In May of 2013 blogging seemed quite intimidating for me, I couldn’t help but thinking about all the amazing tea bloggers there were and all that was already written and said about tea. I would actually wonder, what else there is to say?
So I convinced myself that my blog was going to be a personal exercise to continue learning, researching, reading about tea and that I would do it with no commitments with the only condition that it had to be enjoyable, meaningful and overall inspiring. I remember it took me a while to go public but when I finally did it I said: “I would write as if nobody is reading”. Luckily today I have a beautiful audience with whom I share a common love for tea. And the truth is that blogging has been a very rewarding experience and the best way to discover and to learn more about this wonderful world.
Teascopia allows me to share my thoughts about the personal and social experience of drinking tea,
not always in a technical way but also based on my own reflexions and curiosity. My posts and my pictures usually reveal this relation with tea in a very simple way. I love the simplicity of things and how we are able to give meaning to them instead of the other way around. So I love to think of tea as everything and nothing, something that I shape and shapes me too.
I am thankful for your loving support during these years. It reassures my passion and motivates me to keep on going.
Thank you very much for reading and may this new year brings new adventures, experiences and projects we can share together!
Today I am featured in Revista Estampas with an article about pairing tea with traditional Venezuelan christmas sweets and desserts. The process of writing this post took me back to family traditions and memories that stay with me forever. Thank you Adriana Gibbs for this special invitation!
To read the full article click here
“Tardes de merienda en navidad”, un artículo que se publica hoy en Estampas donde propongo el maridaje con té para cuatro dulces de navidad tradicionales venezolanos. Escribirlo me hizo recordar tradiciones familiares y sabores que están grabados en mi memoria para siempre. Mil gracias a Adriana Gibbs por esta invitación tan especial, ¡la disfruté de principio a fin!
Para leer el artículo completo pueden hacer click aquí
I recently noticed that most of the pictures I post on Teascopia’s Instagram account have the caption “Morning Tea” and it must be because having tea in the morning is one of the best parts of my day, the one little pleasure that lightens up my day.
Although I have many favourite teas, I do have certain morning teas that are always on my top ten and I have enjoyed many mornings for many years. Jasmine green tea for example is my “comfort tea” and I love to start the morning with the exquisite smell of this fragrant flowery tea. It invites me to daydream and puts me in the right mood to start the day. Some other times I crave a Japanese brothy, vegetal green tea so I make a Kukicha or a good Sencha. I also like a buttery Oolong when I have time to re-steep it many times on a teapot until is completely washed. This I usually make it on weekends with a power breakfast and fruits.
So my morning tea is an essential part of my everyday life and not only a good excuse to upload an image on Instagram. I look forward to tea every morning: I choose my cup, the tea and I prepare it just the way I like it. The morning light is the best marriage to my tea, I love the spark it adds to the setting.
Do you have a favourite morning tea? How is it, dark and robust, light and flowery, spiced, fruity, with milk and sugar, none of the above? If you just drink coffee it’s ok too!
A colleague from work brought me a box of gluten free macaroons from a recent trip to Italy that she made with her husband on a motorbike. We usually share sweets, biscuits, fruits and many cups of tea at work but these macaroons were a gift and also were so pretty that I said I was going to use them for a new edition of “tea and cake” on my blog. So another excuse to write, eat and drink tea!
These lovely purple little circular cakes are blueberry macaroons with blueberry cream filling. To pair them I made a Nilgiri SFTGFOP1 black tea so the sweetness and fruitiness of the macaroon could blend with the natural fruity character of the tea. The crumbly texture of the macaroon was also perfect to match the light-medium body of this black tea. In this case I think an iced tea could have been good as well but temperatures already started to drop so a warm cup of tea was a great choice.
I know it could sound silly but how easy it is to make yourself happy with little things: tea, macaroons and a book perhaps? Or just watching the clouds go by from the window, feeling the crisp air of the autumn? Tea and cake is a small but special pleasure if we intend it to be, isn’t it?
Thank you Txung for the present!
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.
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.
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:
She makes all her ceramic pieces at El Taller de Lusesita: https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-taller-de-lusesita/571797292930333?fref=photo
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.
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!
Welcome to Blends for Friends, the place where it is all about tea.
Alex Probyn started Blends for Friends with the purpose of using his experience as a Master Tea Taster to create bespoke blends for people, initially friends and family. Today he still supplies and makes blends for customers but also to businesses around the world in much larger volumes. His solid career and experience in the tea industry as well as his love for tea are surely part of his business’ success.
I met him in 2012 at a Masterclass at the Langham Hotel in London. After the class I approached him and expressed my interest to learn more about tea. Unfortunately he wasn’t giving any other training at the moment but he said that if I was interested, I could go to Blends for Friends to help out with his business in exchange for tea training. It was a deal!
So I went there in February of last year for the first time and spent two weeks breathing, smelling, touching, blending and tasting tea, just what I was looking for. It was a great opportunity for me to explore, learn and have a hands-on experience working with tea.
I tasted more than three hundred teas and herbs during those weeks and I even remember getting dizzy because of how much air and mix of herbs and teas I tried. It was also my first time blending samples for customers as well as working on my own blends. Another valuable experience I cherish was the tasting session as part of a consultancy for an important tea brand: the preparation of the tasting and the evaluation of the tea samples were exhaustive and systematic, according to the highest standards.
One of the things I also liked about BFF was that almost every member of the staff knows a lot about tea, probably because there are ongoing tasting sessions open to all staff so you can always have a break and try new blends, herbs, spices and teas. Another great thing is that there are plenty of teapots and cups that you can use to make yourself and others a cup of tea and you are encouraged to do so. You can be as creative as you want, making your own blend or choosing any tea you particularly fancy, at any time, as many times you want. Did I say unlimited tea?
I went back in November again and I was amazed (but not surprised) by how much Blends for Friends had grown in size, in staff, in numbers and every aspect of the business since I went the first time. They now have two working sites with new blending, packaging and stock areas, new machines and of course, new temporary and permanent staff.
Alex is one of the most generous persons I have met in the industry, he is not only passionate about what he does but he is also the kind of person that will give you the confidence and the tools for you to try and do the things you really want. I truly appreciate his generosity and kindness and I am very fortunate to have him as a guide in my present and future endeavors.
While I write this post I am sipping a milk oolong, one of the “top five staff favourites” teas at Blends for Friends. Definitely one of the best choices if you want almost everyone to say “yes please” after you have brewed a pot of tea to share.
Last but not least, I wholeheartedly want to thank everybody at Blends for Friends for their warm welcome and for making me feel part of your team. Special thanks to Sara for taking care of me and for being so wonderful. It was great to see you all again and I look forward to joining you later on this year!