Tag Archives: brew

Nirvana with Teavana

Coffee maybe the beverage you generally step into Starbucks, but things will change hereon. The introduction of Starbucks Teavana beverages, spells good news for tea lovers like me. A good well-made cuppa of this brew is something I have always relished and appreciated. Reluctant to experiment with my cuppa, I stepped into Starbucks with trepidation.

But these range of teas from Starbucks are offerings which are modern and yet, appeal to every tea lover’s palate. Me included. It truly is an unimaginable experience, that is why perhaps they call it ‘reimagined’.

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A range of 18 distinct tea offerings including an Indian signature tea, iced teas, brewed hot teas and tea lattes with bold, layered flavours, is what once can look forward to. Inspired by the rich Indian tea legacy, Starbucks Teavana collaborated with Tata Global Beverages Ltd. to create this signature innovation.

While I enjoyed all the offerings, it was the invigorating blend of full leaf Assam black tea with rich spice infusion of whole cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, pepper, star anise and ginger, rightly called the India Spice Majesty Blend, that bowled me over completely. It perked me up instantly and filled me with warmth on this somewhat wintry evening.

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In addition to the signature innovation, customers can experience global Starbucks Teavana favorites including Youthberry white tea, Hibiscus Herbal Infusion, as well as the limited time handcrafted offerings from Starbucks – Matcha & Espresso Fusion, Black Tea with Ruby Grapefruit and Honey and Iced Shaken Hibiscus with Pomegranate Pearls.

These floral and fruity infusions are light and delightful, rejuvenating you completely and can even appeal to those who are not otherwise too fond of tea.

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Chai, Teas & More……

A cuppa tea is welcome anytime for a tea lover like me. Can never resist a well-made one and when it is in a great ambience, even better. The newly opened Tea Trails at Vile Parle, close to the station, offered the perfect excuse to make trip there. India’s first chain of Tea Cafés which serves carefully curated range of the finest Teas & Eats  had after all launched their 11th outlet.

The inside area of the cafe is bright and cheerful, well-lit with high ceilings. It exudes a warmth which is so unpretentious. There is an outdoor seating area too, which is perfect at this time of the year.

The outlet  is characterized by its specialty teas, loose leaves, custom blends, mindful tea preparation and sourcing, equipment and tea-related paraphernalia, new approaches to the tea service, and new ways to experience tea.

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The menu is exhaustive as far as the tea and chai offerings are concerned. Indian teas, herbal teas, kulhad chai, floral and fragrant teas. Something for every tea lover’s palate. The specialty teas include Smokey Chinese Lapsang Souchong and the South African Red among several others.

The eats are exciting too and quirky. We tried the Eggs Kejriwal, with fried and fluffy eggs served wrapped on a pav. A filling snack and boasted of the quintessential Mumbai flavour but the chewy pavs diluted the effect. Should have been toasted or grilled.

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The samosa thauk I thought was unique and the gravy in which the samosas were immersed was tangy and delicious. The Teazza – pizza with tea herbs was delightful and a good example of innovation.

Vegetarian dishes is what this cafe offers . but there is a lot of variety. It also serves some egg dishes.

The teas are delectable and served by the well-informed staff. The fruity infusion I tried was comforting. Although I felt, the teas are a wee bit overpriced for that quantity.

The staff is warm and friendly and the service unobtrusive.

Overall,  the decor  in black and green, is inspired from their theme “a cup of life” and is replete with a modern, vibrant and friendly vibe. This is certainly the perfect place to relax and unwind over a cup of tea.

Rating : 3.5/5

 

 

 

 

A Sublime Experience

There is nothing more comforting than a cup of tea. Brewed to perfection of course.

I was excited when my colourful bag from Sublime House of Tea arrived with a bright red coloured box offering an array of exotic brews. I could not wait to sip those.

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Seventh Heaven, Wellness Brew and Green Long Ding, which are extremely sought-after across the world were flavours I was going to sip at home. And that too as tea bags, convenience personified.

What I like is that Sublime’s portfolio of fine tea presents a mix of the classical, the popular and the avant-garde. From sought after bouquets such as Green Tea, Assam Tea and English Breakfast to intriguing localised brews like Moroccan Mint, and Seventh Heaven, eclectic admixtures like White Tea with Raspberry and the complex flavours of herbal tisanes like Rose in Bloom and Chamomile, there is a tea to suit every palate and occasion. I am fussy about my teas and found Sublime teas could please me with ease.

I brewed my Rose in bloom with care. Oh! the pyramid tea bag as against the normal filter paper ones, made a world of difference.

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I could see the water in my cup change colour as a mellow hue was imparted to it and yes, I could get the aroma of rose petals too.

The Seventh Heaven actually transported me to the same place. It rejuvenated me completely serving as a balm for my tired nerves.

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‘Sublime House of Tea’ is promoted by the Prestige Group and Sublime Galleria. Naturally then, one can be sure of the quality.

I have always been an avid tea drinker being from Kolkata and today tea is being touted to have a host of health benefits too. Apart from an evening cup of tea, I enjoy a cup after dinner too and the range from Sublime House of Tea is just right for a cup, last thing at night to relax me before going to bed. There are many flavours waiting to be tried as the box contains several tea bags.

So which flavour shall it be tonight? Moroccan Mint perhaps?

 

 

Any Time is Tea Time

Winter and tea are quite synonymous aren’t they? Well, for me, anytime is tea time, as I love tea or chai or chaha or cha, as we call it in different parts of India. Can have endless cups in a day. But yes, it has to be brewed or steeped perfectly. My morning cuppa is critical. No one is allowed to mess with that.

We Indians seem to have rediscovered the second most consumed beverage in the world. We all grew up having chai- a thick, milky brew infused with ginger and spices and boiled for a long time. At one time, a basic masala chai was all we knew. Now, we are spoilt for choice.

I fortunately grew up to the ‘champagne of brews’- Darjeeling tea, in West Bengal. Kolkata to be precise. The musky scent and floral fragrance of Darjeeling tea, spells magic for  me, even today. It perks me up instantly.

But as in the case of food, people nowadays are in the mood to be adventurous and experiment with teas too. Taste buds have opened up, and thus a plethora of unusual flavours can be seen making their way into homes from store shelves.

 

Speciality teas are now the ‘in’ thing. People have taken to drinking flavoured  and several exotic teas. Earl grey has always been the most sought after, lightly flavoured tea but now, the repertoire has expanded. White teas to calm and de-stress oneself are also picking up, albeit a bit expensive.

Tea service at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar

Flavoured teas are created by adding fruits, spices, flowers or natural flavours to black, oolong or green teas depending on the flavours that complement the tea. Flavours like vanilla, orange, passion fruit or berries are very popular.

 

Taste apart, health is an important factor and that’s why green tea has rapidly caught the fancy of urban India. Consumed without sugar, Green tea relaxes us instantly and boasts of several health benefits.

I love some of the teas at Tea Culture of the World.  Generally frequent their outlet at Hypercity, Malad. Established by Dr. Rupali Ambegaonkar, TAC Tea Sommelier, a former medical practitioner, as an endeavor to cater to the palates of modern Indian tea aficionados, this place offers some of the finest, most exotic and rare teas from around the world in the Indian market.

Tea rooms and tea houses are becoming fashionable now. These are mushrooming in each city and Mumbai is no exception. May their tribe increase. But of course a well made cutting chai at a road side tapri is equally refreshing.

But the ritual of tea drinking if elaborate, pleases me no end. No wonder, I love the tea service at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar. It elevates the tea drinking experience completely.

Now I need a cup of tea for sure. Have a large collection, so need to pick an apt one for this weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Brewing? Good Food Naturally !

Team Brewbot strongly believes that with great beer you need great food, hence they ensure to use the freshest and highest quality of produce. It may seem like PR spiel when you read this on a press release, but once you have experienced Brewbot yourself, you will know how sincerely this mantra has been adhered to.

Long after it opened in a popular lane in Andheri West, I finally made it to Brewbot on a weekday for dinner. I could feel the passion Ketan Gohel and his partner, Ansh shared for this place. Animatedly, they explained the concept behind it and where they would like to see it go. Sadly the third partner, Anand, who is also the Chef, was on leave that day.

Roasted beet and goat cheese salad with caramelized walnuts, was what we started with. The rocket leaves were fresh, crunchy and had their characteristic peppery flavours. The goat cheese simply melt in the mouth and the other ingredients played their part to perfection, lending the flavours and crunch. The Goat cheese lollipops stuffed with dates and jalapenos, were heavenly, in one word. A generous burst of cheese in the mouth. Something no one should ever miss.

Goat Cheese Lollipops at Brewbot

The rugged and industrial looking place has its own charm. The quirky Bot quotes and installations, enhance the experience. The place has been designed by the popular, Ayaz Basrai of The Busride Project.

The menu looked like it had something for everyone. Sliders, burgers, pizza, sandwiches, complete meal- pasta, risotto, et al. What struck me was that it was not the usual run-of-the-mill fare. Exciting. The Mussels section is a highlight as eateries rarely serve Mussels.

Having their own farm that grows and produces exclusively for this eatery cum brewery, Brewbot has a cutting edge over their competitors. And it was evident from the quality of food we were sampling.

The jerk chicken sliders, made a pretty picture as they came in a set of three. The chicken was juicy and succulent and the flavours were palate tickling. The bread was made in house. Flawless. I noticed there were interesting options for Vegetarians too.

I had barely recovered from the perfect taste of the sliders that the Ham & Olive thin crust Pizza came to wow my palate. The toppings were liberally embellishing the pizza and the flavours were subtle and not at all overpowering. One could relish the flavour of each ingredient. Full marks here too. The portions were hearty and the pricing affordable.

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Although there was a lot to choose from by way of mains – chicken roulade, lamb bolognaise, pork schnitzel, we decided to skip those and head straight to the dessert.

Coffee creme brulee was what Ansh suggested and rightly so. I am a great coffee and creme brulee fan so the combination could not have been more apt. It turned out to be a great bet. Creamy with rich coffee flavours, it was delectable. The hard layer of caramel on top was crunchy and well-made too.

It was after ages that I was enjoying a meal that was all so perfect. Even if I tried to see and taste things critically, I could find no fault. Brewbot has taken me by surprise and swept me off my feet, oops! palate.And on my first visit I had only sampled the food. The beers have to wait.

Apart from great food, the service is prompt, alert and unobtrusive and the ambience relaxing. Since it is located fairly close to home, I am going to become a frequent visitor at this eatery and brew pub. Got to try the mains next time!

That Perfect Cuppa

Truly, a lot can happen over coffee, as they say. A lot more can happen with coffee. I discovered that as I headed to the Philips Coffee Brewing workshop at noon last Saturday. Different types of coffees is what I expected to get acquainted with and perhaps some food pairing, but what I experienced, was an intellectually stimulating session with oodles of fun and learning. Kalyan Karmakar, the curator, is known for being a food lover. Add to that Philips as a host and the perfect cuppa brews.

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We began recounting our “first” coffee memories and interesting facts came up. Many similar too. A coffee quiz followed, which made me realise, although I love the beverage, I do not know much about it.

What followed next was a fun group activity of food pairing with coffee and we enjoyed the goodies- orange cup cake, pizza crackers, banana cake, Danish apple cake, cookie and so on with our cuppa. We had to pair the perfect food item with our coffee. Unanimously the Danish apple cake was selected by almost everyone, regardless of whether it paired with the coffee or not. Aditi Juneja of Socially Foodie, had baked the delicious cakes and eats.

Coffee art was the last thing on our agenda that afternoon. Using a chocolate sauce and milk foam, the Philips expert demonstrated coffee art. Voila. He made it look so simple. He made beautiful designs so effortlessly. Some of us tried our hand at it. Many of them succeeded.

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Over a sumptuous lunch we looked at the coffee machines by Philips Saeco, which were for home use as well and quite simple and user friendly.

Over all, it was a Saturday well spent. Sipping your favourite beverage and learning more about it. There can’t be a better combination.