Tea Culture

Tea Culture, Tea Knowledge

White Tea: Defined and Simplified

Myths and Vagaries A few months ago I watched uncomfortably as a fellow tea sommelier asserted that the reason they had presented White Tea first was that “it was unoxidized”. I know this to be untrue, but I could understand how they might believe it. There is wide spread misunderstanding of White Tea with inaccurate information lounging everywhere on tea retail websites eg. “white tea contains almost no caffeine”. Another eg. “try our Anji Bai Cha White Tea”. Nope. It’s […]

Tea Culture

Tea, Stories and Food Pairing

 A Unique Afternoon Tea As part of this event, I will be giving a talk on the History of Teaware: Form, Function and Style. If you are in the Toronto area, please consider attending. See details on the poster below.

Tea Cuisine, Tea Culture

Tea-Infused Korean Sweet Mochi

Mochi Fusion A favourite treat around my household is a sweet rice cake known as Korean Chapssalddeok or Japanese Mochi. It’s texture is soft, silken and slightly gooey (in a good sort of way).  Traditionally it would have taken many hours to make as it required steaming and pounding of rice, cooking and mashing of red beans or lotus root.  In today’s kitchen it can be prepared in under an hour. All you need is some fine sweet rice flour […]

Tea Culture, Tea Knowledge

Teomancing the Future: Reading the tea leaves for 2013

Several times a year my husband agrees to read my tea leaves. He learned the art as a young boy from his lovely eccentric aunt. I don’t know how much credence anyone gave this rather pagan pastime when he was a boy in England, but it provided hours of entertainment and a slight shiver of excitement if only a few statements came to reality. The key was to keep the predictions vague, general and open to interpretation. Teomancy, Tasseomancy, or […]

Tea Culture, Tea Knowledge

Traditionals: Fragrance Enhanced Tea OSMANTHUS

Tea or Dessert? Most of my tea friends know that I’m not a fan of flavoured teas, particularly teas with dessert names, such as “New York Cheesecake” or “Apple Crumble”, etc. These sweet themed teas are usually enhanced with artificial flavours or if the flavours are natural, the black or green tea base is inferior and anyway, most retailers don’t want to waste a premium tea by adding unnecessary enhancements. There are however traditional fragrances that have been infused into […]

Tea Cuisine, Tea Culture

The Jellification of Tea

Tea cuisine is still very much experimental. There will be successes and failures. The point is to keep trying. Since it is a relatively new culinary category, good ideas will eventually emerge and become part of tea’s repetoire. Coffee has been used for decades in baking and alcoholic concoctions, but I believe that tea performs much better than coffee in savoury dishes. Could you imagine coffee encrusted fish? – I didn’t think so. This time out though, I’m playing with […]

Tea Cuisine, Tea Culture

My very own Matcha Grinder

I first heard of this little wonder when I attended Cynthia Gold’s workshop “Making a Final Statement – Tea and Dessert Pairing” at World Tea Expo. While discussing methods for infusing foods with tea, she showed us a small Matcha Grinder. Her suggestion was that it could be used to grind other teas besides Tencha (the dark green leaf used to make Matcha)  and the powder mixed into batters, sauces, etc. The thought of grinding other teas fascinated me and […]

Tea Cuisine, Tea Culture

Recipe: Matcha Popcorn Topper

I’m always on the lookout for new ways to experiment with culinary tea. I think I’ve hit upon a popcorn topper that is quite good. You have to like the taste of Matcha powder to appreciate this recipe, but for those of you who do, you’ll be surprised at how tasty this is. Matcha is the fine powder of Japanese green tea. The tea leaf is de-veined and de-stemmed. This leaf, known as Tencha is put in a Matcha grinder […]