This year I will be spending Valentine's Day alone on the West Coast. I recently moved all CdS operations to Southern California. I left husband and dog behind to take care of things at home back in NYC. Essentially I'll be commuting back and forth from coast to coast.
Still, the first week was tough. This week was a lot better, but still I miss my friends and family back East. And even though I never really went overboard during Valentine's Day I can't help but feel a little sad that I won't be surrounded by loved ones this weekend.
However, I did manage to meet up with a few friends just this week and they made me feel so welcome! I feel myself cheering up already. Krizia was kind enough to gift me a box of confectionery from one of my favorite places--Minamoto Kitchoan. The NYC location was only 2 blocks from the old CdS office! It seems to have followed me here to California because they recently opened a location in Fashion Island which is in walking distance of my house. Onto the gift...
I am absolutely obsessed with packaging so it's no surprise that I spent eight minutes carefully peeling the stickers off the wrapping paper before getting to the goodies inside.
This was such an unexpected and lovely housewarming gift. I made sure to pop some in the freezer to enjoy at a later time. These desserts are perfect for pairing with green teas.
Once inside, individually wrapped sweets are lined up perfectly inside the box.
Take the cuteness factor two notches up and unwrap this...
Usagi Bean Cake with yuzu. Usagi means rabbit in Japanese. I love anything with rabbits because I was born in the year of the rabbit as was my mother. This bean cake is light, fluffy, delicate and not too sweet, like most Japanese sweets. These wagashi are traditionally served with Japanese green teas. Another one of my favorite places to purchase wagashi would have to be Toraya. I've grown up with that brand since I was a little girl. Toraya used to have a location in NYC off Madison Avenue, but it has since closed. I always make sure to stop by their shop in Japan whenever I am there.
I paired the Usagi Bean Cake with my latest blend of Jasmine and Genmaicha (a green tea with popped corn and toasted rice) . The new tea will be available soon, not to worry. It was a perfect match!
If you're in the Southern California area, Minamoto Kitchoan will be offering a complimentary tea and dessert pairing at their shop in Fashion Island on Saturday, February 14th between the hours of 2pm and 4pm. What better way to enjoy the long weekend!
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there!
Everyone is getting ready for Valentine's Day. Mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, boys, girls…and we know Valentine's Day isn't just for lovers! Sometimes it means taking tea alone and enjoying alone time.
That's why tea time is so appropriate for this special occasion. It's the perfect opportunity for us to take time out of our busy schedules and enjoy being in the moment. What better way to slow down than to heat up some water, grab a tea cup or mug and steep your tea.
So, it made sense to team up with our friends at Free People again to create something really romantic and whimsical for all those free spirits out there.
We started with muslin pouches made from 100% cotton and filled them with our Evening Engagement Tea. Cut out hearts and lovingly attached one to the end of each pouch. Played a lot of 80's love songs while doing this to pass the time.
This is just one of those teas that calms and warms you all the way through. It's also light and gentle on the tummy. We've hand blended white tea, rose petals and chrysanthemum blossoms to create the perfect enchanted cup.
Bag comes with six pouches of loose leaf tea that steeps two cups each. The blend is certified organic.
This tea is perfect for recreating romantic moments or creating new ones. It's perfect for sharing with girlfriends over laughs and friendly gossip. It's one of those teas we reach for after a stressful day at the office.
This is exclusively packaged for Free People and is available in limited quantities on their web site. This tea is sure to warm your heart and soul.
(All photography via Free People)
My mother was kind enough to volunteer for the THIRD time at one of my Williams-Sonoma events.
I hosted a Mother's Day Tea this past Saturday from 1pm to 3 pm.
It was still comfortably warm and not too humid when we arrived, but the sun was out and we were both in great spirits.
As we approached the entrance I noticed this super sweet sign...
and we had our usual designated spot near the food demo section in the rear of the store. The sign really got people curious and into the store.
I wanted to change things up a bit so I chose a different set up for the Mother's Day Tea.
Hario is known for their high quality products and excellent design and functionality of their accessories for making coffee, but they recently came out with an entire line for tea. I decided to use the Hario Tea Dripper Largo System. The set up consists of the stand, scale/timer and soak dripper.
Here's the lowdown on how to use the system. 1) Place tea dripper on stand and then add tea leaves into the bowl. 2) Boil fresh water at appropriate temperature and slowly pour into the glass bowl. 3) Put the lid on and brew for appropriate amount of time. 4) Press switch to extract tea. Here's a video if you'd like to see it in action.
I steeped some fresh Tea 14, Love Spell, the morning of the event and served it chilled. As usual it was a huge hit and we sold out of Love Spell at the event in addition to whatever teas we had leftover from the Artisans' Market. I'm working on having some more in stock within the next two weeks since we only have a couple in stock.
Our Warm Heart compressed green teas and Blooming Teas made great last minute gifts for people who wanted to buy inexpensive yet thoughtful gifts for the special women in their lives.
They were especially popular with the kids who came in wanting to buy mom a gift with their own money. We sold out of our Love Spell and only walked away with two pouches of Tea 22, Mon Frère.
Thank you again to Williams-Sonoma for allowing us to serve your customers on a holiday weekend! Hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day.
Here are just a few simple, but elegant cocktail choices for this holiday season. I chose two tea inspired cocktails and the rest use just the right amount of sweet to ring in the new year.
Who doesn't love something bubbly for the holidays? I know I do.
Here's a recipe for the Puerh Old Fashioned via Autumn Giles of Serious Eats. Click here for the recipe.
A Holiday Apple & Sage Iced Tea Cocktail from our friends over at Takeya. Who doesn't love chartruse? Click here for the recipe.
Frozen Cranberry Skewers keep the champagne cold and the cranberries give the drink a festive look. I would sprinkle a little Amber Sugar on the frozen cranberries to give it that extra special something. Photo and recipe idea from Occasions.
Champagne with sugar rimmed glasses. Easy and glamorous. I like to use our Rainbow Sugar for an extra festive, fun look.
Photo from The Hostess with the Mostess. The original recipe calls for rock candy swizzle sticks, but you can use our Diamond Sugar Stirrers which are made of pure sugar cane and nothing else). They are a quick and easy way to fancy up your champagne on New Year's Eve. Diamond Sugar Stirrers come in brown and white.
And lastly, a recipe from one of our FaceBook friends, Pete Gee. He writes, "This is the Royal Navy version. Don't know how much it differs from the standard recipe: Wine glass, sugar cube in bottom. Two drops Angostura Bitters on cube. Add a shot or two of cheap brandy. Top up with cheap sparkling wine. Then sit back and count how many people drink before they start slurring their words."
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year's Day!
So honored and excited to be featured in Bon Appétit Magazine's 2013 December issue. Our Sucre En Pyramide made it onto their Holiday Gift Guide.
Featured under Gift Ideas For Sweet Lovers. Check out our Sucre En Pyramide on page 60. The caption reads: "No black coffee is safe when a sweets fiend is armed with these Japanese sugar packets."
We couldn't agree more. Thank you again, BA.
You can purchase them in two sizes: 40 pieces or 82 pieces.