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Can Tea Be A Dish?

Most of us think of tea as a healthy, flavorful drink to have at any time of the day. However, tea is one of the most versatile beverages in the world, and different cultures view tea in different ways.

As the oldest tea culture in the world, China knows a thing or two about serving tea. However, what many people didn’t know is that tea plays a central role in many Chinese dishes. The Chinese have used tea as a main ingredient in many classic dishes for hundreds of years. Today, more and more Chinese restaurants have adopted that tradition by serving tea-based dishes.

Instead of just being “infused” with tea or featuring similar flavors to tea, many of these dishes actually use tea leaves in the meal itself. This can draw out all sorts of different flavors from the dish.

Which types of tea leaves can be used for cooking?

Chinese restaurants that have started serving tea dishes do so with all different types of tea leaves. The only limit is the chef’s imagination. Today, modern Chinese cuisine uses some of the most popular varieties of tea leaves as a main dish, including:

-Oolong tea

-Jasmine tea

-Pu-erh tea

-Green tea

-And many more

Many of these tea varieties have been made more interesting by adding certain spices and flavors. For example, some chefs infuse chrysanthemum and kuding into their meals.

What kinds of meals can be made using tea?

Why haven’t more people used tea as a main ingredient over the years? Well, tea is a challenging ingredient because even the most experienced chefs find it difficult to extract flavor from tea leaves. In the past, any tea leaves that were added to dishes were purely ornamental. Most dishes do not fully absorb the elusive fragrance and flavor of tea leaves.

Fortunately, things have started to change today. More chefs are unlocking new ways to extract the flavor from tea leaves. One classic recipe involves adding infusing roasted duck with tea leaves. The duck is smoked using black tea leaves and camphor wood chips. The smoke pierces through the greasy duck skin, giving the meat a distinctly smoky taste. This dish is called “camphor tea duck” and it can be found at many restaurants in Sichuan, a province in China. The dish has even started to make its way to other parts of the world.

Chefs have also started using tea leaves in soups. The tea leaves are left to soak in the hot water, extracting their flavor. One particularly popular dish is called Huaiyang-style chicken soup. In this dish, chrysanthemum petals float around the bowl to extract flavor.

Tea also mixes well with seafood. One dish called salted tieguanyin mixes oolong leaves with deep-fried shrimp. Shrimp are fried to a point where they become crunchy, and the crisp tea leaves add to the crunchy texture of the dish.

To learn about more tea recipes and to find out where you can sample some authentic Chinese tea cuisine, click here. Or, if you’re ready to start preparing meals, check out ESP Emporium’s selection of green tea, oolong tea, and black tea varieties.

The History Of Jasmine Tea

You may have noticed a lot of jasmine tea blends on the ESP Emporium website. Jasmine is a pretty name, but have you ever stopped to consider what jasmine tea is, or wondered where jasmine tea comes from?

Today, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know about the history and modern usage of jasmine tea.

China Jasmine tea was first produced over 1000 years ago, during the Song Dynasty period in China (960-1279). The tea was crafted from the jasmine plant, which had originally been imported into China in the year 220. Today, China is famous for producing the best blends of jasmine tea, and is widely regarded as the best jasmine tea-producing country in the world.

To make jasmine teas, Chinese farmers simply blend jasmine flower leaves with traditional tea leaves. The picking process for jasmine tea is extremely specific, and it requires the flowers to be kept cool until nightfall before being picked just as the flowers begin to open. Then, the flowers are placed in the tea. After being placed in the blend of tea leaves, the jasmine flowers continue to open, releasing their aroma and fragrance into the surrounding leaves. This can be done several times in order to release the maximum amount of jasmine fragrance into the tea leaves.

For years, jasmine tea has been used in northern China as a ritual welcoming drink. It has played a strong role throughout that region’s history and is seen as a welcoming gesture for house guests.

The flavor of jasmine tea

Jasmine is a versatile flower, and it can be blended with any type of tea leaves. It is commonly blended with green tea, although white and oolong jasmine teas exist as well. There is also black jasmine tea, although it’s often reserved for ‘diehard’ tea drinkers due to its challenging flavor. Ultimately, each type of jasmine tea has its own unique flavor.

The taste of jasmine tea is best described as being ‘fresh’, particularly in green tea blends. The combination of jasmine aromas and tightly rolled green tea leaves makes it taste refreshing and natural. As you can imagine, it also features the distinct taste of jasmine.

The steeping process is critical if you want to make good jasmine tea. Steeping it for too long will cause the jasmine tea to become bitter, while not steeping it for long enough will lead to thinness and minimal flavor.

Jasmine tea – like other types of tea – is also prized for its health benefits. Green and white jasmine teas are rich in antioxidants, which are used to fight free radicals in the body and can unlock all sorts of health benefits. Studies have even suggested that diets rich in green and white tea can reduce the risk of cancer and high cholesterol.

Jasmine tea is tasty, aromatic, and steeped in history.

What Is Gunpowder Tea And Why Is It So Popular?

At ESP Emporium, China Gunpowder Organic Green Tea is one of our most popular blends. But what is Gunpowder tea? And what makes it so popular? Let’s find out!

Gunpowder tea is one of the world’s oldest types of tea. Instead of allowing the tea leaves to spread out, gunpowder tea is created by rolling each leaf into a tight little ball. The term ‘Gunpowder’ tea comes from the fact that each little leaf resembles gunpowder grains. And, after being exposed to hot water, each gunpowder tea leaf ‘explodes’ and expands, furthering the gunpowder metaphor.

The Tang Dynasty (618-907) was the first group to start making Gunpowder tea. However, it was mainly after production migrated to Taiwan in the 19th century that Gunpowder tea become more popular. During this period, gunpowder tea leaves were painstakingly rolled by hand – a process which took a lot longer than creating other types of tea.

Today, most Gunpowder tea is rolling by machines, although it is possible to find some (particularly the higher-grade ones) which are still rolled by hand. Most tea drinkers feel that small, tightly rolled pellets help enhance the flavor, and lower-quality Gunpowder tea blends are distinguished by larger, less tightly rolled pellets.

The best way to assess the flavor and freshness of Gunpowder tea is to look at the shininess of its pellets. In most cases, shiny pellets indicate that the tea is quite fresh.

Advantages of Gunpowder tea

If you’ve looked at our Best Selling Tea page lately, then you might have noticed that China Gunpowder tea is one of our most popular green loose leaf teas. Why is it so popular? Here are a few reasons why people love drinking Gunpowder tea:

-A unique and powerful flavor: Instead of breaking down the flavor in the leaves, the rolling process intensifies the flavor. Rolling the leaves into a tight ball prevents them from experiencing physical damage, which ultimately leads to more flavor retention.

-Can be aged for decades: Unlike other types of tea, Gunpowder tea can be aged for decades in order to unlock different flavors. However, it’s important to note that proper maintenance (like periodic roasting) is required over this period.

-Different varieties and flavors: Gunpowder tea comes in a number of different styles, including Ceylon Gunpowder tea (from Sri Lanka), Formosa Gunpowder tea (from Taiwan), and Pingshui Gunpowder tea (from the Pingshui region in China).

-Worldwide appeal: Gunpowder tea is popular in a wide variety of cultures. In North Africa, Gunpowder tea is used in the preparation of mint tea, which plays a key role at social gatherings. It’s also commonly consumed in China, Taiwan.

-Thicker, stronger taste: Gunpowder tea has a unique taste. In terms of flavor, gunpowder tea has been described as being grassy, minty, or peppery. It’s also thicker and stronger than most other teas, and its texture almost resembles ‘soft’ honey with a pleasant, smokey aftertaste. When brewed, gunpowder tea is yellow in color.

How Is Yellow Tea Different Than Other Types Of Tea?

You might have come across yellow tea as you navigate around the ESP Emporium website. Yellow tea is a popular blend of tea that can be compared to oolong or green tea. However, it features its own unique taste and a powerful stimulating effect that many people find enjoyable.

The history of yellow tea

Yellow tea has been used by Buddhist monks for hundreds of years. In fact, due to its stimulating effects and other pleasant qualities, the consumption of half-fermented yellow tea was a privilege of Buddhist monks for many years.

In ancient China, the term ‘yellow tea’ actually referred to any tea given to the emperor of China. The term didn’t refer to a specific blend of tea, but it was called ‘yellow’ because that was the royal color at the time. Tea was often taken as a form of tax from the surrounding countryside.

The manufacturing process for yellow tea is similar to that of green tea. The main difference is that yellow tea is allowed to oxidize slightly longer than green tea (which is hardly oxidized at all). In addition, yellow tea leaves are dried more slowly, which ultimately leads to a light green or yellow appearance. Yellow tea leaves are also harvested earlier in the year than green tea.

When looking at yellow tea leaves, it’s easy to confuse them for white tea leaves. The only difference is that yellow tea leaves are not covered in white down. When steeped, yellow tea is a rich, golden color that many tea drinkers find appealing. Because the color is so unique and attractive, many people prefer to drink yellow tea from glass mugs. Some people even steep their yellow tea in glass tea pots to show off the color.

Health benefits and flavor of yellow tea

Since there are only a few popular blends of yellow tea, limited research has been done on its health benefits. However, since yellow tea is derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, it features similar health benefits to green tea, black tea, and white tea. Those health benefits include reduced cholesterol buildup and increased weight loss. Since yellow tea leaves are oxidized only slightly longer than green tea, many of the health benefits of green tea can also be linked to yellow tea.

One of the best health benefits of drinking yellow tea is the antioxidant properties. These antioxidants have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental disorders, and other serious diseases.

Yellow tea appeals to a niche market of tea drinkers. For that reason, ESP Emporium only carries one type of yellow tea. That tea is called Kekecha Yellow Tea, and it features a unique coloring and a complex, smooth flavor. Many describe Kekecha Yellow Tea as fruity, as it contains hints of papaya, apricot, and an underlying spiciness. In short, Kekecha Yellow Tea is one of those teas that you should try at least once, just to see if you like it.

What Are Chocolate Tea Blends?

Tea blends come in all sorts of different flavors. But one flavor you might not have expected is chocolate. At ESP Emporium, we carry a few different blends of chocolate tea, and they’re all very delicious. Today, we’re going to show you what you can expect when you order chocolate tea and other sweet tea blends.

Chocolate tea comes in only a few different blends. Most of these teas are best used as dessert teas, although they’re so delicious that you might start craving them at any time of the day. Many of our chocolate teas are of the Rooibos variety, which is already a tasty tea on its own. When combined with chocolate, it creates a spectacular mixture of flavor.

Our Chocolate/Cream/Truffles Rooibos Tea Blend is particularly popular. Priced at only $4.95 for a 50 gram packet, this tea replicates the soft, melting sensation of truffle chocolate candies. The scent of our chocolate teas is immediately noticeable. And once you smell it, it’s tough to resist taking another sip. Some have even described our chocolate tea blends as being a healthy type of ‘liquid chocolate’.

Many people drink tea for its health benefits. While some people see chocolate as unhealthy, it is actually very good for your body when taken in small doses. Chocolate has been linked to lower blood pressure and reduced levels of cholesterol, and it also helps to relax blood pressure due to the increased production of nitric oxide. So, not only does chocolate tea taste great, but it also has its fair share of health benefits.

One of our most popular chocolate blends is our Chocolate Cake Honeybrush Tea, something that any chocolate fan will love. The tea itself tastes surprisingly similar to chocolate cake, and it combines the rich, dark flavor of chocolate with the light sensation of cake to give it a fantastic flavoring. It even has a chocolaty cake aroma and is decorated with rosebuds. It’s a must for any chocolate fans.

For all of these reasons, many of our chocolate teas are classified as ‘wellness teas’. Take the Mousse au Chocolate Rooibos Tea, for example. Much like the classic French dessert itself, Mousse au Chocolate Rooibos tea melts on your tongue to release a rich, chocolaty flavor.

Chocolate tea is often used as a cravings-quencher. It has a bold flavor but features few calories, making it an ideal replacement for high-calorie desserts and other unhealthy snacks. In that sense, chocolate tea can certainly be used as a weight loss aid.

Other dessert teas

Of course, our dessert teas come in more than just the chocolate variety. We also carry exciting flavors like Creamsicle Rooibos, which is every bit as delicious as it sounds. That tea features strong flavors of orange combined with a light yoghurt flavoring that many tea drinkers will find pleasantly unique.

Whether you use chocolate tea as a cravings-quencher or as a healthier type of dessert, there’s no denying its rich flavor and health benefits.