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10 ideas that reinvent tea

Avid tea lovers will be thrilled to know that there’s more than one way to enjoy their favourite drink. Think desserts, mocktails, marinades, and more—and add these recipes to your summer bucket list.


Iced-tea ice cubes

This simple summer hack—pour, freeze, use—is not only the antidote to diluted iced tea (and a great way to keep road-trip refreshments intact) but also a fantastic flavour boost to any summer beverage. Iced tea lemonade, anyone?


Tropical iced tea

Serve a taste of the tropics with this impressive summer drink. In a tall glass, layer chunks of fresh or frozen mango and ice. Pour in Compliments Iced Tea, leaving room to splash in some coconut water. Garnish with lime, then sip and picture yourself under palm trees on a beach!


Ginger Tea Mocktail

Complex in flavour but easy-peasy to make, this mocktail is perfect for summer soirées and entertaining outdoors. In a tall glass filled with ice, pour in ⅓ cup each Compliments Green Iced Tea and ginger beer soda, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar and a handful of muddled mint. Optional: Garnish with a slice of ginger, cut lengthwise. Cheers!


Thai Iced Tea

Thai tea is having a moment, and the minute you try it, you’ll understand why. In a large pot, bring 1 L water to a boil. Empty 5 Compliments Orange Pekoe Tea tea bags into the pot with ⅔ cups granulated sugar, 4 crushed green cardamom pods, 2 whole cloves star anise; gently boil for 3 minutes. Reduce temp and simmer for 40 min. Let cool, then strain through a coffee filter or cheesecloth-lined sieve into a pitcher; refrigerate. Pour into glasses over ice, drizzle each with 2 tbsp half and half cream.


Chai Coconut Ice Pops

Who says ice pops are just for kids? These summer treats are sure to be an all-ages hit at your next get-together! In a saucepan over medium heat, heat a 400 mL can coconut milk, ¼ cup water and leaves from 4 Compliments Chai Tea tea bags until just hot; cover and let steep for 20 min. Strain mixture through coffee filter or fine sieve set over a bowl (strain twice, if needed, to remove leaves). Stir in ½ cup condensed milk, ⅓ cup 35% cream, 2 tbsp Compliments Honey, 1 tsp vanilla and ⅛ tsp salt. Divide among frozen pop moulds and insert wooden stir sticks; freeze until solid, 4 to 6 hr. To unmould, run the moulds briefly under warm water to remove. Optional: Dip in melted Compliments White Chocolate, then crushed pistachios or coconut flakes.

yellow background with two dinner plates, one with tea-seared scallops and one with tea-rubbed chicken thighs
yellow background with two dinner plates, one with tea-seared scallops and one with tea-rubbed chicken thighs

Berry Black Tea Smoothie

Give your morning smoothie a caffeine kick with brewed and cooled black tea in lieu of your go-to cuppa. Step 1 Compliments Earl Grey Tea bag in 1 cup boiled water for 3 to 5 min, let cool. In a blender, combine the tea, 1¼ cups fresh or frozen berries, ½ cup yogurt, 1 banana, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 2 tsp chia seeds. Top with ice; purée until smooth. It’s perfect post-workout, too!


Very Green Green Tea Smoothie

If green smoothies are more your speed, try this: Compliments Green Tea tea bag in 1 cup boiled water for 3 to 5 min; let cool. In a blender, combine the tea, 2 cups spinach, 1 banana, 2 pitted Medjool dates, ½ Granny Smith apple, ½ stalk celery and 1 thin slice ginger. Top with ice; purée until smooth.


Black Tea Jelly Cubes

With their dark pigment and glossy sheen, jelly cubes add drama to a drink. We like them best in creamy iced tea. In a small bowl, stir 1 tbsp gelatin with 2 tbsp cold water; let it absorb. In a small saucepan, boil 1 cup water with ⅓ cup granulated sugar and 1 cinnamon stick; add tea leaves from 3 Compliments Earl Grey Tea tea bags. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 min. Let stand for 5 min., then strain through coffee filter or fine sieve into a bowl. Stir in gelatin mixture; let cool slightly. Transfer to a shallow square dish; refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. Cut into cubes.
TIP: Use these in homemade iced tea! Pour a splash each sweetened condensed milk and half and half cream into a glass with ice; add tea jellies and top with chilled tea.


Black Tea BBQ Rub

Did you know that your favourite black tea makes an excellent rub for roast chicken and red meat? Try this trick at your next summer barbecue: Leaves from 1 Compliments Orange Pekoe Tea tea bag + 3 to 4 tbsp olive oil + 1¼ tsp kosher salt + 1 tsp pepper + 1 tsp cumin seeds + ½ tsp dried thyme + brown sugar to taste. Rub it on your meat of choice at least 30 minutes before cooking (even better if it’s overnight), then watch the compliments come flooding in.


Tea-Seared Scallops

Black tea adds extra flavour to scallops, too! Mix 2 tsp Compliments Orange Pekoe Tea tea bags, ¾ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper; sprinkle over dried scallops. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tbsp vegetable oil. When shimmering, place scallops flat side down; cook, unmoved, until deep golden brown on bottom, 3 to 4 min. Flip and cook until opaque, 1 to 2 min. Transfer to a plate. Optional: Discard oil, add butter to pan and cook, swirling, until browned. Spoon over scallops.