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  • Cooking with Tea: Dragonwell Pesto
  • Amy Covey
  • Tasting TeaTea BenefitsTea Varieties
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Cooking with Tea: Dragonwell Pesto

Cooking with Tea: Dragonwell Pesto

The advantages of drinking green tea are nothing to scoff at, but brewing the leaves in water only extracts a portion of the available nutrients and antioxidants. To get the most out of your green tea leaves, you can also eat them!

For the best flavor and maximum nutritional value, it’s best to seek out green teas made of the young buds of the tea plant that are picked in the springtime. These baby leaves are naturally sweet and tender, much like baby spinach or arugula. In Hangzhou, where high quality green teas are an integral part of local culture, some tea drinkers are even known to eat the leaves straight from their cup after brewing.

baby green tea leaves are naturally sweet, tender, tasty, and easy to eat

Green tea leaves can also be incorporated into a variety of recipes, like this pesto recipe from Red Blossom Tea owner Alice Luong. After tasting two infusions of Our Finest Dragonwell, we used the buttery leaves of this premium harvest to add an extra boost to our quick weekday lunch.

Dragonwell Pesto


  • 1 bunch (about 2 cups) fresh basil
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 6 grams dry Dragonwell leaves, brewed once or twice (less than 1 minute each infusion)
  • 1-2 tbsp brewed green tea
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 thai chilis
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 tbsp grated pecorino romano cheese
  • Juice and zest of one lemon


1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

2. Toss with pasta and serve. Reserve some of the pasta water to thin the sauce, if necessary, or add more grated cheese to thicken.

pesto with green tea makes good use of leftover leaves and tastes good too!

While the first spring buds of Our Finest Dragonwell are naturally sweet and full of antioxidants, the subtlety that we so enjoy is a bit muffled by the strong flavors in this recipe. For more prominent green tea flavor, you can also use a tea picked later in the spring, like our Pre-Rain Dragonwell, which has a more robust and toasted flavor.

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  • Amy Covey
  • Tasting TeaTea BenefitsTea Varieties

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