Don't confine your tea to a teacup! With its many flavor profiles, tea makes a terrific ingredient in your cooking, baking, and mixology. You can use tea as a spice, a dry ingredient, or an infusion. 


Some Recipes to Get You Started!

The recipes shown here—part of Lisa's presentation at the 2024 World Tea Expo—are just a starting point for cooking, baking, and making cocktails with loose tea. Note that we'll add recipes periodically so be sure to check back once in awhile!

Elderflower White Tea Citrus Shrub

3–4 clementines 
2 oranges
1 grapefruit
3 cups of sugar
4 cups of water
30 grams Elderflower white tea (or a tea of your choosing)
2 cups of white wine or champagne vinegar

In a large stock pot, put the washed whole fruit (unpeeled), along with the sugar and water. Bring the fruit to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the fruit simmer for 1–2 hours or until the peels look bloated and soft.

With a slotted spoon, remove the fruit and place it into a blender. Blend until smooth, adding some of the liquid if needed. 

Pour the now slightly cooled liquid over the tea and let it brew for 3–4 minutes. Strain the tea into the blended citrus. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the citrus-and-tea mixture to remove any larger pieces. Add the vinegar. 

You can add more sugar or vinegar if you want to adjust the sweet-to-acid ratio.

Your shrub should last in the fridge for a few months. 

Strawberry Mint Lavender Shrub

500 grams frozen strawberries 
250 grams sugar
15 grams TeaHaus Strawberry Mint Lavender black tea
2–3 cups red wine or balsamic vinegar

In a large mason jar, add the frozen strawberries, sugar, and tea. Leave the jar on the counter for a few hours, shaking it every 20 minutes (or whenever you happen to walk by). Put the jar in the fridge for 24–48 hours and shake it up when you can. After this time, add 2 cups of vinegar and leave it for another 24–48 hours, again, shaking it up when you think about it. 

Strain the liquid into a clear jar and keep it in the fridge. You can use the fruit for a sweet acidic sauce by pureeing. It can be used in salad dressing or other sauces. 

Your shrub should last in the fridge for a few months. 

More Shrub Ideas

Taste is subjective so experiment to find what you like. Generally, you can use 1.5–2 oz spirit to 0.75–1.5 oz shrub. For a non-alcoholic beverage, use 2 oz shrub to 3–6 oz soda water.

Pour 3 oz of your tea shrub over ice and top with 5 oz soda water.

Add a shot of Mammoth Distilling Strawberry Rhubarb vodka or spirit of your choice!

Smokin' Good Burgers

1 lb ground beef (or chicken, turkey, or meat substitute) 
1–2 tbsp finely ground Lapsang black tea
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin

Simply combine all the spices with your meat, form your patties, and do what you normally would do to make the perfect burger. The same spices can be added to chili to give it a smoky flavor. 

Ceylon and a Boozy Arnold Palmer

Add 12 g of loose leaf Ceylon black tea to 750 ml vodka and let it “brew” at room temp for approx. 2 hours. Strain the liquid and store in a bottle. 

Make your favorite lemonade recipe (or buy premade lemonade). 

Fill a glass with ice and 4 oz lemonade. Add 2 oz of the Ceylon-infused vodka.

Tea Syrups

You can use just about any tea to make a syrup. Just brew the tea about twice as strong as you normally would. When it's done brewing, pour the hot tea over an equal volume of sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let the syrup cool and use it in your favorite drinks. Tea syrups will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

You can also change up the sweetener. For example, some good combinations include assam and brown sugar, chai and cane sugar, rooibos and turbinado sugar, jasmine green tea and honey, and sencha green tea and agave nectar.

Lapsang Syrup

16 oz filtered water 
12 oz sugar
12 g Lapsang black tea

Put 12 oz sugar in a saucepan. Brew the Lapsang tea using 175°F water for 10–15 minutes and strain it over the sugar. Boil for approximately 10 minutes to thicken. You can boil it longer for a thicker syrup. 

Let it cool and keep it in the fridge or at room temp for up to a month.

The syrup can be used in drinks (try it in an Old Fashioned) or on pastries. My favorite is over warm goat cheese served with crackers.

Everything's Better with Butter

16 oz heavy cream 
12 g Orange Blossom oolong or your tea of choice
Salt to taste

Put the tea in the heavy cream and let it infuse 1–2 days in the fridge. Strain the tea into the bowl of a mixer. Whisk on high until the whey separates from the cream, leaving butter. Strain the whey and discard (you can use the whey in sauce if you want). Rinse the butter in cold water with your hands to remove any of the remaining whey.

Add salt if desired. Form it into a log. Refrigerate for up to a month. 

Infused Spirits

Choose your spirit and infusion. Infuse in a sterilized jar for 1–24 hours. Allowing 2–3 tbsp of tea leaves to infuse in 750 ml of spirits for 2 hours at room temperature is usually all it takes, but taste it—if you like your flavor to be more intense, let it infuse a little longer. Double strain to remove tea. It's usable after it's strained but it's better after about a week in a cool dark place.

Fruit and herbal teas typically don’t have any Camellia sinensis leaves so they can be infused for longer periods of time without significant risk of over-extraction. Infusion times can range from 2 to 24 hours at room temperature. Although you can get by with less tea for longer infusions, you’ll want to use 2–5 tbsp of tea for 750 ml of spirits.

Ideas: lapsang souchong and rye whiskey; coconut green tea and rum; earl grey and gin; elderflower white tea and vodka; assam black tea and vodka; hibiscus herbal tea and tequila.

The Sencha Quick Pickles recipe is from our book Tea for Dummies (p. 225), which includes many more ideas and recipes for using tea in your kitchen and in your cocktails!

Note that we also make award-winning tea-based culinary spice blends; see some of our recipe ideas here.