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6rant6's avatar

Why don't we cook with tea?

Asked by 6rant6 (13692points) June 16th, 2011

As far as I know there’s no cuisine that actually uses tea as a common spice. It seems weird because somebody somewhere uses just about every plant to cook with that isn’t poisonous (and some that are).

I know there are desserts that use coffee beans.

Why not tea?

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19 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

Perhaps because the flavor of liquid teas is not as strong as coffee. There is, however, tea smoked chicken

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

There are actually tons of recipes that utilize tea (tea leaves steeped in water), but not so many where you just throw the tea leaves in with the food. I’ve actually found very few recipes where people use coffee beans or grounds instead of coffee (coffee grounds steeped in water). Plus, tea isn’t as big in general in the US – coffee is the real giant here.

Plucky's avatar

I actually read something about this a while back. Tea was not traditionally used for cooking in European and, especially, Western countries before the 19th century as it was too expensive. However, the Chinese have cooked with tea for hundreds of years. In the 19th century, the price of tea (I think Indian tea) went down and many cooks began to use it ..but it wasn’t favoured enough to stay.

I need to find that article now. Edit: Here’s something similar to what I read.

6rant6's avatar

I’ve never read of using tea as a recipe in Indian, Thai or Chinese cooking. I believe they tend to drink tea.

Bellatrix's avatar

If you do a google search, there are lots of recipes using tea in its liquid form. There are some using tea leaves too. No idea how they taste though. Link

everephebe's avatar

I make earl grey tea scones myself. They usually have blackberries & earl grey in the batter, and are garnished with a single large mint leaf on top of each scone with an almond pieced through their center. It’s one of my signature baked goods.

Stinley's avatar

Tea loaf is a kind of fruit cake where the raisins etc are soaked in tea. Yum.

lifeflame's avatar

We have a lot of green tea flavoured stuff over here in Asia.
Green tea ice-cream, green tea cake, etc, etc.

Buttonstc's avatar

The tea company Celestial Seasonings has published a book with over a hundred recipes for cooking with tea.

There are other books on the subject as well. Amazon has a bunch of them listed.

meiosis's avatar

Another vote for tea loaf. Lovely stuff, especially with a nice cup of tea

adamwilliams's avatar

As I know there’s no cuisine that actually uses tea as a common spice. It seems weird because somebody somewhere uses just about every plant to cook with that isn’t poisonous

syz's avatar

I’ve eaten tea flavored cookies.

jlelandg's avatar

When I first moved to China, there was a dish that was called tea leaf beef. It was stir fried tea leaves with small bits of beef and sesame seeds. It was delightful, and the only restaurant I knew to serve it closed down sometime between when I moved from my first city and returned for a visit.

I think if you stir fried beef and tie guan yin dried tea leaves to a slight crisp and put in some sesame you could recreate the dish.

jlelandg's avatar

Oh…and I’m currently eating green tea potato chips MMM VERY TASTY

MilkyWay's avatar

@everephebe Mmmm, scones and Earl Grey tea in one? I’m there!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

My favorite ice cream is Green Tea and I’ve had a baked noodle dessert where the noodles were first cooked in black tea then mixed with butter, crushed nuts, honey and raisins.

Sunny2's avatar

I smoked trout over tea leaves. It was wonderful. And isn’t there a Thai salad that includes tea leaves among nuts and seeds? It’s true that tea isn’t used as much as it might be, but it definitely exists in some Asian cuisines.

lifeflame's avatar

Oh yes, we have a dish called ‘tea-leaf eggs’ (茶葉蛋) that involve boiling an egg in tea. Or do we boil the egg first, crack the shell, and steep in tea? I forgot. Anyway, very yummy!

6rant6's avatar

So I tried an experiment. Made banana bread with tea.. Used a heaping tablespoon of ground tea. It turned out very well, although it wasn’t possible to identify the tea flavor. I’ll have to try it again.

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