Tea Salts Seasoning

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Culinary Tea Salts - a versatile seasoning to add to your cooking


Tea Salts – the name pretty much captures it –  tea leaf (camellia sinensis) and salt crushed together. 


These are very easy to make and are great to have on hand to add to a dish in the same way you would salt and pepper or gift a jar to a foodie friend.  


Try the tea salts sprinkled over vegetables, omelettes, salads, and snacks like cooked popcorn or use them as a rub over meat or fish during or before cooking. 


The only equipment required to make these are a mortar and pestle for crushing. 


In this article we outline how to prepare the tea salts along with some preparation hints and starting combinations to try.  


The two tea salts pictured on this page are made using Earl Grey Black Tea leaf and Sencha Green Tea leaf with the ingredients listed below at point (b). 



To make your tea salt simply combine salt and dry tea leaves, crushing and mixing together to form a fine sprinkling texture.  We use a mortar and pestle for this or you could try a spice grinder if preparing larger quantities.  


Ratio:  We use a weighed ratio of 2/3rd salt to 1/3rd tea.  Because salt particles and tea leaf size vary so much we recommend always weighing these two ingredients. 


Store: In a tightly sealed jar.


Our observations and hints:

(a)   What is the best tea leaf to use

We recommend you start using pure black or green tea leaves for your salts and then branch out from there. 


(b)   Introducing other flavours - the sweet and savoury possibilities are endless.  

You can swap out your pure tea leaf and use a flavoured tea leaf base like Earl Grey or add an element of savoury smokiness with lapsang souchong tea leaf. 


Some of our other favourite ingredients to add are citrus zest, mint, rosemary leaves, sage, rose, basil, and sesame seeds.  All elements that easily crush and mix well. 


Two Tea Salt combinations we enjoy (and pictured) are:  

Earl Grey Supreme black tea, salt, orange zest

● Sencha green tea, salt, lemon zest and sesame seeds


(c)  What type of salt to use

You can use any salt – we generally use a part-ground Himalayan salt as our starting point.


(d)  Allow time for the flavours to infuse:

Preparing the tea salt in advance will help the flavours develop.  We have found overnight is a good amount of time for the tea leaf to impart its distinctive flavour.      


(e)   How fine to grind your tea salt:

This can depend on what you intend to use it for.  We tend to grind it to a fine salt so it can be easily sprinkled during cooking or as a finishing garnish.   If using for a meat rub then this can be more coarse. 


(f) Tea Salt and Popcorn

We found that tea salt is a great addition to freshly cooked popcorn - grinding the salt into a particularly fine powder so it coats the cooked popcorn.  We sprinkle the tea salt over stove-cooked popcorn as soon as it is cooked, giving the pot a really good shake with the lid on to disperse it over the popcorn before tipping the pot contents into a bowl (we use a pastry brush to remove any fine salt residual from the pot to sprinkle over the cooked popcorn).  


(g) Tea Black Pepper

We have used salt as the base but you can also experiment combining your tea leaf with black pepper for meat seasonings.