Cooking with tea is nothing new, but now it just got a little more gourmet. Pure Leaf recently released its Tea House Collection, a portfolio of three teas created with organic loose teas with incredible notes.
Available in 14-ounce bottles, tea lovers as well as those looking for a refreshing drink with low sugar, will quickly fall for the black tea collection that includes Fuji Apple & Ginger, Sicilian Lemon & Honey Suckle and Wild Blackberry and Sage. The teas are sweetened with organic cane sugar and at only 90 calories, they are great thirst quenchers on their own or great flavor enhancers when used in recipes.
Last month in San Francisco, we got a chance to experience the teas as part of the Pure Leaf Tea House Collection’s Traveling Tea House. The special up close and personal experience featured chef Matthew Accarrino from the restaurant SPQR who created a selection of delicious dishes using the teas in the recipes or as drinks to pair with the event’s menu.
Surprisingly, we enjoyed the chilled summer soup recipe that combined ¾ cups of the Sicilian Lemon and & Honeysuckle together with ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, country bread and onions. Blend it all up and enjoy a refreshing take on a soup can be enjoyed either cold or warm. Be sure to try it for yourself using the recipe below.
During the hour, we basked in the warm San Francisco sun while sipping on Accarrino’s tea spritz that used the Wild Blackberry & Sage tea mixed with sparkling wine, an aperitif, lemon juice and sparkling water. This recipe lends itself to a variety of interpretations as any of the three teas would work. Be sure to try this recipe below too.
Our favorite dishes from the event were Accarrino’s slow roast beef with a charred vegetable condiment along with his pesto farro salad and meatless meatballs. These were all great paired with the any one of the teas and we couldn’t help but get seconds.
Fresh off its last stop in Portland, the Pure Lea Tea House Collection are also available in select cities such as California, New York, and Chicago. For exact locations, visit www.pureleaf.com/teahousecollection. Bottles retail at $4.17.
CHILLED SUMMER SOUP
Yield: 7-8 servings (8 oz)
1 quart tomato, diced
1 cup cucumber, peeled and seeded
3/4 cups red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 cup strawberry, diced
1/2 garlic clove
1/4 jalapeno, seeded
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup country bread, crustless, cubed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
3/4 cups Pure Leaf Tea House Collection™ Sicilian Lemon & Honeysuckle
Sliced strawberries, dried at low heat in oven on non-stick baking sheet
Basil oil or herb-infused oil (optional), as needed
1. Combine all ingredients for the soup and rest overnight, minimum 4 hours, in refrigerator. Blend finely.
2. Serve soup chilled with herb oil and topped with strawberry chips.
Yield: Serves 4
8 ounces Pure Leaf Tea House Collection™ Wild Blackberry & Sage
6 ounces sparkling wine
1 ounce apertif
3/4 teaspoons lemon juice
Splash of sparkling water
Blackberries, for optional garnish
Mint, lemon balm, sage or lemon verbena, for optional garnish
1. Combine tea, wine, aperitif, and garnish with berries and herbs as needed. Top with a float of sparkling water.
2. If desired, freeze additional amount of Pure Leaf Tea House Collection™ Fuji Apple & Ginger Tea with herbs in trays and serve spritz over flavored ice.
For a non-alcoholic version, substitute sparkling wine with sparkling cider and aperitif withsparkling water.
All recipes are courtesy Chef Matthew Accarino.