Ever wondered how to bake with tea? Wonder no further, for this blog post will unveil the mystery behind tea infusions! If you’re here, there’s a high chance that you know tea flavours can be tricky to incorporate into bakes.

Personally, I find the infusion of tea flavours in bakes challenging. Firstly, compounds responsible for tea flavours are fragile and could be easily destroyed under the high heat process during baking. Secondly, these tea flavours might be masked by other ingredients, such as butter or even sugar.

During my experiments for this guide on “How to Bake with Tea”, I did two bakes: Rose and Marigold Tea Cookies and Berry Yummy Tea Cakes.

A special shoutout to Gryphon Tea as well, for supplementing me with tea leaves to experiment! These teas are some of my favourite and I am not saying so just because. Try it and you will know!

Method 1: Simmer with Milk

In recipes which use milk, consider simmering the tea leaves with milk at low-heat.  This method is pretty straightforward and easy, and you would just strain the tea leaves off when done. Furthermore, the milk provides a neutral flavour and may neutralize some of the acidity from your teas (such as black teas!).

However, there are two things to take note here. You will need some patience and time as it takes about 8 – 10 minutes on low heat. Failing to do so and using high heat will cause the milk to curdle (so keep a careful watch regardless!). This method works for a wide range of teas including fruit teas, matcha and black teas. A bake I’ve done so with this method would be my Berry Yummy Tea Cakes and the tea mix contains mixed berries and hibiscus.

For myself, the special ratio is 120g milk to 6 – 10g of tea leaves. If you’re using floral based teas, you can consider using the higher range or even 10g as floral flavours tend to be milder. Nonetheless, this is my preferred method as the fragrance and flavour of the teas tend to be successfully infused.

Method 2: Simmer with Butter or Cream

Similar to Method 1, you can simmer tea leaves with melted butter or cream (such as for scones). However, I find that the tea flavours tend to be milder and even potentially masked by the fragrance of butter.

Therefore, I would recommend a higher amount of tea leaves (approx. 8 to 12g) to 120g of butter or cream, to simmer for about 10 minutes. You might need more for milder floral and herbal teas (such as chrysanthemum and chamomile). However, this works pretty well for teas with bolder flavours such as earl grey and black teas.

My reference bake for this would be my Rose and Marigold Tea Cookies. For these, I used a milder tasting butter for the tea flavours to shine even more.

Of course, there are other methods to infuse tea flavours beside the two above.

Method 3: Cold Brew

This includes cold brewing for recipes which utilizes water or milk for the very patient. In this method, you will be steeping the tea in water or milk for hours (I prefer at least 12 hours or overnight). Then, you can proceed to use this in your bake directly and drink the leftovers!

Finally, another method that comes to mind would be the use of tea leaves directly. However, this method widely differs again depending on the strength of the tea’s flavours and fragrance.

In all, there are quite a few factors to consider in finding out how to bake with tea. Variations are largely due to the individual tea flavours and fragrance. Furthermore, some tea flavours might not be as prominent after exposure to heat through the baking process. For these tea flavours, consider making cold desserts or glazes.