My Tea Break

Rediscovering Tea around the world


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Infusion de Cacao by Pierre Marcolini

I was recently in Brussels and visited a Pierre Marcolini shop. Pierre Marcolini opened his first store in Brussels in 1995, the same year he was named the World Champion of Pastry. The flagship store in Grand Sablon in Brussels, is similarly chic and minimal. Pierre Marcolini is like a designer of chocolate as he travels all over the world to select cocoa beans and make his own cocoa butter.

My plan was to buy some really good chocolates but when I entered the shop, I was surprised by a a limited edition of a new product – Infuso de Cacao. This is not Tea neither hot chocolate. The infusion is composed by shells of roasted cocoa beans.

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You have 3 options: the natural infusion, the cinnamon infusion and the jasmine infusion. These infusions contain polyphenols, antioxydants, and are a stimulating drink (contain theobromine+caffeine) but also low fat.

I couldn’t resist and bought the jasmine infusion which is delicious. The delicious smell leads us to expect a chocolaty taste, but the infusion has an intense, rounded and pleasant flavour. Perfect for a winter treat!

Happy Tea Break.


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Sing Tehus in Copenhagen

I just arrived from two days in Copenhagen and I obviously had to visit one of the local Tea shops. I decided to try Sing Tehus, a Danish /Japanese Tea House in the centre of Copenhagen.

The Tea menu is in Danish but you have a good variety of Tea choices from Hvid Te (White Tea); Grøn Te (Green Tea); Oolong Te; Sort Te (Black Tea); Te Med Aroma (Tea with Aroma) and Urte Tea (Herbal Tea).

The environment is very pleasant and calm with only a few tables available. You can also see how they brew the Tea which is always nice.

I chose a Lapsang Souchong from Formosa and my boyfriend chose a Green Oolong from Vietname. We both really enjoyed our Teas. The Oolong from Vietname was soft and refreshing with a delicate flowery aftertaste.   The Lapsang Suchong was robust, with its unique smoky flavour, but with a great balance. It was delicious…  We also chose the lemon and almond cake which was incredible with a very smooth texture.

 

The shop is amazing as well with the same great variety of Teas but also a wide rage of Tea accessories.

For more information about Sing Tehus you can visit them at Skindergate 25, 1159 Copenhagen , DK or go to their website http://singtehus.dk/

If you’re in Copenhagen this is definitely a nice place to enjoy your Tea Break.

Tania


Biblioteq Tea Shop @ Roma!

While wondering around the most amazing streets and little roads so full of character and history in Rome, I was very lucky to meet Claudio, the owner of a very nice and cool Tea Shop – Biblioteq Tea Shop. Here you can find Tea from all over the world and all the necessary accessories to make the perfect cup of Tea.

Claudio knows a lot about Tea and can advise you which Tea suits you better, according to your taste. I bought a chinese green Tea – Li Zi Xiang – and an Earl Grey with Italian Bergamote – Earl Grey Imperial. I am really curious to try these Teas once I get back home!

  • Please check their website for more informations:  www.biblioteq.it
  • Address: Via dei Banchi vecchi 124 00186 Roma

Happy Tea break,

Mariana


Tea in Buenos Aires

Hey Tea lovers,

In this BBC article you can find very useful information about how and where to drink a good Mate in Argentina! Maybe you can start planning a trip to this amazing country! I wish I could!

Hope you enjoy it!

http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20120405-drinking-mate-in-buenos-aires

Happy Tea Break,

Mariana


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A Very Large Cup of Tea

One of the best things about having this blog is that we’re constantly being inspired by our Tea Friends.

A Tea friend recently sent me a photo of David Shrigley’s sculpture ‘Very Large Cup of Tea’ (2012) part of the Brain Activity exhibition on show at the Hayward’s Gallery in London. David Shrigley is known for focusing on the more mundane, comforting aspects of life in his art.

Born in Macclesfield in 1968, David Shrigley has lived in Glasgow since moving there to study Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art in 1988. Brain Activity is his first complete survey of the UK and the largest Shrigley’s exhibition to date.

The sculpture is a constantly evolving gigantic cup made from glazed ceramic which is replenished with real Tea (with milk and now sugar) every two to three days.

This exhibition is available until May 13th so it is definitely on my “to do list” for next month. 🙂

Happy Tea Break.

Tania


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Glenmorgan Tea Estate

Do you believe in the Six degrees of separation theory? It basically states that anyone  can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. 

Well, I can tell you that I’ve visited Glenmorgan Tea Estate in the Nilgiri Hills and had the pleasure to meet Mr. and Mrs. Vadera through a chain of three intermediaries! My friend and Tea partner Mariana worked with Veronica in London, who’s really good friends with Sonali, whose parents own Glenmorgan Tea Estate and kindly invited me the visit them.

I had less than 24 hours but I knew I couldn’t miss this opportunity and I am so glad I made it. I had the amazing opportunity to meet this wonderful couple who welcomed me to their home as if part of their family, see the amazing views of Nilgiri Hills, a visit to Glenmorgan Tea Estate, tasted a lot of Tea while chatting with Indu and even tasted fried Tea leaves.

The Family History:

Rasik and Indu were born and got married in Uganda. Rasik’s father, a man with a great business vision, had coffee, Tea and sugar cane plantations in Uganda but in 1958 decided to invest in land back in India and bought Glenmorgan Tea Estate which had around 250 acres at the time. During Uganda’s independence in 1962, Rasik and Indu got back to India and started developing Glenmorgan Tea Estate.

Glenmorgan Tea Estate:

India has always been known for Black Tea but in 1969, Glenmorgan Tea Estate started making green Tea to Japan. At the time, everything was done by hand but after a while they imported machinery from Japan. Over a period of time, they developed the market for US and Morocco. Nowadays, their biggest client is Lipton US.

Glenmorgan Tea Estate now has 500 acres, 400 workers (plucking and sorting is all done by female and male work in the factory) and produces around produces 3000 to 4000 kg. of  made Tea per day. Glenmorgan Tea Estate is certified by the Rainforest Alliance which means they follow the three pillars of sustainability — environmental protection, social equity and economic viability.

Rasik showed me all the steps which starts with the plucking, followed by roasting, rolling, rotary drying, sorting and packaging.

When asked about what has changed in the world of Tea during the last years, Rasik explains that interest in Green Tea has increased even in India, where Black Tea is King.

Rasik’s favourite Tea is Glenmorgan. He believes you get used to a particular taste and Glenmorgan green Tea has a light, mellow and smooth taste.

If you’re ever in Southern India I highly recommend that you visit the Nilgiris. The Nilgiris, which literally translates into “Blue Mountains” are located in the state of Tamil Nadu.  The hills are beautiful and are named after a local flowering shrub that blossoms once every twelve years, covering the hills in purple-blue flowers.

I already promised Indu and Rasik that I will be back to Glenmorgan during the next purple-blue flower blossom. 🙂

Thanks to Mariana, Veronica, Sonali for this introduction and to Rasik and Indu for the amazing experience.

Happy Tea Break.

Tania

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Tea Producing Regions in India

Namaste! I am now finishing a week of work in India and I tried to use my free time to research and visit Tea related places. I have a lot to share with you but first let me give you a bit of background about the world of Tea in India.

India is one of the largest Tea growers in India but Indians love a good cup of Tea being Black and Chai Tea the most popular .

In India there are 6 famous Tea production areas:

Darjeeling, located in the West Bengal State, is obviously the land of the famous Darjeeling Tea. The two main contributor’s to Darjeeling’s Economy are tourism and the Tea Industry. Around 25% of India’s total Tea output comes from Darjeeling.  If you plan to visit a Tea plantation you can head to The Happy Valley Tea Estate, at 2,750 meters above sea level, it is one of the highest Tea gardens in the world, and known for growing some of the finest Tea in Darjeeling. It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 8am to 4pm.

Assam, often called the land of the red river and blue hills, is the gateway to northeastern part of India and the largest Tea production region in India.  Jorhat, in the central part of the valley, is often referred to as the “Tea Capital of the World. A Tea festival is held in Jorhat every November. You can also visit Sangsua Tea Estate near Jorhat, that offers a Tea Estate bungalow for tourists.

Kangra, is a district of Himachal Pradesh State. Tea was introduced in Kangra Valley in 1854 but there was a devastating earthquake in 1905 that devastated the Tea plantation. However, the scene has changed with the set up of the CSIR – Council of scientific and Industrial Research which is now trying to produce Tea through scientific methods. A lot to research here… 🙂

Munnar, is one of the most popular hill-resort destinations in the wonderful Kerala State in Southern India and consider a heaven of peace and tranquility. You will find miles and miles of Tea plantations. Once owned by Tata, one of the largest corporations in India. Here you can visit the Tea Museum at Nallathanni Estate and stay at the Tea Sanctuary.

Nilgiri Mountains, located in the Tamil Nadu estate in South India. Nilgiri means Blue Mountains. Apart from the stunning views, Tea is the most important industry of the region and is produced throughout the whole year. You have several important Tea estates here from Glendale and Glermorgan Estate.

Wayanad, is an agricultural mountain in the Kerala Estate, where you’ll find Tea, Coffee and Spices productions. Most of the Tea plantations are located south of Kalpetta. You can visit and stay at Wayanad Tea County,a  tourist guesthouse  set in the Priyadarsini Tea Estate at Mananthavady. It is run by a co-operative of tribals who live and work on the estate. All profits earned go directly to their welfare. It’s possible to go trekking through the Tea gardens to a tribal tree house, set up at the highest point of the plantation.

Furthermore, you have several good Tea houses and Tea shops in the big cities like Delhi and Mumbai.

I only had time to visit two tea shops in Delhi, one Tea House in Mumbai and the amazing Glenmorgan Tea Estate in the Nilgiri Hills.

Stay Tuned! 🙂

Tania