The Ladies' Tea Guild

Friday, April 30, 2010

Cat Rescue Tea fundraiser in the works for this weekend!

image from
I forgot how much work it is to help put on a fundraiser, even a relatively small one like ours! I'm not only in charge of securing the donated tea (which I finally picked up the other day) but making the fillings and providing the ingredients for two of the 6 kinds of tea sandwiches, making a batch or two of Meyer lemon curd, donating a tea-themed basket to the raffle, helping assemble the sandwiches and plate the food, and making all the tea during the event itself. I've got a nice little assortment of tea-things for the basket: about a 1/2 pound of Ladies' Tea Guild loose tea (one of my favorite blends, Bloomsbury Afternoon), a teapot key chain, teapot earrings, teapot cookie cutters, and a collection of tea articles from The Ladies' Tea Guild newsletter, _The Tea Times_. I'm also loaning my 12 cups and saucers and my glass creamer and sugar bowl if I can find them! But it's all for a good cause, and the experience is a good one. We had fun last year, although we were about to fall over after we finished, and it looks like this is becoming an annual event!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tea tasting in San Francisco, part 2

teas for tasting at Vital TeaLeaf.
The other place where we spent time tasting tea (for free!) was Vital TeaLeaf. We tasted everything from oolongs and green teas, to pu-erh and a lovely French rosebud tisane.

tea on display and for tasting.

My friends ended up getting a lovely green tea that was called "Angel". The tea expert, James, was entertaining and let us taste as many teas as we wanted.

Vital TeaLeaf
1044 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94113

Tea tasting in San Francisco, part 1.

tea set and tray at Red Blossom Tea Company.
I played hooky with a few friends on Monday, when we took the day off and went to San Francisco for dim sum and shopping and tea tasting in Chinatown. We only really walked up and down one street, but we had a lot of fun and came home full of tea. I don't even remember all the teas I tasted, but I bought a lovely Phoenix oolong that has a floral character reminiscent of orange blossoms. Here are a few photos:

Red Blossom Tea Company: we tasted several teas here, including some nice oolongs and green teas. This is where I bought the Phoenix Oolong.

Here is a close-up of the gaiwan and glass tea pot.

Red Blossom Tea Company
831 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94108

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chic Chateau in San Jose will remain open!

I went down to Chic Chateau for lunch today to check out the sale and see what's up. I was happy to find out that the tea room will remain open, and it's only the boutique that is being closed. Even better, when I asked the staff about the sale, I was told that the retail items are being cleared out because the tea room is going to expand into the former retail space! They expect the tea room to be busier than ever, so while the tea equipment is not for sale, all the clothes and accessories are 50% off or more. Go on down to check out the sale, and perhaps stay for a savory crepe or scone and a pot of tea! You'll leave relaxed and happy, maybe even with something great for your closet or jewelry box!

I also asked about making reservations for tea and was told to pick up a take-out style menu, and call ahead to schedule. They ask that groups not only reserve the date but decide what they will eat ahead of time, so that everything can be ready when you arrive. I will definitely be doing that this summer!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Will San Jose lose another tea shop?

I just heard that Chic Chateau in downtown San Jose may be going out of business, and that they are selling off all of their boutique and tea room stock. If true, this news is really sad! I couldn't afford to have tea there more than about 3 times a year, but it has become my favorite place to go on my birthday in the last few years! The only birthday party that I have had for the past 2 to 3 years, apart from just having dinner with my immediate family, was meeting friends for tea at Chic Chateau. I also enjoy taking the South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild there at least once a year, and visiting them with other friends after walking through Christmas in the Park in December. The website, Facebook page and Twitter page don’t mention anything but a “Blowout Sale” of 50% off of the boutique items. Very mysterious! I'll have to go down this week and see if I can find any more information!

Chic Chateau
98 S. 3rd St. (at San Fernando)
San Jose, CA

Review of Chic Chateau
Chic Chateau website
Chic Chateau on Twitter
Chic Chateau on Facebook

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Use up holiday leftovers by having a tea party (or two)!

Now that Easter is over, and Passover is drawing to a close, most of us have plenty of leftover food to use up. Rather than just reheat it for days, or let it sit in the fridge until it goes bad, why not use the leftovers as ingredients in new dishes? Putting together some treats for afternoon teas and brunches for this week can make the holiday spirit last longer, especially during the current storm that's (hopefully) supposed to go away later this week. Here are some quick and easy brunch and tea party suggestions:

Hot tea

Lemon curd

(Leftover) ham and apricot tea sandwiches
Grilled leftover ham and pineapple sandwiches
(Leftover) roast lamb tea sandwiches
Cucumber mint tea sandwiches
Savory breakfast casserole

Cinnamon-raisin cream cheese bread pudding
Lemon and blueberry cake
(Leftover) Easter chocolate

“How to make the most of a restaurant cup of tea”
“What to expect from a restaurant cup of tea”
“How to add flavor to a restaurant cup of tea”
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?”
“Orange cookie cups recipe”
Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)