The Hippo


May 25, 2020








Cooking with Tea

When: Thursday, Dec. 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: The Cozy Tea Cart, 104 Route 13, Brookline
Cost is $25. Registration required (call 249-9111). See
Cooking with Tea’s holiday menu 
Indian chai scones served with clotted cream
Pear and feta cheese salad with TCTC Darjeeling tea and organic camellia tea seed oil dressing
Sencha green tea marinated chicken
Orange squeeze tea spiced carrots
Matcha genmaicha tea-infused rice pilaf
Chocolate truffles infused with TCTC spice tea

Teas to please
Learn how to take your tea from mug to plate

By Allie Ginwala

 Tea is for more than just sipping. In fact, you could have an entire multi-course meal made with tea, like The Cozy Tea Cart owner and certified tea specialist Danielle Beaudette experienced while in Nepal last spring.

“I travel to Asia to source my tea and when I’m in Asia a lot of food is prepared for me … with tea in it,” she said in a phone interview. “They believe that by consuming the whole leaf you’re getting the maximum health benefits.” 
Steeping tea to infuse into a recipe or using it as a garnish on top of a dish are other ways to incorporate the benefits of tea into a meal, all of which Beaudette will discuss on Thursday, Dec. 10, during Cooking with Tea — A Holiday Menu.
How to use it
Most people think of tea as a beverage, but viewing it differently can make it easier to incorporate into your cooking.
“Think of it as a spice,” she said. “Whenever you do a recipe, if you want to add a fruity flavor, think of a fruit that would go well and add that tea that goes with it.”
You can also soak fruit in tea before adding it to a dish or toss some green tea leaves over a salad.
Lately, Beaudette said, cooking with matcha has been popular.
“We’ve seen a huge increase of sales in matcha Japanese green tea in powder form,” she said. “Because it’s in a powder form you can literally use it on anything — green tea ice cream, toss it over your ice cream, use it in muffins.” 
Depending on what you want to make, you may need to use the tea in a certain form or use a particular type. 
If you’re using a tea infusion in place of another liquid in a recipe, you won’t have to modify it. 
“All you do is steep the tea,” she said. 
When it comes to selecting the tea, Beaudette said black and green teas take sugar well and are best-suited for sweet dishes. 
“We recommend like fruity ones, the strawberry tea the raspberry tea,” she said.
For savory cream sauces, go for oolongs, and for a meat rub, try a smoky black tea (English breakfast pairs well with pork) and think green tea for stir-fry.
Demo and tasting
During The Cozy Tea Cart’s lecture, Beaudette will explain different ways to use the leaf, lead demonstrations and demystify the impact tea has on food’s flavor. So if you’re concerned that tea leaves or a tea infusion will alter not only the taste but the texture of your recipe, Beaudette said not to worry.
“Actually a lot of time you don’t taste it at all,” she said. “[It’s] the one thing that surprises people because they’re like, “I don’t really taste it,” but the food tastes delicious, and that’s what it’s about.”
The goal isn’t really for the tea to have a huge flavor impact, but for it to boost the health benefits.
However, if you’re using a tea that has other spices in it, you’ll most likely taste that. For example, during the demo guests will sample and learn how to make chocolate truffles made with a spice tea. 
“That you are going to taste, because those are very strong spices,” she said. “[You] won’t taste the tea — just the spices.”
Beaudette will lead that class through six courses, some of which she’ll make right in front of them, like the salad, but others like the truffles and marinated chicken she’ll make in advance for the sake of time.
“I talk to them about the recipe, go over the recipe and tell them how I prepare and [then they] eat the food. I talk in between each course about the benefits of cooking with tea ... how to complement the tea with the food.”
Since this class has a holiday theme, Beaudette is incorporating a festive flair, including chai scones and a salad with pears. 
“Chai is very popular this time of year because of the warming spices and the cloves and cinnamon and ginger,” she said. “The salad has the pears, we do three different color pears so red, green and yellow.”
Cranberry added to the green tea chicken and rice pilaf makes for a complete holiday plate. After sampling each course and asking questions, guests leave with a copy of the recipes, suggested ways to cook with tea and a list of what teas to try with what recipes — a veritable cheat sheet, Beaudette said.
“People are realizing the health benefits of cooking with tea, and I was really happy to see that it’s not just the industry, but other people out there realizing it,” she said. 

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