Ready to re-energize your menu with new flavors? Try creating unique menu items with tea!
Didn’t know you could infuse different teas into your menu? Think again
All tea comes from the same plant. Like wine, you can have different types grown in different regions. There are differences in climate and different soil conditions. Tea responds the same way. How it’s grown, what elevation, what temperature, how it’s oxidized and how it’s fermented.
Chefs can really play around with different tea flavors in different dishes. For example, black teas pair well with foods that have more fat and green teas have more of a vegetable quality and are steamed to prevent further oxidation.
Health Benefits of Tea
Tea also has health benefits! Numerous studies have shown that a variety of teas may boost your immune system and fight off inflammation. From heart health to bone health, the benefit of incorporating tea into your recipes can attract the health conscious foodie and make your restaurant stand out from others.
Using Tea in Recipes
From a menu perspective, tea adds something subtly to a dish. Take chicken for example – southern fried chicken is great but sweet tea fried chicken is more innovative. Adding tea can switch up a menu item just a little bit and help you stand out from competitors.
Adding tea to your menu is a great way to differentiate your menu from others. Whether you add cold teas or hot teas, they pair well with all sorts of dishes. For example, if you’re making miso ginger broth, try adding green tea to the recipe to add some element to the dish.
A trend that is currently emerging in restaurants are teas that are focused on a single origin like the Unilever Pure Leaf Tea – which is harvested differently and is a whole leaf tea. Being able to track the tea back to the field and the grower is important.
Another trend appearing in restaurants is a shift into organics. Sustainable, regenerative, and agricultural practices in tea are popular right now because more customers are buying products and menu items that are better for the planet.
Check out these restaurant menu items made with tea:
Cocktails and Teas
Cocktails are also restaurant menu items made with tea.
Who would have thought that teas can be turned into cocktails? By infusing teas into neutral spirits like vodka, you can create cool new flavors for your own signature cocktail. A lot of what operators are looking to do nowadays is create a story on their menu. By infusing vodka with your choice of tea, you can truly say “our own vodka” or “our signature vodka”. By creating a special twist on a normal recipe, you can one up your competition as customers can only come to your restaurant to get that signature craft.
Tea in a Brine
Like we mentioned above, anyone can offer fried chicken on their menu. What a customer really wants is fried chicken – with a twist. Instead of rolling your chicken in the normal egg and flour, why not soak that bird in a delicious sweet tea infused brine?
Using an ingredient such as Lipton Black Tea can add a nice vegetable quality to the dish. As a staple in many restaurant kitchens, you are taking an ingredient you already have on hand and infusing it into more than just a drink.
Last but Certainly Not Least – Dessert!
Take your average dessert like a blondie and spruce it up by using ingredients such as Tazo Classic Chai Latte in a maple glaze that goes on top.
Interested in revamping your menu with the Unilever products mentioned above? Find out how you can get savings and discounts on these delicious ingredients with Dining Alliance! Contact us today!