All tagged tea blog

My tasting notes: 2018 Wild Raw Puerh

I won this cake a while ago at a giveaway on Instagram and it had been sitting - untouched - in my tea cabinet for a while. Puerh is meant for aging, so I was not overly concerned and I was waiting to be in the mood for it. Let me tell you, I’m rarely in the mood for puerh. I can hear all the pu-heads gasping in horror. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it a lot, but not for solo tea sessions. Strange, isn’t it? Anyways, I somehow associate young (or relatively young) raw puerh with grape skin notes, but I could not detect those here and I did not miss them because there was plenty of other intriguing notes going on.

The only matcha pancakes recipe you will ever need

These pancakes are shockingly easy to make and they pack a ton of matcha flavor. Gone are the days of tasteless matcha-flavored stuff! Did I mention they are dairy-free and low in sugar? I don’t like my pancake batter too sweet because you’re going to drizzle maple syrup on top anyway, right? The secret to fluffy pancakes every time is not a secret at all, my dear matcha loving friends! Whip egg whites to stiff peaks and fold gently into the batter and voila! Enjoy! Recipe right this way.

My favorite tea recipes for fall

Happy first day of fall, tea lovers! How are you celebrating this wonderful season? I can’t say it looks or feels like fall here in LA (yet?), but I can celebrate nonetheless, right? Luckily, I have some tea-infused recipes up my sleeve. Right this way for some cozy tea goodness.

My tasting notes: Machiko VS Fukumidori

Machiko is known to have the distinctive aroma of sakura, cherry blossoms, and fukumidori was described to me as bitter but in a good way, which is not a priority for me when choosing green tea from Japan (umami is at the top of the list usually). Apparently, Japanese tea drinkers seem to enjoy bitterness in their green tea and I was curious to see what that was like. Read on to discover my tasting notes and thoughts.

Tea and Murals. The Love Wall

If you’re new here (welcome!), tea and murals might sound like a far-fetched duo to you. Well, let me explain. Pairing tea and murals is my quirky way of combining two passions in a mindful way and a good “excuse” (as if you needed one!) to explore neighborhoods through tea and art. I’ve been asked what the tea scene in LA is like. Right this way, ladies and gentlemen! I enjoyed the mural, I drank the tea and I’m showing you where to go in one of my favorite LA neighborhoods (oh, hello Culver City) if you want to do the same.

Tea service in restaurants is appalling and it keeps me up at night

It was a damp, chilly, foggy summer night in San Francisco and I was having dinner with my husband at a fine dining restaurant, a newly opened neighborhood gem. Things were going pretty well, beautiful space, amazing food, thoughtful and friendly service. It couldn’t have been any more perfect until the dessert menu arrived. On a whim, I decided to order tea with my dessert, because the selection seemed promising. Big, big mistake, Anna, big mistake, sweetheart.

Japan. Tea in Kyoto

Kyoto is one of those places where I get what I can only describe as a fizzy feeling of excitement, sheer happiness bubbling up for no apparent reason. It’s the texture of the linen door curtains I gently move to the side with my hand, the brightest pop of yellow of the beautifully fan-shaped gingko leaves, all the shades of fire coloring the Japanese maples, the sound of water trickling into a stone basin, the soft rustling of a paper-paneled sliding door, the perfume-y smell of the cedar wood soaking tub, tatami mats under my feet. Four years had gone by since last time. This time, tea was at the top of my list. Here’s what happened.

Pairing Swedish cinnamon knots with tea

I don’t know very much about Sweden, the only thing I know is that their pastries are my new obsession. One kind in particular, Swedish cinnamon knots, also known as kanelbullar. In Sweden sweet treats are a very important part of fika, the Swedish coffee break, which is more of a lifestyle, actually and alternatively can include tea too! Join me on the blog as I pair these delicious pastries with 4 different teas!

Ochazuke: a delicious Japanese tea soup

You can’t see me but I’m doing a little happy dance over here, because my trip to Japan is fast approaching!! I’ve never been to Japan in the wintertime and I’m super excited to visit again one of my favorite countries in the world. Cold weather means hot tea and comforting dishes and I will definitely be on the lookout for the best ochazuke, a Japanese tea and rice soup, basically the epitome of comfort food (but healthy). Usually, genmaicha and hojicha are the teas of choice but sencha and matcha can also be used. Today I’m testing out a recipe from Bon Appetit magazine.

Tartine with oolong poached quince and pecorino

I love the fall for two reasons. The light, which is a photographer’s dream, and the produce. Dates, passion fruit, chestnuts and quince … I mean, have you ever tried fresh Californian dates? I’m obsessed. My recent trip to Madrid, Spain inspired this combination of quince and cheese on sourdough (which is all the rage there thanks to great artisan bakeries, I felt very at home). In Spain membrillo (quince paste) is a popular accompaniment for Manchego sheep milk cheese. I didn’t have Manchego on hand but Pecorino, Italian sheep milk cheese. The sharpness of the cheese goes really well with the sweetness and tartness of quince. I added a strip-style oolong from Korea to the mix (because... I’m the Tea Squirrel, remember?). Its pronounced roasted, slightly smoky but still buttery notes are a great addition to this savory tartine. Fall cravings? Satisfied! Oh, I almost forgot! Scroll down to catch a glimpse of my new tea pet.

Poached eggs with matcha salt

The original recipe for matcha poached eggs is attributed to the author of the cookbook The Breakaway Cook and founder of Breakaway Matcha, Eric Gower. I came across it after falling down an internet rabbit hole and being the curious squirrel that I am, I had to try it out and see what all the hype is about.

Iced Cocoa Nib Chai Tea Latte

Have you ever noticed that it’s almost impossible to get an unsweetened (or even lightly sweetened) chai latte in coffee shops, tea shops, cafes or bakeries? Chai lattes are almost always made from a chai concentrate, a fancy name for chai flavored syrup, which means you can’t have an unsweetened chai latte. I don’t enjoy sweetened drinks and this is one of those things that I find extremely frustrating, second only to fine dining restaurants serving awful tea. I understand that most establishments have constraints in the preparation of drinks, but there must be a solution. I was craving a good unsweetened iced chai tea latte and my only option was to make it myself from scratch.

Iced matcha rose tea latte

Let’s face it, most of us are more or less openly obsessed with matcha. Personally, I’ve learned to embrace my matcha obsession and even though my go-to is traditionally whisked, I’m always on the lookout for good flavor combinations with matcha and especially for matcha-based beverages that are naturally sweet.