Giveaway // Teavana In Bloom Collection

Perfect for your next tea party with your friends, or just a tea break alone, this blooming tea set is just what you need.

Teavana has created a gift set for blooming tea lovers that includes a glass teapot (to watch the tea unfurl), two tins of blooming teas (a pineapple white tea and a lemon marigold white tea), and a canister with rock sugar to sweeten your tea. The teapot and tins comes in an In Bloom Collection gift box. The total value is over $70.

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This giveaway is only open to US residents.

NOTE: Winner will be contacted by email and comments/follows will be verified. If winner does not respond within three days of being contacted, another winner be chosen. Good luck!

//Giveaway prize courtesy of Teavana.//

Posted on May 18, 2015 .

Matcha (Green Tea) Pancakes

This recipe by Queenie is genius. She was smacking my hand away as I was trying to eat them all as soon as they were made. 

With this recipe, you can either make these pancakes the usual way, with the batter directly ladled onto a frying pan, or like this Japanese hotcake inspired version where a cookie cutter was used to make it nice and tall. Either way, it'll be delicious.

This cookie cutter version takes a little more effort since we had to make sure the interior got cooked through, so it went from stovetop to oven.

Right out of the oven, these pancakes had a lovely crispy top and bottom and a warm, soft cake-like interior. At this point, you can eat them as is, but if you're looking for something a little sweeter, a little maple syrup does the trick.

Recipe by Queenie Fok for Oh, How Civilized

Makes approximately 8 pancakes.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon matcha
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
Olive oil for oiling the pan and the inside of the cookie cutter
Optional: Toppings like berries and maple syrup 

Turn the oven on to 400°F and place a baking sheet lined with parchment paper into the oven.

Mix all the dry ingredients first (flour, sugar, matcha, and baking soda) then whisk whisk in the wet ingredients (milk, yogurt, and egg) until the batter is free of any lumps.

Oil the inside of a metal cookie cutter (3" - 3.5" in diameter) and the pan. Place the cookie cutter in the middle of the pan over low heat. Pour batter 2/3 of the way of the cutter and place a lid to cover. (NOTE: Be sure that the lid does not rest on of the cookie cutter.)

Cook for 5 minutes, then remove lid and cook for 1 more minute. Carefully flip the pancake and cook the other side for 5 minutes with the lid, then 1 minute without.

Take the pancake in the cookie cutter off the pan and and run a knife along the inside of the cookie cutter to cut out the pancake.  (Be careful -- the cookie cutter is hot!) Place the pancake in the oven for 34 minutes to ensure it is fully cooked inside. 

Serve warm with toppings of your choice.

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Posted on May 14, 2015 .

Maille New York

Maille makes the best tasting mustards and my favorite cornichons so I was very happy when they opened up a shop on the Upper West Side. The best part? Mustards on tap! (See my visit to the shop in Paris.)

Special to this location is New York City's first and only Mustard Sommelier, Pierette Huttner. 

She walked me through a mustard and vinegar tasting where I tried about 10 of their 20+ mustards, including the ones on tap. Some mustards were on the mild side but there were a few that completely opened up my sinuses -- whoo, strong!

With each mustard I tasted, Pierette gave helpful suggestions on food pairings.

There are four mustards on tap and those are sold in the most adorable reusable stoneware jars which you can bring back to refill at a reduced cost. Make sure to get the mustard spoon which I use to pop the cork and wax top off the jar.

INFO: Maille New York | 185 Columbus Ave. at 68th Street | New York, NY 10023 | 212.724.1014


Posted on May 11, 2015 .

Giveaway // Mystery Tea Stash

I have more tea at the moment than I can drink so I'm running a giveaway with all my unopened teas I know I'll never get to. From loose tea in canisters to handfuls of sealed tea bags, they're all jam packed into this mystery tea stash box. There's enough tea in this box to last you a few months!


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NOTE: Winner will be contacted by email and comments/follows will be verified. If winner does not respond within three days of being contacted, another winner be chosen. Good luck!

Posted on April 27, 2015 .

A Tea Tasting with Silver Needle Tea Co.

With a slight chill in the air, it was the perfect weather for when Lucy from Silver Needle Tea Co. and I sat outside for a private tea tasting. Warming up over each sip while sitting in her cozy patio, Lucy prepared multiple steepings of two teas, both from the Spring Collection. One was a green, Dragon Well (Long Jing), and the other, an oolong, Big Red Robe/Da Hong Pao.

First, let's talk about the gorgeous tea canisters. The design is simple, elegant, and brilliantly color coded. It looked so pretty all lined up sitting on the table.

What Silver Needle Tea Co. specializes in is pure tea. This is for the tea purists out there. They don't do blends or add any artificial flavorings. The tea speaks for itself.

To heighten the experience, Lucy served tea in a stemless wine glass, which is something i'll definitely be doing in the future since it made something as simple as sipping tea completely luxurious.

We started with the Dragon Well and steeped that about three times, which brought out a different flavor each time. It was light and sweet at first and became lush and full in the later steepings.

Then came the Big Red Robe, an oolong with caramel notes. So smooth, I could sip this all day. This was especially lovely in a wine glass with its complex flavors.

It was so relaxing and before I knew it, two hours flew by. Thank you, Lucy!

If you're looking for a Mother's Day gift idea, Silver Needle Tea Co,'s The Complete Experience is a great one for serious tea drinkers.

Posted on April 24, 2015 .