This is an interesting tea. Emerald Arya is a Darjeeling tea, but it’s not fermented, so it’s effectively a Darjeeling green tea. You can taste the distinct Darjeeling flavor in the tea, but it’s very much a green tea. It tastes fresh and clean, almost like a Chinese herbal vegetable broth. You can almost taste the vitamins in it, but it’s very pleasant, not at all bitter. Delicate flavors, beautiful light amber color, and so yummy as to almost taste savory.
This is a fantastic tea. I’m going to get a larger tin with my next order. Of course, it also happens to be the most expensive tea of the bunch I bought.
Today’s tea smells like Christmas! Melange Noel has a black tea base, with cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, cardamom, orange peel, rose petals, and almond pieces. Yum.
It’s a good strong tea, with robust spice flavors. I think it could do with a touch less cinnamon, but the vanilla and the cloves and cardamom are wonderful. It would be a fantastic tea to have on Christmas Eve, if it were snowing out. Very warming, because of the spices.
I like this tea, but don’t love it. Probably won’t buy this tea again, except for Christmas time.
A couple of weeks ago when Nina and I went to rm for Restaurant Week, I had a revelation. A tea revelation.
rm has an incredibly well developed tea menu. Chi-chi restaurants often have a good selection of coffee, but tea generally comes in a bag, often with a yellow Lipton tag. If you’re lucky, you might be able to choose between three teas. rm had an entire tea menu, with recommendations for food/tea pairings.
I had a cup of freshly steeped Indian Assam with a molten chocolate tart. The flavors of the tea and the chocolate went so well together, I could barely believe it. The sweet bitterness of the chocolate tart was cut by the tea, refreshing my palate for every chocolatey bite.
The tea was a revelation in itself, since I’ve only ever had cheap bagged supermarket tea before. But the more important revelation was that I wanted to develop a taste, a palate for tea. There’s just so much yummyness to choose from.
A little surfing on the eGullet forums later, I found Upton Tea, where one can buy samples of each tea. Samples on average only cost $1.50 each, and you can make a good 5 or 6 cups per sample. I was very impressed by Upton Tea’s selection, which is heavy on black teas, my favorite type of tea.
I also found a beautiful glass tea mug with a built-in infuser, to conveniently brew whole leaf teas at work.
So this will be a semi-regular feature on my blog for a while, as I work my way through 13 or 14 luscious tea samples from Upton Tea.
Nina and I have been enthusiastically taking advantage of Winter Restaurant Week 2004. Despite its name, Restaurant Week actually spans two weeks, weekdays only. Select restaurants offer a fixed price menu for lunch at $20.04 and dinner at $30.04. Some of these restaurants would normally cost $100 and up per person, so Restaurant Week’s a pretty good deal.
We’ve eaten at:
Roasted Winter Squash Soup with Wild Mushrooms and Pumpkin Seeds, Skate (Sting Ray) with Sauted Artichokes and Shitake Mushrooms, Chocolate Brioche Pudding with Maple Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce
Shrimp and Mackerel Ceviche (raw chopped shrimp and mackerel, partially cooked in lime juice and chillies), some really good seafood main dish that I don’t remember exactly, and ice cream
- Cafe Boulud
Mushroom Soup, Seared Scallops, and Molten Chocolate Tart.
Seared Scallops, Halibut with Porcini Mushroom Nage, and a Molten Chocolate Tart with home-made Rum and Raisin Ice-Cream.
The casual observer will notice a great deal of scallops, skate, and chocolate. Those are very yummy things.
Work’s been crazy busy, which is really nothing new. What was new was that for the first two weeks I was back, I found it really hard to get back in the groove of things. Felt really distracted from thinking about Singapore and stuff like that. But now things are back to normal. I’m working crazy hours again. We’re supposed to find out about possible promotions some time in the next two weeks, which is a little scary. I’d really like to get promoted. The recognition of hard work would be nice, but honestly, the money would be great. A girl’s gotta pay her college loans.
The New Yorker has a beautiful story this month: The Last Words on Earth. It’s beautifully written. Read it.