Culinary Tea

soup ingredients

I recently had opportunity to present idea of cooking with tea for a class at Missouri Botanical Garden. It was exactly what I needed to do more of something I’ve only dabbled with for the past 3 years – COOK with Tea!

I so much enjoyed prepping for the class; my indispensable reference book is “Culinary Tea” by Cynthia Gold. She has done so much experimentation and shares a wealth of knowledge and information in this book. Anyone interested in cooking with tea will save themselves a lot of time and frustration by reading pages 52-57 first. She also includes a 10 page section describing food pairings for the most readily available teas.

For this class I prepared a Genmaicha based broth, hearty butternut squash soup with Lapsang Souchong, wild rice with Cranberry Spice infusion accented with pecans and dried cranberries, and Sweet Desert Delight infused pudding.


Things I learned:
Genmaicha, steeped at normal drinking strength, makes an Excellent vegan broth base.
When cooking with teas in foods that have more viscous content – such as the butternut squash, the rice, and the pudding – you will get the best flavor if you infuse 3x the amount of tea that you would for drinking (e.g. 1 Tablespoon of tea per 6-8 oz of liquid rather than 1 teaspoon.)
Additionally, I cold infused tea in the milk overnight before heating it for the pudding.

For my Thanksgiving dinner (this coming Sunday), I am preparing the butternut squash soup again, made with Golden Halo Yunnan, instead of the Lapsang Souchong. The Lapsang was just a little too smoky for my taste….though, adding applesauce to the soup improved it immensely.


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