As an amateur latte maker and baker, everyone around me can attest to this, Nicole Wilson’s new tea book came at the perfect time as it merges tea and baking together!
Description: “Steep yourself in all things tea related as you learn how to make a variety of drinks, from lattes to cocktails.”
Review: I was excited when I heard that Nicole, the tea blogger of Tea from Me Please, was coming out with a new book. I’ve known her for years over social media and then met her a few years back at the World Tea Expo, and hung out when I was in New York City. With her wealth of tea knowledge, I was interested to see Nicole’s spin on this book. I purchased both the physical and ebook versions.
The physical book was rectangular with satin finished covered. The book was broken into six chapters with the first chapter an introduction to tea, and the following five chapters dedicated to the tea recipes. The recipe chapters are: Hot and Iced Teas; Tea Lattes; Boba, Milk Teas and Special Teas; Tea Cocktails and Mocktails; and Tea Treats. There was also a measurement and conversation section.
The first chapter broke down the types of teas and tisanes, the different methods to brew tea, kinds of milk, and some facts and troubleshooting tips. I liked that the chapter acted as a primer to tea which may be useful since I could see this book being purchased as a gift.
With 50 recipes, I asked Nicole what her top three recipes were. She suggested Shaken Black Tea with Raspberry Preserve (Hot and Ice Teas recipe), Roasted Oolong with Salted Cream Cold Foam (Boba, Milk Teas and Special Teas recipe), and Matcha-Lemon Sugar Cookies (Tea Treats recipe). I also made the London Fog (Tea Lattes recipe). I personally do not drink a lot of alcohol, so I skipped over the Tea Cocktail and Mocktail section.
Shaken Black Tea with Raspberry Preserve (above)
When Nicole suggested this, I was already on board as I personally like black tea and berries (I even made a recipe for black tea and strawberry jam!)! The recipe had suggestions on what teas to use, one of them being a Yuanna Black tea, which I had.
I found the jam cut away at some of the bitterness of the black tea (the recipe suggests 2 teaspoons), and left a nice lingering sweetness in the mouth. I didn’t have a cocktail shaker, so I used an ice tea maker which also strained the raspberry seeds from the jam. The tea didn’t have a frothy top but was cloudy and refreshing on a warm afternoon. I liked that the recipe was simple and there were substitution ideas (white tea and apricot preserve) and variation tips (hot vs cold).
I picked this recipe because it was suggested to me when I was asking for latte tea suggestions and it is Canadian! The tea latte could be made using a few items: a saucepan (to heat the water and combine the ingredients), a measuring cup and tea infuser (to make the tea), and a milk frother. The recipe was just a few steps and the latte wasn’t overly strong. This also had a variation to make it cold.
Roasted Oolong with Salted Cream Cold Foam (top left)
I am a fan of cold foam, but it never occurred to me to try to make it at home! I assumed it would be extremely complicated but it was only 4 ingredients: half-and-half, vanilla extract, sugar, and salt! While the recipe suggested a French Press, I used a milk frother which worked the same (without the arm workout). The recipe also had tea suggestions, so I used a Chinese Wuyi oolong tea.
The cold foam gave the oolong tea a lovely velvety silky texture and a sweet and salty taste which paired great with the roasted notes of the oolong. Like the Shaken Black Tea with Raspberry Preserve, this was pretty easy to make on a hot afternoon.
Matcha-Lemon Sugar Cookie (above right)
I’m a fan of sugar cookies, so was happy to make these too! Since there was no picture accompanying the recipe, I did have to ask Nicole what the cookies were supposed to look like as the recipe only said to marble them. That being said, the lemon flavour was spot on and it wasn’t overly sweet but, due to the matcha I used, I found the flavour of the match wasn’t overly strong. That being said, that was more my ingredient choice and the cookies were still yummy. I even shared it with my co-workers and they enjoyed it!
When it comes to the book, I prefer the physical version better because I like the tactile feel of flipping through a book and reading it. However, when it comes to convenience, the eBook is better because it is easier to scan for recipes (you can click a link in the Table of Contents that takes you to the recipe directly compared to flipping) and I didn’t have to worry about getting the book dirty.
Since the recipes were for drinks and treats, a lot more tea is required so the tea flavour stands out. As someone who tends to buy small quantities of teas (most of the time under 25 grams), it did limit some of the recipes I could use. That being said, that is great for people who tend to buy tea in bulk. However, with all the tea suggestions in each recipe I tried, I was able to find teas to fit each one!
As a visual person, I do wish there were more photos as I like to see what the recipe is supposed to look like. There were only 5 photos of the recipes (one for each chapter). I also found that there were “specialized” tools needed (for example, I did not have a cocktail shaker nor a coffee press so I used an ice tea maker and a latte frother).
Lastly, liked the range of flavours Nicole brought to the table. Just skimming, I can see a handful of more recipes I want to try next (bubble tea anyone?). Each recipe also came with some additional information about the recipe, what Nicole likes about it, as well as tips and variations. Of the four recipes I tried, I liked the Roasted Oolong with Salted Cream Cold Foam best. Overall, I would suggest this to someone who has a growing tea collection and is looking to make or bake something. Like I said earlier, I think this would also be a great gift. It is handy that it comes in both physical and digital versions (4/5 rating).
- Category: Tea
- Format: Paperback, Kindle
- Publisher: Rockridge Press
- Year: 2022
- Pages: 177
- Website: The Tea Recipe Book
p.s. Next week I will be posting my short video making the Roasted Oolong with Salted Cream Cold Foam!
The question of the post: What type of recipe should I try next?