February 05, 2014

Reviews ›

Irish Breakfast Green Tea : great green morning wake-up

In Ireland green is not only the color of the lucky Irish shamrock but also the color of this skillful blend of green teas from Shizuoka Province in Japan, Zhejian Province in China, and Kenya. The first thing you will notice during a tasting is the robust character of gunpowder tea followed by the smooth, gentle aftertaste of a Japanese green.

This blended Irish Breakfast Green not only makes a great morning drink brewed but can also be the base for a wake-up smoothie. Blend 1 cup cold tea with 1 inch fresh ginger root and two or three Kiwi fruits. Just think: a dose of health-giving antioxidants and Vitamin C with an emerald green color that might bring you a little bit of the luck of the Irish, too!

February 05, 2014

Reviews ›

Vienna Opera Ball : great tea can inspire one to dream

Usually, when we think about jasmine tea, we think about green tea infused with jasmine flowers. Vienna Opera Ball is a special blend of black teas from Sri Lanka, India, and Kenya and yields subtle aromas of jasmine flowers to create a full and complete bouquet. 

Just its name makes me dream about Viennese palaces; it’s appearance, black tuxedos; and the pale jasmine leaves, the elegant white dresses of the ladies of the ball. Its full-bodied flavor is like the bold sound of a Strauss waltz played by a large orchestra.

To be at the Vienna Opera Ball was always my dream!

February 05, 2014

Reviews › Tea Technique ›

Genmaicha: Roasted rice and green tea ? ( aka Popcorn tea)

Pour some water in Genmaicha. Wait. . . and the room will smell like something is roasting. The combination seems strange to our Western notions of what tea should be. Roasted rice and green tea? It actually tastes surprisingly good and once tried you will never forget its nutty combination of roasted rice and fresh green tea.

“Gen” means dark, “mai”, rice and “cha”, tea.

Genmaicha: dark roasted rice tea. The color, which is slightly yellow and a little cloudy, comes from the rice. The flavor is incomparable to anything else, with an aftertaste of nuts and roasted rice.

Tea culture came to Japan from China. Many things such as tea developed a new form in Japanese culture and something unique was created. Perhaps one of the reasons for adding rice to tea was its cost. With rice added it was less expensive and more affordable for poor Japanese farmers.

Brewing time is 2 minutes. You may steep this tea two or three more times, each time increasing the brewing period.

Genmaicha is a gastronomic surprise for anyone who has not tried it. It is an evening drink; there is very little caffeine and only one calorie per cup. I ate rice grains after sipping this tea and was very pleased. It was like a complete meal!

February 05, 2014

Reviews ›

Oolong Orange Blossom and sensory memories

Recently, I discovered a subtle and fragrant tea that brought back memories of my time in Provence 20 years ago on hot afternoons in a garden suffused with the aroma of rosemary and lavender.

My friend’s grandmother and I were peeling green beans for a big party. The strings were thrown to feed the snails in a cage the family kept in their garden. Many families raised snails in their gardens for eating. They were prepared for special occasion meals with garlic and Herbes de Provence—unique and delicious!

For tea break I served myself brioche that was made with “eau de fleur d’oranger” (orange blossom water) and a cup of tea. I do not remember the tea, but the sensory experience of tea and the subtle fragrance of orange blossom is anchored in my memory without my being aware of it. Whenever I taste Oolong Orange Blossom tea this vivid picture is  formed in my imagination.

Some unusual flavor combinations can reawaken wonderful sensory memories of unforgettable moments in our lives...


If you like green tea you will love Sencha.

I love it because of its freshness, color, and the light energy
boost and uplift it gives me. You can drink Sencha any time of day—with food, desserts, or just by itself.
This Japanese-style tea is simple and uncomplicated to prepare: It can be brewed with over-boiled or hard water and you can put as much tea in the mesh as you wish. Experiment to find out what you like. However, there is one preparation rule that should be respected: brew time should not exceed
1 minute. A short infusion time allows this tea to open up and release its subtle aromas, create a beautiful light green color, deliver smooth taste, and incredible foam. The leaves can be brewed up to three times, but the best will be the first infusion. A long brew time will make the liquor cloudy and the taste bitter.
Sencha is best served in white porcelain or transparent glass cups.
The freshness of the leaves is assured by the special way they are prepared: steamed, not dried or heated. This is why its caffeine and tannin levels are quite low and its antioxidant properties high.
If you have leftover Sencha don’t throw it out. It can be incorporated in smoothies or added to rice water when cooking. It will add new aromas!
January 31, 2014

Reviews › Tea History ›

Darjeeling MIM served in a special Cobalt Net tea set

Cobalt Net Tea set at Culinary Teas

For special occasions I use a special tea set I brought from Russia. This tea set has a direct connection with my cultural heritage. It is called Cobalt Blue Net and was first made for the Russian Tsarina Elisabeth in the 18th Century. She was daughter of Peter The Great and she ruled the country for 20 years. During this time scientists all over Europe were experimenting with ways to create porcelain. Russia was the third country after Meissen (Germany) and Sevres (France) to do this at Manufacture of Russian imperial porcelain began in St. Petersburg.  

The Imperial Porclain factory survived revolutions, wars, and the Communist period and still manufactures these beautiful tea sets to this day.  They are hand-painted and tea brewed in them is particularly flavorful.  I brewed Darjeeling MIM 2nd Flush in my Cobalt Net tea set.  The tea has full, velvety grounded flavor and beautiful color.  This tea drinking experience was a pleasure for all senses.   


January 31, 2014

Reviews ›

Roses, Love and Tea


Rosebuds on a platter


When we think about roses we think about love and the people we love, romance and sweet moments together with someone special. The gift of roses has traditionally been a way to express our affections on an occasion, open hearts, and nurture friendship.

Imagine a tea with the character and aroma of fresh roses. In our collection we have Rose tea, actual Rose buds, and many blends that incorporate rose petals and their essential oils. Rose buds themselves are beautiful just to look at—they are organic and edible. You can put them in a cup of tea, a glass of champagne, or use them as a cake decoration.