Tag Archives: tea

Cup of Brown Joy

If you like tea or steampunk, you’ll like this Prof. Elemental video “Cup of Brown Joy,” beautifully presented on Vimeo (below). If not, you’ll just be confused.

You can downloaded Prof. Elemental’s album “The Indifference Engine” from iTunes. It has a jazzy remix of “Cup of Brown Joy,” plus “Fighting Trousers,” the soundtrack of a video of the same name that he made as a challenge another “chap hopper,” Mr. B. The Gentleman Rhymer.

It’s all explained here.

You can purchased the track to the original “Cup of Brown Joy” directly from Prof. Elemental’s site. He accepts PayPal, which he acknowledges with this email response:

“Thanks everso for your purchase. I promise that the proceeds will be spent on scones and fine hats.”

Elemental – Cup Of Brown Joy from Moog on Vimeo.

>Spicy (not sweet) chai

>The super-sweet chai (made from a syrup mix) served at most coffee houses is a real disappointment for me — so much sugar and cream that it’s more like warm ice cream than a refreshing drink. On the other hand, most spiced chais sold in tea bag form are boring.

Of course, there’s a complex, spicy chai made right here in Ballard: Morning Glory chai. If you have the time to deal with the complicated and time-consuming brewing, you’ll find it’s delicious. But I don’t always have time to boil a bag of spices for several minutes, strain that mixture, and then add the loose-leaf tea to brew.

Last week, at an Asian grocery in Naples, Florida, I came across a peppery, complex chai in easy-to-use tea bag form. Even with plain white sugar and skim milk it was fabulous. It’s Mighty Leaf‘s “Bombay Chai Black Tea,” Indian black tea leaves blended with pepper, orange, cinnamon, caradmom, and clove.

The Mighty Leaf chai was so good that my mother asked me to leave the box with her in Florida. Fortunately, I’m pretty sure I’ve spotted Mighty Leaf boxes at some of the grocery stores in Seattle (QFC? The Ballard Market?).

>Tea: A holiday gift that warms you all winter

>One of the best holiday gifts is tea. It’s healthy, it tastes good, it has a long shelf life, and it comes in elegant containers.

I favor black teas, and this season I’ve gotten two fabulous ones.

Peet’s Holiday Breakfast Blend is part of Peet’s Signature Blends. Like most breakfast blends, it has quite a bit of Assam, but it avoids any bitterness. It’s an extremely complex tea. My only problem with it is that it won’t be available for very long; the “Holiday Breakfast Blend” is a different blend every yet. Rush out and get more of the 2008!

Morning Glory Chai, which is served at many of Seattle’s independent coffee houses, is also available in brew-it-yourself packages from stores including The Ballard Market and Tenzing Momo at Pike Place Market. Each package contains spices (add to boiling water and simmer) and tea & herb mix (steep in the hot, spiced water). With sweetener (honey or brown sugar) and steamed/heated milk, it’s as robust as a latte.

>Food news

>OK, enough about clothes and yoga. I spent Sunday at the Pike Place Market, unquestionably the highest concentration of gourmet comestibles per square foot in the city.

Nina and I started with brunch at Cafe Campagne, a place that preserves an old-fashioned French urban vibe: Old room, old furniture, everything gleaming and golden and just a bit fussy. The service is attentive and professional and the classic, unabashedly rich food is a relaxing exception to the assemblages of politically correct pedigreed ingredients that are currently in style elsewhere.

I had oeufs en meurette (“poached eggs served on garlic croutons with pearl onions, bacon and champignons in a red wine and foie gras, sauce served with pommes frîtes”) and Nina had the cassoulet with lamb, pork, duck confit and garlic sausage. We also had a side of the cafe’s thick-sliced rosemary raisin toast, which I thought was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. (So where do they get that rosemary raisin bread?)

After brunch we popped into Rose’s Chocolate Treasures to buy truffles and ooh and ah at the antique hot chocolate sets for sale (these look like tea sets, except both the pots and the cups are tall and narrow). No, I didn’t try the chocolate blueberry basil or the chocolate balsamic tomato truffles pictured here. I had the “plain” toasted coconut truffle.

Next stop was the Perennial Tea Room to buy Yorkshire Gold breakfast tea. They have an extensive display of Henley stainless steel teapots. Pick one of these mid-century modern pots up by the odd-looking handle and you realize that this is not a teapot that is going to pull forward or tip when filled with water. It’s beautifully designed. The painted ones (bright colored pots with stainless feet, spouts, lids, and handle) were in a two-cup size but the plain stainless one comes in four sizes, all the way up to a 53-oz. “family” size (at left).

The Perennial Tea Room is one of the area tea organizations sponsoring a Northwest Tea Festival in the fall. Details to come at the website.