As we launch into 2015, I am grateful for a multitude of things, many of which I will continue to embrace and indulge further as we enter the new year. I am so appreciative of … the support of my awesome family; inspirational meetings with my hype girl (Hilary); improving my downward dog thanks to my sister and Megan increasing my mindfulness through yoga; the nerve to dance like a fool to Adam Levine’s, Map, and Taylor Swift’s, Shake It Off, as a painless way to exercise; the arrival this year of four gorgeous, bouncing baby boys into our family; and the “never taken for granted” gift of health which allows me to do any of these things. And of course…I appreciate the comfort and joy of my daily tea ritual…which is always healthy, tasty, interesting, and motivating. While restrictions in diets abound, particularly as we age, quality teas afford me the opportunity to explore and imbibe in an unrestricted manner. There is a tea for any feeling, season, occasion, and need. It’s versatility and breadth of variety continues to astound and fascinate me.
2014 brought several unique tea experiences my way. I chose some of my favorites to reflect upon …below…
Beginning with the end in mind–at the end of 2013, we enjoyed trying the Darjeeling Tea Martini at the St. Regis “Tea and Tinis” event. It impressed me enough that I tried making my own recently with my good friend A. — the champagne of teas with vodka…very tasty.
Then we were wowed last February while in Sacramento with the seriously spectacular eating and drinking experience at The Kitchen Restaurant ...while I enjoyed a lovely oolong served in a tetsubin iron pot…I later wished I had known of their fresh herbal tea preparation. I would have opted for it. They cut the fresh herbs and infuse them right in front of you . And while I am not usually an herbal infusion fan, this one looked to be special…guess we will have to go back 🙂 )
For our book group, I made my own stunning marbled tea eggs (with yolks perfectly centered by moving the egg slowing through the boiling water the first few minutes of cooking). These made for a tasty small bite sandwich made with my angel biscuit (from a Martha Stewart Living recipe), served with a jasmine pearl tea…
In May, we were thrilled with the tea shops we explored on our trip to Portland, Oregon…what a great tea city. Steven Smith Teas was an exceptional, contemporary, quality tea experience. My husband and nephew loved his teas, his tasting, and his packaging. Of course, he should know what he is doing…as he began with Stash teas, created Tazo and sold it to Starbucks and now is focused on his own brand.
We then came on an excellent tea shop much closer to us, in Del Mar, Ca…called Leaf and Kettle. Their tasting was performed in darling little tasting cups, and the way they used a martini shaker to prepare their iced tea inspired me to get our own shaker out and now is the preferred way for us to make the coldest, freshest iced tea.
I then re-discovered a favorite shop in Irvine…the first contemporary tea shop I came upon about 10 years ago – Cha for Tea...still making excellent infused tea to order.
My new tea ware from Laguna Beach’s Spice Merchants is functional and beautiful…and I enjoyed doing a tea 101 class there in September…
Now…wonder what’s in store for 2015? I have a few ideas and look forward to sharing my finds and experiences with you. And remember…Drink Tea…it’s good for you!!
Happy New Year!