Laura Brienza, Author at Tea, Tea Accessories & Recipes - The Tea Kitchen
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Laura Brienza

History

Women’s History Month: 3 Women Who Shaped the Tea Industry

March 18, 2018

March is Women’s History Month. To celebrate, we’ve profiled three women who made a big impact on the history of tea. So sit back and give thanks for these three ladies while sipping your afternoon cuppa:

1) Catherine of Braganza 

Catherine of Braganza | Public Domain

Today, we almost instantly associate tea with England. But it took one woman, Catherine of Braganza, to introduce the beverage to England before it could become so ubiquitous. Catherine, a Portuguese princess, married King Charles II of Great Britain in 1662. Per the BBC, When packing for her new life as Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Catherine made sure to include loose-leaf tea. Tea was popular in Portugal among the upper class, and Catherine enjoyed sipping it daily. However, tea was not so prevalent in England yet, and was used more as a medicinal herb than a social drink. That changed when Catherine arrived. As the public yearned to emulate their new queen, Catherine’s social tea drinking habit became more popular, and we can certainly give her some credit for England’s major tea habit today.

2) Penelope Barker

Penelope Barker | Public Domain

The Sons of Liberty get all the attention in the history books when it comes to tea and the American Revolution, but Penelope Barker deserves some recognition too. Barker organized the first ever recorded women’s political demonstration in America when she got 50 women in Edenton, North Carolina together to protest the 1773 Tea Act. The women signed a resolution to boycott British tea, using their buying power to protest Great Britain’s unfair taxation and the British East India Tea Company’s monopoly on the tea trade. In their resolution they stated, “We, the aforesaid Ladys will not promote ye wear of any manufacturer from England until such time that all acts which tend to enslave our Native country shall be repealed.” The event was called the Edenton Tea Party, and was widely mocked in London where a political cartoon depicted the participants as bad mothers and loose women:

A 1775 political cartoon from a London newspaper depicts a less than respectful version of a women’s political gathering, featuring lots of flirtation between men and women, and an unattractive woman at the helm. | Public Domain

3) Ruth Campbell Bigelow

Constant Comment creator Ruth Campbell Bigelow with her husband David. She developed the formula in the kitchen of her New York brownstone. | Bigelow Tea

A woman founded Bigelow Tea, one of the most recognizable tea brands in the country. Ruth Campbell Bigelow developed her version of the perfect cuppa in 1945. She blended black tea with orange rind and spices in her kitchen. It sparked “constant comment” among her friends, and when it became the first product of the Bigelow Tea Company, that was its name. The brew is one of many varieties that is still available today. The company operates out of its Fairfax, Connecticut headquarters, generating about $150 million in sales per year. Three generations after Ruth founded Bigelow, it continues to be a family-run business, with Cindi Bigelow in charge as President and CEO.

Tea Recipes

Recipes to Ride the Earl Grey Trend

March 5, 2018

If you’ve looked at a restaurant menu lately, chances are you’ve seen earl grey somewhere on it. Supermarket News lists earl grey as one of the top 10 trends of 2018, and it’s easy to see why: this tea flavor is booming, appearing on 1 in 10 menus, and not just in the tea category, according to Mike Kosto, senior publications manager at food trends market research giant Datassential. Following the rise of matcha as an ingredient used far beyond the teacup, earl grey is being used to flavor non-beverage items, mostly desserts and cocktails. Check out these earl grey desert and cocktail recipes to get in on the trend:

DESSERTS

 Honey Earl Grey Fig Cake

This cake from The Little Epicurian tops an earl grey-flavored cake with honey cream cheese frosting and garnishes it with real figs, honey, and pistachios. The cake batter uses milk that’s been infused with earl grey tea and egg whites, resulting in a soft and delicate texture. The author feels that the cream cheese frosting “works well to enhance the orange notes of Earl Grey,” and we have a feeling you’ll agree.

Earl Grey And Mango Tiramisu

This recipe from Red Magazine offers three new flavors to this traditional Italian dessert: earl grey, mango, and pistachio. Sponge biscuit fingers are soaked in earl grey tea, then lovingly layered with cream and mangoes. Dust with pistachios for a crunchy finish!

Earl Grey Chocolate Pots de Crème with Honey Coconut Whip

This recipe from The Pig & Quill pairs earl grey with chocolate in an adorable medium: pots de crème. Light coconut milk is used as a healthy substitute to half and half. Begin by steeping earl grey tea in coconut milk, then add to a mixture of chocolate chips, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Pour into individual glasses and chill at least four hours—or, ideally, overnight—and then top with honeyed whip, chocolate chips, and crushed cookies.  Picture-perfect and oh-so-delicious!

Earl Grey Chocolate Bread Pudding

This recipe from Bite Me More elevates classic bread pudding with chocolate and earl grey tea. Add whipped cream for a silky finish and you’re off to the races.

COCKTAILS

Earl Grey Martini

This martini recipe from Olivia’s Cuisine combines strong earl grey tea with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg whites. Says the author, “The subtle botanicals in the gin pair nicely with the earl grey and lemon flavors, making this a very delicate and aromatic cocktail.”

Earl Grey Margarita

This margarita recipe from Hope & Glory features a bitter dose of earl grey to balance out the sweet and sour tastes of a classic margarita. Bottom’s up!

Earl Grey Blackberry Bourbon Cocktail

This cocktail recipe from Beginning With Bergamot is a simple combination of bourbon whiskey, earl grey tea, blackberry, and simple syrup. A rosemary and blackberry garnish finishes things off. The author promises the cocktail is “rich, warm, and fruity.” Sounds good to us!

Earl Grey Lemon Vodka John Daly Cocktail 

This cocktail recipe from Boulder Locavore is the perfect way to dress up vodka with flavor and fun. Start with earl grey iced tea, add lemonade and lemon vodka, and presto: it’s happy hour.

 

Tea Recipes Tea-Infused

Bake Me, I’m Irish: 5 Tea-Infused Treats for St. Patrick’s Day

February 26, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up on Saturday, March 17.  In addition to wearing green and waving the Irish flag, try baking one of these tea-infused Irish treats to get in the mood for this festive holiday. Tea is hugely important to Irish culture, with black Irish teas filling many a cuppa in the country. Take one of these recipes for a whirl and prepare to be delighted this St. Patrick’s Day:

1) Earl Grey and Currant Scones with Vanilla Bean Glaze

This recipe from Bake From Scratch uses loose-leaf earl grey tea in the scone batter for a winning dose of bitterness. Currents provide fruity texture in each scone, while a vanilla bean glaze tops each one for an extra serving of sweetness.

2) Irish Soda Bread with Tea-Infused Raisins

This recipe from Anson Mills adds a cool twist on classic Irish soda bread: black tea-infused raisins. For centuries, soda bread has been a staple for the Irish everyman. This recipe updates it slightly, with the authors describing it as “a fine, moist, rugged country bread.” They elaborate: “Deep nuttiness, faint fruit, and a satisfying array of toasted whole bran and chisel flavors emerge from handmade whole grain rustic graham flour, while pastry flour lightens the bread’s texture and flavors the crumb with a faux butteriness.” The tea-infused raisins add welcome flavor and texture. Eat plain, or top with butter for a delicious, traditional snack!

3) Double Chocolate Irish Tea-Infused Oat Muffins

This recipe from Half Baked Harvest is a great way to bring Ireland’s fame for oats into the dessert space. Begin by steeping 2 black tea bags in coconut milk. Combine the tea-infused coconut milk with wet ingredients eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, and oil. Then mix with dry ingredients: steel cut oats, oat flour, rye flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chopped dark chocolate, and then bake. Drizzle with honey and serve with butter for two yummy finishing touches.

4) Gur Cake

Gur cake is a traditional Irish dessert associated with Dublin. It’s a treat that features a thick layer of filling in between two thin layers of pastry crust. Stale bread is soaked in tea to make the pastry. The cake gets  its name from the term gurrier, used to describe poor children to whom a bakery’s leftovers would be given. These gurriers would transform stale bread into a sweet treat: gur cake. This recipe from Wholesome Ireland offers one classic gur cake recipe. Perfect for frugal bakers!

5) Tea Shortbread Coins        

Shortbread is as classic as it gets when it comes to Irish desserts. Here, Thirsty For Tea blogger Bonnie Eng offers three different shortbread recipes, each made with a different type of tea: Earl Grey, Matcha, or Irish Breakfast. For the Irish Breakfast tea variation, Eng blends Irish tea with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, black pepper, and nutmeg for a Masala Chai Shortbread. On the variations, Eng says, “While Earl Grey Shortbread is fragrant and full of vanilla goodness, the matcha version is bittersweet and earthy. Masala Chai Shortbread is a yummy choice when you’re craving a touch of warm spice. And of course, you can’t go wrong with dipping or drizzling any of these with chocolate! Rich and buttery, these shortbread cookies make a great hostess gift for your St. Patrick’s Day party host, or a great way to celebrate Ireland all on your own.

Industry

3 Black Owned Tea Companies to Support During Black History Month

February 25, 2018

February is Black History Month. As we honor the impact that black Americans have made on our past, it’s important to support black Americans making an impact in the now. Here, we profile three black-owned tea companies. This Black History Month, while you’re reading the poetry of Langston Hughes, unpacking Black Panther with your friends, or re-tweeting Tarana Burke, sip on a cuppa brewed by one of these black-owned tea companies:

1 – Ellis Island Tea | www.ellisislandtea.com

Nailah Ellis-Brown is the owner of Ellis Infinity Beverage Company, which makes and sells Ellis Island Tea. The product is a hibiscus-flavored tea developed from a recipe originally crafted by Nailah’s great-grandfather Cyril Byron, a Jamaican immigrant who worked as the Head Chef on Marcus Garvey’s Black Star Line before opening his own catering company. Prior to his death, Byron gave the recipe for Ellis Island Tea to Nailah’s father with some very specific instructions: “This is to be sold, not told.” Nailah’s making good on her grandfather’s order. Operating out of Detroit, Michigan since 2008, Ellis Island Tea has enjoyed quite the rise. Ellis-Brown was named to Forbes’ prestigious “30 Under 30” in the Manufacturing & Industry category in 2016.   She was also featured on the TV show Queen Boss, a show like Shark Tank that focuses exclusively on African American female entrepreneurs. Currently, Ellis Island Tea can be found in Whole Foods, Meijer, Sam’s Club, and other stores. Check out this video on Ellis Island Tea from MSNBC:

2 – Jin+Ja | www.drinkjinja.com 

Owned and operated by Reuben Canada, Jin+Ja says its products are the way to “drink yourself healthy.” The core ingredients are green tea, ginger, mint, lemon, and cayenne pepper. It all started with a drink that Canada made for himself. He soon discovered that no matter what was troubling him—an upset stomach, a hangover, or sore muscles—the drink cured it. Once he researched the ingredients he was using, it all made sense, and he began to market and sell the drink so that others could benefit as well. Jin+Ja features a variety of products that are all billed as “deliciously powerful.” For whatever ails you, consider Jin+Ja. Take it from The Doctors, who recommended Jin+Ja as a great way to boost your health:

3- Me & The Bees | www.meandthebees.com

Me & The Bees is a lemonade/iced tea company founded by Mikaila Ulmer when she was just 11 years old.  Mikaila developed a recipe for lemonade based on her grandmother’s, then went on Shark Tank and received a $60,000 investment to kick things off. Now, at the ripe old age of 13, she’s the CEO of a company whose beverages can be found at Whole Foods, Wegmans, The Natural Gardener, and more.  Variations on the product include a Lemonade with Iced Tea, featuring black tea, flaxseed, cane sugar, honey, real lemon juice, and water.  A portion of all profits go towards organizations that work to save honeybees.  Mikaila was honored by Essence Magazine as one of 50 entrepreneurs to watch.  This young lady is certainly one to watch and celebrate over a nice glass of iced tea!

 

Tea Accessories Tea Gifts

7 Tea-Inspired Throw Pillows

February 12, 2018

Drinking tea is a cozy experience. Add in a tea-inspired throw pillow and you might just melt. Any of these pillows are the perfect addition to you, your cuppa, and a good book on a cold day. Rest your back, your feet, or your head on any of these fluffy accents, and your tea’s sure to go down just right:

1) Rain, Tea & A Good Book

This adorable throw pillow from Pastel Trail will perfectly complement tea time on a rainy day.   The pillow is available in pink, purple, and pastel in a variety of sizes, ranging in cost from 14×14 inches for $20.99 to 20×20 inches for $29.99. It will look good on any couch, bed, or in any reading nook.

2) But First, Tea

This throw pillow from Latte Home gets right to the point: you need your tea. Perfect for the guy or gal who can’t even think about starting the day without her dose of earl grey or green tea. Available in a variety of colors, this throw pillow will look good anywhere tea drinkers are present.

3) Sweet Tea & Sunshine

This pillow cover from Sham Shack is a great addition to any outdoor patio set, especially in the summer, when the sun is shining and sweet tea’s on the menu. The pillow is handmade from burlap and available in a variety of sizes, so you can fit it over just about any old pillow you have for a cute makeover.

4) Boba Tea Pillow

If you’re looking for a truly unique accent pillow, opt for this boba tea-shaped pillow from The Branch and The Vine. Boba tea is all the rage, so this is a decidedly on-trend décor choice, and a perfect way to jazz up any bench, accent chair, or baby’s crib. The pillow is handmade from 100% polyester plush fabric. It comes in three sizes: small ($20.53), medium ($24.64), and large ($32.85).

5) Tea?

This pillow from Josephine Penelope UK is simply adorable, featuring an eye-catching pink pom-pom trim and a floral lettering design. Handmade at a countryside studio in Hampshire, England, each pillow measures 16×12 inches and is filled with ethically sourced duck feathers. Great as a kitchen or entryway accent for only $$22.15!

6) Tea Pot Pillow Cover

 This pillow cover from Kat and Dawg Designs is a beautiful way to transform any old pillow, and comes in two sizes: 16×16 inches or 18×18 inches. You can also select your preferred background color: light brown, grey blue, white, or off-white. This pillow cover will look great, and it’ll also make you feel great knowing that 10% of your purchase is donated to the cancer support center Wellspring London & Region.

7) Teacup Pillow

This teacup-shaped pillow from Sew Very Nifty is visually appealing and oh-so-comfy. Hand-stitched, it measures approximately 18x9x6 inches, is made of cotton, and retails for $28. It also has a little pocket where you can stash the book you’re reading.  The blue/green triangle pattern adds visual interest, and makes it perfect for green tea enthusiasts. Put this pillow on your bed, on an accent chair, or entryway bench for a pop of color and a dose of cozy.

Tea Gifts

Gifts for Your Tea-Loving Valentine

February 12, 2018

This Valentine’s Day, give your tea-obsessed better half a tea-inspired gift and you’re sure to get rave reviews. Consider these delightful presents this February 14th:

1) A Couples’ Mug 

You can’t go wrong with two mugs that go together just as well as you and your sweetheart.  Boldloft has a series of mugs that, when put together, form a sweet picture. Each set retails for $26.99, and each mug holds 12 ounces. They’re made from stoneware ceramic and are both microwave- and dishwasher-safe. Pick your favorite design:

2) Valentine’s Day Sugar Cubes

Make sure bae has a sweet start to the day with these specially-shaped sugar cubes from Chiara Sweet Art. Available in pink or blue, they’re the perfect way to start his or her day off with a smile. Each cube is equal to about a teaspoon of sugar, and they come in an adorable box of 100.

3) Heart-Shaped Tea Bags

Wake your valentine up with a piping hot cuppa that’s full of love—literally. These heart-shaped tea bags will make you paramour’s breakfast a little sweeter, or her afternoon tea extra special. Tea flavors include earl grey, Ceylon black tea, and green. They’re also a great value: a 6-pack sets you back only $10.

4) Love-ly Coasters

Coasters may be practical, but they can also be beautiful and special. These coasters will dazzle any girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or wife:

These natural wood coasters from All About Impressions are the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the nature-appreciating love in your life. No two coasters are identical, and come in a set of 4. They’re personalized with the initials of you and your loved one, and cost only $34.

These puzzle-piece coasters from Pretty Personalized UK are perfect if you and your valentine fit together like a glove. Four coasters come together to form one personalized block of text.

These anatomically-inspired heart coasters from Think Geek are perfect if you and your valentine appreciate the human body on a scientific level. The coasters are printed on glass, measure 4×4 inches, and come in a set of six for just $16.99. Bonus: each coaster has rubber feet to further protect your household surfaces!

5) Green Tea Bath Bombs

These bath bombs from Spa Girl Soaps are a great way to treat your love to a relaxing Valentine’s Day. They come in a set of 14 in flavors such as: green tea, green tea lemon, green tea lemon honey, and green tea lemon ginseng. The tea and oils in the bombs will help your skin look beautiful and healthy, plus they smell delicious! Add one or several to the bath for a luxurious dose of you-time.

6) Sweet Indulgence Tea Sampler 

This sampler from DAVIDsTEA presents you and your valentine with 12 individual tins of flavorful loose leaf teas. Get ready to taste: Alpine Punch, Banana Nut Bread, Cardamom French Toast, Chocolate Macaroon, Coconut Cream Pie, English Toffee, Forever Nuts, Hot Chocolate, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Movie Night, Strawberry Rhubarb Parfaitm, and Toasted Walnut. This tea set will add interest to tea time for months, and will make dessert a healthy, guilt-free time that you and your valentine can look forward to. All this for just $26!

~

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tea Recipes

7 Tea-Spiked Chocolate Desserts for Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2018

Roses, hearts, and chocolate are the three pillars of Valentine’s Day planning. This year, bake your valentine a unique kind of chocolate dessert—a tea-infused chocolate dessert. In brownies, cookies, cupcakes, and tarts, tea and chocolate are a perfect pair, just like you and your valentine. Sweeten your night this February 14th with one of these recipes:

1) Earl Grey Chocolate Pots de Crème

These pots de crème from Gourmande are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and downright delicious. Described as “super silky” and “dark and complex,” the author promises that “each spoonful is plush and velvety like the center of a good chocolate truffle.” Prep time is 20 minutes, and cook time is 25 minutes, making these treats an easy-to-make choice for your Valentine’s Day dessert.

2) Vegan Strawberry Matcha Brownie Tarts with Coconut Whipped Cream

These tarts from The Baking Spoon are adorable, and incorporate two Valentine’s Day must-haves: strawberries and whipped cream. A brownie shell is filled with matcha cream filling and topped with coconut whipped cream and a strawberry garnish for a bite-sized, picture-perfect dessert that will delight and impress your date. As a bonus, the recipe is vegan, and uses healthy substitutes like carob powder, maple syrup, and cashews for unnatural sweeteners.

3) Double Chocolate Irish Tea Infused Oat Muffins

Present your valentine with a basket of these muffins from Half Baked Harvest to score major points this year. The recipe calls for 2 black tea bags, maple syrup, steel cut oats, and dark chocolate, among other ingredients. Prep and cook time combined equals about 30 minutes, and yields 18 muffins. Since they’re muffins, you can also eat these chocolate desserts for breakfast!

4) Chocolate Dipped Tea Infused Shortbread Cookies

These cookies from Dish It Girl require just a few ingredients to pack a sweet punch. The author used Puerh Indulgence Good Earth Tea to spice up shortbread, grinding the tea leaves into a fine powder in the food processor before combining them with the cookie batter. Dipped in fudgy chocolate, these tea-infused shortbread cookies are great with a hot cuppa and a serving of fruit.

5) Green Tea Filled Oreo Cookies

These cookies from The Chocolate Bottle have a cakey texture, thanks to the use of Devil’s Food Cake mix. Green tea, cream cheese, and sugar combine forces to make a sweet, tea-infused filling. Dip each cookie sandwich in chocolate for an extra dose of chocolate!

6) Chocolate Cake with Tea-Infused Berry Frosting

This beautiful cake recipe from Beginning with Bergamot is perfect if you and your better half have big appetites. Treat yourselves to a generous slice (or two) on Valentine’s Day, and then share it the rest of the week to make Valentine’s Day last a little longer this year. This recipe’s tea-infused berry frosting makes this chocolate cake standout, and the strawberries and raspberries that top it make for a picture-worthy dessert hour.

7) Earl Grey Chocolate Tart

This tart recipe from Pemberley Cup and Cakes uses two tea bags’ worth of Earl Grey tea to spice up the chocolate ganache filling. Paired with a sweet tart crust, this dessert will satisfy any sweet tooth this Valentine’s Day.

Tea Gifts

Romantic Teas for Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2018

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so it’s time to plan a tea-riffic night for you and your sweetheart. Treat that special someone to a hot night with one of these hot teas:

1) Valentine Tea Sampler

This sampler from Artful Tea provides you and your better half with 14 romantic tea flavors. The handmade, compostable tea bags are bundled in lovely red ribbon to enhance the mood. Flavors include Chocolate Strawberry, Vanilla Velvet, and Pasion Petal Oolong. Yum!

2) Heart Chakra Tea Pack

This tea from Sarah Taylor Moore is “especially formulated to take care of the heart chakra,” and promises to promote balance and encourage “an open and peaceful heart.” Presented in a 6-inch tin, the tea is green, fruity, and floral. Brew a cuppa if you want to feel the love this Valentine’s Day.

3) Midsummer Night’s Dream Tea

This blend from DAVIDsTea is perfect for the loved one who loves Shakespeare. The tea boasts citrus and mint notes, with flavors of apple, gooseberry, marigold, and rose filling out its profile. Caffeine-free, pair this tea with a few poetic compliments, and your night will be Bard-approved.

4) White Chocolate Obsession Tea

This tea from Bigelow is all-natural, gluten-free, and kosher. Black tea is flavored with cocoa powder, white and dark chocolate flavors, carob, and grape seed extract, building a complex and satisfying cuppa for you and your plus one.

5) Blueberry Acai White Tea

Treat your love to a unique type of tea—tea drops. Simply place this innovative product in a teacup, pour hot water, and watch your tea dissolve before your eyes. The heart-shaped drops are perfect for the occasion, and the fruity, tart flavors of this tea will create a playful, romantic mood. Tea ingredients include: organic white peony tea, blueberry, acai berries, and cane sugar.

6) Cuppa Chocolate Tea Assortment

This assortment from Republic of Tea gives you and your bae a sinfully delicious array of options. Choose from: Red Velvet Chocolate Rooibos, Coconut Cocoa Herbal, Stawbverry Chocolate Rooibos, Peppermint Chocolate Rooibos, and Banana Chocolate Rooibos. All zero or low calorie and sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

7) Pride and Prejudice-Inspired Tea

If your paramour considers Pride and Prejudice to be the ultimate love story, this tea will knock his/her socks off this Valentine’s Day. This sampler from Bingleys Teas includes four teas inspired by characters in the classic novel. The first tea in this pack is Mr. Darcy’s Pride, a medium roast oolong from the Wuyi Mountains in China blended with a black tea from Sri Lanka. The tea begins with “an assertive, almost mineral” taste that eventually “opens up to chestnut and finishes with soft plum,” the same way that Mr. Darcy’s true, swoon-worthy character is slowly revealed. The second tea, Lizzie Bennet’s Wit, is a strong black tea blend, reflecting her strong character with notes of cranberries. The third tea, Sweet Jane Bennet, is a blend of green and black teas sweetened with notes of vanilla, imitating Jane’s “angelic sweetness.” And finally, the fourth tea, Longbourn Wedding, is a romantic white tea with champagne and rose flavors that make it perfect for any spouses to celebrate being forever Valentines.

8) Chocolate Decadence Sampler

This Valentine’s Day, enjoy a dessert tea from this Stash Tea Sampler, which includes 10 tea bags each of Chocolate Mint Oolong, Decaf Chocolate Hazelnut Black Tea, and Black Forest Black Tea. With 30 total teabags, this is one way to make Valentine’s Day last all month long.

 

Industry

Tea Sales Spike in New York City—Thanks to Mariah Carey

February 12, 2018

Mariah Carey is used to packing concert halls and stadiums, but now she’s filling a new kind of space: tea rooms.

This New Year’s Eve, Carey attempted to redeem herself from a technical snafu that ruined her televised performance the previous year. As she took the Times Square stage in freezing temperatures, she told the crowd that she “was told there would be tea,” but, alas, there was no hot tea to be found on the stage. She soldiered on, and after a performance that silenced the haters, the world waited on baited breath to see if the “Honey” and “Sweetheart” songstress would find that elusive cuppa. Find it she did, posting a picture of herself sipping tea on Instagram with the caption, “Found my tea!”

New Yorkers took a collective sigh of relief, and then, apparently, dashed out to get their own tea.

The New York Post reports that the city that never sleeps is experiencing a tea surge, dubbed the “Mariah Carey effect.”

The Whitby Hotel, the Peninsula Hotel, the Plaza, and the Taj Hotel in New York City have all recorded increases in patrons ordering tea service.

While the record low temperatures in New York are likely a big contributor in the rising high tea bookings, Carey put drinking tea on the minds of millions of New Yorkers at the start of the year, and her influence is not to be discounted.

For those thirsty for tea in other cities, here’s a list of high tea services that we dare say would be Mariah-approved:

LOS ANGELES

The Getty Villa

Thursdays and Saturdays @ 1pm

Enjoy “tea by the sea” at the world-famous Getty Villa. The Mediterranean menu features the produce grown at the Villa’s recreated first century Roman gardens. Served in the beautiful Founder’s Room, come here to enjoy tea and baked goods in an iconic setting.

CHICAGO

The Lobby at The Peninsula Hotel

2:30 pm, 4:30 pm (Mon – Sat)  | 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm (Sun) 

Treat yourself to sweet and savory snacks and teas of all varieties at the Peninsula. Teas include black Mandarin rose petal tea from China, genmaicha from Japan, and orchid oolong from Taiwan. Bites to look forward to include: wild mushroom quiche, chocolate citrus lollipop, and homemade scones with clotted cream, lemon curd, and raspberry jam.

PHOENIX

The Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Estate

Thursday-Sunday, 12pm and 2pm

Refresh with Grand Afternoon Tea at the Biltmore, or bring your child to one of the Biltmore’s child-friendly, themed teas: Gingerbread Tea, Mad Hatter Tea, Princess Tea, or Ooh La La Tea.

PHILADELPHIA

The Rittenhouse

Daily, 2-5pm

Relax with a cuppa and a plethora of sweet and savory bites at The Rittenhouse’s Mary Cassatt Tea Room. Teas include: Floral Jasmine Green, Organic Peppermint, and the Rittenhouse Blend which features Ceylon bergamot, rose petals, cardamom, and borage. Sweets include a pistachio cheesecake and almond and poached pear cake. Savory delights include scones and radish served with edamame hummus.

If you’d rather stay at home than dress up and shell out for a fancy afternoon tea, you can still exhibit the Mariah Carey effect by drinking out of a mug bearing the phrase “I was told there would be tea,” now for sale on Carey’s website.

https://mariahpride.com/products

 

 

 

 

 

 

Industry

7 Teas Items That Prove Restaurants are Upping Their Tea Game

February 12, 2018

Restaurants are seriously stepping things up when it comes to tea. Consumers are no longer satisfied with a boring black tea bag or a simple iced tea. They want cool flavor combos, natural sweeteners, memorable accents, texture, and document-worthy experiences. To meet the high demands of foodies across the country, these restaurants are offering creative tea options. From chains to independents, check out these menu items to see how operators are elevating the tea sector:

1. Plum Ginger Hibiscus Iced Tea – Panera

This iced tea from Panera combines flavors of hibiscus, apple, blackberry, rosehip, pump, carob, and ginger for a complex, sweet profile. Ginger is hot hot hot right now in the culinary world, and mixologists are finding creative ways to combine and showcase it, like this. Flavor for the win!

2. Raspberry, Mango, Pomegranate, and Kiwi Iced Tea – Applebee’s

These iced teas from Applebee’s reflect the rising demand for unique flavors in the tea world. Applebee’s diners can choose between refreshing glasses of raspberry, mango, pomegranate, and kiwi iced tea.

3. Fruit and Milk Teas – Panda Express

Panda Express has an entire tea bar catered to your Asian-inspired tea needs. Choose from fruit or milk/boba teas. Fruit teas include: Strawberry, Raspberry, Hibiscus, and Passion Fruit. Milk teas include: Thai, Matcha, and Crème Brulee. To meet consumer expectations for customization and the rising demand for textured beverages, Panda Express offers the following add-ons to any drink: honey boba, jelly (coffee, tea, or grass), fruit jelly (rainbow or lychee), aloe vera, pudding, and chia seeds. Talk about thorough options!

4. Blackberry Tea Thyme – California Pizza Kitchen

Consumers want twists on the familiar, and California Pizza Kitchen delivers with this modified Arnold Palmer, which combines freshly brewed Gold Peak iced tea with lemonade and accents it with blackberry and thyme sprigs. The chain also features many flavored iced teas (Mango, Peach, Strawberry, Raspberry) and a Passion Fruit Mango Iced tea bursting with tropical flavors.

5. Rooibos Tea with Coconut Milk and Maple Syrup – Sqirl

LA foodie haven Sqirl is the place to look for what’s trending in the food and drink world. Their tea menu includes this iced tea, which exemplifies the natural sweetener and alternative milk trends by sweetening rooibos tea with maple syrup and adding coconut milk for a non-dairy boost. The restaurant also features a Laura Palmer, which satiates consumer demand for unique flavor combinations and updated classics by pairing black tea with grapefruit juice.

6. Matcha Limeaid – Bon Matcha

Washington, DC matcha haven Bon Matcha serves up a refreshingly sour take on the earthy flavor with its matcha limeaid. Limeaid is having a moment, and what better to pair with it than tea’s reliable rising star, matcha?

7. Earl-Grey Infused Whiskey – Steak + Whiskey 

Tea continues to elevate cocktail menus, like it does at Steak + Whiskey in Hermosa Beach, California. The cocktail named Bill The Butcher pairs earl-grey infused bourbon with Americano and velvet falernum. Elsewhere on the cocktail menu, the O-Ren Ishii pairs matcha with vodka, yuzu, mint, and orgeat. All over the place, mixologists are turning to teas and tea-based syrups to specialize alcoholic offerings, so be on the lookout!