Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tea for Two and Two Tea Books

I couldn't resist showing you my new little friend and her matching mini quilt, made for me by Paula. Isn't she sweet. I'm naming her Miss Paula. She was part of a box of goodies Paula sent me, she is so generous and talented.

I also wanted to talk about tea books. I love the Laura Childs tea mystery series and discovered she had started a new series The Cackleberry Club Mysteries. Eggs in Purgatory is the first one. I enjoyed reading it. It is very much like her other series. This time the main character is a widow and runs the Cackelberry Club with two friends. It is a cafe, book nook and knitting nest. They serve all kinds of interesting eggs for breakfast. They also serve lunch and afternoon tea. I like the fact that they do talk about the food and the tea.

The thing I liked so much about the tea mysteries was all the detailed description of teas. I always wanted to learn more about teas and as a result of reading these books I tried some different teas, Assam, Keemun, Dragonwell, Darjeeling. We have a knit shop in a nearby community that also sells tea and they have their own Drayton, the character that knows all about tea. He described teas to me and helped me pick out the ones I bought.

I found that what I really like are the flavored teas and I found a book at my library Tea for You by Tracy Stern, that talks about the flavoring agents that you can put in tea. She starts by giving the flavor profiles of several teas and then herb teas and other ingredients like spices that you can flavor your teas with. She also gives a few recipes, but encourages you to try different teas with different additions and find your own blend. She said she always uses vanilla bean and many times cacao or nibs crushed for a chocolate flavor.

So I tried the vanilla bean with the Assam and liked that. Next I want to try the nibs and orange peel. When I find a combination I like I'll make up a batch for myself. I also would like to try something with green or white tea.

Black and green teas both have health benefits and many spices do to. I like star anise and would like to try it in a tea. I already use cinnamon quite a bit.

Tracy likes Chai and talks about that too. I've never been that crazy about it, but if I made my own version maybe I'd like it better.

So happy experimenting.

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