Monday, February 29, 2016

Lover's Leap

Happy Leap Day!

I'm celebrating the extra day of the year by sipping Lover's Leap black tea by the Metropolitan Tea Company.

Lover's Leap is classified as an "Estate Tea" because it originated from the region of Nuware Eliya in Sri Lanka. The name of the Lover's Leap Estate was derived from a Sri Lankan tale of forbidden love.  Differences in social status prohibited a couple in love from marrying each other so the star-crossed lovers jumped off the garden's waterfall to be together in eternity.

Lover's Leap is designated as an Orange Pekoe tea because it is comprised of whole tea leaves.

I drank the first cup without milk and sugar and found that Lover's Leap had a "lively astringency".

The subsequent cups of Lover's Leap were enjoyed with milk and sweetened with an apple cinnamon candy spoon which gave the tea a slight pinkish hue.

The Lover's Leap tea was sipped from the "Old Chelsea" Johnson Brothers teacup that I received in my  first teacup exchange back in March 2014. I was honoured to have my fun swap experience included in Stephanie's Testimonials From Past Tea Cup and Mug Exchanges. Click here to read about how I received pretty teacups and made friends that I never knew I wanted!

The Enchanting Rose
The Enchanting Rose's next tea cup and mug exchange is just around the corner. 
Come out and play!

I'm joining the following parties this week:

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Escarpment Tea Room

I try to keep a finger on the pulse of the tea rooms in the Greater Toronto Area, but last year's opening of The Escarpment Tea Room somehow escaped my radar. Fortunately, a friend heard about this new tea room and took me there last month as a birthday treat!

The Escarpment Tea Room is in a red brick house on the grounds of the Italian Canadian Club of Milton. 

The tables were set with pretty bone china teacups and teapots. 
The Canadian and British flags were a nice touch!

Our table for two by the fireplace.
We received excellent service from the charming and attentive tea room owner, Edwina.

The bedazzled tea wagon offered an overwhelming choice of teas.
Because I'm intrigued by the unknown, I selected the "Mystery Tea" by Hyleys Tea Company--a delicious black tea with bergamot and hint of sweetness. It was later revealed that this special edition tea was called "For You" and created in celebration of European Women's Day.

My friend's green tea was served in this super cute elephant teapot.

Our tray of scrumptious sandwiches with 5 different fillings, mini quiches, and veggies with dip.

The delicious dessert tray.
The small round cookies with the green, white, or pink icing on top were a blast from my past. Edwina kindly let me try another tea, Hyleys Passion Fruit Tea, to enjoy with dessert. 

"Tea is the finest solution to nearly every catastrophe and conundrum that the day may bring."

Photo courtesy of Breakthrough Entertainment, Inc.
Last week, I enjoyed the remake of the Anne of Green Gables movie. 

Interestingly, the majority of the film was shot at the Country Heritage Park which is just done the road from The Escarpment Tea Room.

Looks like we'll have to plan another Milton excursion this summer with visits to The Escarpment Tea Room and the Country Heritage Park!

I'm joining the following parties this week:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Heart to Heart

On the first Saturday of February, I attended Knox Church's Valentine Tea. This was my first afternoon tea experience at Knox Church and was very impressed by the decor, delicious foods, and attentive staff.

The Valentine-themed tables.

Our table settings.

We shared a table with a couple who have been married for 60 years!

The scrumptious sandwiches and sweets enjoyed with countless cups of Cream Earl Grey.

Last week, we had a Valentine Tea Social at the office. 
We sipped "The Earl's Valentine" from my Inside Out heart cups and saucers.

Our "healthy" treats covered the food groups: grains (pretzels and cookies at the top); vegetables (beet chips at the top right); and fruits (bottom).

I'm not usually a big floral tea drinker, but this month, I've been enjoying Dilmah's Rose with French Vanilla black tea... well as David's The Earl's Valentine--an Earl Grey blended with chocolate and rosebuds.

One of my tea friends surprised me with this sweet Valentine-themed package.
 (not pictured: the popcorn which was quickly consumed by yours truly. Ha!)

 The pretty in pink goodies from the pocket card.
A huge THANK YOU to Lynn!!! 

Special thanks also go out to the blogger friends (you know who you are!) for the cute Valentine cards.

Happy Heart Month!

I'm joining the following parties this week:

Monday, February 8, 2016

Toronto Tea Festival 2016

At the end of January, I went to the Toronto Tea Festival. Canada's largest tea festival has something to offer to all tea enthusiasts and gets bigger and better each year!

T by Daniel's banner epitomizes tea lovers' happy dance over the mind-blowing assortment of teas offered by over 45 vendors. The majority of the companies are based in the Greater Toronto Area, but a few came from across the country.

The Udea Ryu style of Japanese tea ceremony was performed by Austin Wong.
To see the Korean and Chinese tea ceremonies at last year's festival, click here.

Left: Camellia Sinensis (top); Basilur Tea (bottom)
Right: Boreal Wildcraft Tea (top);  Blair Elements (bottom)

 Unique tea sets by Secret Teatime (left) and Shu Gallery (right). 
How cute are these panda chopsticks stands?

Lionel Richie would approve of this fun mug!

The pretty teaware collections that you can rent from Pekoe and Gray
I'm totally coveting the Duchess line (by Royal Albert) on the far left.

This charming "teacup tree" by Steeped Tea caught my eye (Hmm...future craft idea?).

Because my time at the festival was limited, I opted to visit the vendors and sample the teas instead of attending the scheduled talks.

I ventured out of my comfort zone and sampled the pu-erhs.
Left: Dragon Elixir by Tea Leaves was my favourite because of its subtle lemon flavour (I've always gravitated towards flavoured teas).
Middle: Jalam Teas (top); Blue Mountain Tea Company (bottom)
Right: Wait Tea House (top); Best-Z (bottom)

Oolong Teas
Left: Alishan Chin-Shing Oolong by Capital Tea
Top right: 2015 Tie Guan Yin - Classic by Zhen Tea
Middle right: Ginseng Oolong by Genuine Tea was my favourite because of its sweet, creamy taste (one of my tea flavour preferences). 
Bottom right: 1991 Aged Wenshang Baozhang by Crimson Teas--this is the oldest tea that I've ever tasted!

Chai Teas
Bottom: Chaiwala's masala chai was made with soy milk and sweetened with honey.  
This delicious chai was one of the Top 10 Teas of the 2016 Tea Taster Choice.

Flavoured Black Teas
Left: Passion Fruit from Teatips Ceylon
Middle: Guavalicious by T by Daniel
Right: Cream of Avalon by the Tea Emporium

Matcha Teas
The genmatcha teas by Momo Tea (left) and Tea Leaves (right) had a roasted rice flavour. 

Matcha Tea
Matcha tea made by Wold Tea Podcast.

Green and White Teas
 Left: Sencha Ginger Green Tea by Majesteas
Top right: Silver Needle White Tea by Tao Tea Leaf 
Bottom right: White Tea Champagne by Tea Sparrow was my favourite.

Herbal and Rooibos Teas
Left: African Queen by Tea Emporium (top); Rose Tea by King's Cafe (bottom)
Middle: Rooibos Tropicana by Tea Emporium (top); Caramel Creme Rooibos by Tea Talk (bottom)
Right: Strawberry Mint by Tea Sparrow

Left: The Nobel One is an Earl Grey blend. 
Middle: Magic Carpet herbal blend
Right: Turquoise Palace herbal blend

The tea swag that I scored.

Yes, I fell of my tea wagon. There goes my 4-month tea diet!
Technically, I only bought the White Tea Champagne by The Tea Sparrow.
The flavoured tea samples (Guavalicious; Canadian Eh?; Vanilla Coco Loco; Cottage Night; Night in Rio) from T by Daniel were an early Valentine's Day gift from my mom. Hee!

Because I'm a calendar nerd, I couldn't resist getting this tea-themed calendar by Camellia Sinensis, a Montreal-based company. It wasn't until I got home that I realized that the calendar was in French. Whoops!

One of the festival highlights for me was meeting the author, Linda Gaylard (aka the Tea Stylist), who kindly autographed her awesome Tea Book for me.

The Toronto Tea Festival was the perfect conclusion to Hot Tea Month!

I'm joining the following parties this week:

Monday, February 1, 2016

You Won't Believe It's Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free!

A few weekends ago, two friends took me out for a birthday brunch. Our first stop: Lettuce Love Cafe--"Canada’s First 100% Gluten-free Vegan Restaurant"! 

Cup of tea #1: Earl Grey tea with almond milk. 
My chocolate chip pancakes came with fruit, tempeh (a soy product) and potatoes. Topped with maple syrup and coconut whipped cream, the yummy chocolate pancakes tasted just like regular pancakes! 
Our next stop: Kelly's Bake Shoppe for dessert!

The award-winning Kelly's Bake Shoppe's sweet treats are all gluten-free, dairy-free, and peanut-free.

Cup of tea #2: Lemon meringue latte with coconut milk--a tasty dessert in a cup!
The double chocolate donut enjoyed by my companion. I was still full from our brunch so I took home a triple fudge brownie (not pictured) and enjoyed its chocolatey goodness for breakfast the next day (I did have a banana first before the brownie. Ha!).

Even if you don't have any dietary restrictions (like myself), I recommend you try out the allergy-friendly but delicious treats offered by Lettuce Love Cafe and Kelly's Bake Shoppe in Burlington, Ontario! 

My friends continued to spoil me with tea-related birthday presents.

This whimsical tea-themed birthday card made me smile.

This pretty birthday card with teacups cracked me up!

 I've never met tea towels with stacked teacups that I didn't like.

New black, oolong and green teas for me to try out this year.

 This new teacup has the same beautiful pattern as the pair of teacups that I received this past Christmas so now I have a set that I can use for tea parties.

Love the quatrefoil shape of this gorgeous vintage teacup by Windsor China.
Thank you to my friends for the fun birthday outing and gifts!

Discovering that I won Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose's generous giveway (my first giveaway win!) was the icing on my birthday cake. The delightful package arrived in the mail last week and contained this lovely pocket card with these fun goodies.

The pretty tea bag holders that I won. THANK YOU, Stephanie!!!

If you're crafty, you can make your own teabag holder. Click here for Stephanie's tutorial.

If you're like me and can't craft your way out of a paper bag, you can purchase these cute tea bag holders from Stephanie's Etsy Shop, Rose Petal Blessings

I'm joining the following parties this week: