Jasmine Sour Cocktail Recipe

Friday, March 18th, 2016 by

Jasmine Sour Filter

We love this spring-y cocktail for its secret ingredient: green tea flavored syrup. Don’t have any on hand? Substitute a cup of brewed Jasmine 1st Grade green tea for water when making simple syrup (instructions below). Try the leftover syrup as a sweetener in iced tea or homemade lemonade.

Ingredients

For the syrup:

1 cup brewed Jasmine 1st Grade green tea

2 cups sugar

For the cocktail (per serving):

2 oz vodka

1/2 oz lemon juice

1 1/2 oz jasmine simple syrup

Instructions

To make the syrup, combine the sugar and tea in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear. Let cool.

Add the syrup, vodka, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass. Garnish with lemon zest if you like, or a jasmine flower if you can find one. Cheers!

Cider Hot Toddy Recipe

Friday, October 9th, 2015 by

This recipe is the best thing to happen to apple cider in a long time. Yes, it’s great with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, with or without whipped cream. But it’s also so, so good with our Lemon Ginger Green Tea (shot of bourbon optional). The tartness of the lemon balances the sweetness of the cider and the ginger adds just the right amount of heat.

Cider Toddy Tall

Ingredients per serving

1 cup apple cider (we used the unspiced kind)

1 teaspoon Lemon Ginger Green Tea

1 1/2 ounces bourbon or whiskey

Directions

Heat the cider on the stove in a small pan until simmering. Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon or whiskey. Pour the mixture into a mug and steep the tea using an infuser or T-sac pouch for about a minute and a half. Strain and serve.

Variation

If straight cider is a little too sweet for you, a more traditional hot toddy might be more your thing. Steep the tea in a cup of hot water instead of cider, leaving a little room at the top of your mug. Once the tea is steeped, add the bourbon or whiskey, a shot of cider, and a tablespoon of honey (or sweeten to taste).

How to Choose a Green Tea

Thursday, September 24th, 2015 by

Green tea has been the recipient of lots of good press due to its high levels of certain types of antioxidants.  It’s easy to find just about everywhere, though the bottles in the cooler at your local gas station tend to be chock full of things other than healthy goodness. The best way to enjoy it is to brew it at home using loose leaf teas (or whole leaf tea bags), which yield higher levels of antioxidants and better flavor than most commercially available bags.

Some great greens to start with:

Sencha: mellow and grassy with a light toasted flavor, slightly astringent

Sencha is one of the most popular green teas in the world. If you’re looking for a “typical” green tea, this is the one. Mountain grown, this tea has a mild, slightly grassy flavor. High altitude conditions also mean fewer insects, and reduced pesticide use as well. For those concerned with pesticide content, we also offer an organically grown Sencha.

Pinhead Gunpowder: bold, smokey

Also available in bags, this extra-fine Pinhead Gunpowder tea is known for its bold flavor, often described as nutty or smokey. Gunpowder gets its name from its pellet-like appearance —the young green tea leaves are rolled before pan firing.

Organic Mao Jian: lightly fruity, slightly vegetal, crisp

Less pungent than gunpowder teas, Mao Jian has a light, nicely balanced flavor, slightly fruity and less grassy than Sencha with a sweet finish.

Greens

Once you’ve explored a few basic varieties you might want to branch out and explore other flavors. These greens are for you:

Jasmine First Grade: floral, sweet 

Available loose leaf and in bags, this tea is very popular in both China and Japan, and is commonly served in restaurants. The stong floral aroma and flavor of this tea comes from jasmine blossoms, which are mixed with 1st grade green tea leaves.

Organic Genmaicha: roasty, slightly sweet 

Sometimes referred to as “popcorn tea”, Genmaicha is essentially Sencha blended with roasted brown rice (some of which “pops” and looks like bits of popcorn. Originally used as a filler to create a more affordable cup, the rice lends a unique and delicious toasty flavor.

Organic Ceylon Green: flavorful, less grassy, lightly sweet

A black tea-lover’s tea, this rare non-oxidized version of Ceylon is less grassy than other greens and as flavorful and full-bodied as many black teas.

Young Hyson: full-flavored, earthy

Also for black tea lovers, Young Hyson is dried at a higher heat than other greens, giving them a heavier body and slightly fuller, pungent flavor. Young Hyson tea leaves are rolled so they have a long, twisted appearance that unfurls when brewed.

We also carry decaffeinated green tea, as well as flavored green teas. If you’re curious about high grade premium teas, we have those as well and sell them in small quantities for sampling. Our recommendations:

Sencha lovers, try Japan Sencha Superior 

An extremely high quality, smooth-bodied tea featuring Sencha’s characteristic grassiness. While it might seem strange to play with your tea, the dark green, needle-like leaves leaves are pretty to look at and so silky, it’s hard not to.

Jasmine lovers, try Jasmine Pearls

Jasmine Pearls are created using a centuries-old method of hand rolling high grade tea leaves and buds into neat “pearls” which unfurl slowly when steeped. Sweet and more mellow than Jasmine First Grade, this tea can withstand multiple infusions and is perfect for those seeking a more delicate floral flavor.

Premium tea lovers, try Gyokuro

These blue-green needle shaped leaves are made with only the earliest buds of shade-grown tea. Reduced sunlight results in increased amounts of amino acids, chlorophyll and caffeine. Perfect for those seeking a less grassy tasting green, Gyokuro is sweet with a soft, mellow body. Regarded by many as the best tea in the world, this is not an every day tea, but a special experience indeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jasmine Honey Tea Granita

Thursday, August 27th, 2015 by

If you’ve followed our recipes lately, you know we’re fans of fancy looking frozen desserts that require no machine and little effort. Continuing in that tradition, we present the refreshing tea granita! If you’ve never had a granita, it is usually made with water, sugar, and flavor, sometimes fresh fruit, and has a unique texture somewhere between sorbet and shaved ice. It’s exactly what you want on a hot day and a refreshing way to enjoy the sweet, floral flavor of our Jasmine First Grade green tea.

Granita

Ingredients

3 cups near-boiling water

2 teaspoons Jasmine First Grade loose leaf green tea (or two tea bags)

¼ cup honey

Instructions

  1. Steep tea for 2.5 minutes. Green tea has a tendency to become bitter with over-steeping, so be sure to strain the leaves out at this point.
  2. Add honey and stir well.
  3. Pour the sweetened tea into a freezer safe container. The deeper  the liquid, the longer the “granitafying” takes. We used a shallow 8×8 pan.
  4. Freeze for one hour, or until ice crystals begin to form around the edges.
  5. Remove and stir the crystals into the liquid. Return to the freezer for 20 minutes and repeat. Continue this process as the mixture hardens, scraping the surface with a fork as it solidifies, until fully frozen and fluffy.
  6. Store in the freezer until ready to serve. If it solidifies too much, let it thaw a little in the fridge and re-fluff with a fork.

Earl Grey Goose: Infusing Vodka with Loose Leaf Tea

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 by

1S0A1323

Infusing alcohol is a creative way to put a personal stamp on your favorite cocktail recipes and preserve the flavor of the season’s glorious fruits, herbs, and flowers. Enjoy your infusions all summer long or reward your shoveling in February with the taste of sunshine.

While fresh ingredients take days or even weeks to fully infuse, tea and spice infusions reach their best flavor fairly quickly and make a great place to start. Vodka’s neutral flavor makes it pretty foolproof as far adding ingredients goes. When choosing a base for your infusion, keep in mind that a higher alcohol content will increase the extraction power. High proof spirits (100 proof or higher) are diluted with water to a drinkable level once the infusion is complete. If you’re sticking to tea, which infuses easily, a lower alcohol (80 proof) content is perfectly fine, no dilution required.

What you’ll need

Vodka, 80 proof. We use Grey Goose, because we like to be fancy, it’s very drinkable infused, and because of the word Grey.

Loose leaf Earl Grey black tea. We also offer an organic version, but conducted our experiment with our standard Earl Grey. Both use 100% real oil of bergamot, extracted from the rind of bergamot oranges.

A tea strainer. We used the Hook Handle Tea Infuser, a simple metal strainer. If you’re using a finer cut of tea, you may want to strain the infusion through a coffee filter.

The Ratio

For every 1 cup of vodka, we added 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea.

The Method

Add your desired amount of vodka and tea, in the ratio above, to a mason jar or other sealable container. Add the lid and shake to combine. Let it sit in a cool place, away from light. The flavor should be just right at 12 hours, but you can definitely drink it much earlier. After just a few hours the vodka will be tasty, but the bergamot flavor dominates. It takes a longer time for the black tea flavor to emerge, and it’s worth waiting a few more hours for. Enjoy  it cold, strained over ice, make yourself a martini, or try it with grapefruit soda (the earl greyhound).