Six months ago I became the mother of a baby girl named Gala. Since we got the news we couldn’t stop imagining the moment we were going to meet her and have her with us. In January the 2nd she was born and our lives have been boosted with the sweetest and most loving energy we can possibly imagine!
When I knew I was pregnant I reduced tea consumption to a minimum, once in a while I would sip a bit of jasmine green or maybe an earl grey but very little. So it was a long pause for a tea lover like me but it was something that just happened that way: I didn’t want to drink too much tea and my body didn’t ask for it either.
These days I try to have one cup in the morning when time allows me. The good thing is that my husband also likes tea and either of us will find the time to do it. Although there are not long breakfast with endless cups of teas anymore and there is less time to sit down and write about it, tea is still here.
I believe there is a time for everything and even though I wish I could post more frequently and take more photos, tea is in our lives as it should always be: intimate, simple, ours.
I was meant to write about this journey few months ago but the time is just right today, the day our baby is turning 6 months old. Today we toasted with a nice Cui Yu to celebrate her arrival and had a delicious tea us three.
Tea to celebrate, to wake up, to pause, to relax, to start the day, to think, to be happy… To toast to you Gala! Happy 6 months florecita!
Late last year I received a package with two amazing teas from India. There were given to me by Naveen Murugesan -who kindly contacted me on his trip to Barcelona- and whose brother in law owns the factory in Nilgiri. Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to meet in person but we were in touch by email until I had the package with me.
The tea brand is Korakundah, a name given after the plantation where these teas are grown and produced. According to the Australian Tea Masters, Korakundah plantation in India is the highest altitude tea factory in the world at approximately 7000 feet and they belong to the United Nilgiri Tea estates Co Ltd (UNITEA).
The two teas that I received are an organic white tea, a rarity from Nilgiri, and a classic black tea typical of this region.
Thank you Naveen for being so kind and contacting me during your stay in Barcelona. It has been a pleasure to taste these teas and to be able to enjoy many cups just for myself. I hope you enjoyed your visit and I look forward to tasting more of these delicious teas in the future.
For more information about Korakundah teas please visit:
Autumn is definitely one of my favourite seasons, the crisp and clear air is so refreshing and invigorating!
Even though I tend to drink more oolongs and green teas all year round and perhaps more black teas during the winter, in this season any warm cup of tea is a great option. Choosing which one to have is a very personal choice and it depends of so many things: our mood, our personal preferences in general, our day ahead and the precise demands of our tastebuds. In today’s post I just wanted to make a list of my 4 autumn all time favourite teas (+ 1 rooibos), the ones I keep repeating every year and share it with you:
- Cui Yu Oolong: creamy, luscious, floral and aromatic, this exquisite Taiwanese oolong is a great choice for every season. It is always surprising and pleasant.
- Mao Feng: vegetal, aromatic and sweet, this green tea is light but with lots of character. A good option for breakfast, lunch or as an afternoon tea. I like to make it a bit concentrated in a porcelain gaiwan.
- Earl Grey: the bergamot scent of this tea is so uplifting and the blend so balanced and heart warming that I just love it. This is one of the few teas that I usually drink with a splash of soy milk.
- Second flush Darjeeling: Aromatic, light, fruity with the characteristic charming muscatel taste that makes it an all time favourite.
- Natural rooibos: Although I am not a big fan of rooibos, it is nice as a caffeine-free option. During these cold seasons I prefer it over a light herbal infusion. I like its silky texture and vanilla-like taste.
What are your top five for this season?
Ready for winter? 😉 xo
Few months ago I attended a Bontemae class at Matcha House Europe, in the barrio of Gracia in Barcelona. Bontemae is a “simplified” version of chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony, but it is still very complex, deep and difficult to perform. It is based on the same principles of the full ceremony only that it is performed in a tray on a table instead of on the tatami at the teahouse.
Our teacher was Nuria, a Japanese Spanish teacher that has been studying chanoyu for more than 20 years in Japan at the Urasenke school. We were five people around the table from which just three of us were students. Together we shared an amazing two-hour class, watching carefully, learning, practising and contemplating the grace of each movement she performed. We learnt how to clean the utensils, how to whisk the matcha, fold the “chakin” (the silk cloth) among other things, and we practised the whole routine at least couples of times. We ate our “okashi” and enjoyed every minute of the class.
One of the things I appreciate the most about the Japanese Tea Ceremony is the level of detail, the simplicity and the complexity of what seems obvious and simple; the acknowledgement of space, surroundings and the ceremony or ritual itself. The respect for everything and for everybody, the feeling of full awareness and what this all mean to you in a personal way.
I treasure every tea ceremony or class I have attended, each one has been unique and has taught me different things. I love the opportunity it provides to connect to the simplicity and the beauty of things, to share just by being there and the way it makes everything so special. It always leaves me a feeling of fulfilment and peace.
I want to finish this post with the phrase Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会), a concept that I love that is also connected to ‘the way of tea’ that has been translated as “one time, one meeting” or “one encounter; one opportunity”. Meaning, roughly, that every moment is unique and it cannot be repeated the same way…. That always remind how important it is to enjoy life in every way possible.
Thank you Matcha House and Nuria for this opportunity, I hope we can enjoy another class very soon!
This month I received tea samples from Grey’s Teas, a brand that I had heard of but that I hadn’t have the chance to try so far. So, I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Richard Grey, his founder, to taste and review some of their teas. I chose samples that were new for me so I could also take the opportunity to discover the brand through teas I am not familiar with.
Tai Ping Hou Kui
I find it light bodied, quite vegetal but also nutty and with toasted notes that remind me slightly to hojicha. Spinachy, a bit citrusy as well almost like lemon. Aftertaste quite toasted like tobacco and wood. Judging from its appearance, I never imagined these distinctive roasted notes coming out of this green tea.
Kenya White Lelsa Silver Tip
Wet leaves have citrusy aroma like passion fruit or tamarind. The flavour is like hay with a dark chocolate long aftertaste. The color of the liquor is yellowish, not so pale to be a white tea. Quite an interesting discovery!
Formosa GABA Oolong
Wet leaves smell like dried plum. It is very fruity and heavy in the mouth, round and velvety. Low astringency, notes of pineapple and a toasted end. And, on top of that, you get all the benefits of GABA in one cup! This formosa Oolong was my overall favourite.
Thank you Grey’s Teas for the samples, it has been a pleasure to taste them all!
Even though I drink more green and oolong teas in general, during this time of the year I find that a rich and robust black tea is also a great choice to keep me warm and comforted during the day. In today’s post I have put together a list of four pure black teas that I personally love and that I think are versatile, delicious and easy to drink either alone or paired as I propose below. I haven’t included any blend or scented teas in the list but I might share some blends that I really like in some other post. Here we go:
1. Keemun: Dark and aromatic, this gorgeous tea will delight you with its notes of chocolate, cacao, wood and dried fruits. It is perfect to pair with fruit cakes, puddings, confitures and chocolate truffles.
2. Assam: This classic robust black tea is great to accompany almost any kind of cakes and sweet pastry like croissants, pain au chocolat and apple strudel. Its malty flavour and full body make it a winter season favourite.
3. Golden Yunnan: This mellow black tea is known for its fruity notes of caramel, peach, almost like nectar, and its delicate golden colour is just a pleasure itself. Great with macaroons, fruit muffins, biscuits and pannetone.
4. Nilgiri India: I love to pair a good black tea from this region with chutneys, preserves, aged cheese and dried fruits.
What are your winter’s favourite black teas?
Stay warm and happy winter!