If I should choose one flavour among all, it has to be tea. In fact, it is not one single flavour but a huge palette of flavours very difficult to define.
The word tea is a widely used for a hot or cold beverage made either from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis tree or a mixture of herbs, spices and fruits. When making mixtures from different tea leaves and other ingredients, the options of creating a unique flavour are infinite and to be honest, I love each and every one of them.
When in the kitchen, I look at each tea mixture as a kind of spice that needs to be respected as any other ingredient. To me, tea is more precious than saffron or gold. But the most interesting thing that separates tea from all other ingredients in the kitchen, is the number of ways we can use it in a recipe. It can be used as a spice, a herb or as a liquid. We can smoke with tea, marinate meat and fish with it, poach over it etc. Every tea will bring different results and aromas.
As a chef I love experimenting with new teas and exploring their possibilities in every course of the meal, from the amuse bouche to the dessert. Even though I sampled and cooked with over 200 tea varieties, I think I am still at the beginning, or with other words: I have barely scratched the tip of the iceberg.
Mojmir Šiftar, Skipass Restaurant (Kranjska Gora, Slovenia)