Cooking with Tea
Rosemont’s Tea Coordinator, Paula, recently visited the PA Tea Festival in Mechanicsburg, PA
What could be better than a cup of Byrd Blend or Rosemont Blend tea on a cool fall day? I know, it’s a tough question! Perhaps a cup of our specially blended tea along with a chai scone or lavender earl grey shortbread would do the trick! Tea-infused pastries will elevate your cup of afternoon tea.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the PA Tea Festival in Mechanicsburg, PA. It was two days of nothing but tea tastings, pairings and classes. There was tea from local companies as well as companies who had third generation tea farmers. I have been drinking tea since I was a little girl and continue to love it more as I discover various teas and blends. Attending this tea festival opened my eyes to new teas that tasted clean, crisp, and full of flavor.
While at the PA Tea Festival I attended a class titled “Cooking with Tea” that was presented by Karen Donnelly of Greenhalgh Tea. She is a certified Tea Association of Canada Tea Sommelier. Her class was simply amazing! We discussed how to incorporate the flavors of tea into our cooking repertoire and elevate our creations. Tea can be used steeped, ground, infused, or as whole leaf tea in baking and cooking.
Tea time at the PA Tea Festival
We paired genmaicha, which is popped and toasted rice in sencha; hojicha, a roasted green tea; Assam, which is a black tea from India; as well as Darjeeling, which is also from India and Himalayan grown.
My most memorable pairings during the class were the hojicha with an aged cheddar, Assam with a Huddersfield tea bread made with currants and raisins, and my favorite was Darjeeling with brie. They were fabulous combinations!
We discussed other pairings such as using genmaicha over a soup made with leftover vegetables as well as seafood and hojicha as a broth for rice and vegetable soups as well as cheddar, smoked gouda and red meats. Assam pairs well with tea sandwiches made with meat as well as cheddar cheese, while Darjeeling pairs nicely with delicate pastries such as macaroons, carrot cake, and lemon shortbread. Berry teas pair quite well with fruited salads and can be used in dressings.
Here at Rosemont Manor we have also enjoyed using our teas in some of our afternoon tea menu items. Our most popular one would be our pots de crème infused with our Byrd tea, which is a black tea blend of Darjeeling with rose petals and cornflower blossoms. The subtly of the rose petals elevates the dessert and leaves a floral note on the tip of your tongue.
This “tea tree” at the festival was decorated with well-loved tea pots that were broken or cracked.
Be creative and elevate your food with the surprise addition of tea. You can put certain teas in a grinder and use them to season vegetables; infuse teas into milk, cream, or simple syrup; use ground tea for baked goods; infuse matcha tea to cook pasta; soak dried fruits in tea and then add to a tea cake batter; as well as poach fruit such as pears in green jasmine tea and tea infused simple syrup. The possibilities are endless when we use our imagination and step outside our comfort zone when cooking with teas!
Not sure where to start? Here is a recipe to get you started!
Rosemont Tea Simple Syrup
1 cup of water 1 cup of sugar 2 tablespoons of Rosemont Tea (Sencha tea blend)
Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan and on medium heat bring the ingredients to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add your tea (in an unbleached tea bag) to the syrup and steep/infuse for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and enjoy!
Interested in attending a tea at Historic Rosemont? Check out our tea schedule on our teas page, and give us a call at 540-955-2834 to make your reservation.