Art of Tea Display Wins First Place in Local Contest

By December 6, 2012 Art of Tea Headlines, Brewing Tea, Confessions Behind the Counter, Contests, Core Value Videos, Fair Trade & Organic, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Tea Profiles

FIDM students design award winning display in the 3rd Annual Pasadena Magazine Design Competition

Pasadena, CA (December 5, 2012) – A giant store display featuring Art of Tea products won first place in the third annual Pasadena Magazine 2012 FIDM Visual Communications Competition. The beautifully constructed display stands at 6 feet high and stretches 8 feet across, at the Whole Foods- Arroyo Parkway store in Pasadena. Art of Tea was selected to be the star of the display because of its brand recognition and alignment with the competition’s sub-theme, “Mind, Body, Soul.”

AOT Display1

“We love Art of Tea,” says Eunise Luna, the Whole Body team leader at Whole Foods. “It’s local, has great flavor, and they are beautiful teas. My personal favorite is Earl Grey Crème. There really is nothing else like it.”

The display highlights some of the store’s bestsellers such as Earl Grey Crème, Green Pear, French Lemon Ginger and a Breakfast Blend custom blended exclusively for Whole Foods. The Art of Tea display will be up in the store until Monday, December 10th.

AOT Display3

Groups of three Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) students were challenged by Pasadena Magazine to create displays in four Pasadena locations: Barnes & Noble, Macy’s, Whole Foods and the Pasadena Convention Center. The students constructed displays using in-store merchandise with the theme, “Reasons to love Pasadena.”

Last Wednesday, first place winners Brittney McCourtney, Taylor Jane Breidenstein and Phoebe Hoang received the “Best Design” award, $1500 in cash and prizes, and a magazine feature in the upcoming January issue at Pasadena Magazine’s December Hot-Off-The-Press party, showcasing a fashion show starring the 2013 Tournament of Roses Rose Queen and Royal Court. The competition’s judges were: Daryn-Reid Goodall, an Emmy nominated set decorator, Kim Helgeson, a Manager of Visual Merchandising at Mattel, Inc. and an award winning designer of retail stores and visual programs for major retailers, and Jill Tennent, Anthropologie’s Regional Recruiter.

Art of Tea is located in Los Angeles, CA and is a leading importer and wholesaler of organic and specialty teas in North America. In addition to some of LA’s finest resorts and restaurants, Art of Tea services hotels, cafes, spas and many other hot spots from the Hawaiian Islands to New York City, complete with staff training.

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Art of Tea’s Top 10 Holiday Gifts

By November 19, 2012 Art of Tea Headlines, Fair Trade & Organic, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Tea Crafts, Tea Profiles, Tea Stories, Tea Tip, Teas in Depth

The holidays are coming! Art of Tea’s gift giving guide will help you take care of everyone on your list. Shop our convenient and consumer-friendly online store without the hassle of long lines and crowded shopping malls and from the comfort of your own home. We are excited to offer some new gift ideas this holiday season alongside newly packaged favorites from last year that will certainly make an impression with the tea lovers in your life. Here are Art of Tea’s Top 10 Gift Ideas (arranged by price from low to high):

1. Buy a tin of White Winter Chai, and Art of Tea will donate $1.00 to the American Red Cross in support of the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts. ($10.99)

2. Art of Tea’s new Sampler Packs (below) are now beautifully bundled in an elegant, branded presentation box showcasing a 4-tea variety that is individually packaged in a decorative tin. Choose from a selection of tea type categories. ($19.00)

3. Celebrate the holidays with Art of Tea’s Holiday Gift Set, which includes three signature holiday teas: Cran Marnier, Pumpkin Pie and Santa’s Little Helper. ($32.00)

4. You can always make time for tea when you’re on the go with the Travel Gift Set (below). Enjoy Art of Tea’s new branded travel press paired with two holiday teas. ($35.00)

5. For those who are new to loose leaf tea, we have the Loose Leaf Tea Starter Kit featuring our new sampler packs of your choice accompanied by a glass teapot with infuser. Watch the leaves unravel as they steep! ($38.00)

6. Art of Tea’s Tea of the Month Membership is the best way for any tea novice or connoisseur to explore a new tea each month. Now choose from six programs including new offerings: Iced Teas, Premium Single Origin Teas, Pyramid Teabag Teas and Wellness Teas! ($48.00- $180.00)

7. For the teabag enthusiasts, the Deluxe Teabag Sampler Gift Set is quite a treat. Indulge in the eco pyramid teabag sampler tin that comes with two double walled glass teacups and the perfect teapot made specifically for steeping a teabag! ($50.00)

8. The Glass Tea Gift Set is essential for steeping Art of Tea’s select holiday blends for two. This set includes two holiday teas, a glass teapot and a pair of double walled glass teacups. ($58.00)

9. The His & Her Travel Gift Set is the perfect gift for the couples in your life. Highlighting our Ayurveda blends, Tea For Him and Tea For Her, this includes a tin of each with a branded tumbler ideal for steeping—loose leaf or bagged tea, on the go! ($69.00)

10. Introducing Art of Tea’s new Winter Wonderland Wooden Box Tea Sampler (below), showcasing our holiday inspired favorites: Aztec Spice, Butterscotch, Holiday Berry, Hot Sweet Cinnamon, Santa’s Little Helper and White Winter Chai. Choose from other wooden box samplers in select tea categories. ($48.00)

For more holiday gift ideas, check out Tea Gifts and Tea Gifts Under $50. Happy shopping!

-MELISSA CHUA

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Chinese Tea Eggs

By October 24, 2012 Art of Tea Headlines, Cooking with Tea, Tea Crafts

We wanted to try a new recipe involving tea and happened to stumble across Chinese Tea Eggs online! What a find! They are simply hard boiled eggs, soaked in a mixture of black tea and spices, which give them an awesome flavor. The shells are partially cracked once the eggs are cooked to give them that beautiful tie-dye like pattern. Tea eggs are a very common street food in China. Tea Eggs for blog

There are several variations out there but here’s what we used to flavor our eggs:

2 x Art of Tea Organic Breakfast Teabags

3 x Art of Tea Ammo (or you can use 3 star anise & 1 cinnamon stick)

¼ cup of Soy Sauce

6 x Eggs

- Put the eggs in a pot and fill with water until they are covered

- Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and allow to simmer for 2 minutes

- Carefully remove the eggs from the pot (They will be hot!)

- Using the edge of a fork, tap the egg all around to lightly crack the shell’s surface

- Put the eggs back into the pot of water

- Add the teabags, ammo and soy sauce

- Simmer for 2 hours, adding more water when the level gets low

- Remove the eggs from the pot and carefully remove the cracked shells to reveal a beautiful tea egg!

The eggs can be eaten hot or cold for a snack or you could even chop them up and add them to fried rice, or any meal for that matter! They’re also great snacks on hiking or camping trips

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Pin it to Win it! – Fair Trade Giveaway

By October 18, 2012 Art of Tea Headlines, Contests

Fair Trade Month is an exciting time to celebrate and remind ourselves to get motivated about what we can do to make a difference. Let us know what your favorite fair trade teas are by posting them onto your Pinterest page by Oct 31st for a chance to win our Fair Trade Giveaway, which includes our signature Art of Tea Fair Trade Sampler, a Stainless Steel Travel Mug and a Limited Edition, Black Art of T-Shirt!*Gift Set Giveaway - Web

Here’s how to enter:

§ Follow Art of Tea on Pinterest  (http://pinterest.com/artoftea/)

§ Create a Pinterest board showing 10 of your favorite Art of Tea fair trade teas (you can find all of our teas on our Website or you can simply repin existing pins from our Pinterest page!)

§ Please add #pintowintea @artoftea to the description of each pin on your Art of Tea board so that we can count and track your entries!

On Wednesday October 31st, we’ll pick a random winner* out of a teapot and notify them by commenting on the winning pin, so please make sure you have your email notifications set to get alerts when you receive a comment on a pin! If we don’t hear back from the winner within a week, we will have to go back to our teapot!

Happy pinning and thanks for supporting the fair trade movement!

*Open to US residents only

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Fifty Shades of Earl Grey

By October 1, 2012 Art of Tea Headlines, Confessions Behind the Counter, Core Value Videos, Fair Trade & Organic, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Recommended Tea Readings, Tea Profiles, Tea Stories, Teas in Depth

Warming the hearts of many, Earl Grey has become a timeless tea enjoyed most frequently in the West. Earl Grey is said to be named after English Prime Minister Charles Grey, who was also the second Earl of Britain in the 1830s. Historical tales say Lord Charles Grey rescued a drowning boy in China. The boy’s father who was a tea blender showed his appreciation by giving the prime minister the famed black tea recipe, later known as Earl Grey. There are a number of varied accounts, but it is questionable in all the stories whether Grey ever visited China. If he did, bergamot oranges were not harvested in China at that time, nor was it common for the Chinese to drink black tea.

How did the pear-shaped citrus appear in the tea? Some sources say that during the Jewish diaspora, bergamot was used as the etrog, a citrus fruit used in rituals during the Jewish festival of Sukkot. The bergamot was obtained from Corfu, Greece, which became the British naval base in the Mediterranean. Britain’s tea loving, naval officers were then stationed in the world’s primary market for bergamot. There is a notion that a British commander possibly introduced the tea to Grey. Whether the stories are fact or fiction, Grey is remembered for his namesake tea. In fact, the English still refer to Earl Grey tea as “old stinky” as a nod to Grey’s foul odor and the tea’s distinct scent.

So what makes Earl Grey tea an Earl Grey? It’s the bergamot oil. A classic Earl Grey is black tea flavored with the oil from the rind of the bergamot orange, which is native to Italy. Nonetheless, we at Art of Tea find that Earl Grey is a versatile tea that can be blended with different tea types or even recreated in a caffeine free form creating fifty shades or blends of Earl Grey or at least a handful of Earl Grey varieties. The tea blending possibilities are limitless!

Art of Tea’s organic and fair trade certified Earl Grey showcases everything one expects in a classic Earl Grey with the Art of Tea touch—a hand-picked black tea from Sri Lanka flavored with oil of bergamot to produce that distinct fragrant, citrus zest revealed in flavor and aroma.

Earl Grey is distinguished as a strong black tea, so the astringency is often toned down with sweeteners like milk, honey and sugar. Kiss those sweeteners away when you try Art of Tea’s Earl Grey Crème. This bestseller and AOT office favorite has the great flavors of a traditional Earl Grey but perfected with a touch of vanilla. It is just heavenly—creamy, light and bold at the same time with citrus notes harmoniously dancing in your mouth.

Interested in a unique spin on Earl Grey? Try Green Earl Grey, a green tea with bergamot oil. Dr. Oz listed Art of Tea’s very own Green Earl Grey as one of his top favorite green teas in Oprah’s O Magazine. The organic green tea leaves are hand rolled and blended with Italian bergamot. It steeps a beautiful amber hue.

In a place where blending is second nature, Art of Tea created the beautifully aromatic Earl Grey Lavender. This tea marries organic and biodynamic black tea from Sri Lanka with lavender and bergamot oil. There is a delicate balance of sweet and floral with a mild citrus richness that will soothe the nasal cavities and gently warm the throat.

Defying all Earl Grey boundaries, Art of Tea caters to the tisane lovers with a caffeine free version. We use organic and fair trade South African rooibos in place of tea and pair it with the Earl Grey signature ingredient, bergamot oil to create Herbal Earl Grey. Enjoy similar profile flavors without the caffeine!

Whether you prefer to stick to the traditional Earl Grey, an award-winner at the World Tea Expo, or explore other shades of Earl Grey, you will be delighted with the aroma and distinct flavor profiles the bergamot fruit provides when complimented with different tea types and herbs.

-MELISSA CHUA

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Art of Tea’s Pin It To Win It Contest

By September 28, 2012 Art of Tea Headlines, Contests

pin it photo jpg

We have an Art of Tea Stainless Steel Tea Tumbler with a Fall Tea Sampler up for grabs! All you have to do is get pinning on Pinterest!

Here’s how to enter:

§ Follow Art of Tea on Pinterest  (http://pinterest.com/artoftea/)

§ Create a Pinterest board showing 10 of your all time favorite teas (you can find all of our teas on our Website or you can simply repin existing pins from our Pinterest page!)

§ Please add #pintowintea @artoftea to the description of each pin on your Art of Tea board so that we can count and track your entries!

On Friday October 5th, we’ll pick a random winner out of a hat and notify them by commenting on the winning pin, so please make sure you have your email notifications set to get alerts when you receive a comment on a pin! If we don’t hear back from the winner within a week, we will have to go back to our hat!

*Open to US residents only

Happy Pinning!

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A Matcha Highlight Part Five: Green Tea Smoothie

By August 31, 2012 Art of Tea Headlines, Brewing Tea, Cooking with Tea, Core Value Videos, Fat-Off, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Tea Crafts, Tea Profiles, Tea Stories, Tea Tip, Teas in Depth

Let’s cap off the matcha series with a green tea smoothie recipe. Culinary matcha or Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha is most frequently used as an organic base flavoring for smoothies and lattes. Enjoy the nice, long weekend with this healthy iced blended matcha treat! This recipe yields 2 servings.

Matcha Green Tea Smoothie

IMG_0787

You Will Need:

-1 tsp Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha

-1/3 cup Milk or milk alternative (I used coconut milk.)

-1 cup Ice cubes

-1/2 Banana, sliced

-3/4 cup Blueberries

-3 pinches Cinnamon, grounded

-1 tsp Agave or honey

-Blender

-Tibetan Goji Berries (optional)

IMG_0784

Instructions:

First, pour the ice into the blender. Then, add the milk followed by the banana slices and blueberries. Carefully sprinkle Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha and pinches of cinnamon. Squeeze about a teaspoon of agave or honey. Start blending until the contents fully mix together to create a frothy consistency. Empty into serving glasses. Use Art of Tea’s Tibetan Goji Berries as a finishing touch. These organic certified berries act as a natural sweetener and provide cherry and plum-like flavor notes. Cheers!

-MELISSA CHUA

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A Matcha Highlight Part Four: Flavoring with Matcha

By August 2, 2012 Art of Tea Headlines, Brewing Tea, Cooking with Tea, Core Value Videos, Fair Trade & Organic, Fat-Off, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Recommended Tea Readings, Tea Crafts, Tea Profiles, Tea Stories, Tea Tip, Teas in Depth

Grade A Matcha or culinary matcha is commonly used to flavor, season and marinate food items and drinks. Follow these three easy steps to make instant green tea flavored ice cream anytime you’re craving it!

Green Tea Ice Cream

picstitch

You Will Need:

-Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha

-Vanilla ice cream of your choice (I used Breyer’s lactose free vanilla.)

-Mixing spoons

-Measuring spoon

-Ice cream bowl

-Blueberries (optional)

Instructions:

1. Put a serving size of vanilla ice cream in the bowl.

2. Add about one quarter of a teaspoon of Art of Tea’s organic certified Grade A Matcha. We recommend about one teaspoon per pint size, but go with your taste preference.

3. Mix well with spoons. You can cover with plastic wrap and re-freeze or enjoy as is!

*Tip: Garnish with blueberries or toppings of your choice.

-MELISSA CHUA

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A Matcha Highlight Part Three: Cooking with Matcha

By July 27, 2012 Art of Tea Headlines, Confessions Behind the Counter, Cooking with Tea, Core Value Videos, Fair Trade & Organic, Fat-Off, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Recommended Tea Readings, Tea Crafts, Tea Profiles, Tea Tip, Tea Videos, Teas in Depth

Matcha Cupcakes

Here’s a fun, easy recipe using tea. Try to use a high grade matcha, such as Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha since the quality will greatly affect the end result.

mini cupcake collage

You Will Need:

  • 24 cupcake liners
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (left at room temperature to soften)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350.

2. Using a mixer or hand blender, beat the butter until soft.

3. Add sugar and beat for a couple of minutes, until light and fluffy.

4. Add eggs and egg yolks one at a time, making sure to combine each one with the mixture fully before adding the next.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Then add this dry mixture to the batter and mix to combine.

6. In a separate bowl, mix the matcha in with the milk using a whisk. Add to the batter and mix to combine.

7. Use a spoon to put the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each one 2/3rds of the way.

8. Bake for about 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

9. Allow to cool on a rack before frosting.

Matcha Frosting

You Will Need:

  • 1 tub of Cream Cheese Frosting (I used Pillsbury Whipped Supreme)
  • 1 tsp Art of Tea’s Grade A Matcha
  • A few drops of green food coloring, if desired!

Instructions:

1. Scoop the frosting into a bowl.
2. Sieve the matcha into the frosting bowl to prevent lumps
3. Add food coloring and mix until combined!

Recipe adapted from Matcha Source by KATIE KIRBY

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Pacific Coast Mint Marinated Lamb Roast with Fennel and Eggplant

By July 16, 2012 Art of Tea Headlines, Brewing Tea, Cooking with Tea, Core Value Videos, Fair Trade & Organic, Health & Vitality, Learn About Tea, Tea Crafts, Tea Profiles, Tea Tip, Teas in Depth

This recipe is prepared with a 2 lb boneless shoulder roast lamb seasoned with Art of Tea’s organic certified, caffeine free blend called Pacific Coast Mint.

The Marinade

You Will Need:

-3 cups of strong tea made from Art of Tea’s Pacific Coast Mint

-2 tsps minced garlic

-4 tsps minced basil

-½ tsp chili pepper flakes

-½ tsp salt

-Dash of black pepper

-1 tsp cornstarch

-8 stems of fresh tarragon

Instructions:

Boil the water and pour over 4 teaspoons of Art of Tea’s Pacific Coast Mint. Let sit for an hour. Add some of the tea to the cornstarch to make a syrupy liquid. After an hour, add the rest of the marinade ingredients. Bring to a slow boil. Mix in the cornstarch stirring constantly. Continue cooking until the tea thickens a little. Then, let cool.

Meanwhile, rinse the lamb. Wipe, dry and place in a roasting pan. When the marinade is cool, pour it all over and if rolled, into the center of the lamb. Refrigerate lamb overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours.

When ready to cook, take the lamb out of the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Slice a bulb of fennel crosswise ¼ inch thick. Slice a large Italian eggplant crosswise ¾ inch thick. If the eggplant is seedy, add salt and let sit for 5 minutes. Rinse to remove bitterness.

Preheat the oven to 3750

Pour the marinade at the bottom of the pan into a pot and boil. Strain through a sieve and cool. When cool, pour the marinade over the fennel and eggplant that you put into a large flat bowl or side dish.

This process results in a medium to well done roasted lamb.

Put a rack in the roasting pan and add 4 stems of tarragon. Then, carefully place the lamb on top.  Place 4 stems of tarragon on top of the lamb and place in the oven.  Roast for 10 minutes. Then, reduce the temperature to 3500 and roast for 35 more minutes.  Lift the roast off the rack and place on a dish.  Put the fennel on the rack and then the eggplant. Turn the roast over and place on top of eggplant.  Cook for another 30 minutes. Take the roast out of the oven and check the color of the lamb meat by making a small slit in the thickest part of the roast with a sharp knife to see the color of the meat. It should be pink for medium or brown for well done. Lift it off the rack and check the vegetables for doneness.  Remove the eggplant and fennel if tender.

If the inside of the lamb is not cooking, you may want to flatten it out at this point. Replace the lamb and cook for another 15-30 minutes.  If you left the vegetables in, cook for a short time, check everything and remove or cook longer to your preferred roast.

-KATHY ROSENBLATT

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