I ate my tea today. I never thought I would say such a thing. I hadn’t ever thought of baking or cooking with tea, until recently when it was brought to my attention by The Daily Tea. Even with my recently blossomed obsession with all things tea, it had not occurred to me to cook with it. I’ve probably been too busy drinking it, and if I’m not drinking it, I’m peeing it! Okay, maybe tmfi, but reading it back made me chuckle and blush something outrageous, so it shan’t be edited out. However, I have rambled off topic, so back to eating tea:
The concept instantly grasped me, and I kicked myself thrice for not discovering it sooner. What better to accompany a wonderful cup of tea than wonderful food? and what better food than wonderful food made with wonderful tea? and now I’m hooked. I just want to make more. It’s clear now there is no turning back…. the tea has taken hold.. tea is now my master. SO, my first attempt at baking with tea, and not sure where to start, there are just so many possibilities, so many teas to use, so many foods to make! so little time to live. Putting it in such a way saddens me at the amount of people not drinking tea, not simply stopping and sipping and smiling and loving and laughing and living.
I have heard it said the best meals are made when the heart and soul are poured into them. Tea is heart and soul. Pour it into your meals. And because they are such a perfect match, I decided to pour my heart and soul into some scrumptious scones.
Having never baked with tea before, I had no real idea what I was doing, and being a rather terrible baker, the task took me a lot longer than I had set out for, and was more perplexing than anticipated. Most recipes for basic scones state a ten minute prep time and ten to fifteen minute cook time. The task on a whole took me over an hour to complete from flicking on the kettle to pulling the scones from the oven. I went with a sugar-free scone recipe, because who puts sugar in scones?? and went with Kerikeri Tea Organic Looseleaf Honeybush tea. I chose this tea, because it has an awesome flavour, and is a very healthy drop, void of caffeine.
The next hurdle I had to topple over was that scones are not generally made with water, so how was I to integrate a strong brew of Honeybush into the recipe? I finalised on a thought to half the milk content, and replace it with the tea. This seemed to work splendidly, however next time I will make a stronger brew, as the flavour did not shine through as I would have liked; honeybush being a rather mild tea, delicious as it is.
My ingredient quantities consisted of
- 4 cups of plain flour
- 8 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 teaspoons of Himalayan salt
- 100 grams of butter
- 1 cup of whole fat milk
- 1 cup of double strength brewed honeybush tea
- the 2 teaspoons of loose leaves were also added
- sprinkle of cinnamon to top
All in all, they’re a good scone. I first tried them once they had cooled, spread with four-fruits jam, and accompanied by a blend of Earl Grey and Red Bush teas. The Jam flavour overpowered the honeybush mercilessly, and this afternoon tea would have been far tastier had I omitted that jam I am so accustomed to eating on scones. Nevertheless, the honeybush flavour is present, ever so subtly. The leaves, a must, as without them I imagine the flavour would lack considerably, and the cinnamon is more for aesthetics, as it, too, is extremely subtle, but this was somewhat intentional.
At this moment, as my fingertips patter away at the keyboard, I am relishing perhaps a few too many of these scones, but spread with Olivani Olive Oil Table Spread, and nothing else. Without some kind of spread, I fear the scones may be too dry, as the piquancy of the tea is very real, adding to the already dry taste of scones in general. And, of course, I am also sipping an admirable chamomile tea blend, with peppermint, passion flower, strawberry leaf, valerian root, catnip and scullcap, by Red Seal. A very tranquil, relaxing drop of tea, indeed. A brilliant mix of flavour to pair with the honeybush scones, I might add. My favourite sensations in this moment. As I listen to the rain beating down on my roof, and the wind billowing at the windows and the walls. Stopping and sipping and smiling and loving and laughing and living.
if you haven’t tried baking or cooking with tea, I do recommend giving it a go. There is just so much you can do with it, from using just the leaves in your recipes, or even brewing a tea to add.
Feel free to add your ideas or what you’ve made in the comments. Happy experimenting!