How to make a concentrated tea shot:

Using a two to three ounce cup, add three teaspoons of tea, and fill with 175 degree water, steeping for 2-3 minutes.  For green teas, use 160 degree water and steep for 2-3 minutes.  The cooler water and longer steep time will allow you to get a potent brew without the tea going bitter.  After steeping, pour the tea through a strainer into another cup to stop the infusion, and cool in the refrigerator or an ice bath.  You can make a bigger concentrate using the same proportions and store it in a bottle to make fun summer drinks like tea sodas and cocktails.  For example, to fill up a 16 ounce container with concentrate, use about sixteen teaspoons of tea, and steep for 2-3 minutes.

Concentrated tea shots can be used in cooking quite easily.  Try replacing some of the water when making rice with concentrated tea for a tea flavored rice, add a concentrated pu’er to a soup stock, or an oolong to a citrus salad dressing.

Arnie Palmer

Prepare a shot of shu pu’er and a shot of hibiscus.  If you don’t have hibiscus, prepare a double-shot of Xingyang Silk Road Spice for a mintier brew, or the Chocolate Chamomile Curiosity Brew.  Pour the 4-6 ounces of tea concentrate over ice in a martini shaker and shake with two teaspoons of honey.  Pour out over ice in a 16 ounce glass.  It should fill the glass about a third of the way.  Fill the rest of the glass with your favorite lemonade, stir and enjoy garnished with a slice of lime.

Tea Soda

Prepare a shot of tea.  Some teas that work especially well for a Tea Soda are Laoshan Green, Holy Basil Spa Blend, Tieguanyin, Yunnan White Jasmine, Chocolate Chamomile Curiosity Brew, and Eight Treasures Yabao.  Pour the (chilled) shot of tea over ice in a 16 ounce cup and add unflavored sparkling water.  If you want a sweetened tea soda, dilute honey in hot water and stir it in.

Citrus Tea Cocktail

Prepare a shot of Holy Basil Spa Blend, and add it to a martini shaker filled with ice.  Add the juice of one clementine, and two teaspoons of honey (buckwheat honey makes for an interesting flavor), and one tsp of vanilla extract.  Shake and pour out into a martini glass one third full of lemonade, and garnish with the rind of the clementine.

Gin and Tonic

Freeze two shots of tea in an ice cube tray.  Suggested pairings include Holy Basil Spa Blend or Laoshan Apothecary Green.  Put the ice cubes in a martini shaker with a shot of Hendrick’s gin and juice from a quarter lime, shake and let sit for five minutes (to allow the ice cubes to melt just a bit).  Pour the whole mixture into a cup and add tonic water.  (We prefer naturally sweetened tonic water to the high fructose corn syrup variety, but anything will do in a pinch)

Tea Martini

Pour a half shot of tea concentrate into a martini shaker.  Xingyang Silk Road Spice and Chocolate Chamomile Curiosity brew work well depending on the gin you use.  We like the botanical and cucumber taste of Hendricks, but for a more classic and cooling gin, you can use Junipero.  Add one drop of extra dry vermouth (more if you like a sweeter martini), and gin.  (Use as much as you need to fill the glass).  Shake vigorously and pour into a martini glass.  Skip the olive- try garnishing with fresh basil, clementine, a shaving of extra dark single-origin chocolate, halved frozen grapes, or anything that inspires you and pairs with the tea you choose.