Tuesday, 16 October 2012

World Tea East Expo

Recently I attended the World Tea East Expo in Philadelphia, PA.  As I am currently heavily involved in preparations for opening a gourmet bakery, coffee and tea bar with my pastry chef daughter, I brought her along to participate in some of the seminars.  I wanted to immerse her in my "tea world".

We attended a seminar hosted by Cynthia Gold, a chef and tea sommelier at L'Espalier restaurant in Boston.  The seminar was about pairing teas with foods, just like you would pair wine with foods.  The hands-on experience was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing this with my daughter.

It is amazing how the aroma and flavors of foods, spices and teas can compliment, annul or clash with each other.  There are no hard and fast rules for which ones work or not, you simply need to evaluate and determine.  I did conclude that Japanese teas seem to go best with seafood, Indian teas seem to go best with more spicey foods, but these are not all encompassing.

Take the time to choose a selection of foods that are sweet, spicey, fruity, several different cheeses, salmon, etc. and a number of teas from different countries then, do your own tea pairing experiments.

Are you are a caterer, have a tea room or restaurant or would like to host tea tasting events?  This will add dramatically to your menu and options for additional event venues.

Happy Tea Times,
Lady Kelly

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Afternoon Tea Begins in England

Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford (September 3, 1783 – July 3, 1857) was a lifelong friend of Queen Victoria whom she served as a Lady of the Bedroom between 1837 and 1841.   She was also the originator of the British meal "afternoon tea". 
The Duchess is best remembered for starting and popularizing the British meal "afternoon tea."  During the 18th century, dinner came to be served later and later in the day until by the early 19th century, the normal time was between 7:00 and 8:30 p.m.   An extra meal called luncheon had been created to fill the midday gap between breakfast and dinner, but as this new meal was very light, the long afternoon with no refreshment at all left her feeling hungry.   She found a light meal of tea and cakes or sandwiches was the perfect balance. The Duchess found taking an afternoon snack to be such a lovely refreshment that she soon began inviting her friends to join her. Afternoon tea quickly became popular in wealthy homes throughout England.
I find afternoon tea to be such an enjoyable time with friends, whether it's for a special occasion or to just spend some time chatting.  It's an easy meal to prepare and the process of laying the table for tea is a ritual in itself that completes the atmosphere. 

Laying the table with traditional vintage English china, flatware, linens and serving pieces that I brought home with me from my time living in England, brewing the perfect cup of tea and then sitting back and watching as my guests enjoy themselves and inevitably leave saying "You have made me feel so special."  What could be more enjoyable.

Happy Tea Times,
Lady Kelly


Thursday, 23 February 2012

Tea Comes to England

The turning point for tea in England began with the marriage of King Charles II to the Portuguese Princess Catherine de Braganza who was a tea lover. It was her love of the drink that established tea as a fashionable beverage first at court, and then among the the wealthy classes.

I for one, am so glad she did.  There is nothing so relaxing and enjoyable as to sip tea and relax alone or with friends. 

Any excuse, holiday, celebration or just time to chat are good reasons for hosting your own Tea.  You can become a Certified Tea Hostess by attending the American Tea Master Associations Tea Etiquette Course.  For more information  go to:  www.teamasters.org

Happy Tea Times,
Lady Kelly