Cha’s Tea Advice

Boston Harbor; A Teapot Tonight!

Boston Harbor, a Teapot Tonight!

There are few things in life better than good tea; a fact recognized in America since the colonies were very young. When the colonies were still in their infancy, the Dutch East India Company introduced tea to the wealthy residents of “New Amsterdam,” later renamed “New York” when the area was surrendered to British governance in 1664. By the early part of the eighteenth century, the heavily taxed tea brought in by England’s East India Company became a fashionable drink that inspired lavish tea gardens similar to those in London. By the latter years of the 1750s, tea was a commonplace drink among all but the most impoverished colonists.

To avoid paying the high import tax levied on English tea, a majority of tea drinkers turned to tea smuggled in by the Dutch, Swedes and French, a circumstance that severely depressed the quantity of English tea flowing into the colonies. In reaction, England’s 1767 Townshend Act imposed a tax on tea so onerous that it ignited a widespread idea of boycotting British imported teas. The colonists were faced with the equally unpalatable choices of buying illegally smuggled tea or paying the excessive tax for British imported tea. With that dilemma, tea became a symbol of great injustice and the notion of boycotting the British tea quickly gained favor.

This obstinate boycott persisted until 1771 when Parliament decided to vigorously enforce the collection of the tea tax. Despite the colonists’ festering and growing anger, the East India Company gained permission to send a sizeable quantity of taxable tea to America. In December of 1773 the berthing of three British tea-laden ships at Griffin’s Wharf served as the catalyst for open rebellion. On December 16, during the largest town meeting in the history of the city, patriotic fervor overflowed and a leather worker named Adam Collson shouted the now famous statement; “Boston Harbor, a teapot tonight!” His cry was followed by the dumping of over 90,000 pounds of loose leaf tea into Boston Harbor at Griffin’s Wharf.

One of the most momentous events in American history, this act of open rebellion foreshadowed the American Revolution and independence for the colonies. As the tea rebellion spread, so too did the colonists’ determination to show their patriotism by shunning tea amid the gathering clouds of war. On the morning of April 19, 1775 shots were fired at Lexington and Concord and the course of tea in America was altered forever.

History of Tea in Japan

And then tea came to Japan…

In the early 600s AD, tea was introduced to Japan through contact between Zen priests and Chinese Buddhist monks. The Japanese Zen priest, Saichō returned to Japan in 815 after many years spent in China. He brought with him compressed tea bricks and tea seeds, which he presented to the reigning Emperor Saga. Interest in tea remained guarded and centered solely around the court and its high-ranking officials for several centuries, until the Japanese Heian era of 794-1185.

During this time, the Japanese Samurai class rose to power, along with a flourishing of the arts and intellectual pursuits, tea drinking among them. The Zen priest, Myoan Eisai introduced Chinese tea seeds and bushes to the island of Kyushu, and they were then transported to the outskirts of modern day Kyoto, where some of Japan’s finest teas are produced to this day. After many subsequent visits to China and a deep immersion in the tea culture, Eisai wrote, Kissa Yōjōki, translated as, “Drinking Tea for Health,” lauding the medicinal and health benefits of the ancient beverage. Many other writers poetically connected tea to the changing seasons and landscape.

The ethereal character of tea was praised in Japanese poetry, elevating the drink to forms of beauty, high art and a pure experience of otherworldly peace and well-being, experienced in today’s ritual of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. By the sixteenth century this ultimate artistic “Way of Tea” became known as Chanoyu. It is a ritual that combines tranquility, mystery, discipline, beauty, respect, complete attention and harmony in its appreciation of the preparation of tea.

This famous tea ceremony defines the ultimate ritual in the preparation of food and beverage and is revered for its hypnotic manners and mystical entrancement. As a Buddhist priest stated, “The taste of Ch’an (Zen) and the taste of ch’a (tea) are the same.”

Iced Tea—America’s National Drink

Iced Tea…America’s Most Beloved Beverage

 

Although Americans drink copious amounts of iced black tea, few know the origins of this country’s most in-demand beverage. Iced tea is so popular that it is often referred to “America’s National Drink,” and dates back to the 1830s. Regional foods expert, Linda Stradley, chronicles recipes for cold green tea punch, heavily laced with alcohol, in American and British cookbooks from the early nineteenth century.

As the country emerged from the devastation of the Civil War, 1884 saw recipes for cold sweetened black tea in the Boston Cooking School’s Mrs. Lincoln’s Boston Cook Book, What to Do and What Not to Do in Cooking. Additionally, an 1890 newspaper article in the Nevada Noticer describes over 800 gallons of iced tea served to a gathering of Civil War veterans at a picnic in Nevada, Missouri. Such accounts of iced tea were numerous as the innovative twentieth-century dawned.

The young country was finally on its feet financially and able to play host to the 1904 World’s Fair at St. Louis, Missouri. Among exhibitors from all over the world displaying their wares, a young English tea grower, Richard Blechynden, set up a glamourous and colorful booth with exotically-turbaned Indian servers steeping fine Indian black teas. Hired by an association of Indian tea growers to promote teas from the different regions in India, Mr. Blechynden tried to serve the delicious cups of hot tea. However, he found few who were interested in the steaming beverages as the mid-western summer sweltered under intense heat and humidity. Despite his best efforts and premium Indian teas, his promotion appeared doomed.

Whether inspired by his own need to cool off or some amazing marketing muse, in a move that was to inspire a multi-million dollar industry, Mr. Blechynden packed glasses with ice and poured his black teas over the cold crystals. It was a fortuitous act that change the course of tea consumption in America and saved the day for the young entrepreneur, as Fair visitors flocked to try this novel new drink. Historically, Americans had been green tea drinkers, but found this new, cold black tea so enticing that its popularity quickly spread throughout the nation, persisting to this day as America’s most beloved drink.

Click here to see our newest super-giant fruit-flavored iced teabags that make a gallon of iced tea at a time…so easy to do…just drop the big teabag in a gallon container of water and cold steep overnight in your refrigerator.  Oh so yummy!

2016-2017 Tea Tasting Classes

Cha-Typing-Right-350Global Tea Mart presents:

Tea Tasting Classes: An Exciting & Fun Way to Experience Delicious, Fine Loose Leaf Teas…

Shrouded in the mists before history, humans discovered wild tea trees growing in the

rugged mountainous jungles on the southern edge of China’s Yunnan Province…

~ Thus begins the story of tea ~

Global Tea Mart’s Certified Tea Professional invites you to learn tea’s origins & history as you

see, smell & taste the differences between fine white, green, oolong & black teas.

Save the dates & join us on this entertaining & exhilarating tea-tasting journey in Sun Lakes, AZ…

November 15, 2016……………………………………….Chinese Green Teas

December 20, 2016…………………………………..Tea & English Literature

January 17, 2017………………………………………….What is “High Tea?”

February 21, 2017………………………………………….British Legacy Teas

March 21, 2017……………………………….Ooh!..Those Marvelous Oolongs

April 18, 2017…………………………………….…American Tea Companies

All classes 10AM to Noon

Sun Lakes Country Club Navajo Room.

$5 per class. Reservations are necessary.

 Call or email: customerservice@GlobalTeaMart.com for reservations.

480-219-6211

~ Students please bring a teacup and saucer ~

Afternoon Tea, by Jane Pettigrew–a Review

ChaRight380Afternoon Tea

Our panda mascot, Cha, loves to read—especially tea books—and has recently dived into the world of book reviews. Here’s his take on Jane Pettigrew’s wise and witty Afternoon Tea. (https://store.globalteamart.com/afternoon-tea-p271.aspx)

AfternoonTeaCOVER

(https://store.globalteamart.com/afternoon-tea-p271.aspx)

“First off, I love holding this book—it’s just the right size for my paws and easy on my eyes. I first note and agree with, Ms. Pettigrew’s accurate observation that tea is ‘quite simply, the best drink of the day.’

Then she leads me on a journey from the discovery of tea five-thousand years ago in Southern China, near by the mountains where I was born, through Alice in Wonderland’s looking glass to women’s independence and the temperance movements and right into the tea renaissance that is sweeping the world today.

A lump came into my throat at this gorgeous book’s tasty recipes for such tea goodies as Strawberry Amaretto Shortcake and Macarons. I literally drooled at the elegant photos of perfectly prepared tea trays and trolleys, as well as historical photos that imbue the book with depth and authenticity.

I can’t say enough good things about this enchanting page-after-page depiction of the art of ‘refined conversation and light hearted chatter’ that has so characterized tea time over the centuries. Tea’s cultural importance is highlighted in her descriptions of traditional tea rituals and ceremonies. Although she doesn’t say anything about pandas, I can forgive her oversight as the entire book is a treat.

I would advise you to enjoy this book with a cup of your favorite tea. In Afternoon Tea you will be fascinated by the historical tidbits and mesmerizing tea stories woven as fine as spotless linens and gracious manners. Ms. Pettigrew’s profound insight into this intriguing and healthy beverage is a treat worthy of the finest tea. It’s no wonder she is aptly dubbed ‘Britain’s First Lady of Tea.’ I raise my cup of tea to you, dear lady, for a job exceedingly well done.”

Cha’s Spicydoodle Cookies

Cha Hat Vignette

Cha’s Spicydoodle Cookies

Cha’s been in the kitchen again with his human helper, Kim. Together they’ve created a scrumptious variation on the traditional snickerdoodle cookie using Global Tea Mart’s Chai Spice Mix, a spicy mixture of sweetener, and freshly ground spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, ginger and clove. (https://store.globalteamart.com/chai-spice-mix-p298.aspx)

Chai Spice Mix (6) TB

Crispy and spicy on the outside and softly toothsome on the inside, Spicydoodle cookies are the perfect accompaniment to a delicious cup of your favorite oolong or black tea. Oh and, so easy to make.

Here’s how you do it…20160629 Spicydoodle Cookies 052

Ingredients:

1 cup softened butter

1 ½ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 ¾ cup flour

2 Tsp Global Tea Mart Chai Spice Mix (https://store.globalteamart.com/chai-spice-mix-p298.aspx)

2 Tsp cream of tartar

1 Tsp baking soda

½ Tsp salt

Optional:

Small bowl of Chai Spice Mix and sugar to taste

Directions:

Cream together the softened butter and sugar. Add the eggs and set this mixture aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, Chai Spice Mix, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

Add the butter/sugar mixture to the flour mixture and mix well.

Using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop, roll the dough into round balls about the size of a golf ball. Oh, by the way, to answer all of those who’ve asked; yes, Cha does play golf occasionally.

The cookies will have a delightful spicy flavor and if you’d like them to be even spicier, roll the dough balls in the optional dry Chai Spice and sugar mixture. You might even add some cinnamon—if you like cinnamon, that is. Cha loves these cookies after his daily feast of bamboo leaves.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.

Set your prettiest table, steep up your best tea, invite some friends and enjoy!20160629 Spicydoodle Cookies 001

A Social History of Tea

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A Social History of Tea

One of the best things about drinking tea is the bonds of community and friendship it fosters among tea lovers.   Cha is honored to introduce you to the premier book on the interrelated stories of tea history and culture in Britain and America.

As a tea drinker, the total tea experience doesn’t start with your taste buds—it starts with knowledge of the “ancient beverage”. So, flip open the pages and dive into one of the most captivating and charming stories you will ever read.

A Social History Of Tea MASTER

A Social History of Tea by Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson is filled with fascinating tidbits of tea lore gleaned from diaries, household accounts, books, manuscripts and tea company archives. A Social History of Tea beguiles and informs its readers of the development of bonds that transcended wars and political differences. This intriguing and romantic journey into the past leads naturally to the present-day renewed interest in tea, the “ancient” beverage. From the origins of tea to its spread around the world and into today’s kitchens and dining rooms, this delightful book carries us along as lightly as a clipper ship plying the oceans laden with tea bound for Britain and the Americas. A charmingly written must-have book for the tea lover and tea historian.

Click here to get this book… https://store.globalteamart.com/a-social-history-of-tea-p331.aspx

The Total Tea Experience

The Total Tea Experience

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How often have you heard the words, “Come for tea”? It’s an irresistible invitation that implies friendships finest—pleasant, heart-felt conversation, delicious tea, and possibly something delectable to eat—all served with care and flair.

With hundreds of specialty teas and tea accessories, Chandler’s favorite tea store, Global Tea Mart, will help you make your afternoon tea a splendid affair. Whether you need a favorite tea or a teapot in which to steep it, the selection at Global Tea Mart is sure to help you create the perfect teatime.

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The store’s vast tea selection runs the gamut from hearty black English Breakfast Blend to the very delicate Chinese white teas. Between those two poles, one can find smoky Lapsang Souchong and Keemun, flavorful peach, cherry, mint and apricot, as well as classic green teas such as fine Japanese Sencha and Matcha, South African Rooibos, and exotic Taiwanese oolong teas.

The store’s shelves are filled with teapots, tea mugs, infusers, strainers, cups and saucers, and filters…quite literally, everything needed to steep great tea. It’s a sensory delight to smell the aroma of premium teas from around the world and to see and hold the endlessly different tea leaves.

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Want to know more about your tea? Just ask the store’s on-staff Certified Tea Professional. She’ll happily explain the nuances of your favorite teas and how to best coax the fullest flavor from those charming little leaves. Along the way you’ll learn a thing or two about the history behind the tea. And of course, the first sip will transport you to tea paradise.

This special tea dreamland is located in the Fulton Promenade at 4991 S Alma School Rd., #5, Chandler, AZ. The store is open from 10AM to 5PM Monday through Saturday. Give us a call at 480-219-6211 if you have any inquiries or browse our tea selection at www.GlobalTeaMart.com

New Tea Store in Chandler, AZ

Cha-Typing-Right-350New Tea Store Coming in October 2015

We are very pleased to be opening a physical tea store in The Promenade at Fulton Ranch, Chandler, Arizona and are aiming to be open in October 2015.
The new Store is located at 4991 S Alma School Rd., #5, Chandler, Arizona, 85248.  It will be stocked with the same fine tea and gift products you find in our web-store.  Additionally, our tea consultants will be available to help you learn about tea and chose the teas that please you the most.
Need a gift for a tea lover?  Stop in and chose just the right one.  Want to attend a tea tasting class?  We have several planned.  We’re looking forward to seeing you there.
Please check back for progress reports on the new Store opening.

Or send us an email at www.customerservice@GlobalTeaMart.com for a personal update.012
4991 S Alma School Rd., #5, Chandler, Arizona, 85248

August 2015–we signed the lease and the build-out has started!

Matcha Green Tea

Cha-Typing-Right-350Powdered green matcha, has a long, storied history. Currently it is enjoying rave status for its healthful properties and unique, vegetal taste. Matcha lattes, matcha energy drinks and other concoctions abound.

Tea first arrived in Japan with Buddhist monks from the Jin Shan area of China in the 800s, but it took until the 1100s for the cultivation and consumption of tea to gain a firm hold on the Japanese nation.

Initially, tea was powdered following the Chinese fashion of that time. It quickly became codified as a ceremonial beverage for the Imperial Court at Kyoto, Japanese monasteries and the noble warrior class, the samurai.

By the 1550s, Japanese tea master Sen Rikyu so ritualized the use of matcha that it became the basis for the time-honored Chado, “the Way of Tea.”dreamstime_m_13372969

It wasn’t until the mid-seventeenth century that other forms of tea emerged in Japan to satisfy the popular demand for a quicker method of steeping tea. With the advent of this innovative rolled Sencha method, finely powdered matcha became firmly associated with the exquisite Japanese tea ceremony.

Today the focus on matcha has shifted from the tea house to include everyday uses for this intensely vegetal tea with its high levels of chlorophyll, amino acids and other beneficial compounds. Recipes are plentiful for matcha lattes, matcha ice cream, even matcha banana bread. Its powdered form makes it easy to add to almost any dish.

Whether you drink matcha in its purest form or add it to baked goods, ice cream, or iced tea, you are in for a delightful, healthful treat.

Check out our premium teas at:  www.GlobalTeaMart.com

Britain’s Oldest Tea, by Bruce Richardson

Cha-Typing-Right-350British researchers have found what they believe to be the oldest tea in Britain, and to the surprise of contemporary British tea drinkers, the tea is green! The unassuming box of Chinese tea was acquired around 1700 by a ship’s surgeon James Cuninghame. Cunninghame subsequently gave it as a gift to the famous physician and collector of curiosities, Hans Sloane. Sloane’s vast collection served as the genesis for The National History Museum in London.  The tea, labeled ‘A sort of Tea from China’ and acknowledged as a gift ‘from Mr Cuninghame, remained unnoticed until a recent study on the museum’s ‘Vegetable Substances’ allowed the collection’s long forgotten contents to be discovered. Historians from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) subsequently identified the sample’s significance as the oldest physical remnant of the nation’s favorite drink.  According to NHM researchers, Dr. Charlie Jarvis and Victoria Pickering, the tea was “almost certainly collected or purchased by James Cuninghame, a Scottish surgeon, trader and collector, during one of his two trips to China in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century”. Dr. Richard Coulton, researcher at QMUL said: “Among other things, Cuninghame was a pretty intrepid plant-hunter. In 1697 he joined an illicit private trading voyage to Amoy in Fujian province, a center for the early-modern tea trade. “He arrived back in Britain in 1699 and very soon after set out again to China with the famous British East India Company. He stayed for three years on the island of Chusan, where he found the tea plant growing wild and witnessed the local manufacturing of leaf tea.”Britains Oldest Tea Photo

Cuninghame’s interest in Chinese teas came forty years before the Scottish botanist Robert Fortune started his three-year spy mission into the Chinese interior in search of tea seeds on behalf of the East India Company.  Tea drinking in 1700 was considered an exotic and fashionable pleasure, only affordable to the wealthiest consumers since being introduced into London coffee shops in 1658.  In 1663, tea was priced at up to 60 shillings per pound for the finest quality, whereas the best coffee was only six shillings per pound.  “What makes this discovery so fascinating is that it captures the very moment at which tea was about to lay claim to a mass market in Britain,” Dr. Coulton remarked. But what would the specimen taste like to modern tea drinkers? “It would taste quite some way from the milk and two sugars variety”, said Dr. Coulton. “The tea is loose-leaf green tea, manufactured by peasant laborers on small-holdings in China. The basic process for manual tea production hasn’t really changed, so we might assume that this tea would have tasted much like an artisanal green tea today, albeit one of the rough-and-ready rather than boutique variety. The ‘green’-ness of the tea is interesting: for its first half century, so 1650-1700, Britain’s tea-habit was almost entirely green. It wasn’t until the second quarter of the eighteenth century that darker teas started to take over.” Green tea would remain in favor in both Britain and the American colonies throughout the 18th century. Two Chinese green teas, hyson and singlo, were part of the cargo tossed overboard in Boston Harbor in 1773. And what delicious contribution to British culinary culture was collector Hans Sloane known for?

Hans SloaneSloane traveled to Jamaica in 1725 where he first tasted a chocolate drink he described as ‘nauseous’. But the story goes that after trying it mixed with milk, and not water as it was drunk by the Jamaicans then, he found it much more appealing and ‘healthy’.

Sloane brought his recipe back to London and, later, Cadbury’s started making chocolate as we know it from his original recipe. The rest is chocolate history.Sir Hans Sloane

Read more about the history of tea in A Social History of Tea by Jane Pettigrew & Bruce Richardson, 2014, Benjamin Press. Article used by permission.

World Tea Expo 2015

We’ve just returned for The World Tea Expo 2015 held in Long Beach, California where we met delightful tea people from all over the globe.  It was such a treat to sample an seemingly-endless variety of teas for three days.  Thought you would enjoy this great recap of the state-of-tea in the world by Dan Bolton.

 

Cha-Typing-Right-350Expo Reveals Breadth and Depth of Tea Industry

By: Dan Bolton | May 11, 2015

LONG BEACH, Calif.

North America is now the fourth largest importer and the most vibrant tea market in the world, a fact evident in the breadth and depth of this year’s World Tea Expo.

The Expo, which ended Friday, is North America’s largest and oldest gathering of tea professionals. The conference, focused tastings and educational program draw the brightest and most capable instructors who find attendees to be serious tea professionals engaged in every aspect of the business.

“World Tea Expo proved to be a success for the industry once again as many tea professionals left Long Beach inspired for another great year in tea,” said Show Manager Sam Hammer with show owners F+W Media. “We are thrilled to offer such an elite education platform and bustling Expo floor each and every year; 2015 event in Long Beach was no different. Our event continues to follow the path of the industry’s growth with exciting new event elements being added each year. We are very excited to head back to our roots in Las Vegas, Nevada for 2016 and hope for continued success in the coming years,” said Hammer.

During the show F+W Media announced World Tea on the Road, an in-depth tea education program with stops in Boston and Chicago this fall. The program consists of two entrepreneurial education tracks taught by tea’s foremost experts. The Boston show is Oct. 10-11 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. The Chicago even is Nov. 7-8 at the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront. The next World Tea Expo is scheduled for June 15-17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

In addition to wholesale vendors and tea shop owners from around the country, the show attracted many natural food, holistic pharmacy and healthy beverage retailers to the Long Beach Convention Center for the three-day event. Organizers emphasized the importance of tea’s health benefits in a “Tea Up for Health” series of presentations by physicians and health experts.

Evidence of the tea industry’s growth beyond the $10 billion mark during the past decade can be seen in corporate investment in new brewing equipment such as the CrafTea maker, innovations like the Tea-Ceré grinder, next generation kettles from Zojirushi and Bonavita; food service brewers from BUNN and FETCO and advanced commercial brewing devices from BKON and Alpha Dominche that sell for several thousand dollars.

Tea sales for consumption off-premises are projected to grow by 7% per year for the next five years according to Euromonitor International which predicts a 2% increase in volume to reach 37,333 metric tons, in its most recent report on “ Tea in the U.S.”ees traveled from 47 countries to attend.

About Dan Bolton

Dan Bolton edits STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International. He was formerly editor and publisher of World Tea News and former editor and publisher of Tea Magazine and former editor-in-chief of Specialty Coffee Retailer. He is a beverage retail consultant and frequent speaker at industry seminars and conferences. His work has appeared in many beverage publications. He was a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years prior to his career in magazines. Dan is the founding editor of Natural Food magazine and has led six publishing ventures since 1995. He lives in Winnipeg, Canada.

 

 

 

Best Tea and Food Pairings

Global tea, tea and food pairingsLike wine, tea is a robust and complex beverage with seemingly endless variations. Therefore, pairing tea with food is no less complicated than choosing wine pairings. Fortunately, there are some simple, logical guidelines to get you started. As you develop your palate and expand your knowledge of tea, you will be able to branch off the basic recommendations to create your own signature pairings.

Qualities of Tea

Each tea is an individualized blend of complex notes, yet all of these qualities can be summarized in three basic categories: aroma, texture, and taste. Fortunately, everyone has at least a small food-related vocabulary, allowing you to describe what you experience.

  • Aroma: Prepare a cup of your favorite tea, and then deeply inhale its scent without tasting it. Does it smell floral, or nutty, or something else? Is the aroma subtle and hard to notice, or is it bold and obvious? Inhale a little more deeply. Can you pinpoint a specific scent? If not, don’t worry. The point is just to become more aware of the aromas of individual teas.
  • Texture: Sometimes referred to as “mouth feel,” texture simply refers to how your mouth interprets the tea. Take a sip and hold it in your mouth without swallowing. Does it feel buttery, tangy, crisp, or refreshing? After you swallow, does it leave a sensation behind? Try to describe that sensation, remembering to focus on feel rather than taste.
  • Taste: What flavors can you pick out? Do you taste peaches or apples or some other fruit? Is the tea smoky or woody or nutty? Try to categorize the tastes, such as “fruity” or “earthy.” Take note of the general tastes that are apparent to you.

Matching Qualities to Foods

Different foods also have different aromas, textures, and tastes. A good rule of thumb is to pair teas with foods that match some or all of their qualities. For example, you might choose a bold, tangy, woody tea with a hearty barbecue meal, or a crisp, fruity, subtle tea with a light salad.

Counterpoints also work well. A refreshing, fruity tea might be just what you need as a palate cleanser between heavy dishes at a formal dinner. In addition, you need not try to match all of the quality dimensions to the meal. For example, a citrus tea pairs well with fish, even if it has a floral aroma that doesn’t quite seem to match.

Pairing by Variety of Tea

Although each variety of tea offers numerous variations on aroma, texture, and taste, it can be helpful for beginners to start by pairing up certain varieties of tea with different dishes. As you gain knowledge and experience, you can begin to experiment with more specific pairings.

  • Black tea: The most familiar type of tea to the majority of Americans, black tea is bold, flavorful, and heavily caffeinated. It pairs well with milk, making it a good choice for coffee drinkers who are just entering the world of tea. Due to its robust flavor, black tea is best paired with strongly flavored foods such as hearty meats, spicy foods, sweet desserts, and even chocolate.
  • Green tea: With a more subtle, vegetative taste than black tea, green tea works very well with mildly flavored foods. Fish and other seafood, chicken, rice, and melons are among the best choices. Keep in mind that some green teas have fruity additives, while others have a smoky note that cuts through greasy fried foods. Regardless, any strong or sweet foods will overwhelm green tea.
  • White tea: White tea has a very subtle flavor, so it goes best with extremely mild foods. Plain vegetable salads with little or no dressing and very mild fish create the best pairings. Many people also choose to drink white tea alone, perhaps sweetened with a delicate honey, to truly appreciate its subtle notes.
  • Oolong tea: Oolong teas run the gamut from light to dark, and each has its own qualities. In general, light oolong teas are sweeter, with a bold floral aroma. They pair well with decadent seafood dishes and lightly salted items. Dark oolong teas are bold and robust, and stand up well to dark or gamey meats such as duck. Dark oolong is also a good choice for desserts sweetened with brown sugar or maple syrup.
  • Pu-erh tea: Heavy fermentation creates a strong earthy flavor in pu-erh tea, which stands up well to oily fried foods. This tea also helps to aid digestion, making it a great complement to a heavy meal.
  • Chai tea: This robust blend of black tea and strong aromatics makes it a natural fit with foods that match one or more of its components. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and cloves are among the most common ingredients, so pair it with foods that have similar flavor profiles. A particularly interesting combination is Chai tea and ice cream, as the cooling effect of the ice cream creates a satisfying mouth feel behind the bold tea.

Pairing tea with food can be as simple or as complex as you like. As long as you choose teas that don’t overwhelm the food and foods that don’t overwhelm the tea, you really can’t go wrong. As your knowledge and experience grows, you will begin to focus on specific notes and build your pairings around them. Ultimately, taste is subjective, and the right pairings are those that appeal to you.

At Global Tea Mart, we hope to become your online home for all aspects of the world of tea. If we can be of assistance in any way, please do not hesitate to call us at 888-209-4223. We look forward to being a part of your journey!

Best Alcoholic Tea Drinks

Global tea recipesTea plays an important role in a surprisingly wide range of alcoholic cocktails. In fact, the entire idea of modern iced black tea has its roots in a highly alcoholic green tea punch that dates to the 1830s. While the original recipes were limited by the types of teas that were available in a particular place or time, that is no longer the case. You might enjoy a complex herbal blend or a delicate white tea rather than a traditional green or black tea. With so many teas readily available today, we encourage you to experiment with recipes to find the balance that best suits your individual tastes.

Hot Tea Cocktails

Warm alcoholic tea concoctions are an excellent way to beat back the chill on a cold winter night, but also serve a soothing and relaxing purpose throughout the year. The key to a successful hot tea cocktail is to begin by making the tea and then add the other ingredients as it is steeping. Many of these drinks can be tweaked to create non-alcoholic “mocktail” versions as well.

  • Hot Toddy: The hot toddy is arguably the most famous hot tea cocktail. A blend of tea, honey, lemon, and liquor, it is also one of the easiest to experiment with. Black and green teas are the most traditional, as they react well with the blend of honey and lemon to create a slightly sweet and sour note. However, virtually any type of tea could be used instead, especially if you tweak the amount of honey and lemon.

Whiskey, rum, and bourbon are the traditional liquors in a hot toddy, and each imparts its own unique flavors. However, there is no reason not to use gin, vodka, or any other liquor you prefer. Flavored alcohols can also enhance the taste, from spicy cinnamon to soothing apple.

To create a mock version, consider substituting apple juice, cranberry juice, or another flavored beverage for the liquor. You might need to tweak the amount of water in the recipe as well.

  • Hot Tea Punch: Hot tea punches run the gamut of styles and flavors, but are always heavy on the aromatics. Rum and red wine form the base for a heady, festive winter punch, while cranberry juice and apple cider are excellent additions to a lighter springtime punch. Brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, and cloves fit well into virtually any hot tea punch.

For a non-alcoholic mocktail, substitute dark grape juice for red wine, use non-alcoholic cider, or choose molasses with nuts or rum extract instead of rum. You might need to fine-tune the amount of aromatics you use, as non-alcoholic versions tend to be lighter overall.

  • Chai Drinks: If you are familiar with Chai tea, you know that its spicy blend of flavorings pairs best with milk and sugar. Therefore, it is a natural choice for creamy hot beverages featuring Baileys, Kahlua, or other rich liquor choices. Be careful how much sugar you add, as these alcohols are already sweet. To get a mocktail approximation of this, stick to traditional Chai tea with milk and sugar, and add a spoonful of your favorite flavoring extract.

Iced Tea Cocktails

Iced tea cocktails are refreshing on a summer afternoon, and can be an excellent pick-me-up at any time of year. In these cocktails, the tea serves as a bold background flavor, so avoid choosing very delicate teas that might be overwhelmed. It is important to steep the tea using traditional warm methods to bring forth its natural flavors, and then thoroughly chill it in the refrigerator, freezer, or in an ice bath before mixing your cocktail.

  • Iced Tea Punch: The iced tea punch helped to spawn an iced tea revolution in the United States, and with good reason. Cold and refreshing, iced tea punches can be as simple or as complex as you prefer. Green tea is the traditional base, but there is no reason not to choose black tea or your favorite herbal blend instead. Focus on light alcohols such as vodka for an airy daytime punch, or add rum or bourbon for a more dramatic concoction. Lemonade, lime juice, or other citrus beverages are often added for complexity and to cut some of the alcohol.

A nonalcoholic version can be just as tasty as a punch with alcohol. Choose a bold tea, add multiple citrus juices, and top it off with a spoonful of flavoring extract or an herbal-infused simple syrup. Don’t forget to garnish with some fresh sliced fruit.

  • Flavored Iced Teas: Flavored alcoholic teas are extraordinarily popular and easy to make. For examples, with a bit of bourbon and fresh mint, you can turn your tea into a less-strong mockup of a mint julep. Flavored alcohols, strong aromatics, and fresh fruits can be combined in innumerable ways to create unique flavor blends.

Mocktail versions feature the same tea, aromatics, and fresh fruits, but leave out the alcohol. They are generally sweeter and less bitter than the alcoholic version, but otherwise taste very similar. Perhaps the best-known non-alcoholic example is the Arnold Palmer, which is simply half-tea and half-lemonade served over ice.

  • Iced Chai Drinks: Like their hot counterparts, iced Chai drinks marry the spicy flavors of Chai tea with their natural affinity for sugar and milk. Any milky liqueur can substitute for the milk, or you can simply add a splash of your favorite liquor to a traditionally prepared cold Chai tea. For a nonalcoholic version, add a bit of flavoring extract instead.

Alcoholic tea drinks have been an important part of tea culture since its earliest days. Like all aspects of tea enjoyment, it is filled with rich possibilities for exploration and experimentation. Take the time to try different combinations of teas, alcohols, and other ingredients, and you are sure to develop a personal favorite blend or two.

At Global Tea Mart, we hope to become your online home for all aspects of the world of tea. If we can be of assistance in any way, please do not hesitate to call us at 888-209-4223. We look forward to being a part of your journey!

Did You Know…

Timeless Tapestry Tea Cozy Timeless TapestryStory of the Tea Cozy

Legend says that the tea cozy was invented in the 1600’s when an Irish farmer leaned across the table as he sat down to dinner. His hat fell on top of the teapot, covering it fully. Later when he removed the hat to pour his tea, he found the tea still warm. His clever wife realized the value of this accidental discovery and promptly knitted a little woolen jacket for the teapot—and thus the tea “cosy” was born.

History credits both Catherine of Braganza, the wife of King Charles II, and Anna Maria Stanhope, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford, for popularizing the tea cozy in Britain. To keep the tea hot and prolong their social gatherings, both women covered their teapots with beautifully stitched fabric covers.

Today, thickly padded tea cozies come in all colors and fabrics. No longer limited to the flowery cozies of Victorian times, today’s tea warmers appeal to both men and women. Designed for the male tea drinker, the newest cover is called a “Hob.” Hob is a British term for a stovetop, and a shelf in the back of the fireplace where kettles are set to keep warm.

See more Tea Cozies at: www.GlobalTeaMart.com