Little Choc Apothecary – Williamsburg BK

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and my boyfriend and I wanted to try a Vegan brunch for the first time. We walked in with an open mind and to our surprise they served a laundry list of teas and tisanes. Since he found the place I asked repeatedly, “you must’ve known they serve tea,” and he goes, “I had no idea.” So at this point, I was not only excited to have the vegan treats but have one of their delicious teas. Their tea blends and tisanes were so creative and tasty.

I ordered the “honeybush chai,” while my boyfriend ordered the matcha tea. The honeybush chai was the perfect tea to wake up all my senses, and uplift my spirits. Not to mention, I’m a sucker for ginger, cinnamon, cloves and all it’s many benefits. I love the addition of spices in my tea!

The teaware was so pretty! I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it and in different angles.

This was one of my favorite tea excursions. Not only because the waitress was so nice but also because it was a pleasant surprise to trying something new like a vegan brunch with my favorite beverage — TEA. A surprise is probably the best part of a random excursion.

I will be back again!

#sheblogstea certified

Nippon Cha USA – Bayside, Queens

It’s been awhile since I’ve kept my tea friends abreast of my tea adventures. This one is pretty recent actually. It was one of those weird warm afternoons, in the middle of winter, approaching spring, but with the smell of snow coming soon. The weather has been all over the place in NYC, however, it was a nice afternoon/night to go out.

Myself and my boyfriend went out for quick bite to eat,  with the thought of possibly picking up some tea after. Sidenote, I got him to love matcha by the way, so he found this neat shop in Bayside Queens called Nippon Cha.  We were really on the quest for some ramen, so when we sat down in their cute boutique, wooden-like seating area, we reviewed the menu and saw MATCHA! We both looked at each other like, “WHAT! this clearly was meant to be.” We immediately order drinks and completely forget that we were there for ramen. He had hot matcha and I had matcha lemonade.

The cool thing about going for tea with a close family member, boyfriend, best friend is that you can try each other’s drink!  The matcha lemonade was so fresh with no artificial sweeteners, sugar or honey. The hot matcha was just that hot matcha with a little milk! It was perfect, even though the weather was weird, it was the right setting, temperature, and experience for some tea.

I’m sort of proud I’ve found two tea places in Queens, NY so far.

Afternoon Tea @ The Williamsburg Hotel

It was one of the warmest Saturdays in January thus far. Myself and a friend wanted to catch up and enjoy the nice weather we had. So we went for Afternoon Tea, at the Williamsburg Hotel, a place my best friend had recommended me to try. Once we walked in we walked down a colonial stairway towards the section where the hotel was serving afternoon tea and brunch.  The decor very retro and chic with a hip vibe to it.

The waiters were very busy, it seemed like a popular day for some afternoon tea. The waiter asked, “Brunch?,” I then asked, “Can we have your Brooklyn High Tea option?” She replies with, ” We usually take reservations and today we are really busy and showed us to our seats. The response didn’t sit with us well. So as she came back around to take our brunch orders, I then asked, “I had reservations, however, it may be too late for it.” She then says, “Well why didn’t you tell me?, What’s your name?” Share my name,and then she said,” Sure, we can accommodate you.”  The conversation was a little off putting and set an unsettling vibe for the rest of the afternoon.  I reviewed the menu and thought to myself this isn’t even “Brooklyn High Tea,” it’s afternoon tea. High Tea is between 5pm -7pm, I don’t get it.

My friend reminded me that this the setting for the environment that we are in, and let’s take in more of the experience, it  just may not be your style.

So we placed our order. My tea guest had a green tea  and I had the “Wild Pear, tisane.” My tea guest thought the green tea was potent and was better enjoyed with honey. I however, loved the Wild Pear tisane and with added honey it was amazing.  Without honey, there was a delicate sweetness similar to apple/pear for sure. The honey added made it such a delight. I definitely wanted a second cup. However, they were out of tea pots and we had to request a fresh pot. Other tables that had tea pots were their earlier and there for much longer.  I must say it was a bummer not having a tea pot.

A little thereafter, we received our three tiers of sandwiches and desserts. The three tiers included:  a mini almond pie, chocolate & rosemary scone, cream cheese carrot muffin, pistachio bar, fresh fruit tart, spicy salami & bk ricotta pizzette, smoked salmon, cucumber & labne sandwich, and avocado toast.  My personal favorites were the pistachio bar and the avocado toast. I’m still unsure if I like the pizzette, it caught me off guard and was one I could’ve remain without.

Overall, I had a good time catching up with my friend. I took time to be present and enjoy my cup of “Wild Pear,” tisane.  The afternoon tea is definitely fitting for Williamsburg. If you enjoy a more chill and hip vibe for afternoon tea. This is definitely the choice for you.

Afternoon Tea – Japanese Style (Manhattan – NYC)

So as I was wrapping up 2017, I shared a Facebook post with my close friends and family about my blog and how in a world that seem so cold I used tea to keep me warm and uplift my spirits.  Once I shared the post, my closest kinsfolk decided to share with me a few places to have some afternoon tea. A former co-worker mentioned Cha-an teahouse; a Japanese style tea house with an extensive tea list with a succulent dessert menu.  So, to wrap my last full vacation day before work, I went to have a massage at the earlier part of day and closed the afternoon with some tea.

Cha-An teahouse is located in East Village in Manhattan, NYC.  When you enter, there’s a display of the menu before you walk up the stairs to their small but very quaint teahouse. You are welcomed by the waiter who shows you to your seat and presents you with your menu.

There were so many teas to choose from, they were pretty creative with the matcha tea collection, and had many variations of green and oolong teas, as well as a few herbal teas.  I decided to have what’s called the “Wooden Dragon,” an oolong tea with gin, vermouth, olive, and a lemon twist.  It was a nice way to closeout a tranquil day. The oolong tea was mellow with slight “twang” to it. My guest is a fanatic for matcha tea and decided to try the matcha latte premium which was complimented with green tea ice cream, red beans, whipped cream, & brown sugar syrup. I had a little taste and it was AMAZING,the ice cream and the red beans were a nice touch. I think I will have to try that next time I visit.

To accompany our tea we shared a Grilled Salmon Toast as well as an Egg Salad Toast. And I must say, as much as I love salmon the egg salad toast was to die for. It was so well prepared I didn’t want it to end.

Egg Salad (top), Grill Salmon toast bottom, Japanese pickles in the middle.

For dessert we decided to try their Homemade Mochi. There are three flavors, green team, earl grey chocolate, and black sesame. Unfortunately, when we got there the earl grey chocolate was sold out, so we tried the green tea and the black sesame.  The black sesame mochi is an acquired taste, not particularly my favorite. The green tea mochi was potent, but tasty and the one I most enjoyed.

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Dessert menu
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Homemade Mochi

If you are in the Manhattan area and would like to try Japanese style afternoon tea, you must visit Cha-An teahouse. It’s a peaceful place with lots of charm.

#sheblogstea certified

Until the next tea adventure.

Peace.

Part III: Holiday Tea Adventures: Afternoon Tea – at the Prince Tea House (Flushing, Queens NYC)

It was later in the afternoon when myself and a friend wrapped up dinner and wanted dessert. But, not the dessert at the restaurant, oh no! That wouldn’t do! She suggested a tea house, one that had a laundry list of teas with pleasant desserts. She said, “let’s try Prince Tea House, they are all over the city and their teas are delicious, you’ll love it!”

We get there and there’s a bit of wait. I immediately say to myself this must be really good. So we wait, to what seem to be 15 minutes max, however it had to be the fastest 15 minutes because the whole time I was looking around and taking in the beautiful tea aroma.

Finally, we are seated for a table for two. We are then handed a booklet which house (no pun intended) the laundry list of teas I mentioned previously. There’s all kinds of tea! Bubble tea, milk tea, hot tea, different variations of green tea, oolong, fruity and herbal teas! I was in tea heaven. I couldn’t decide what to try! I ended up with the tropical fruit tea which was served in a floral pot over a candle lit warmer. By the way, I’m always intrigued to try the fruity teas because you never know what you’ll get. In any event, it was the perfect blend of fruits, I adored every sip. My friend had the mango milk tea, which she loved!

Then came dessert, I ordered a fruit toast while my friend ordered a banana waffle. However, what I thought was going to be a thin slice of toast ended up being the thickest toast bread I ever saw topped with some of my favorite fruits: mango, melon, strawberry, and banana. It also had one scoop of ice cream with caramel drizzles. AMAZING!

If you are in New York and want to stop by for a spot of tea and dessert, try Prince Tea House! Not to mention, its super affordable, that it’ll make you want to try everything!

Part II: Holiday Tea Adventures: A Christmas Tea Remedy

So it’s Christmas Eve, a few hours after a long day at the family business. My dad says, “you guys hungry,” we say, “yes!” We come home and he says, “Before dinner, I have some tea for you guys.”  Tea! You are speaking my language.

He starts to boil water, with ginger, garlic , and lemon bits that he chopped earlier that afternoon. He brings over a a teapot and pours in four cups of tea. The aroma was rather ravishing, however the taste spicy with a little tang to it.

He then starts to explain the benefits and a conversation spurs up around the dining room table about this particular tea’s benefits. Some of the benefits we discussed were how the tea works to help burn fat in the arteries, aids with your sinuses and colds, improves the respiratory system, boosts the immunity, and weight loss.

For moment, it felt good to discuss tea with family, one of the very few gifts I’m most grateful for this Christmas.

Please share with me – what are some of your family tea remedies.

Have a Merry Christmas!

 

Part I: Holiday Tea Adventures: A Burning Ceremony with Tea

Have you ever heard of a burning ceremony? Me neither. I was invited through a friend of a friend to come to her house and serve tea for an intimate get together. The hostess of the burning ceremony told me come with whatever teas I’d like to serve. I was ecstatic and nervous at the same time. So I ordered some teas and with the help of my mom purchased some cookies and tea biscuits for the event. It started promptly at 4:30pm – 6:30pm on Saturday, December 16th.

The hostess and a few of her friends arrived promptly. I had them try a few teas: Ginger Coconut, Ruby Apple Cider, White Chocolate Peppermint, Winterberry, and Mango Green tea. The crowds personal favorites were the Ruby Apple Cider, Winterberry, Mango Green Tea, and Ginger Coconut.

After they tried the many different teas it was time for the burning ceremony! Our lovely hostess asked us if we (Me and my Mom) were going to participate, and we said yes. Not having a clue what we were participating in… she started to explain the rules. We were to write 2 letters: 1) one letter to 2017, it would list all the things we wanted to let go. 2) second letter to 2018, it would list all the things we aspired, needed, and wanted. Both letters would entail any goals or bad habits that were physical, mental, and emotional to you. More importantly, all letters were kept private, none of it would be shared with anyone but you. Thereafter, you would then write your name and address on an envelope and place your 2018 letter in it. Your hostess than vows to place the letter in her safe and mail your 2018 letter to you on that same date in 2018. This will allow you to reflect on all you’ve done and completed that year.

Once the letters were complete the hostess secured our 2018 letters as we all prepared to put our coats on to go outside and burn our 2017 letters. Guests came outside with tea as we formed a circle around the grill to burn our 2017 letters.

Although, we were altogether to what seemed to be the fastest two hours, it was the most meaningful two hours that I had all year. Who knew adding tea to a burning ceremony would be such a delight.

I would love to hear how you all are celebrating the holidays with tea! Share here in the comments! 🙂

Afternoon Tea – LA Style

On a business trip to the LAX , I got the opportunity to stop by HiSocieTEA (right outside the W Hotel) for some afternoon tea with one of my best friends. As soon as you walk in the tea haven the aroma pulls you in. You are then welcomed by a friendly human who welcomes you to smell some of their teas.

There were so many to smell, I was in tea heaven. The hostess started by asking a few questions about how we like our tea, hot/cold with high antioxidants, or just for the flavor. After much deliberation and tea conversation, so many sandwiches and sweet choices, we decided to stay for afternoon tea. Not to mention the decor was very inviting.

For hot teas we kept it “fall,” and started with a cherry blossom red rooibos, cinnamon apple oolong and for cold tea, we had Tropical Garden Party.

The cherry blossom red rooibos was a subtle touch of sweet that married well with light cream. It was slightly sweet which so pleasantly complimented their freshly homemade raisin scones. The scones were to die for!

The cinnamon apple oolong was like no other oolong tea I’ve ever had before. Usually oolong has a very potent taste known to help with mental alertness and metabolism. However, with this oolong tea you tasted more of the cinnamon apple with an oolong after taste. Definitely the push of energy we needed after a long day sightseeing.

The tropical garden party was the perfect cold tea, coupled with a variation of berries and passionfruit. Definitely, a herbal tea that quenched your thirst and so satisfying cold.

As I mentioned before the scones were great! For mini sandwiches we had cucumber radish, devil egg salad, smoke salmon, and a crab cake. For sweets it varied from pumpkin pie mini cakes to a delicious macaroon.

In it all, if you are in the LA are I highly recommend that you stop by HiSocieTEA for some afternoon tea.

Tea for A Cause: #SheBlogsTea supports #Lupus Awareness

This past weekend I was invited to serve tea at my best friend Tyresa’s Lupus Brunch. All proceeds and donations went straight to the Lupus Research Alliance. At the brunch we had awesome speakers and lupus warriors sharing their personal stories/journeys with us.  It was so inspiring to meet people so strong living out their purpose.

As the tea hostess my goal was to introduce the attendees to different flavors of tea and glance over some of it’s benefits. At first guests were a little hesitant but then after my quick introduction and speech guests were motivated to try some tea. I chosed Physical Graffitea as my tea vendor, a small but quaint tea shop with AMAZING flavors and tea blends.

Because it was a little brisk outside, I wanted to introduce autumn/ fall season tea flavors. I wanted to expose guests to a different kind of tea experience, rather than serve them with the “typical” lemon, green, and ginger tea. The tea flavors were Passion Tea Lemonade, Nutty Apple, Cinnamon Plum, Chocolate Mint, Blueberry Rooibos, WinterBerry (from Teavana) and Cranberry Autumn Blend. All tea blends 100% natural tea leaves.

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The guests favorite tea blends were Cinnamon Plum, Blueberry Rooibos, and Passion Tea Lemonade. The Cinnamon Plum had a strong spike of spice with a tangy finish.  The Blueberry Rooibos had this sweet and fruity yet smooth finish, but very hydrating. The Nutty Apple just felt warm, it had a powerful nut flavor with a light sweetness of the apple, not only did it taste good, the aroma engulfed the room. The Chocolate mint made guest feel like winter was on the way….haha… It was a perfect blend of chocolate with a minty finish.

I absolutely enjoyed sharing my tea passion with the guests. It was rewarding to see how many people learned about tea and it’s benefits. After the tea tasting there were so many tea advocates and people willing to reach out and learn more about tea. This made me happy and brought so much warmth to my heart.

Until the next tea excursion.  Be well! 🙂

 

 

 

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