Fellow tea blogger, Bonnie Eng, has one of the most gorgeous blogs I have laid my eyes on. With a fabulous layout, captivating photography, and delicious steeps and recipes, Bonnie is truly a tea foodie queen. Think of an unique tea infused dish and she most likely has a creative recipe for it on Thirsty for Tea blog. In addition to sharing tea recipes, Bonnie Eng’s blog also has do-it-yourself craft ideas for tea lovers and notes from tea spot visits. Her blog is definitely one you will want to check out and may find yourself spending hours on. I was thrilled to get to chat with her for my monthly series, At the Tea Table, and learn about her tea passion, how she creates with tea, advice for beginners in tea and much more.
The kettle is on and I can hear it about to sing. What tea are you going to steep for us today?
One of my favorite teas is Lupicia’s Momo Oolong Super Grade, made from a lightly oxidized Taiwanese Bao Zhong Oolong. The tea has enticing orchid/floral qualities and just the right touch of white peach flavor. Summers can be uncomfortably hot here in Los Angeles. If I made this for you today I’d serve it chilled, with plenty of ice, and chunks of white peaches floating it.
The main thing I take away from your blog is your strong passion for tea and sharing it with the world in unique ways (which I’m all about!) Where does that passion come from?
I have a background in health education, Asian American studies, and the culinary arts, so for me, tea is where these ideas meet. I love that tea is where many cultures and traditions intersect, where food and art are one.
Thirsty for Tea is filled with so many tasty recipes to recreate. How do you go about deciding what tea to infuse in certain dishes?
I try to rotate which teas I decide to use, but my content seems to lean towards green tea and matcha, probably because they are so popular right now! Oolong and black tea recipes are often unexpected and help to shine a new perspective on how to appreciate tea. I try to use teas to complement other foods, to enhance them. The goal is to make the combination of a tea and a food taste better together than if they were each enjoyed by themselves.
Get the recipe for Bonnie Eng’s Roasted Blackberry Matcha Pops on her blog, Thirsty for Tea.
That’s a perfect goal and I would say you’re doing an awesome job at achieving it! Aside from cooking with tea, I know you’re also using your time to study and become a tea sommelier. How has that been going thus far?
I will be finishing the course soon! The course through International Tea Masters Association is very organized and my Tea Master, Emiko Doi, who teaches classes in both Hawaii and Japan, is extremely knowledgeable. My next task is to blend a Chai, which I’m super excited about! If I come up with a tasty concoction, I’m planning to blog about it.
Oh, I can’t wait to hear about your chai blend! With Fall nearing, that will most definitely be in my cup more often. With all this tea work in your life, you must have a wonderful and full tea space.
I have a linen closet dedicated to housing all of my teas. Previously, I used transparent storage bins, but as my collection continues to grow it’s just not working anymore. My most cherished teas and tins are stored in my kitchen hutch with clear window panes so that I have easy access. As for my tea wares, I have an entire room for them and my food photography props. What can I say…lucky me, my hubby is a tolerant person! 🙂
Black, Green, Yellow, White, Oolong or Puerh?
Hot, Iced or Cold?
Teapot, Infuser or Gaiwan?
Straight, Sweetened or Latte?
Cheese or Chocolate pairing?
If someone just beginning in tea walked up to ask for your best tea advice, what would be your answer?
Be adventurous and open-minded with tea. Try new ones whenever you can, even if they sound unfamiliar or foreign. You never know what you’ll end up enjoying!