Tea Writings

A blog about tea from the desk of Cecilia Tan

Heart’s Delight

May 09, 2009 By: ctan Category: Tea Musings

We indulged ourselves in one of my favorite weekend “brunch” traditions, which was going to Chinatown for dim sum.

We arrived at the restaurant at noon and I was surprised to find how uncrowded it was. Oh, there was a lively business going on at the dim sum palace known as Chau Chow City, but nothing like what it was like ten years ago, when you had to fight to get in on a weekend day between 10am and 1pm. I don’t know if it’s the economy affecting the crowds or just the tradition of family dim sum for Asian-American families is waning? Several of the Asian markets have closed because fewer and fewer families make the special trip to Chinatown to do their shopping. On the other hand, the huge Asian markets like Super 88 that are located in the suburbs where the vast majority of the Chinese population have moved to are also downsizing. So, I don’t know.

You wouldn’t think the economy would keep people away from dim sum, which is one of the least expensive gourmet meals one can buy. Six of us went this morning, and we were overstuffed at the price of $12 each, and that with leaving a generous tip. $12 each got us approximately 15 different dishes? Let’s see if I can remember:

The mellowness of vanilla

May 07, 2009 By: ctan Category: Tea Reviews

The majority of the vanilla teas I have had are black teas. Both in canned varieties from the Chinatown grocery stores (usually in an oval pink can) and the gourmet flavored teas (like the Mighty Leaf Orange Dulce seem to always mix vanilla with black.

Indeed, one of my favorite recent acquisitions is a black vanilla jasmine from Tealuxe. A friend gave it to me in a sampler pack for my birthday, and not only is the idea of black jasmine a revelation, but the mixture of vanilla with the jasmine makes one of the most incredibly mellow cups ever. Jasmine can sometimes be sharp or the perfume can turn bitter, but not when vanilla is rounding everything out like a white puffy cloud in a blue sky. (more…)