Posts Tagged ‘tea’

Today we’re enjoying French tea and American macroons. Let me introduce you to the tea first and then let’s talk about the difference one “o” makes when baking.

My sister-in-law and I have spent a lot of time in Luxeuil-les-Bains where we found a lovely coffee/tea shop, Brûlerie Doillon. (If you don’t read French, you can find them on Facebook.) The small but attractive shop seemed to always be closed when we visited, but we peered in the windows to see all the canisters of tea, bags of coffee, a small seating area, and thought it would be lovely to sit on the outdoor patio during nice weather. To console ourselves when it was closed, we had to patronize a bakery or two in the area. 🙂 Well, maybe we were going to do that anyway.

Then one day, they were open! During subsequent visits, we enjoyed various coffee drinks, which came with a cube of brown sugar and a wrapped square of dark chocolate. I don’t use sugar in tea or coffee but those cubes are fun to just eat. 🙂 Before I left France the last time, my s-i-l presented me with a tin of Dammann Frères jasmine tea. From the Dammann Frères website:

Of all the jasmine teas produced in China, Jasmin Chung Hao is one of the most delicate and fragrant. Made with a superb green tea, it produces a fresh and delicate brew.

Dammann Frères has been around in one way or another since 1692 when Louis 14th granted Sir Damame the exclusive privilege to sell tea in France. What I love about jasmine tea is that beside the benefits of green tea, you have the wonderful, delicate scent of jasmine. Always remember that green tea should never been steeped in boiling water. Dammann Frères recommends 80°C/176°F for this tea.

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Google Translate tells me that “It’s time for tea” in Irish is “Am le haghaidh tae”, appropriate today as I’m featuring Irish breakfast tea. You might know there’s also English breakfast tea and Scottish breakfast tea, but what’s the difference? Here’s what the Republic of Tea site says about Irish Breakfast:

Irish breakfast tea also has a strong Assam component, giving it a robust, malty flavor and reddish color. It is stronger than English breakfast tea, but not quite as strong as the Scottish variety. Because of the important role of the dairy industry in Ireland, it is usually served with milk. However, some Irish tea drinkers choose to take their breakfast tea plain, or with sugar only.

Interestingly, in Ireland the term “breakfast tea” is often considered a misnomer. That’s because Irish breakfast tea is actually consumed throughout the day, with many Irish tea drinkers consuming between four and six cups per day!

I drink all my tea without milk and sugar (and all my tea is consumed throughout the day, or at least until about 3 pm if it has caffeine), but I have them if you choose one or the other or both. I hope we’re not running into any national conflicts though, as the cup and saucer are Aynsley English bone china, sourced from my favorite thrift store in Naperville a few years ago. 🙂

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Every month a group of us gets together with Su at Zimmerbitch in New Zealand for tea and goodies. This month naturally it’s Christmas tea. For the occasion I made black forest biscotti, from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics: 350 Recipes For Home-Style Favorites And Everyday Feasts, which have cocoa powder (dark, in this case), dark chocolate chips, and dried tart Montmorency cherries. With it, I’m serving the last of my Joy tea, a Christmas tea Starbucks used to serve seasonally. It was discontinued a few years ago but I managed to score several large bags at 50% off at the local Teavana store in Naperville, Illinois. It’s a mix of black, oolong, and green teas with flavors.

The plate is Copeland by Spode, English china, and in the spirit of international cooperation, the cup and saucer are Limoges from France. We participants are from all over as well. Merry Christmas!

for Su’s Christmas afternoon tea 12.17.20

Friday morning, with great excitement and a feeling of wild rebellion, I headed off for one of the most annoying 6 1/2-hour drives of my life. First I had negotiate the traffic issues of the Phoenix metropolitan area, followed by a long stretch of not-much-of-anything, and ending with the traffic issues with the Los Angeles metropolitan area. What’s not to love? 😫 But it was a trip during COVID, hence much to be desired and appreciated. 😷😉

One of the highlights of Saturday was a trip to Chado in Pasadena, my favorite tea shop of the area. The city has allowed restaurants to take over part of the street for outdoor seating, so our daughter and I were safely ensconced at our own table for two, enjoying a tea service for two which included two pots of tea, sandwiches, scones (which somehow disappeared before being photographed), and a dessert selection of macarons and deliciously crisp cookies. The weather, company, tea, and food were all perfect. Care to share?

Chado has an enormous tea selection and the website says that until the end of the year, shipping is free!

Once a month, tea drinkers and snack lovers from all over the world virtually gather in New Zealand to share tea and friendship (with goodies throw in for good measure) at a virtual tea party hosted by Su.

Today I’m offering High Grown Kenyan from Williamson Tea in Kenya. It’s a lovely, full-bodied black which means it does have caffeine. But if you don’t want caffeine, there’s an easy way to remove almost all of it. Brew the leaves for only 30 seconds, throw out the tea, then re-steep the tea with boiling water. It’s easy and you’ll have no worries about how the decaffeinating was done, either. I’m happy to brew some that way for you.

To go with it, I’ve made blueberry crisp, probably my family’s most-requested dessert. I like to make it in this cobalt blue dish because I love the color and there’s the added benefit of not showing any possible blueberry stains. You can gild the lily with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you like. So take a seat, relax, and enjoy Thursday.

for virtual afternoon tea 9.17.20

It’s once again time for tea on the other side of the world (New Zealand) with our hostess Su. Let me start with my favorite tea quote, favorite because it covers two of my great loves and is by someone I greatly admire and respect, C.S. Lewis. It also happens to be the tagline to my emails.

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― C.S. Lewis

But wait! We can’t just have tea, we must have goodies! Today I’ve made baked whole wheat doughnuts from Sarah Phillips’ Healthy Oven Baking Book. I’d like to include the recipe, but as I don’t see it online and I haven’t asked for permission, I won’t. You can find other baked doughnut recipes online, though, and if they use whole wheat pastry flower, you’ll get more fiber than if you use all-purpose flour and the taste will be good as well. These also use applesauce, are low-fat, and my whole family will vouch for the flavor. I bake them in mini-bundt pans so that they look mostly like actual doughnuts.

“A cup of tea would restore my normality.” [Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Screenplay]”
― Douglas Adam
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Read mo

It’s that time of month again…no, no, not that time! It’s time for us to have tea with Su all the way over in New Zealand where they have, by the way, brought their COVID-19 numbers down to zeros. Good for you!

Today tea is pu-erh, steeped in my antique Yixing clay pot and served in a beautiful handleless cup that our younger daughter gave me as a gift many years ago. Pu-erh is a fermented tea but don’t worry. It just tastes like rich, black tea, no fizz or anything like that. It’s the only tea that gets better as it ages. You might find it loose or compressed and it’s very good for digestion, so just right for serving with food.

Yixing clay pots are often used to brew just one sort of tea, as they tend over time to absorb the flavor of tea brewed in them. I found this one in an antique store in Seward, Nebraska while attending one of my high school reunions and instantly fell in love.

Of course we need to have something to eat with our tea so I’ve made a cinnamon chip danish. I’ll start cutting and would you grab plates and napkins? Thanks and enjoy!

#virtualteaparty2020

I’d planned to make dark chocolate cherry scones, but that didn’t work out. (I’m also trying to find more whole wheat pastry flour but have had no success so far. Maybe people are making toilet paper from it.). But I had some Trader Joe’s croissants in the freezer, so last night I pulled out one chocolate (AKA pain au chocolat) and one almond for my husband. Just let them sit all night and bake in the morning. Easy peasey and quite tasty, too.

The mug, filled with Mao Feng black tea, was a gift from my parents a few Christmases ago. Not as fancy as some of my teacups, but much used. I’d be happy to get you a fancier, more delicate cup of you like.

Happy teatime!

For Teatime in the Blogosphere

© janet m. webb

for One Word Sunday: restoration

I’m sorry you didn’t get any treats after yesterday’s walk, so let’s fly from France to Pasadena, California for tea at my favorite tea shop there…Chado.

I discovered this delightful spot on a visit several years ago, spending so much time there during my short visit that they knew me.

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