An Intro To Tea

Magazine Archives
| Winter
2023 |
Volume 2,
Issue 4

An Intro To Tea

Part 1 in our multi-part series by our resident tea expert Adrienne Etkin of Admari Tea, Miami.

In the ever-evolving world of mixology, where creativity knows no bounds, one timeless ingredient continues to stand out for its complexity, versatility, and depth of flavor: tea. While often associated with quiet contemplation and meditative moments, tea is emerging as a star in the world of non-alcoholic beverages and the mindful lifestyle that accompanies them.

 

In describing “how to make punch of any sort in perfection,” the father of American Mixology, Jerry Thomas, suggests in his recipe book, How to Mix Drinks (1862), that “using tea instead of water is the grand secret”. He knew what mixology aficionados of today are discovering: When perfection is the aim, tea is the answer.

 

The modern age of cocktail culture embodies a vast selection of meticulously crafted drinks with layers of flavor, aroma, and intrigue—and devoid of alcohol. The appeal of this lifestyle stems from the concept of “mindful drinking’”. People are not merely shunning alcohol; they are embracing a conscious awareness of their consumption choices. This shift has given rise to a demand for beverages that deliver complexity without the presence of alcohol. Sounds like the perfect role for the rising star, tea.

 

Mastering the art of tea-infused mixology requires an intimate knowledge of each tea’s unique personality. Japanese green teas, with their grassy notes, thrive when combined with crisp citrus elements. Indian black teas, with their bold and malty character, are enhanced when paired with fruity sweetness, or earthy herbaceous notes. Beyond the intricacies of taste, the way each tea is prepared for use is just as important.

In Part One of this series we will explore the fundamental characteristics of each tea. In the upcoming Part Two we will discuss how to layer teas to create interesting and balanced zero-proof cocktails. See the AFTER website for additional downloads and information! 

Let’s start with the basics:

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