Must See List: East Frisian Tea Museum

Food, Travel

east frisian tea museum

A museum about tea, you say? In Germany, you say? The East Frisian Tea Museum hits almost all of the buzzwords that are guaranteed to get my attention. (If they somehow managed to tie pastry into the equation than I would, without a doubt, be a goner.) When we think of tea, we, arguably, tend to think of England as the leader for its consumption and India or maybe China as the primary providers. In truth there are far more locations involved in enjoyment of tea and the centuries old tea trade. But northern Germany? For some this may come as a big surprise.
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Post by . Originally published August 3, 2015. Last updated August 17, 2016.

Butter Cookies with Molded Chocolate

Food

Butter cookies with Molded Chocolate close up. Choco Leibniz and Petit écolier don't have to be just a special treat. Make these impressive butter cookies with molded chocolate at home!

I can’t even begin to express the delight I felt when I was browsing MeinCupcake.de’s online store and I saw that they offered a kit for making butter cookies with molded chocolate. Ever since I discovered Bahlsen’s Choco Leibniz from Germany and LU’s Petit écolier from France, I’ve been wanting to make these at home. But how? And, more importantly, what are they called?! At one point, my husband had wild plans to have a special mold made so that I could make them. Well, that problem is now solved: there’s a kit for that.
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Post by . Originally published March 11, 2015. Last updated January 2, 2018.

How to Cure a Clay Teapot

Food

clay tea pot

You know that you’re becoming a serious tea drinker (is there a special name for that? A tea head?) when your collection of tea accoutrements includes a clay teapot. I acquired one, along with some incredible organic oolong tea from Taiwan, from Eco-Cha. That’s when I found out that the teapot has to be cured.

A clay teapot is an unglazed teapot made of, obviously, clay. The pots are generally referred to as Yixing teapots, as traditionally clay teapots are made with clay from the Chinese city of Yixing. According to what I’ve read, many of the teapots that are today marketed as Yixing teapots are not, in fact, made with actual Yixing clay. If the Yixing label is important to you, you’ll have to do a bit of research to ensure that a teapot is “authentic.” One of the reasons the clay teapots are so popular is that they’re considered to be the best teapot for brewing tea.
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A Visit to San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden

Travel

pagoda at the japanese tea garden

Originally, we were not going to venture too far from the Fisherman’s Wharf area during our recent whirlwind trip to San Francisco. Then I discovered the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park and my friend recommended Uber. It seemed too good to pass up. Needless to say, we made a special trip to the park to visit the garden. Not only do I not regret making the special trip but it might have been one of my favorite things we did during our visit.
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My Must See List: Charleston Tea Plantation

Travel

charleston tea plantation

When you think of tea, you probably think of India, China, Japan or even Africa. But did you know that the United States has a single working tea plantation? Nestled on the charmingly small Wadmalaw Island, near Charleston, South Carolina, is the Charleston Tea Plantation. As a tea fan, it goes without saying that it’s on my must see list!
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A Visit to Harney & Sons SoHo

favorite things, Food, Reviews, Travel

Harney & Sons SoHo Tea Shop & Tasting Room

When we traveled to Manhattan last month we did have one goal that had to be accomplished. It could not be missed. Visiting Harney & Sons SoHo Shop & Tasting Room. I fell for Harney teas after having their Paris blend with my delicious French toast at Cantine Parisienne, which sadly now is closed. I quickly placed an order and haven’t been disappointed yet. When we visited the restaurant last month, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t have Harney & Sons‘ tea but some other French brand.
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Post by . Originally published November 13, 2013. Last updated July 14, 2018.

Matcha Green Tea French Macarons with Milk Chocolate Ganache

Food

Piping matcha green tea French macarons

After my first experience making French macarons — in which I got about 50% success — I decided I wanted another go. They really weren’t that difficult to make and the possibility of flavor combinations seems endless. French macaron attempt #2: Matcha green tea French macarons with milk chocolate ganache. Didn’t take long to get me overly confident, now did it?
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Matcha Green Tea Almond Shortbread Cookies

Food

matcha green tea almond shortbread cookies
There was this one time, several years ago, that I went to visit a friend for lunch before she moved across the country. We hung out and then she accompanied me to Chinatown where I think we went in every grocery store in the neighborhood in search of matcha green tea powder. I had seen a recipe for matcha green tea cream cheese frosting and decided I had to try it. That’s when cupcakes were all the rage. (Yeah, I said it: were.) Every employee of every shop we went in looked at me like I was crazy when I described what I was looking for. Finally, I settled on a matcha drink mix. It had some added sugar in it but it was close enough. That frosting was pretty good though…

Ever since I saw the recipe for Matcha Almond Shortbread I’ve been having wild fantasies. They look like the perfect cookie to accompany a cup of tea — green or otherwise. And the addition of the Matcha green tea flavor is a great twist that I was eager to try. And wouldn’t you know it. You can buy matcha powder in your regular grocery store now. It’s not cheap but you don’t need a lot in order to get the benefits.
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Chocolate Irish Breakfast Tea Gelato

Food

chocolate irish breakfast tea gelato with whipped cream

I’ve never had gelato before. And since I don’t think I’ll be making a trip to Italy or Europe anytime before the summer ends, in my mind, the logical thing was to try making it myself. I’m not sure how good of an idea it really is but I figured I’m game since we have an ice cream maker (a total steal of a $6 end-of-the-year clearance at Target a couple years ago). But I couldn’t decide on if I wanted to make chocolate gelato or try something more unusual like tea-flavored. At my husband’s insistence I combined the flavors and thus Chocolate Irish Breakfast Tea gelato was born.
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Post by . Originally published May 30, 2012. Last updated February 27, 2013.

Time for a Tea Party

Food

I have something I need to share: I’ve never had coffee. Not a sip, not a slurp. Never. Ever. Nor do I want to. Honestly, the smell alone drives me crazy (in a bad way). I’m what you’d call “a tea person.” It started with just a cup of tea, a couple cookies and a novel after dinner but it’s somehow progressed to a full-fledged addiction. Both my husband and I are seemingly tea-addicted. We’re way past bagged tea and onto the loose stuff. I thought share some of our favorites and not so favorites.
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It’s My Tea Kettle and I’ll Cry If I Want To

Food

"Broken" tea kettles
Is anyone else having problems with tea kettles? I don’t mean electric ones, I mean basic, simple ones. My whistling tea kettle doesn’t whistle. Ever. I can let it boil water for 15 minutes and it won’t whistle. It’ll steam away, filling my kitchen, but not make the slightest of high-pitched squeaks. The spout’s lid is as tight to the mouth of the spout as it’ll go, so it should be whistling away.

And it doesn’t pour without spilling water all over my counter tops. And because the counter tops are tiled, the grouted regions act as irrigation delivering the water directly down my lower cabinets and onto the floor. I wouldn’t complain but we’re currently on our second kettle, a KitchenAid one that was a housewarming gift from my parents. The first tea kettle, a Farberware one, didn’t whistle either, which is why my parents gifted us with a new one. …which also refuses to whistle.

Is this just another case of quality going downhill? Am I doing something wrong? Am I the only one having this problem? Is there an anti-water boiling bubble around my house?