When I first started to follow blogs at the top of my list were food blogs that were budget friendly, but still had exciting recipes. A major bonus was when I would find easy recipes that paired well with tea or, even better, that the blogger almost always had tea by his or her side when recipe developing. Thanks to Food Bloggers of Canada, last year I discovered Peppers & Pennies. It is a food blog that the tea fueled blogger, Amanda, perfectly named as its focus is accessible home cooked meals that are nice to your wallet. At the tea table Amanda and I talked about her history with a popular tea bag brand, how tea plays a role in her food blogging routine, and why she would love to have tea with a member from Led Zeppelin.
The kettle is on and I can hear it about to sing. What tea are you going to steep for us today?
There is a 99.99% chance that anyone could guess what tea I would serve as it is the tea that you can find stashed in everyone’s cupboards. Yep, that’s right: Red Rose Orange Pekoe. It’s my morning routine to brew a very strong cup of Orange Pekoe before I fire-up the laptop and get on with my day. This was the first tea variety I ever tried and it truly is my favourite. I would also probably forget to bring-out the sugar bowl as I never add sweetener to my teas! I hope you want to continue on with this interview as I am prettttty sure I am coming-off as boring right now…
How could I not want to continue with how relatable you are! Red Rose was also a staple in my house growing up. Do you recall your first sip?
Oh do I ever! I was in elementary school, I believe grade 4. I was invited to a close friend’s house and her Grandma decided to take us on a drive to a Tea Room outside of the city. My friend and I were allowed to order a pot of black tea to share. We had dainty little tea cups and felt oh-so grown up as my friend’s grandma taught us how to pour the teapot into the cup. She instructed we had to have a lot of milk as caffeine wasn’t good for little girls. I am sure there were 2 or 3 teaspoons of sugar in that little cup, too! But it didn’t matter! I felt grown-up and lady-like in this little flower adorned shop. Instant love!
I was definitely having milky tea that was essentially liquid sugar at that age, too. As a food blogger, take me through the process of your recipe developing routine and how tea plays a role.
From scrolling Pinterest or reading blogs for recipe inspiration to being covered head-to-toe in flour as I work on my 5th batch of brownies for the night, tea is always by my side. I take comfort in a cup (or in my case, a big ‘ol mug) of tea. I think it calms me down; reminds me that blogging is my hobby, my passion and reminds me to enjoy the moment. Sometimes when I take a sip of tea when I am stressed from a recipe failure or a negative online comment, I find myself lost in my cup and it brings me back to where I need to be.
It’s so nice to hear that tea can comfort you and, of course, be your fuel for those delicious dishes you create. What are the top 3 teas we would find in your collection today?
Other than a run-of-the-mill Red Rose, I would say my favourite these days are:
Twinning’s Lady Grey Tea – This is lighter and has more citrus undertones than Earl Grey. One of my best friends, who I often have Tea & Scrabble nights with, turned me on to this affordable tea. I like this one in the evening as it has less caffeine.
English Breakfast by Brew Tea Co. – I picked-up about 10 boxes of this tea in London when I vacationed there earlier this year. This is a strong, bold brew that is just quintessentially British.
David’s Tea Santa’s Secret – This is a seasonal tea that I stock-up on after the Holidays to enjoy well into the summertime. This tea is SO me as chocolate + peppermint is my favourite flavor combo in baking. Plus, this black tea has cute little peppermint sprinkles. I feel so young and fun drinking this tea. My husband also enjoys the occasional cup of this one!
I also have to say the ‘bonus’ tea in my collection is Lady Layla from Steeped Tea. 2 of my 3 Bridesmaids gifted this tea to me before the wedding. It is a whole fruit tea which is something I hadn’t even tried before this blend. However, it’s a great gift for me as my dog, who I love and adore, is named Layla. I don’t often indulge in this tea, but I make a mean iced tea with it when my girlfriends come over!
Mmm, I’ll have to second Santa’s Secret. You have to try it as a tea latte – it is such a treat! Speaking of treats, if you could select one recipe on your blog to pair with a cup of tea, what would that look like?
Easy! My Steel Cut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I would pair these with Tazo’s Awake, as that was what I was drinking when I came-up with the recipe! I also think Awake is the perfect morning tea and I sometimes have these cookies for breakfast (I am an adult, after all).
Black, Green, Yellow, White, Oolong or Puerh?
Black! But I am sure you could have guessed that by now
Hot, Iced or Cold?
The hotter the better!
Teapot, Infuser or Gaiwan?
Teapot, preferably with a cute bird pattern
Straight, Sweetened or Latte?
Latte all the way!
Cheese or Chocolate pairing?
Pure bliss is having a piece of quality 70% dark chocolate melting on your tongue after a sip of black tea.
Choose one person, living or passed, celebrity or family, that you would like to have tea with.
Robert Plant, from Led Zeppelin. He is a music idol of mine and I know he is a huge tea fan. I saw him on his solo tour in a small venue in Winnipeg in 2011. He actually brewed tea on stage while burning incense between songs! He had a whole set-up of teapots and cups on a cute serving tray and he was so precise with what he was doing it seemed ritualistic. It was surreal and I really was dying to know what he was drinking in his little teacup. He’s British, so it could be a strong black brew, but for some reason I picture him as an oolong guy. Anyways, I would share a pot of tea with him (his choice, I trust his tastes) while I listen to stories of his music and life.