Sunday, July 30, 2017

Baccarat, NYC

Our final destination for the progressive NYC tea tour culminated with the ultimate experience of Afternoon Tea at the Baccarat in Midtown at 28 West 53rd Street. Sheer crystal elegance, infamous perfectly spherical fresh rose orbs, and a destination dripping in beauty.
 We were escorted to the Veranda where our group enjoyed a leisurely tea while the hustle and bustle of the City hummed in the background. Modern, black and white, crisp, and clean. This was the first time the Baccarat has served tea on the Veranda. The menu on the table announced the pleasures that were to follow.

Crystallized Sugar Stirrers

Mariage Freres Tea were the featured teas, and there was a selection of four hot teas, and one iced tea to choose. Assam, Earl Grey, Baccarat Blend, Interdit (green oolong blend), or Yuzu Temple (Iced, a citrus green tea).

The gourmet savories included Honey Crisp Apple Tartelette with Jambon and Fromage Blanc, Foie Gras Mousseline with Blackberry and Pistachio Financier, Filet Mignon with Horseradish Creme and Onion Fennel Roll, Maine Lobster Salad with Parsnip on Black Sesame Pizelle, and Savory Pain Perdu with Spinach, Mushroom and Mimolette.
The vegetarian savories were equally as impressive and included:
Pistacio Financier, Cashew Mousse, Blackberries
Eggplant Ravioli Smoked tofu, Basil
Pan Perdu, Espelette Custard, Mushrooms
WontonCrisp, Honeycrisp Apple, Beets
Mille-Feuille of Hummus, Avocado, Truffle

 Scones and Sweets were served together. The Warm Homemade Scones were coconut flavored and served with a very generous portion of Devonshire Cream and Seasonal Gelee.

The sweets included:
Black Orchid Mousse au Chocolate
Tartlette aux Fruits
Jasmine Pistachio Genoise
Charlotte Framboise
With edible gold leaf garnish

Afternoon Tea at the Baccarat was the perfect culmination to a day of tea filled adventure in The City.

Kudos to Susanna for navigating the ins and outs of NYC traffic! She got us safely to our destination and back home again.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Tea Process

Everything tea! Located on a door in the T2 shop is this full length black and white graphic that explains the tea process. All tea comes from a single variety of plant, Camellia sinensis. It's the way the harvested leaves are processed that determines the final variety of tea.

It's a good basic primer and a simple understanding of the tea process for an explanation on the back of a door.

Friday, July 28, 2017


Destination number two on the NYC tea tour included a stop at T2tea in Rockefeller Center. This colorful tea shop is located at 620 Fifth Avenue with the entrance on 50th Street. The huge storefront catches your attention with the wide variety of colorful products.

The shop is crammed full from floor to ceiling with towering displays of teas to purchase. This central display table held multiple rows of loose leaf tea so you could see the unique qualities of each tea.

Another area of the store had four different iced teas brewed to sample. All very yummy and full of flavor.

 The store manager, Marcus, captured our attention as he demonstrated the brewing technique to create several iced matcha lattes. We sampled cinnamon matcha, genmaicha matcha, and chocolate matcha. Using the bamboo whisk, he blended the powdered flavored matcha with hot water, added some soy milk and a touch of honey, whisked a bit more, and then poured that over ice. We all taste tested the creations, and enjoyed each one.

 The long line at the register confirmed that tea enthusiasts never have enough tea! There's always something new and different to add to the tea shelves at home! Angelica stood in line with the cinnamon matcha. She was hooked!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Radiance Tea House, NYC

An adventure into NYC with fellow members of the Mid Atlantic Tea Business Association took us to three distinct tea destinations. Our first stop, and meeting point to connect with everyone, was at Radiance Tea Room in midtown Manhattan. This traditional Taiwanese tea shop features a large selection of books, a beautiful variety of tea ware, and the opportunity to enjoy some delicious foods and flavorful tea.

This was the summer quarterly meeting for MATBA, and about 20 members from New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania journeyed into the Big Apple via car or train to experience this adventure that was coordinated by Darlene Meyers Perry (R) of  The Tea Lovers Archives and her blog, The Tea Enthusiasts Scrapbook and Jo Johnson (L) of A Gift of Tea.

Tea Canisters

While at Radiance, we enjoyed a tea tasting of Eastern Journey. This lovely blend is a combination of green and black tea flavored with rose, jasmine and sun flowers. Take your taste buds on a journey!

Merchandise of all types was on display in this brightly lit location. The tea room, located at 158 West 55th street is between 6th and 7th Avenue. The culture of the East has been brought to this tea room both in the food and teas that they serve and in the merchandise that fills the shelves.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Afternoon Tea at Kent Manor Inn, MD

A recent Monday afternoon took us south to Maryland and just across the magnificent Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Stevensville, MD on Kent Island. We headed to the Historic Kent Manor Inn (circa 1820) to enjoy Afternoon Tea with friends of the Royal Tea Club.

The tea table was ready and waiting for us. A selection of Tazo teas graced the table alongside fresh lemon slices, sugar cubes and honey. The sleek modern white tea pots held hot water that was refilled as needed.

Afternoon Tea was served buffet style in a separate room. Fresh floral arrangements, antique boxes for added height, and pristine white serving bowls artistically arranged set the scene for the tea.

Everything was well labeled with the first course consisting of a Savory Salad of Baby Greens with pine nuts, blueberries, and smoked blue cheese. There were two dressing choices; Vidallia Onion or Raspberry Vinaigrette. Fresh and light, the salad was a pleasant starter.

The variety of finger sandwiches included (R) a Grilled Chicken Salad with Tarragon and Stone Ground Dijon in triangles. Below left, there is Marinated Cucumber on a Baguette with Grape Tomato, Boursin Mousse and Dill, and below right is Albacore Tuna Salad squares with Cornichon Pickles & Meyer Lemon all garnished with micro greens.

A creamy Poached Egg Salad prepared with Mascarpone Cheese and Chives rounded out the selection of tea sandwiches. The sandwiches were all very fresh and flavorful.

The far end of the table held Assorted Baked Scones with a selection of Blueberry, Wild Berry, and Apple Cinnamon. Toppings included Cool Whip (or something similar) and Orange Marmalade.
This serving plate held large soft chewy Oatmeal Cookies and a variety of petite cheesecakes rounded out the dessert selection.

High School Senior Angelica and Mom Susanna

The elegant Inn on 220-acres of property including 1-1/2 miles of waterfront has a long history and many owners. The property has been restored and expanded over the years, and now features 24 luxurious guest rooms, conference rooms, and beautiful outdoor space for weddings with seating for 600! We had a mere 45 attendees in our gathering, but it was a very delightful and memorable afternoon!