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How to Make Sparkling Tea from Concentrate or Cold Brewed in Seltzer

I *love* sparkling tea. By that, I mean Camellia sinensis prepared with seltzer. (Depending on where you live, you might call it carbonated water, soda water, or something else.) This post shares some tips for making sparkling tea at home.

Sparkling tea was on my radar for a while. Alas, I didn’t encounter a place that served it until the summer of 2019, when I visited the 29B Teahouse on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. I ordered an excellent ceremonial grade matcha and a glass of sparkling Darjeeling tea, knowing that I could never drink that much caffeine at once. My plan was to drink about half of each. Reader: I drank every drop of both. It is probably the most tea drunk I have ever been. #NoRegrets

Darjeeling Sparkling Tea
Sparkling Darjeeling tea at 29B Teahouse in August of 2019

Sparkling Darjeeling was a revelation. It was incredibly floral with a rich tapestry of aromas and flavors. I couldn’t believe how delicious it was. I had previously assumed that I couldn’t make my own sparkling tea at home since I didn’t have a seltzer machine (AKA soda maker); however, that delicious glass of effervescent liquid sunshine made me determined to figure out how to do it. I tried two methods–one by making a concentrate, the other by cold brewing directly in the seltzer.

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How to Make a Rose Cardamom Latte

When I say I love tea, I emphatically mean the magical elixir you can get from steeping leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant. I don’t mean herbal teas or tisanes. I actually have a harder time finding tisanes that I love than teas that I love. Despite my preference for tea, I have been impelled to go looking for delicious tisanes because my desire to drink warm, tasty beverages is greater than my ability to drink caffeine. Sometimes, I need something caffeine-free.

Rose Cardamom Latte and dry ingredients

After a lot of experimenting, I have developed a caffeine-free latte that I love. If you enjoy rose and masala chai flavors like cardamom, you might love it, too.

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How to Froth Milk on the Stovetop

There are many fancy gadgets that will help you froth milk for lattes. But, you don’t need them to get good results. With a few items you probably already have in your kitchen, you can froth milk on the stovetop if you follow these tips. (These directions apply to cow’s milk.)

How to froth milk on the stovetop
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Grapefruit Bee’s Knees Mocktail

Grapefruit Bees Knees Mocktail in a class with a spring of rosemary and a lime garnish. A sliced grapefruit and lime are on a cutting board to the left.

I love a mocktail. It elevates the moment, gives me something delicious to sip on, and doesn’t make me tired or interfere with my sleep. I enjoy many tea-infused mocktails. But since I usually drink mocktails in the evening and don’t drink caffeine that late, tea mocktails aren’t my go-to choices. 

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Earl Grey or Orange Zest Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate

I was inspired by Claire Robinson’s Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies. Using her recipe, I made some delicious cookies. 

Cup of tea and Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

Although I love traditional, crumbly shortbread, I also really liked the texture of Robinson’s recipe. It’s less crumbly, slightly soft, and still very buttery.  So, I experimented with it. My orange zest shortbread variation with chocolate was a crowd-pleaser, too.