Friday, May 9, 2014

SMITH Masala Chai



About this Tea
To Indians, chai means sweetly spiced tea served with foamed milk. Ours combines second flush Assam teas with pungent ginger root, cassia, black pepper, cloves and cardamom to create a rich and spicy brew worthy of any chai wallah.

Ingredients
Second flush Indian Assam, ginger root, cassia bark, black and pink peppercorns, cloves and cardamom.

Preparation
For best flavor, bring freshly drawn filtered water to a boil. Steep five minutes. Savor your new status as a wallah



loose tin $11.99 - It is also available in sachets or loose packs.

While at my sisters I enjoyed a wonderful cup of Chai.  I love this tea.  And I know I say this everytime, but it bares repeating.  When making Chai you NEED to add milk and sugar!  Chai is the ONLY tea I add sugar too, I think it is required :)  It really does change the taste for the better.

what to do with old tea strainers....




TEA STRAINERS RECYCLED....
What do you do with old tea strainers???  Well, make eye glasses out of them of course!!!! I got these glasses from my favorite vendor at the Portland Saturday Market.  I got these fun glasses for $11.00. I  think that they are so fun- a conversation maker anyway....

http://spoonman.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=86




They are great protective eye ware for kids


Even great to wear to work to make your co-workers smile!

There are lots of options...they range in price from about $11.00 to $20.00












Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hood River Lavender Farms Tea

Hood River Lavender


On Sunday April 21,2013 we went on the Blossom Festival in the Hood River area.  We stopped at the Lavender Farm. While there they gave us a sample of tea. They tea I had that day was really really strong with Lavender and I was not a fan.  I am tempted to try the mint and Lavender tea now though..... 





When we were there in 2013 it was a cold day and not a lot of things in bloom yet.  But is was still a beautiful setting....









from the website:


http://hoodriverlavender.com/


Welcome to Hood River Lavender! Oregon Tourist Attraction!
We are an Organic Lavender farm located in the beautiful Hood River Valley of Oregon that not only grows acres of lavender, but we also steam distill our lavender to produce pure essential oil of lavender. It is with this oil & flowers that we manufacture our own Bath & Beauty Products, including handmade Lavender Soap, Aromatherapy items, Organic Lavender Perfume, Lavender Culinary products and tea, and Dried Lavender flowers & More. Use the drop down menu above to see all our Products.
"We hope you will try our quality products and share them with friends and family. We take pride
in handcrafting all of our products, using local product and labor, growing and distilling under strict
Organic practices, and enjoy bringing the best of our world to you."
 U-Pick Farm is open May 1-Oct. 1, Mon-Sat: 10-5pm, Sundays 11-5pm
Culinary Lavender
Lavender is an herb, a member of the mint family, and is extremely versatile in cooking, spicing, and also adds nice color and garnish to your favorite dish. It goes very well with fruit, citrus, deserts, and meat. We use angustifolia (english lavender) and Provence for culinary and in our teas (tisanes) because these lavenders add a very nice flavor and spice without the perfumey taste/aroma that can be found in other lavender varieties. Our culinary lavender is Certified Organic, of the very highest quality, and treated with care from the field, through harvesting, drying, cleaning, and packaging

Lavender Mint Medley Tea

The most popular Tea at our Shoppe!
  • Perfect after meal or evening Tea
  • Soothes, Strengthens the system and soul
  • Caffeine-free
  • Very rounded and full flavor, smooth not strong
  • Yummy blend of 2 different Mints, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Balm and our Organic Lavender combination

Gorge Wind Tea


Our best selling tea! Delightfully aromatic and calming, inspiring reflection and bliss.
  • This tea soothes and refreshes the senses 
  • Complex, yet simple 
  • Healthy alternative to coffee
  • Dedicated to the passion and energy of the Hood River Wind Surfers and Kite Boarders 
  • Ingredients: Jasmine Green Tea, Lemon Balm, Honeybush, Lavender, and Orange 
  • Makes approx. 40 cups of tea.

Tranquil-A-Tea- Organic and caffeine free


Calming and relaxing!
  • A great bedtime tea  
  • All natural, caffeine free
  • Organic! 
  • Sweetly herbal and aromatic
  • Great choice for reflection and relaxation
  • Whole Chamomile Flowers, Oatstraw, and Lavender 
  • Makes approx. 40 cups of tea.
Herbal Chai Lavender Tea
    Flavorful, herbal, organic and very smooth!
    • Brought to life with the addition of Certified Organic Yerba Mate, Rooibos and our Certified Organic Culinary Lavender
    • Great with a touch of honey & soy milk!
    • Healthy alternative to dark chai tea 
    • Ingredients: certified organic Yerba Mate, certified organic Rooibos, organic cinnamon, organic licorice root, organic cardamon, organic orange peel, organic cloves, certified organic culinary lavender, organic fennel, organic ginger, organic black pepper.
Bliss Fuel Herbal Tea

Need a Natural Boost??
Slightly caffienated and full of energy & flavor 
  • Full of anti-oxidants and beneficial herbs 
  • All Natural...All Good! 
  • This loose tea has the extra lift some of us desire during busy and hectic times
  • Note: Do not use if pregnant, nursing, of if you have a sensitivity to herbs or stimulants 
  • Ingredients: Yerba Mate, Green Tea, Ginkgo biloba, Eleuthero root, Raspberry leaf, Jasmine flower, Calendula, Red clover & culinary Lavender


map to Hood River Lavender Farms








Monday, May 5, 2014

tea pairings....

 
 
 
 
I am fascinated by tea pairings. I am looking for tea and food pairing class...
 
I looked up the Culinary Institute of Americas description of being a person who pairs wine and food:

Wine and Food Pairing Fundamentals

Skill Level: Intermediate
In this course, you'll practice basic techniques for successful wine and food pairing. You will also::
  • Distinguish the flavor elements that make up a dish and study the elements that are most important when pairing the dish with wine.
  • Describe the dynamics behind successful pairings of wine and food and the factors that lead to those successes.
  • Evaluate how various components in a wine affect food flavor.
  • Analyze how various tastes such as sweetness, saltiness, and bitterness affect wine, and appraise complementary and contrasting pairings.
I found no class for tea and food, but I sure think they should offer it!
 
According to Wikipedia a sommelier is....A sommelier (/ˈsɒməlj/ or /sʌməlˈj/; French pronunciation: ​[sɔməlje]), or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing. The role is much more specialized and informed than that of a wine waiter: In fine dining today the role is strategically on a par with that of the executive chef or chef de cuisine.
 

I want to be Tea Sommelier!!!!!

Pairings

Sometimes a “laundry list” can best illustrate the art of pairing tea with food. Here is a suggested pairing table. If what you are looking for is not listed, find something similar, but let your palate be your guide.


Breakfast & Brunch
In the West, black teas are most popular for breakfast, both for their higher levels of caffeine, their compatibility with milk due to higher tannins, and their easy pairing with Western breakfast foods.
  • General: Assam, Breakfast Blends (e.g. English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast), Pu-erh, Yunnan.
  • Higher Tannin: Ceylon, Irish Breakfast, Kenya pair best with milk.
  • Heartier Greens: Chinese greens such as Green Pu-Erh or Gunpowder.
  • Stronger Brunch Foods: Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong.

Lunch foods vary, but many people prefer drinking Japanese green teas and oolongs, and smoky blacks.  If you are having chicken or vegetarian foods, try a green jasmine tea, flavored roasted oolong, or Darjeeling.  With meat or spicy dishes, you can’t go wrong with a flavored or smoky black tea, oolong, or a Moroccan mint green tea
 
  • Afternoon teas can be almost anything, but most people prefer Darjeeling tea.
    Cheese & Tea Pairings
    It may seem unusual, but like wines, there are many teas with myriad flavors that pair well with individual cheeses.
    • Asiago: Keemun, Pai Mu Dan
    • Brie: Dragonwell, Ha Giang, Darjeeling, Tung Ting Oolong
    • Camembert: Dragonwell, Chun Mee, Gunpowder, Ha Giang, First-Flush Darjeeling, Sikkim
    • Cheddar: Tung Ting Oolong, Darjeeling
    • mCream Cheese: Ceylon,
      Darjeeling, Cameroon
    • Edam: Ceylon, Autumnal Darjeeling, Buddha’s Finger Oolong
    • Gorgonzola: Chun Mee, Ha Giang, Ceylon, Pouchong
    • Muenster: Tung Ting Oolong, Pouchong
    • Provolone: Ceylon, Nilgiri
    Chicken & Tea Pairings
    Chicken dishes like Chinese green teas, Darjeeling from India, green jasmine teas and Oolongs. See other poultry pairings in the “Miscellaneous” section below.
    • Curry: Darjeeling, Pouchong, Dragonwell, Jasmine Green
    • Fried: Assam, Ceylon, Nilgiri, Kenya
    • Lemon: Tung Ting Oolong, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Gunpowder
    • Roast: Ceylon, Gunpowder, Assam

    Chocolate & Tea Pairings
    A surprising array of options presents itself with chocolate, depending on the strength of the chocolate dish.
    • With dark chocolate, try Assam, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Gyokuro, Oolong or Pu-erh
    • With milk or white chocolate, try Darjeeling, Dragonwell, Oolong, Sencha or Yunnan (but white chocolate goes well with fruity green teas)
     
    Dessert & Tea Pairings
    People are accustomed to enjoying a cup of tea with dessert. The canvas of tea is so rich and colorful, you may never ask for a “generic” cup of tea again!
    • Baklava: Darjeeling, Pouchong, Oolong (any), Ceylon Black and Green
    • Carrot Cake: Sencha, Dragonwell, Vietnamese Green, Ceylon Green and Black, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Assam
    • Cheesecake: Sencha, Dragonwell, Vietnamese Green, Ceylon Green and Black, Darjeeling, Keemun
    • Citrus: Earl Grey
    • Crème Brûlée/Crème Caramel: Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Ti Kuan Yin, Tung Ting Oolong, Dragonwell, Assam, Ceylon Green and Black
    • Crêpes: Darjeeling, Oolong (any)
    • Dessert With Apples: Darjeeling, Dragonwell, Ti Kuan Yin
    • Dessert With Apricots: Oolong (any), Darjeeling
    • Dessert With Bananas: Ti Kuan Yin, Tung Ting Oolong, Pouchong, Ceylon
    • Dessert With Black Currants: Dragonwell, Darjeeling, Oolong (any)
    • Dessert With Coffee Or Mocha Flavors: Yunnan, Assam, Pu-erh, Formosa, Oriental Beauty, Buddha’s Finger Oolong
    • Dessert With Raspberries: Darjeeling, Vietnamese Green, Ceylon Green and Black
    • Desserts With Strawberries: Darjeeling, Dragonwell, Ti Kuan Yin
    • Fruit Compote or Tart: Ceylon, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Yunnan, Dragonwell, Ti Kuan Yin
    • Pecan Pie: Oolong (any), Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon
    • Pumpkin Pie: Dragonwell, Ceylon Green and Black, Darjeeling
    • Vanilla: Keemun, Ceylon, Darjeeling, Nilgiri
    Ice Creams usually go well with Tahitian Vanilla, Jasmine, or Passion fruit
     
  • Desserts like baked goods, coffee cakes, cinnamon rolls, or custards go well with hearty black teas, but fruity desserts go well with green, herb and infused teas
    Fresh Fruit & Tea Pairings
    These are hot tea pairings. Many people enjoy iced tea with fruit: Try iced greens and lighter blacks.
    • Sweeter greens and lighter black teas, such as a first-flush Darjeeling or a lightly oxidized Oolong like Tung Ting
    • Late autumnal Oolongs are also pleasant with fruit

    Fish/Seafood & Tea Pairings
    In general, Japanese green teas, Oolong, and smoky black teas pair well with fish and seafood. Especially try Oolong with rich seafood like crab, lobster, scallops and shrimp.
    • Fried: Dragonwell, Chun Mee, Gunpowder
    • Grilled: Dragonwell, Chun Mee, Gunpowder, First-Flush Darjeeling
    • Smoked: Oolong (any), Darjeeling, Ceylon, Dragonwell
    Ham & Tea Pairings
    The saltiness of ham requires a more assertive tea.
    • Baked: Ceylon, Assam, Kenya
    • Smoked: Oolong (any), Darjeeling, Dragonwell
    Herb, Spice & Tea Pairings
    Tea itself is an herb—a flavorful leaf of a plant. It pairs well with other herbs.
    • Basil: Oolong, Darjeeling, Dragonwell, Gunpowder, Qui Ding Cha
    • Capers: Qui Dind Cha, Vietnamese Green, Gunpowder, Ceylon UVA
    • Chiles: Assam, Yunnan, Keemun, Formosa White Tip Oolong
    • Cinnamon: Yunnan, Assam, Autumnal Darjeeling, Formosa White Tip Oolong, Pu-erh
    • Garlic: Sencha, Gunpowder, Gen Mai Cha, Dooars
    • Ginger: Tung Ting Oolong, Jasmine Pouchong, Darjeeling
    • Mint: Darjeeling, Tung Ting Oolong, Pouchong, Gunpowder
    • Mustard: Gunpowder, Chun Mee, Nepalese and African Varieties
    • Nutmeg: Assam, Darjeeling, Yunnan, Ceylon
    • Vanilla: Keemun, Tung Ting Oolong, Pouchong, Vietnamese Black, Kenyan

    Mushroom & Tea Pairings
    Earthy mushroom flavors—some call them meaty—demand more assertive flavors than other vegetables.
    • Chanterelles: Assam, Nilgiri, Ceylon, Pu-erh
    • Common Mushrooms: Assam, Ceylon, Nilgiri, Dooars
    • Morels: Assam, Tung Ting Oolong, Autumnal or Second-Flush Darjeeling, Pu-erh
    Miscellaneous Food & Tea Pairings
    • Anchovy: Ha Giang, Ceylon Green, First-Flush Darjeeling, Gunpowder, Chun
      Mee, Pouchong
    • Antipasto: Dragonwell, Pouchong, Ceylon, Dooars, Nilgiri
    • Avocado: Tung Ting Oolong, Pouchong, Darjeeling, Sencha
    • Bacon: Assam, Gunpowder, Ceylon
    • Baked Beans: Ceylon, Assam, Kenya, Yunnan
    • BBQ Fish: Gunpowder, Hojicha, Chun Mee
    • BBQ Meat: Ceylon, Yunnan, Gunpowder
    • Beef (Ground Beef, Stews, Roasts, Briskets): Ceylon, Yunnan, Formosa
      Oolong, Kenya, Nilgiri, Gunpowder
    • Blinis with Salmon: Tung Ting Oolong, Darjeeling
    • Buffalo Wings: Ceylon, Darjeeling
    • Carpaccio: Tung Ting Oolong, Darjeeling, Ceylon
    • Clam Chowder: Dragonwell, Chun Mee, Ceylon Green
    • Corn: Sencha, Hojicha, Chun Mee
    • Corn Bread: Ceylon, Assam Kenya, Yunnan
    • Couscous: Ceylon, Assam, Nilgiri, Yunnan, Gunpowder
    • Curry: Darjeeling, Jasmine Black or Green
    • Eggplant: Ceylon, Darjeeling
    • Eggs: Darjeeling, Oolong (any), Keemun, Assam, Ceylon, Kenya
    • Hamburgers: Ceylon, Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri, Kenya
    • Lamb: Ceylon, Darjeeling, Yunnan
    • Lasagna: Assam, Ceylon, Nilgiri
    • Macaroni & Cheese: Sencha, Ceylon
    • Meat Loaf: Yunnan, Keemun, Nilgiri, Kenya
    • Mexican: Assam, Ceylon
    • Pizza: Ceylon, Yunnan, Keemun
    • Polenta: Darjeeling
    • Pork: Darjeeling, Ceylon, Oolong (any), Hojicha, Lapsang Souchong, Dragonwell, Gunpowder, Chun Mee
    • Potato Salad: Oolong, Pouchong, Darjeeling, Dooars, Nilgiri, Ceylon
    • Prawns: Dragonwell, Ti Kuan Yin, Dragonwell, Ha Giang, Ceylon Green
    • Quiche: Darjeeling, Ceylon, Sencha, Dragonwell, Chun Mee
    • Red Meat (Steak & “Bloody” Red Meats): Ceylon, Chinese Black Keemun,
      Flavored Black Tea, Lapsang Souchong, Oolong, Moroccan Mint Tea
    • Salami: Ceylon, Nilgiri
    • Salsa: Vietnamese Green, Ceylon Green
    • Spicy Foods: Ceylon, Chinese Black Keemun, Flavored Black Tea, Lapsang Souchong, Oolong, Moroccan Mint Tea
    • Turkey: Oolong (any), Darjeeling, Ceylon, Yunnan
    • Vegetables (raw): Ceylon, Nilgiri, Chun Mee, Sencha



    The basic rule of thumb is to pair strong teas with heavy foods and light teas with lighter foods, but there is really no right or wrong way to create tea and food pairings. The most important factor is your own personal taste as well as the tastes of your guests. Below are some rough guidelines to keep in mind when deciding on the perfect tea to serve at your tea party:

    White Teas

    These teas are best enjoyed after a meal or at tea time. Because of their very light and subtle taste, white teas generally only complement foods without strong flavors such as a very mild and plain white rice dish.

    Green Teas

    These lighter teas are best enjoyed at tea time or during light meals, and foods paired with white wines.... and light meals especially ones with seafood, chicken, salads, and rice dishes. Green teas are also a great choice to serve after a meal, either alone or with a dessert and fruit.

    Green teas are also known to be good with fried foods because the tea “cuts” through the oil and helps with digestion

    While green tea is the substance in the Japanese Zen tea ceremony, green tea is not Japanese in origin. In fact, green tea originated in China and many Chinese restaurants serve green tea with their meals. This green tea is usually served in more traditional Chinese restaurants located in city centers and "Chinatown" areas in cities like New York, Los Angeles and Boston. Hunan Chinese restaurants (which specialize in food from the Hunan region of China) sometimes offer a variation on green tea called "Silver Needle Tea," which is made from the immature buds of the green tea plant..

    Oolong Teas

    Because oolong tea is like a hybrid of green and black teas, it generally goes well with the same foods as both. Some oolongs tend to be closer to a green tea and others are closer to a black tea, so keep in mind where your oolong falls on this spectrum. A “greener” oolong will complement the subtler flavors of seafood and a “blacker” oolong tea will complement the stronger flavors in many meats and spicy dishes.
    • Oolong teas pair well with Chinese, Thai, and grilled foods, but black teas can offer more complexity

    Black Teas

    The strong, full-bodied flavors and aromas of black teas suit foods of a similar strength and heartiness, especially richly flavored meats and spicy dishes. Black teas also pair nicely with eggs, cheeses, breakfast foods, and complex desserts. Black teas, especially Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast, and Assam, are great morning drinks. The stronger flavors and higher caffeine content of black tea helps us to feel awake and refreshed. It is also worth mentioning that there are a few black teas with lighter flavors than the others. Darjeeling tea pairs nicely with baked goods like cookies and is more perfect for tea time or a light meal than for a hearty supper. Ceylon teas from Sri Lanka also better with lighter meals and are especially wonderful with tea sandwiches. 

    Black teas typically go well with foods that are usually paired with red wines like meat, spicy dishes, and ethnic cuisines like Mexican, Italian, or Indian.  Black teas pair well with chocolate and chocolate flavored desserts.

    Pu-erh Teas

    Pu-erh tea is known for aiding digestion and this makes it an excellent tea to drink after a heavy meal. During the meal, it can be served with very hearty or richly flavored dishes and it pairs well with fatty foods like meats and oily foods like stir-fries

    Pu-er (also known as bo-lay) is a tea that many Chinese restaurants serve as a traditional accompaniment with dim sum. Authentic bo-lay, which is used in the production of pu-er, is very rare and expensive; Chinese restaurants usually offer a mixture of different teas and oils to simulate the taste. The tea has a full body and is heady with an oily texture

      Red Bush Tea (Rooibos)


      This naturally decaffeinated yet energizing tea from South Africa is a well-known favorite in Europe, especially England, and is making a splash over in the States. This has a unique taste which makes a delightful change from your regular black tea. You can drink this with or without milk. It goes great with almost any kind of food except dishes based with heavy tomato sauces or lots of mustard


       Herbal

      Herbal and flower teas are good before and after meals.  Try adding two small cubes of crystallized ginger into your steeping.  After you finish your tea, the ginger is your reward


      Jasmine Tea

      • Jasmine tea is one of the most common teas served in Chinese restaurants. This tea is also common on mainland China and Taiwan. Jasmine tea is usually made with a green tea base, but some manufacturers use oolong. The base is put in a case where the vapor from the jasmine leaves combines with the tea, lending flavor  and body.

        Dynasty Blend

        • The hybrid dynasty tea is generally served in high-end Chinese restaurants. This tea, a mixture of oolong, jasmine and green tea, is used in many Chinese restaurants because of its versatility. The tea goes well with almost any meal and can be brewed as an iced tea as well as a hot tea.

         
    http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/beverages/teas/pairing-tea-with-food4.asp

     http://www.ehow.com/list_6313224_type-tea-served-chinese-restaurants.html#ixzz30szmcLvv