Monday, March 25, 2013

CRFA Show 2013: The Search for Tea (Part 2)

After visiting AIYA Matcha in Part 1, I continued my search for more tea in the sea of aisles of restaurant equipment, packaging companies, foods and drinks at the CRFA Show.

Calibre (a packaging company)'s mascot posing for me

Chai Tea flavoured cheese. Ha! Tea is so hot that they're making tea flavoured cheeses!   It was not bad, spices with Monterey Jack cheese.  But I think I preferred the Jamaican Jerk Spice cheese (yumminess overcame me and I forgot to take a photo of it)

Numi Organic Tea (Numi means "citrus" in Arabic). Founded in 1999 by brother and sister team of Ahmed and Reem Rahim.  The latest addition to their line of premium organic, Fair Trade certified teas and tisanes is the 'Savory Tea".  As soon as I saw Numi I was excited to be able to taste these new veggie-spice tea blends that I had heard about...but, was told it's only available in the U.S.!  No!  Disappointed, I took my consolation sample of their Desert Lime tea and walked off.

Nope, not even candy could pick me up...
"This product may contain peanuts"...what? not tea?
I was in need of something more...and then I found it, TEA!  Something familiar like Sloane Fine Tea Merchants!

some of the many old fashioned perfume bottles of teas to check out
It was nice catching up with fellow Certified Tea Sommelier, Hoda (Director of Sloane) and her husband, Dean (CEO of Sloane).  Sipped samples of Sloane's Iced Crimson Berry, a delicious and refreshing berry and hibiscus tisane.  But I arrived at their booth late and missed out on samples of the new Almond Truffle.  I was looking forward to tasting that too!

They will be adding four new teas to their existing line.  These four flavours were specially commissioned by Heather Reisman and will be exclusive to Chapters Indigo.  You won't even be able to buy it online at Sloane's!  Dean said you can pick it up at their pop-up shoppe at Commerce Court (Glad to hear that their lease got extended 'til Mother's Day).

The four flavours are Cherry Blossom, Peaches & Cream, Chocolate Truffle, and Divine Creme.  They brought sample bottles of the Cherry Blossom and Peaches & Cream.  Peaches & Cream smelled good but the Cherry Blossom was a little too faint (most likely from bottle being opened so many times).

They will be launched in time for Mother's Day, so watch for them!
Close up of the Jasmine Snow Dragon tea
Elsa from King's Zen Tea recognized me from the Toronto Tea Festival and waved me over to their booth to check out some of their tea.

Some of their many Chinese teas and herbal blends.
Two of their top sellers are Lotus Leaf tea and Rose tea.  Rose tea is high in vitamin C , has an uplifting effect, is good for your skin, and you can read more about its benefits here.  Lotus leaf tea according to traditional Chinese medicine is good for colds and helps with weight loss and more.

Twisted Tea, a malt-based spiked iced tea with 5 % alcohol. There wasn't an overpowering alcohol taste, pretty smooth, subtle, lemon iced tea taste, kind of like a spiked Nestea.  Hmm, not bad, can I get another?

As I entered the tea pavilion, saw the familiar faces of Adi and Louise (President) of the Tea Association of Canada.
Photo: Raelene Gagnon
How delightful!  Tealish!  They have a great little tea shop with cheerful and friendly staff.  There is a sit down area where you can enjoy a well-made matcha latte or have it to go and enjoy some window shopping on the cool Queen Street West strip.  What a delish way to spend an afternoon.
They were showing off their new package design and new line of pyramid teabags, you'll see it out in a couple of  weeks or so.
Pleasant and refreshing

You are getting sleepy... zzz 

Oh good! some fragrant Earl Grey to wake me up  - still more tea to be found, can't rest yet!
Another familiar face!  Certified Tea Sommelier, Raelene Gagnon, of Tea and All its Splendour!  Tea and All its Splendour is a gourmet loose leaf tea company.  Their teas are in many cafes around town and some private labels carry them, including Trish Stratus's Stratusphere.  March is Mango Madness at Tea and All its Splendour featuring free shipping for orders within Canada for a limited time only!  So hurry and place your orders!

Finally I found the Teapigs that the reps from Tetley told me about!  Teapigs are a UK tea company that offer premium whole leaf tea in tea temples or sachets.  They are Rainforest Alliance certified, their tea temples/sachets are made of biodegradable corn starch, and their packaging is fully recyclable.  How nice!

I tried the Everyday brew (English breakfast), a blend of Assam, Ceylon and Rwandan. It was strong, balanced, malty, and a bit zesty from the Rwandan. Very interesting, I'd be curious to try some more of their teas.

Teapigs are set to launch in Canada this April in food services establishments.  Hmm, wonder which places have selected to carry Teapigs... if you spot them, please come back, comment and let us know!
These 6 are on their way to food service establishments in Canada in April
Oh my gosh! The motherload, look at all the teas at Metropolitan Tea's booth!

It was great to see how tea was represented in this year's CRFA Show.  With such a selection of fine tea companies to educate food service industry folks, hopefully we're not going to get presented with a wimpy teabag in tepid water at the end of a fine dining experience again.

After some more sniffing and examining of tea leaves, I was a happy girl and ready to leave...until I saw
Do I venture into Mexico?  With all it's tempting offerings? ...

Hmm, work tomorrow...better stick to tea for now.

No comments:

Post a Comment