‘A-R-T’ and ‘T-E-A’: two very small words with a big connection. Let’s not get off to a confused start… I’m not trying to tell you that the contents of your kitchen cupboard are auction-worthy, that your office tea slave is the next Picasso or that your morning mugful is a masterpiece in the making. Nor am I launching a fierce campaign to see a soggy teabag win the Nobel Prize for Art. I simply wish to draw your attention to the generally unappreciated value placed upon the tea leaf in the world of art. Why am I doing this? Hidden amongst the shadows of great masterpieces and swarms of magnus opera lay paintings and posters, wondrous and breathtaking, depicting the act of drinking tea. A patron of the tea world, I implore you to follow me into the misty shadows of the art world as I shed light on those forgotten gems, torch in hand. Read the rest of this entry »
Add this to the list of things science can’t explain, like the Taos hum or Naga fireballs. I’m an insurance adjuster. We’re a jaded, thick-skinned lot, and no matter what names you call us or legal action you threaten, we get all our crying done the first month on the job. We chomp animal crackers while we crunch numbers, and hold Dum Dum suckers in our cheeks like Kojak, white stick hanging from lips all day long. Sometimes we make you listen to You Can’t Always Get What You Want on the Muzak while you wait on hold for us to decide your economic fate. We take our coffee thick and dark, the most hardcore among us chain smoking between cases of Diet Coke or bourbon at our desks.
Maybe this has happened to you… Someone loves coffee. You love tea. You want to be more than co-hot-drinkers. If only your “someone” would share your sipping. It’s a hard road, to convert someone from one hot-drink preference to another. Not that you would presume to try such a thing. But what if you had a moment of naughty intention, just for the sake of… you know, bonding over loose leaves?
Our afternoon tea celebration to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee in London, a fantastic weekend full of tea celebrations! Interesting though, it was Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese wife of King Charles II of England who originally introduced the custom of drinking tea in Britain in the 16th century.
Not tea related! But a great way to finish off the week and get inspired for the weekend, especially considering we may all hopefully get out and have some fun playing sport this weekend (in between glass of refreshing ice tea of course!) and of course the Summer Olympics soon. Enjoy!
100% caffeine free and packed full of antioxidants, this ice tea recipe is not only easy to make but guarantees to pack a punch when it comes to one of the summers healthiest drinks.
We all know about food and wine pairing…but food a tea…The choice of tea can easily add to a dish, be it cakes, or even breakfast or best tea after dinner. For a traditional Christmas cake we suggest a more ‘traditional tea’. Read the rest of this entry »
Having just looked at the programme for this year’s East End Film Festival, opening tomorrow 27th April, with a fantastic line-up of movies this year; I’m disappointed that I don’t have more time to watch them all! There is just too much to do this weekend, not to mention, the Royal Wedding this Friday. But my boyhood dreams of becoming a film director were briefly relived when I reflected on the similarities between directing a movie and making a cup of nice tea – my new passion!
A good cup of tea, like a movie, you needs a star actor – a great speciality leaf tea. Like most good actors you pay for the name or alternatively you can go with a lesser known actor, maybe still undiscovered but often equally as good, if not better. Take our Sikkim Temi first flush black tea for example, grown in an area neighbouring famous Darjeeling. Sikkim Temi teas, still only known among tea connoisseurs and adventurers alike, have in nearly every blind taste test we have had come up trumps when compared to the best Darjeeling. While not a cheap tea it is still much cheaper than the equivalent Darjeeling. Like premium speciality leaf teas, star actors need to be taken care of and kept in the luxury they accustomed to – keep your Chateau Rouge luxury tea in an airtight container to make sure it stays fresh and does not absorb the flavours from other spices.
Next you need a good supporting actor – in this case a good quality tea pot. Without a good supporting actor the main star will not be able to shine as brightly and by all accounts the movie may not even happen in the first place. It definitely pays to invest in a good teapot. Like a good supporting actor, although it may only really shine with one main actor or tea (in the Chateau Rouge Luxury Tea movie) it can equally be used for different teas. Just make sure it is properly cleaned and rinsed so that it does not carry the taste of one tea over to the next. It is equally important that there is the right chemistry between actors in order to bring the best out of each. So make sure that the tea pot and tea work well together. Does it filter correctly? Does it allow the tea to steep just long enough to bring the most out of the tea?
A good cup of tea needs the water at the right temperature to bring the best out of the tea leaves. Much like a movie needs a good plot and script to bring the best out of the star actor. With a bad script, even the best of actors can be made to look like amateurs, and don’t even consider an invitation to the Grammys or the possibility of walking down the red carpet. The general rule is the more produced the tea (like a specialist black tea for example) the hotter the water can be – the more experienced the actor the better he can cope with having to make it up on set and improvise. Greener teas (for example Chinese green tea) need water that is slightly cooler – left to stand for 3-4 minutes after boiling.
Continued later in the week in Part 2 – how to pull it all together and make sure your luxury tea movie is a guaranteed success when it premiers…
Château Rouge Teas, purveyors of fine, premium, specialist and luxury leaf teas that are sourced from around the world. Chateau Rouge Luxury Teas Ltd, Coppergate House, 16 Brune St, London E1 7NJ, England. Company No.5489120
Green Teas | Oolong Tea | Black Teas | Tisane Teas | Jasmine Green Tea | White Monkey Green Tea | Formosa Pouchong Oolong Tea | Sikkim Temi Black Teas | Fikkal ILam Black Teas | Imperial Earl Grey Teas | Wiedouw Organic Rooibos Tea Tisane | Wild Harvest Honeybush Tea Tisane | English Breakfast Black Tea