Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Tea Spot's Founders on TV...


June 26th 2009, a day to remember...Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon dead; while Maria and I were interviewed lived by the beautifully sweet Peggy Bunker, Fox 31's Good Day news anchor...

My heart started to beat faster as Maria told Peggy about her personal struggle fighting Ovarian Cancer on live TV. She rarely talks about her survival because she is fearful that it might return. As I stood next to her listening, my heart rate started to slow down. The relaxed tone in voice made me realize that she is finally comfortable talking about her experience and has come to a point in her life where she is ready to embrace her fight for life in the hopes of helping others. 'Founded with a passion for great tasting full leaf teas and desire to help fight cancer; The Tea Spot is dedicated to make loose leaf tea an everyday luxury', Maria explains as Peggy turns to ask how I incorporated tea into my recipes. "I used tea to smoke the salmon and made a Tea-soning that I sprinkled over the top of the salmon with a little olive oil. I incorporated tea into my MATE LIMON tequila marinade that brushed all over the corn on the cob. I used tea to help caramelize the grilled MANGO TANGO pineapple and made a simple tea syrup for the BOULDER BLUES Infused Muddle. A perfect menu for your 4th of July BBQ...And thanks to Whole Foods (Pearl) for all the ingredients."

Main Entree

Green Roasted Tea - Smoked Salmon

Layering the salmon on top of wood chips and roasted green tea leaves blended with peppermint produces a smoky, nutty yet refreshing flavor. Rubbing the fish with this GREEN ROASTE MINT Tea-soning will complement the smoky flavor while adding a little spice, a dash of sweetness and a slightly crusty coating

Servings:  4

Prep Time: 20-25 minutes / Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

Level: Easy

Ingredients: Tea-Sonings

Tea + Seasonings = Tea-Sonings

Mix the following ingredients

  • 1 TBS GREEN ROASTED MINT TEA, finely grounded
  • 1 TBS Cilantro
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Ingredients: Salmon

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 cups wood chips (alder or cedar), soaked for 15 minutes
  • Aluminum foil, heavy

Ingredients: Drizzle 

  • ½ of Tea-sonings (about 2 TBS)
  •  4 TBS olive oil


1.   Combine all Tea-sonings ingredients in a small bowl. Divide Tea-sonings in ½ (reserve ½ to sprinkle on top of salmon & ½ for drizzle). Pat dry salmon with paper towels. Brush salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with ½ of tea-sonings.

2.   Cut out four rectangles of aluminum foil, crimp edges until each tray measure 7 X 5 inches. Cut small slits in bottom of trays. Put ½ cup soaked wood chips and ½ TBS GREEN ROASTED MINT tea in each tray. Place salmon skin-side down on top of tea and wood chips.

3.   Turn all burners on high and heat grill with lid on down until very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grate clean with grill brush.

4.   Place foil trays with salmon over fire, cover and grill until center of fillet is opaque, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk reserved Tea-sonings and olive oil for drizzle. Remove trays from grill. Slide metal spatula between skin and flesh. Transfer to platter and drizzle with olive oil Tea-sonings.

Side Dish

MATE LIMON Tequila Roasted Corn on the Cob

The tart citrus flavors mixed creamy butter and a little spice from the Tea-sonings is flavorful and easy to make at your next BBQ.

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

Level: Easy


·        6 ears corn

·        ¼ cup tequila or apple cider vinegar

·        1 lime, zest and juice

·        3 TBS butter, at room temp

·        Tea-Sonings: Tea + Seasonings = Tea-Sonings

       Mix the following ingredients

o               1 TBS MATE LIMON CHAI, finely grounded

o               1 TBS sugar

o               1 tsp garlic powder

o               1 tsp cayenne pepper

o               1 tsp salt

o               1 tsp pepper

·      Oil for cooking grate


1.      Preheat grill until hot. Scrape grate clean.  Lightly dip small wad of paper towel in oil, holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate.

2.       Peel back cornhusks and remove silk. In a mixing bowl, combine tequila or vinegar, lime zest and juice, butter and Tea-sonings. Brush butter Tea-soning completely over corn. Close husks and set aside until grill is hot.

3.       Place corn indirectly on grill and cook for about 10 minutes until tender and lightly browned, turning occasionally.


Grilled Pineapple Infused with a MANGO TANGO Tea Simple Syrup

The sugars of the pineapple will automatically help to caramelize the exterior of the fruit but by soaking in a MANGO TANGO simple tea syrup, we take it two steps further; adding subtle tones of Mango, hints of refreshing citrus finished off with a caramelized coating and a burst of cinnamon. Eat it by itself or dress it up as a sundae, either way you’ll be having a party in your mouth.

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 5-10 minutes

Level: Easy


·      1 ripe pineapple

·      2 TBS MANGO TANGO tea, steeped into 4 oz MANGO TANGO tea concentrate, reserve tea leaves for re-steeping

·      1 lemon, zest & juice

·      ½ cup agave

·      1 TBS cinnamon

·      1 TBS brown sugar

·      Oil for cooking grate

·      Optional: Make a sundae, add an ice Cream, whip cream, chocolate syrup and granola


1.   Preheat grill to high, cut rind off pineapple leaving stem to help cut slices. Cut pineapple ½ inch slices.

2.   Bring 5 oz water to boil, pour hot water over MANGO TANGO tealeaves, steep for 4 minutes. Remove tealeaves and reserve leaves for re-steeping.

3.   In a mixing bowl, whisk tea, agave, lemon zest & juice, cinnamon and brown sugar. Brush pineapple with tea-syrup.

4.   Grill pineapple slices until heated through and slightly brown, about 2-3 minutes each side.

5.    Optional: Make a sundae, add a scoop of ice cream, whip cream, chocolate syrup and granola. YUMMY!!!

Tea Drink:

BOULDER BLUES Infused Muddle

The Tea Spot Chef recreated this drink by Jon Hoeber (published in Bon Appetite July 2009), the farmer’s market mixologist at the Rustic Canyon restaurant in Santa Monica. Muddling the fresh strawberries with simple BOULDER BLUES tea syrup creates a slightly sweeter tangier twist with a hint more color on this already marvelous drink.

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Chill Time: 2-3 hours

Level: Easy


  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 TBS BOULDER BLUES, yielding 4 oz tea concentrate*
  • 1 ½ cup strawberries, chopped and hulled
  • 6 tin lemon slices
  • 1 750-ml bottle chilled Prosecco


  1. *Make BOULDER BLUES concentrate:

Place 2 TBS of BOULDER BLUES green tea leaves in an 8 oz measuring cup. Bring 5 ounces of water to boil and cool water for 3 minutes bringing water down to about 174°. Pour hot water over tealeaves and steep for 2-3 minutes. Strain out tealeaves and add enough ice to yielding 6 oz of tea. Tea Tip: Reserve tealeaves for resteeping.

  1. Stir sugar and tea concentrate in small saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Cool.
  2. Divide strawberries among 6 – 8 oz glasses; add 1 TBS tea syrup to each glass and mash with muddler or wooden spoon. Add lemon and mash and ice cubes and fill with Prosecco.

 Hope your getting some ideas for the tea recipe you'll be entering into our contest...Let me know if you have any questions..



Monday, June 29, 2009

Big Ups to Lainie Sips!

Big Thanks to Lainie from Lainie Sips Tea Blog! She did a kickass podcast review of our Green Roasted Mint tea on Blog Cast Radio. Hearing her review was like listening to an old friend who "gets" you. She seems like a great gal - a tea & wine connoisseur from the Twin Cities who regularly writes tea articles for the Chicago Examiner. In any case, you can check out the podcast here!

Friday, June 26, 2009

"Colorado Classique" cookbook launches with Tea Spot recipe included!

"Colorado Classique" new beautiful new Jr League of Denver cookbook launched today! Tea Spot's included with our "Boulder Blues Sparkler" recipe & a sidebar on "how to make tea". As sponsors, we were invited to the launch party this week. And because our Tea Spot Chef is off at chef school, it was my younger daughter Anna and I who got to attend and represent our Company. What an exquisite party - filled with gracious and happy people filled with a sense of accomplishment - with good reason, at that - the cookbook is not only gorgeous and beautifully laid out, but we got to sample many of the altitude-recipes at the event. Just yummy - too many favorites to remember them all here, but some of mine were the Champagne Mojito, Fire and Ice Watermelon Salsa, Chilled Strawberry soup, Roasted Lamb with Garlic, Crab Pad Thai and Almond Raspberry Bars... good thing it doens't happen but once every few years! Thank You, Patricia Bainter from The Junior League, for your support of our local Woman-owned and operated business, and for allowing me to share this most special event with my daughter. And needless to say, we're thrilled that loose leaf tea, and our company, are now a part of the prestigious Colorado Cookbook legacy from the JLD!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


In my last post I vowed to force my visiting family (all from central PA) to put down the teabag and pick up a mug of perfectly steeped loose-leaf tea. Enter the Celestial Seasonings Tent Sale. What started out as a guided tour through a popular tea factory turned into a teabag feeding frenzy. Never have I been so bamboozled in my entire life. It was a crushing blow this tent sale. Boxes of any flavor you want for a buck. One dollar. I wasn't there, but I heard some little kids were trampled. Even my mother, who appreciates a good bargain, had to step aside while the rest of the family filled shopping bag after shopping bag with flavors of tea they've never even heard of. I didn't stand a chance. It was over before it began.

What this frustrating experience did help me remember was that converting the mainstream tea-drinking public into loose-leaf connoisseurs isn't going to happen over night. Certainly not over night in my apartment where my youngest visitor built a three-room fort out of all the Celestial Seasonings tea boxes. The first thing you must do when changing someone's habit is to grab their attention and the aftermath of this tent sale was like herding cats. So I decided to flee and live to fight another day. Soon they will tire of all that bagged tea and the excitement will wear off. Enter Bolder Breakfast, Iced Mango Tango and Green Roasted Mint.
photo from www.cbc.ca

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Simply Shocking! A week without drinking tea and only ...da da dum...COFFEE!

Yes, it's true. Last week (spanning both weekends) I switched gears from running and was involved in Ride the Rockies which is a 380 mile bike tour for 6 days going from one Colorado town to the next all on your bike. I will get into further details about the trip on my next blog once I've downloaded pictures, but for the time being what you need to know is that while we biked from town to town, we didn't have to carry anything while biking.We were allowed one huge bag (thank you Tea Spot Chef) and then we set up camp at each town's elementary or high schools, were able to use their facilities (as well as all the lovely outdoor porta johns) and the local vendors set up stations for us to get food from.

And each morning, there was "the coffee guy". The coffee station was set up as a portable coffee stand that also drove from town to town to provide us with our early morning drinks. So, every morning I had a glorious cup of coffee to get me energized at 5:30 in the morning, to keep me warm when waking up in 30 degree weather in the mountains and to get me started on my 60-80mile a day ride!

"Didn't the coffee man have tea?" you ask. To this I reply, "yes, he did", but I knew it was only bagged tea and quite honestly that didn't get me all revved up to start on my morning ride.

You need something, scratch that ANYTHING, to help you get up these hills!

So there you have it, a week with no tea. Quite honestly, now that I'm sitting here with my cup of Bolder Breakfast, no longer on a bike saddle, I realize that I have missed my tea and I appreciate it maybe even a little more for the amazing quality that it is. You know what they say "Absence makes the heart grow fonder!"

Photos found at http://www.ridetherockies.com/media-room/photo-archives/

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Grilled Tea Infused Veggie & Shrimp Skewers...

Last week I taught a hands-on cooking with tea class at Whole Foods Market Tamarac. The group was so much fun and eager to learn how to incorporate tea into different recipes. I taught how to make the veggie skewers as a side dish but you can double the marinade/drizzle recipe and a complete meal by adding shrimp, tortillas, salsa, avocado and sour cream to your grocery list and assemble tacos for a tea-licous summertime dinner. This tea recipe is easy, crowd-pleasing, fresh, fun & healthy.

The marinade/drizzle has a citrus sweet tang with a kick of heat. Add more cayenne pepper if you want to kick it up a notch

Green Roasted Mint Infused Veggie & Shrimp Skewers

Serving Size: 4-6                  Prep Time: 20 min

Ingredients - Infused Skewers                    

·      10-12 Skewers

·      6 tsp TeaSpot’s GREEN ROASTED MINT tea, steeped into 6 oz concentrate

Preparation - Infused Skewers

1. Steep tea concentrate: Steep 6 tsp of tea in  6 ounces water at 175°  for 3 min*

2. Soak Skewers overnight, strain tea leaves & reserve concentrate for drizzle

Ingredients - Veggie Skewers

·      1 large red onion, cut into 1/2 cubes

·      1 medium zuchinni, cut into 1/2 in cubes

·      1 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/2 in cubes

·      16-18 mushrooms, quartered

·      16-18 cherry tomatoes

·      1 medium orange & 1 green  Bell Pepper, cut in 1/2 in cubes

·      1 bunch of broccoli, cut in florets with 1/4 in stems

·      1/2 tsp sugar, for sprinkling

Ingredients - Shrimp Skewers

·      1 1/2 lbs. large (21-25 count) shrimp, peeled, deveined

·      1/2 tsp sugar, for sprinkling

Ingredients - Marinade/Drizzle

·      1 1/2 cup olive oil

·      3/4 cup lime juice

·      1/3 cup agave 

·      1/3 cup GREEN ROASTED MINT concentrate, reserved from infusing skewers

·      Tea-sonings: combine the following

o     2  TBS TeaSpot’s GREEN ROASTED MINT tea grounded

o     1/2 TBS  cilantro

o     1/2 TBS  cayenne pepper, depending how hot you want

o     1/2  TBS salt

o     1 tsp sugar

o     2  tsp basil            

Preparation - Veggie Skewers & Drizzle

1. Drizzle: In a medium bowl whisk to combine oil, lime juice, agave, tea concentrate, Tea-sonings divide in thirds (1/3 for veggies, 1/3 for shrimp, 1/3 for dipping)

2. Veggies: In a large bowl add 1/3 of drizzle. Add veggies, toss to coat and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour. After marinating alternate cubed veggies on infused skewers. Pack tightly and sprinkle sugar on one side. 

3. Shrimp: In a large bowl add 1/3 of drizzle. Pat dry shrimp with paper towel and butterfly using a paring knife, making shallow cuts down the middle of the outside curve. Add shrimp to bowl and marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to a hour. after marinating, skewer shrimp by alternating directions of each shrimp. Pack each skewer tightly, about a dozen/skewer. Sprinkle one side of sugar on top.

4. Place veggies skewers, sugar side down, on one side and shrimp, sugar side down, on the other side of grill and cook on low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes, rotate & grill on other side for 1-2 minutes

5. Take off grill and serve with reserved drizzle, lightly grilled tortillas, salsa, avocado and sour cream. 

Try this easy to make menu for your 4th of July BBQ and let me know how it tastes...Fill a pinata and throw a real fiesta...