True teas—white, green, oolong, and black — all come from the same ancient plant and contain varying levels of caffeine, vitamins, and antioxidant-packed polyphenols. But a hot cup of tea won’t always hit the spot. So why not combine it with food or try cooking with it? Explore the food world a bit.
The best way to ensure you have the water at the right temperature is to get yourself a cooking thermometer.
White Tea | Steep time: 1 to 3 minutes at 165° to 185°
Because white tea is so delicate, it’s hard to cook with, but you can easily pair it up with food to accompany a meal. Try white tea with either poached pears or ice cream to enhance the flavors of both.
Green Tea | Steep time 2 to 3 minutes at 165° to 185°
Green tea is a great match when sautéing scallops or shrimp with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Oolong Tea | 3 to 5 minutes at 180° to 195
Oolong tea is a great liquid for poaching fish or lobster. Oolong can also be used as a spice and to braise meat.
Black Tea | Steep time: 3 to 5 minutes at 210° to 212°
Black tea is great for grilling chicken, fish, and veggies with full-bodied black tea leaves (Assam or Kenyan), ground ginger, coriander, black peppercorns, brown sugar, and salt. Black tea also makes a great red wine substitute when cooking.