Tag Archives: Jaded Julip

An Event-ful Moment

Thank You, Sponsors!

Neither rain nor sleet nor flooded roadways could keep these women away from my first tea event of the New Year (thank goodness!), An International Tea Moment’s Best of 2009 Tea Event.  Torrential rains have hit Southern California with a vengeance not seen since 1995, so while tea may seem the perfect antidote to gloomy weather, I was a little concerned that hurricane-force gusts of wind may deter my guests. Luck was on my side, though, and the rain stopped just long enough for the guests to arrive.

Some were new to the different varieties of tea, some had some old stand-by’s in their cupboards, and all of them were more than happy to have an excuse to step away from their places of work and enjoy a tea party of any kind. Here, they would be introduced to my favorite discoveries of 2009, including:

Best of 2009 Black Tea: Mokalbari Estates, by American Tea Room

Best of 2009 Black Tea Blend: Tangier, by American Tea Room

Best of 2009 White Tea Blend: White Tiger, by DAVIDsTEA

Best of 2009 Oolong: Rose Violet Calendula, by Naivetea

Best of 2009 Green Tea Blend: Jaded Julip, by Lavender Lounge Tea Company/Pangea Tea Company

Best of 2009 Herbal Infusion: Andes Breeze, by MyTeaShelf.com

Upon arrival, guests were met with score cards and asked to step into the tasting room. Each of the 6 award winning teas was laid out with small tasting cups. Everyone made their way through each station, jotting notes and asking questions about the differences between teas: white, oolong, green and black, and why an herbal tea was usually not really considered “tea.” (There are no actual tea leaves in most of what we refer to as “herbal teas.”) Cards were collected – during lunch, guests would be served the tea they chose as their favorite.

The rain fell during lunch, and then came the hail! Everyone commented they were glad to be inside with a hot cup of tea rather than dealing with the weather outside. Conversations ranged from the effects of tea on teeth, to birthday makeovers, to academics, to teapots, tea cups, collections and my lovely experiences with each of the event’s wonderful sponsors and award winners. The lunch menu included roasted red pepper and tomato soup with basil; four sandwiches: cucumber, tuna salad, egg salad, and pear and brie;  a savory ham and cheese-filled puff pastry, an orange and cranberry scone to be topped with fruit preserves and Devonshire cream, strawberries and blueberries, and assorted chocolates.

Before the end of our time together, we tallied the cards and identified the “Fan Favorite” of all the award winners.  Now, you all know my bent toward black teas and tea blends. So when it comes to tea parties that involve finger sandwiches, the obvious accompanying tea is always a black one, right?  To my surprise, there was not one Fan Favorite, but two. And neither were black teas!

Congratulations to Naivetea for Fan Favorite #1, Rose Violet Calendula Oolong, and to DAVIDsTEA for Fan Favorite #2, White Tiger!

Fabulous prizes!

And then, the icing on the cake, each guest got to take the tea party home with them! Due to the generosity of the award winners, everyone left with a sample of each of the six award winning teas, a tea cup with infuser, a discount code for MyTeaShelf.com for 10% off (Enter code TEAMOMENT at checkout), and an assortment of tea samples from DAVIDsTEA to further explore some exciting and creative tea blends.

As I wrapped up this event, I reflected on what this moment was all about. Yes, I have been introduced to a plethora of amazing, exciting, unique and nuanced teas, each with their own distinct personality. But even better, I got to share a select few with a collection of amazing, exciting, unique and nuanced women who have become treasured friends over the last 10 years since Gene and I moved here. For me, that is what made this moment most successful.

Are you an existing fan of any of these award-winning teas? If so, you are invited to submit your own ‘tea moments’ through photos, videos or written note!



Filed under Drawings, Tea

A Tea Lounge Moment

There was a summer that I became serious about the idea of opening a tea room. I had just left my first corporate jobby job and was finishing my Master’s degree. In between working on my thesis and working on my thesis, I began researching local tea rooms with serious focus. I would take covert photos of how the tea / goodies were presented and take copious notes rating the tea, the food, the service, what I liked and disliked about the ambience, etc. 

Lovely presentation, too many sweets

Lovely presentation, too many sweets

After a couple of months of this process, I realized that despite my numerous observations and experience as a customer, I had no experience or knowledge ‘behind the apron.’ Having the title of ‘student’ allowed me to consider taking on a part-time job and get that much needed experience. And so the job search began. After several rejections, and after having a lovely chat with the owner of a tea lounge one day as I was ‘researching,’ I (in a fit of slight desparation) wrote a heart-felt email to that tea lounge owner expressing my desire to work in a tea house, why it was important to me, what I hoped to accomplish, what I felt I could bring to the table, and more. It was a lengthy communication. Lo and behold, she took me seriously and I soon found myself on the schedule of the Lavender Lounge Tea Company in San Clemente, CA.  What I loved about Desiree, the owner, and the lounge she had created was her complete and total tea nerdiness, which met and even exceeded my own. She had single-handedly created multitudes of specialty blends. They were loose leaf blends: black blends, greens, whites, rooibos, and even some herbal blends. Nearly everything was blended, packaged, shipped or served from this tiny space in the second floor of an historic building. Here was my chance to learn from a pro!

While my stint in the lounge was cut short (my pie-in-the-sky consulting biz suddenly  had 3 major clients), I came to acquire a tremendous respect for the patience, multi-tasking and ultimate customer service skills necessary to be a successful tea shop owner. More on that in another post…  Also, deep admiration for the creative and incredibly delicious tea blends Desiree continued to produce. Some of my favorites:

1. San Clemen Tea – The Lavendar Lounge’s signature blend. A black tea/peach/apricot blend with surprising, yet subtle, notes of caramel and cinnamon. The fruit flavor is distinct but not overly fruity, which makes the blend delightful whether hot or over ice.

2. French Blend – While ’tis true I love all things French, this blend stands on its own merit. A black tea blend, this could aptly be named ‘Earl Grey goes to Paris.’ Tones of bergamot, jasmine and vanilla are enhanced even more if cream is added.

3. Jaded Julip – I’ve tried numerous times to appreciate green tea, and this is one blend that makes it easy. Granted, the black tea base helps the process, but the surprise of Matcha (liquid jade) and peppermint could induce New York’s most cynical stock broker to take pause and serve friends this refreshing cuppa on a verandah beneath magnolia trees in a heartbeat.

Give my regards to Desiree and her fabulous tea trade at the Lavendar Lounge Tea Company!


Filed under Tea, Tea Blending, Tea Room