Tea Recipe: Jasmine Tea Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is boring, but not when you give it a twist with Jasmine tea. Here’s what’s required:

  • 2 red onions
  • 3 medium carrots ( sliced into 1 cm pieces )
  • 50g fresh ginger
  • 1 fennel bulb ( finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 2 tbsp jasmine tea
  • coriander seeds
  • spaghetti or noodles
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh chives
  • 2 chicken breasts ( with bone )

Jasmine tea recipe preparation

Preheat oven to 190 ° C. Use a large heatproof frying pan or wok and pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat the pan and add onions, carrots, ginger and fennel. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. Keep stirring in the pan until the vegetables are slightly softened, this is after about 6-8 minutes.

Afterwards, you scoop out the vegetables in a separate bowl. Pour water into a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Turn the stove off when the water boils, add the jasmine tea leaves. Put the lid on the pan and let the tea infuse for 5 minutes.

Make chicken stock in a pan and put it on low heat. After 5 minutes, add the tea to the chicken stock. Dry the chicken breasts with kitchen paper and coat the chicken breasts then with half a tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer the chicken to taste by adding salt, pepper and coriander. Heat the pan that was used for the vegetables again and add the remaining olive oil. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and fry it at high temperature. Then place the pan in the preheated oven and bake the chicken breasts for 15 minutes.

Cook the spaghetti or noodles, and then let it drain well. Cut all the meat of the chicken breasts once it’s done. Put the spaghetti or noodles in a bowl and add the chicken and vegetables as well. Then pour the delicious tea broth over and garnish with coriander and chives. There you go!

Enjoy and make sure you leave a comment if you have tried this recipe at home 😉

Smoked Chicken Salad with Black Tea Dressing Recipe

Black tea is not only a popular beverage, but it can at the same time be used to make excellent salad dressings! For this smoked chicken salad you need the following ingredients:

  • 225 gram smoked chicken
  • 115 grams of raisins
  • 2 small pears
  • 100 gram of chestnuts
  • 1 crop of lettuce

Ingredients for dressing:

  • 1 or 2 tablespoon of loose black Chinese tea leaves
  • 80 ml yoghurt
  • 60 ml of apple juice
  • 1/4 tablespoon of black pepper (buy fresh and grind yourself)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preparation Chicken salad with tea dressing

For the dressing, bring the apple juice to boil in a pan. Turn of the heat and sprinkle the tea leaves in the pan and let it steep for 5 minutes. Afterwards, separate the leaves from the steeped apple juice tea and let it cool down.

Separate the leaves from the steeped apple juice tea and let it cool down.

Once the tea has cooled, add mustard, yoghurt, pepper and salt. Then mix the ingredients well.

Soak the raisins in boiling water for at least 10 minutes . They must eventually be soft. Rinse them with water and let them drain.
Wash the lettuce and let it dry. Divide the salad among 4 plates dry.

Cut the smoked chicken into chunks or stripes. Peel the pears and remove the core. Cut the pears into thin slices. Peel the water chestnuts and cut them into slices as well.

Put the smoked chicken, grapes, pears and water chestnuts in a bowl. Pour about half the dressing with it. (There will be 1 tablespoon of dressing per person left). Mix everything well together.

Divide the chicken salad on 4 plates and pour another the remaining dressing over each plate. Serve and enjoy! Dare to try and share your thoughts 😉

Recipes: Enjoy Tea with Osmanthus Taste

Sweet osmanthus, also known as Osmanthus Fragrans, is a Chinese flower that’s often used in the Chinese kitchen to prepare desserts. The flowers are super fragrant and release a buttery sweet apricot scent. In this post we’re going to introduce you some classic blends with osmanthus that you should try out at home!

Before we move on to the recipes we would like to mention that there are also pre-blended osmanthus teas available, but they typically aren’t as great as when you buy leaf tea and osmanthus separately.

Osmanthus oolong tea

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Watch the video below to see how it’s prepared in a gaiwan and visit this page for more details.

Osmanthus green tea

Watch the video below to observe how it’s made in a glass teapot. See this page for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ways To Brew Loose Leaf Green Tea in a Glass

Steeping a cup of green tea can be done in many different ways. Sometimes you want to take out your full tea ceremony set and perform a ritual, while there are also moments that you just want to steep casually using a straight glass.

Traditionally, loose leaf green tea is often prepared in a glass as they benefit from lower water temperatures. The delicate leaves are also hard to over-steep and can be kept in the glass while you sip. Isolation of heat is also a less important factor compared to preparing oolong or pu erh tea. Those types of tea would be better of in an Yixing teapot.

Don’t underestimate the potential of simple straight glass though. With some simple tips and tricks you can achieve almost the same quality as traditional teaware. In the video below we show you 3 ways of brewing green tea in a glass, followed by more detailed notes to tweak the brewing process based on characteristics of the green tea leaves and environmental temperature.

Rinsing the glass

Rinsing the glass with hot water before brewing can be beneficial to steep better tea. This will warm the glass, and thus keep the water temperature more consistent when performing your first brew. If you want to keep it casual, for example because you’re in office, then you could decide to skip this step.

Also read: Why tea breaks are good for you

Glass Brewing Method 1

The first way of brewing loose green tea in a glass is by first adding hot water before the leaves. This method is the most suitable for smaller tea leaves because they easily absorb water and release flavor, even when they’re added after the water.

Due to the smaller size of the leaves, they’re often more delicate, and thus benefit from the water temperature to cool slightly. When you add hot water at 85 C / 185 F it will decrease a few degrees by the time you add the leaves in.

green tea brewing 2

Glass Brewing Method 2

In the second method for brewing loose leaf green tea, you first fill up the glass until it’s 1/3 full, followed by adding the leaves. This is great for mid-sized leaves.

green tea brewing 3.jpgGlass Brewing Method 3

In this last method, we first add the leaves followed by filling the glass with hot water. This method suits larger leaves the best, because they tend to absorb water slower then fine leaves. The brewing time would take too long when you apply the first method to brew larger leaves.

green tea brewing 4.jpg

Temperature, Duration & Amount of Leaves

For each method, you should apply a steeping duration of 3 minutes with hot water at  85 C / 185 F.

For green tea, applying a leaf-to-water ratio of 1:50 is a good starting point. This means that 4 grams of leaf is good for a 200 ml (6-7 oz) glass of tea that can be steeped for 3 times.

Subsequent Steeps

Once you’ve consumed 2/3 of the glass or whenever you feel that the taste is becoming to strong, simply refill it with hot water. A good quality green tea should get you at least 3 brews.

Seasonal Tweaks

While above we refer each way of steeping as a ‘method’ you could rather see them as variations in the way of brewing with a glass. Choosing a method to prepare loose leaf green tea based on the delicacy of the leaves is a great starting point. However, sometimes you need to consider the surrounding environment as well.

Let’s say you’re brewing a cup of tea outside during a hot summer day. Then the first method of adding hot water could already be great for tea leaves that you would normally steep with method 2. That’s because hot water tend to cool down more slowly in such condition. In contrast, you want to use method 3 (adding leaves before pouring hot water) more often when you’re in a low temperature environment. Questions? Please ask.

What Base Leaves Should I Use With Chrysanthemum Flowers And Rosebuds?

Here’s an interesting question we received from one of our readers:

I’m looking to create a gift blend for my guests. The ingredients that I want to use are Chrysanthemum flowers and Rosebuds. What could a suitable tea to use as a base for the blend?

Here’s the answer based on consultations of different tea experts in our circle:

The Best Base Might Be No Base

To fully enjoy the aroma and taste of rosebuds and chrysanthemum, it could be an idea to not use a base at all. After all, the flavor of tea can cover the flower’s natural taste. If that’s what you treasure then feel comfortable without adding a base tea at all.

rosebuds and chrysanthemum blend

Base Pu Erh Tea for Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum tend to go well with pu erh tea. For a blend only loose pu erh teas are suitable. Preferably a ripe pu erh as they are usually more smooth to go with flowers. When choosing this as a base, add more Chrysanthemum flowers relative to Rosebuds.

Base Black Tea For Rosebuds

Rosebuds go well with black tea. Any black tea can be suitable, except for smoky ones. In such a case, add more rosebuds relative to chrysanthemum flowers. This non-smoked Lapsang Souchong can be a good choice, because it has a light flavor of pinewood that goes well with the flower aroma.

White Tea, A Safe Choice

A light tasting base could be also a good choice as it doesn’t covers the fragrance of the flowers. A white tea, such as the bai mu dan or silver needle, or light green tea are great options.

Did you Know There Are 3 Types of Chrysanthemum Flowers?

How To Date Your Customer To Grow A Tea Business

With today’s technology it’s not that difficult to gain visitors to your tea business, whether it’s online shop or a physical store. It’s easy to spend money on ads using Google, participate on social media or offer great coupon deals on sites such as Groupon. What most tea start-ups struggle with the most is how they grow their business. The secret that we want to reveal in this article is that most fast growing businesses successfully apply insights from dating someone to their business.

When it comes to growing your tea business, the concept is behind it is fairly simple. It relies on two simple factors.

1. The % of store visitors will buy your product, and;

2. The % of your customers will come back and buy again.

The only way to influence these factors to work your way up to success is by offering something that your customer will love. It’s something that they are passionate about, and when you achieve that, they are unconditionally wanting it to be successful. If you get that right, the rest will take care of itself. The reality is that nobody ever gets it right the first time, even if you spends a lot of time preparing your tea offerings. Great businesses listen to customers and continuously improve their product (or services) to make it great.

In this blog post we will talk about the first factor that we listed above ” The % of store visitors will buy your product.” To make this happen, you have to treat your customers if you are dating them. With this in mind, you’re going to have to create a great first impression and find ways to make first impression things memorable.

The First Impression

When it comes to dating, the first impression matters and this is something that also holds for companies. We humans are ‘relationship-manufacturing’ creatures. Whether it’s the car you drive, clothes we buy, or even the cup of tea we drink, if it’s something you love, you feel a ‘personal’ connection with it. If you are a tea business owner, then ask yourself how you can create that first connection when presenting your tea product? The number one important factor is to make it memorable, which we discuss in the next paragraph.

Make Things Memorable

When trying to uncover opportunities that people will remember, consider the below list of ideas:

Store Impressions: Pick A Venue

When you date, you have to pick the right venue. Assume your tea store or website is that venue and ask yourself: How does it feel when a tea enthusiast enters my store for the first time? If you have a physical store, make sure you get the interior design right. If you have an online store, invest in great web-design that is user-friendly. To make it memorable, it has to be remarkable.

Packaging: Dress To Impress

It’s not only the store design or quality of the tea that matter. We tea sippers are emotional people. Not only does the tea itself has to be good, but also the whole experience around it. Like you dress up for a date, you need to offer good looking packaging for your product. Is the packaging of the tea a pleasure to look at? Does the packaging tell you stories about the tea? Is it easy to open and close? How is the appearance of the tea? How does it smell? These things all matter.

Ask For Feedback

How can I make my customer remember the tea he/she tastes? It’s safe to assume that the majority of your customers have tried many different kinds of tea in their lives. It doesn’t matter how much we love tea, our brains have limitations: we simply can’t remember all the great teas that we tried in the past. To make your teas memorable, ask your customer questions to make them actively about how they feel about your tea. Whether this is during free tasting sessions in a physical store or while you engage with customers on social media, it will make them remember.

Tell More About Yourself: Each Tea Has A Story

Do I have information about the background of the product that you are selling? Make sure you never see tea just as a commodity product. What makes tea great is the story behind it! Tell your customer about the background of the farmer, the production region, the way it’s made. These are all things that make your product memorable and at the same time a more enjoyable sip.

Get To Know Me More: Steeping Instructions

Steeping instructions are similar to user manuals of electronics, except people actually read them.  Nobody will read manuals of electronics, as most of the time the product speaks for itself. Tea is different, because the steeping ritual is as important as sipping the tea itself.

Never Give Up: Continously Improve

You can always be nervous about dating and that’s fine. Never give up. Even if the first dates fail, it’s what you learn from it that matters to continuously improve that great first impression that will attract.

NEXT: Marry Your Customer

The next step after dating and getting to know someone is that you will enter a marriage. Customer retention will become more important at that stage. More on this in our future blog posts!

This blog post belongs to a series of posts about How To Start A Tea Business

Coffee Leaf Tea Guide

There are many coffee and tea lovers around the world, and the war between the two beverages has been going on for ages. Tea is still leading by being the second most consumed beverage in the world right after water. But this might change soon. Recently coffee farmers have something new that could potentially be a real alternative to tea: Coffee Leaf Tea.

As the name already reveals, it’s a tea made from the actual leaves of the coffee plant. Wise Monkey is one of the first companies that attempt to revolutionize the coffee industry with this tea. See their video below:

Tea type: tea or tisane?

Coffee leaf tea is in fact not a real tea, as it’s not made from the original tea plant called ‘Camellia Sinensis’. The official term for other steeped beverages made from other plants, herbs, or fruits are called ‘Tisane’. In reality, most people still tend to use the term ‘tea’ by classifying it in a separate category of ‘herbal teas’. Popular teas made from other herbs such as kuding and honeysuckle tea also belong to this category.

Health benefits of coffee leaf tea

Though it’s often claimed that coffee leaf tea has more antioxidants compared to green tea, there is no reliable academic evidence for this yet. See the video below discussing the benefits:

Coffee plants & processing

Coffee leaf tea can be made from one of the two types of coffee plants:

  • Arabica coffee plant: originally from to the mountains of the southwestern highlands in Ethiopia
  • Robusta coffee plant: originally from central and western sub-Saharan in Africa

The processing of the leaves aren’t as complicated as for real tea. Right after picking the leaves are dried, roasted and then crumpled. At the moment, there are no such tea available yet made from full leaf or buds. The cultivation is mainly focused on making sure the quality of the coffee bean is good, so the quality of the leaf is kind of ignored. Besides, that coffee production regions don’t have the tea cultivation knowledge yet, to produce better quality coffee leaf tea.

The taste

The most important question: How does it taste? If the taste isn’t good, this all doesn’t have any meaning. The tea community describes this tea with the following words the most: earthy, grassy,  vegetal, licorice. The taste is often rated from bad to reasonably good.

Though the taste isn’t as well received yet, future improvement in processing (and maybe even better cultivation) can make this type of herbal tea only better.

Secondary income for farmers

Independent from whether it tastes good or not, the idea of coffee leaf tea is great, because it can offer secondary income for bean producers, as the discussed in the video of Wise Monkey above. It has economic meaning, as the leaves aren’t gone to waste. And, if the taste is good, then all tea lovers can benefit from it.

So what about you? Is it going to be coffee or tea? or coffee leaf tea?

Traveling Tea Boxes (TTBs): Ultimate Guide To Tea Swapping

The tea community is growing bigger and bigger and it’s brewing a culture with its own rituals. One of them is an activity called the ‘traveling tea box’ (TTB). In simple words, joining a TTB means that you are entering a tea swapping activity with a group of tea lovers who also joined.

Swapping things has always been around, especially before any currency existed. However, what makes traveling tea box activities so special that tea lovers aren’t swapping for economic purposes, but it’s a kind of a enjoyable social activity. After all, we all love to share enjoyable experiences with others.

To get an idea of what you can expect to receive, see for example the image below

traveling tea box
source: My Thoughts Are Like Butterflies

Common Rules For Traveling Tea Boxes

Some tea lovers do want to join a tea swapping activity, but are worried about breaking one of the established rules. Below we have listed common rules that will ease your mind. In addition, if you plan to organize a TTB yourself, then it will be a great checklist for you to go through!

Though each of them will have its unique rules, below are a few types of rules that you will commonly see for TTBs.

  • Tea in / tea out: One basic rule traveling tea boxes is that you put a similar amount of your own teas in the box to what you take out. There is usually no minimum or maximum as long as you stick to this rule (unless this is a stated rule for a particular TTB).
  • Tea type: As the diversity of tea offerings increase, so is the different kind of TTB groups with a different scope of tea. For instance, some tea swapping groups only limit the teas to loose tea and exclude tea bags and some only allow one tea type (e.g. green, black, oolong etc.). Besides this, it could go even more specific, such as a TTB for only unflavored teas or only tea blends.
  • How long to keep the box: This is a common rule that it’s part of every TTB and it normally ranges from a few days to a couple of weeks. Make sure you know this rule and send it out in time to the next person, so nobody who joined the TTB is waiting too long for the next box to arrive. It’s not a big deal if you for some reasons can’t send it in time, but do communicate this to the participants, so they are aware of it.
  • Geography: For practical reasons, for most TTBs it’s stated that participants of only certain geographical regions can join. Mostly often, swapping is limited to a certain country, province or even city, to avoid high shipping costs.
  • Shipping method: Sometimes it’s required to ship the box to the next person using a shipping method with tracking.
  • Sign-up spots: TTBs might be limited to a certain amount of participants. Groups that are too big are often hard to manage and keep over sight.
  • Tea & packaging labeling: Try using packaging for the tea that can be sealed well. Otherwise, the teas will over time start smelling and tasting the same. Take special care of teas that have a strong scent, as those have the biggest chance of affecting other teas in the box. Sometimes original packaging can be good enough already, but if not, try to buy some seal-able packaging. One last note: If you don’t use the original packaging, make sure to write down the tea company and tea name on the new packaging.

Best Tea Swapping Practices

Besides the general rules, there are some best practices that sometimes are part of TTBs and if they aren’t, you can still try to apply them to yourselves to make the activity more enjoyable.

  • Be nice, share teas you love: While you might share tea that you personally don’t like, do not share tea that is low quality or unfresh. A kind of an unwritten rule is that you don’t use the traveling tea box as a way to get rid old tea that you don’t like. While it’s true others might possibly like teas you don’t like,  try to balance it with teas that you really like and would love to share.
  • Write notes: Most tea lovers like to read tasting notes about the teas that others have tried. Some participants will enjoy reading your notes as much as drinking the tea itself. Don’t feel pressured to write a note on every tea, but whenever you do have the inspiration, try at least to write a few.
  • Maintain box condition: If the box is damaged and you feel it might affect the teas when they arrive at the next participant, then make sure to replace the box. Sometimes it’s stated in the rules, but if not, you should still take care of this.

Reasons To Join Tea Swaps

There are so many reasons why you should at least give traveling tea boxes a try.

  1. Try more teas with a lower budget. Do join a TTB in your own country though, because international TTB can be expensive due to shipping costs.
  2. Swap teas you don’t like. If you don’t like certain teas you bought, it’s such a waste to leave it in the kitchen, especially if it’s good quality tea that for sure some tea lovers out there are very happy to steep. As mentioned before, do keep it balanced by sharing tea that you do like and do not share tea that is  not fresh or low quality.
  3. Make friends. Sharing is caring and this rule definitely applies to tea. Share, drink, and make more tea friends.

How To Find TTBs To Join

By now you should probably have pretty good idea whether traveling boxes are something for you. If so, there are two places to find TTBs to join.

  1. Steepster is tea community website with a discussion section especially for tea swaps.
  2. Reddit is another good place. Checkout the subreddit r/teaexchange to start browsing!

If you know any other good place for tea swaps, let us know and we will add it to this list!