Tea is trending, and not just in cocktails. Many of Denver's chefs are baking and brining with tea leaves to add both flavor and aroma. Root Down pastry chef Samm Sherman is creating a tea-infused dessert that will debut after Restaurant Week, Restaurant Kevin Taylor is using Earl Grey to make compote, and Wystone's Tea Cafe in Lakewood has a food menu seeping with house-made specialty teas.
Leaf & Crumb, at 4416 E. 8th Avenue near Congress Park, specializes in tea-infused cakes and cupcakes. Its extensive selection of exotic offerings includes sweet Asian pear tea cake with moscato buttercream and lavender orange tea cake with orange zest buttercream.
At Root Down, pastry chef Samm Sherman is creating a tea-infused dish that will go on the dessert menu after Restaurant Week. The Baked Alaska consists of gingersnap crumble, chamomile-malt ice cream, toasted merengue and orange bitters sauce.
Restaurant Kevin Taylor has Scottish salmon rillettes on a sweet potato cake base with buckwheat granola and apple Earl Grey compote on the menu.
The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse lunch menu includes a tea-roasted duck bulgogi with butter lettuce, spicy cucumbers, Korean dipping sauce, and sesame noodle salad.
In Littleton, TOAST offers chai tea-infused French toast, topped with granny smith apples sautéed in butter and brown sugar, clover honey, and whipped cream.
In Lakewood, Wystone's Tea Cafe uses its line of loose leaf teas generously throughout the menu. Chef's specials include curry tea-brined chicken, tea-spiced salmon filet, and Lapsang-brined pork tenderloin. The signature potatoes are Kenyon-tea roasted, and available as dippers served with a Asian barbecue sauce, chipotle aioli, and cucumber yogurt. There is a long list of tea-infused dressings like the creamy honey-spiced rooibos dressing, and seasonal tea-infused creme brûlée.
What's your favorite tea-infused dish in Denver? We want to know how chefs are experimenting with this trend. Keep us posted in the comment section.