Smoker Cookbook by Paul Rodgers [epub | 4,11 Mb] ISBN: B07L1DTWN8

  • Full Title: Smoker Cookbook: Complete How-To Cookbook for Unique Barbecue, Ultimate Guide for Smoking All Types of Meat
  • Autor: Paul Rodgers
  • Print Length: 90 pages
  • Publisher: 
  • Publication Date: November 30, 2018
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: B07L1DTWN8
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format | Size: epub | 4,11 Mb
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Smoker Cookbook: Complete How-To Cookbook for Unique Barbecue,
Ultimate Guide for Smoking All Types of Meat: By Paul Rodgers


There is nothing as cozy and pleasant as the sublime taste of smoked meat. Smoking meat is both a science and an art and everyone can add to it his or her style and more; few things more delicious than smoked meat. It’s both an art and science, and everyone has different ideas concerning style, process, and more. And on this framework, I offer you this smoker recipe cookbook that will offer you a wide variety of smoked recipes based on simple ingredients and according to easy-to follow instructions.

This cookbook will help you to smoke:


  • Beef

  • Pork

  • Lamb

  • Rabbit

  • Fish

  • Seafood

  • Poultry

  • Game

  • Veggies

So if you are still reluctant about the best way you can cook your favourite meat with, this cookbook can help you start and lead you through your best cooking journey. Smoking food is a cooking technique that dates back to before chemicals and refrigerators were invented. And smoking food is one the healthiest cooking methods you can ever choose to use. In addition to the great pack of flavours and glazes, the wide variety of recipes you will find in this book will make you feel that food can bring life to your dishes and can break your daily routine.

 

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Copyright Page

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

—ALBERT SCHWEITZER

To Daniel Boulud, Patrick O’Connell, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten—the leading lights of culinary creativity of their generation—whose sparks always rekindle our flame

Gastronomy is the rational study of all related to man as he is eating. Its purpose is to keep humankind alive with the best possible food.

—JEAN-ANTHELME BRILLAT-SAVARIN (1755–1826)

In what art or science could improvements be made that would more powerfully contribute to increase the comforts and enjoyments of mankind?

—SIR BENJAMIN THOMPSON, COUNT RUMFORD (IN A 1794 ESSAY ON THE ART OF COOKERY)

PREFACE

“When we no longer have good cooking in the world, we will have no literature, nor high and sharp intelligence, nor friendly gatherings, nor social harmony.”

—MARIE-ANTOINE CARÊME, CHEF (1784–1833)

“Good cooking is an art, as well as a form of intense pleasure…. A recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation.”

—MADAME JEHANE BENOÎT, CHEF (1904–1987)

“You have to love either what you are going to eat, or the person you are cooking for. Then you have to give yourself up to cooking. Cuisine is an act of love.”

—ALAIN CHAPEL, CHEF (1937–1990)

The first quotation suggests why we do what we do, while the others suggest how. We published our first book in 1995, and it is exciting as we approach the publication of The Flavor Bible in 2008 to witness the realm of good cooking as it reaches a new “tipping point.”

No longer content simply to replicate others’ recipes, today’s cooks—professionals and amateurs alike—increasingly seek to create their own dishes. In doing so, they celebrate the creative process of cooking as much as the finished product.

Cooking at its most basic level is a creative act, one of transforming food through the application of heat and the incorporation of other ingredients. But there are different orders of creativity, and merely following a recipe is a creative act of the most basic order, like painting by numbers.

When accomplished cooks grow restless, they start to analyze instructions before following them to see if they can improve upon the results, thus raising the act of cooking to a creative act of a higher order. As their experience grows, cooks are able to bring greater intuition and even inspiration to their cooking.

Traditional cookbooks are aimed at first-order cooks. Every cook owes a debt of gratitude to those who have brought progress to cuisine throughout history—those who famously codified classic cuisines through the painstaking chronicling of recipes, from Auguste Escoffier in France to others around the globe. Appreciation is also due to those who have elevated and expanded the range of available ingredients and techniques, the essential building blocks of cooking.

Over the years, cookbooks have come to dictate precise measurement of ingredients along with instructions for their preparation and assembly, which has done much to improve the general accessibility of recipes. However, they also have come to provide a false sense of security for which the unsuspecting cook pays a price. When a recipe is rigidly scripted and blindly followed, it negates the cook’s own creative instincts and good judgment—not to mention much of the pleasure of truly “being” in the moment.

“Great cooks rarely bother to consult cookbooks.”

—CHARLES SIMIC, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Those with the urge to innovate had long been on their own in the kitchen until many adopted our 1996 book, Culinary Artistry, as their muse. That book sought to break the mold of contemporary prescriptive cookbooks and to restore the creative instinct to chefs. Drawing on classic flavor combinations and preparations, it put the wisdom of history at cooks’ fingertips for the first time—and with the same ease with which writers consulted a thesaurus.

As time passed, it became clear that chefs were thinking of flavors and their combination in new ways, beyond the classics chronicled in Culinary Artistry. Meanwhile, the gap between professionals and amateur cooks narrowed, as the latter installed Viking ranges at home to prepare a burgeoning array of new ingredients, with their TVs transformed into virtual twenty-four-hour cooking schools, given the advent of culinary programming.

“Food without wine is a corpse; wine without food is a ghost. United and well matched, they are as body and soul: living partners.”

—ANDRÉ SIMON, CHEF (1877–1970)

Since the year 2000 we have been studying the new ways in which flavors are being combined. It has been a privilege to interview many of the country’s most imaginative chefs and other
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9

COCKTAILS WE’LL DRINK TO THAT, BY KATHLEEN PURVIS

Charleston Brown Water Society Punch

The Tallulah (Coke, Peanuts, & Whiskey) Peanut Orgeat

The 610 Magnolia Old Fashioned

Dark & Stormy Ginger Lemongrass Syrup

Antebellum Julep

Slurricane

Sir Isaac Newton Apple Cider–Cinnamon Syrup

The Seelbach

Michelada

Cochon Bloody Mary

Glossary

Contributors

Acknowledgments

Index

About the Authors

Also by David DiBenedetto and the Editors of Garden & Gun

Credits

Copyright

About the Publisher

INTRODUCTION

THE SOUTHERN BOUNTY

David DiBenedetto

WHEN NOT AT SCHOOL OR PRACTICING SPORTS during my teenage years, I could often be found on a small boat in the coastal waters near my Savannah, Georgia, home. I loved being on the water, but I really loved to fish. My season would usually start in April as the water temperature pushed toward the 70s and fish of all stripes showed up. Whiting, a small bottom-feeding fish, arrived first, and while they didn’t necessarily offer much sport, they tasted good. I often pan-fried them for lunch, coated in House Autry seafood breader, and, once on the plate, drenched in vinegar. Refined cooking this was not. But providing a meal and then delivering it to the table brought me a level of satisfaction that I had not yet known. And it was fresh. These were not the fish I would see at the supermarket, their eyes cloudy and skin drained of color, with flesh that would hold the indentation of your finger if you applied pressure. Those fish, I thought, were hardly suitable for bait much less lunch.

And so it is. We Southerners are picky about our ingredients. Almost snooty. We’ll drive out of the way to get to a farm stand where we know the peaches are ripe and the tomatoes are still warm from the field. I’ve witnessed heated debates on the best oyster for a roast: the prevailing opinion in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where I live now, being Beaufort Clusters. (And how dare you steam them too long!) When the local farmers’ market gets green peanuts—the best for making boiled goobers, aka boiled peanuts—our cell phones buzz with text messages. “They’re here.”

We’re also attuned to the land around us. When June rolls around you’ll find me poking around the woods of my hunt club in search of the first chanterelles of the season. I love to sauté the fleshy, apricot-scented mushrooms with Vidalia onions in butter and white wine and pair them with homemade pasta. Since they don’t freeze well, the surplus gets divvied up in brown paper lunch bags for friends, the foraging equivalent of dropping off a sack of tomatoes from the garden on your neighbor’s doorstep. In the fall during certain moon tides, the jumbo white shrimp leave the Charleston Harbor en masse before the onset of cold weather. Those willing to brave the cold and backbreaking work cast weighted nets in deep water to intercept them. The payoff is the freshest shrimp you’ve ever tasted.

But you don’t need to live in the South to cook like a Southerner. As the editor in chief of Garden & Gun magazine I’m lucky to spend time with chefs who supplied the fuel for the recent rocket-like ascendancy of Southern food to national prominence. And I’ve learned that while good ingredients are important, tips and techniques help, too. The farm-to-table movement has taught us much about the pleasures of eating seasonally, but what’s left out of the phrase is the cook. Chef Chris Hastings of Birmingham’s Hot and Hot Fish Club showed me that a dry brine of kosher salt tames the gaminess of a wild turkey breast before you toss it on the grill. And my go-to Thanksgiving dish, a sweet potato casserole, comes courtesy of Chef Tandy Wilson of City House in Nashville, Tennessee. Wilson brilliantly swaps the standard marshmallow topping for a crumbly and very Southern combination of chopped peanuts and sorghum. These are the same chefs we rely on in the pages of the magazine and who helped inform this cookbook. And while every one of them will tell you that they’re riding on the backs of the chefs and home cooks who came before them, they’re also expanding the boundaries of Southern food. It has never been more vibrant.

Hopefully you’ll find this book is as much a celebration of the South’s foodways as it is a guide to our region’s bounty and how to prepare it. The more than one hundred recipes cover a range of Southern traditions, from barbecue to entertaining to our love affair with vegetables and our appreciation of wild game. And, yes, there are a few potent drink recipes, too. (Throwing a bash? Try the Charleston Brown Water Society Punch.) You’ll find plenty of classics (fried chicken, country ham with red-eye gravy, biscuits) but also new takes on traditional Southern dishes and ingredients (kil’t greens with bacon jam, collard pesto, duck poppers with goat cheese). If y
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ts away from home.

The family food blessing is a perfect and reverent way for the family to experience a direct kinship with the Almighty. A grace’s spiritual power can be felt as a profound sense of reality. God is present. A family praying together is a beautiful thing — a wonderful blessing all its own. When we say a grace at the table before eating, we give thanks for our togetherness, our blessings, and our happiness. For loved ones who are deceased, for friends and family who are far away, a grace said at the table that mentions their names is a magical way to honor them and have them rejoin the table in a sublime sense. Moreover, we should all say a grace and include a thankful mention of our servicemen and servicewomen. They will hear you.

Children need prayer models to see, hear, and experience in order to learn from the ritual. The table blessing is among the easiest and most enjoyable for children to partake in — coming as it does just before the family feast. Bless This Food has several blessings that young people will enjoy reciting for the family, one-minute performances that all will remember and cherish.

There are four principal types of thanks-giving graces: the silent grace, the spoken grace, the sung grace, and the signed grace. I thought it would be nice to include an adult’s and a child’s signed grace (see “A Grace in American Sign Language” on page 172 and “A Child’s Grace in American Sign Language” on page 173). They have a beauty all their own. See for yourself.

This book may be an especially useful tool when a guest or visitor at the table is called on to say grace, since many people are not comfortable with impromptu speaking. Keep the book near the table to provide guests with a ready script. They will find it easy to choose a blessing and then honor the occasion with a reading. A food blessing transforms everyone into a circle of friends.

Origins of Gratitude for Food

Consider: The first interhuman act of the newborn child is to experience satisfaction through food. In the first hour of life, our senses may transmit ephemeral sight, sound, or touch quanta, but it is the initial ingestion of milk from the mother that constitutes the first interhuman act: life-sustaining nourishment. The immediate response to this nourishment is a systemic and psychic satisfaction, and the hunger-gratification cycle begins at this instant and continues throughout life. The just-born infant’s first human experience is a “gift” of milk in response to its sucking instinct and need for food, a gratifying experience that affects the infant’s psyche on its deepest level. This gratia (thanks) experience is imprinted on the newborn’s uninscribed mind and is the primordial unconscious analogue to voiced prayer. Our first common human emotional experience is the gratia response for food.

The ritualized saying of food prayers in thanks for God’s bounty is an experience of acculturation in social and religious practices. This imposition of formal prayer-saying is a confirmation of our first primal food experience. It gives form to expressing thankfulness that reaches back to our first minutes of life and is something inherently cognate within us. The gratia experience we encounter as infants is transformed and intellectualized over time into an appreciation of food as both spiritual and physical nourishment that we acknowledge in the gratia prayer.

The sacred texts of the world, such as the Christian and Hebrew Bibles, the Koran, the Lotus Sutra, and the Hindu Vedic corpus, have a profound quality in common. What marks them as sacred is their treatment as holy documents possessing supreme authority and power by virtue of their divine origin. Sacred texts are those created directly by God or revealed to humankind or recorded by holy prophets.

Through the centuries, rebbes, monks, and saints have orally passed down such sacred texts as the Pali canon, the sacred scripture of Theravada Buddhism, and the Torah. The latter originally was forbidden to be written down and was memorized by tannas, the flawless “repeaters” of the text. Sacred texts are immutable and are considered to be closed texts, which cannot be altered or revised.

A distinguishing feature of a sacred text is its beneficence to humanity. While not all food prayers are sacred (and some in this anthology are not), they all possess some kind of beneficial power for humankind.

For individuals whose intellectual interest is in what Paul Verlaine has called “mere literature,” the compelling beauty of these thanks-giving food prayers reveals the noble spirituality of humanity. Prayer is how human beings relate to God, nature, and their place in the divine order of things.

Prayer is the principal channel we use in our search for ultimate meaning. Thanks-giving food prayers embody religious and social contexts, encompassing
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et grapes. One especially fragrant and expensive wine was Chalybonium, grown in Helbon vineyards near Damascus in Syria.

THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL

Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by five kings in just eight years; Belshazzar was the fifth, ascending to rule in 553 BCE. Such instability exemplified Babylon’s rapid decline. The Bible tells of a scene in which the patricians and harlots at Belshazzar’s feast drank wine from sacred gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar had pillaged from Jerusalem. It’s a story found in the Old Testament’s Book of Daniel, which denounces the feast as a lewd celebration. As the account unfolds, a hand is seen writing the following phrase on the wall: mene mene tekel upharsin. Controversy arose over the meaning, but Daniel, a Hebrew scholar, deciphered it as “Thou art weighed in the balance and art found wanting.” The hard-partying Babylonians ignored the judgment and continued to guzzle from the stolen goblets, even as their kingdom was in free fall. The final verse recounts Belshazzar being slain that very same night. Indeed, he had not seen “the handwriting on the wall,” an expression that yet today remains a warning for ignoring impending peril.

THE EGYPTIAN GIFT FROM GOD

There is a good chance that Egypt’s first vines may have been brought from Armenia, some nine hundred miles to the northeast. Whether or not, the Egyptians took to wine with unbridled enthusiasm. Indeed, it was decreed a gift from Osiris, their most divine god, portrayed in ancient hieroglyphics as “Lord of the vine in flower.” Treatment for skin cuts was a styptic made of wine infused with Memphis stone powder. Those suffering from urinary dysfunction or in need of an effective laxative were often prescribed wine infused with various herbs. Queen Nefertiti, wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten and mother of Tutankhamun, used perfumes made with wine. Depression was treated with a styptic of wine mixed with opium. Pain was, of course, eased with sufficient wine just by itself. Vines and wines were such an essential part of ancient Egyptian life and culture that pharaohs were buried in their great pyramids with grape seeds, a promise of wine forever in the hereafter.

* * *

Back from the Hereafter

MUCH, PERHAPS most, of ancient Egyptian wine was red, and there were some mystical ideas attached to drinking it. Among these was that wine’s red color was due to the blood reincarnated from those who had been in conflict with the gods. Another notion was that the high euphoria experienced from excessive drinking was thought to be an ancestral reprisal. As might be expected, neither of these celestial motivations seemed to dissuade red wine revelers.

* * *

PHARAOH’S WINE

Circa 2580 BCE, Pharaoh Khufu was building the first great pyramid at Giza for his hereafter tomb, paying his several hundred thousand workers with rations of bread, vegetables, and beer. Wine made from dates, pomegranates, and palm tree sap was common, but it was grape wines that the nobles coveted—and most of the vineyards and wineries were owned by Khufu and other royals, along with other members of the privileged aristocracy. Wines typically had some level of sweetness due to incomplete fermentation, the addition of honey, or both.

Popular Egyptian-grown quaffs included Taeniotic, which was said to have been fragrant and a bit astringent; Shedeh, a pricey red; and perhaps an Arp Hut grown from vines cultivated near the city of Anthylla in southern Egypt. Popular sweet whites were Mareotic and Taeniotic along with Sebennys, a bargain blend.

Whatever wine was poured, it was usually drunk from decorative shallow bowls. Tasters would sample the wine before serving. There were questions of purity, quality, and, most important, safety from those who would wreak poison on the powerful ruler. Once it was clear that the taster would survive, Khufu would take a drink and then might satisfy his fascination for magic by calling in some illusionists for entertainment.

TUTANKHAMUN’S TABLE

Dining with King Tut would have surely been elaborate. Folks bathed and anointed themselves with oils and scents—a welcomed social gesture during hot Egyptian days circa 1330 BCE. The selection of fruits, vegetables, grains, fish, and fowl would have been rather traditional and based on agricultural products and game that Egyptians had been eating for centuries. On the other hand, cooking techniques and the use of seasonings, such as cumin, coriander, dill, and mustard, were evolving and supplemented the more common oils and vinegars. Even if underage drinking had been an issue then, Tut would have been exempt: He was the king and had his own stash of wine. Selections were made from amphorae, often identified by hieroglyphic tags providing detailed information relating to vintage and vintner.
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d gave me her phone number. I went home and started reading the book.

I would like to point out that in 1993 there were only a few books about raw food available and they were not sold in stores, only by the authors themselves. I quickly read the book that Elizabeth loaned me, and suddenly the promises of the raw-food diet seemed obvious. Next, I became scared. I thought, “Now I have to give up the last pleasure that I have left in life.” At the same time, I was already eager to try raw food and see if it would work.

Igor noticed my anxiety. He asked me, “What is that you’re reading?”

I said, “Honey, I think I’ve found what will help our son—the raw-food diet! But I don’t think he can do it alone. Igor, can we please try it as a family for just a couple of weeks to see if it works, please?”

Igor became very angry. “I am a Russian man, and I cannot live on rabbit food. I work physically. I love my Russian borscht with pork! Plus, food unites family. Dinner is the only time our family gets together. Now you want us to meet around carrot sticks?! Think a little. One has to study fourteen years to become a doctor! Do you think you know more than doctors do? Think of all the billions of dollars the government spends on medical research. Are you saying that they don’t know anything and you do? If becoming healthy were so easy, doctors would have done it long ago. You know how much I love you. But if you are going to go on that crazy diet, you must realize that a divorce will be inevitable.”

I was disappointed, but I decided to get back to the subject of raw food at a more appropriate time.

One morning my husband woke up feeling worse than ever before. He had a big swelling on his neck; he was in pain and couldn’t talk. I took him to the hospital. After looking at Igor’s new blood test, the doctor told him, “You need to have surgery. Your thyroid is no good anymore and needs to come out.”

Igor protested, “I’ve already had nine surgeries. None of them helped me, and I have decided not to ever have another surgery in my life.”

“This surgery is unavoidable,” the doctor declared.

“What if I refuse?” Igor replied defiantly.

“Then you will die,” the doctor calmly explained.

Igor inquired, “How soon?”

The doctor predicted, “Probably in less than two months.”

“I will go on raw food instead!” Igor proclaimed.

We left. Little did we know that this day, January 21st of 1994, would mark the turning point in our family health history. Later that day my husband, our two youngest children, and I went on a diet of raw food as a family and have been eating only raw food ever since. However, while we were driving home from the hospital we were not aware of our destiny as yet and agreed to try a raw-food diet for two weeks to see if there would be any improvement in our health at all.

A couple of hours later, when Igor left for work, I went into the kitchen. I fully realized that this could be the only chance in a lifetime to make such a drastic change. Therefore, I was decisive. I carefully examined the food that we had in the fridge and in the cupboards and discovered that we had almost zero raw food in our house. Everything had to go! I took a heavy-duty garbage bag and cleaned out all the beans, macaroni, cereal, rice, TV dinners, popsicles, whipped cream, breads, sauces, cheese, and cans of tuna. Next went the coffeemaker, toaster, and pasta maker. I turned off the pilot light and covered the stove with a large cutting board. Now our kitchen looked as if we were moving out. The only item left on the counter was our huge, expensive microwave oven. When we lived in Russia, we couldn’t have one because Russian scientists performed research and found out that microwave ovens are very harmful. For this reason microwave ovens were prohibited in Russia. As a result, when we came to the United States, we bought a big one. Now I was staring at this microwave oven and realized that I didn’t know what to do about it. I started thinking about delicious melted cheese sandwiches, Pop Tarts, and all the “miracles” I used to bake in it. Then, I thought about Sergei and his diabetes. Most of all in the world, I did not want him to go on insulin. So I got a hammer and cracked the microwave’s glass door. Then I put it in the garage. I took all our brand-new pots and pans (that I’d just gotten for Christmas) out onto the sidewalk, and they disappeared minutes later. Then I rushed to the local supermarket.

I was not aware at that time of the existence of raw gourmet dishes. I didn’t know what raw-fooders ate, having never met any besides Elizabeth, who ate simply. I had never heard of dehydrated flax crackers, nut milks, seed cheese, or raw cakes. I thought of raw food as mainly being salads. Furthermore, I came from Russia, where fresh fruits and vegetables were available only during the summer. We were used to eating potatoes, meat, macaroni, lots of dairy products, and occasionally
to being less expensive to purchase, I also knew that you could continue to add water and re-use the tea bag. However, I quickly noticed that these tea bags (and many others) would only yield about two cups of tea, so I’d have to buy another tea bag after that. Still far less expensive than a “quad venti soy inverted caramel macchiato at 140 degrees” that I’d been purchasing every day. That was $5.26, including sales tax, out of my pocket.

At home, I was drinking the Red Rose tea I’d inherited and also began trying Tazo® tea when I’d finally finished the box of Red Rose and was now buying tea at the grocery store. I really didn’t know anything about tea other than it was a flavored beverage. I began noticing different brands of tea at the store, so I began experimenting and tasting different ones. Clearly, they were not all the same. Some came in the traditional, rectangular paper tea bags, some were in circular discs, and some were in transparent pyramid-shaped tea bags that I’d never seen before. At this point, I was neither a tea collector nor a connoisseur. When I ran out, I tried a different brand or type. I did not have cabinets full of tea. Time to restock? Tried a new flavor or brand. And a box still lasted a very long time.

My Tea Education

With my college education complete and me chipping away at student loans by choosing tea over that $5.26 macchiato every day, I took an online course about tea because, as an athletic trainer, I was still fielding numerous questions from co-workers about the health benefits of tea, perhaps others thinking I was setting some sort of example. “Do you know what different teas are? Are there different qualities of tea? How do you choose?”

The online course was pretty intense. Students had to taste tea every day and actually open tea bags to examine the contents. That exercise led to my discovery that not all teas are the same. In fact, my most horrifying realization about tea was that my favorite brand (that came in a circular paper disc and that I bought daily at my favorite coffee shop where I lived in Alaska) had one of the lowest grades of tea leaves. The instructor told us to rip open our favorite tea bags, look at the leaf particle size, and watch how the leaves unfurled in water… if they unfurled at all or remained as tiny white specs, essentially little pieces of dust. That’s what I’d been drinking! Little pieces of dust.

Even worse, upon closer examination, you could see that the contents weren’t even leaves. Sometimes there were bits of twigs or tiny pebbles. My experiment with this immediately led to, “Oh my gosh! My tea bags have tiny particles.” I couldn’t believe my eyes, so I ripped open a second tea bag with the same result. “No way. This can’t be true!” Ripping open bag number three revealed more of the same. Shocked to discover my favorite tea was of such low quality. I ended the experiment and stopped ripping open tea bags, but a light bulb went on, and I now understood why I could not re-steep my favorite tea as often as possible with other teas.

The Real Cost of Tea

There’s a lot more to the story about the cost of tea than my effort to save money by purchasing tea rather than a far more expensive coffee drink. High-quality teas can be re-steeped about four times, sometimes more. As the online course progressed, I learned that some steepings don’t even achieve their full taste until the second or third steeping. My favorite, Ti Kwan Yin oolong tea (named for the mercy goddess), is one you can re-steep up to six times. And yes, it definitely tastes better about the fourth steeping.

It became clear that the tea from my favorite little coffee shop required two tea bags to even make one 20-ounce cup of tea. Ultimately, cheaper tea is not cheap at all. It obviously costs more because you have to use more tea… or at least more materials and tea bags than the actual tea leaves. Although higher quality teas may seem more expensive up front, in reality, the cup of tea they produce only costs about $.25 each.

Additionally, because of the leaf size in higher quality teas, they hold more nutritional value. These tea leaves are tightly rolled. Hence the reason that the best flavor only happens after a few steepings. The leaves need to unfurl. The nutritional value is boosted in much the same way that whole spices are better than ground spices. Ground spices lose more of their essential oils than their whole counterparts that you grind yourself. That said, you don’t grind tea leaves; you simply let them unfurl slowly, so they transform the flavor, becoming more complex and stronger after the initial steepings. A ground tea leaf will lose all of its flavor after the first steeping. This is why an inexpensive tea won’t provide much – if any – flavor after the first steeping. By the second or third steeping, you end up with tinted water but little else. You won’t actually

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