Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cheese & Tea? Yes!

Last week when I was in Boston for the Tea Expo I took a class with the renowned tea sommelier Cynthia Gold. I was intrigued that the pairing was tea and cheese as I have paired tea with most food items- but never cheese (at least intentionally). The concept is the same as wine and cheese pairing- with the exception of regional pairings, you cannot pair tea and cheese regionally. For example, you would possibly pair a creamy, high fat-content cheese with a bold, dry wine to cleanse the palate (I know there are more complexities to wine & cheese ...this is just one example) so following the same idea you would pair a triple cream cheese with a bold pu-erh. I was amazed how well the tea and cheese complimented each other and how utterly delicious the selections were.
Try it at home:
* Try salty cheese with sweet tea - Stilton Blue Cheese with Lychee Congou
* Try a soft, creamy cheese with a mild green tea - Chevre with Sencha
* Try a nutty cheese with an earthy, bold tea- Comte Cheese with Ceylon
* Try an intense cheese with a smokey tea- Gorgonzola with Lapsang

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

World Tea Expo East

Hi from Boston! I made the trek from Philadelphia to Boston today (the driving directions said 4.5 hours but it took 5.5 hours- and I don't drive slow!)for the first East Coast Tea Expo. It is being co-located with the Natural Food Expo so it should be packed with new and exciting products. Tomorrow I am taking classes all day (and drinking tea, tea and more tea) and on Friday I will be checking out the exhibits. I am especially excited to take the cheese and tea pairing class- I will be sure to pass on what I learn so you can give it a try at home.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Local Glass Blower Displays Art at The Hill Tea Bar

Local glass blower, Karin Kozlowski, is displaying her extraordinary glass pumpkins at The Hill Tea Bar. If you are in the Philly area please stop by to see them- they are truly incredible pieces of art! Also pick up information on glass blowing lessons with Kristin.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Annie Hart- Philadelphia Story Artist

Many of you know Annie Hart from her storytelling events; I am always asked by customers for more information. She is famous in the Philadelphia area- for those of you who want to hear more of Annie's stories check out:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TEAdious Tuesday

I have customers who come in every day asking for tea with no caffeine. There are lots of choices for them but I never understood how anyone could get through life- or even the day- without a bold cup of assam or an earthy pu-erh. Anyway, tea has little caffeine compared to coffee, so how could it hurt? Last week my doctor told me that I should stop drinking all caffeinated beverages- I asked her if she was joking...I spend all day drinking tea! She told me she was serious so I grudgingly replaced my morning assam with rooibos and my 3pm pu-erh with ginger tea. While I like rooibos and herbal infusions it does not make up for the lack of black tea. This morning I drove my son to his first day of high school and of course I was either driving too slow, was in the wrong lane or not understanding his dire need to play a particular X-Box game and by the time we got to the school I cannot say I was sorry to see him go; it was a long 25 minute ride. After I dropped him off I went to the restaurant warehouse to pick up some supplies and on the way to the car I lost 4 bottles of syrup as they slid off the flatbed (no shopping carts, only flatbeds at this place) and rolled under a big truck. I wasn't going to go under the truck to fetch them so I just left them there. I won't tell my husband that I left the syrup- he will be aghast that I "threw money away". By the time I got to my shop and unloaded everything I really needed my black tea. I decided to ease into being caffeine free- too weak to go cold turkey! I enjoyed a big mug of robust Formosa Oolong. Did I tell you that the doc said not to have sugar either- ha!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Final Garden Storytelling Event of 2009 on 9/11/09

The final summertime storytelling event has been rescheduled for Friday, 9/11/2009 at 7pm. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy Annie Hart's special story. Annie is a local story artist who has been featured on television and radio. Her special story blend is sure to entertain! For more information about Annie check out