Innovative Tea Recipes: A Fresh Perspective on Traditional Beverages

A fresh perspective on tea is emerging as individuals are increasingly exposed to tea traditions, techniques, and open to experimenting with various ingredients. This section highlights innovative ways of preparing hot and cold tea that incorporate contemporary flavors and sensibilities into the ancient beverage.

Almond Fennel tea recipe (Badam Chai)


  • 3 cups (705 ml) of water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (3 g) of fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of milk
  • 2 teaspoons (4 g) of loose black tea
  • 8 shelled, coarsely broken raw almonds
  • Sugar or honey (to taste)


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water and fennel seeds to a boil.
  2. Add milk and reduce heat to low. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Remove the saucepan from heat, add tea, and steep for 3 minutes.
  4. Divide almonds between two cups.
  5. Strain the tea over the almonds and serve hot with sugar or honey on the side.

Basil Peach Tea


  • 1 tablespoon (6 g) loose black tea
  • 1 cup (40 g) loosely packed fresh basil, plus extra for serving
  • 4 cups (946 ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) chilled simple syrup (see recipe on page 139)
  • 2 peaches, thinly sliced
  • Ice


  1. Combine the tea and basil in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Bring water to a boil, remove from heat, and let it sit for one minute.
  3. Pour the hot water over the tea and basil, steeping it for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add simple syrup to the tea and let it cool to room temperature.
  5. Discard the basil leaves.
  6. Place peaches in a pitcher and pour the tea over them.
  7. Chill the mixture.
  8. Serve over ice, garnished with a fresh sprig of basil.

Cinnamon cream tea


  • 2 cups (475 ml) milk
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, plus extra for decoration 2 teaspoons (4 g) loose black tea Honey (to taste)

In a saucepan, heat milk and cinnamon sticks until bubbles appear, around 200°F (93°C). Take off the heat and add tea. Steep for 3 to 4 minutes, then add honey. Strain into 2 teacups and decorate with a clean cinnamon stick.”

Ginger mint tea


  • 2 cups (475 ml) of water
  • 1/2 cup (48 g) of fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly crushed ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (4 g) of loose black tea
  • Honey (to taste)


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, mint, and ginger to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and add loose black tea. Steep for 3 minutes.
  4. Strain the mixture into cups and add honey to taste, if desired.”

Iced strawberry-basil tea


  • 5 cups (1.2 L) water
  • 1 tablespoon (6 g) loose black tea
  • 1 pound (455 g) strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (40 g) fresh basil, plus more for garnish

Heat 4 cups (946 ml) of water until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat and add tea. Steep for 4 minutes, then strain tea into a pitcher.

In a separate bowl, combine strawberries, sugar, and 1 cup (235 ml) of water. Heat until the sugar dissolves, then add basil and let steep for 10-12 minutes. Remove the basil leaves, then mix the strawberry-basil syrup with the tea.

Chill the tea in the refrigerator until cold. Serve over ice and garnish with additional basil leaves.

White tea with honey or maple syrup


  • 2 to 3 teaspoons (4 to 6 g) white tea
  • 5 cups (1.2 L) water
  • Maple syrup or honey (to taste)

Sometimes, a simple addition or change can make an old favorite taste new and exciting. For this white tea refresher, I recommend using Michigan maple syrup or a complex honey such as Acacia honey. The right honey can add a depth of flavor that is often missing from some white teas.

To prepare, place the white tea in a pot and add 5 cups (1.2 L) of warm water (170°F or 77°C). Allow the tea to steep for 3 minutes. Filter the tea into 2 teacups and sweeten with maple syrup or honey to taste.

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