Nepali Tea

A friend recently introduced me to this really amazing website called “Kickstarter.”  Kickstarter essentially is a place to raise funds for creative projects.  Case in point, my friend used Kickstarter as a place to raise money for an independent animated film she is making called “One Per Person.”  She recommended the site to me since she knows I would love to start my own business and also as a place to possibly raise capital for my jam making.  It’s really an amazing place to reach out and help the “little guy.”

Kickstarter is also one of those websites to get lost in.  It has everything from art, music, film to food!  Yes you got it food!  It is so inspiring and if you need to kick (pun intended) your creative juices into high gear this place will do it!  It’s refreshing to see people passionate about the projects and work they are creating.

During my perusing of Kickstarter, I came across a company called “Nepali Tea Traders.”  After reading about the company and their intentions I immediately sponsored them.  In return for my contribution I was rewarded with the most delicious tea.  I selected a set of black tea.  The first a Himalayan Masala black tea.  Incredibly tasty with a nice hint of black pepper and spices.  I’ve been partaking each morning with just a splash of milk.  The second is the Shangri-La Classic Organic Black Tea, this one I have yet to try but look forward to a cup when I get to work:)  I cannot wait to order more varieties and support a business that stands for so much more than the bottom line.

If you haven’t already please check it out.  It feels good to reach out to a small business and help support a dream!

Kickstarter

Nepali black tea

Jam with Tea

I started making jam about two years ago.  The first experiment was at my friend’s family farm house in Canada.  An amazing experience as well as intimidating considering her family cooks and cans all sorts of delicacies.  I found a pear/vanilla jam recipe in the New York Times and started my experimentation.

Today I made that same jam only I used Vanilla Chai tea in place of the water.  I also experimented with a tea/jam recipe from this months Tea magazine.  The jam is a cranberry/apple using a black tea.  I made the jam using a spicy Masala tea (a friend had brought me from Kenya.)  The jam came out delicious!  I was really happy with both considering my cooking experiments sometimes go awry!:)

jams

Pear Vanilla Jam

http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/3057/Chunky-Vanilla-Pear-Jam.html

I substituted water for brewed Gypsy Rooibos Vanilla Chai tea.

http://teamag.com/

Cranberry Apple Preserves (taken from Latest Issue of Tea Magazine)

This preserve is equally at home on the breakfast table or with your afternoon scones as it is on your Thanksgiving dinner table.  It can also be made with pears in place of apples or a combination of apples and pears. For the black tea, Darjeeling, Ceylon and Keemun are excellent choices, but any black tea should give you a very good result.  This recipe can be doubled or tripled easily, so make plenty to use and to share.

Yield: 4 cups preserves

4 cups peeled and diced apples

2 cups fresh cranberries, washed

3 cups sugar  (I also cut the sugar to 2 cups)

2 limes

3/4 cup triple strength black tea  (used a spicy masala tea)

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger root

1/4 teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients except the lime and ginger to a heavy pan.  Bring to a boil over high heat and turn down to medium.  Simmer, skimming the foam after about 5 minutes.  Let simmer until the cranberries have burst and the apples or pears are tender, roughly 10 to 15 minutes.  Add lime juice, zest and grated ginger.  Simmer until thickened and remove from heat.  Let cool.  Process in a canner, or store covered in the refrigerator.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

What to do when you brew

To brew a proper cuppa it takes a bit longer than your average tea bag, however the results are so much more fulfilling.  When brewing my favorite morning tea- chai, it can be steeped anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes and because it is a black tea the water should be completely boiled (about 212 degrees.)

What this means is an average of 10 to 15 minutes of your morning is spent making this warm, spicy elixir. Somewhat of a luxury for a girl on the go!  And you know what they say; a watched kettle never boils:)

Always looking for a way to multitask, I’ve been doing a mini yoga routine while preparing chai tea.

  1. Start in Tadasana– take a few deep cleansing breaths
  2. Inhale arms up over head and exhale down by your side (do several to warm the body)
  3. With feet hip width apart- move into gentle side stretches– move slowly from left to right.  Remember to breath, inhale left arm up and exhale stretch to the right side, while right arm travels down side of the body.  *Repeat on other side (again, do several to warm the body up)
  4. Mini sun salutations– Repeat step “2,” only this time include a forward fold.  Let the head drop below the heart, grab opposite elbows, sway and move hips while you gloriously drink in the lower back stretch you will receive.  (Repeat a few rounds)
  5. If you are feeling warmed up, delight the upper body with a fulfilling shoulder stretch.  This can be gomukasana arms, eagle arms or interlace hands behind the back and lower the body forward, stretching the arms up overhead.  Rolling the shoulders back to receive the shoulder stretch.

Be sure to set a timer so you don’t become too absorbed in the relaxation of yoga and forget about your tea:)

Tea tips

  • For Black Tea– boil water (205- 212 degrees)
  • Pour a bit of water over the leaves to “wake” them up- swirl and pour out the water.
  • With leaves “awake” fill tea pot with boiling water
  • Set timer (black chai- 5-10 minutes or more if so desired – I’ve been loving Elmwood Inn’s Indian Chai)
  • Pour in a cup – add a touch of honey and your favorite milk product ( I love almond milk with mine!)
  • Drink in the joy of starting your day off right!

Tea 4 U

Last week while visiting a new tearoom that opened over the holidays in Oakhurst, NJ, my friends and I had the pleasure of meeting Kirsten, the owner.  While there Kirsten made us a pot of “Lover’s Leap” estate tea from Sri Lanka.  She graciously told us of her travels within Sri Lanka and also discussed her new magazine, “The World of Tea.”  We  talked “tea” for quite a while!  Kirsten is so knowledgeable and extremely passionate about what she does, I left feeling in awe!

Please visit Kirsten’s website shown below.  And if you ever find yourself in her neck of the woods – stop by for tea and to visit her beautiful historic tearoom which has been so lovingly restored.

http://www.tea4u.com/index.html