My tasting notes: Organic Assam black tea

"I grew up on this estate, so for me Chota Tingrai is full of memories. The butterflies, the fresh smell of rain, the Tingrai river that winds its way through the estate, the sound of the crickets before a roaring thunder, and the loud rain pattering on the tin roofs and a sea of glowing fireflies are some of my favourite memories of the estate".

Avantika Jalan, Managing Director and Founder, Mana Organics

Matcha mochi muffins

Mochi muffins have become so popular in the Bay Area that I challenge you to find a cafe or tea house where you cannot get them. Their rise to stardom has been a quiet one, yet strong and steady. I keep seeing them everywhere. They’ve been in the news, they are on the menu at Asha Teahouse, Boba Guys serves them … need I say more? Despite being very curious, I had never tried them before (don’t ask me why). So I made them and suddenly realized what the hype is all about.

Confessions of a teaware minimalist

The beauty of tea also lies in the choice of teaware it is served in. In the Japanese tea ceremony, for example, appreciating the beauty of the teaware is part of the ritual. It helps being present in the moment. The right teaware adds to the experience. Think of drinking your favorite tea out of a beautiful porcelain cup and compare that to drinking that very same tea out of a disposable paper cup. Not the same, right?

Tea and charcuterie

With World Tea Expo coming to a close, I’m a little sad that I I was not able to attend. To beat the blues, I turned to tea and food (so predictable, right?!) to cheer me up and ended up experimenting with some pairings I had never tried before.Drumroll, please...Let me introduce you to salumi, aka the cured meats of Italy. I have three tea and salumi pairings for you! 

Tea-infused Negroni, two ways

If you haven’t already, it’s time to hop on the Negroni bandwagon. Negroni, now ubiquitous, is an iconic Italian cocktail. Legend has it that Count Camillo Negroni invented it in 1919 in Florence. Why is it so popular? For one thing, it’s Italian, need I say more? (just kidding, of course). Well, it’s a simple recipe (just 3 ingredients in equal parts) and it doesn’t require any special bar tools. Nevertheless, it’s a very sophisticated cocktail. Its strong flavor, with bitter and sweet notes, might not be for everyone but palates have evolved to appreciate the bitter flavor in coffee and IPA beers, kale and dark chocolate, to name just a few examples. As it turns out, tea is perfect to create playful variations of Negroni, so without further ado, let me introduce you to the Tea-groni, two ways!