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April tea hero: Discover Tea and Terroir with LaKyrsiew

12 Apr

Stunning (image courtesy of Lakyrsiew Tea Co)

As you may know already we have been looking at how terroir determines a tea’s unique characteristics. This month’s loose leaf tea hero is one of our newest teas and producers but is already an all time favourite with us and our customers: Awakening.

Awakening is from the beautiful LaKyrsiew Indian boutique tea garden. It is an “addictively caramel-chocolatey sweet black loose leaf tea that oozes opulence.” Full of shiny tea tips, an opulent aroma and a smooth, lingering sweetness, this unique tea takes you on a journey of your senses in every way!

I chose Awakening for April’s tea hero because LaKyrsiew make stunning teas that take you on the most beautiful voyage to begin to understand terroir.

The story of the LaKyrsiew tea garden is fascinating! Two hundred years ago, the forest covered hills of Meghalaya, a province that lies between Darjeeling and Assam, were discovered to be perfect for growing beautiful tea. However, growing tea here was deemed too costly due to the remoteness and the high yields that neighboring Assam could reap, and so the land was left wild.

Two centuries later, the old tea garden plans were discovered, virgin scrubland and woodland was cultivated and LaKyrsiew “The Awakening” tea garden was born.

Organic from the start, working with the contours of the land to protect the ancient fertile topsoil from monsoon rains and watered by a spring high on the jungle slopes, the flavours produced by the tea garden are unrivaled.

Geert and Nayan, the owners of LaKyrsiew, are passionate about the beautiful loose leaf teas they produce. Their focus is quality not quantity; in 2009 only 650kg of tea were made. They carefully pluck the top two leaves and a bud then wither, roll and fire the tea themselves. They even have their own bespoke brass rolling table that improves the flavour of the tea!

Although comparable to teas made in neighboring Darjeeling, the slow growth, favourable weather and strict leaf picking, LaKyrsiew tea has its own unique character – opulent and smooth with a lingering sweetness.

Try both Awakening and their stunning white tea, Silver Tips and you’ll see what I mean!

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Master the art of your favourite brew

10 Apr

Master the art of your favourite brew

A little update to my blog post on Monday (https://lahlootea.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/).

Here, the BBC investigate just how to master the art of brewing the perfect brew with me, Kate Gover (founder of Lahloo Tea) and The UK Tea Council.

Happy reading!

The perfect tea time treat with a pot of Awakening: Little nutty tea cakes

9 Apr

Tea cakes

In the words of our founder, Kate, ❝bake these little nutty tea cakes off in yorkshire pudding/muffin trays and make a pot of tea for a simple yet perfect afternoon tea treat!❞

Ingredients

Makes one large round cake or lots of little ones

600ml perfectly brewed Lahloo Awakening or Tajiri

400g dried fruits

Zest of 1 large orange

1 large free-range egg

300g caster sugar

385g plain flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp mixed spice

  1. soak the dried fruits and orange zest in the tea and infuse overnight or for at least 6 hours
  2. drain and save the liquid for later
  3. preheat the oven to 180C
  4. whisk egg and add to dried fruit with 2/3 of the caster sugar. Sieve the dry ingredients and add to the fruit, along with the juice of the orange. The mixture should be moist so add some of the reserved tea liquor if necessary.
  5. pour into a greased and lined large round cake tin or 2 muffin trays and bake for 25mins. Cover with foil and bake for a further 45mins. If necessary, bake until your skewer comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool before topping.

Nutty topping

100g candied peel

100g flaked/chopped almonds

50g golden syrup

  1. melt golden syrup and add fruit and candied fruit. Simmer for 5 mins. 
  2. allow to cool and pile sticky mixture on top of cakes
  3. put the kettle on, make a pot of tea and enjoy!

Put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea with Victoria Wood

8 Apr

Since I was a little girl, I have been a huge fan of comedy legend, Victoria Wood. She never fails to have me rolling around in stitches! I’m also a massive ambassador for reigniting Britain’s love affair with tea.

I was really pleased to see that the BBC are showing a two-part documentary featuring Victoria Wood and her travels to discover just how this little plant changed the world.

From the back streets of Kolkata to the mega city of Shanghai, Victoria reveals how the cosy cuppa united east and west, triggered wars and helped us win them. Along the way she peeks into a fascinating world of chai wallahs, opium smokers, Assam tea pickers and grumpy elephants. She asks: how did this strange exotic leaf become such an important part of British life?

It’s a really fab program so put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea with Victoria Wood http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rx1xc

I have my own ideas why we love tea so much in the UK, but what do you think it is about tea we love so much, and how did we all end up hooked?

Five ideas to celebrate Easter

6 Mar

1. Make a simnel cake

Rich simnel cakes were originally made to celebrate the end of Lent and enjoyed for Mothering Sunday, although they have recently become part of Easter celebrations. This simple yet flavoursome Earl Grey simnel cake is perfect to share.

Earl Grey simnel cake

2. Cook with eggs

Eggs are a symbol of Easter and rebirth. Nutritious and very versatile, they add a pop of colour to minipizzas or this spring soup. We’ll definitely be trying these Chinese style Earl Grey marbled eggs too!

3. Easter eggs. 

Can you imagine Easter without Easter eggs? Here are some of our favourite DIY ideas.

Chalkboard Easter eggs by Oleander and Palm

Little Easter egg man by A bit of Pilli Pilli

Eggshell planters by Le Robin’s nest

eggshellplanters

4. Bake some hot cross buns

Associated with Good Friday since Christian times. This recipe with spices and the rich taste of Amber oolong is our favourite!

Hot cross buns

5. Sow your seeds

Calendulas, poppies and snapdragons or freesias, irises and anemones. It’s time to sow your favourite seeds and plant your favourite bulbs!

Freesias by Jeantosti

Freesias by Jeantosti

 

White chocolate and Mulberry mousse cake

6 Mar

You might have used mulberry fruit to make jams and cakes, but have you ever cooked with mulberry leaves? Our tea hero this month is the sweet and fruity Mulberry infusion, caffeine-free, restorative and revitalising. With 25 times more calcium than milk and 10 times more iron than spinach, it’s perfect for mums and mums-to-be. But it’s also a surprising ingredient in this amazing cake, created by Emily at Lahloo Pantry.
mulberry mousse cake

for the white chocolate and Mulberry mousse

  • 2tsp Lahloo Mulberry
  • 780ml double cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds only
  • 420g white chocolate finely chopped
  • 2 gelatine leaves*, optional

Infuse 4 tsp Mulberry leaves in 300ml the double cream for 4 hours.
Over a bain-Marie whisk 180ml of the remaining double cream, egg yolks and vanilla bean seeds and heat to 70C
Remove from heat, stir in the white chocolate and combine until completely smooth (*add bloomed gelatine here if using). Split into two bowls and allow to cool to 40C
Meanwhile in another bowl whip the Mulberry-infused cream with a couple of drops of natural green food colouring to a soft not peaked consistency.
And in a separate bowl whip the remaining 300ml double cream to a soft but not peaked consistency
Add both whipped creams to the already prepared white chocolate mixtures and fold delicately until combined.

for the almond sponge:

  • 3 large free-range egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 3 large free-range whole eggs
  • 32g plain
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter plus extra fro greasing

Preheat oven to 210C. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper and grease with butter.
Make a meringue by beating egg whites in a bowl to soft peaks. Add caster sugar and beat until stiff and glossy
In another bowl beat ground almonds, icing sugar and whole eggs until light and fluffy. Add flour and beat until just combined through
Fold meringue into almond mixture. Fold in butter. Pour batter into trays and spread it out thinly.
Bake until lightly browned and just springy to the touch, about 6-9 minutes.
Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake from the tray. Peel sponge from parchment paper. Cover the sponge while it cools.

To assemble the layer cake
Once cooled place sponge in back in tray.
Carefully spread a 1 inch layer of white chocolate mousse onto the sponge, using a warmed palette knife to spread evenly
Chill before taking the mulberry mousse and layer in exactly the same way
Add another layer of sponge and repeat with two more layers of the white chocolate and mulberry mousses.
Chill before using a knife to carefully loosen layer cake from tray. Cut into rectangular servings and serve at room temperature.

Green Jasmine truffles

21 Feb

The highlight of this month’s Tea and Chocolate Workshop at Lahloo Pantry will be the preparation of these chocolate truffles, infused with the delicate flavour of Green Jasmine. A fabulous homemade gift or a luxurious treat to enjoy when you fancy something sweet, satisfying and uplifting. Here’s our recipe!

Green Jasmine truffle

Green Jasmine truffles

Ingredients (for about 40 truffles)

  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 280ml heavy cream
  • 50g butter
  • 2-3 tbsp Lahloo Green Jasmine
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder (for the coating)

Heat the cream in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat, add the tea and let it infuse for 15 minutes. Strain.

Melt the chocolate and the butter in a bain-Marie and strain the cream into the mixture. Whisk well until combined. Pour into a stainless still bowl and refrigerate for two hours.

Place 1 teaspoon of the truffle mixture into the palm of your hand, rolling it into a ball. Place each truffle on a lined baking tray and repeat the process. Chill the truffles until firm.

Once the truffles are firm, coat them with the cocoa powder (if you like them sweeter, add some brown sugar to the cocoa powder and mix well) and leave them to harden.

Our tip: Bring truffles to room temperature just before serving.

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