Cha For Tea

A generations-old Taiwanese company called Ten Ren owns tea stores around the world, and now it’s branching into food with a chain of informal cafes, where many of the dishes are cooked with tea or have tea leaves in them. Spicy cha beef noodle soup is made with pu-erh, a mountain-grown, earthy-tasting tea from Yunnan. Basil chicken is simmered in ti kuan yin tea; curry chicken contains jasmine tea. Dishes are of the quick-meal and rice-plate variety. Apart from premium teas (like silver needle and dragonwell) brewed in pots, there are such concoctions as a strawberry-green tea protein smoothie and honeydew-green milk tea.