Tag Archives: White Tiger

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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Filed under Tea, Tea Recipes

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!

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A Construction Tea Moment

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to have a ‘moment’ but you need to understand everything in my household is in disarray. We started the exciting project of remodeling our 2nd floor to create an additional bedroom and a home office for me! While the excitement and anticipation ran high, the reality of the project is more discombobulating that I could have ever imagined. I had to disconnect and pack away my regular computer work space, cram all my bookcases and files into a tight corner to which I have little-to-no-access, and then I had to take on the daunting task of finding an alternative workspace so I could actually do my jobby job.

I have heard of these mythical places called office condos, which one could rent by the day or week and have an office away from the office or something like that. I looked high and low for such places, and could not find a one. My old pal, Julie, at SP, saved my hide and worked out an arrangement with me so I could use some vacant office space that is being prepared for a future tenant. I have a phone, an internet connection, AND a little cafe across the street that brews and serves loose leaf tea… but I’ll leave that for another moment…

We began construction the first week of June, and today the drywall is being hung. With Gene’s new job, Edie’s new daycare situation, my running back and forth between home and office annex, and then being basically homeless on Mondays with a 1-year-old (when I don’t have work or childcare, and don’t want to spend the day in a hard hat zone), it’s been a challenge to have any moments at all, let alone a tea moment.

So today I took a moment to breathe, brewed myself a little White Tiger (thanks again Davids Tea), and stood in my soon-to-be new office to admire the progress that has been made.  Edward is till nervous about venturing in the new space, but I like it very much.

Yes, that is the Rooster Mug. Old habits die hard, and I wasn't about to bring fine porcelain into SUCH an environment!

Yes, that is the Rooster Mug. Old habits die hard, and I wasn't about to bring fine porcelain into SUCH an environment!

I look forward to many more moments in this particular space when it is clean, carpeted and furnished. We’re close. We’re so very close!

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A White Tiger Tea Moment

I admit it. I’ve been in a tea rut. For the past several months, I’ve been mindlessly boiling the water, pouring it over a very mediocre Irish Breakfast tea bag in my favorite red rooster coffee mug. Thankfully, the greater tea community staged an intervention and I received the help I so desperately needed.

On Tuesday I received a package of 3 teas from the lovely gentlemen of DAVIDsTEA. You’ll understand my tiniest twinge of apprehension when I looked inside and found 2 white tea blends and 1 green. If you’ve read my previous tea moments, you’ll remember that I abandoned my foray into white teas last year and have been largely unsuccessful in finding a green tea to write home about, but I trusted my mentor and did my best to keep an open mind.

Oh Happy Day! I started with White Tiger (the tea, not the animal), and I have to say, “I believe!”  My previous complaint about white tea is the lack of body, its overall thinness. But this white peony tea was different. 1.5 teaspoons of tea steeped for 3 minutes, and the lovely, light amber liquid awaited me.  As I was jotting down notes of the color, the clarity, the lack of dust particles, I was trying to figure out how to describe the incredible aroma – and that’s when Gene wandered by and said, “Hey! What smells like blueberry muffins?”  I couldn’t have described it better myself. 

I am White Tiger. Hear me roar!

I am White Tiger. Hear me roar!

The first sip – always my favorite – surprised me with just enough body to keep my palate interested. The blueberry and pomegranate were just noticeable enough to make me aware of their presence but without the overly sweet aftertaste that turns me off of most berry or fruity teas and infusions. And not only did it taste heavenly, it’s good for me too – antioxidants on top of antioxidants!
One cup, frankly, was not enough. I put the kettle back on, brewed an entire pot, and that kept me company throughout the morning. It even inspired me enough to go out back for a few minutes to stop and smell the roses.
Jen in full recovery. Notice she has already progressed to using a real tea cup

Jen in full recovery. Notice she has already progressed to using a real tea cup

To David and Jeremy at DAVIDsTEA, I say, “Merci beaucoup! Je l’aime bien!” I greatly anticipate tasting the 2 other blends my new mentors have sent me.  Intervention: Successful! I am on the road to tea recovery!

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