Posts Tagged 'loose leaf tea'

To Put the Milk in First, or To Put the Milk in Second? That is the Question

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In 1946, George Orwell published the essay “A Nice Cup of Tea” in the Evening Standard. It turns out the author of Animal Farm and 1984 had some pretty clear ideas on precisely how to prepare a good cup of black tea.

Included in his list of eleven rules are a few points that Orwell himself called “acutely controversial.” Among them: tea should be made in small amounts, using a vessel made of china or earthenware, and tea should be left loose in the pot so as not to “imprison” the tea. But one of the most hotly debated of Orwell’s prescriptions is his rule that milk be added to the cup after the tea.

Nearly 60 years after Orwell’s essay, the popular British newspaper The Guardian disputed Orwell’s rule of milk in second. While Orwell makes his recommendation based on the fact that you can regulate the amount of milk better when you add it after the tea is poured, The Guardian looks to science to end the debate, reporting research conducted by the Royal Society of Chemistry that indicates milk should be added first. Here’s why, according to the chemists: when you add milk to hot tea, the temperature causes the milk to degrade and this alters its taste. By adding the milk first and the tea second, you reduce your chances of this.

Historically, however, taste wasn’t what was at stake in the milk-in-tea debate. It was the preservation of the teacup! Hot tea sometimes caused lower-quality teacups to crack, and so adding milk to the cup first was a way of cooling the temperature and preventing this. Those who could afford better quality teaware that could withstand hotter temperatures could add the milk second without risk of breaking their cups.

Of course, not everyone adds milk to their black tea, and those who do don’t necessarily use dairy milk. Soy, almond and coconut milk are all delicious non-dairy options that are commonly used in tea.

For those who do like their tea milky, some of our favourite Tealish black teas to take with milk are the decadent, vanilla La Creme, Earl Greypfruit, a twist on the Earl’s favourite bergamot blend and the robust, classic Irish Breakfast.  If you’re looking for a caffeine-free way to replicate the milk-in-tea ritual, try rooibos!  This South African plant is naturally caffeine-free and takes milk well, so when you’re craving a nice cup before bed, reach for the rooibos!  We especially love warm, spicy Banana Bread Rooibos and creamy Tahitian Vanilla Rooibos with milk.

How do you take your tea? Without or without milk? Milk in first, or milk in second? Do you use dairy milk or a non-dairy option?

Whether you agree with Orwell, side with the chemists, or always take your tea straight, there’s one thing we all can agree on – there’s nothing like a nice cup of tea!


Tealish’s Lapsang Souchong Infused rice!

Fall calls to mind all kinds of delicious flavours: spicy chai, caramel apples, warm pumpkin spice and (our personal favorite) smoky tea. When the temperature starts to drop, us Tealish folks can’t get enough of Lapsang Souchong, a traditional Chinese tea that’s dried over baskets of burning pine. Whether in our deliciously citrus blend Russian Caravan, on it’s own, or as a latte with vanilla soy and brown sugar, this tea smells like freshly snuffed camp fires and warms the body to its core.

Perhaps our love of Lapsang made this amazing tea recipe from Joseph Shuldiner’s “Pure Vegan” cookbook even more exciting. Using Tealish tea, a touch of lavender to soften any bitterness, and some of our favorite veggies, we’ve adapted his recipe into an amazing tea-laced rice bowl, just in time for fall!

The Goods:

1.5 cups white jasmine rice
2 tablespoons Lapsang Souchong black tea
1 teaspoon Tibetan lavender tea
2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
a few cups of your favorite veggies and protein! (we used brocolli, onion, carrot, celery and tempeh)
a splash of organic tamari

The Method

1. In a teapot or heat proof bowl, combine tea and boiling water. Steep for 3 minutes, then strain into a medium saucepan and let tea cool.
2. Rinse rice and add to the tea. Stir in the salt and let sit for 1/2 hour.
3. Put the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. lower heat and simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice is light and fluffy (15-20 minutes).
4. Meanwhile, chop veggies and cook over medium heat in a frying pan with a splash of organic tamari (to taste).
5. Scoop veggies onto rice and serve immediately!

*You can also try making this rice with your personal favorite black tea or oolong!

TBS: Gluten Free Vegan Toasty Almond Cupcakes!

Nothing goes with tea quite like fresh baked goods, but what if your tea was baked into them? Introducing the Tealish Baking Series (TBS), a set of tea-licious recipes with options for almost every food sensitive tummy.

Obsessed with Toasty Almond? Join the club. Here at Tealish we’re constantly trying to invent new ways to get more toasty almond into our daily lives. Months of brainstorming, experimenting, failure, and tasting finally lead to this magnificent recipe, a combination of our two favorite things: behold, the Toasty Almond Cupcake!


50g bag of Toasty Almond tea
1/3 cup canola oil
1 + 1/2 cups almond milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1/3 cup corn or almond flour (we use corn)
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cupcake Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees celsius

Step One:
Stir 8 teaspoons of Toasty Almond into the soy milk in a small saucepan on medium heat. Stir constantly for ten minutes, careful not to burn the soy milk, until colour is quite pink. Some of the milk will be soaked into the tea but don’t worry, we’ve planned for that! Pour through sifter into bowl and put aside.

Step Two:
In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of tea infused milk, extracts, oil, and sugar together with electric mixer on medium until ingredients are just combined.

Step Three:
Add tapioca flour and flax seed and mix vigorously for one minute until flour is dissolved.

Step Four:
Add all other remaining ingredients and mix with electric mixer on medium for two minutes: don’t worry, it is impossible to over mix this recipe!

Step Five:
Pour batter into baking tray (fill 3/4 full) and bake for 20-22 minutes. Let them cool completely before icing!



1/4 cup vegan margarine (we use earth balance)
1/4 cup vegan shortening
2 + 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup toasty infused milk
1 pinch of cinnamon
12 tsp “toasty extract”*

*brew a quarter cup of toasty almond tea with 6 teaspoons of tea for as long as possible. This will create a sort of extract that helps turn your icing pink!

Icing Directions

Step One: Cream together margarine and shortening until fluffy.

Step Two: Slowly add all other ingredients, adding small amounts of “toasty extract” last until you create a suitable shade of pink.

Step Three: Ice cupcakes liberally, brew up a cup of tea and enjoy!

2 Simple, Summer Matcha Recipes We Can’t Live Without!

We won’t lie, we’re picnic-ers. While many of our fellow urbanites may roll their eyes at that sentence, consider this: There is no better way to “escape” city living for just one day. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to do something fun! Just  pack up a blanket, a book and some goodies to eat and drink, then head out to a local park.

One of our favourite picnic flavours is matcha. The powdered green tea is incredibly useful for so much more than just making hot tea – as you’ll find below, with our favourite matcha treats. If you still aren’t on the picnic wagon, you can always come in to the Tealish Tea Cafe and we’ll make one of our famous matcha drinks for you!

So, why do we love these treats? Easy, they’re simple recipes that require very few ingredients. Also, the end results are more delicious, nutritious and cost effective than anything you’ll buy at the grocery store. Try to prove us wrong!  Bonus points go out to these recipes in particular because they’re energizing and preservative-free.

Easiest-Ever Matcha Ice Cream

1 cup cream

1 can preservative-free condensed milk. We like Eagle Brand.

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp Tealish Matcha Organic

1 tbsp hot water

Whisk the matcha powder into hot water using a matcha whisk. Put the matcha mixture, cream, condensed milk and vanilla extract into a blender or whisk by hand. Freeze mixture in a loaf pan. Once frozen, scoop mixture into a bowl for the final hand blend. Then, enjoy your delicious ice cream! You can also re-freeze after the final step (but ours never lives to see the freezer again). If you’re lactose intolerant, play around with these measurements using coconut milk! Adding coconut shavings will beef up your mixture and add great texture. Yum!

Matcha Lemonade

8 ounces hot water

1 tsp Tealish Matcha Organic

1/4 lemon, sliced for squeezing

1 glass filled with ice

Sweetener (optional)

Mint and/or lemon to garnish

Whisk the matcha powder into hot water. Squeeze the lemons into the mixture, tossing in one or two of the slices as garnish. Sweeten to taste. Pour over ice and sip! Good, right?

Summer Tea Cocktails!

Every group has one: the summer party host! This generous friend offers up their backyard/cottage/patio throughout the warm summer months, but faces a great challenge. What do you serve to the friends who’ve tried all of your signature punches and cocktails a dozen times over?

Create something new by adjusting classic recipes!

Create something new by adjusting classic recipes!

Tea cocktails are making a BIG splash on this summer’s drink list. This is nothing new – in fact, tea has been used in punches since the 16th century – but the options are now endless as tea aficionados and mixologists alike roll out recipes for summer tea-infused deliciousness!

We’ve tried and tested our own blends against this trend! Let us say, these recipes are sure to stay in our repertoire for years to come as they are OUTRAGEOUSLY YUMMY.

Toronto Island Iced Tea

1/2 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. tequila

1 oz. sour mix (2 parts lemon juice, 1 part sugar, 1 part water)

4 oz. Citrus Grove

Prepare the citrus grove as described in our recent post.  Mix all liquids together over ice. Shake or stir. Add lemon slice to garnish!

Moroccan Mint Julep

2 oz. Moroccan Mint tea

1 oz. bourbon

1 oz.  soda

Oranges, cherries and mint sprigs

Mix tea, bourbon, fruit and mint, making sure to mash up the cherries and mint sprigs a little bit. Pour over ice and top with soda!

Pink Dragonfruit Vodka Mar-tea-ni

1 oz. Pink Dragonfruit infused vodka or gin (Let 1tsp of tea soak in 100ml of vodka for 4-8 hours)

1/2 oz. triple sec

2 oz.  Pink Dragonfruit, chilled

Mix all liquids and pour into martini glass. Garnish with citrus fruits.

Pina Colada Punchbowl

2 parts Pina Colada tea, chilled

1 part coconut water

1 part pineapple juice

1 part rum

Mix all liquids together in punch bowl, add ice and slices of pineapple to garnish.

Healthy AND Refreshing Iced Tea!

Tea is a cold-month favourite, but most people turn to the “classic” drinks of spring and summer once the warm weather hits, including pre-packaged sodas, juices, and iced teas. What many don’t realize is that these drinks are typically loaded with sweeteners, and indulging in a glass or two a day is usually equal to one full day’s amount of recommended sugar. Aside from the unpleasant weight-gain that follows sugar gorging, other side-effects such as migraine headaches and intestinal issues are linked to over-consumption of sugar. So what should you turn to when you’ve had too much ice water, don’t want the sugary drinks of summers past, but need some flavour in your life? …

Water can quickly turn from refreshing to bland when trying to stay hydrated in summer!

… Any tea can be iced. It’s true. And the most simple method is often to make a large quantity and store it, so that your favourite drink is on-hand and convenient. What you’ll need:

  • A jug
  • An infuser (Any old jug and infuser will do, but if you’re committed to iced teas the way we are, we suggest something made specifically for loose-leaf iced teas. We offer Bodum® and Takeya® varieties in-store)
  • 2-3 grams of tea per serving (When making large quantities, 1 teaspoon per 6 ounces. If you’re doing a two-litre jug, that means you’ll need 11 teaspoons or 22-33 grams. )
  • Cold water

Put the cold water and tea-filled infuser in the jug and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Voila! Your favourite iced tea awaits you in the morning.

Iced tea can be made in all quantities and varieties!

You can make individual cups of iced tea, too. Here is our classic Citrus Grove recipe for a single serving:

  • 3 teaspoons loose leaf tea
  • 6 oz hot water
  • 6 oz ice cubes
  • Lemon, fruit or herbs to taste

Infuse the tea in the hot water, add ice cubes and enjoy!

If you’re interested in something a bit sweet, loose-leaf iced tea is still a better option. Simply add a bit of honey or sugar syrup (a bit of sugar mixed with a bit of hot water) to your cup. This way, you know exactly how much sugar you’re consuming with each glass!


Tealish is a modern tea boutique located in downtown Toronto, Canada. This blog is meant to be a peek in to what Tealish is up to as well as a source of information about loose leaf tea and all things tea related. We hope you enjoy these posts and we hope you enjoy our teas – check us out online at

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