Black teas are produced by subjecting the freshly plucked leaves of Camellia sinensis to a process of withering, rolling and drying. This processing oxidizes the leaf and allows many unique aroma and flavor elements to form. Black teas can be malty, floral, biscuity, smoky, brisk, fragrant and full-bodied. The robustness of black tea lends itself to the addition of sugar, honey, lemon, cream and milk. While black teas have more caffeine than green or white teas, they still have less than you would get in a cup of coffee.
Chai tea is a special flavored tea beverage created in India. Traditional chai is a strong black tea infused with aromatic Indian spices, including black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and others.
Oolong tea is only partially oxidized after the fresh leaves are plucked and withered. Before the leaves are fully cured, a quick drying preserves the flavor and aroma elements of the green leaf and combines them with black tea characteristics that arise from the partial curing. Oolong has slightly less caffeine than black tea, but slightly more than green teas.
Green tea is uncured and possesses fresh, grassy, vegetal flavors due to the unique processing. Green tea leaves are plucked, withered, rolled and dried before any curing or oxidation takes place. Green teas have the least caffeine of all true teas (Camellia sinensis).
White tea is made from the very young, unfurled leaf tips of Camellia sinensis. The delicate young leaves and buds are covered with soft, silvery white hairs…thus “white” tea. White teas are generally uncured in the style of green teas and are similarly very low in caffeine.
Herbal Teas (Tisanes), brewed from herbs other than Camellia sinensis, are technically "tisanes", but are commonly referred to as "herbal teas." The herbs are blended to create unique flavors and/or desired health benefits. Herbal teas do not contain caffeine, and have extra layers and nuances of flavor that are not attainable with true tea.
Perfect Cup of Tea
Store tea in an airtight container, away from items with strong aromas.
Use fresh water low in chlorine or with no chlorine.
Make sure you warm your teapot before adding hot water.
Only boil once; otherwise, too much oxygen will escape and make the tea flat.
Next, one to two cubes of sugar can be added, and then a thin lemon slice (optional). Lastly, milk may be added. Never add both milk and lemon, and never substitute milk for cream.
Temperatures and Steeping Times
￼White teas 180F 3-8 minutes
Green teas 180F 1-3 minutes
￼Oolong teas 180F - 212F 1-5 minutes
Black teas ￼212F 5 minutes
Herbals ￼212F 5 minutes
If tea is boiled at 170 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, wait several minutes after boil to serve.
Afternoon Tea Menu Ideas
Assam Black Tea
Caramel Nut Tea
Chai Green Tea
Champagne (Royal Tea)
Darjeeling Black Tea
Earl Grey Tea
Enchanted Forest Tea
Ginger Peach Tea
Gunpowder Green Tea
Irish Whiskey Tea
Lemon Ginger Tea
Mayan Cocoa Tea
Moroccan Mint Tea
Orange and Spicy Tea
Raspberry Black Tea
Sherry (Royal Tea)
Smoked Black Tea
Wild Cherry Tea
Three-tiered platters should have the savories on the bottom, scones in the middle, and sweets on top.
(The point of the tea sandwich in not to fill you up, but to leave room for more—an un-American idea at best. To achieve daintier sandwiches: purchase very thinly sliced bread and freeze an hour or two before handling; keep fillings at room temperature for easier spreading, spread first-all the way out to the edges-then trim and discard crusts; use a serrated blade for neat trimmings and cuttings.)
Arugula Pesto andTurkey Pinwheels
Baby Carrots and Sugar Snap Peas with Dill
Bacon and Goat Cheese Puffs
Beef and Cheddar Triple-Stack Sandwiches
Beef and Stilton Pasties
Beef Tenderloin with Red-Wine and CherrySauce
Black Tea Eggs
Cheddar and ChutneyTea Sandwiches
Cheesy Pretzel Twists
Chicken Caesar SpreadSandwiches
Country Ham Pâté
Cream Cheese in CeleryStalks
Dried Beef Rolled with Cream Cheese
Fennel, Leek, andSpinach Spirals
Goat Cheese and Cucumber Cups
Goat Cheese and FreshHerb Triangles
Ham Salad Sandwiches
Herbed Goat Cheese and Watercress Sandwiches
ItalianSpinach- Artichoke Crostinis
Mushroom, Capsicum, Olive and Cheese Pinwheels
PineappleCream Cheese Sandwiches
PotatoLatkeswithChive Sour Cream
Prosciutto,Tomato,and Ricotta Tarts
Roast Beef and Horseradish Tea Sandwiches
Smoked Turkey andFontina Canapés
Spicy Turkey Panini
Tomato-HerbBreadand Olive-RicottaSpread Sandwiches
Tuna in Celery Stalk
Wild Mushroom andWalnut Pâté on Crostini
Apricot and WhiteChocolate Scones
Cheddar Herb Scones
Frosted Cream CheeseWalnut Scones￼￼
Honey Ginger Scones
Orange Poppy SeedScones
Breads and Muffins:
Banana Nut Bread
Mincemeat Nut Bread
Mixed Berry Muffins
Orange Poppy SeedBread
Jams and Toppings:
Blackberry Bay Leaf Jam
Caviar Egg Salad
Flavored Sweet Butters
Mock Clotted Cream
Peach Rosemary Jam
Raspberry Orange ZestJam
￼ Sour Cherry Preserves
Spicy Cranberry Jam
French Vanilla Cake
Individual Vanilla Cheesecakes
Orange Poppy Seed Cake
RhubarbUpsideDown Crumb Cake
Victoria Sponge Cake
Honey Spice Truffles
Northwest Apple Candy
Chocolate Mint Squares
Classic Lace Cookies
Ginger Snap Cookies
Mini Chocolate Brownies
Fresh Fruit Salad
Coffee Liqueur BreadPudding with CaramelSauce
Lavender Crème Brulee