This past Friday I made a quick spa trip and indulged with a cup of Kiwi Pear Decaf 100% White Tea-The Republic of Tea. The tea was just as delicate as the cup it was served to me in. Its light taste matched the light golden color that almost glowed in the white cup interior. The aroma was sweet, floral and induced an instant calm. The tartness of the kiwi was balanced by the simple sweetness of the pear. The next time you find yourself in need of a spa day (at home in a robe or out and about) make yourself a cup and chill.
Local tea stores are my home away from home and I'm always looking for ways to support them. Normally I try my best to buy several cups of tea from any new place that pops up near me, but today I was given the opportunity to help a cafe, the gramstand, get closer to reaching their goal of winning $10,000 with just a click of my mouse. Located in NYC, the "gramstand is a tea café and store, providing East Villagers with a modern-day retreat that invites conversation, relaxation, and an opportunity to experience the healthy lifestyle associated with tea.”
Now you may be thinking, how do you get $10,000 with just a click of a mouse? No, not gambling or bank transfers, but rather with a website, ideablob, that has created a space "where entrepreneurs and small business owners can share and grow their business ideas – and have a chance to win $10,000 towards fulfilling them." I am thrilled to support a tea store and a site that encourages expression and success of creative ideas.
If they win the $10,000 Gramstand will using these funds to, "increase our menu options, renovate the store for more community gatherings, and enhance our website. Most notably for our customers, we plan on installing bifold front windows and new air conditioning for the summer. As well, we'd like to fix up the basement seating space a bit more."
Today is the last day to vote, so hurry up and support a great place.
The next time I'm in NYC I will definitely be making my way over to gramstand and sipping on the gramstandard brew (sri lankian black with a hint of mango and magnolia).
Tea cups are works of art, and I try to enjoy every bit of tea in a beautiful cup as often as possible. However, there are times when I don't have those precious moments to sit and sip, and I have to take my tea on the go and drink it from an oh so boring paper cup. Now a paper cup is useful and can sometimes be embellished by a nice sleeve (they even have couture sleeve lines), but it not only destroys the tea experience for me but it's also wasteful. I got to thinking that maybe there are people out there that like the paper cup to go experience that complements their fast-paced lifestyle. So if you know people who fit that latter category, then I have the perfect gift for them, the porcelain cup with silicone lid that looks like a paper cup. This tricky little cup would fool me any day. Who knows, maybe they'll start showing up in "paint your own pottery" places and this blank canvas could blossom into something beautiful!
I spontaneously had lunch at a Thai restaurant in NJ this afternoon and treated myself to a Thai iced tea. When the dessert reddish/orange colored drink arrived, I took a quick trip into my taste memory but couldn't recall the flavor, and needless to say was my tongue was surprised by the strong taste. Thai iced tea consists of strongly-brewed powdered red tea (or black tea), food coloring, spices and condensed milk. I have to say, as much as I enjoy an occasional Thai iced tea, I was a little overwhelmed by the strength of this particular brew (but still slurped down every drop).
If you enjoy strong brews and black tea then I recommend that you give Thai iced tea a try. I definitely prefer lighter teas but am always open to have my senses awakened by a strong brew now and then, especially with some condensed milk to sweeten it up. The strength and creaminess of the Thai iced tea did complement the spicy Thai food, and calm some slight burning sensations that no flower tea could ever handle.
I have been counting down the days until the Tea Festival in NYC (sorry coffee-I'm ignoring you). The 2008 festival will be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion April 12th-13th. This will be my first time at the tea festival and I plan on arriving right as the doors open to sample the best brews and skip from booth to booth (can you sense my excitement?). There are some fabulous exhibitors-mighty leaf, tavalon, adagio AND some amazing events-The Future of Tea, Tea Blending, etc, etc. Football fans have the Super bowl, soccer enthusiasts have the world cup and tea lovers like myself have the tea festival in NYC. Be sure to check back for my festival post that will be bursting with tea goodness!
I guess you could say that I'm quite obsessed with Jasmine tea. I am always on the hunt for unique Jasmine blend and am amazed by the fabulous artistic concoctions (pearls are my favorite). Today I'm sipping on Mountain Spring Jasmine-Mighty Leaf. The blend is quite delicious with "China green tea leaves naturally scented by layers of Arabian jasmine buds." Normally I leave my tea naked, in order for the natural flavor to bloom, however today I added a drop of whole milk and some honey to change the taste ever so slightly. The aroma is earthy, refreshing and comforting (thanks to the milk). The lightness of the tea is perfect for an early afternoon. I'm curious to hear what your favorite Jasmine blends are-suggestions?
This is my first "I'm a little tea cup" post and I wanted give a little info about it since there are more to come. These posts will be a little unusual and wading in the odd and creative pool. Anyway, so I enjoy writing short/creative bursts and love tea cups, so I'm combining both and writing posts from the perspective of the tea cup that I'm drinking from. Yes a little out there-but just another way to talk tea. Feel free to add to the story in your comments.
Where: Chapterhouse Cafe & Gallery
I’ve traveled far from a jungle, dressed in native attire of gold vines dangling from my white porcelain exterior. The metallic leaves are starting to fade from thick thumbs that press against me and sponges with a vengeance-but I’m holding on to whatever I can. My handle prefers tiny fingers that slip beneath the curve easily, bulky ones smother her delicate nature (at least that’s what I hear her whimper while bathing in the dishwasher). I prefer to rest on the tiny table by the plant, a spot where I can blend into leaves and just be.
Tea offers us a few moments to breathe while brewing. Stolen seconds that build anticipation. Although each tea usually has varying brew times, most green teas need 1-3 minutes, white teas 4-8 minutes, black teas 3-5 minutes, herbal teas 5-8 minutes and oolong teas 1-8 minutes.
In my earlier brewing years, I would use the minutes to run down the hall and grab something, change the channel, or write an email and then would often loose track of time. My inability to focus on my tea would result in an over-brewed cup or pot that would lack the intended flavor and aroma. Since my passion for tea has grown over the years, I have become quite particular about brewing my tea perfectly. I have found myself using the brew time to reflect, breathe and chill for those few moments, just another gift that tea has to offer us. How do you use your brew time?
The graceful ceramic arch holds on tight to its delicate cup, its eternal companion. The arched handle waits patiently to hear the cup tell stories of mint leaves and jasmine flowers that bloom in warm water. The handle knows the heat of the hand and fingers draping over every curve. The cup can speak about warm lips that are sometimes painted with berry stains. Together they wear caffeinated tattoos that could never be washed out and tiny chips from years in the dishwasher. The handle and the cup are dressed in a lavender glaze that glows during sunrise. Together they are the tea cup.