Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tarts & Tea Tasting

Is pie the new cupcake?  All the big food magazines have been featuring pie recipes lately, there are new pie companies popping up across the country.  Is there a pie movement that I didn't realize was happening?!

Well, actually pies have been speculated to have been around since 9500 BC, so that would make cupcakes the newer trend.  If we're in the cycle of old is new again, then I guess pies are on the rise!

We all know what goes well with pies...TEA!  And when you're in Toronto's Leslieville neighbourhood, Majesteas is the choice for tea.  This lovely little teashop is owned by Rob and Ian.  Rob is a Certified Tea Sommelier who I keep bumping into that I met a few years ago at one of the many tea events I've attended.

One Sunday afternoon, I brought my friend Kim from the new Leslieville Pie Factory to Majesteas along with some of her tasty tarts.

Fine tarts:  lemon, triple chocolate caramel and butter makes three.
The O Christmas Tea with a dash of milk beautifully complimented the rich chocolate tart.
Cinnamon Plum:  this warm, soothing cinnamon plum licorice hibiscus herbal blend went well with the lemon tart.  Also tasty was the Marakesh Orange Spice (cup to the right)
Spice for Life: this blend was reminiscent of ginger snaps, not too sweet, went well with the butter tart
Genmaicha - the toasty nuttiness was great with the lemon tart
this one was so good I nearly forgot to take a picture until it was half gone
These are the teas
So, if you're ever in Leslieville on Queen Street East, take some tarts to Majesteas for a fun delicious extravaganza!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Time (and Rita) Flies!

My, how time flies! Can you believe October is coming to an end already?!  I've been busy traveling, attending food shows, tea events, taking tea workshops and visiting tea shops since my last post.  I've been to Seattle, Vancouver, Montreal and now getting ready to go to Vancouver again for the inaugural Vancouver Tea Festival this Saturday!  And after that, who knows, maybe Ottawa for their tea festival too!

I'm also busy sorting through my Spring China Tea Tour photos looking for worthy candidates to submit for the Tea & Art section for next year's Toronto Tea Festival.

I thought I'd share some of my photos from the travels with you here.



You might recognize some of the people in these! More details and pictures to come!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tea-Filled Weekend in Toronto: Part 1

Last weekend (August 9-11) started off with a lecture at The Tea Emporium on Friday presented by the Tea Association of Canada.

James Norwood Pratt is the world renowned San Francisco based tea author and expert acknowledged to be the person that helped bring about North America's present Tea Renaissance.   Originally from North Carolina "Norwood", as he likes to be referred to, is every bit the Southern gentleman; charming, enthusiastic, soft spoken and a dynamic story teller.

He just recently updated "The Ultimate Tea Lover's Treasury" first published in 1982.
"Tea is humanity's favourite habit. We drink it because it makes us feel good and it is good for you".  The audience mainly consisted of Tea Association members.

The hour and half lecture went through the basics covering the six types of teas - White, Green, Yellow, Oolong, Black, and Puerh.  It was an engaging refresher.
Then came autograph time! I missed my chance to pick up the "Tea Dictionary" last year at the World Tea Expo, so this lecture and book signing was a prime opportunity!  This book's for me!
Photo: R. Drolet
and this one's for my friend, Raymonde, who's also a Certified Tea Sommelier
Valerie (James Norwood Pratt's lovely wife), Shabnam (owner of The Tea Emporium), Louise (President of the Tea Association of Canada), me and Norwood
Photo: R. Drolet
This lecture was only the start of last weekend's tea-filled adventures.  Watch for Part 2 as the tea adventures continued at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre with the Tea!Chai!The! Festival, which was part of the Fusion Cooking Festival celebrating Pan Asian sights, sounds and tastes!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Farmers Market + Tech Conference = @ Eat Up TO

Yes, you read that right.  A farmers market, food and drink event with a tech conference thrown in the mix...that pretty much sums up the Eat Up TO event that took place on Sunday, June 23rd at 99 Sudbury Ave.
Some of the many sponsors of Eat UP TO
Hosted by Foodea

I was there to help out the only tea company at this yummy and informative event.  My Tea Brew is the brainchild of Certified Tea Sommelier, Donna Sikora.  Donna was my one of my fellow travel mates on my recent China Tea Tour too, so I was more than happy to help her out.  Add great drinks, some of the city's finest food trucks and food tables, with oysters!  Hello, I was there!

Food trucks!

A sunny summer afternoon calls for beer!

La Tromba's Watermelon cucumber margarita was very refreshing
Cool City Oyster Yard - I found another cool oyster house in town

Lucky Limes from Prince Edward Island were fresh, salty and sweet finish, mmm

Service with a smile from San Pellegrino

Donna from My Tea Brew

Donna's handcrafted Red bush Chai Mallow puffs were perfect little fluffy treats!  It had just the right amount of chai flavour, not too sweet and oh so soft.  I could have had two!
Berry berry rooibos on tap - fragrant, light and refreshing

John Placko of the Modern Culinary Academy
Food meets science in molecular cuisine

Flexible caramel and green tea infused aerated white chocolate - looks like sushi, fun to eat!

Kevin from Cheesewerks 
In defense of food photography by Chris from Gastropost
A great little find, La Rivolta pop-up

The arancini was delicious! Light and crispy on the outside and cheesy gooey on the inside and oh so tasty.  A treat from La Rivolta.  Everyone's so friendly at the farmer's market.
Food Media Panel of Wendy Kam Marcy (Hip Urban Girl, Jen Chan (Foodpr0n), Yvonne Tsui (3 Hungry Cats)Casper Yue (Toronto Food Trucks) and Abbey Sharp (Abbey’s Kitchen) moderated (standing)

Dillion's vodka Thyme Lemonade was a perfect way to cap off the day.  (their vodka is distilled from Niagara grapes!)

The nice fellows from Sangwich (Dolce Lucano) gave us tea gals a treat of sandwiches, thank you guys! 

And if you can't tell by now, besides tea, I also really like oysters!!  Pimm's Cup with my last two oysters of the day (Raspberry Points from PEI).

And last but not least, Hot Bunzz!
These cute stuffed buns are a riff on the Chinese baos.
I tried the Bison Short Rib and Brazilian BBQ Beef.  I really enjoyed the flavour of the Bison. The Brazilian BBQ Beef was more similar to a Chinese style baos/buns. The BBQ sauce was made with Brazilian coffee.

They were both tasty buns, but unfortunately because I was chatting with Gayle of the Canadian Foodies Blog so long, the chef had to interject and tell me that "they're not Hot Bunzz anymore". Oh no! They're warm not hot... aww, guess I'll have to get some more soon and devour them right away to get the proper Hot Bunzz experience!
I had such a great time.  I picked up some good information, tasted some yummy food and fantastic drinks.  I look forward to next year's Eat Up TO!  In the meantime, there's a new market in town.... Night Market TO until October for us foodies!

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