Tag Archives: Tazo

A Bunco Tea Moment

How does one describe Bunco? I may venture to say it’s the new “Bridge” club for this generation of women. It’s dice rolling, snacking and drinking while catching up on a month’s worth of news with 11 girlfriends. No skill is involved, except perhaps multi-tasking. Can you roll and talk at the same time? Perfect!

This month was my month to host, so I decided to have a California Tea Party, Bunco-Style. Sweet, savory and chocolate-y treats were accompanied by a choice of lemonade, iced Tangier Tea from American Tea Room, iced Strawberry White from DAVIDsTEA and two kinds of Mar-Tea-Ni’s. Who says you can’t have a tea party at night? Not me! Here are my not-at-all secret recipes for Tea-Ni’s:

Mint Tea-Ni

Adapted from Kerry Saretsky of French Revolution.

Boiling water – enough to fill large tea pot
2 mint tea bags (this time, I used Tazo Refresh)
3 Tablespoons loose leaf Ceylon (I used TeaSource’s Ceylon Vithanakanda, FOP)
8 mint leaves, plus 16 mint leaves
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄2 cup sugar
3 shots vodka, very cold (I used Ketel One – how could I not? Their headquarters is in my town!!!)

1. Brew a 6-cup pot of tea, with boiling water, 2 mint tea bags, 3 Tbsp Ceylon tea (contained in infuser for easy leaf removal), and 8 fresh mint leaves. Allow to steep for 5 minutes, then pull out the tea bags and infuser (leave the mint leaves). Allow to cool for several minutes and then refrigerate until very cold.

2. Make the mint syrup by put 16 mint leaves, lightly chopped, into a sauce pot with 1⁄4 cup water and 1⁄2 cup sugar. Heat on medium-high until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is translucent. Set aside to cool, and then drain.

3.  Add the cooled, strained mint syrup and the vodka to the chilled tea pot. Give it all a good stir and pour into martini glass, garnished with fresh mint leaves. If not quite cold enough, shake in martini shaker with ice until chilled.

White Tiger-Tea-Ni

Boiling water – enough to fill large tea pot
% Tablespoons loose leaf White Tiger tea from DAVIDsTEA 
1/3 cup blueberries, plus handful for garnish
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄2 cup sugar
3 shots vodka, very cold (Yep –  Ketel One)

1. Brew a 6-cup pot of tea, with boiling water and 5 Tbsp White Tiger Tea. Allow to steep for 5 minutes, then pull out  infuser. Allow to cool for several minutes and then refrigerate until very cold.

2. Make the blueberry syrup by putting 1/3 cup blueberries into a sauce pot with 1⁄4 cup water and 1⁄2 cup sugar. Heat on medium-high, smash berries and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is a deep purple Set aside to cool, and then drain.

3.  Add the cooled, strained syrup and the vodka to the chilled tea pot. Give it all a good stir and pour into martini glass, garnished with several blueberries skewered on a toothpick. If not quite cold enough, shake in martini shaker with ice until chilled.

Cheers!

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A Tea Cupboard Moment

Doesn’t everyone have a tea cupboard?  The question occurred to me whilst reading my friend, Deanna’s, blog. She posted a photo of her tea cupboard that looked remarkably like my own, which looks remarkably like this one:

tea-cupboard

Though, this one is noticeably neater than my own…  In any case, it made me wonder how many such cupboards exist across the U.S.  Now, Britain, I can guess you will find one in every home. Here, I just don’t know. 

There is a responsibility with having a tea cupboard, however, and that is the annual task of clearing it out. I’ve learned both personally (and at the tea conferences (yes, you read that correctly) I have attended over the years) that the shelf life of tea is no more than one year, and even less if exposed to sunlight. Thus the critical importance of the tea cupboard!

So now it is that time of year when it’s time to clear out the old and stock up on the new. An exciting time, really. This year, I seem to have a backlog of white teas. An entire yellow and green box full of pyramid-shaped white-tea bags; a tin of loose white with jasmine; samples of white with apricot.  I thought I would enjoy their lightness – plus they’ve got the most anti-oxidents – but I keep coming back to my comfortable black teas. Irish Breakfast is my current standby. And what is this long forgotten Chinese brick tea? Too intimidating to break apart. A mostly full box of plain chamomile (Tazo), that’s entirely too weedy-tasting. (Weeds like in the garden, not weed as found in the cafes of Amsterdam). Some failed attempts of my own blends; some Stash double Earl Grey (there IS such a thing as too much Earl Grey- tastes like a mouth full of soap!); samples of some kind of green (too grassy) and some generic lemon tea bags used occasionally during a bout of sore throats.

I look forward to some new tea discoveries in my soon-to-be-restocked tea cupboard.  I’ll let you know what I find…

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