tasting, tasting. Search your local area for tea tasting events and tea festivals. A high end tea tasting, A Guided Tasting Seminar with a Tea Master from Japan, is a premier place to be.

The Japan Foundation, New York presents an evening of tea tasting led by a tea master, Mr. Kazuo Hayashiva,
Green Tea, the Essence of Japan. A Guided Tasting Seminar with a Tea Master from Japan
Time & Date: 6:30pm – 8:00pm, Thursday, March 28, 2013
Location: The Nippon Club, Rose Room 2F (145 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019)

Cooking with Matcha Tea?

Green tea, especially matcha, is very easy to incorporate into recipes.  It blends well with a variety of foods. Here is a quick recipe for your next tea time (and a recipe from one of my cookbooks available on Amazon).

Lavender Tea Bread with Matcha

Lavender Tea Bread with Matcha

Lavender Tea Bread

(For icing substitution, I brush the hot tea bread with Monin brand Lavender syrup – found at specialty food stores or restaurant supply companies.)

¾ cup milk
6 Tablespoons lavender flowers, finely chopped; divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon matcha
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten

3 Tablespoons water
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 Tablespoons Lavender petals (crushed, dried or fresh)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.  Heat milk with 3 tablespoons lavender almost to a boil, then let steep until cool.  When cool, strain and discard used lavender.  Sift flour, baking powder, salt and matcha together in a bowl.

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, then eggs, one at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with lavender milk, in 3 different batches. Mix until batter is just blended; do not over beat.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 min., and then remove to a wire rack to cool.

While hot, ice with a powdered sugar glaze made with 3 Tablespoons water, 3 Tablespoons lavender, and confectioner’s sugar to make a thick but still runny paste if desired. Garnish with sprigs of fresh lavender around cake or sprinkle additional finely chopped lavender on glaze before it hardens.

Servings: 12   Yield: 1 loaf

Oven Temperature: 325° F

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 50 minutes
 After completely cooled, brush with additional lavender/sugar glaze. Wrap in foil and freeze for up to one month. Before serving, brush off the lavender petals as they can be a little woody and unattractive.


Cooking with tea at any time or with anything?

A cup of tea is a great kitchen companion, stimulating other creative ideas to take a recipe from ho-hum to hallelujah!


About the Author

Jennifer Petersen is a tea enthusiast, Certified Tea Professional, teaches various aspects about tea as a business, and a marketing consultant to the beverage industry. Always fascinated by other people who love tea, she is a life-long student and admirer of those who choose tea as a lifestyle.