Archive for the 'Tea Fun' Category
With immense pleasure we at Arbor Teas would like to introduce you to Nancy Biehn, Chief Executive Chocolatier of Sweet Gem Confections, an artisan chocolate shop located right here in our hometown, Ann Arbor, MI. Over the past few months a sweet collaboration has been forming between Nancy and us—we’ve teamed up to bring you handcrafted, organic tea-infused truffles!
Simply delighted to be a part of this exciting project, I dropped in on Nancy one evening to observe her master craftsmanship firsthand. The display of chocolate mastery I witnessed was nothing short of amazing! She was making a white chocolate, masala chai tea ganache that, when cooled, would be rolled into orbs and dipped in white chocolate. Without missing a beat while attending to all the stirring, cooling and additional stirring that the ganache required, Nancy poured perfectly tempered milk chocolate into shell-shaped molds, turning out the excess onto her parchment-covered workbench in a spectacle that can aptly be described as a chocolate “rain shower.” These shells will eventually enclose earl grey black tea-infused milk chocolate ganache. While those were cooling, she painted a shimmery campfire motif on the tops of a batch of 65% cacao dark chocolate Laspang Souchong truffles. Talk about a multi-tasker!
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November 03 2009 | Cooking with Tea and Products and Tea Fun | 4 Comments »
It’s not uncommon for folks who are passionate about tea to have other culinary interests, and quite often foodies such as ourselves delight in finding new and interesting ways to merge their various food passions. Well, our latest passion is chocolate, and we figured it might be worth sharing some thoughts on the subject of tea and chocolate pairing.
Successful combinations of tea and chocolate can be achieved in a variety of ways. You can look for tea/chocolate pairings that share similar flavor characteristics, thereby enhancing one another. Conversely, you can also find very satisfying combinations where the flavors of the tea and chocolate contrast – these are sometimes the biggest hits. Lastly, look for tea/chocolate pairings where the characteristics of each aren’t necessarily the same, but are compatible or complimentary in some fashion. Along these lines, we offer a few ideas for you to try, but by no means is this list exhaustive – let your palate, your creativity and your sense of adventure be your guide!
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September 30 2009 | Cooking with Tea and Tea Fun | No Comments »
Yixing clay teapots (also called “purple sand teapots”) have been made and used in China for tea brewing for roughly 600 years, and with their recent addition to our catalog, the time-honored tradition of using them to brew cherished varieties of tea can be yours! These very special teapots are produced in the region of the town of Yixing (in China’s eastern Jiangsu province), made of a special “purple sand clay” found in that region.
One of the key elements that make yixing teaware special is the slightly porous finish caused by the purple sand clay they’re made from. With repeated use, this slightly porous finish allows a tiny amount of tea to be absorbed into the pot. Over time, the pot will develop a coating that retains the flavor, aroma and often the color of the tea it has been used to brew. For this reason, many tea lovers prefer to dedicate their yixing teapots to a single type of tea – often oolongs. And here’s an important tip: because of yixing teaware’s porous finish, soap should not be used for cleaning. I nstead, yixing teaware should be rinsed with fresh water and allowed to air-dry.
November 30 2008 | Products and Tea Fun | No Comments »
After our last post on Kombucha, we got a lot more response from our customers than we expected. Seems as though many of you are already devoted converts! Although there are more and more brands of bottled kombucha available on the shelves of your local natural foods store every day, some of you expressed interest in making kombucha at home. Being the helpful sort of folks that we are, we thought you might get some use out of a recipe.
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June 29 2008 | Kombucha and Tea Fun | 8 Comments »
Over the years, we’ve seen interest in Kombucha grow remarkably, so we thought to ourselves, “boy, our customers need to hear about this stuff!” Kombucha (occasionally called “kvass” or “Russian mushroom tea”) is a highly sweetened probiotic tea fermented using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (or “SCOBY”). This kombucha “mushroom” (also called a “Russian tea mushroom”) is a pale, rubbery zoogleal mat of yeast and acetobacters. The yeast break the sugar’s sucrose into fructose and glucose, then converts the glucose into alcohol. The several species of acetobacter, in turn, convert this alcohol into acetic acid (i.e., vinegar) and gluconic acid. The gluconic acid smoothes the finish of the acetic acid, suppressing much of the vinegar’s harshness. The result is a sweet, tangy, fizzy, lightly caffeinated beverage with almost no alcohol (generally less than .5 percent), and measurable amounts of L-theanine, an amino acid found in all brewed teas and shown to reduce mental and physical stress.
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May 28 2008 | Kombucha and Tea Fun | 6 Comments »
Now that the weather is (finally) turning the corner into spring/summer here in Ann Arbor, it seems only fitting that we start talking about iced tea! Although we’ll be talking more on this subject in the coming weeks and months, I just wanted to give a “heads-up” primarily to our southeastern Michigan customers about a fun mini-class on iced tea that I’ll be teaching this summer at Washtenaw Community College (WCC). The class,which will be held on Thursday, June 12 from 6:00 to 8:00pm, is entitled, “Iced Tea: It’s Come a Long Way Since the St. Louis World’s Fair!” In this short and sweet two-hour class, we’ll be covering:
- A quick overview of tea (how it’s made, health benefits, etc.);
- The history of iced tea;
- How to make iced tea at home;
- Fun things to do with iced tea.
For those of you that may be interested, click here to register for this class through WCC. Class size is limited, so don’t delay! I hope to see many of you there!
April 20 2008 | Tea Fun | No Comments »
Do not doubt the power of tea. In the most recent example of tea’s ability to improve the human condition, a recent care package of organic and fair trade loose leaf tea from Arbor Teas has evidently awoken the inner tea connoisseurs of the fantastic search marketing professionals at Pure Visibility! Click here to read the whole story! As Pure Visibility’s experience demonstrates, it’s not uncommon for the recipient of a tea-related gift to experience elevated levels of good humor, friendliness, mental clarity, and a refreshed sense of their place in the world. So, if you’re ever stumped for a gift to perk up a friend or colleague, try some tea!
February 14 2008 | Tea Fun | 1 Comment »