Home Brewing, Winemaking and Tea
Find out the basics of Home brewing and Winemaking and the varieties of Tea available for your enjoyment through our Guide and Product Information listed above.
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Afternoon Tea was introduced by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford (1783-1857), one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting.
In her day, the aristocracy ate a huge breakfast, little lunch, and a very late dinner. Every afternoon, the duchess experienced a "sinking feeling". One afternoon she instructed her servants to serve tea and little cakes in her boudoir. The experience was so delightful that Anna repeated it every afternoon thereafter.
Soon others followed the Duchess' lead, and in just a few decades the custom of "taking tea" in the afternoon had become well established.
Sandwiches for Tea
1. Cucumber Sandwiches
Thin sliced white bread
Whipped cream cheese or unsalted butter softened
Peel cucumbers and slice very thin. Sprinkle the slices with a little salt and lay on paper towels to drain. For each sandwich spread a little cream cheese or butter on two slices of bread. Layer the cucumber slices on one slice of bread (no thicker than 1/4 inch) Cut crust off sandwiches and then cut into squares, triangles or other fun shapes using cookie cutters.
2. Watercress Sandwiches
Butter thin sliced white or rye bread and fill with watercress leaves.
Cut into squares, arrange on plate, and garnish with watercress.
3. Curried Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches
2 cups chopped, cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast
½ cup chopped celery
1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/3 cup raisins
3 tablespoon chopped scallions
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
A few drops of hot pepper sauce
18 slices white, wheat or pumpernickel bread
In a medium bowl, stir together all of the ingredients except the bread. If desired, trim the crusts from the slices of bread. Top 9 slices with about ¼ cup of the curried chicken mixture and spread to cover the surface of the bread. Top each sandwich with the remaining slices of bread. Cut into squares or triangles to form 4 tea sandwiches from each larger sandwich.
Sandwich Shapes and Types for the above Sandwiches
a. Regular Tea Sandwiches
Using 2 thin slices of bread with the crusts removed cover one slice with filling. Top with remaining slice of bread and cut into 4 pieces. For variation, cut bread into 4 pieces and top with bread pieces cut into various different shapes using cookie cutters.
b. Pinwheel and Rolled Sandwiches
Remove crusts from unsliced loaf of sandwich bread and slice lengthwise into approximately 1/3 inch slices. (Bread will slice easier if partially frozen and you use a hot, sharp knife. Alternatively, ask your baker to slice it for you.) Flatten slices with a rolling pin and spread each slice with butter and then with your choice of filling. If desired, add a row of pickles, olives, pimento or anything else that seems appropriate at the end you will be rolling from. Roll up tightly enclosing pickles, etc. in center of roll. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice into rounds using a sharp knife (or electric knife, if possible).
A variation on this idea is the rolled sandwich. Use a regular slice of bread, crusts removed and spread with filling and roll. Wrap tightly and refrigerate. Unwrap and serve. Chilling should help sandwiches to retain its rolled shape but a toothpick may be necessary. If desired, tuck parsley into the ends for garnish.
c. Ribbon Sandwiches
Take two slices of brown and one slice of white bread and remove crusts. Spread one side of brown and both sides of white with butter. Stack bread alternating brown bread, filling, white bread, filling and finishing with brown bread. Make sure that buttered side of bread is in contact with the filling to prevent it from becoming soggy. Cut into bars, triangles, squares or any other desired shape. Wrap very tightly until ready to serve.
d. Checkerboard Sandwiches:
You will need an equal number of square slices of each brown and white bread. (My preference is three each.) Beginning with a slice of white bread, butter and spread with filling and top with a slice of brown bread which has been buttered on both sides. Spread filling on brown slice and cover with a white slice, buttered on both sides. Repeat, ending with a brown slice on top and only buttered on the side which touches the filling. Trim crusts. Wrap and refrigerate until filling is firm. Cut loaf into 1/4" slices. Lay one slice down with the white strip facing you. Spread with butter and filling. Add another slice with the brown strip facing you. Spread with butter and filling. Repeat until you have used all slices. Do not spread butter or filling on top slice. You should have created a block which resembles a checkerboard design. Wrap and refrigerate until firm. When ready to serve, cut into 1/4" slices.
Scones for Tea
4. Basic Scones
2 cups flour
1-tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
Lightly beaten egg
Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture resembles cornmeal. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk (you can substitute regular milk).
Mix until a soft elastic dough is formed. Roll the dough into a circle of approximately 1 inch in thickness. With a knife, score the dough into eight wedges. Brush with egg for a shiny, beautiful brown scone.
Bake at 425 ° for 10 - 20 minutes, or until light brown.
Spread and Cream for the above Scones
a. Lemon Curd Spread
Grated rind and juice of 3 lemons
2 lg. Or 3 small eggs
4 oz Butter (1 stick)
1 cup Sugar
Wash lemons and grate them rind finely. Place the lemon juice, grated rind, butter and sugar in a bowl set over a saucepan of hot water. Stir until the butter has melted and sugar dissolves.
Beat the eggs in a separate basin and add slowly to the lemon mixture, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the curd thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Pour into warm jars, cover.
b. Clotted Cream
2 cups pasteurized heavy cream
Turn the oven to warm. Pour the cream into a shallow
pan such as a 9-inch pie plate. Cover with foil, then place it in the oven and leave untouched for 8 hours. (You can leave it overnight if you like.)
Carefully remove it and let cool. Take care not to shake the pan or move it while the cream is cooling. With a slotted spatula, skim the thick cream from the surface, leaving the thin residue behind. The cream will have a yellow skin and a slightly lumpy clotted texture. Smooth it by blending it with a teaspoon if you like.
Store it in the refrigerator but serve at room temperature. Use the residue in baking or soups.
Makes about 1 cup of clotted cream.
MAIN COURSES AND SIDE DISHES
5. Green Tea Chicken Noodle Soup
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup brewed Formosa Gunpowder or other green tea
5 ounces dry bean thread noodles
4 cups chicken stock
2 (1/2 inch-thick) slices ginger root, lightly mashed
1/2 cup oyster mushrooms, cubed
3 cups packed baby spinach leaves
salt and white pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
Place the chicken in a large bowl and add the green tea. Cover and refrigerate 3 hour (or overnight) to marinate.
Cover the bean thread noodles with warm water. Soak until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain.
In a large pot, bring the chicken stock, ginger, and mushrooms to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the chicken, the tea marinade, and noodles. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the spinach and boil for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowl and garnish with mint leaves.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
6. Teriyaki-Ginger Baked Tofu
3 tablespoons Japanese Sencha loose tea
5 tablespoons Tamari or Shoyu soya sauce
3 tablespoons Mirin (rice wine)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger root
1 lb (450-500g) extra firm tofu
Brew the Sencha in 1/2 cup hot water for 6 minutes. Discard the tea leaves. Combine the tea, soya sauce, mirin, lemon juice and ginger in a bowl or container.
Place a small plate on top of the tofu and gently press out the excess water. Slice the tofu lengthwise in half. Add the tofu to the tea mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight, making sure the sauce covers the tofu.
Preheat the oven to 175°C. Drain the tofu and place it on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until firm and compact.
Makes 3-4 Servings
7. Tea Smoked Chicken
3 pound whole chicken
1 teaspoon ground Szechwan peppercorn
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon fivespice powder
1/2 cup black tea leaves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raw rice
2 to 3 chunks fresh ginger
2 to 3 large strips of orange zest
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Wash the chicken and pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Combine Szechwan peppercorns, salt, and fivespice powder in a small bowl. Rub the seasonings into the outside and inside cavity of the bird. Place the chicken in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Fill the lower part of a steamer with enough water to come within an inch of the cooking rack. Bring the water to a rolling boil, place the chicken on the rack, and cover the steamer. Steam the chicken for 45 minutes, keeping the water at a boil and replenishing it as it boils away. Line a large wok or a heavy Dutch oven with tightfitting lid with heavyduty aluminum foil. Combine the smoking mixture ingredients and spread over the foil in the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat under the pot to high and place a rack about 3 inches above the smoking mixture so that the chicken does not touch it. Place the chicken on the rack, breast side up. Line the inside of the lid with more foil, leaving an excess of 3 inches around the lid. Cover the pot tightly and crimp the foil down so the lid fits securely and smoke doesn't escape. After you detect smoke, smoke the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the smoke subside, about 5 minutes. The chicken should be a rich, golden brown on the outside. Lift out the smoked chicken and transfer to a cutting board. Immediately brush the sesame oil lightly over the outside. Allow chicken to cool, about 10 minutes. To serve, cut off the wings and legs. Divide the body of the chicken in half lengthwise by cutting through the breast and backbone. Lay the halves flat on the cutting board, skinside up, and use a cleaver to chop through each half, bones and all, into 3 to 4 equal pieces. Chop the wings and legs into pieces as well. Arrange the chicken pieces on a large platter, and garnish with the scallion brushes.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
8. Green Beans with Garlic and Tea
1 lbs. fresh green beans,
trimmed 2 cloves of garlic,
minced 2 tbs. Keemun loose tea leaves,
brewed in two cups of spring water
Steam green beans in water. While beans are steaming, sautÈ minced garlic in one tsp. of canola oil until opaque. Add brewed tea and simmer with garlic for a few minutes. Remove beans from steamer and put in a large bowl. Pour tea marinade over drained beans. Garnish with toasted almond slices, as desired. Serve immediately.
9. Tea Brined Salmon Gravlax
3/4 cup Lapsang Souchong Tea
1/2 cup boiling water
3-pound sockeye salmon fillet, skin on
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup coarse sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons white peppercorns, freshly cracked
2 1/2 tablespoons sherry
Pour the boiling water over the tea leaves and steep. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Line a baking dish large enough to accomodate the whole fillet with plastic wrap.
Combine the sugar, salt, and cracked pepper. Sprinkle 1/4 of this mixture into the lined baking dish and place salmon on top, skin side down.
Rub the wet tea leaves into the top of the salmon
Drizzle the sherry evenly over the flesh and sprinkle on the remaining salt and sugar mixture.
Fold the plastic wrap over the fish and place a slightly smaller baking pan on top. Weight the second pan down with four or five pounds of something (anything with weight)
Refrigerate for 48 hours. Turn the fish every 12 hour. Remove from brine and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry.
Slice and serve with diced onion and sour cream.
10. Ginger-Tea Pear Crisp
3/4 cup boiling water
3 Tbsp Metropolitan Tea Ginger Flavored Black Tea
1-1/4 cups sugar
6 large pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 Tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup coarsely crushed ginger snap or vanilla wafer cookies (about 7 cookies)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
(Preheat oven to 375F.)
In teapot, pour boiling water over tea; cover and brew 5 minutes. Pour tea into 5-quart saucepan (straining out tea leaves).
In 5-quart saucepot, combine tea, 1 cup sugar, pears and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 4 minutes or until pears are just tender. Remove pears, reserving 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons tea liquid.
Blend cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cooled tea liquid until smooth. In 1 quart saucepan, bring tea liquid and cornstarch mixture to a boil over high heat. Continue boiling, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
In 8-inch shallow baking dish, arrange pears. Top with tea mixture; set aside.
In medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture is size of small peas. Stir in cookie crumbs and pecans. Squeeze crumb mixture to form large crumbs; drop into pear mixture.
Bake approx. 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
11. Peppermint Tea Sorbet
500 ml (16 fl oz/2 cups) water
15 g (1/2 oz / 1/4 cup) peppermint leaves
125 ml (4 fluid oz/ 1/2 cup) sugar syrup, see below
Lemon slices and mint leaves, to garnish, if desired
In a small saucepan, boil water; add tea leaves. Cover and steep 3 hours. Strain through a fine nylon sieve. Mix tea liquid and sugar syrup. Pour into an ice cream container. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.
No ice cream maker? Try the Alternative Freezer Method - Pour prepared mixture into several undivided ice trays. Place in freezer; freeze to a slush. In a food processor/blender process semi-frozen sorbet 1 minute or until light. Return to trays; cover; freeze until firm.
Garnish with slices of lemon and mint leaves, if desired.
To make sugar syrup- in a large saucepan bring 1 kg (2 Iitre) caster (superfine) sugar and 950 ml (4 cups) water to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool before using. Store refrigerated, for up to 3 weeks. Makes 6 servings
12. Japanese Green Tea Ice
60 ml (2 fl oz) boiling water
1 1/4 tablespoons Sencha green tea leaves
2 egg whites
155 g (5 oz/1 cup) icing sugar
1 egg yolk
375 ml (12 fl oz/1 ½ cups) whipping cream
Green food coloring, if desired
In a small bowl, pour boiling water over tea leaves. Steep until cold. Strain tea leaves from liquid.
In another small bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat in egg yolk, to the cooled tea.
In a small bowl, beat cream to soft peaks. Fold into ice. If desired, add 2 to 3 drops coloring. Pour into several undivided ice trays; cover; place in freezer, freeze until firm.
Makes 6 servings
13. Green Tea Cookies
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ¾ cups flour
2 tablespoons ground Japan Kokeicha Tea
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add blended flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ground Kokeicha. Blend well to form soft dough. Refrigerate for ½ hour then roll out and cut with a cookie cutter. Bake at 400º F for 8-10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Cool on a wire rack.
14. Spiced Orange Tea
1 large orange
1 cinnamon stick
250 ml (8 fl oz/ 1 cup) fresh orange; juice
500 ml (16 fl oz/2 cups) prepared Lapsang Souchong tea
3-6 teaspoons honey
125 ml (4 fl oz/ ½ cup) pineapple juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
slices of orange and freshly grated nutmeg, to garnish
Pierce orange peel all over with cloves, leaving cloves in peel once orange is pricked all over, and put into a saucepan with cinnamon and orange juice.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes in the pan.
Remove the orange and spices and add the tea and honey
to taste. Stir in pineapple juice and nutmeg and reheat
gently. Pour into heatproof glasses and garnish with slices
of orange and a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg.
15. Fruity Iced Tea
Flavored with mint citrus, this refreshing blend is a perfect way to add pizazz to standard tea.
8 cups water
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Metropolitan Ginger Peach Flavored Tea
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups strained fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh strained lemon juice
Fresh mint for garnish
1 orange, halved and thinly sliced, for garnish
In a large saucepan, heat water until it just comes to a boil. Stir in tea, mint and sugar. Boil for 3 minutes. Immediately strain tea through a fine sieve. Stir in orange and lemon juices. Let cool to room temperature. Place tea in a large pitcher. Serve over ice. Garnish each glass with a sprig of mint and a slice of orange.
Makes 10 drinks.
Originating in India chai is a sweet, spicy combination of tea, milk, sugar and spices (traditionally cardamom, pepper, ginger, cinnamon and cloves). For a different flavour, vary the combination of spices and the strength of the brew.
3/4 cup (175mL) cold water
1 tea bag or 1/ tsp (1mL) loose-leaf tea
1 tsp (5mL) ground ginger
1 tsp (5mL) ground black pepper
1 tsp (5mL) ground cardamom
1 tsp (5mL) ground nutmeg
1/4 cup (50mL) 2% milk
sugar to taste
In a small saucepan, over high heat, bring water to boil. Add tea and let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, in small bowl combine spices. Add milk to tea and let simmer 15 seconds. Add 3 pinches of spice mixture to tea and continue simmering 15 seconds. Strain tea into mug and add sugar to taste.
17. Rose Petal Infusion
3 rosehip tea bags
315 ml (10 fl oz/1¼ cups) boiling water
6-9 teaspoons rosehip syrup
Handful rose petals
9 teaspoons triple distilled rosewater
625 ml (20 fl oz /21/2 cups) sparkling mineral water
rose petals, to decorate
Put tea bags into a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes, then remove tea bags and leave liquid to cool. When completely cold, stir in rosehip syrup, rose petals and rosewater and leave to infuse for a further 30 minutes. Strain and add mineral water. Fill tall glasses with ice cubes, pour over the rose petal infusion and decorate with petals.