Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An International Tea Moment Presents The Best of 2010

Another year has zipped by of sipping old favorites, exploring new avenues, achieving many breakthroughs and receiving beautiful packages of amazing teas with requests for review. I have (somehow, and with much painful deliberation) managed to identify my favorite teas and tea venue of the year. It is my distinct pleasure to announce An International Tea Moment's picks for The Best Tea of 2010!

Best of 2010 Black Tea

Best of 2010 Black Tea Blend

Best of 2010 Chinese Green Tea

Best of 2010 Japanese Green Tea

Best of 2010 Green Tea Blend

Best of 2010 White Tea

Best of 2010 White Tea Blend

Best of 2010 Oolong

Best of 2010 Herbal Infusion

In addition to some expanded categories above, I am also introducing two new categories:
Executive's Choice - The one tea that I could not get enough of throughout the year and introduced to practically everyone I met.
Tea Venue - The venue that provided the most memorable moment due to service, offerings, and reader feedback.

As with all "Best Of" decisions this year, these last two decisions kept me up nights, as there were 2 standouts in each of the new categories. But the winners are:

Best of 2010 Executive Choice

Best of 2010 Tea Venue

Congratulations to all the award-winners! You will each be receiving official notice of these awards in the next week, and the winning teas will be featured at An International Tea Moment's Best of 2010 Event to be held within the month.

Check out these teas and see what all the fuss is about!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Finalizing Moment

For the 2nd Year in a row, I'll be announcing An International Moment's "Best Of" Award Winners. With so many more contenders, and so many amazing cups and blends, this is an extremely challenging decision. In addition, the day I choose to announce the winners is also the day we're moving to our new house, so there will be a slight delay in hosting my Best Of 2010 Tea Event, which means there will be a slight delay in learning who will be the 2010 Fan Favorite.

In any case, tune in on January 25, 2011 for the announcement of An International Tea Moment's Best of 2010 Winners. I'm looking forward to sharing my favorites with everyone!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A 'Five Things' Moment

David's Tea is one of my go-to tea vendors. There is something about them and their teas that just make you fell a little bit hipper, a little more cool. That's why when a reader brought this clip to my attention I immediately had to share it with you. In their cool, hip, unique way, they present the Five Things About Tea You Have to Know.

Thanks for your insight, Nicole Windsor! Tell the folks at David's Tea I said 'Bon jour!'

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Coffee Tea and Tulips Moment

Imagine my surprise in discovering yet ANOTHER tea room in South Orange County!  And not just any tea room. Coffee, Tea and Tulips was named one of the TOP 5 Tea Parlors in Orange County. The question is, "Where have I been?"

Since I can't offer a decent explanation, I'll fast forward to how I rectified the situation.

As I've mentioned, probably too many times, we're moving next week. So, since Gene was going to be out of town most of last week, my Mom was kind enough to fly in and help keep my sanity. Our reward at the end of the week was experiencing this tea room. There is nothing I like more than sharing such moments with my Mom.

I was delighted with my experience at this hidden gem in Mission Viejo! Tucked into an unassuming strip mall, this eclectic tea room offers more than just tea and food. It is an oasis. Lina, the owner, and Michael (also known as the 'Moody Chef' in their blog), are committed to creating a positive environment where people can just relax and enjoy. 

We ordered the Royal Tea (call at least 24 hours in advance), and immediately fell in love with the scones that are quite rightly compared to those of the Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C. Served with fig jam from Lebanon, Devonshire Cream and home made lemon curd, these scones were scrumptiously warm and melt-in-your-mouth good!

A tiered tea tray was presented next. The tea 'sandweeches' were the most basic - and most necessary in my opinion - egg salad, cucumber mint, and chicken salad. But they were anything but ordinary. This is one of the best examples of simple food being the most divine. Perfectly seasoned, and generously proportioned, I can honestly say I have never had such tasty tea service. And then there were the pastries! Light and flaky, flavorful without being overly sweet, I absolutely loved every crumb.

The tea selection was broad enough to provide something for everybody, and I enjoyed the Very English Breakfast while my Mom sipped the Organic Darjeeling. The tea cups and tea pots were as eclectic and unique as everything else in the tea room, and my tea cup was quite captivating - a small, hand painted cup made in U.S.-occupied Japan. If tea cups could talk...

Chef Michael was kind enough to tempt me with a sample 'sandweech' from their Queen Victoria Tea (the 7-course mammer jammer tea experience). It was a cream cheese, lavender, orange zesty, walnut concoction that I am still thinking about on a daily basis nearly a week after the fact.I have an official crush on that sandweech.

But good tea, amazing food, inviting atmosphere aside, Lina and Michael created the perfect moment for me and my Mom to sit down together, talk, laugh, eat and drink, all the while providing charming hospitality and the perfect balance of checking in and leaving us to our conversation.  There is no question why Coffee, Tea and Tulips is considered one of the Top 5 Tea Parlors in Orange County.  And now that I have found them, I look forward to many more moments there!

To experience Coffee, Tea and Tulips for yourself:
Coffee, Tea And Tulips©25280 Marguerite Parkway at La Paz, #B2
Mission Viejo, CA 92692 – Near Steinmart in the Village Center,
across from the Mission Viejo Library / City Hall
Chef@MyCoffeeTeaAndTulips.com | 949/587.9988
Hours: September 2010
Tuesday – Friday 9a-3:30p
Saturday 9a-3p
Sunday 9a-2p.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Moving Moment

After great debate, I've made the decision to move to a new blog host. An International Tea Moment is now on Blogger! I hope you will continue to join me for many more tea moments, but if you ever get nostalgic for the Wordpress days, you can still access the archives here:


Thank you,