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Hipster Hummus

Tonight, my store (Red Lodge Books & Tea Bar) hosted a Red Lodge Chamber of Commerce mixer event. My wife, Kathy, and I decided that we’d make all of the appetizers with tea. I cook with tea quite a bit, but most of the time I use tea in entrees and side dishes, not appetizers and desserts. So we’ve spent the last couple of weeks experimenting. Over the next week or so, I’ll share the recipes we prepared for tonight’s event, starting with Hipster Hummus.

I got the idea for this from — of all places — MIT. The winners of the 2012 Hummus@MIT competition used black tea in their recipe, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for. I did some experimenting with the ingredients, and came up with something that got rave reviews from the crowd. It’s simple as can be, and very tasty!


  • One 15-oz can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
  • 1-1/2 tbsp sesame tahini paste
  • 1-1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 ounce Scottish breakfast tea leaves (about 2-1/2 tbsp)
  • 4 tbsp fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice (the juice from 1/2 of a typical grapefruit)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tbps Sriracha


  1. Drain the garbanzo beans/chickpeas and set aside the juice
  2. Heat the juice almost to boiling and add the tea leaves — steep for five minutes
  3. Put beans, tahini, garlic, grapefruit juice, salt, and Sriracha in a food processor
  4. Add 1/4 cup of the tea infusion to the food processor
  5. Add about 1 tbsp of tea leaves from the infusion to the food processor
  6. Blend everything to a smooth consistency
  7. Chill in the fridge for an hour before serving

I tried this with green tea initially, and it just didn’t provide enough flavor to show through the grapefruit and Sriracha. The Scottish breakfast blend I used is a nice strong blend of Assam and Kenya tea that adds both taste and texture to the dish (it’s the most popular breakfast tea at my tea bar). I used significantly less Sriracha than the MIT crowd used, which produced a mild but tasty hummus that the whole crowd could enjoy. If you like something hotter and spicier, feel free to add double or triple what I used. My next experiment will be some green Tabasco sauce. I think that would add a nice flavor and just the right touch of spice.

Next up: some orange & spice tea-based carrot cake muffins that will blow your socks off!

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