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MARCH 2017 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 59 Top Tea Types Tea menus are becoming more diverse as operators continue to add more specific and traditional ethnic tea offerings. However, well-known varieties such as green tea, black tea, and chai, continue to earn the top spots on menus. Take a look at some of the most trending hot and cold tea types and their percentage increase in menu mentions over the past year. • Bubble/Boba Tea . . . . . . . . . +28% • Milk Tea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +24% • Lavender Tea . . . . . . . . . . . . . +21% • Matcha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +19% • Mint Tea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +13% • Rooibos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +13% • Masala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +13% • Thai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +7% Source: Datassential Chai Tea Time Marisa Paolillo of Mango Pickle relies on an age-old recipe from her husband's grand- mother to serve a traditional masala chai tea during her tea time service, something that's thought of as the fourth meal when served with snacks in India. "Most teas you don't want to steep too long, but in this case, you do actually want to boil the mixture a while and even scorch the milk," says Paolillo. She brings filtered water and spices like carda- mom, clove and black pepper to a boil for some time, adds cold milk, and then brings the tea back up to a long simmer to coax out a rich, caramelized flavor. Types of Tea At Band of Bohemia, Santelle favors the Iron Goddess of Mercy, an oolong varietal with a rich aroma and floral notes produced out of Anxi County in the Southern Fujian province of China, where the mountains provide an idyllic tea-growing environment with high elevation, rich soil and a mild climate. He also offers Black Pearl, another oolong from the same region that's placed in a bottle with a starter sugar and champagne and left to ferment to create a slightly effervescent, cognac- like taste that's best served chilled. Loose leaf pu-erh teas sourced directly from artisan farmers consist of aged leaves that undergo a natural fermentation process before producers gently dry them to create a deep, rich taste without any astringency. In Asia, pu-erh teas are also known for their slimming and medicinal properties, ac- cording to Adagio. Hailing from South Africa, red bush tea is a caffeine-free tea with a slightly sweet taste and high mineral content with many antioxidants. India is the world's largest tea pro- ducer, exporting primarily black teas such as Darljeeling, Assam and Nilgiri. An Indian green tea sourced directly from an organic grower in Nilgiri intrigued Marisa Paolillo, owner of the recently opened Mango Pickle, a modern Indian bistro in Chicago. Not as well known for its green tea as China and Japan, India's version has a straightforward herbaceous flavor without any bitterness. Paolillo follows traditional loose leaf preparation for this tea, bringing filtered hot water up to a boil and pouring it over the leaves in a glass tea pot with a built-in infuser. After a few minutes, she strains the tea into serving cups, skipping the sugar or milk she might otherwise use for a Darjeeling, which can dilute this tea's delicate taste. Paolillo also offers a tisane, or herb- al-infusion tea, sourced directly from an organic grower friend in the Himalayas. This caffeine-free, green leaf tea, also referred to as "sacred herb," "inverted dendrim" or "holy basil" has a slightly sweeter and botanical flavor. Many Indians incorporate it into prayer cer- emonies and drink it for its medicinal, immunity-boosting properties. Barrel-Aged Teas Madame ZuZu's gourmet tea shop, opened several years ago in a Chicago suburb by Smashing Pumpkins lead singer and musician Billy Corgan, who sources unique barrel-aged tea from Rare Tea Cellar. Known for supplying the fin- est and rarest teas on the planet, Rare Tea Cellar owner Rodrick Markus ages the tea leaves in California oak barrels, which impart an elegant scent into the tea when left to age for close to a year. Tea-Infused Cocktails Cocktail makers have sought out tea as a natural ingredient for their creations. At Band of Bohemia, one oolong tea, called Iron Goddess, cold steeps in Fords Gin for about a week in cans or jars for use in the peppery Guanynin Milk Punch. Many Milwaukee bartenders reach for locally produced Rishi Tea to step up simple syrups and spike drinks with Italian amaro and French vermouth. At Abajo at Añejo in New York, Will Aporih has created a cocktail with bull- dog gin, matcha tea, housemade thyme syrup, lime juice and club soda for an umami-spiked drink brightened by the citrus. FE&S