All in Recipes

Hugo: the European summer cocktail gets a tea makeover

Elderflower has a charming flavor with a very sophisticated profile, somewhat vintage-y, but very classy. It’s a flavor I associate with Austria. Chilled sparkling water with elderflower syrup is a popular non alcoholic summer beverage there. As it turns out, elderflower syrup is popular in cocktails too! The first time I’ve heard about the Hugo cocktail was in Austria, but - strangely enough - not until my recent trip to Europe did I fell in love with it. There’s no tea in the original version of the Hugo cocktail, but you know me, I can’t help myself ;-) 

Matcha mochi muffins

Mochi muffins have become so popular in the Bay Area that I challenge you to find a cafe or tea house where you cannot get them. Their rise to stardom has been a quiet one, yet strong and steady. I keep seeing them everywhere. They’ve been in the news, they are on the menu at Asha Teahouse, Boba Guys serves them … need I say more? Despite being very curious, I had never tried them before (don’t ask me why). So I made them and suddenly realized what the hype is all about.

Tea-infused Negroni, two ways

If you haven’t already, it’s time to hop on the Negroni bandwagon. Negroni, now ubiquitous, is an iconic Italian cocktail. Legend has it that Count Camillo Negroni invented it in 1919 in Florence. Why is it so popular? For one thing, it’s Italian, need I say more? (just kidding, of course). Well, it’s a simple recipe (just 3 ingredients in equal parts) and it doesn’t require any special bar tools. Nevertheless, it’s a very sophisticated cocktail. Its strong flavor, with bitter and sweet notes, might not be for everyone but palates have evolved to appreciate the bitter flavor in coffee and IPA beers, kale and dark chocolate, to name just a few examples. As it turns out, tea is perfect to create playful variations of Negroni, so without further ado, let me introduce you to the Tea-groni, two ways!

Matcha affogato

Affogato reminds me of Italy. A scoop of ice cream is "drowned" in a shot of espresso. A little guilty pleasure. Here I am deliberately switching espresso for matcha because the craft coffee movement is believed to be the predecessor of today’s high-quality tea industry, at least here in the United States. Thank you, craft coffee! I owe you one!The popularity of affogato lies in the combination of opposite flavors (bitter espresso VS sweet gelato) and different temperatures (hot espresso VS cold gelato). Opposites attract, we know that. Think of the many successful flavor combinations which rely on this principle, like sweet and salty (salted caramel, peanut butter and jelly, maple and bacon). It works. 

Iced tea from Paradise

With this recipe I won the Demmers Teehaus iced tea contest in Austria last July. Let me tell you how I came up with this recipe. I wanted it to be exciting and fun to make, which is why I incorporated some recent trends I have been seeing a lot over here in the US, including cold brewed tea.

Dreaming of a hot summer

In the heat of summer, you might not be so keen on that hot steamy cup of tea. Well, you see, living in San Francisco, I don't have such problems. The average temperature is 59 F (15 C) but I can always pretend it's hot outside and enjoy summer-appropriate food and beverages. For example, I could make some lovely iced tea. Nevertheless, I really want to trick myself into thinking that it is a scorching summer day out there and the best remedy against it is ice cream, of course! So, today I am making chai tea ice cream because on the one hand, I want to feel like I am enjoying the summer; on the other hand, the warmth from the chai spices is much more in tune with what I need right now (given the current temperatures!). 

A sophisticated take on chocolate truffles

A friend of mine introduced me to rooibos and I was instantly hooked on its naturally sweet, nutty flavor. Now let me introduce you to this magical beverage.Rooibos is a type of herbal tea from South Africa. The leaves of the Aspalathus linearis plant are oxidized, which gives rooibos its distinctive reddish-brown color. The process is similar to that used to make tea from the Camellia Sinensis leaves. So similar that there is also green rooibos, which - like green tea - is the less oxidized or non-oxidized version. I’ve never tried green rooibos but I must say I am intrigued. 

Afternoon tea with Mr. Squirrel

Welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by! If you are here, we probably have one thing in common. I am so passionate about it that I cannot keep it to myself any longer. I am talking about tea. By that I mean “tea” as in “tea ceremony”, “tea” as in “afternoon tea”. I mean the real thing. No sad-looking tea bags containing sad-looking tea dust here. The connection between tea and squirrels might sound far-fetched, but let me tell you how The Tea Squirrel was born.