Tea Cocktails – Not So Looong Island Ice Tea

tea-talk-2Surprising as it may sound, the centuries old LIIT, a favourite cocktail for many, has now started seeing an innovation of sorts with actual tea in it.

The tea trend has motivated bartenders to explore new tweaks and additions in old drinks, especially in a bid to cater to health-conscious individuals. In a world where schedules are tight and the pace of life increasingly fast, more and more people are drawn towards natural and healthy substitutes for traditional dietary options, giving rise to an increase in the number of tea adapters.

High-end bars and cocktail lounges across the globe have started seeing a shift towards various tea-based cocktails that are now gaining wide popularity. Cashing in on this trend towards ‘healthy’ cocktails, even alcohol and coffee producers are exploring fusion styles with tea.

What makes tea and alcohol the ideal partners for the perfect drink? The inherent natural synergies present in the two beverages and similarities in flavor and aroma lend great beauty to the mixture. The two complement each other and result in a concoction made superior by the combined flavor profiles.

Sarah Allard, Founder of London-based company  Leaf and Liquor, is a strong proponent for tea cocktails. In conversation with LoveforTea she says, “ I do like mixing whiskey with tea – it works particularly well with rich, malty black teas and smoky/charcoal flavored teas. She further adds, “Tea is so diverse – the depth of flavors means you can create a cocktail base that has a multi-sensory effect. Most of us enjoy a cup of tea and green tea consumption is on the rise. It’s only natural the next step is to explore the creative levels to which we can take the humble leaf – something consumers really enjoy and appreciate.”

The delicate balance of unique flavours found in a tea blend with the right kind and amount of alcohol can make for stunning hot and cold cocktails, a territory an increasing number of mixologists are venturing into. Maureen Donegan, the Bar Director at Presidio Social Club in San Francisco says, “Tea is versatile and yields myriad flavor profiles when paired with different ingredients. The combinations are endless. The opportunity to use an herbal tea with, say, a herbal liquor, is a big advantage to a non-caffeine drinker.”

Tea is versatile in nature, offering something for everyone. The number of liquor brands globally that are taking to creating tea cocktails goes on to highlight the popularity of this mixture across the world. Alcohol leader Johnnie Walker is an active player in the space, with it’s website featuring quirky and easy-to-do recipes. Tea Enriched Alcohol, a London-based premium gin and vodka brand, is another interesting player that specialises in tea infused spirits. Long Leaf Tea Vodka, Australia’s first tea infused vodka also seems to be riding on the back of the trend.

So the next time you’re out on a Friday night, don’t forget to ask your bartender for an exciting new tea cocktail!

RECIPE – Rangsaa Insignia Thai-Style Fish Kebabs

recipe-tea-rangsaa-romance-2Here’s an appetizing, refreshing and flavorful fish kebabs recipe that will help you sneak a little extra goodness into your day.

KEY INGREDIENTS
500 gms white fish fillet
3 tsp Rangsaa Insignia
1/4 cup cornflour
1/2 cup butter
1 inch ginger
4 cloves garlic
3 spring onions
2 green chillies
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg white
1 tsp salt

PREPARATION
What you need to jump start this recipe is tea infused butter. In a saucepan heat the butter and add tea. Heat the mixture on low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let it stand for 15 minutes. Press the tea nicely on the side and remove from butter. (Quick tip- you can store the tea and use it later to flavor your rice and stews.)

While your butter is infusing with tea, you can prep for rest of the recipe.
Add fish, ginger, garlic, cornflour, egg, salt and pepper in a food processor and blend into paste. Add finely chopped spring onions and green chillies, and mix them well in the paste. Once the saucepan mentioned above is cool, add the fish paste to it and mix well so the flavors of the tea-butter are evenly absorbed. Divide the mix into 8 equal parts. Use wet hands to shape portions into patties and place on a plate.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add the kebabs and cook for 2 minutes each side, or until light brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with the remaining kebabs, reheating pan between batches.

BEST ENJOYED
As snacks, light main course or starter, with thai chilli sauce.

MingCha Tea House – Fun with Kids, Tea & Family

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Most of us can relate to the statement “there is not much to do outdoors” or “why can’t I stay in and play my Xbox or PS3?” Sounds like a familiar statement kids use so profusely. It is true, while technology has provided some thing for every consumer of all age groups in terms of entertainment, it has led to a sense of detachment in terms of experiencing the natural environment and human interaction. One may be in a room of friends but would prefer the company of an ipad , laptop or a phone. With this in mind, parents and teachers have been taking initiatives in focusing on activities which help children interact.

So wanting to carry forward this initiative we thought, what would be a commendable and fun filled activity for children and adults to do together? Being avid tea lovers the idea flowed easily and quickly – of course a tea tasting! Kids are early adapters and this would certainly provide as an interactive activity to indulge them into exploring not only their senses, but giving families a much deserved fulfilled time together, from learning to interaction.

While exploring the idea of tea tasting for kids, MingCha Tea House in Hong Kong came to our minds. In an exclusive conversation with Love for Tea, Vivian Mak, founder of MingCha, shares her mission and vision, which is to allow people from every walks of life to be able to enjoy the true taste of tea – including kids. Based on the concept of togetherness, family interactivity, helping even the young ones explore their sensory palate while learning the art of tea, Vivian has successfully introduced workshops for kids in tea. These are free for children up to 11 years of age and are taught by the tea masters of the MingCha Tea House. And yes, adults are also welcome to attend or chaperone at the workshops, turning this into fun interactive experience for an entire family.

It is said as we grow older we cultivate our likes and dislikes based on external influences. Vivian believes, children being expressive and untarnished in their thoughts on what they like and dislike are more perceptive and true to their senses. However, given an opportunity to taste, smell, bite, sniff and experience tea from a creative and educational approach at a tea tasting, children surely provide a genuine feedback for our comprehension but may also create a platform for future careers for themselves too. Tea tastings are certainly proving to be a good blend of fun, interaction with nature and education which are growing to spark the interest of many little kids who are enthusiastically trying to put their sensory skills to test.

With a fine success and outreach to the world of tea lovers, Vivian of the MingCha Tea House continues to strive to inculcate this deep appreciation for tea in every age group. We at Love for Tea surely commend the initiative as we do believe tea can not only heal your body (internally and externally) but your environment, and it tastes heavenly too.

Next time you plan a family activity, incorporate your little ones in a session of tea tasting and wait to be pleasantly surprised. Don’t take our word on it, give it a try . Who knows you may discover a hidden appreciation or skills of a Tea Sommelier within your own family.

A cup of tea brings the world together and bridges the age gap between kids and adults through a mutual love for tea. A family that tastes tea together, most certainly has fun together. And that’s a promise!

RECIPE – Rangsaa Maximus & Pineapple Healthy Cocktail

recipe-tea-rangsaa-maximus-2In the history of alcohol drinking, there’s never been a better time to get your mojo on with “healthy” cocktails. Bartenders, inspired by the juice bars and farm-to-table trend, are mixing up delicious drinks with all natural ingredients. Here’s a Rangsaa recipe that maintains your muscle and tissue health, while you enjoy an awesome drink!

KEY INGREDIENTS
1 tsp Rangsaa Maximus
30 ml Absolut Vodka
1/2 cup crushed ice
1/2 cup sliced pineapple
Lemon wedge
Salt

PREPARATION
Start by making the cold brew. Infuse one tsp of Rangsaa Maximus in 200 ml pre-boiled water for 10 minutes. Once cool, refrigerate the mix for an hour. When ready, first run a lime wedge around the outside of the rim of your glass and roll it in salt. Then, fill half the glass with crushed ice, add pineapple and top it with tea. Stir well. Your drink is ready!

BEST ENJOYED
Any time when you want a drink with a total body boost.

10 Tea Drinking Habits That Need To Die In 2016

Tea Habits

The tea scenario is changing fast. We believe tea is ripe for reinvention and rapid growth. So, are some traditional tea drinking habits. Here’s lovefortea’s recommended list :

1. Adding milk to tea – It is a matter of taste, but drinking CTC tea with over-cooked milky concoction has to change. It’s time to unlearn and rediscover.

2. Drinking tea bag tea -One cup. That’s all it takes to completely transform your perception of what a tea bag should be. Switch to whole leaf tea experience.

3. Drinking cheap artificial flavored teas –  Clean drinking is as important as clean eating. It should be important to you what you are putting in your body. Always check the ingredients list. Your natural tea may not be so natural.

4. Making tea in the microwave – Heating water or making your tea in the microwave will result in a lousy cup of tea. There’s lot of science behind it but in short the procedure kills the aroma, warmth, comfort and awesomeness of tea.

5. Compromising on quality – Invest in good tea leaves. It’s high time. Quality comes at a price but you need to drink to your health. Else, the purpose is lost.

6. Using same water temperature for all teas – There are different kinds of tea. Higher temperature can burn the tea leaves leaving a bitter taste. Here’s a quick cheat sheet – use 65-75 C for white tea, 75-85 C for green tea, 85-95 C for black tea and 100 C for tea blends and tisanes.

7. Not reusing your tea leaves – Using a series of short steeps is the best way to get the most out of your tea. So, don’t forget to re-steep your tea.

8. Using stale water – An awesome trick to make a pleasant cup of tea is to use fresh water. Every time you re-boil water, you condense the minerals that are in natural existence, resulting in a bad cup of tea.

9. Buying supermarket ice tea – Ice tea is the most underrated drink on the planet. Stop consuming so many chemicals. Homemade cold brews are more delicious and leave lot of room for play.

10. Drinking tea in coffee mugs – A good cup of tea cannot be appreciated in a coffee mug. A good bone china or a right tea ware can actually step up your tea drinking experience.

RECIPE – Rangsaa Reborn Peach Iced Tea Whiskey Cocktail

Recipe Tea Rangsaa Reborn Peach

Sweet peaches team up with fresh mint and whiskey in this flavorful and refreshing tea infused cocktail, that is perfect for both a summer party and a mellow summer night.

KEY INGREDIENTS
4 tsp Rangsaa Reborn
Jack Daniel’s Tennesse Whiskey
4-5 sweet ripe peaches
5 tsp honey
1 Lemon
Fresh mint

PREPARATION
Bring about four cups of water to a boil. Add tea and let it brew for 10 minutes. Once cool, add honey, stir the mixture and refrigerate. On the side, get your peaches ready. Cut the peaches in thin slices and refrigerate. When all your add ons are ready, it’s cocktail time. For each cocktail, pour 1/2 cup iced tea on the rocks. Add 40 ml JD, 1/2 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 cup peach slices and stir. Garnish with mint. Serve and enjoy!

FOOD PAIRING
Fried spicy fish or greens.