Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The fest is the best!

Well, another year of the Toronto Tea Festival has come and gone, and I had a blast. I volunteered once again as an Exhibitor Support, taking care of the needs of our vendors. My duties were the same as before where I was called upon to fetch water and provide directions. Nothing too difficult, but I enjoy this role because it gives me the opportunity to engage with the vendors and see their tea offerings. 

This year, there was a VIP night which I may consider signing up for next year if it’s running in addition to reprising my regular role. It’s a fun, simple gig that allows me to see old friends and check out the new companies and their products. What’s not to like?

Here are some images I captured after completing my shift. Sipping samples where I can!


My bag of goodies!



All about the tea!



Sippin' some samples!



Japanese Tea Ceremony!






Monday, January 29, 2018

My Cuppa: A taste of genuine Oolong!

For this past Christmas, I received a gift of tea from a co-worker. The tea is an oolong from Genuine Tea, one of my favourite tea brands. I know it’s going to be good, as I have tried their teas before, and have never been disappointed. This particular tea is called Ginseng Oolong. Here are my thoughts.

Genuine Tea for a change!


A spring harvest from the Fujian Province, this oolong has been partially oxidized and then rolled in Ginseng powder. According to the package, it’s “a sweet, creamy profile with a floral finish”. Sounds good to me!

I prepared the oolong as instructed, using a 1 tsp of the tightly balled tea leaves, and infusing them in 8 oz of water boiled to 90 °C, for 3 – 5 minutes. 

Yup.  That's tea.

My first cup did taste sweet and floral, but it was quite subtle. It was a nice golden colour but not much aroma. Still, an enjoyable cup. I prepared a second infusion with much better results. The flavour was stronger with a thicker coating on the tongue.

A perfect cupping!


Definitely felt the creaminess the second time around. I tried a third infusion, allowing the leaves to steep just over 5 minutes. I didn’t really detect much difference from round 2 though. There wasn’t any bitterness in any of the infusions either. I really liked this oolong. 

Genuine goodness!


Ginseng Oolong is yet another winner from Genuine Tea. I’ve sampled other teas from this wonderful company, and look forward to trying many more of their products.






Thursday, January 25, 2018

Tea Readings: Finding love with tea and cake!

Tea & Cake


First off, a declaration; I love you!
There’s surely no mistake.
And if you’ll be my lover, a promise;
Our lives will be filled with tea and cake.

There is nothing I wouldn't give you.
Just take it! My heart, my mind, my soul.
My money, I’ll give it. Take the credit card too!
Your happiness is my only true goal.

But more than that; I’ll give you laughter.
We will be laughing all the time.
And when I make you fantastic dinners,
Our laughs will mix with wine.

Oh, I know I can make you happy!
Let me love you, for goodness sake!
And if you’ll be my lover, my dear,
Our lives will be filled with tea and cake.


~ Elise Reid, May 2014





Sunday, January 21, 2018

My Cuppa: The Terrific Turmeric Tisane!

A few posts back, I wrote about the wonders of turmeric. Though it’s mainly used in Indian cuisine, it also make a great beverage. Here’s how you do it:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of black pepper

Process:

  • Heat the coconut oil in a sauce pan until melted.
  • Add the coconut milk and give it a whisk.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and whisk until it gets a little foamy.
  • Pour contents into a cup and enjoy!

All together now!


There are many variations to make turmeric tisane. In fact, this beverage may also be enjoyed as a cold drink over ice. Play around with some of the spices you have in your pantry. Check out the options below to create a yummy version yourself!


Golden glory!



Options:

  • Try other milk substitutes such almond, soy, or just go with plain regular milk.
  • Instead of maple syrup, try some honey. Perhaps even stevia or coconut sugar.
  • Experiment with other spices such nutmeg, allspice, cloves, or ginger. The list goes on.




Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tea Readings: More words to picture!

Let's kick a new month off with more inspirational quotes. Here are some of my favourites in colour and graphics:





























Sunday, December 31, 2017

A year steeped with delights!

Well, here we are again! The end of another year. How did things go for you? Mine wasn't too bad.

As I sit here sipping on my Lapsang Souchong, I'm thinking about all that I accomplished over this past year. I made some pretty good strides in my career, which is great because career changes can be hit or miss. I love what I do, and that really does make a difference. Work doesn't always feel like work.

I've also reconnected with some old friends that I really missed. Good friends are hard to come by. When you find that perfect circle, they will stick with you through thick and thin. I met some interesting people along the way too. Some of them I still connect with, though it's mainly through social media channels. Others, I just let go.

I didn’t get a chance to travel this year as work has kept me rather busy. I'm hoping to head off someplace in the new year, just not sure where. My travel bucket list is quite long! There are a few places I wouldn't mind revisiting.

I feel quite satisfied with how my year went, but I am ready to move forward and see what the new year holds for me. It feels like 2018 will be a good year for me. I've got some goals in mind that I hope I can accomplish.


I'm off to replenish my empty pot of tea now. I hope everyone has a great 2018 and everything they wish for comes true. Cheers all!




Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Yes Chef: The apple of my eye!

I am really into the whole Kombucha making thing! It's so easy and doesn't take much time at all. Plus, the array of flavour possibilities are endless! 

After making my first batch, I decided to make another round, this time using a black tea and flavouring it with apples, cinnamon, and cloves. The black tea I chose to use is Lovers' Leap from Sri Lanka.



A little apple and spice!

To make this Kombucha, I used the baby SCOBY created in my previous batch. The process was the same, so you just need to follow the method from part 2. Items required:


  • 1 L Mason jar
  • 2 cups boiled water
  • 1 ½ teaspoon loose leaf tea
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 cup distilled water at room temperature
  • 1 SCOBY plus the 1 cup of brew 
  • Apple slices
  • Cinnamon pieces
  • Cloves
  • 1 coffee filter
  • 1 elastic band

After the 7 - 14 days of fermentation, follow the flavouring procedure as outlined in part 3. I just dropped a few slices of apples, cinnamon pieces, cloves, along with about a tablespoon of sugar, for the second fermentation.

After a couple of days of fermenting, I was rewarded with a refreshing new batch of Kombucha! 



Kombucha ready!

I gotta say, I loved this flavour combination more so than my first batch. The carbonated beverage was slightly tart, and you could taste the apple with light notes of the cinnamon. I found myself gulping this batch down! Initially I was concerned that the flavour of the apple would not come through, but I was wrong. I will definitely using these ingredients again, with maybe a few tweaks. 


Kinda like wine!

I'm really glad I've developed an interest in Kombucha. I have all sorts of ideas about flavour combinations and the different types of teas to try. For sure it's becoming a new hobby for me! Perhaps I'll try a white tea next time? We'll see!