Tag Archives: spices

Retrievable Spices & Herbs

Add Ground Pepper toward the end of the cooking time. Ground pepper looses its favor in long cooking times. An alternative is to put peppercorns in a muslin bag or cheese cloth that can be submerged during cooking then removed from the dish.

Bay Leaf is another retrievable spice. Add dried bay leaf to your soups and roasts during cooking then remove before serving because the leaf is bitter and hard to chew. Crush bay leaf for added flavor; again put them in a muslin bag that can be retrieved before serving.

A Tea Infuser works well for adding spices that you want to remove at the end of cooking. This allows you to add the flavor of the spice/herb without actually adding the texture.

General Guidelines for Tea Making

Here are some general guidelines for tea making:

How much loose tea per cup? My recommendation is 1 tsp. per 8-10 ounce cup. For finely cut black, green and oolong teas a light teaspoon. For leafy herbal teas such as dandelion leaf or lemongrass a heavy teaspoon.

How long to steep a cup of tea? The general rule is 3 to 5 minutes. For black, green and oolong teas stay on the 3 minute side. The leafy herbal teas need to steep longer so go for the whole 5 minutes. Roots, seeds and barks need time to soften to release their flavor and health benefits, so again, 5 minutes or more.

Remember everyone likes their tea different. If you like your teas light then try adding less tea and/or steeping for less time. While some people believe steeping to long makes the drink bitter others like a good strong cup of tea, which might mean a little more tea and a little longer steep time.

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