Friday, November 15, 2013

Tips for hosting a tasty tea

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 212 degrees Fahrenheit, take off boil and serve.
If tea is boiled at 170 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, wait several minutes after boil to serve.

Afternoon Tea Menu Ideas

 Apricot Tea
 Assam Black Tea
 Blackcurrant Tea
 Caramel Nut Tea
 Chai Green Tea
 ChamomileTea
 Champagne (Royal Tea)
 ChocolatePeppermintTea
 ChocolateStrawberryTea
 CinnamonOrangeTea
 Darjeeling Black Tea
 Earl Grey Tea
 Enchanted Forest Tea
 FrenchKissTea
 Ginger Peach Tea
 Gunpowder Green Tea
 Hot Chocolate
 Irish Whiskey Tea
 JasmineTea
 Lavender Teas/Tisanes
 Lemon Ginger Tea
 LemonGreenTea
 MangoTea
 Mayan Cocoa Tea
 Mint Tea
 Moroccan Mint Tea
 Old-Fashioned Lemonade
 Orange and Spicy Tea
 PeachTea
 PomegranateTea
 Raspberry Black Tea
 RosePetalTea
 Sherry (Royal Tea)
 Smoked Black Tea
 SouthernIceTea
 StrawberryGreenTea
 Sweet Tea
 TiramisuTea
 Vanilla 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.)
 AlmondChickenSalad Sandwiches
 AngelBiscuits
 Apple-Cheddar TeaSandwiches
 Arugula Pesto andTurkey Pinwheels
 Asian-GlazedScallopCanapés
 AsparagusSaladinCrumb Cups
 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
 BLTBiteswithBasilCream Cheese
 BraisedCucumbers
 Carrot-Ginger TeaSandwiches
 Cheddar and ChutneyTea Sandwiches
 CheeseCrisps
 Cheesy Pretzel Twists
 Chicken Caesar SpreadSandwiches
 ChickenWaldorfSandwich Triangles
 Country Ham Pâté
 CrabSandwiches
 Cream Cheese in CeleryStalks
 CreamedCornTartlets
 Cucumber Canapés
 CucumberOpenedFaced Sandwiches
 Cucumber Tea
 DeviledEggSandwiches
 Dried Beef Rolled with Cream Cheese
 EggSaladOpenFacedSandwiches
 Fennel, Leek, andSpinach Spirals
 Floral-GlazedBrie
 Goat Cheese and Cucumber Cups
 Goat Cheese and FreshHerb Triangles
 Ham Salad Sandwiches
 HerbandPotato Tartlets
 Herbed Goat Cheese and Watercress Sandwiches
 ItalianSpinach- Artichoke Crostinis
 MiniReuben Sandwiches
 Mushroom, Capsicum, Olive and Cheese Pinwheels
 ParmesanCrisps
 PetiteQuiches
 PineappleCream Cheese Sandwiches
 PorkTenderloinCrostini
 PotatoLatkeswithChive Sour Cream
 Prosciutto,Tomato,and Ricotta Tarts
 PumpkinRisottoBites
 Roast Beef and Horseradish Tea Sandwiches
 RoastedTomatoandBulgur Canapés
 SausageRolls
 Sausage-Stuffed Squash
 SmokedSalmonSandwiches
 Smoked Turkey andFontina Canapés
 SpicedPecans
 Spicy Turkey Panini
 SpinachandArtichokeSandwiches
 StuffedMushrooms
 Sun-Dried-TomatoCrostini
 Tomato,Basil,andBacon Canapés
 Tomato-HerbBreadand Olive-RicottaSpread Sandwiches
 Tuna in Celery Stalk
 Watercress Sandwiches
 Wild Mushroom andWalnut Pâté on Crostini
 Zucchini-MuffinSandwiches

 AppleandOatScones
 Apricot and WhiteChocolate Scones
 Butterscotch-GingerTea Scones
 Cheddar Herb Scones
 Cherry Scones
 Coconut Scones
 DateDropScones
 Frosted Cream CheeseWalnut Scones
 Honey Ginger Scones
 Lavender Scones
 LemonButtermilkScones
 OrangeCranberryScones
 Orange Poppy SeedScones
 PlainScones
 PumpkinSpiceDropScones
 RaisinScones
 RosePetalDropScones

Breads and Muffins:
 Banana Nut Bread
 Blueberry Muffins
 BranandRaisinMuffins
 ChocolateChipMuffins
 Cornbread
 Cranberry Bread
 Gingerbread
 Mincemeat Nut Bread
 Mixed Berry Muffins
 Orange Poppy SeedBread
 PumpkinBread
 ZucchiniBread

Jams and Toppings:
 AppleButter
 Blackberry Bay Leaf Jam
 Blueberry Jam
 CandiedOrangeRindSpread
 Caviar Egg Salad
 FigSpread
 Flavored Sweet Butters
 Fruit Spread
 HomemadeMayonnaise
 Lavender Jelly
 LemonCurd
 Marmalade
 Mock Clotted Cream
 Mock DevonshireCream
 Peach Rosemary Jam
 Pear Jam
 Plum Butter
 PumpkinButter
 Raspberry Orange ZestJam
 RosePetalJam
 Sour Cherry Preserves
 Spicy Cranberry Jam
 Strawberry Butter

 AngelFoodCake
 BattenbergCake
 Carrot Cake
 Cream Puffs
 EnglishTrifles
 French Vanilla Cake
 Fruit Cake
 Individual Vanilla Cheesecakes
 MadelineCakes
 MiniCupcakes
 MississippiMudCake
 Orange Poppy Seed Cake
 PoundCake
 PumpkinCake
 RhubarbUpsideDown Crumb Cake
 StrawberryShortCakes
 Tarts
 ToffeeSpongeCake
 Tortes
 Victoria Sponge Cake

 AngelFoodCandies
 CandiedEdibleFlowers
 CandiedNuts
 CarmelCandies
 ChocolatePretzels
 DivinityCandies
 Fudge
 Honey Spice Truffles
 Mints
 Northwest Apple Candy
 OreoTruffleBalls
 Peanut Brittle
 Peppermint Bark
 Pralines
 Toffees
 Truffles
 Turtles

 Bars-Assorted
 BonbonCookies
 Butter Cookies
 Chocolate Mint Squares
 Classic Lace Cookies
 Ginger Snap Cookies
 Lavender Cookies
 LemonCookies
 MacaroonCookies
 Mini Chocolate Brownies
 Oatmeal Cookies
 RussianTeacakes
 ShortbreadCookies
 Sugar Cookies
 ToffeeCookies

 CherriesinWine
 ChocolateCoveredStrawberries
 Fresh Fruit Salad
 Fruit Pizza
 Grapefruit Ambrosia
 HoneydewMeloninAnisette
 StrawberriesinLemon-Lavender Syrup
 StuffedRoastedStrawberries

 Banana Pudding
 Berry Pudding
 BreadPudding
 CarmelPudding
 ChocolatePotsdeCrème
 Coffee Liqueur BreadPudding with CaramelSauce
 IrishCrèmeBrulee
 Lavender Crème Brulee
 Panna Cotta
 RicePudding
 TapiocaPudding
 Tea-InfusedOrangeCream Pudding
 Vanilla Pudding

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