National Iced Tea Day – June 10 – Sip Yours Through An Old Fashioned Candy Straw

There seems to be a “day” for almost anything…that includes tea.   Iced tea is particularly popular in America.  Over 95% of the tea consumed in the U.S. is over ice.  Not so in most of the world’s tea drinking nations.  Of course weather has a lot to do with whether one desires their tea hot or cold.

Almost any variety or flavor of tea can be iced.  My particular favorite in black tea is Ceylon, from the Kenilworth Estate-from Mighty Leaf Teas.  Jasmine Pearl is also delicious and refreshing over ice…giving off that lovely hint of fragrance from the Jasmine.

I received an email this morning from Teavana announcing Iced Tea Day with a coupon for a free glass of their blueberry iced tea.   How lovely of them.   While I am not going near the mall where Teavana is located today, I decided to make my own glass of iced tea…am enjoying it with a little piece of dark chocolate as I type this.

Happy Iced Tea Day.

Drink Tea and Enjoy

This candy tea straw is so cute...you sip the iced tea through the candy and it is automatically sweetened...for those enjoyed sweetened tea, this is cool

This candy tea straw is so cute…you sip the iced tea through the candy and it is automatically sweetened…for those enjoyed sweetened tea, this is cool

Cheese And Tea…A Great Combination

Drizzle a bit of honey over a good goat cheese, taste with Assam black tea and wow…a perfect pairing, a miriad of flavors ensue.

The maltiness of the Assam tea goes with the tart of the cheese…and the aftertaste of the honey (which many enjoy in tea on its own) finishes it well.

We often think of pairing wines with cheese…which makes sense.  They do pair well together.  The tannins in red wine smooth out when consumed with a cheese; such as a triple creme or Brie.  The chemistry of the tea leaf evokes similar characteristics as those in wine.  There are tannins in both red wine and black tea…tannins are what give off a somewhat bitter, astringent taste found in red wine and in black tea.  When thinking of pairing teas with wine, it’s primarily black tea and Oolongs which will stand up well with cheese.  Some green vegetal teas pair well with mild cheeses; such as an Asiago cheese.  Try a brie with Darjeeling.  Some of the smoky teas – Russian Caravan or Lapsang souchong make for an interesting pairing with a strong cheese like a Whiskey Irish Cheddar.  If doing a pairing, would recommend trying three cheeses -a soft, medium and hard cheese with two or three teas.  It’s a fun little flavor journey to try with friends.

Cream goat cheese, drizzled with honey - a perfect pairing with Assam tea

Creamed goat cheese, drizzled with honey – a perfect pairing with Assam tea

Topping For The Jones’ Scone

I was excited see that Kevin, Carley Cakes, had more Jones’ Scones in the pastry case at Hidden House Coffee in San Juan Capistrano yesterday…not only did my volunteer gardening buddies get to order and try them with the spectacular vanilla, cinnamon butter; I also had the opportunity to “re-take” photos so you could see how Kevin makes my favorite scone recipe.  Here are some photos and the recipe for my Vanilla, Cinnamon Butter – a full-flavored accompaniment for this biscuit-like scone. (As promised, Lorna, I’m finally posting this recipe so you can enjoy the total package…scone with compound butter).  Check out one of my favorite blogs, Lornas Tearoom Delights, to see some incredibly beautiful sites along with truly quaint and interesting tearooms around Scotland.

Recipe:  Vanilla, Cinnamon Butter…

Delicious on toast, scones, or biscuits.  Pairs well with Masala Chai Tea.

Makes ¾ cup.

PREP TIME:  10 minutes TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes

½ vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract) — I often use vanilla extract as it is simpler than cutting open a vanilla bean

⅓ cup powdered confectioner’s  sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (yes…Tablespoon…you’ve got to love cinnamon mmmmm)

¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

¼ teaspoon salt

Cut open the vanilla bean lengthwise.  Using the back of a knife, scrape along the inside of the vanilla bean to collect the seeds.  Scrape the seeds into a small bowl 0r place 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a bowl.

Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and stir to combine.

Stir in the butter until well blended.  May prepare a few days in advance of use and refrigerate.  May refrigerate for a week.  I often shape the butter into a small log and wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper…then cut into medallions when ready to serve…or you can pipe the butter onto parchment, chill, then store until ready to serve.

Serve with biscuits, scones, toast.

Photo of the Jones' scone as baked by Kevin of Carley Cakes...at Hidden House Cafe

Photo of the Jones’ scone as baked by Kevin of Carley Cakes…at Hidden House Cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cool tea service...at Hidden House Coffee...perfectly hot water...lovely Tea Forte whole leaf earl grey in a small glass cup...

Cool tea service…at Hidden House Coffee…perfectly hot water…lovely Tea Forte whole leaf earl grey in a small glass cup…