Tea and Cake with Lorena Franzoni


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In this edition of tea and cake I have a very special guest, Lorena Franzoni, an Argentine graphic designer and artist that lives in Barcelona and with whom I always like to share ideas and projects and, of course, many cups of tea. This time I invited her to bring her ceramic pieces to have “tea and cake” at home using them as the main theme. I chose a refreshing Darjeeling First Flush and, to accompany it, whole wheat and regular madeleines, mini croissants, mini “napolitanas” and strawberries.

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Her pieces are handmade and they respond to her own creative process, stories and needs. I particularly like the organic touch and feel of the pieces and how its variety of sizes, textures, shapes and colours complement each other so gracefully.

In the pictures you can see small bowls, a beautiful cake stand and two little horses. The horses are actually part of a bigger piece called “Brillante”, a lamp that is also a character that during the day delivers flowers and by night lightens up the dark. The piece was recently showcased at the collective expo called “Los Tripulantes” in Barcelona.

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We had tea and a nice chat about her present and future projects. She is currently working on a children’s cup for her nephew and a set of plates for her home. I am sure it will be to die for!

What a pleasure to have tea with such a great company and these beautiful pieces! Thank you Lore for being on this edition of Tea and Cake, a real delight!

To know more about Lorena’s design work please visit:

http://www.lorenafranzoni.com

She makes all her ceramic pieces at El Taller de Lusesita: https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-taller-de-lusesita/571797292930333?fref=photo

Minimaps: All about tea

Minimaps Tea in Barcelona

Visit http://superminimaps.com/barcelona-all-about-tea/ to download the map! Illustration by Valentina Alvarado

“Minimaps are small travel guides to share a little bit of your world and enjoy someone else’s. The project is collectively created by travelers, walkers, nomads, hedonists, nihilists, epicures, readers, photographers and illustrators from all around the planet, who want to share with others what they love and know best: their favorite bookshops in Buenos Aires, the things that surprised them when they got lost in Lisbon, the best places to eat ramen in Portland, the best spots for selfies in the selfie capital of the world, etc.”

I have had the pleasure to be the editor of the Minimap dedicated to “Tea in Barcelona” in collaboration with the wonderful illustrator Valentina Alvarado, and now I am very happy to be able to share it with you. I enjoyed every minute of the making process as I not only had the chance to write about tea and drink many cups along the way, but also to meet fascinating people and new tea spots that I didn’t know before.

I hope this map can serve as a guide for people and tea lovers coming to Barcelona and that it allows them to connect and share their love for this wonderful beverage.

My invitation is to visit Minimaps to download the full map and also to have a look around as it is full of good stories, interesting places and fun things to do in various cities. The best part is that all the maps are free to download so you can also start a collection!

Special thanks to Ana, Editor in Chief and creator of this amazing project for inviting me to participate!

If you have any comments or suggestions, tea places that are worth visiting or questions, please do get in touch! I would love to hear from you!

Happy tea everyone! Enjoy!

Paper and Tea

Paper and Tea Teascopia

Last February I went to Berlin for few days to meet with some friends during the Berlinale Film Festival. As my friends already knew the city I didn’t make any plans but there was just one thing I was really looking forward on doing: visiting Paper and Tea, a tea shop that I love.

Since we “knew” each other through social media, a week before my trip I sent them a email saying that I was going to Berlin and I wanted to say hi, but unfortunately I didn’t get any reply. Nevertheless I told my friend Marlies, who also loves tea, that we should go anyway and check out the store as we’ll be able to get some nice teas to bring back home and also just to have a look around.

We went to the Concept Store, a gorgeous shop located in the neighbourhood of Charlottenburg where we wandered around sniffing all the teas on display, admiring the collection of teaware while we sipped a black Keemun they had kindly offered us.

IMG_2296We had finally made up our minds choosing some teas and they told us that we could have a small tasting. I wanted to try the Maia’s Pick and we had the opportunity to try the Sakura Garden as well. We had a lovely tasting and made the final decision on the teas we wanted.

At the till I mentioned to the guy from the shop that I had a tea blog and that a week before I wrote to them saying that I was coming and that I wanted to say hi and finally meet them in person. He was very surprised and sorry that I didn’t get any reply from them as they are always happy to welcome bloggers and offer proper tasting, a nice tour through the store and many things more. But the truth of the matter is that he had done so already. He gave us a great tasting and he was very nice! His name is René and we stayed even longer chatting away. He also gave me more tea samples to taste (coming below) and a couple of the signature tote bags with the P&T message: “You drink coffee I drink tea my dear” for me and my friend. He was very kind, welcoming and interesting to talk to and we even exchanged emails and cards. So I am glad I introduced myself after all!

Here are the samples I got: a White Pu Er Bai Ya from Yunnan China, a green Jade Bud (organic bio) from Hubei China and a Sencha, Sakura Garden from Mie Japan.

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I also got for myself a delicious Osmanthus Oolong “Change-e Forever” that I love to have in the morning when I want to daydream: roasted and flowery at the same time, well balanced and perfect. And the “Maia’s Pick” that combines the grassy taste and colour of a sencha with the sweetness of a Chinese green. Absolutely delicious!

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This store really exceeded my expectations in every sense. Not only do they have a gorgeous, minimalistic space to celebrate tea but also high quality tea from almost every corner of the world, plus they know how to make people fall in love with their selection.

Thank you Paper and Tea and René for having us!

http://www.paperandtea.com

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Tea Tasting 14.04.15 Barcelona

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I am very excited to announce that I will be doing a Tea Tasting event in Barcelona at the Cuchara Club on Tuesday the 14th of April at 7:00pm. Join me to discover the fascinating world of tea in an intimate and friendly environment where we will appreciate the simplicity and the complexity of this ancient beverage. The tasting will be in Spanish but please do not hesitate to contact me at teascopia@yahoo.es if you have any questions.

Degustación y apreciación del té: una experiencia sensorial

Descubre el fascinante mundo del té en un ambiente intimo y cordial donde apreciaras la sencillez y la complejidad de esta bebida milenaria.

El cupo es limitado. Para reservar por favor envía un correo electrónico a: cucharaclub@cucharaclub.com / Space is limited! To reserve a spot please contact: cucharaclub@cucharaclub.com 

http://cucharaclub.es

¡Espero verlos allí! I hope to see you there!

Notes on tea – Teatulia

In this opportunity we head off to Northern Bangladesh, to the region of Teatulia.

Teatulia is a company that specialises in organic tea from their own single USDA-certified organic garden in northern Bangladesh, offering a range of teas as well as herbal infusions.

I have had the pleasure to taste and review three of their award-winning organic teas from the North American Tea Championship: a white, an oolong and a black tea and now to share my notes with you.

Teatulia Organics - Teascopia

Few months ago I was talking to a Wine Sommelier, as I was looking to buy an organic and natural wine, and she made me taste one of her favourites that she described as “wild”. She used the term to say it was “as nature intended” and I loved it as it perfectly described the taste and the feeling of that particular wine. The experience still lingers on my mind and I think the term can be applied to these teas as well. For me their best quality is precisely that they are natural but sophisticated at the same time, raw and refined; a fantastic result of the way they have been grown and produced.

I also appreciate the fact that this brand has a strong social commitment with the local community who works at the garden and the environment. In a world where profit and mass production is the norm, it is refreshing to come across with companies with a sensitive and sustainable approach to business.

Thank you Teatulia for this experience!

http://www.teatulia.com

Iced Rose Tea Latte

Spring is around the corner or at least that is what I would like to think, so today I want to share this recipe with you to anticipate and welcome our next season! It is a flowery and sweet iced tea with a festive character, perfect to cheer us up while we wait for the sun to warm us up again.

Iced Rose Tea Latte Teascopia

P.s. Please feel free to substitute the teas I have listed above for any strong black tea that you have at home. An English Breakfast will do the trick as well!

Cheers! x

Notes on tea – Golden Tips Tea

Few weeks ago I received a little box covered in a sewn white cotton fabric with a beautiful red wax seal. It had travelled from New Dehli to Barcelona all the way. Inside the box there was just tea, tea leaves awaiting…

This parcel comes from Golden Tips Tea, a company established in 1933 that specialises in pure Single Origin unblended teas from India that they have kindly sent to me and that I now have the pleasure to review.

Below you will find each one of the teas with some of my notes and thoughts. I hope you find them useful and somehow inspiring.

Teascopia review

Arya Pearl Darjeeling

Temp 80C / Time 5 min

Elegant, long, almost untouched dry leaves with a beautiful soft olive green colour. The perfect leaf set of one bud and one or two leaves. Altogether they look like dancing leaves.

With a nice bright and pale yellow liquor, this is a very delicate tea with fresh aroma and fruity taste of passion fruit or even elderflower. Unlike other white teas, this one has a very low or none astringency and a very silky texture in the mouth. Nice and subtle tea with a medium sweet fruity aftertaste.


Glendale Jasmine exotica

Temp 80C / Time 3 min

The smell of the dry leaves is striking: it has the enchanting aroma of fresh jasmine.

The leaves are green and brown in different shades with abundant golden tips.

Its pale yellow liquor is mellow in taste with subtle hints of jasmine, almost faded. It has a low astringency and a medium sweet light aftertaste. Nice and pleasant to drink: it is delicate, fresh and flowery. If I had just tried this tea without knowing what type it was, I might have thought it was a white tea.

I have a soft spot for jasmine green teas and I couldn’t resist trying a jasmine tea from Nigiri, India. I must say it is a peculiar experience: the infusion has the character of an Indian tea but the aroma of Jasmine adds a unique layer to it.


Thurbo Darjeeling Oolong

Temp 90C / Time 4 min

Mixture of short brown and green leaves with lots of silver tips. Nice and uniform in size.

Beautiful amber liquor. It is a powerful tea with the characteristic muscatel grape taste with a punch of fruitiness. It also has a long fruity aftertaste. Medium silky body. This was my favourite of all four. It is my first time tasting an oolong from Darjeeling and I loved it, it has something special!


Castleton Moonlight Black Tea

Temp 90C / Time 4 min

The dry leaves are olive green and brown with presence of silver tips: the classic beautiful colour of a fine first flush Darjeeling.

Bright light caramel brown liquor. Very fresh, fruity with the distinctive muscatel taste of Darjeeling black teas. Very low astringency and medium bodied. Short but very pleasant aftertaste. A very complex tea.


 

Thank you Golden Tips Tea for the tea, it feels like I have travelled. From the packaging to the tea itself it, everything was brilliant. It definitely grows my interest to visit the tea fields in India even more.

http://goldentipstea.com