Tea consumption in the U.K. has steadily declined since the early 1970s, according to research released by the Open Data Institute and cited by the Washington Post. In 1974, Brits sipped an average of almost 68 grams of tea per week. By 2014, their tea drinking had dipped to a relatively weak 25 grams per week — a decline of more than 63 percent. Meanwhile, consumption of coffee in the U.K. during the same period of time tripled.
If you’ve ever read a Jane Austen novel or watched an episode of Downton Abbey, you’ve probably already heard of “full afternoon tea.” Not to be confused with elevenses or high tea, full afternoon tea often occurs between 3 and 4 p.m., and features treats, including cakes, crustless finger sandwiches and, of course, tea. Though it is often associated with the posh hotels of London, you don’t need to travel abroad to enjoy the splendors of a British tea party. With our help, you can do that right at home.
Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry Glaze
Miniature two-bite desserts, like these glazed cupcakes from Giada De Laurentiis, make a great tea party treat. Giada forgoes frosting, and instead tops her cupcakes with a sweet glaze made from frozen strawberries and powdered sugar.
3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.
When it comes to tea as a culinary ingredient, matcha is having a moment. But restaurants across the country are looking beyond that trendy tea to create brew-inspired desserts with other variations of black, green and herbal tea.
Toasted Oat & Chamomile Pots de Crème, Cure, Pittsburgh
Skip the after-dinner coffee in favor of calming oat-topped chamomile pots de creme and honey-lemon-blueberry preserve to capture the essence of the classic tea stir-ins. This ultra-seasonal Mediterranean-inspired restaurant adds an early-fall element with a garnish of blink-and-they’re-out-of-season ground cherries.
Though matcha has been around for centuries as part of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, the finely ground green tea-leaf powder is taking cafes (and Instagram) by storm. Traditional green tea is made by steeping green tea leaves that are then discarded, but with matcha, whose name literally means “powdered tea,” you’re drinking the actual leaves. This whole-leaf consumption means a higher nutrition content and, more specifically, a higher concentration of antioxidants. But what about the buzz? One cup of matcha has 70 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce cup. Coffee has 96 milligrams for the same portion, but matcha drinkers say that their energy is more consistent, with less of a dive after the caffeine effect wears off.
To add flavor without extra calories, turn to your favorite tea: Steep a bag in water and use that for boiling vegetables, cooking grains or poaching chicken and fish (like in Food Network Magazine‘s Green Tea Salmon). Try all kinds of tea, such as black, mint, chai, chamomile or spice. Just don’t steep the tea bag for too long; the flavor can become bitter.
If you’re a big tea drinker, you probably go through cups and cups of the cozy hot beverage on a daily basis. It’s a great way to relax and recharge, to soothe the throat or maybe it’s just a habit. But have you ever taken a moment to think about what uses tea may have in cooking? It’s a given that teas are flavorful — black teas are strong, green teas are light and then there are so many more types in between. Take some tea — maybe even your favorite kind — and incorporate it into a recipe. You’re bound to get flavorful results, not to mention a very creative meal.
There are actually many uses for teas in recipes: brining, poaching, braising and even baking are some methods that benefit from its use. And the best part is, these recipes don’t make you go out of your way to use the tea — in most cases it’s just swapping in brewed tea for the liquid that you would normally have used, like the water or stock in a braise, for example. If you’re willing to give cooking with tea a try, here are some of Food Network’s best recipes.
As a very proud Englishman, I know that it is tea rather than blood that flows through my veins and that it’s a very rare day indeed when I don’t pop the kettle on the stove for a nice strong “cuppa” to fortify me through a long day of work.
Although I was disappointed not to be asked to judge this particular battle in Kitchen Stadium, I was just as keen as everyone else to see what magic Iron Chef Forgione and his challenger, Chef Kittichai could come up with to give inspiration on new ways to use one of my own kitchen essentials.
Here are 10 interesting facts that you might not know about tea:
1. The word tea comes from the Chinese T’e, which was the word in the Amoy dialect for the plant from which tea leaves came. In Mandarin, the word was ch’a, which is where the words char and chai are derived from.
This month, Morgan Hass, Sarah Copeland and Rob Bleifer infuse cupcakes, cocktails and even ribs with subtle notes of black tea.
Recipe: Tea Cakes With Earl Grey Icing (pictured above)
Sarah says: “These tiny, rich chocolate cakes come alive with a playful puff of Earl Grey meringue.”
June is National Iced Tea Month — so get out your tall glasses and ice cubes and celebrate the warm weather by pouring yourself a home-brewed glass of iced tea.
According to Food Network’s Encyclopedia, “Tea grew wild in China until the Chinese determined the leaves helped flavor the flat taste of the water that they boiled to prevent getting sick. All tea plants belong to the same species, but varying climates, soils, etc., combine in different ways to create a plethora of distinctive leaves.”
Whether enjoyed plain, sweetened, flavored or spiked, sip down this cool drink with one of these recipes:
If you’ve ever tried to talk to camera while wielding a large chef’s knife, you’d know that it’s easy to mistake your finger for a piece of produce. You might also know that thumb wounds seem to bleed disproportionately to the severity of the cut. At least we found that out on set at Ask Aida, Season 2.
It was Shoot Day One and all was going as smoothly as ever, until poor Aida missed the preserved lemon and got her thumb instead. Ever the trooper, she wanted to patch and get back into action, but her thumb was not cooperating. I immediately thought of liquid bandage, but it turns out that stuff doesn’t work well on cuts that are still bleeding. The first aid kit had clotting spray, but that failed as well.
Producer Matt applied pressure, but all that did was make it hurt even worse. It wasn’t until a crew member suggested a wet tea bag that we found our solution. Who knew? Apparently the tannic acid in tea is a natural coagulant. It’s a common remedy after getting wisdom teeth pulled or for problematic cuts on pets. For all that we know about food, our ‘food as first aid‘ knowledge is pretty light! Learn something new every day — particularly on set.
– FN Fay, Program Manager