Friday, June 19, 2009

Teavana Giveaway by Make Life Delicious blog

I stumbled on this Teavana giveawya on the following blog. Feel free!

BBQ Ribs

My mom makes these very well with baked potatoes. So now I've made some the way she does it.



Pork side ribs
BBQ Sauce

Brush both sides of ribs with BBQ sauce, put potatoes underneath, cover potatoes with water.
Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 80 minutes, flip ribs every 20 minutes and brush with BBQ sauce again.
Drained and baked Potatoes alone for another 40 minutes.



First try at making ratatouille. It was amazing.

Equal amount of tomatoes, orange bell peppers, zuchini, and eggplant
Mixed herbs
Chicken stock
Topped with cornmeal-marinated goat cheese

Cut veggies into chunks.
Layer them in the pot: eggplant, zuchini, bell peppers, tomatoes.
Add some chicken stock.
Cook on low heat for 90 minutes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Teavana's Peach Tranquility

A fruit tisane. Sadly enough, I'm a sucker for fruiTea things like this that pretend to be tea but isn't. It's just so yummy! :)

Vendor Description:
A delightfully harmonious blend of candied peach pieces, pineapple, lemon myrtle, Roman chamomile, sunflower petals and rosehips create a most peaceful blend. Use 1.5 teaspoons of tea per 8oz of water. Heat water to 208 degrees and steep for 5-6 minutes. 2oz of tea equals 25-30 teaspoons. Apples, candied pineapple, candied peach pieces, sunflower petals, lemon myrtle leaves, roman chamomile, and rosehips.

Fruit bits.

One of my friends gave me this teacup and saucer set as a belated holiday present! It's from Teaopia. So cute!~

Parameters: 1 tsp of dried up fruits and stuff, 6 oz boiling water, steeped forever!

Really yummy, probably a little bit artificially sweetened, but owell, still yum! :) Smells like peaches, taste like peaches! I can't say much about Teaopia's business tactics, as I've notices it's quite lacking in proper administration, but this tea is pretty yum! (A bit overpriced though, as it is only 2oz of dried fruits....)

Teavana's Assam Gold Rain

Vendor description:
Comes from one of the finest estates of the Assam region of India. Famous for its fruity yet malty flavor with a tannic red-wine aftertaste. (FTGFOP-1)(Special)

FTGFOP-1. So imressive.... My first exposure to a higher class assam. Far Too Good For Ordinary People, indeed.

The leaves are full, and in good condition it seems.

The music note tea stainer is cute, no? I got it from :) Either the top or bottom half is a perfect teaspoon!

Teacups were supposed to be part of a set from Teavana, but many items of the set broke, so they gave me a refund, and I managed to salvage these :)

First and second infusions.

Spent leaves.
1tsp tea, 5oz boiling water, 35 seconds, 50 seconds.

The instructions are:
Use 1 teaspoon tea per 8oz of water. Heat water to 195-205 degrees and steep for 2-3 minutes. 2oz of tea equals 25-30 teaspoons.
Maybe I'll try that again next time.....

I really enjoyed this tea. The Maltiness is delish! Quite complex a flavour with mostly heavy fruit and some floral notes. Not sure about the red wine aftertaste though, as I know almost nothing about red wine.... :|

First and second infusions are very consistent, but I can tell that the temperature is too high and leaf/water ratio is too high as well. Great tea! But perhaps even better next time.

Love it!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ippodo's Matcha: Wakamatsu-no-Mukashi

It's been a while since I received this matcha, and now's as good a time to post a review as any.

Vendor description:
Ground from shade-cultivated tea leaves, matcha is rich in theanine - an amino acid responsible for matcha's full-bodied mellow sweetness. In Japan, there is a special name for this taste: umami. Generally, the higher the grade, the richer the umami taste.

Characterized by its rich aroma, full-bodied mellow sweetness, and vivid green color,
matcha is a favorite among tea lovers in Japan. Invigorating and full of nutrients, matcha is the perfect drink to rejuvenate your mind and body. It tastes best when served with sweets.

For the
matcha connoisseur with a discerning taste, Wakamatsu-no-mukashi is an excellent choice. Rich in umami, it has a distinct fragrance and aftertaste that linger pleasantly in the throat. Wakamatsu-no-mukashi is also an excellent choice as a koicha.

matcha was named by Jimyosai-sosho XIV, the grand master of the Omote-Senke family of tea masters.

This grade of
matcha is the same as that used for Seiun, which was named by the Ura-Senke family of tea masters.

Size of Package: H46mm x D53mm
Net Weight: 20 grams
Per Serving: 2 grams
(usucha) 4 grams (koicha)
Shelf Life: 120 days

Sifted matcha.

Et, voila!

The parameters are: 4 chashaku, 20ml water at 70 degrees Celcius.

I have to say, the koicha of Wakamatsu-no-Mukashi is the best koicha I have ever had, even better than my beloved Matcha Pinnacle from Teaopia (which now all finished, by the way :( ...). The umami taste is so bold and fresh it really kicks in and grabs your attention from everything. No astringency or bitterness whatsoever, even if you try to nitpick at it. All in all, SO WONDERFUL, it makes me afraid to try the other ones which are supposedly even better than this. E.g. the Ummon-no-Mukashi and Seiun from Ippodo, and of course, the Matcha Manten from O-cha.

One unfortunate thing about the Wakamatsu, compared to my Matcha Pinnacle, is that it would be a sacriledge to make it as an usucha. Since it has no astringency or other characteristic tastes, when made into an usucha, it tastes extremely bland and dissappointing, whereas Matcha Pinnacle is great as either usucha or koicha with a balanced taste.

At 1500 yen for 20gs, I have to say, this is the best koicha at the best value I have ever tried. Absolutely marvelous. <3

First exposure to Pu-er

Haven't posted in a while because of busyness from school and everything else. But now I'm back!

I did a little tea swap with one of my friends, I gave her some matcha, and she gave me some pu-er. Not sure about the terroir and vintage, but I was told that this is a very high quality shu bingcha.

Very very densely stuck together :|

Rinsed 10s, dumped out. Then first infusion on the left, second on the right.

Third infusion on left, fourth on right.

The teacups are lovely, no? :) They are doublewalled cups I got from Teavana. They called it Petite Fleur Suspendus, and are now completely sold out I think. :|

Feeling lazy, so just gonna write this way, still understandable.

3.5g, 5oz boiling water, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 63 seconds, 76 seconds. Can probably make more infusions as the taste has not waned at all.......

Spent leaves.

I'm actually pretty amazed. This is my very first exposure to pu-er, and the first time I made it, I was actually a little grossed out by the fungus-y scent and the metalicky strange taste. But after that, I'm actually starting to truly appreciate it for its complexity. Each infusion is more complex and multifaceted than the one before it. It makes me really want to get into learning more about the marvelous world of pu-er..... But I'm poor now, need to finish all my shincha before I dwelve into all that....