Today’s guest blogger is Alexis Siemons, a tea consultant and writer living in Philadelphia. She is certified in the Foundations of Tea (Level 1 & 2) by the Specialty Tea Institute, a division of the Tea Association of the USA. As a tea enthusiast, she writes about her steeped adventures on her website and blog, teaspoons & petals, teaches a series of culinary tea classes, and develops tea-infused recipes for restaurants. She also consults with tea companies, developing tea programs and creative marketing strategies. Her recipes and stories have been published in Anthology Magazine, Grid Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine, Kinfolk Magazine, Remedy Quarterly and Design*Sponge.
The deeply smoky campfire is crackling with embers headed up into the fall sky. You’re wrapped in your well-worn sweater and tucked under a flannel blanket with a mug of steaming apple cider cupped between both hands. Take me there. That is the ultimate fall moment. But when I can’t escape city streets, I recreate that autumn adventure in a tea infused cup of apple cider. Lapsang souchong tea when steeped in sweet apple cider, lends its rich, piney, smoky notes that warm you to the core. The cinnamon sticks and cloves mingle for spiced complexity. And I’ve been told that dark rum adds an extra log to the fire of warmth in the sip.
Consider the recipe for this tea infused cider (see below) a sneak peek of what you will experience in my class on cooking with tea on November 9th at 1pm (enroll online here). I hope you will join me to explore some of my favorite warming teas, as I share tea 101 tips/lessons that I’ve learned over the past 7 years while working in the tea industry and through my steeped certifications. Beyond the classic cup of tea, we’ll focus on techniques of layering tea in your recipes that give comfort foods a steeped twist. We’ll let it play in heavy cream, infuse it into oils, grind it into a fine powder for baking, steep it into stocks, etc. Set your tea free from the cup, and let it play in the pot settled on the stove or baking dish nestled in your oven. Treat the tea leaf like an herb or spice, and you’ll be surprised by the depth of flavors or balance it can bring to any dish.