Archive for January, 2013

Zhi partners with Rye & the Good Food Awards to celebrate America’s food culture

This weekend, food artisans from all over the country gathered in San Fransisco to attend the national Good Food Awards. 

An effort to celebrate and share the culinary achievements in categories like cheese, preserves, coffee and spirits, the Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat. Tasty, authentic and responsibly produced, these artisan food makers (like Zhi) truly take pride in their work and are grateful for such a supportive foodie culture. This means you!

One year, Zhi hopes that they’ll have a category for tea (wink). Meanwhile, we were honored and flattered when asked to sponsor the event by providing tea to be used at the Awards Ceremony and private parties. Then, we learned that Greg Lindgren of Rye was going to be crafting signature tea cocktails with Zhi as well. Cheers, indeed! He’s been generous to share his recipe for one of the drinks they’ll be serving below.

Learn more about the Good Food Awards and see this year’s winners, as we offer a special congratulations to our Texan friends as well. Pinkies up!

The Grey Lady

Ingredients:

¾ ounce bergamot oleo saccharum

¾ ounce lemon juice

1 ounce Zhi Earl Grey liquid tea made double strength

1 1/2 ounce gin

1 egg white

Garnish: lemon twist

Instructions: Measure all the ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and shake hard to a 10-second count. Strain into a chilled martini glass, 1/2 rimmed with sugar, and garnish with a lemon twist.

How to Celebrate National Hot Tea Month

Pinkies up, tea lovers!

While Zhi nevers need an official reason to steep a cup of tea, January is National Hot Tea Month. After holiday indulgences, the wintery new year is the perfect time to elevate our tea appreciation. How will you celebrate?

Here are Dr. Oolong’s suggestions to Pause, Reflect, Connect:

1) Choose a theme. This is easy and fun. Like yoga, or meditation, ask yourself what you want to align with. Do you want to simplify and relax? Are you wanting energy and focus? Are you seeking beauty and passion? There is a tea for every personality and pursuit. Explore them all!

2) Choose your teaware. Let this holiday be the right time to gift yourself your perfect tea tools. Do you like tea on the go? In the office? At home at the table or in bed? Once you know what you like, you’ll know what you need. At minimal costs, one could find the accessories to complement and fully customize your tea experiences. Make it “you!”

3) Choose your tea. Ancient Forest. Blood Orange. Silver Needle. Tropical Green. No matter what your desire, there is a tea waiting for you. All of Zhi’s teas are organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, and pesticide-free. Always.

4) Choose your guests. Whom do you want to share your moment with? Host a tea party or Afternoon Tea for a group of friends. Prefer one-on-ones? Tea for two is always a treat. Don’t forget to treat yourself. A solitary tea party is always a delightful way to romance your Self.

Recipe box! Chocolate cookies with tea pairing

If you’ve resolved to spend more time in your kitchen perfecting your Top Chef skills, we commend you! Consider the easy yet elegant chocolate cookie recipe below and brace yourself for compliments (if you decide to share.)

Of course, no dessert course would be complete without the proper tea. To complement the chocolate qualities of these dark and dense cookies, Zhi suggests a malty, smooth black tea like our Austin Breakfast. Prefer something caffeine-free? The nutty notes of our Honeybush pair well with the cookies’ raw sugar highlights. Enjoy!

Want more recipe suggestions and tea pairings? Find Zhi on Pinterest!

Chocolate Cookies by Lemons & Anchovies*

Ingredients

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

3 tablespoons boiling water

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 large egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon water

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

Dissolve the cocoa powder and espresso powder in the boiling water in a small bowl.

Using a hand mixer (original recipe calls for using a stand mixer with paddle attachment but the hand mixer worked, too), beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until the mixture is creamy. Mix in the vanilla and salt then, reducing the mixer’s speed, mix in the egg followed by the cocoa mixture. Add the flour in small batches and continue to mix until a smooth dough forms. Since I used a hand mixer here, I used my hands to press the dough together.

Turn the dough out on a piece of plastic wrap and pat into a square. Wrap the dough and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Divide the chilled dough into 24 pieces and form into balls. Using a flat-bottomed glass, press each ball into a disk and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet (you may need two baking sheets).

Combine the egg yolk and water and brush the tops of the disks. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The original recipe called for baking these for 35 minutes but I think that’s too long. Watch the cookies at the 20 minute mark. If they’re dry, they’re done.

Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before serving. May be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

*Reprinted with permission

 

Resolved to drink more tea! Guilt free treats from Zhi Tea

The new year always brings opportunity for healthier habits and high hopes. Year after year, we continue to see diet, health and financial resolutions top the list of self-improvement projects.

What are you looking forward to improving in 2013?

“Each spring, we witness (and experience!) a strong desire to cut back on sugar, fat, dairy and gluten, as we clear the slate after an indulgent holiday season,” says Dr. Oolong, co-founder of Zhi Tea and resident cookie-lover.

“Zhi strives for balance, while never sacrificing beauty or pleasure. Fittingly, our teas are pure, healthy and indulgent. Tea helps us answer the question, “How can one have decadent food experiences without sacrificing health?” It’s easy! It’s right there in your cup.”

For everyone who is working off a wellspring of will power, Zhi would like to offer custom tea choices to support your efforts. (We can use the extra help too!)

For a sugar-free treat: try our Sweet Desert Delight. Crave cream, but want to be dairy-free? Try our Masala Chai with a drop of almond milk. Need a gluten-free drink? All of our teas are gluten-free, organic and fair trade. Want to cleanse and detox? Purify with Silver Needle. Caffeine-free morning? Let the awakening power of our Turkish Spice Mint keep you upbeat, without the jitters! Caffeine-free evening? Our Restful Blend (pictured above) is a soothing nightcap and guaranteed lullaby.

So, how do you resolve to incorporate tea into your life more?