Glorious Tea

I drink tea for the flavours. The soothing melodies, the twinkling blends; swirling ecstasy dancing across my taste buds. Swimming throughout my guts and bathing within my soul.

This blog is a collection of my thoughts and opinions of various Teas.

No Milk. No Sugar. Just tea.

Glorious Tea. 

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New Zealand Earl Grey

A wonderfully clouded spring day: sunny, but not unbearably so, and a calming, gentle breeze brushing softly across my face. The house is clean and I feel very much deserving of this warm cup of Twinings New Zealand Earl Grey. I can hear birds playing in the trees; fighting over meals; tumbling in the twigs. A giddy couple hopping and laughing on and around the lemon tree. Faeries dancing in the sunlight as it beams off of the garden shed.

The scent of lemons and those pretty pink flowers dotting the hedge-line blend with the aroma of green grass and daisies to bring this tantalizing scene to a moment of magic as the bergamot serenades my palate – singing with subtle orange flavour and black tea glory. That moment as flavour, scent and sound is, all at once, suddenly tasted by the soul, along with the dazzling spring colours, absorbed simultaneously, all as one in the same; painted as a sensation; forever captured until it is, for a wavering second, lost within the Sands of Antiquity, lying in wait for that single moment of magic to, once again, unveil true Beauty.


I know I haven’t written in a while (life gets in the way, though a friend tells me that is just an excuse), and this entry seems exceedingly short, nevertheless, that is all it needs. Twinings New Zealand Earl Grey Tea is, in short, an ingredient of Magic.

Simple, elegant, delectable.

Tea-Total Creamy Rooibos and Caramel

creamy rooibos, rooibos, caramel, teacup, teapot, tea, drink tea, soothe the soul,

Not one with a sweet-tooth, it is somewhat surprising that I chose the Tea Total Rooibos and Caramel tea, today at Columbus Cafe. But, to my delight, it is not at all overpoweringly sweet. In fact, it is not really very sweet at all. Which is a particular pleasure, because I find caramel tastes far better the less sweet that it is.

Initially, I must admit, I was vaguely disappointed upon my first sip; I could taste a splendidly velvet caramel, although, Mr. Rooibos seemed absent! However, this dismay soon dissipated as I continued to gulp, for Mr. Rooibos, it turns out, is a brewtastic flavour-ninja, slinking silently throughout the shadows and creeping delicately onto my palate, fading into my soul; reassuring me, he is here.

A smile wanders across my face. I feel warm. I feel content. I feel secure.

I like this tea.

Lapsang Souchong Vegetable Soup

lapsang souchong, black tea, cooking with tea, vegetables, vegetable soup, stovetop cooking

Everyone in my household currently has a cold, typical of Winter, I suppose; so I decided to cook a healthy, wholesome soup for dinner. And having recently partaken in a discussion about Tea Pairing and Cooking with Tea on Twitter, I decided to take this leaf and put it in my own book:

 

I love making soup, it is so easy, and can be very creative. One can create any flavour, evoking any emotion, by creating soup. It is delicious, if you make it so, and, also, rather easy to eat. Versatile, soup can be smooth or course, or chunky. Just select your favourite ingredients, flavours, and colours (I always cook by colour), chop them up, boil them in water for an hour or so, and serve. Or blend, and then serve, depending on your preferred style. Mine usually falls under the latter.

I selected for this soup:

lapsang souchong, camomile, tea, vegetable soup, spinach garnish

Lapsang Souchong Vegetable Soup accompanied by Camomile Herbal Tea

  • Potato
  • Red Carrot
  • Beetroot
  • Capsicum
  • Cauliflower
  • Leek
  • Pumpkin
  • Thyme
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Black Pepper
  • Fortisalt
  • Cider Vinegar
  • Spinach leaf, to garnish.

 

 

 

Having incredibly disliked this Greenfield brand Lapsang Souchong as a solitary tea, I was delighted to find it work wonderfully within the deep flavour of my soup. I’m fast becoming a tea chef, tea streaming through my veins at this point, and I’m smiling broadly about it. The Lapsang Souchong tea provided a brilliant smokey undertone to the overall flavour, balanced delicately by the natural sweet flavour of Fennel, and off-set by the Cider Vinegar, creating a delicious angle. The strongest flavours are the Beetroot and Carrot, standing boldly in front of Potato and Pumpkin, shortly followed by the shy presence of Cauliflower and Capsicum, cuddled with Thyme. The Leek cannot be distinguished, and the pepper provides a pleasant, subtle spice.

What better way to eat a tea-spiked soup, than with a delectable tea? I don’t think there is one, to be honest. Heck, I don’t think there is a better way to eat any meal, than with a delectable tea. For this meal, I chose Twinings Pure Camomile. Pretty flowers, beautiful scent, delicious to drink! I simply love Camomile tea, I drink it everyday. Great taste and relaxing serenity. What I did not anticipate was the effect it had of clearing the palate, allowing me to fully experience every mouthful of soup after a sip of tea. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve always been in the mind of the very first bite of a meal being the greatest, the tastiest, the most vibrant. And every mouthful after a sip of Pure Camomile was The First Bite. I’ve never enjoyed a soup so thoroughly. I don’t think I’ve ever made a soup so creatively.

Thick liquid orgasm, swirling down my body, uplifting my senses, invoking a smirk, energizing my fantasies. The soup is devine. The Tea accompaniment just as elegant.

I highly recommend.


Have you cooked soup with Tea before?

which flavours pique your fancy?

Jasmine Dragon Pearl Green Tea and snowman building

jasmine dragon pearl green tea, ceramic teapot, Japanese, tea bowl, tea, soothe the soul, drink green tea

Do you wanna build a SNOOOWMAAAAAN??

is ringing in my head

those of you that are parents

will understand my pliiiiiight

almost each and every day, I must endure this film

because my daughter loves it and likes to sing along

to all the soooooongs

Do you wanna build a SNOOOWMAAAAN?

no, but I’ll have a cup of tea

I’ll brew a nice hot pot of Jasmine Dragon Pearl

Green Tea

It’s dress-up day at my daughter’s school today, and I have spent hours finishing off her Rapunzel dress last night, adding extra ribbons and bows. Having inadequate rest, waking up to do you wanna build a SNOOWMAAAN? is not quite the satisfying, warm morning welcome I like to meet. However, a soothing teapot filled with Jasmine Dragon Pearl Green Tea, swirling deeply into my soul, swishing harmoniously throughout my mind, could bring any trying task to it’s knees, making bearable any situation, inducing a blissful state of relaxation and blithe.

jasmine, dragon pearl tea, jasmine dragon pearl green tea, green tea, drink tea, soothe the soul,

Seemingly unbranded Jasmine Dragon Pearl Green Tea

This seemingly unbranded Jasmine Dragon Pearl Green Tea, which I found amongst my cluttered tea collection of riffraff, has a subtle, soft flavour. Gently massaging my taste buds, suddenly awakening them from a stale, dry, bed-throat slumber, a welcoming Jasmine aroma washes over my body and soul. The Green Tea flavour blends perfectly, fading in like a creeping spider; fading out as steadily and quietly as it slinked in, beckoning another sip of this tea.

Pleasant, peaceful, serene. Uplifting.

Any weariness remnant from lack of shut-eye is ushered away by the energizing effect of glorious green tea, holding me ready for the day ahead.

What a wonderful start to the day.


So, do you wanna build a snowmaaaan?

Or would you rather drink some tea

?

I Ate My Tea Today..

kerikeri, organic looseleaf tea, tea, loose leaf, honeybush, flour, edmonds, baking powder, budget, butter, whole fat milk, salt

I ate my tea today. I never thought I would say such a thing. I hadn’t ever thought of baking or cooking with tea, until recently when it was brought to my attention by The Daily Tea. Even with my recently blossomed obsession with all things tea, it had not occurred to me to cook with it. I’ve probably been too busy drinking it, and if I’m not drinking it, I’m peeing it! Okay, maybe tmfi, but reading it back made me chuckle and blush something outrageous, so it shan’t be edited out. However, I have rambled off topic, so back to eating tea:

The concept instantly grasped me, and I kicked myself thrice for not discovering it sooner. What better to accompany a wonderful cup of tea than wonderful food? and what better food than wonderful food made with wonderful tea? and now I’m hooked. I just want to make more. It’s clear now there is no turning back…. the tea has taken hold.. tea is now my master. SO, my first attempt at baking with tea, and not sure where to start, there are just so many possibilities, so many teas to use, so many foods to make! so little time to live. Putting it in such a way saddens me at the amount of people not drinking tea, not simply stopping and sipping and smiling and loving and laughing and living. 

I have heard it said the best meals are made when the heart and soul are poured into them. Tea is heart and soul. Pour it into your meals. And because they are such a perfect match, I decided to pour my heart and soul into some scrumptious scones.

organic, looseleaf, honeybush, tea, scones

organic looseleaf honeybush tea scones

Having never baked with tea before, I had no real idea what I was doing, and being a rather terrible baker, the task took me a lot longer than I had set out for, and was more perplexing than anticipated. Most recipes for basic scones state a ten minute prep time and ten to fifteen minute cook time. The task on a whole took me over an hour to complete from flicking on the kettle to pulling the scones from the oven. I went with a sugar-free scone recipe, because who puts sugar in scones?? and went with Kerikeri Tea Organic Looseleaf Honeybush tea. I chose this tea, because it has an awesome flavour, and is a very healthy drop, void of caffeine.

The next hurdle I had to topple over was that scones are not generally made with water, so how was I to integrate a strong brew of Honeybush into the recipe? I finalised on a thought to half the milk content, and replace it with the tea. This seemed to work splendidly, however next time I will make a stronger brew, as the flavour did not shine through as I would have liked; honeybush being a rather mild tea, delicious as it is.

My ingredient quantities consisted of

organic-looseleaf-honeybush-scone-dough

scone dough speckled with organic looseleaf honeybush

  • 4 cups of plain flour
  • 8 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of Himalayan salt
  • 100 grams of butter
  • 1 cup of whole fat milk
  • 1 cup of double strength brewed honeybush tea
  • the 2 teaspoons of loose leaves were also added
  • sprinkle of cinnamon to top

All in all, they’re a good scone. I first tried them once they had cooled, spread with four-fruits jam, and accompanied by a blend of Earl Grey and Red Bush teas. The Jam flavour overpowered the honeybush mercilessly, and this afternoon tea would have been far tastier had I omitted that jam I am so accustomed to eating on scones. Nevertheless, the honeybush flavour is present, ever so subtly. The leaves, a must, as without them I imagine the flavour would lack considerably, and the cinnamon is more for aesthetics, as it, too, is extremely subtle, but this was somewhat intentional.

organic, looseleaf, honeybush, dough, segmented, cut, cinnamon

honeybush scone dough cut into segments, sprinkled with cinnamon, ready to bake

 

 

At this moment, as my fingertips patter away at the keyboard, I am relishing perhaps a few too many of these scones, but spread with Olivani Olive Oil Table Spread, and nothing else. Without some kind of spread, I fear the scones may be too dry, as the piquancy of the tea is very real, adding to the already dry taste of scones in general. And, of course, I am also sipping an admirable chamomile tea blend, with peppermint, passion flower, strawberry leaf, valerian root, catnip and scullcap, by Red Seal. A very tranquil, relaxing drop of tea, indeed. A brilliant mix of flavour to pair with the honeybush scones, I might add. My favourite sensations in this moment. As I listen to the rain beating down on my roof, and the wind billowing at the windows and the walls. Stopping and sipping and smiling and loving and laughing and living.

 


 

 

if you haven’t tried baking or cooking with tea, I do recommend giving it a go. There is just so much you can do with it, from using just the leaves in your recipes, or even brewing a tea to add.

Feel free to add your ideas or what you’ve made in the comments. Happy experimenting!

organic, looseleaf, honeybush, scones, baking in the oven, cinnamon

honeybush scones baking in the oven

God’s Nectar Was Made With Cacao!

cacao, cacao pod, cocoa, cocoa beans, cacao beans, cacao tree, cocoa tree

So, tonight I added hot cacao to my hot Chai tea, hoping it might help retain some of my sanity, being the highest external source of dopamine we, as humans, have ready access to. It’s a match made to be (not quite in heaven; my kitchen is far from a resemblance of any sort of pearly gates). A consummate combination of flavour and sensation, frolicking down my esophagus, with the smooth elegance of a madman wielding a peacock’s plume feather duster, wearing the finest silks. I’m unsure about how intact my sanity remains, or if I even need it to be. Or if I even care anymore..

I gulp down an other mouthful of this silky peacock madman tea and ponder this for a moment, before gulping again, settling upon the conclusion that sanity is probably overrated and stoic is just as much sane as sanity could be. Or it could be the flavour of grandeur now swilling in my bowels derailing my rational thought train. Whichever, whatever, it matters not. Because Tea. …and cacao.

My Chai is Mi-Chai by Red Seal, comprised of black tea, cinnamon bark, cardamom, ginger root, cloves, nutmeg and black pepper. Add cacao and it’s a charmer.

“Be intrigued by the silky notes of nutmeg, spiced with the piquancy of pepper and the zesty flavours of ginger root. A warming and invigorating tea to make your day the best it can be.”

Wrong, sir! add Cacao and it shall make your day the best it can be!

Now, I added my cacao concoction to my tea as if it were milk being added; not a substantial amount, so as not to detract from the flavour of this exhilarating chai. The cacao flavour has a nice, steady presence, while the chai comes in strong with cinnamon, dampening to a clovey black tea before peaking slightly with the spice of pepper and ginger. All the while, cacao is there, watching, oozing, radiating, gently uplifting, empowered by the smooth submission of nutmeg snuggles.


aw heck, just try it. I detest chocolate, too sweet, too rich, but cacao..yum. And much healthier than it’s candied counterpart.

Greenfield Mango Delight White Tea

greenfield, mango delight, white tea, chinese tea, stovetop, tea, drink tea

Sitting here, waiting for my ‘taters and kumara to boil, and the rest of my veges to steam, I have brewed myself a delicious cup of Mango Delight white tea.

If you enjoy all things tropical, you simply must have this tea. Until recently, I actually had not experienced much of white tea, but it is slowly becoming a favourite variety, and Mango Delight has claimed a podium finish in my heart. As I sit and slurp, time melts away while my mind slinks off to faraway lands of happier times and sunshine. The silliest grin takes a hold of my visage; my chest fills with a vibrant, warm elation. Suddenly, this tea-induced fantasy cracks and fissures, shaking and bubbling, it shatters into a thousand broken dreams, exploding into a fine mist around me. My pot has well boiled over and my vegetables have been steamed to mush.

My dinner is not quite ruined and I brew myself an other mug of Mango Delight tea as I set out to fix it. I ended up just kind of swirling it all together into one delicious technicolor slop. But it did contrast the sweet surrender of my white tea nicely with it’s savoury comforts.

I could drink this tea everyday, and I think I may have since I acquired it. It’s great with dinner, and even better with breakfast in the morning. Early afternoon, sitting on the deck, relishing the view and basking in the autumn solar deluge, is my most cherished time to loose myself in a pot of this tea. It would be even better if I still had my lone surviving deck chair that my cousin extinguished quite recently by utilizing it’s general purpose. He is much taller and more well built than I am, and apparently the chair consisted of aged, brittle, cardboard timber. However, it matters not when I delve into the profounds of my fantastic desires, steeping deeply at the floor of my teacup. Lost in the flavours. Mango. Apple. White tea. Simple…Beautiful.