I have no idea how this is a thing but I know several people who haven’t figured out how to enjoy drinking tea. They would say that they don’t like tea, but I say they haven’t figured it out because there’s just no way that anyone could not like tea. Nope, I refuse to accept that. If you’re one of those people that haven’t figured out how to enjoy a hot, or cold, cup of freshly brewed deliciousness, don’t fret, there are other ways to reap all the benefits packed in Ivy’s Tea Co.’s premium blends.
If you've got your life together and are sipping on a cup of your favorite blend as you read this, keep on reading because you're about to soak up some game on how to make your tea blends multitask like a single mom on a Monday morning.
OG Chai, a mixture of black tea, cardamom, smoked black peppercorn, fennel seeds, whole cloves, cinnamon and ginger, is what pumpkin spice sit’s in it’s prayer corner writing petitions, lighting candles and studying alchemy wishing it could be. But OG Chai is no basic bih and neither are you.
As you can find in the description of OG Chai in the Ivy’s Tea Co. online store, "The aroma of the cardamom, cloves, and fennel, will arouse your senses, energize you, and uplift your spirit. The spices are great for treating digestive problems, like upset stomach, nausea, and indigestion too.” The Cloves, Ginger and Cinnamon makes the flavor profile easy to incorporate into sweets while the rest of the ingredients give it an interesting sophistication.
From the kitchen to the bathroom and everywhere else in your home and in your life, tea blends can be used in several places outside of your cup and in this post I’m going to talk about a few ways you can put Ivy Tea Co.’s OG Chai to work.
First up is Chai spiced oatmeal. I’ve been struggling to find a healthy breakfast option for the winter. Green Smoothies worked well in the warmer months, but the last thing I want to when the temperature is in the single digits is to be gulping down an ice cold smoothie so I decided that oatmeal is the way to go. Oatmeal is full of heart healthy benefits but it’s honestly mad boring and finding ways to jazz it up without dousing it in sugar, like AJ Johnson’s brother making Kool-Aid in ‘House Party,’ can be challenging. Then enters OG Chai. Instead of giving you a specific recipe I’m just going to tell you to replace the liquid required in whatever recipe you’re using with double strength brewed OG chai. That way you can use rolled oats, instant oats, steel cut oats or even farina. You can actually use it an any recipe that calls for liquid, including baked goods. You can use water or milk (almond, coconut or whatever). Just bring it to a boil, add 2 tsp of Chai for every cup of liquid, and let it brew.
Next up is Chai infused coconut oil. You can do this with any oil really, but I like the versatility of coconut oil and if the coconut oil that you use still has some coconut flavor to it then that makes the situation all the better. 1 cup coconut oil, 1 tbsp OG Chai, in a pot (double boiler if you got it, you may even want to pull out a crock pot), super low heat, several hours and be sure to keep it covered so the sweet and spicy goodness doesn’t escape. I mean SEVERAL hours. Do this on the weekend when you’re chilling at home so you can leave it going for a day or two. The longer you leave it, the more intense the flavor gets, but I have to stress that you keep the heat low, just warm enough to stay melted. You’re not cooking the tea, you just want to encourage the transfer of oils and flavor into the coconut oil. When you’re ready, strain the oil through a mesh strainer and into a storage container that has a lid. So what are you going to do with Chai flavored coconut oil? How about pouring it over a fresh popped bowl of popcorn, or using it to layer flavors when you’re whipping out a batch of french toast? You could use this in your baked goods, bath and body products or even plop a tablespoon in your wax/oil warmer for some chemical free aromatherapy. Let your imagination be your guide.
This last one may sound a bit out of the box, but just trust me and give it a try. Chai Spiced animal protein. Chicken, shrimp, and fish all carry the chai flavors well, but any meat will work. I’m going to talk about shrimp, but you could adjust this technique to work with whatever it is you choose. You’re basically marinating the meat in a strong brew of chai and creating a chai based sauce to go with it.
1 cup Ivy's Tea Co. OG Chai tea brewed, chilled, and divided (use 2 tbsp OG Chai tea for the brew)
2 tbsp oil divided
1 tsp soy sauce
1 lb shrimp
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp water
Pinch of salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Brew 2 tbsp of OG Chai in 1 Cup of water.
- Pour 1/2 cup of chilled tea,1 tbsp of oil, and soy sauce into a gallon sized plastic bag with 1 lb of fresh shrimp and let marinate for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, add the remainder of the tea and oil, honey, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes, then stir/whisk until combined.
- In a separate container, mix cornstarch and water, then set aside.
The method of cooking the shrimp is up to you. You could pan fry them, but skewering them and cooking them on a hot grill is what I’d suggest, just be sure to soak the skewers in water ahead of time so that they don’t burn while your shrimp is cooking.
To make the sauce, pour the tea-honey-garlic mixture into a small pot and heat on the stove at medium heat. When the mixture starts to bubble, pour in the cornstarch mixture, and stir until combined - the sauce will be shiny and clear.
You can baste the shrimp with this sauce as they cook, or you can just pour it over once they’re done (or both), just keep in mind that there is sugar and honey in the sauce, which burns easily. Serve with veggies and rice.
So there you have it at least 3 ways you can enjoy Ivy Tea Co.’s OG Chai. Think outside the cup!
Jay is a writer and tea lover. Jay will be regularly blogging for Ivy's Tea Co.'s Nickel Bag Blog. Her blogs will surround alternative uses for Ivy's Tea Co. teas. This is her first article on the Nickel Bag Blog.