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!
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!
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!
Today we are featured in Revista Estampas -online version- giving some tips about how throw an afternoon tea at home. The article is in Spanish as this is a magazine from Venezuela’s newspaper El Universal, but I will be posting all the tips in English below!
For me having friends and family over is always a pleasure and I find that a nice afternoon tea at home is always a good option to gather, have a nice chat, eat delicious food and, of course, drink many cups of tea! Here are some tips you can follow to make the afternoon special but, more than anything, the important part is to make it enjoyable, fun, create a friendly atmosphere and to be a nice host!
Here we go:
- Decorate the table selecting plates of various sizes, styles and different heights to serve the food . Place the flowers in small vases so your guests can see and talk .
- Use your best loose-leaf tea. You can opt for a classic English-style black tea (like an English Breakfast or an Earl Grey) or choose any other of you really like. A green or an oolong tea are also great choices if you prefer a lighter taste.
- Serve preserves, jams, fruit jellies or honey to accompany scones, cakes, croissants and even toast.
- Serve a variety of sweet and savory food. For a traditional tea you can offer the traditional cucumber, egg or salmon finger sandwiches. For something sweet choose from biscuits, cupcakes , cakes all in small portions. Remember the important thing is variety, not quantity.
I want to wholeheartedly thanks Adriana Gibbs for always inviting me to participate and for letting me share my passion for tea at @Estampas!
Do you have any other tip you would like to share? I would love to hear from you…!
Thanks for reading and happy Sunday!
Link to full article here