My Tea Break

Rediscovering Tea around the world


Get Steeped With Fairmont

This November Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will once again pay tribute to the grand tradition of “taking tea” with its Get Steeped with Fairmont program.

Expanded from a one-day celebration to a full month of festivi‘teas’, the 2012 program is sure to impress with traditional afternoon tea services, sommelier-led tastings, fancy hat competitions, tea-infused cocktails, and even a new, special tea blend.

Get Steeped with Fairmont celebrations has started on Saturday, November 3, 2012 with official kick-off events at Fairmont locations around the globe.

From specialty treats like Fairmont Le Château Frontenac’s Maple Tea Cocktail made with Sortilège liquor (maple Whisky) and frosted with maple sugar to exclusive events like Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv’s kids’ tea parties and master classes, special activities and promotions will continue throughout the month.

 A full schedule of Get Steeped happenings is available at fairmont.com/getsteeped. In the hotels and online, guests will also be able to purchase Eclipse, the first in a new series of Fairmont select tea blends which will be offered annually. Available for a limited time, this unique-to-Fairmont black tea is flavorful and full-bodied, offering up a citrusy zest with hints of oak cask and caramel sweetness.

This is a great initiative and looks delicious! Make sure you attend!

Happy Tea Break!


Tea Course @ Lisbon, Portugal

Dear Friends,

The Orient Museum in Lisbon, Portugal will have a temporary exhibition about Tea. This will be from 8th of June until the 13th of January 2013.

In this context, a Tea course will be presented on the 16th of June in the afternoon. The course consists on learning about Tea, its history and by trying different Teas.

For more information, please check their website http://www.museudooriente.pt/1423/curso-de-cha.htm

Happy Tea Break, Mariana

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Olá a todos,

No dia 8 de Junho começa uma exposição temporária sobre Chá no Museu do Oriente em Lisboa.

Neste contexto, no dia 16 de Junho, está disponível um curso de Chá, para quem estiver interessado em aprender mais sobre este mundo fascinante. O curso aborda a história do Chá, a planta do Chá, O Chá nos dias de hoje, entre outros temas. Neste curso tem também a oportunidade de experimentar diferentes tipos de Chá!

Para mais informações consulte o website do museu: http://www.museudooriente.pt/1423/curso-de-cha.htm

Um ótimo fim de semana, Mariana


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Interview with Ashini Shah from The East India Company

We would like to thank Ashini Shah from The East India Company for, very kindly, answering a few questions for our blog!

M&T. What is the main concept behind The East India Company?

Granted a Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, The East India Company was originally founded to explore the mysteries of the East. In the process, it mapped trade routes, discovered exotic goods, and established trading ports which would grow into the cities of Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mumbai. It introduced tea to Britain and India, chintz to America, spices to the West Indies, and porcelain to Russia.

M&T. The East India Company was created in 1600. How do you balance your blend between Tradition and Innovation?

I think it this blend is precisely what makes our brand so authentic and creates a sense of differentiation. Every product we create has a reason, a story to support its being. From our George Staunton Earl Grey, which uses the original Chinese recipe discovered by George Staunton (a botanist from The East India Company)  – that contains both Bergamot and Neroli oils to our Mrs. Clements English Mustard – which follows the technique that Mrs Clements developed in making the first ever smooth mustard (that was supplied to King George I), we really aim to innovate within our heritage.

M&T. Why should people buy your Teas?

I think people should try our teas because before any tea is selected, it must pass through our tea master’s various rounds of approval and even blind taste tests! From Sri Lanka, our tea master Lalith has spent many years mastering the art of tea, from plucking leaves to managing the estate, and now is our official taster, blender, and in-house expert on all things tea. As a side note – When I came to work here, I was a complete and total coffee drinker, absolutely ignorant to the world of teas. But I was fortunate to be seated in the office next to Lalith. And with many tea samples that Lalith receives, we do a tasting, and talk through the various flavours and complexities. It is such an interesting experience to taste something so thoroughly and explore it in such an intricate manner.

 M&T. What do you want people to feel when they come to your store? 

 The store has been designed as an East India Company officer’s Georgian townhouse, filled with various treasures brought back from his travels and adventures to the exotic East. We want people to feel transported to a place that merges cultures and eras and offers a taste of intrigue and surprise.

M&T. Can you describe how Tea makes you feel in one word?

Calm.

M&T. Do you have a Favourite Tea?

Hard to choose, but Green Tea with Jasmine is one of my favourites.

M&T. When is your next event?

Our upcoming August evening tea tasting events are on the 17th and 24th. They start at 7pm and consist of a guided tasting and sampling.

Also, we’re planning to launch morning tea explorations in August – every Tuesday at 10am.

All events will take place at our flagship store – 7-8 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XF and RSVPs should be sent to events@eicfinefoods.com

Happy Tea Break!

 


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Tea Cocktails @ The East India Company

Gill Nontha, from The East India Company, kindly invited me to a great event at their shop in Conduit St, London – Tea Cocktails!

Polo Punch

Polo Punch

We were very well welcomed with good energy, a lot of smiles and the 1st cocktail of the evening – George Staunton. This was a wonderful combination of The East India Company Staunton Earl Grey, Orange blossom cordial, Cointreau, a squeeze of lime, over ice. What a good way to be welcomed!

After everyone arrived, there was a presentation about the East India Company and an explanation of all cocktails that were going to be served through out the evening.

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The next one was Posh Punch  –  an amazing mixture of The East India Company Poppy Cordial with Sparkling water, summer fruits, lemon and lime with Ice.

The third cocktail was very interesting – it had a similar taste to Baileys. It is called Spice Trade Ice Tea and is a mixture of The East India Company Bombay Chai, dark rum, condensed milk, iced and garnished with grated nutmeg.

Indian Summers was my favourite! A combination of The East India Company Kama Sutra loose leaf Tea with The East India Company Lavender cordial on ice. The after taste was Fantastic!

The 5th Cocktail of the evening was called Trade Roots. A delicious mixture of The East India Company ginger green loose leaf Tea with The East India Company Demerara Island cane sugar and dark rum.

The last, but not the least – the Polo Punch – an amazing combination of The East India Company blend 68 – white Tea with tropical fruit flavours, champagne and The East India Company Hibiscus Cordial.

You would think we were lucky enough and that the event would end here, but there was more! After 6 delicious and quite different drinks, we were served top quality chocolates and biscuits of The East India Company. We were also served an amazing Tea from Tea´n´Teas

This was an extraordinary evening. It reminded me why I like Tea so much.

First of all, the history of the Company and the history of all ingredients we´ve tried reminded me that we do take everything for granted. Do you realise that if it wasn´t for adventurous and very brave men in the XVI and XVII centuries, we would not know what sugar, tea, salt, nutmegs were??

Secondly, the experience of tasting new combinations and flavours while meeting new people.

Thirdly, Tea always makes me feel totally relaxed and focused.

I would like to thank The East India Company for the invitation and highly  recommend you to register with The East India Company website, so that you are aware of these events!

London Store – The East India Company, 7-8 Conduit Street, London W1S 2X

Have a great week, Mariana!


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Pairing Tea and Chocolate

Have you tried pairing a good Tea with the right chocolate? It can be a match made in heaven

It takes a bit of experiment to match the right Tea and Chocolate and it’s all about personal taste. Your best bet is to start with lighter flavoured chocolates and end with a more bittersweet chocolate. The darker the chocolate the more tannins it will have and this will often overshadow the Tea’s tannins on the palate. I prefer to pair White Tea or Teas with a sweet and floral aftertaste with bitter chocolates and vice-versa.

Here are some of my favourite brands:

  • Denegro is a chocolate artisan in Portugal with exquisite chocolates. They sell a box of 5 bonbons with creamy Tea infused: Earl Grey, Jasmine, Green Tea, Red fruits and mint.
  • Vosgues Haut – Chocolates have several great candy bars: Cherry Rooibos (African rooibos tea + dried Michigan cherries + 45% cacao deep milk chocolate); Matcha Green Tea (41% deep milk chocolate Tea infused with Japanese matcha green Tea). Sanctuary T shop in NYC organised a Chocolate & Tea pairing events with Vosgues Chocolat. (They also have a chocolate and bacon bar – It is worth a try!)
  • William Curley is a UK based Patissier Chocolatier based in Richmond and Belgravia. Tea Smith, London, usually organises a Tea & Chocolate Tasting event. The jasmine truffles are unbelievable…
And the best news is that this is also healthy. A Penn study suggests that pairing Tea and Chocolate can be beneficial for hearth health. Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition and lead author of the review, says, “Since tea, without milk or sugar, contains no calories, it’s an ideal way to add antioxidant flavonoids to your diet without increasing your weight. Having a chocolate cookie that also contains fruit and nuts along with the Tea, if consumed in moderation, can be a heart healthy snack.”
Nowadays you also have some Tea flavoured chocolates but we will keep that topic for another post as Chocolate is something that both myself and Mariana enjoy talking about. 🙂
Happy Tea Break. 
Tania


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Grande Noite! – Great Night!

Este sábado, dia 14 de Maio, o My Tea Break esteve presente no Museu da Música Portuguesa Casa Verdades de Faria e no Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. Esta iniciativa foi integrada como parte da celebração do dia Internacional dos Museus.

Gostariamos de agradecer ao Museu da Música Portuguesa Casa Verdades de Faria e ao Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga por nos darem esta oportunidade. O nosso agradecimento vai também para a Joana Monteiro Grillo do Boulan Tea Room que gentilmente nos forneceu os vários chás que foram servidos e à Maria Costa pela sua ajuda no MNAA.

Esta iniciativa foi uma excelente oportunidade de partilhar o nosso conhecimento e provar vários chás.

Obrigada a todos os participantes!

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Last saturday, 14th of May,  My Tea Break was at the Museum of Portuguese Music Casa Verdades de Faria and National Museum of Ancient Art. This initiative was part of the International Museum day Celebrations.

We would like to thank both Museu da Música Portuguesa Casa Verdades de Faria and Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga for this great opportunity. We would also like to thank Joana Monteiro Grillo from Boulan Tea Room for the lovely Teas that we served and Maria Costa who kindly help us serve many many Teas at MNAA.

This was a great night for My Tea Break, because we were able to share our Tea Knowledge with many other people, discuss many ideas while experiencing some lovely Teas.

Thank you all for attending!

Happy Tea Time 🙂