July 09, 2014

Iced tea on Pinterest

I realized my daydream of a Pinterest board about iced tea.  Follow the board for updates!

June 24, 2014

Review: Miansai Tea Bar

On a stroll through Soho I went into Miansai, a jewelry boutique fronted by a tea shop which opened in December 2013. I was tipped off to its existence by an Oh, How Civilized post.  Coincidentally, 33 Crosby was the former home of the pop-up In Pursuit of Tea shop!

The tea choices - sourced from Tea Chai Te - are great! Black, green, masala chai, puer. And even kombucha on tap. I ordered an iced papaya and pineapple tisane. Although the tea did not taste like either fruit, it was bright, tart, and refreshing.

I also like the shop's decor. The copper cups would showcase matcha really well, I think. And as a plantphile, I was drawn to the staghorn ferns on the wall.

I'll be back - so many teas to drink.

P.S. For another perspective on this tea bar, read the Tea Happiness review.

June 03, 2014

Afternoon Tea: Press Tea

I'm back with an afternoon tea review! Back in February, I accompanied Jee to Press Tea for afternoon tea for two.  Read Jee's review here.

Reservations are required for afternoon tea at Press Tea. I chose an iced rooibos while Jee selected a hot green tea, also served in a tall glass.

After a long wait, the three-tiered tray arrived but it was worth the wait. We began with two types of scones - apricot and cranberry - which were served with clotted cream and jam. My tea was vegetarian so my sandwich was meatless. The eggplant and ramen wrap was delicious! Jee and I shared chive and cheese and mushroom and cheese turnovers. The sweets were blueberry cheesecake, two madeleines (cardamom, matcha), and a gluten-free brownie. The blueberry cheesecake is still my favorite pastry at Press Tea.

This unconventional afternoon tea service at Press Tea is priced well at $22. Make your reservation by emailing info @ presstea.com.

March 06, 2014

Tea Book: The Love of Tea, by Carol Mark

The Love of Tea cover via The Love of Tea (source)

Cooking and baking are among my favorite hobbies as is preparing tea so I have a  collection of tea cookbooks and recently the collection grew by one with the addition of Carol Mark's The Love of Tea. The recipes are divided among five categories: starters, mains, desserts, cocktails and afternoon tea.  Each recipe is accompanied by a photograph of the ingredients or the finished dish.

Although I have not yet prepared any of the recipes I am intrigued by the desserts section.  Reverse Earl Gray Chocolate Truffles Best Chocolate Tea Cake. The recipes are short which I take to mean easy to prepare.

Non-imbibers will appreciate the mocktail versions of the tea cocktails.  Don't Basil Fawelty made with rooibos, basil, and orange and pineapple juices or Red Blitz Blast with rooibos, lemonade, and cherry juice sound refreshing?!  (Oh, warm weather dreaming.)  And some of the cocktail recipes were designed without alcohol in mind like the Cucumber Sandwich Mocktail prepared with matcha.  This one sounds like a drink for afternoon tea.

Plan your next home afternoon tea using the recipes in the afternoon tea section.  Make classic egg, cucumber, and chicken sandwiches.  Bake scones, shortbread, and sponge cake.  And don't forget the lemon curd!

The Love of Tea is available on iBooks.  You can find Carol Mark hanging out on Google+.

Thank you to Carol Mark for a review copy of the book.

March 05, 2014

Tiffany's masala chai story

I drank the best masala chai ever, or at least of the year, last weekend.  It was served at an open house and I asked its creator for the recipe.  Here's an edited version of what she wrote.  Note: it's not your typical recipe!
We actually have a masala mix from I don't know when and where - must have been bought on one of our trips to India or brought by my in-laws because I never bought it in the US...

Having said that, during our last trip to India we bought a mix which was really not that good, so I ended up making our own with the few spices I had available: black pepper (you should get Indian one, it has a very particular taste), Cardamon, cloves, and ginger (fresh or powder). I usually take the spices as whole and grind them myself (and use fresh ginger)...

You can also add cinnamon or things like that...

Unfortunately I don't really have a specific recipe - I do pretty much everything in the kitchen by "feeling" - even much of the baking. I'd try with pretty even parts of the ingredients, but you may want to use less pepper and adjust the ginger as well because both can be spicy, but the spice level can vary depending on the quality and specific kind of pepper you use...

I also like Oh, How Civilized's recipe. And check out Melissa Cooks Gourmet's Spiced Milk Tea recipe.

Share your favorite masala chai recipe in the comments.