Posts tagged ‘Tea Love’
Halloween is almost upon us. Black cats, evil witches, and sorcery that enraptures you and entices you into another world. Amongst that witchy witchcraft that you might stumble upon is tasseography, or reading tea leaves. I have blogged about this before but, since I enjoyed it so much, I decided to explore it again!
Tasseography has been around for centuries, using liquids that leave behind some dregs, AKA tea. This is typically done by the women of the family. It is a domestic form, being that fortune tellers, gypsies, and others preferred a more profitable way of taking money from their customers. Strangely, though many books have been written on the occult and witchcraft, none have been written exclusively on tasseography.
According to Reading Tea Leaves, “A glance through this book [The Little Tea Book] will show that the spirit of the tea beverage is one of peace, comfort, and refinement. As these qualities are all associated with the ways of women, it is to them, therefore, the real rulers of the world, that tea owes its prestige and vogue.”
In order to read tea leaves, one must first and most enjoyably foremost drink some tea. This requires using a teapot that will allow you to brew loose tea, a teacup with a wide mouth that has sloping slides (to allow leaves to stick a bit to the sides), and a plain inside of a tea cup. Of course, you don’t want a nice design inside to interfere with your reading.
Do not strain the tea when pouring it so that the leaves fall in. Some believe that you cannot read your own tea cup, but this is your preference, so you might need a friend handy. Just understand that if you read your own cup, that you might not read it as objectively.
Observe your tea before you read. Are there bubbles on the surface? You might be falling into money. Leaves floating on the surface? Visitors are coming, might as well set up another chair. The amount of leaves floating indicate how many days away they are.
Leave a small amount of liquid at the bottom of your cup. Holding the tea in your left hand, swirl the tea leaves around clock-wise. Upend the cup onto the saucer and let the liquid drain away. Look at your leaves and start interpreting! A small amount of leaves indicate a tidy and disciplined life, while a lot of leaves indicate a rich, busy life.
Feel free to turn the cup around and search for symbols until everything becomes clear. And of course, have fun!
Have you read your leaves? What did you find?
First, I want to let all of you know about an upcoming Tea Love talk! On Saturday, November 8th, I will be returning to the Camden County Library, Voorhees Branch, in order to have a special talk on Asian tea culture. Come learn more about Chinese, Japanese, and Singaporean tea culture, taste some matcha and Marsala tea tarik. Not only that, we will have author Ovidia Yu, author of Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials, come in to talk about her latest book, which will be available for purchase that day.
The talk will start at 1:00 PM at 203 Laurel Road, Voorhees, New Jersey 08043. Call the library at (856) 772-1636 to RSVP. Space is limited!
Second, I feel that, in order for you to understand me for Tea Love, you must understand that I am most definitely a Jill of All Trades, mostly trades that make me come off as a 90-year-old grandma instead of a rockin’ 26-year-old woman. When people talk about getting so drunk last night, my evenings consist of baking with friends, maybe watching Pokemon or Dr. Who, and just being overall nerds.
One of my passions? Baking. I adore the holidays when I can bake eight batches of different cookies as well as fudge and not be judged for it. Tell me it’s too hard to make fondant? Watch me go! And fail! And have fun failing! But that’s besides the point.
Combined this love of baking with Pinterest, my nerdy self, and you better believe I am going to come up with awesomely unique recipes, a lot involving matcha tea!
For those that do not know, matcha tea is green tea that has been ground up into a very fine powder. You then put it in your tea mug, whisk it up, and drink up, tea leaves and all. This produces a slightly sweet tea and is often used in desserts due to the consistency, tender sweet undertones, and very vibrant green color. For those who love Starbucks, you can find matcha in green tea lattes. For those who love bubble tea? There’s a green tea version. For those that love the color green… well, you get the picture.
Below, find some awesome links to some fantastic matcha tea recipes.
Chocolate Chip Matcha Mug Cake (From Thirsty For Tea):
One-cup recipes in of themselves are gifts from the gods. When you are looking for something sweet but do not want to spend the hours making a whole batch of cookies to enjoy just one, throwing a mug in a microwave with a few ingredients is a life-saver (and a waist-expander). This chocolate chip matcha mug cake appears simple and sweet. I plan on making this baby ASAP! Looks delicious!
Click on the picture for the recipe:
Matcha Meringues (From Bitter Sweet):
If there is one recipe I can never make right, it is meringues. For some reason, I can never get everything come together just right, so it ends up being a puddle of white goo spread out at the bottom of my baking sheet rather than those fluffy clouds of goodness.
Bitter Sweet managed to find a vegan box recipe, which I never knew existed! She simply added some matcha to the recipe in order to make her matcha meringues.
Click on the picture for more information:
Matcha Goma Entremet (From Vintage Trinkets):
So, an entremet, I found out, is a small course served between fancy-schmancy meals, or it can be simply a small dessert. This particular one consists of black sesame cake, matcha cake, black sesame mousse, matcha mousse, and topped off with a sesame nougatine. Pretty AND delicious! What’s also beneficial? This blogger also posts about her mistakes and how she corrected them so that you can make sure that YOUR dessert comes out being the best that it can be.
I would definitely say that anyone present at your dinner parties would be impressed with this recipe.
Click on the picture for the recipe:
Matcha Green Tea Donuts (From A Beautiful Mess):
Everyone likes donuts. I can be adverse to most of them, but there is usually some sort of variety that people are just prone to go running to, whether glazed, chocolate, plain, whatever! But how about one glazed with matcha tea? Um, yes, please? The sweetness of the donut can ONLY be complemented by the strong, slightly bitter yet sweet taste of the matcha! And this must make for a nice breakfast when you are on the go and want something with a slight caffeine boost.
Click on the picture for the recipe:
So, I have reached the final review of my Inca Teas that I have been shoring up for the past month. Not going to lie, it’s kid of sad to write about the final tea in this four-part series. All the teas were something new, unique, and I give Tea-EO Ryan Florio A LOT of credit for quitting his job and going into an industry he knew nothing about and yet coming out with this fantastic blend for the public.
The tea that I saved for last? A full-bodied Tawantin black tea.
As has been the norm with this tea, Ryan ensured that we were able to see each bit of the tea within the drink, including his famous purple corn. The drink consists of three different types of black tea (two of which are organic) and some purple corn. The website explains, “The Inca referred to their empire as Tawantinsuyu, “four parts together.” In Quechua, the term Tawantin is a group of four things (tawa, meaning “four”, with the suffix -ntin which names a group).” Very simple compared to the other teas which had blends of fruits all over, but don’t be fooled! This does not lessen the tea one bit.
Instead of the typical purple look I have been getting from all the teas, I have the deep, rich brown shade similar to coffee, which is typical of black teas. I also got the black tea smell, a strong earthy scent with slightly sweet undertones that is unmistakable for tea.
I brewed it in my cup and have been sipping on it since dinner time, around 7:00 PM (it’s 9:30 now). Though the tea has gone cold, that is not a bad thing! Hot or cold, this tea has proven to be a pleasure to drink. I can see it being better for a morning time drink rather than an evening drink like I am having it right now, since I can promise you that the caffeine jolt is going to keep me up all night. What I also like about this tea is that sometimes, when I let my black tea go cold, I see this film that develops on the side of my mug (not exactly the most appealing thing to witness as you sip away). That, by the way, is due to the calcium carbonate found in the water and the tea. However, with this tea, not so! Definitely a plus, since the scum that forms is not exactly the most appetizing view.
So, all in all, now that we are done with the Inca Teas, I can confidently say to give it a try! Ryan assured me that other types will be coming out, so keep your eyes open for new ones. Prior to working with Ryan, I had never heard of purple corn. Now, I am glad I had the opportunity to try it, love it, and search for more.
Before starting, I would like to write an apology. I have not written the past two weeks due to an unfortunate illness within my family. This Saturday, October 4th, my grandfather, William Roeben, passed away at the age of 87. Needless to say, this is a hard time filled with a lot of tears, painful planning, but at the same time, also filled with wondrous laughter and joyous memories as we celebrate and remember his fruitful life. Please join me as you read this in praying that my Opa goes back home to be with his wife who we lost two years ago, as they enjoy bowling up in Heaven with all their friends. Thank you.
And now, on to tea…
So, yesterday for dinner, I had the Inca Tea Mountain of Mango. For those that don’t know me, I LOVE mango. I remember the first time I had a fresh mango was in college. Sitting in my dorm room, no clue how to eat it, I just went to town, burying my face deep into the green skin and pulling at the sweet yellow flesh underneath, smiling my fiber-filled grin with each bite I took. I was completely hooked.
By the way, since then, I have learned to eat mango in a more refined manner by simply slicing off some mango and eating that way, but admittedly, the other way is still a lot more fun.
Mountain of Mango is one of the herbal blends that Inca Tea sells. Upon opening the package, I noticed that there was a slightly acidic smell to it. Not what I was expecting! When I hear mango, I hear sweet, sometimes overbearingly so. However, there was something in this one, probably the hibiscus petals, that made the sweet dull down a little bit, which is a plus for those that want to drink tea and not drink a fruit juice.
The tea looked lovely, to say the least. A unique blend of mango, purple corn, hibiscus petals, rose hip peel, and apple, as well as some natural flavors. You could actually see each component, which, if you have been to my Tea Love talks, you know is a big deal to me:
When the tea was brewed, it created a red-ish orange hue, kind of like a sun set. This tea is definitely worth brewing in a clear mug, if you have any. The acidic smell went down a bit and the tea became more of a soothing smell, matching the taste. I would not mind waking up to a relaxing morning and brewing myself a cup of Mountain of Mango. It was sweet, relaxing, and felt like one of those teas that you would wake up early to see the sun rise with. It is not meant to wake you – it is meant to calm you.
This would also be a good tea to have as an introductory tea for children, should you wish. Being that it is an herbal blend, there is no caffeine in the tea. It is sweet enough where kids would like it, but not so sweet that you are going to think there is loads of added sugar in the drink. It will also be easier to introduce them to more tea-based drinks after using this as a primer.
So sit back, drink up, and enjoy some Mountain of Mango, courtesy of Inca Tea.
Sadly, I will be doing my last tea for Inca Tea this Sunday! Join in next week as I review Tawantin Black Tea :-)
Hello Tea Lovers!
Right now, as I write this, it is almost 9:00 PM on a Monday. I just got home from waking up at 6:30 AM, driving to work by 8:30 AM, working about nine hours, driving home, went to WalMart to do shopping, fought a HUGE crowd, came home, cleaned my car from a busy weekend abroad, ate dinner, wrote a press release for my church and now, I sit at the computer writing this article. Shouldn’t I be tired? Exhausted? Saying that I will leave my writing for another night?
Thanks to Inca Tea™, I don’t need to.
For those who haven’t read my last blog post, you might have seen some gorgeous brown boxes stacked neatly in your local stores. A new brand of tea called Inca Tea started popping up in stores and it is quickly growing. The Earth-oriented company is based out of Cleveland, OH. Founder and owner Ryan Florio first discovered the majesty of purple corn tea when he and his friends traveled to a Peruvian mountain trail for a whole ten days, led through the dangers by their guide, Edgar.
Prior to the hike, Florio had multiple health issues and was advised not to go. However, the trip was too enticing and soon, he found himself on a trek through the mountains. The first day out, Edgar decided to brew a cup of tea. “Is an old Incan tea. Very good. You must try,” Edgar said, brewing enough for the entire group.
Florio was struck by the deep red-purple color that the brew created and asked Edgar to brew a cuppa for each day of the hike. “I felt physically awesome,” he said. He eventually came back to the States, quit his job despite never having had coffee nor tea in his entire life prior to that trip, and started researching the tea, especially purple corn.
The tea, Florio explains is “based off of a thousand-year-old recipe.” By September, loose teas should be served up along with the current four teas that are offered.
All teas are made with 100% biodegradable sachets and packaged in 100% recycled boxes. The corn is also ground by hand, blended in Cleveland, bagged in Philly, and then Florio’s parents box it every night for sale.
Opening up the orange package, the scent is the first thing to hit you. Wow, is it strong! This is a pleasant surprise, given that it is a white tea. Typically, I often receive comments at my Tea Love talks that the white teas are too weak for my sippers. However, in conjunction with the purple corn, apples, oranges, natural flavors, rose hip peel, and hibiscus petals, the tea is simply bursting to come forth.
I brewed the tea and instantly, the beverage turned its shade of purple, a trait of the purple corn. The scent diluted slightly, but not to the point where it was diminished. Imagine a strong Cabernet going down to a Zinfandel. So most definitely still pleasant.
The peach, the rose hip peel, and hibiscus petals were all the flavors that immediately got me. It was sweet, but sour and sharp at the same time due to the hibiscus. Most importantly, even after the type of day I had where I was considering going to bed around 8:30 PM, I woke up immediately. Given that white tea has the least amount of caffeine, that was a bit of a surprise. The other plus? I don’t need to worry as much about going to sleep later because I know that the caffeine content is so minimal (mind you, this is coming from a girl who can drink seven cups of coffee with no adverse effect and yes, this fact has been tested).
I would recommend this for a nice afternoon cuppa, since it doesn’t have a lot of caffeine and won’t keep you up all night but it is enough where you will perk up enough for an afternoon meeting. Be careful not to overbrew though, as this does have the potential to get bitter!
Next stop on the tea list? Mountain Of Mango!