The world of baking and food through the eyes of an American in London

Posts Tagged "tea"

Bubble Tea Fever Hits London!

Posted by on Apr 26, 2011 in Yummy Places | 16 comments

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea is officially* the “it” thing this summer in London! Not one, but two dedicated bubble tea outlets have opened in the last two months. I started thinking about bubble tea when Ute went to Boba Jam back in January (there are also plenty of places in Chinatown that serve it and I’ve also had it in Ping Pong before) and a few weeks ago my interest was renewed when I found Bubbleology on twitter.

Bubbe tea was originated in Taiwan in the 1980′s where it’s as popular as soda in North America. I read somewhere that there are 8,000 bubble tea cafes in Taiwan! I used to live in Seattle and it’s a common to find it there too.

Bubble Tea

Chaboba is in Camden Lock Market and opened two months ago. I am in love with this place. I was wandering around the market for about 40 minutes trying to find it but the crush bubble tea I had in the end was well worth it.

I ordered a mango crush bubble tea (a cross between a slushee and a smoothie) with the “bobas” or pearls at the bottom. I chose to have the strawberry ”popping” bobbas on top (for an extra 50p). They are so awesome. They’re made from natural seaweed extract and are filled with fruit juice. I think the popping bobas give Chaboba a bit of an edge over the competition. I am already hooked and will be back.

Bubble Tea

Bubbleology opened a few days ago in Soho. The shop is larger and a tad more intriguing.

Bubble Tea

The fun part about Bubbleology is their “Cruffins”! English muffins or crumpets with your choice of topping. I of course had a crumpet with cream cheese and m&m’s. I’ll be back for another Cruffin.

Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea
I had a passion fruit bubble tea.
Bubble Tea
A bubble tea will set you back about the same price as a frappacino so I thought, I’ve seen the stuff in china town how hard would it be to make my own? I bought some supplies for £5 and made 3 different kinds.

First step is to prepare the tapioca pearls according to the pack. A whole bag cost me £1.70. They come in black or rainbow. Only make as much as you need for the day. They don’t keep well.

Bubble Tea
The pearls need to be boiled for 5-25 minutes and then rested for the same amount of time. You can boil the pearls in tea to give them more flavor and add some sugar or honey to them after as well.
Bubble Tea
Simple Bubble Tea
Powdered or already prepared iced tea
3-4 tbs pearls
Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea
1. Make the ice tea and pour it into a glass and drop the pearls in. Enjoy!
Lavender Bubble Tea
1 pot brewed Ceylon tea
1 cup sugar
1/2 water
2 tbs dried lavender
3-4 tbs pearls
1. Brew the Ceylon tea and place it in the fridge to get cold.
2. Make a lavender simple syrup by boiling the water, sugar and lavender in a saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour into a suitable container and place in the fridge to cool (I used a french press so I could separate the lavender later).
Bubble Tea
3. Once everything is cool pour a small amount of sugar syrup in a glass and top up with tea and pearls. The sugar syrup can be kept in the fridge for awhile.
Bubble Tea
Raspberry Green Bubble Tea
Iced green tea
Raspberry Coulis
3-4 tbs Pearls
Bubble Tea
1. Make the green tea according to box or brew some green tea fresh and refrigerate.
Bubble Tea
2. Once chilled pour the tea into a glass with a few tablespoons of the coulis, stir and top with the pearls.
Bubble Tea
I think my home attempt was successful and I will continue to make it inbetween trips to the various outlets! Has anyone else been for bubble tea this summer or tried to make it themselves?
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*By officially I mean I made it up

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Tea Tasting at East India Company

Posted by on Apr 8, 2011 in Yummy Places | 14 comments

Tea Tasting

Early last week I attended a tea tasting at the new East India Company store in Mayfair. If you read my blog often enough you’ll know that tea is my second love after cake so I was pretty excited! I love drinking tea but didn’t know that much about the different varieties. Andrea from Made With Pink was also there!

Tea Tasting
Jane Pettigrew gave the lecture. She’s written seven books on tea! Seven! I had no idea there was so much to say about tea.
Tea Tasting
Due to the company’s heritage it takes it’s tea seriously. They have their own master tea blender that can help you chose any tea you could possibly need and he makes the blends they sell in store.
Tea Tasting
We tasted six different kinds of tea ranging from a delicate white tea to a black early gray tea. White tea has the most antioxidants and is great for having after lunch. It was interesting tasting each tea and then trying to guess the tones (a lot like a wine tasting). Tea comes from a variety of different tea plants and herbal teas such as chamomile aren’t actually tea at all!
Tea Tasting
These were the varieties we had
  • Golden Tips (white)
  • Dragonwell Lung Ching (green)
  • Chun Me (green)
  • Sencha (green)
  • Sacred Heart (green)
  • Earl Gray (black)
Hopefully I’ve got all my facts right (I didn’t take any notes). For white tea the leaves are not oxidized at all, slightly oxidized for green tea and completely oxidized in black tea. Certain kinds of tea are also protected. Dragonwell tea can only come from a special town in China. I really liked all of the blends we tasted. I am partial to a good earl gray though!
Tea Tasting

The Dragonwell tea is also know as eyebrow tea as the leaves are all twisted.

Tea Tasting
The store is pretty posh! This is the perfect place to get, as the store manager put it, the person that has everything. Also beware, it is all delicious and a tad pricey. They sell gold leaf orange marmalade, sea salt chocolate and chocolate cherry  and chili biscuits (I bought these along with some tea and they are hot!). They served some snacks after, and as usual I ate till I felt stuffed.
Tea Tasting
Chocolate covered coffee beans were amazing! I really liked the shop as the products have interesting flavor combinations. Not just plain marmelade and plain black tea. I think they’ll give Fortnum & Mason a bit of competition.
Tea Tasting
Thanks to the East India Company for inviting me! I was a guest for the lecture and purchased some goodies from the shop after.
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Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley

Posted by on Jul 16, 2010 in Cake, Cheesecake, Chocolate, Cookies, Macarons, Yummy Places | 1 comment

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I have really great friends. They took me to the designer tea at The Berkeley hotel in Knightsbridge as part of my Hen/Bachlorette weekend. I love the tea here because each piece is creative and really cute and they also keep bringing out more until you tell them to stop!
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The cakes are in the colors of the fashion season and inspired by the world’s finest designers!
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Lunch in The City: June 21-25

Posted by on Jun 24, 2010 in Other | 4 comments

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I only went to Bea’s of Bloomsbury this week for lunch but I made sure it was a good one. I got an entire afternoon tea to go and ate it at my desk!
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I’ve been meaning to go to Bea’s for ages now and I finally decided it was time after Bea emailed me herself! I didn’t particularly like the cupcake I had at Taste of London and Bea asked me to come by and to try one from the shop.
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Richmond

Posted by on Jun 6, 2010 in Yummy Places | 0 comments

Richmond is one of my favorite places in London. I lived there when I first moved to London. It’s nice to go on a summer day and walk by the river. There are also a lot of really nice cafes around.
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One of my favorite places in Richmond is the Tea Box. It only opened a few years ago. I really wish it was open when I lived there.I would go there everyday instead of Starbucks or other coffee chains.
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