Monday, June 24, 2013

The Tea Spot: Ohhhhhh!!!!.......Oh Eddie! You’re the King!

I had a great time yesterday!  I had Afternoon Tea at the King Edward Hotel with some friends from my tea club.  The venue was understated yet elegant.  Beautiful paintings of floral arrangements and French street scenes adorned the walls. 

The Menu

Our Chef extraordinaire!
 
The menu consisted of the following:

Sandwiches
  • Chicken salad with bacon and avocado
  • Salmon and mango swirl
  • Tomato confit and goat cheese
  • Egg salad
Finger Sandwiches
 Scones
  • Plain scone
  • Scone with wild blueberries
  • Devonshire cream, strawberry jam, lemon curd

Scones
  
The creamy goodness!
  
The money shot!

Desserts
  • Madeleine cookies
  • Flourless chocolate cake
  • Raspberry custard in a shot glass
  • Peaches 'n cream cake

Just desserts
  
Just desserts again!

 For tea, I opted to go for the Darjeeling Oolong which was a blend of Indian Darjeeling and a Chinese Oolong.  This combination provided some astringency along with the flavour and aroma of orchids.  I went with this tea because I love Darjeeling -- it’s the Champagne of teas, and I love Champagne!  As well, I’ve become a big fan of Oolongs; the beautiful floral scents and flavours they yield are intoxicating. 



My cuppa tea!


The food was delicious! The soft scones along with the very rich cream were to die for! Though the desserts were quite good, I could have gone for more sandwiches and scones instead as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.

The only issue I had that left me disappointed was the way the tea was served.  The tea leaves were placed directly into the teapots without a filter such as a tea ball diffuser.  A filter was provided for pouring the tea into the teacups.  Serving tea in such a way will leave any remaining tea tasting bitter as it will continue to brew in the teapot as you consume what you poured into your teacup.  A tea ball infuser would have allowed the drinker to remove the ball after a brew time they desired, and then reuse it for any additional water when they were ready for another round of tea.
Eddie's tea pouring technique
Filtered for each cup

I would definitely make another trip to the King Edward Hotel for their tea at a future date.  Though, I might send them a note about their tea serving technique! 

Hanging out with some great people to chit chat with made for a wonderful Sunday afternoon!  Thanks to my good friend and fellow tea lover, Lisa, for organizing this event.  You rock girl!



Lisa with an empty cuppa!
 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Meet Kettle!

I thought I’d kick off my journey by presenting a few pieces from my collection of teapots.  I hand-painted each piece myself during my employment at Colour Me Mine, a paint-your-own-ceramics studio.  I focused on teapots because I found the various available styles to be funky and whimsical. 
Bluebird

Snake

Genie
 
I never thought I’d be showing them off to the world one day on an online journal!   They were packed away in boxes for a number of years and only re-surfaced after I bought my own place.   They now sit on a few shelves in my home acting as sculptures and adding splashes of colour to an otherwise neutral landscape.  
 
 
Heart

Penguin


Green Swirl


The Great Pyaramids 
 
You could use them, but they are just too darned beautiful for that!  Hope you like them!


The Group
 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Teaser!

I am a lifelong tea drinker just finishing off a Tea Sommelier course at George Brown College.   I took this course purely for interest and to exercise my brain! 

The purpose of this blog is for me to share all my knowledge and experiences with tea.  I learned so much from my courses and found that not only do I enjoy talking about tea, but that people wanted to know all about what I learned.  What better way to share my new found knowledge than by setting up a blog?  Yeah, there are plenty of other tea blogs, but I think there is always room for others to share their own unique experiences.  Hopefully you’ll get some value from this blog and perhaps even teach me a few things. 

I am by no means an expert on tea.  There is so much to learn!  Tea is not just for drinking you know!  It has a variety of uses.  You can cook with or use it as part of your beauty regimen. It’s medicinal!  It has enormous health benefits.  Tea is steeped in history.  Some stories will fascinate you, while others will leave you sipping mad!  I’ll be exploring these areas as well as hitting the high tea hot spots, discussing the latest trends and blends, and going over the various teas and their processing methods. 

Did you know that all tea comes from the same plant?  They are just processed and manufactured differently to give each type of tea its unique aromas, flavours, and characteristics.

So please join me on the tea route as I approach the subject in a fun and entertaining way!  It’s gonna be a trip!