The Spice & Tea Exchange Blogs, Recipes, News and Information

All Teas Are Not Created Equal

September 26

When you think about tea in America, what comes to mind?…

Most likely, you’re not thinking about hand-picked Camellia Sinensis, dried and oxidized to perfection. You probably pictured the grocery store aisle with boxes of tea bags, that untouched box of tea you received as a gift ages ago, or the tea latte you get at your favorite coffee shop. Am I right?

When it comes to choosing between tea bags and fresh-harvested loose leaf tea, what factors influence you most? The convenience? The amount of time it takes to brew? The mess it makes?

There is a history behind how the two came to compete with one another, and all teas are not created equal. So, keep on reading…

Did you know?

Tea BagsThe first tea bag was an accident! Tea bags were never actually intended to be used, but rather, were invented as a way to export and ship tea. Back in the day, tins were used to transport tea. However, the use of tins came at a high price.

New York City merchant Thomas Sullivan, being the entrepreneur that he was, decided to ship his tea in small hand-sewn silk bags to lower the costs of shipping. His business clients, confused and curious about the way he had sent the tea, threw the tea into their hot water- silk bag and all!

While customers began to rave about the convenience of the tea bag, new ways to bag tea began to appear. The bags were convenient, less messy, and shipped at a lower cost.

So what’s not to love?

loose leaf tea and tea infuserIn all of this, two very important tea steeping factors were forgotten: the size of the tea leaf and the amount of space it has to unfurl.

Tea leaves take up a large amount of space in a tea infuser or steeper. During the tea steeping process, tea leafs “unfurl” and release their flavors, essential oils, and even caffeine into the water. This process, which is often called “swelling,” allows the leaves to unfurl and circulate in the cup, extracting the most flavor from the leaf. Well made tea steepers and infusers are designed to allow tea to unfurl properly.

Tea BagIn order to fit tea into a tea bag, tea leaves must be chopped, crushed, or broken in order to keep them as small as possible. This inevitably causes the tea to break down before the steeping process begins, therefore resulting in a less flavorful tea leaf. Flavors are often added back into the tea leaves after they have been processed in this manner.

“Fannings” or “Dusts,” are also used to fill tea bags. These small tea leaf particles are be found at the bottom of a tea barrel or the bottom of a tea bed (where tea leaves are dried). Once the larger tea leaves have been gathered, these fannings are collected and kept for tea bag use.

While fannings are still tea leaves, their size greatly diminishes the amount of flavor that can be extracted from them during steeping.

Assam Tea DustThe size and make of the tea bag also directly affects the steeping of the tea. Thankfully, many tea companies are beginning to produce larger tea bags to house their tea leaves. However, many still exist with little-to-no room for the small tea leaves to unfurl and swell.

Tea bags of late are also made with paper rather than silk. Paper is an easier accommodation, however, this cheaper alternative doesn’t allow the water to order cialis flow as freely through the bag.

So, tea bags have become the standard for brewing tea in America…but what’s the trade off when it comes to flavor?

Join the Tea-volution!

Fresh Brewed Carrot Cupcake TeaThe Spice & Tea Exchange® is dedicated to restoring flavor to your tea routine! We love the nuances of flavor found in natural tea leaves and the aromas that stimulate your senses with each fresh cup of tea. Because of this, we are continually delighted to provide you with our finest teas and proprietary tea blends.

We hope that this article has given you cause to revolutionize the way you brew a cup of tea!

Fresh Tea at The Spice & Tea ExchangeAfraid of the fresh tea commitment? We make brewing easy, with steeping instructions for the perfect cup on all of our packaging and infusers to help you get started in the steeping process. Check out our loose leaf teas, infusers, and fun tea accessories to get started.

And we’d love to hear from you…Drop us a line and let us know what you think!

Steep Happy!

The Spice & Tea Exchange®


Resources: Adagio Teas, Natures Tea Leaf, Livestrong

Labor Day Barbeque Ideas

August 27

Labor Day Veggie TrayIt’s almost time for the kids to go back to school! Kick off your relaxing Labor Day weekend with a classy barbecue party from The Spice and Tea Exchange®…Start off with healthy veggies & dip and a unique tropical salsa with chips, satisfy your hunger with flavorful sliders and black truffle fries, and finish with a sweet and relaxing white chocolate martini!

Mango Salsa and ChipsChips and Mango Salsa

1 ripe mango
1 tomato
1 bell pepper (orange or yellow)
¼ cup red onion
½ jalapeño pepper
½ tsp TSTE® Minced Garlic
1 TBS TSTE® Cilantro
¼ tsp TSTE® Habanero Sugar
(est ½ tsp) TSTE® Florida Sunshine

Chop and dice all ingredients; combine in non-metal bowl. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to blend, but can be used immediately. This is a wonderful salsa to serve over grilled or baked fish such as mahi mahi or swordfish (brushed with olive oil & lightly seasoned with TSTE® Florida Sunshine). For this party, we think it makes a fabulous appetizer served with tortilla chips! Makes 3 cups.


Beau Monde Veggie Dip

1 – 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
½ tsp TSTE® Beau Monde Seasoning
2 – 3 TBS whole milk or half-and-half (can substitute soy, almond buy cialis uk or rice milk if desired)
1/3 cup white onion, minced

Place cream cheese and TSTE® Beau Monde Seasoning in a small mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat ingredients together, adding 1 TBS of milk at a time until dip achieves desired consistency. Add in minced white onion and stir by hand. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with chips or fresh vegetables including baby carrots, cucumber slices, radishes, celery sticks, broccoli or cauliflower florets, cherry tomatoes, and black or green olives.


tailgaters_blendTSTE® BBQ Sliders

1 TBS TSTE® Tailgater’s Blend, 1 TBS TSTE® Smoked BBQ Rub, or 1 TBS TSTE® Sweet Heat (choose one)
1 package mini slider buns
32 oz ground beef

Preheat the grill on medium-high. Divide the ground beef into three or four (depending on the desired amount/thickness of sliders). Roll each into a ball and then press into a patty. Season the outside in your favorite TSTE® blend; see the ingredients list for some great suggestions! Grill until one side is brown in color (about 4-5 minutes), then flip and cook (about 4-5 minutes) until done. Top with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and more blend if desired! Makes about 6-8 sliders.


Black Truffle Fries

2 tsp TSTE® Black Truffle Salt
8 oz package shredded parmesan cheese
28 oz package frozen fries (thickness of choice)
2 TBS TSTE® Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat the oven according to the information on the bag of fries. Bake. Remove from oven and drizzle olive oil evenly over fries. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and TSTE® Black Truffle Salt. Bake for one more minute, then serve hot.


White Chocolate MartiniWhite Chocolate Martini

1 ½ oz TSTE® Chocolate Sea Salt
1 ½ oz chocolate flavored vodka
½ oz white chocolate liquor
½ oz crème de cacao
½ tsp TSTE® Strawberry Sugar
½ oz heavy cream
Chocolate syrup (garnish)
Chocolate covered strawberry (garnish)

Crush TSTE® Chocolate Sea Salt and place in a shallow dish or saucer. Wet rim of glass with lime wedge and dip glass into TSTE® Chocolate Sea Salt to coat. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full of ice cubes. Add vodka, chocolate liquor, crème de cacao, a dash of  TSTE® Strawberry Sugar, and cream. Shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Swirl chocolate spiral inside the glass before straining the martini into the glass. Garnish with a chocolate covered strawberry.

Enjoy your relaxing Labor Day weekend and be sure to visit for more ideas!

Signature Recipe Sweepstakes

August 15

This month, we’re celebrating the 5th Anniversary of The Spice & Tea Exchange® by giving away a FREE TSTE® Signature Blend Shaker!

TSTE Signature Blend & Shaker

We love this blend for more than just the fact that it’s our “signature.” It is our finest all-purpose blend, and one of the original TSTE® Blends cheapest online propecia created by our founder Clay Freeman. This robust seasoning is made for absolutely everything, including: meats, vegetables, soups, eggs, and sandwiches! Believe us when we say…our TSTE® Signature Blend Shaker gets quite the workout in our TSTE® Kitchen!

Ingredients include St. Augustine’s own Datil Pepper, salt, garlic, bell peppers, celery, fresh pepper, horseradish, paprika, chives, onion and tomato powder.

So…What’s Your Signature Dish?

Give us your best TSTE® Signature Blend recipe or idea in the comment box below for a chance to win a FREE TSTE® Signature Blend Shaker!

All participants will be entered into a drawing to win a free shaker. Winner will be drawn on August 29, 2013 and will be contacted by The Spice & Tea Exchange® via email.

Tea or Tisane: Which One Are You?

August 9

DID YOU KNOW…That while there are many flavors of tea, all teas stem from the same plant? That’s right! I am an avid tea drinker, and have been for years. However, I never ventured to truly study the history of tea until I joined The Spice & Tea Exchange®. So, here’s a little lesson to entertain all of you tea connoisseurs and beginners out there…let’s see which category you fall into!

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Teas: Camellia Sinensis

Camellia Sinensis (tea leaves)Black, green, white, and oolong teas all come from the plant Camellia Sinensis. What sets them apart from one another is their exposure to oxygen during processing. The more that the tea leaves are exposed to oxygen, the darker and bolder the tea gets. Black teas are the result of tea leaves being exposed to large amounts of oxygen, while green teas are exposed to significantly less.

As Eastern exporters began to send teas cross-continent, they realized that green tea lost its flavor far too quickly (Remember, back then teas traveled by camel, donkey, horse and cart, or what have you…). Oxidation became the standard for transporting teas from East to West, and to this day black tea is still considered the most popular tea by Westerners for that reason.

Coconut Oolong TeaOolongs are “semi-fermented” and fall somewhere between green and black teas, while white teas are the least-processed and rarest form.

Flavored versions of black, green, oolong, and white teas began to appear as tea producers realized that the combination of natural oils and tea leaves enhanced and replicated popular flavors. Now, with artificial flavoring, the possibilities are endless.

Tisanes: Plants, Fruits, Herbs & Spices

Blood Orange Smoothie TeaTisanes are commonly mistaken or referred to as “teas,” but are actually herbs, plants, spices, or fruits infused with boiling water. Though they are also “brewed,” they lack the definitive Camellia Sinensis leaves found in “tea.”

The earliest appearances of tisanes were found in ancient civilizations where herbs and cialis soft tabs quick delivery, no prescription plants were infused with water for medicinal purposes. For example, the Chamomile flower— which is commonly used today for its calming properties— was originally used in Ancient Egypt for healing. Recently, tisanes have been popularized by American culture as health-conscious individuals turn to these natural brews for refreshment.

Tisanes are also known for being a caffeine-free alternative to bolder black teas, green teas and coffee. However, even though they lack caffeine, they still pack a punch of flavor. Rooibos tea, or the “red tea,” was introduced for its caffeine-free benefits and bold flavor as a substitute to black teas in the 20th Century. Depending on the infusions, herbal, plant, and fruit-based tisanes are an excellent replacement for classic teas. With generous flavor and sweet nuances, drinkers get the enjoyment of drinking a “tea,” without the caffeine addiction. (Here you go Ladies! Kick your pregnancy caffeine cravings to the curb!)

Between Teas and Tisanes, the flavors are endless.

Split Tea Infuser with TSTE TeaMany of our teas at The Spice & Tea Exchange® actually combine the two! We strive to provide you one-of-a-kind teas with bold, refreshing flavors. And while we won’t force you choose between the two, we encourage you to taste and test all of the alternatives as you search for your perfect cup!

So, now that you know the difference…are you a Tea or a Tisane?  Give us your feedback…

References: Cason, Chris. A Guide to Tea. Adagio Teas, 2012. Paperback.

New August Teas

August 1

The Spice & Tea Exchange is thrilled to introduce TWO new teas this month…


Genmaicha Green TeaThis exotic tea is known for its “popcorn” look and nutty notes. Our Genmaicha is a blend of brown rice and green sencha tea. The rice mellows this typically grassy tea; resulting in a sweet, light-bodied cup with a slightly roasted flavor.


Golden Assam

Golden Assam TeaAssam teas are known for their bold flavor, and deep, bright colors. Grown in the Assam region of India, our distinctive Golden Assam is produced from the high quality second flush period, and contains a large proportion of beautiful golden tips. Assam teas make great breakfast teas and contain just enough caffeine to get your day started! This tea rx cialis offers a rich, spicy, and malty character that is also great with milk added.


August Calendar of Events

August 1


Weekly In August

TSTE® Cincinnati EVERY Sunday – Can’t make up your mind of what tea to get? Try it before you buy it every Sunday from 1-4pm

TSTE® Bentonville Every Saturday We’re continuing our chef grilling demonstrations in front of the store every Saturday during Farmer’s Market from about 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

TSTE® Williamsburg Daily We will be serving samples of various teas and Habanero Lemonade


Event Dates

August 2nd – TSTE® Bentonville – Downtown Bentonville First Friday Back to School Event
TSTE will have specials and buying amoxicillin online tasty samples from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

August 15th, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – TSTE® Bentonville’s Around the Bloc Art Walk
Located in Downtown Bentonville. Artists, musicians and food vendors will set up all over downtown.  TSTE® will be grilling appetizers in front of the store!  A great evening for socializing and exploring Downtown Bentonville!

August 21st to Sept. 11thTSTE® Williamsburg Back To School Special!
As the new school year begins, so does the fall & winter cooking season. Start fresh! Purchase any spice container at regular price and we’ll fill it for you for FREE!! Yes, you read it correctly – buy any container over $7.95, and you choose how it will get filled. Not valid with any other promotions or offers.

Flavorful Kebab Recipes

July 25

Beef Shish Kebab with Sweet Heat SeasoningKebabs, or shish kebabs, have existed for centuries as an easy cooking method for meats, vegetables, fruits, and common roasting items. The history of kebabs can be traced back to Asian and African nations. Originating as a hunter-gatherer method of roasting meats buy cialis super active over a fire, the Turkish term shish kebab, literally brings “roasted meat” and “skewer” together.

Due to their popularity in Asia and the Middle-East, the most popular versions include beef and lamb. Meats are commonly marinated in oils or wine and then roasted until thoroughly cooked; either suspended above the fire or placed on a grilling surface.

Over the years, kebabs have become a popular go-to for backyard cookouts and quick, yet flavorful meals.

Pork Shish Kabobs with grilled vegetablesAt The Spice & Tea Exchange®, we’re all about flavor! Our TSTE® Blends and Rubs provide you with an easy way to kick up your kebabs with little-to-no effort. Whether you choose to marinate your meat prior to grilling, create a wet-rub for basting, or dry rub your kebabs, our TSTE® Blends infuse bold flavors into your meats!

Here, we’ve provided a few ideas to get you started. The best part about kebabs is that you can experiment with flavors, meat and vegetable combinations, and even fruits and other obscure foods!

Don’t be afraid to try a few different combinations. You’ll impress your guests and have fun sampling and enjoying the various flavors.

Turn up the Heat:
TSTE® Sweet Heat Blend 
TSTE® Crazy Chicken Blend 
TSTE® Jamaican Jerk Blend 

The Perfect Barbeque Flavor:
TSTE® Backwoods Hickory Rub
TSTE® Tailgater’s Blend

A Hint of Smoke:
TSTE® Cinnabar Smoke Blend
TSTE® Smoked BBQ Rub

Keep it Classic:
TSTE® Butcher’s Rub
TSTE® Signature Blend

Stay Cool:
TSTE® Coastal Blend
TSTE® California Blend

For more flavors, cultural blends, and exotic rubs, visit us on the web!

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Try This Recipe:

BBQ Chicken Kebabs on the Grill


1–1½ lbs Chicken, Pork or Beef (top sirloin steak or other cut)
¼ cup olive oil, as needed
Your favorite TSTE® Blend or Rub (see recommendations above)


If using wood skewers, soak in cold water at least 30 minutes before using.

Rinse meat thoroughly. Cut into ½ inch pieces and set aside. Slice preferred vegetables into ½ inch pieces and slide meat and vegetables alternately onto skewers. Lightly brush meat with olive oil and rub with spice, before grilling.

Preheat your grill to high heat. Grill on high heat, turning occasionally, 8-10 minutes for beef, 10-12 for chicken & pork, or until meat is cooked thoroughly (cut into largest piece to check for doneness).

Remove from grill and let rest 5 minutes. Serve on skewers for a beautiful presentation or remove from skewers and serve on a platter.


For recipes, products, gifts, accessories, and more, visit!

Tea Ice Cream Recipes

July 21

Himalayan Round Salt BlockA Himalayan Salt Block has almost limitless uses in any kitchen, but it is most often used as a cooking vessel or an organic platter for displaying and serving food. Salt Blocks, or “Platters” can come in many different shapes and sizes, much like a cutting board, and each use imparts a delicate salt flavor to the foods that come in contact with the platter. (available in TSTE® stores)

The best part? Salt does not hoard bacterias and never loses its flavor. To clean, simply rinse well and pat dry.

While hot applications and uses are common, we’ve decided to go the cold route for summer. Pop that salt block into your freezer overnight, and you’ve got yourself a frozen slab of flavoring possibilities! Below, you’ll find several tea ice cream recipes to get you started:

Featured this Month: Tea-licious Ice Cream on a Salt Platter

Tea-licious Ice Cream on a Salt Platter

TSTE® custom teas infuse into rich ice cream while hand-mixing on an elegant TSTE® Himalayan Salt Platter enhances subtle flavors! Click Here to get the recipe and/or ingredients to help you get started!

Pick your favorite from our featured recipe or try them all!

(See Gourmet Mix-In Ideas Below!)

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How To Mix Gourmet Ice Cream on a Salt Platter:

We start here with some of our favorite black and fruit based teas, add in our favorite candies, fruits or other toppings, then mix it all up right on the frozen salt slab.  It’s gourmet creamery ice cream mixed right in your own home!  What could be more fun or satisfying on a hot summer day?

Some of our favorite cold salt plank ice cream combos include:

TSTE® Black Chocolate tea and Raspberry/Chocolate

TSTE® Blueberry Black tea and blueberries and lemon zest, finish with TSTE® Lemon Sugar

TSTE® Pear Caramel tea and Granola Mix

TSTE® Hazelnut Cookie tea and any chocolate covered nuts

TSTE® Mint Chilla Chai Nilla tea with peppermint patties, vanilla wafers

TSTE® Pear Caramel tea with chocolate covered caramels (like Rolos®), finish with TSTE® Salted Caramel Sugar

TSTE® Blood Orange Smoothie tea with vanilla cream cookies

TSTE® Bonita Peach Rooibos tea with fresh peaches or shortbread cookies

TSTE® Chamomile Twist tea and chocolate covered orange segments (or chocolate covered fruit segments)

Don’t forget about our Summer Limited Edition TeasA’Lotta Colada with cherries, Berry Lemondrop with chocolate chips, fresh raspberries or strawberries, and our favorite Citrus Breeze with chocolate covered orange segments.


1 cup coarsely chopped chocolate, candies, fruit or granola

1/3 cup strong brewed TSTE® tea* (about 1 ½ Tbsp loose tea to ½ cup water), tea leaves strained (*Black teas or fruit infused herbal teas work best)

1 pint vanilla or chocolate ice cream

1 TSTE® Himalayan Salt Platter frozen 24 hours (available in stores)


Combine the tea and chopped add ins.  Ingredients will soften and begin to melt into the tea.

Scoop ice cream onto frozen TSTE® Himalayan Salt Platter. Smash the iced cream across the block. Drizzle with some of the tea mixture. Scoop and smash the ice cream and tea mixture together. Scoop into a frozen dessert cup and enjoy!

Make ahead. Place prepared ice cream in a container and freeze.  Soften about 15 minutes in refrigerator before serving.

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Homemade TSTE® Coconut Oolong Tea Ice Cream

For those who want to make their own ice cream, try this old favorite from our TSTE® recipe archives. We’ve revamped the recipe for use with our TSTE® Himalayan Salt Platter. A bit messy (unless you partially freeze the ice cream mixture first), but we promise the delicate salt-like flavor imparted into the ice cream is incredibly delicious!

Makes 1 ½ Quarts


½ cup loose TSTE® Coconut Oolong tea

½ teaspoon allspice

1 cup boiling water

1 cup evaporated milk, scalded

3 eggs separated

1 ½ cups sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup coconut, finely chopped and toasted (optional)

1 frozen TSTE® Himalayan Salt Platter (available in stores)


Combine tea and allspice.  Pour boiling water over leaves.  Immediately add scalded milk. Steep for 5 to 8 minutes. Strain; do not press on the tea leaves. Cool to room temperature. (If using ice cream maker skip to the directions below)

If you don’t have an ice cream maker

Bring a saucepot of water to a boil.  In a large heat proof bowl whip the egg yolks until pale yellow in color. Add 1 cup sugar, and the salt.  Add cooled tea mixture and place the bowl over the boiling water until thickened while stirring constantly.  Set bowl into an ice bath and stir until the mixture is completely cool. Add lemon juice and zest.

Whisk egg whites until foamy cialis online canada pharmacy and then slowly add remaining sugar while continuing to whisk.  When the whites are approaching firm peaks set aside. Then, whip cream until thick enough to hold a soft peak.  Fold egg whites and whipped cream into the cooled mixture. Pour into a container for freezing.  When ice cream is half frozen, scoop out onto frozen TSTE® Himalayan Salt Platter.  Sprinkle coconut over and scoop and mix in (you will need to do this in batches).  Return to container; freeze until firm.

Directions for Ice Cream Maker:

Beat egg yolks, all of sugar, and salt. Add cooled tea mixture and cook over boiling water till thickened, stirring constantly. Cool. Add lemon juice and zest. Beat egg whites until the soft peak stage.  Combine cream with yolk/tea mixture and stir in egg whites.  Pour into ice cream maker and process.  Before serving, soften on counter for about 5 minutes.  Scoop ice cream onto frozen TSTE® Himalayan Salt Platter and smash and scoop the ice cream about until lightly seasoned (you can add in chocolate chips or TSTE® Coconut Sugar (or your other favorite flavor).  Serve in a well-chilled dessert bowl.

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Shake things up this summer by mixing your own ice cream treats! Or, try our delicate Coconut Oolong Tea Ice Cream Recipe. Making homemade ice cream is an activity that the whole family can enjoy. Of course, the end result is also enjoying the fruits (or sweets, or salts, or chocolates, etc.) of your labor! It’s one activity that’s sure to create some wonderful memories in the process.

Summer Means Seafood!

July 15

Whether you’re entertaining the family or spicing things up beachside, we’ve got you covered! This summer, The Spice & Tea Exchange® is all about seafood!

The Spice & Tea Exchange® has recently introduced THREE new extraordinary seafood flavors; perfect for boils, cookouts, and beach-side family dinners. We’re also featuring the TSTE® Beach Kit, one of three awesome vacation kits, which include five TSTE® ingredients you’ll love. If you’re a foodie, this is the perfect grab-and-go accessory for your summer vacation!

TSTE® Beach Kit

ITSTE Vacation Beach Kitncluded are 1oz bags of:

TSTE® Crab & Shrimp Boil
TSTE® Lime Frost Salt
TSTE® Coastal Blend
TSTE® Coconut Sugar
TSTE® Mariner’s Chowder Seasoning

A few ideas to get you started:
Add  TSTE® Crab and Shrimp Boil to your favorite mix of seafood ingredients (1 Tbsp to 1 qt water) for a kicked up seafood boil! Add cool flavor to your seafood, pasta, soup or meat with TSTE® Coastal Blend, or make the perfect cup of chowder with our NEW TSTE® Mariner’s Chowder Seasoning! (See more below)

Celebrate summer with TSTE® Lime Frost Salt-Rimmed margaritas or mojitos, or add TSTE® Lime Frost Salt to your corn-on-the-cob. Then, sweeten your summer dessert with TSTE® Coconut Sugar!

The possibilities are endless!


New Seafood Blends

What’s the hardest part of using these blends? Choosing which one! These blends are great additions to simple meals and add a burst of flavor to any summer chowder, seafood mix, or boil, with little-to-no effort. Simply add and enjoy. What’s better? They can also serve as fantastic rubs and seasonings for seafood grilling.

Low Country BoilLow Country Boil

Ingredients: black pepper, sea salt, celery seed, dill seed, coriander, brown mustard, paprika, cloves, allspice, yellow mustard, mace, white sugar, cardamom, chili flakes, bay leaves, onion powder, lemon zest, ginger.

Ideas for your boil:
Boils contain a variety of ingredients which may include: crawfish, shrimp, crab, sausage, corn, potatoes, or onions; depending upon the region or recipe. So, Add 1 full TBS per qt of water and boil for 5-8 mins. before adding other ingredients. BAM! You’ve got a kickin’ country boil!

Chesapeake Bay BlendChesapeake Bay Blend

Ingredients: black pepper, celery seed, salt, paprika, mace, brown mustard, white sugar, cardamom, bay leaves, chili flakes, cloves, onion powder, lemon zest, ginger.

A few ideas:
- Use on fries, wings, burgers, chowders, and of course, it is excellent on steamed crabs!
- Stir Chesapeake Bay Blend into tartar sauce for a kicked-up dipping sauce to enjoy with your favorite shrimp
- Coat seafood with Chesapeake Bay prior to battering and deep frying or dry-sautéing for an extra layer of flavor!

Mariner's Chowder SeasoningMariner’s Chowder Seasoning

Ingredients: minced onions, green and red bell peppers, olive salt, cialis order black pepper, thyme, parsley, chili pepper flakes, paprika, fennel.

A few ideas:
This distinct TSTE® blend can add a zesty twist to clam cakes, lobster rolls, and other seafood dishes. Simply mix-in for amazing flavor. For chowders, use it in place of the usual herbs and spices. It’s great in both cream chowders and red chowders!


For recipe ideas, visit and stay tuned for additional recipes here on our blog!


A Summer Evening In

July 8

Looking for some go-to recipes for a Summer Evening In?

This summer, The Spice & Tea Exchange® is all about making the most of your meal time!  Who said dinner has to be difficult on vacation? We’re featuring three fantastic TSTE® Vacation Kits to help you flavor up your summer!

TSTE Condo Vacation Kit

Our TSTE® Condo Kit features five ingredients that are great for quick summertime meals.

Included are 1oz bags of:

TSTE® Tuscany Blend
TSTE® Pizza Seasoning
TSTE® Popcorn Seasoning
TSTE® Bloody Mary Mix
TSTE® Cinnamon Sugar

The possibilities are endless!

Start the day with a mouthwatering French Toast Breakfast, or add TSTE® Cinnamon Sugar to your cereal for some sweet flavor.

Get creative and add TSTE® Tuscany Blend to your pasta to spice up your mom’s spaghetti recipe or try our “Not Your Mom’s Meatloaf Recipe” below. It’s great for condo cooking- and leftovers! Compliment any meal with a TSTE® Bloody Mary Mixed drink; sure to please with minimal preparation!

For the kids, add some flavor to your take out with our TSTE® Pizza Seasoning, or try to make your own individual Mini-Pizzas! Then, kick back for a movie with some kicked-up popcorn sprinkled with TSTE® Popcorn Seasoning.

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Quick and Easy Condo Recipes

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast

4 eggs
2/3 cup milk
4 teaspoons TSTE® Cinnamon Sugar
8 slices of bread (slightly stale works best!)
2 tbsp Butter
Maple syrup

Beat eggs and milk together. Add 2 teaspoons of TSTE® Cinnamon Sugar. Whisk well until fully blended. Pour into shallow bowl and set aside.

Slice bread into thirds (long thin slices) or leave whole. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, allowing the bread to soak up some of the liquid.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add slices and fry until golden-brown on both sides, turning when necessary. Remove using tongs and place on serving plate. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons of TSTE® Cinnamon Sugar.



4 English muffins, split
1/2 cup pizza sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (1/2 cup per muffin)
16 slices pepperoni sausage
TSTE® Pizza Seasoning Blend

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Place English muffin halves, cut side up, onto a baking sheet. Spoon the pizza sauce over each half. Top with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni & TSTE® Pizza Seasoning Blend. Bake for 10 mins., or until the cheese is melted & browned on the edges. Serves 4.


Not Your Mom’s Meatloaf

1 pound ground beef (or turkey, if you prefer)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, grated
1 teaspoon  TSTE®  Smoked Sweet Paprika
1 teaspoon  TSTE®  Tuscany Blend
1 egg
1/2 cup dry stuffing mix (or crushed croutons)
2 talespoons ketchup
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. (If you don’t have one, mix with your hands.) Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until ingredients start to blend, then increase speed to medium-low and mix until well-blended. Once ingredients are mixed, place into an ungreased loaf pan, flattening out with hands. If you prefer, top with a bit of tomato sauce or the condiment of your choice. (or leave it naked–it doesn’t need a topping) Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked-through. Enjoy with your favorite potatoes and veggies.


Bloody Mary Mixed DrinksBloody Mary Drinks

1tsp TSTE® Bloody Mary Mix per glass
Vodka, to taste
Tomato Juice, to taste
Ice Cubes, if needed

Pour 1 shot of Vodka (more or less to taste), ice cubes, and tomato juice into a tall glass. Stir and add 1 tsp TSTE® Bloody Mary Mix. No need for celery, worcestershire sauce or hot sauce! It’s pre-mixed. All you need to add is the liquid. Happy Mixing!


The Perfect Popcorn

Add flavor to any popcorn with the TSTE® Popcorn Seasoning. With ingredients like salt, cheddar cheese powder, paprika, garlic, vinegar powder and more, it can get addicting! Add it to popcorn with or without butter. [Mixture contains milk]


Enjoy your Summer Evening In! And be sure to visit for more ideas!



Tea Ice Cubes

July 1

Do you ever get sick of ice cubes watering down your drinks in the heat of the summer?

Avoid watered down beverages with tea ice cubes! Freezing tea is as simple as brewing and freezing, and there are endless possibilities for flavors! Here, we’ve included some ideas for refreshing tea ice cubes and flavorful alternatives to add to your water or summer beverage.

Very Berry Ice Cubes
Making Tea Ice Cubes

Start by selecting your TSTE® Tea and any additional flavors you would like to include. TSTE® Sugars work wonderfully to sweeten your tea gradually as your ice cubes melt. Fruit, zests, flowers and herbs can also add a hint of flavor without overpowering your drink.

Here, are several combinations to try:

Tropical Teaser:
TSTE® Blood Orange Smoothie Tea or TSTE® Green Tropical Tea with diced Mango and Lemon zest

Very Berry:
TSTE® Blueberry Black Tea or TSTE® Darjeeling Tea with Raspberries and Blueberries

Mint Refresher:
TSTE® Earl Grey Tea or TSTE® Green Tropical Tea with Raspberries and Mint

Tropical Teaser Tray and Very Berry Tray
Once you’ve determined the flavors you would like to use, brew your tea as usual. Remove from heat and let it come to room temperature.

While your tea cools, prepare any additional ingredients you would like to add to your tea iced-cubes. Place your ingredients into your ice cube trays accordingly. When your tea has cooled, pour into the ice cube trays just as you would water. Let freeze for a minimum of three-four hours (or as long as it takes).

Lemon Zest
When you remove your iced cubes from the freezer, break into a large bowl carefully. If you used fruit or colored ingredients, you’ll be amazed by the colors! If you’re going for “presentation,” stick to a lighter tea. Those will tend to show your ingredients through the ice.

Flavoring Your Beverage
Once you’ve created your tea ice cubes, you’re all set! Allow your guests to combine their tea ice cubes with tea, lemonade or water. As the ice cubes melt, the flavors will blend to create a one-of-a-kind beverage! These flavored ice cubes are perfect for a beautiful, yet simple presentation drink.

Very Berry, Tropical Teaser and Mint Refresher Ice Cubes


July Calendar of Events

June 27


Weekly In July

TSTE® Boca Raton –Stop in at The Spice & Tea Exchange® before you enjoy the Sunset Music Series at the Mizner Park Ampitheater. Mention you are a concert attendee and receive 15% off (excludes accessories)!

TSTE® Cincinnati – EVERY Monday – From 4-8pm, TSTE® Cincinnati will be at the WASHINGTON PARK FARMER’S MARKET. Down town at beautiful Washington Park; we will have a booth filled with all of your favorites.

TSTE® St. Augustine (Old Jail) – Every Wednesday –Join TSTE® and FCTC Culinary students for cooking demos at 5:30p.m. every Wednesday evening. Stop by and learn!

TSTE® Bentonville – Every Saturday – We’re continuing our chef grilling demonstrations in front of the store every Saturday during Farmer’s Market from about 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

TSTE® Cincinnati – EVERY Sunday  – Can’t make up your mind of what tea to get? Try it before you buy it every Sunday from 1-4pm

TSTE® Williamsburg – Every Weekend – We will be serving samples on Saturdays from 10-8 & Sundays from 11-6 the entire month of July

Event Dates

June 29-July 7 –  TSTE® Sarasota- Welcome Racers and Race Fans! Receive a 15% discount 
on seafood and fish blends 
during race week to celebrate the 29th Annual Suncoast 
Super Boat Grand Prix Festival!

July 3-4th  – TSTE® Boca Raton – Find a Sampler marked Red, White and Blue and take an EXTRA 15% off. Samplers are perfect for making the 4th a Big Bang Celebration!

July 3-8 – TSTE® Williamsburg –  4th of July Sale! Select a firework from our display and see if you get a “Bang” (no coupon) or a “Sparkle!” (a coupon for free store merchandise). Prizes will vary.

July 4 – TSTE® Key West – A Red, White, and Blue Sugar Sampler, which will be discounted 15%.  This sampler will contain our Raspberry, Coconut, and Blueberry Sugars.

July 4-7th – TSTE® St. Augustine (Old Jail)- We will be making homemade ice cream to sampling our spice blends with our grilled delights!

July 5th – TSTE Ashland- First Fridays Iced Tea Tastings and Live Music!

July 5th – TSTE® Mystic –   1st Fridays Mystic Downtown Merchants Monthly Farmers Market, from 8am-1pm. TSTE® will be working with local restaurant chefs who will be incorporating our spices, salts, sugars and teas into recipes that they’ll be demonstrating at the market!

July 5 & 6 –  TSTE® Bentonville- First Friday event, the American Art and Music Festival, in Downtown Bentonville. TSTE will have specials and tasty samples both days!

July 12-14th  – TSTE® Ashland- GRAND OPENING EVENT- Featuring iced tea tastings, live music and more!

July 13th  – TSTE® Cincinnati- 9-3pm Stop by our booth at the 2nd ANNUAL PORKOPOLIS EGG FEST in Germania Park for samples and all your grilling needs. This is the regions largest Big Green Egg Festival – light your eggs! For more information-

June 13th  – TSTE® of Winter Park- TSTE® participates in The Summertime Sip & Stroll on Park Avenue. We have been a favorite stop with the strollers who sip our wine-infused tea selections and delicious appetizers that feature our spice blends. Check-in at corner of Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard. Fee: $25.

More info…..

[The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and Park Avenue Merchants Association invite you to sip, stroll and experience the charm of Park Avenue on a summer's eve. Spend the evening on a unique wine walk and stroll to your favorite Park Avenue area shops and restaurants. Discover new merchants, check out the latest fashions, gift ideas and menu items and enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres along the way.]

July 14th – TSTE® Williamsburg- Join us for a Movie Night on Prince George Street, Sunday, July 14th. The movie being shown is “Breakfast Club” and snacks will include Popcorn with TSTE® Popcorn Seasoning & Assorted TSTE® Teas!

July 15th – TSTE® Boca Raton- Stop in to wish Mary Lou a “Happy Birthday” and get 15% off your purchase (excluding accessories)!

July 18 –  TSTE ®Bentonville- Around the Bloc Art Walk downtown, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Artists, musicians and food vendors will set up all over downtown. TSTE will be grilling appetizers in front of the store!

July 17th – TSTE® Cincinnati- 6:30 pm- Join Us as we kick off the SECOND HALF TASTE & LEARN CHEF SERIES with a favorite, Pelican Reef. Join Owner and Executive Chef John Broshar for an evening by the sea. RSVP to or 513-531-7000. $25.00 per person.

July 20th –  TSTE® Cincinnati- CELEBRATE National Ice Cream Month Join Us, Saturday from 1-4pm for a New Twist to a Summertime Drink – Tea Infused Ice Cream Social.

July 27st  –  TSTE® Cincinnati- CELEBRATE National Ice Cream Month Join Us, Saturday from 1-4pm for a New Twist to a Summertime Drink – Tea Infused Ice Cream Social.


Amazing Side-Salads

June 24

Sometimes the best side salads aren’t green! In the heat of the summer, leafy greens can be difficult to keep cool and fare better indoors. This grilling season, we’ve got some great rice and quinoa recipes for you outdoor cookout! Check them out below.

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Pecan Rice Salad with Grill Roasted Cauliflower, Fennel, Orange and Avocado slices with a Citrus – Garlic Vinaigrette and Lemon Glazed Pecans.

Pecan Rice Salad with Veggies

Serves 4 as a main course; 6 to 8 as a side dish

Chef’s Notes:

For the cauliflower:  However you choose to prepare your cauliflower (grill, steam or roast) I find the easiest and best preparation is to lightly brush the cauliflower florets with TSTE® Olive Oil, then sprinkle with either TSTE® California Blend or TSTE® Florida Sunshine.  Wrap in a foil packet and grill or roast, or steam until crisp tender.

Optional salad greens:  This is another great salad for chopped hearty earthy greens.  Choose baby spinach or arugula as a distinctive counterpoint to the cauliflower, orange and avocado.  It will be delicious with the fennel.

For the pecans:  This is a quick approach to a glazed nut.  I omit the last step (baking in a 275° F oven for about an hour to let the glaze dry and harden), which becomes unnecessary once you toss the slightly tacky nuts in with the rice and other ingredients.  If you want to use the recipe to make glazed pecans, simply add back that final step:  line a baking sheet with parchment paper, turn out nuts onto prepared baking sheet and let dry in a 275 F oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, checking frequently and tossing occasionally to make sure the nuts do not burn.



TSTE® Pecan Rice prepared according to package directions to yield 3 cups

Cauliflower florets

TSTE® Florida Sunshine (substitute TSTE® California Blend), to season

1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced

3 oranges (2 to juice and 1 sliced and segmented)

1 avocado, sliced


For the Citrus Garlic Vinaigrette

½ cup TSTE® Olive Oil

1 teaspoon TSTE® Vik’s Garlic Fix (or combination of Vik’s Garlic Fix and Onion Obsession for a less intense garlic taste)

Zest of 1 orange

Juice of 2 oranges, to yield about 2/3 cup juice

TSTE® Florida Sunshine, to taste


For the Lemon Glazed Pecans

¼ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons TSTE® Lemon Sugar, plus extra to garnish

½ cup coarse chopped pecans


For the Peppered Olives

½ cup sliced black olives

¼ cup TSTE® Olive Oil

1 teaspoon TSTE® Gourmet Pepper Olive Oil Blend



Work backwards here!  Prepare the Peppered Olives by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and let them marinate and infuse for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.  Prepare the Lemon Glazed Pecans by combining the sugars with about ½ cup water in a shallow, heavy bottomed small skillet.  Whisk until the sugar is melted and mixture is boiling.  Add in the nuts and toss.  Reduce heat and toss continuously as the sugar water evaporates leaving the pecans coated with the sugar.  The mixture will be sticky.  Sprinkle with a bit of extra Lemon Sugar and set aside.  Then, prepare the Vik’s Garlic Fix infused Olive Oil by combining the Vik’s and the Olive Oil in a small shallow saucepan or skillet and gently warm.  Remove from the heat, add in the orange zest and let the flavors meld at least 15 minutes.  Once the olive oil is infused whisk the olive oil into the orange juice.  Taste; adjust seasoning with TSTE® Florida Sunshine.  Set aside.

Make the Salad.  Toss the prepared Pecan Rice, cauliflower, fennel and orange segments in large bowl and add about ½ of the dressing.  Toss until everything is well coated and the rice begins to soak up the flavorful vinaigrette.  Turn out into a serving bowl and toss in the lemon glazed pecans and the avocado.  Drizzle with the remaining dressing; garnish with marinated olives.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Quinoa Salad with Moroccan-spiced Grilled Shrimp, Broccoli, Roasted Golden Beets and a Creamy Lemon Dressing/Vinaigrette

Quinoa Shrimp Salad

Serves 4

Chef’s notes:

For the Quinoa:  plan to use at least ¼ to ½ cup prepared quinoa for each serving desired.

For the Shrimp:  If you plan to steam the shrimp, omit the yogurt and reduce the amount of spice by about 1 teaspoon.  When the shrimp are just cooked through, toss with spice until spice is evenly distributed.   To sauté the shrimp, you can use the yogurt preparation and sauté with a little peanut oil or just sauté in oil with a bit of butter, then swirl in the spice just as the shrimp finish cooking to season.

Substitutions for Broccoli:  Broccoli works beautifully with this dish, the florets mimicking the cooked quinoa in texture!  However, grilled corn, taken off the cob is an cialis cheap outstanding substitution.  I would just add a bit of fresh thyme to the dressing to bring it all together.

Salad Greens:  Chopped salad greens are an excellent addition to this salad, lending a grassy, earthy and herbal note to the overall dish.  It is optional, but a lovely vehicle for the dressing and the quinoa.

Make ahead:  This dish can be made ahead and served slightly chilled, though I recommend you arrange each ingredient on a serving platter in horizontal and parallel lines.  Then, for dramatic presentation, take the dish to the table, drizzle about 1/3 of the dressing over the ingredients and toss until everything is lightly coated and combined.  Pass the remaining dressing at the table.



TSTE® Incan Quinoa, prepared according to package directions

¾ cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon TSTE® Moroccan Blend (use more or less to taste)

1 1/2 pounds large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Roasted, grilled or steamed broccoli florets

Roasted golden beets, cooled, peeled and sliced

Chopped salad greens, optional


For the Creamy Lemon Dressing

½ cup TSTE® Olive Oil

1 teaspoon TSTE® Lemongrass

½ teaspoon TSTE® Lemon Verbena

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 2 lemons (to yield about 1/3 cup)

¼ cup fresh orange juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

TSTE® Florida Sunshine, to season



Combine the yogurt and the TSTE® Moroccan Blend in a small bowl.  Set aside for a few minutes to allow flavors to develop.  Prepare a grill (or a grill pan) for high direct heat.  Dredge the shrimp through the Moroccan spiced yogurt for a light coating.  Grill about 2 minutes per side until shrimp are cooked through.  Set Aside.

Prepare dressing.  Combine the TSTE® Olive Oil, TSTE® Lemongrass, TSTE® Lemon Verbena and lemon zest in a small shallow skillet and place over low heat.  Gently warm the oil then immediately remove from the heat.  Let the herbs and zest infuse the olive oil for at least 15 minutes.

Combine the lemon juice, orange juice, Dijon mustard, and honey in the bowl of a food processor.  With the machine running, slowly add in the infused olive oil until the dressing becomes thick and emulsified.  Taste.  Adjust seasoning adding a bit more honey if needed, and a few grinds of TSTE® Florida Sunshine to season.  The dressing should be lemony, bright and balanced.

Combine the TSTE® Incan Quinoa, the shrimp, broccoli, beets and salad greens with about 1/3 of the dressing, tossing to lightly coat the ingredients.  Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.



Seafood Grilling

June 13

As we move into summer, it’s time again to think about grilling, picnicking, and spending time outdoors! But summer heat can be a major factor in planning your outdoor meal. Ditch those heavy grilled meats and plan your meal around a lighter fare! A light, succulent fish can be an excellent summer go-to for the grill.

Fish may not sound like an easy “go-to,” but if you know your way around these four easy steps, you’ll be King of the grill (or Queen) in no time! Here are a few things you need to get it right the first time:

  1. The right fish
  2. Non-stick (high-heat) cooking spray
  3. The right seasoning— Our Suggestions: TSTE® Grilled Fish Blend, TSTE® Spicy Tuna Rub, or TSTE® Island Sweet Blend
  4. The right amount of heat

Simple Grilled Salmon with greens,onion, lemon, lime and oliveThe Right Fish

If you’re firing up the grill, you’re probably hoping for that perfectly charred edge, the crisply seared skin, that hint of smoke, and flesh that is flaky and perfectly moist throughout. And, the last thing you want is for your fish to fall apart, or worse, stick to the grates. So, we first select the right fish:

Thick steaks (or slabs) of fresh cut fish are best for grilling (preferably whole fish, with skin- gutted and cleaned, but not de-boned). Delicate, flaky fishes— like flounder, cod and sole— just don’t work. They’ll flake and fall apart too easily. If you are grilling directly on your grate, choose a fish that is fairly dense and meaty, like tuna or swordfish. Purchasing a thicker cut fillet will ensure that you get a nice sear before it overcooks on the high heat of the grill.

The Non-Stick Solution  

Using a non-stick, high-heat spray is vital step in acquiring perfect grill marks without the sticky mess. Spray directly on the grates before you put your meat on the grill. A paper towel dabbed in canola or peanut oil will also do the trick (MUST be done prior to heating the grill- you don’t want to get burnt!).

For even better results, place a disposable aluminum foil pan (or pie plate) upside down over the grates you’ll be using while the grill is warming up. You want the highest concentration of heat possible in order to get those handsome grill marks on your fish, and this little trick does it! Then, just before grilling, remove the pan, spray down the grates with your non-stick spray, and get your seasoned fish on those grates; skin-side-UP.

Contrary to popular belief, you should always start your fish on the grill skin-side-UP. This will also help firm up the fish and keep the fish from falling apart.

The Right Seasoning

Bird Lemon SqueezerSeasoning your fish is simple. Remove your fish from its wrapping, give it a quick rinse under cold water, and then spritz with a bit of lemon juice or olive oil. Our favorite accessory this season— the Bird Lemon Squeezer! Perfect for juicing a lemon to get that super-fresh flavor.

Choosing the appropriate seasoning for your fish is the easiest part of the process. Of course, our favorite blend is the TSTE® Grilled Fish Blend. It is filled with a terrific combination of pepper, lemongrass, dill, garlic, paprika, TSTE Spicy Tuna Blend, Grilled Fish Blend & Island Sweet Blendand smoked sea salt. So, even if your fish is on the grill for but a handful of minutes, the smokiness imparted by paprika, smoked sea salt and the slow burning lemongrass pieces imbues the delicate flesh with just the right amount of smoke.

For a sweet and tangy flavor, try TSTE® Island Sweet Blend and brush fish prior to seasoning with a little bit of coconut milk or olive oil. Season liberally. Sure to compliment a lighter fare with sweet infusions of orange zest, vanilla, sumac, mustard powder & seed, coconut powder, rosebuds, dill weed, milk, and turbinado.

Looking for a little kick? Go with a more robust tuna fillet, such as Ahi tuna, and amp up the flavor with TSTE® Spicy Tuna Rub. Brush your fillet with olive oil, season, and grill! The mixture of fresh pepper, sea salt, cayenne, soy sauce powder, wasabi powder, and accents of sesame seed, lemon zest, and ginger will jolt your taste buds!

Large Stainless Steel ShakerOnce you’ve picked your seasoning, rub or sprinkle the seasoning onto your fish. Determine your flavor intensity by adding less/more of your chosen blend. Watch out with that TSTE® Spicy Tuna Rub! To evenly coat your fish steak or fillet, consider using a shaker, like our Large Stainless Steel Shaker.


The right amount of heat.

Let’s face it: heat control is the most difficult part of the grilling process. For sturdy fish fillets, high, direct heat is going to give you the best results (remember how we concentrated the heat over the grates you’re cooking on!).

To facilitate the cooking you’ll need at least 1, but preferably 2 sturdy metal spatulas. The preferred choice of spatula is actually called a “fish turner”. If you only have one, use a sturdy fork to aid in the flipping. Carefully and swiftly use both instruments to turn the fish (one on each side), making sure that it lifts directly from the surface with ease.

Plan about 3 minutes per 1-inch thick fillet or steak, no more than 5. For whole, bone-in fish, plan for approximately 8 minutes per side.

With the exception of tuna (and properly cooked salmon), most hearty fillets are done and ready to serve when the flesh starts to separate easily when poked with a skewer or a knife. Tuna and Salmon are better served no more than medium-rare; meaning it is a warm red at the center and firm to the touch. Rule of thumb:

Most fish cooks quickly, so this is not the time to step away from the grill to tend to other dinner chores! If you’re going to err in cooking time, choose to undercook your fish. Once you dry your fish out — especially on the grill—there’s no way to rehydrate the fish. Take it off just before it is done (remember the It will keep cooking once off the grill and resting. Meanwhile, you can focus on preparing the rest of the meal. If you estimate about a total 8 minutes for sturdy fillets (per inch thickness) and then 10 minutes for whole (bone in) fish, and begin checking for doneness about 2 minutes before your estimated finish time, you’ll probably never be disappointed.

Yes, it’s that simple. And, with TSTE’s Grilled Fish Blend, you’ll find that your edges char beautifully, your grill marks are impeccable, and the hint of smoke is as subtle and perfect as the flaky, opaque interior, of your perfectly grilled fish.

Refreshing Iced Tea Ideas!

June 10

This summer, wouldn’t it be fun to refresh the age-old iced tea? Let’s have some fun with it! Chef Donna has whipped up some FANTASTIC recipes for iced tea to get your party guests talking!

Pitcher Perfect ComboThe Pitcher Perfect Iced Tea

This month, get the party started with our Pitcher Perfect Combo! It’s the easiest (and most eye-catching) way to infuse fruits into your tea on a hot day! Add to that blueberry, strawberry or coconut sugars and you have yourself a sweet and refreshing drink. Try the infusion pitcher with tea, lemonade or even water!

A few ideas:
Water + Cucumber or Lemons
Your favorite TSTE® Tea + Lemons, Raspberries or Peaches
Lemonade + Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Oranges or a mixture of a few

Always infuse to taste! To sweeten the deal, add TSTE® Sugars a tsp at a time. Test, add, repeat until perfect. OR, give your guests the opportunity to add their preferred sugar flavor. Set out small pinch bowls of TSTE® Sugars and let them experiment!

True Iced-Tea:  The Earl Grey Crème Granita “Arnold Palmer”

TSTE Iced Tea Granita Who doesn’t love a refreshing drink on a hot, steamy summer day?  Arnold Palmer made history when he added lemonade to his iced tea.  This summer, I’m taking that infamous drink one step further!

An Iced Tea Granita is as simple as brewing up a batch of sweet tea and then freezing it.  The extra sugar keeps the mixture from freezing solid so you’re left with a slushy of refreshing goodness.  Pile that high on top of some lemon sherbet or sorbet, and you’ve find true “iced tea” nirvana with this frozen Granita Arnold Palmer!

Recipe:  The Earl Grey Crème Granita “Arnold Palmer”
Serves 6 to 8


2 ¼ cups filtered water
8 tablespoons TSTE® Earl Grey Crème tea (or substitute your favorite black or green tea*)
1 cup sugar
Lemon sherbet or sorbet
Citrus wedge and mint, to garnish

*Your granite will freeze much lighter than the color of your tea, which should be kept in mind if you’re looking for a striking contrast between sorbet and tea granite)

Combine tea leaves and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Bring water to a boil and pour over tea; stir to dissolve the sugar.  Let steep for about 8 minutes.  Strain the tea leaves; pour the liquid into a shallow glass pan.  Freeze the tea.  After 4 hours remove and using a fork, scrape the tea into a slush. Return to freezer and repeat every 4 hours or so until the mixture resembles slushy crystals.

Meanwhile, place sherbet or sorbet into serving cups.  Top with tea granite.  Garnish with citrus wedge and mint.  Enjoy immediately.  Repeat!


Cold Brew Tea with Cedar Plank Infusion

TSTE Cedar Plank Infused TeaWhat to pair with all that grilled food?  Here at The Spice & Tea Exchange® we prefer to carry that smoky-goodness from the grill right to our beverages!  Iced Tea, to be precise.  To do that, we’ve borrowed a trick from the mixology world and infused our cold-brew tea with the same cedar planks we use on the barbeque.  And, when you use a black tea with citrus notes, well, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Our Limited Edition Summer Tea, Citrus Breeze, is the perfect match for this trendy technique.  The hints of orange and grapefruit nicely compliment the gentle, woody infusion that comes from the cedar plank.  I prefer to use the “cold brew” method of tea making so the infusion is gentle and easier to control.

To get started, combine your tea, filtered water and your plank in a tall pitcher and pop it in the refrigerator (see recipe below). A day later, your cheap cialis online tea is ready, and gently infused with that cedar aroma and taste.  It’s the perfect accent to the zesty citrus flavor of our Citrus Breeze.

Looking for other ways to enjoy your cedar plank infused iced tea?  Try mixing it into a cocktail.  Blend the infused iced tea with Tequila, or any of those trendy citrus-infused Vodkas or Gins.  A splash of fresh orange juice/pink grapefruit juice and some sparkling water makes it an oh-so- refreshing adult drink.

Recipe:  Cold Brew Citrus Breeze Iced Tea with Cedar Plank Infusion

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled without adding another cedar plank.  Test the flavor after about 18 hours, then test every few hours after that until the woody notes come up into balance with the tea. 

3 to 4 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon TSTE® Citrus Breeze Limited Edition Tea (more or less to taste)
1 8” x 5 ½” cedar plank, split to fit your pitcher if needed (approximate size)


Combine the water, tea and cedar plank in a large glass pitcher.  Use a plate or cup to weigh down the cedar plank into the water.  Place in the refrigerator for about 18 hours to cold brew and infuse.  Taste.  When flavors are balanced, remove the planks and strain the tea through a fine mesh sieve.  Return to a pitcher, add some slices of lemons or oranges.  Serve well chilled, or use as a base for a cocktail.


Enjoy! As always, questions welcomed at > Ask Chef Donna!

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