Tea with Miss T: Pomegranate Lychee Red Tea

Pomegranate Lychee Red Tea, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Our children learn from watching what we do more than any other way. Some habits and behaviours are just inevitably ingrained in us and we can't change much about them. Other things we pick up on the way and pass on to our kids as part of our daily routines - and what and how we eat plays a big role in family interactions.

So imagine how hard I was laughing when as a reflection of my elaborate tea parties, my daughter began throwing her own daily ritual tea every afternoon. There were a lot of treats around the house back than and they consisted of quite impressive menu for a couple of weeks. But after the holidays were over, the ritual stuck and every afternoon when little miss T comes home from school she immediately rushes into the kitchen, boils a kettle of tea and gets the pot ready, with... fruit!

First it started with blueberries and coconut, and than it became more and more elaborate. I would add the tea leaves, because otherwise it would just be half-cooked fruit juice diluted in water. Some of the inventions are quite out there - and others don't quite work.

This one turned out magnificent, and so I decided to start sharing with you daily teas that turn out here on SmellyBlog. As it turns out, in Asia, brewing fruity teas is widespread custom (bubble tea, anyone?). So miss T is certainly on to something...

In the picture above, is a lychee congou tea brewed with about 2 Tbs of pomegranate seeds. The sweetness of that particular pomegranate made it really delicious. Pomegranate could be rather sour when brewed.

Milky Oolong

Milky Oolong, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

One gloomy spring day, I sought refuge from the daily stresses and a twitched heart by taking tea at the Urban Merchant’s new tea salon (1070 West Georgia).
Assisting me in search of a tea that is not aromatized but very aromatic - their tea ambassador recommended milky oolong. The name peaked my curiosity, which was temporarily satisfied as I buried my head halfway down a bucket-sized tin of the above-mentioned botanical gem. As it turned out, the tea was well represented: the crunched-up dry leaves had the aroma of butterscotch, which is nothing short of a miracle. Steeped in hot water (95 C / 203 F), the tea leaves unfurl to reveal an aromatic palette that is simultaneously complex, light and rich. The steam emanated a refreshing transparency as the droplets of clear tea condensed on the transparent glass. Sipping away, it was indeed what it promised: milky and smooth, with the illusion of caramel yet with no sugar or milk in sight. It also has a transparent floral aspect to the nose, and than the buttery milky smoothness comes back in the sweet aftertaste, that appears in your mouth and throat after the tea was swallowed. Even the second steeping gave away an astonishingly vibrant aroma (and I wish I had the time to stay in for more steeping – but that would have taken the whole day!).

This milky oolong tea is the most pricy tea I’ve ever encountered, even among fancy oolongs. But the price is well worth it: it can be re-steeped for up to 7 times, and the intensity of aroma is surprisingly potent well into the 4th steeping.

Summer Tea Party

Moroccan petitfours of dried fruit, marzipan and halva - scented with floral water of course!

Here are some photos from the Summer Afternoon Tea Party yesterday at my studio.
Of course the whole purpose is to make you come to the next one, which I'm hoping to host in mid-July (exact date will be announced soon).

You've already read about the menu - now you can see the treats (my apologies for the poor quality of photos - I was trying to sneak in a camera-click between getting the door and the guest consuming this display):

You can't see it, but this is a 5-tier tea tray, the top two tiers covered in chocolate truffles, the rest with petitfours and pastries.

The teas served were many (I made no less than 8 pots of tea!) - my entire current tea collection of Charisma, Immortelle l'Amour and Roses et Chocolat. After the event there is not much tea left (the guests wiped me nearly clean of my Charisma tea - only one tin left) and just a handful of Roses et Chocolat and Immortelle l'Amour!

I also served Moroccan mint tea, both hot and chilled. It's especially good for dipping those fennel biscuits (see below).

View from the top:
Top tier: Blood truffles (dark chocolate, Turkish rose, saffron and chili) and Rose de Mai truffles (white chocolate with rose de mai, magnolia, bergamote & strawberry extract)

Second tier: Guilt truffles (orange blossom and wild orange) and Charisma truffles (white chocolate with matcha tea powder, sambac jasmine, spearmint and citrus)

Third tier: Dried apricots stuffed with neroli-water flavoured marzipan, dried figs stuffed with kewda water flavoured marzipan; and some more Charisma truffles.

Fourth tier: Crystallized rose wafers, Pistachio-Lime buttons, Apple cupcakes, Almond cupcakes

Fifth tier (nearly hidden): Moroccan Fennel biscuits, and my personal favourite - Basboosa made with Goat's milk yoghurt.

Some guests mingling to create an awesome tea party...

The guests received tea candle and samples before they left and also there was a draw for one person to go on a little olfactory journey with me and participate in the creation of their very own custom scent!
There was also a presentation about tea and perfumes - more about that in the next post...!

Afternoon Tea Party & Private Sale

Join us for an afternoon tea and a presentation about tea notes in perfumery and a private shopping event.

On the Menu:
5-tiered tray of fragrant sweet and savoury refreshments will be served along with Ayala Moriel’s exceptional perfumed teas created for us especially by Inner Alchemy Tea Co. to match selected scents from Ayala Moriel ready-to-wear perfume collection.

Tier 1:
Wild Hyssop mini pita bread
Cumin & Hummus Tea-Rolls Wasabi-Cucumber Tea Sandwiches Tomato-Basil Tea Sandwiches Minted Radishes Tea Sandwiches

Tier 2:

Sweet scones with rose petal jam & devonshire cream
Savoury cumin scones

Tier 3:

Middle Eastern semolina pastries with almonds and honey syrup


Tier 4:

Crystallized rose icebox cookies

Fennel biscuits

Aniseed biscotti

Halva cookies

Pistachio-Lime Buttons

Tier 5:
Hand-rolled Flower-Scented Chocolate Truffles
Assortment of Moroccan dried-fruit and orange flower water petitefours

There will be door prizes and a lucky draw for all guests to win a gift certificate for creating your very own signature perfume (value of $550) and other exciting surprises and gifts with purchase.

At 2pm, Ayala will give a presentation about the role of tea in perfumery, accompanied by a fragrance sampling of tea-scented perfumes (including some of Ayala’s own creations).

Sunday, June 14th, 12:00-4:00pm
Ayala will speak at 2pm

Ayala Moriel Parfums Studio
#314-1230 Haro Street (corner with Bute)
Buzzer #295
Vancouver, BC

RSVP now (778) 863-0806
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