Puerh Raspberry Jam

Tea Jam. 

I always get a lot of questions about how I choose my recipes. Sometimes it's a random guess or an experience I've had before but most of the time I look at the ingredients in the tea. One thing I love about the Sips by box is that it came with a card that describes the teas, their flavors and sometimes what they go well with!

The rain butter tea as notes of macadamia and hazelnuts and for some reason I thought that would pair well with raspberries! 

I had continually seen people making jam on The great British Baking Show and wanted to give it a try. My favorite fruit and jam flavor is raspberry. Jam is pretty simple to make so I decided to use the brewed pu'erh tea as the "water" that I add to the fruit. 

The result was delicious! This is not very sweet jam although you can make it sweeter by adding more sugar. I like how rich the flavor is. The tart raspberries and the tea make the perfect jam that is right in the middle on the sweet and savory scale. 

Mr. Tea Thoughts likes to put jam in his oatmeal and LOVED this flavor because it was still sweet enough to cut the oatmeal but not super sweet. 

Very simple recipe and one that you can make over and over to fill your summer with jam! 

Sips by Tea Subscription Box

Sips on Sips.

One of the best parts of joining the world of tea is realizing that I'm not alone!! Growing up a tea drinker in the US was often lonely. My friends would get so excited to go to starbucks and I would dread it because tea bags can't hold a candle to my beloved loose leaf. I've tried to like coffee, but it doesn't suit me. Then I became a tea blogger...

There are so many wonderful bloggers and businesses who are run by their passion for tea, like me! It seems like I can't even go a few days without discovering someone new. Most recently I've collaborated with Sips by and It's been awesome!


When you sign up for a Sips by account or login with facebook you will be asked about your tea preferences and what I loved about it was how comprehensive it was. It not only asks about teas but also about flavors. If you have a strong preference against a certain flavor for example (fruity for me!) you can note that and it won't be in your box. Meaning you won't get any teas you don't like! Yay!

After speaking with Staci, one of the founders of Sips by, I found out there is also a human element to the creation and choosing of the samples. The algorithm that uses your preferences to make tea decisions is just a baseline. Sips by will also look at these results and make sure they are accurate to the flavor profiles. 

As someone who loves dark sweet teas I was SO happy with my box selections! Tiramisu black tea?? Are you kidding me?? YUM!

I got 2 black teas, one green tea and a pu er tea! This was a jackpot especially because I've recently fallen in love with Pu-er tea and I've never tried a sencha before. 

Probably one of the best parts about Sips by is the true partnership between these brands. Once you are a subscriber you have access to coupons to their brand partners! Let's pretend you got your box and loved a tea blend in it, you can get yourself another batch of it at a discount, just for being a subscriber. How cool is that? 

I'm glad I got this excellent haul from Sips by and boy oh by is it tea time! If you're a tea lover it's definitely time to check this company out! Look out for some fun recipe collaborations between Sips by and Tea Thoughts coming your way soon :) 

You will get 4 personalized teas a month that will make 15 cups of tea (or 45 re steeped) for only $15 ! Start your subscription with Sibs by today! 

Puerh Donuts with Orange Glaze

Glazed Donuts.

I was brainstorming about what to make with this dark night orange spice puerh blend that Plum Deluxe sent me and a light bulb went off! DONUTS! I reworked my Mini Matcha Donut recipe to create larger donuts and added a glaze!

Spring is here and we've been having such beautiful weather, it's been making me crave donuts. Not sure why! These aren't traditional donuts that you would get at a bakery, they are baked and much smaller. Although I used a larger pan from michaels they are still relatively small for donuts. 

I chose an orange glaze to compliment the fruity aroma and taste of the puerh blend. The blend has orange peel, rose hips and hibiscus which I think all go together well with orange! Make sure you use an actual orange for the juice, not store bought juice!

Ah yes, the tea infused milk staple. I used 1 cup of milk to infuse but only use 2/3 cup in the recipe because during the heating process some of the milk is lost. 

Puerh Donuts With Orange Glaze.jpg

I made two batches of these donuts to show you the different between "firm" and "spongy." The donuts on the left were the result of filling the molds about 3/4 way and baking for 8-9 minutes. The donuts on the right were filled almost to the brim and cooked for about the same time. They are both still very soft on the inside the ones on the left are just a bit firmer, which in a taste test I actually preferred!

A note on the glaze, as mentioned before, use less juice if you want a more solid glaze. I tried 2 TBSP and I just didn't like the consistency. I like how when I added one additional TBSP (to equal 3) that this is what happened when I dunked the donuts. When you let them sit they still harden but I think 3 TBSP made it easier to glaze. To each their own!

Puerh tea is so interesting and I found this to be a unique opportunity to create a fruity donut with a very flavorful tea. These donuts are definitely sweet but they are super fruity, specifically orange. I suggest making extra glaze for dipping :) 

Brewing Puerh Tea.


Puerh is another tea that I was so intimidated by. After reading different brewing methods I was extremely overwhelmed and thought that I may have found a tea that was too "complex" to get it right. I was SO wrong! 

Puerh comes in many forms but I'll only discuss a few. As you can see in the photo above, the pureh comes in a round candy like shape. Puerh is often condensed into either a cake (larger shape), a brick or a Tuo Cha which is like the shape of the one pictured above. 

Puerh is fermented and the one I'm trying for this post is from Zhi Tea. It's called sticky rice puerh. This puerh is from trees in Yunnan, China that are a thousand years old! This particular puerh has another special compenent which is an herb called Nuo Mi Xiang (Rice scent herb). The fragrance, especially to a rice lover like myself, is powerful and makes it more appealing. It kind of reminded me when I tried genmaicha for the first time.  

I brewed this puerh in my gaiwan 3 different ways. Because this was my first time brewing this tea, I only used part of it. Lesson learned. I should have used the whole thing since I like dark tea. I also poured the leftovers from each brew into a glass that I would then sample as my 4th tea. 


Tea wash: As discussed in my post about using the gaiwan for the first time, you need to "wake up" the tea. Pour the hot water into your pot or gaiwan for a few seconds and pour it out. 

1st brew - 10 seconds: Most fragrant. Perhaps because it was the first and "freshest" brew but it certainly smelled the best. The fragrance of the "rice" really traveled up to keep my nose company as I sipped. 

2nd brew - 15 seconds: Surprisingly, even though I brewed the leaves longer for this round the result was the sweetest. This also may have to do with me not putting all of the tea to brew. 

3rd brew - 30 seconds: After 30 seconds, I could really taste the boldness of the puerh. It wasn't quite bitter yet but it was strong and dark. I will opt for this type of brew in the future. Although it wasn't as fragrant, I loved the taste the best.

Combination brew:  I thought it might be interested to try the leftovers of each brew mixed up. In reality, this was just an experiment and the tea for this was diluted and weak. Where as each individual brew discussed above has it's own unique flavor, this one was all over the place. 

I'm glad that I have now documented this puerh session because honestly, it's difficult to enjoy the ritual, take pictures and write notes. I filmed my session as well, you can check it out on my instagram! 

Puerh is said to have some incredible benefits such as detoxifying and lowering cholesterol. It also has a very unique taste and I'm excited to try different ones. It seems that because this tea is coming from ancient teas, each cake or brick will be different. 

My lessons + tips from my first experience:

  • Do not over brew

  • If using a larger cake or brick, break off the tea gently

  • If using a smaller "cake" use the whole thing if you want a bolder flavor

  • Give yourself time and quiet to enjoy the brewing process

  • Remember to pour out any extra tea from your pot or gaiwan if doing multiple brews so that the tea in the pot or gaiwan isn't continuously brewing

  • Don't over complicate and enjoy!