RECIPE – Instant Firebird Whisky Cocktail

Recipe Tea Rangsaa Insta Tea

Tea-time meets happy hours with this classic instant tea cocktail that is straightforward, well-balanced and boasts myriad of refreshing flavors that you are bound to enjoy!

KEY INGREDIENTS
1/4 tsp Instant black tea powder
50ml JW Red Label
4 mint leaves
Lemon slices
1 inch ginger
2 tsp honey

PROCEDURE
Pop 3–4 mint leaves into a shaker. Add instant tea powder, Johnnie Walker Red Label, ginger piece, a lime slice, honey and muddle them together. Add ice and shake vigorously until cold. Strain into a glass with 2-3 ice cubes and 3-4 lemon slices. Garnish with mint leaves.

FOOD PAIRING
Caramelised scallops, smoky steak or bbq veggies – preferably brussel sprouts.

Drinking Tea And The Art Of Doing Nothing

Tea Talk 11AThe Italians have a beautiful concept signifying the pleasantness of inactivity – ‘La Dolce Far Niente’, which roughly translates to ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’.

Well, the concept seems easy as taking a break doing relaxing activities gives us lot of options to chose from. But the challenge here is to cultivate ‘mental silence’, which isn’t just about getting respite from the distractions of office chatter or deadlines. It’s about the real sustained silence that quietens inner as well as outer chatter and takes us beyond the noise. A state that can be easily attained through the ‘Art of Tea Meditation’.

A recent Harvard Business Review states that the busier we are, the more quiet time we need. It emphasises on the need of structured periods of silence as important factors in achieving success. In our modern lives when our day begins running on a treadmill of duties and ends with exhaustion, taking a silent break is a luxury. Tea is the modern day meditation and a simple solution to effortlessly embrace the art of doing nothing and experiencing mental silence.

Tea masters and monks have been practising the ‘art of tea way’ for more than 3,000 years – an art that consists simply of boiling water, preparing tea and drinking it. Embracing the traditional goodness of tea in modern times by upgrading our tea-time can help to reprogram our thoughts, manage the non-stop information flow and cultivate periods of deep silence. It can condition our minds to be more adaptive and responsive to the complex environments in which so many of us now live, work, and lead.

Our lives can be a lot different if we take a deliberate pause by just giving 30 minutes of our day to the process of making our cup of tea. This pause declutters our mind, bringing about a sense of calmness and tranquillity.  You can chose this time to unwind, plan your day, read a book, think about what you love, admire the view from your window or think about nothing at all. You make your tea, absorb yourself in the process, sit and sip with no particular agenda, letting yourself go wherever your mind takes you. You could also use this time to think about what kind of life would be worth living, rather than simply living the life you live.

With each passing day, we feel more tired, hoping for a reboot in the form of a break, a pause from the daily hustle. And this idea usually translates into a quarterly vacation – travelling to a far off land to get away from the madness for a while. But we don’t need to postpone that idea any further because the elusive ‘relaxation’ that we yearn for is not just found in the scenic landscapes of our ideal vacation spots. It exists within each one of us and is ours to claim if we learn to embrace it with a tea lifestyle. So instead of fantasising about that one big vacation, brew your tea, find that perfect spot in the house, and reboot your life with a simple tea meditation.

The world is getting louder. But silence is still accessible. It just takes commitment and creativity to cultivate it.  Make your cup of tea mindfully, take a deep breath, relax and let your brain move away from the abstract and the distant towards the tangible and the near.

INTERVIEW – In Conversation with Carne Griffiths

Carne Griffiths InterviewInfusing the beautiful colours of various teas in his artwork, Carne Griffiths, a UK based Artist, swaps paint for a cuppa to create intriguing portraits, working primarily with tea, vodka, whisky, brandy and calligraphy ink.

Carne’s approach to painting, which often includes drawings of faces that break down at the edges into floral motifs and exuberant painterly marks and stains, has captivated viewers globally, with his work being exhibited from Milan to Hong Kong, as well as at The Royal Academy in London. Griffiths’ celebrity subjects include Heidi Klum and Kate Beckinsale, and his illustrations of Donald Sutherland and Jesse Eisenberg can be found in recent editions of The New York Observer.

In an exclusive conversation with LoveforTea, Carne takes out some time during his recent solo exhibition at Westbank Gallery in London, and shares his inspiration and vision behind his emotionally-driven work and why he adores painting with tea.

1. Carne, you paint with tea, ink, alcohol, gold leaf powder and diamond dust. How did such unique elements land in your work and how did it all begin? 
CG: Alcohol was the first unusual material to appear in my work, and it appeared merely by having a drink of brandy nearby – sometimes when I am working I do so in a very chaotic way so if there is something nearby that can be used to create I will use it. The water I was using was dirty so I used the brandy instead – not quite an accident but utilising something as a replacement.  The brandy had a very subtle but interesting effect on the work – so I decided to pursue it further but using a non-alcoholic alternative – and tea seemed to be the ideal way to reproduce the colour.

This led to the exploration of using different teas, different hues and colours and also different strengths.  It had the effect of providing an earthy palette to my work and I was able to build confidence using colour – I liked its chaotic nature and the way it could be steered around the page gradually becoming darker in tone as it dried. Tea became a key component in my work and certainly helped in raising awareness of my work as it created an unusual story.

2. What types of tea do you use in your work and which are your personal favorite?
CG: Early work focussed on using chai and jasmine teas – I worked mainly with Twinings but every time I travelled I would collect unusual teas – basil tea from India – different chais, wrapped teas and loose leaf teas, herbal teas such as sage and rose hip teas both from turkey – it was interesting to see the subtle differences in each and also – various teas would change dramatically in colour as they dried.

3. Which are your favourite teas and the time of the day you enjoy drinking them?
CG: I mainly drink the teas as I am using them but as I leave the teas to steep indefinitely they become bitter, as a side I normally have a cup of builders tea to hand! My favourite summer tea is Jasmine and it’s also a fine tea for painting – it has a honey like colour on the page and can give very subtle effects.  It also combines really well with turquoise inks to form a palette of blues and greens.

4. Your portraits are an amalgamation of different elements and art forms. How do you approach the blank canvas?
CG: I approach each piece of work with a very open mind – quite often the particular theme or collection of elements evolves slowly through the process of creating – I begin with a sketch which will form the basis for the composition but then the process involves layering marks and then building up and destroying areas using the hot teas or sometimes just plain boiling liquids.

5. Tell us about your ongoing solo exhibition at Westbank Gallery.
CG:
My solo opened on the 8th of June and will run until the 14th – it is a collection of works on paper using teas and inks but also a small collection of newer works on canvas.  I want to try and develop my style of painting to using a more versatile media – teas and inks work very well on paper, I use them almost exclusively on bockingford watercolour paper from St Cuthbert’s mill which I always stretch before working – this helps to keep the surface flat and prevents pooling of liquids in areas you wouldn’t want.

6. How has your work matured over the years as an artist?
CG: My work evolves very slowly and subtly – as an artist I have found that interesting projects will steer the direction of the work and force you to think how you can combine your main message with the subject of say a group exhibition.  I also work as an illustrator and with some brands through my agency Beautiful Crime, these projects bring new elements into the work and often result in changes to the overall style.  I have a passion for detailed observational drawing but I also have a passion for the abstract and the act of automatic drawing or drawing from the subconscious – I try to fuse these two areas in my work as it keeps me interested and excited about the subject.

7. Which are your favourite works from your journey so far?
CG:
I always find it difficult to select favourites but there are pieces of my work which have been key to progressing a style, the early piece Rose, was the one that defined my work as a combination of nature and portraiture, then there was the piece Strength which broke boundaries with colour and gave me a real platform to showing my work.  Following this was a piece from a triptych series called Eleven, that series had a lot of meaning for me – it was based around numerology and was created at a real junction in my life.

8. Is there an artist you admire. Tell us who and why?
CG: I spent my college years working alongside artist Dan Baldwin, when we went our different ways after college I worked the 9-5 but he painted constantly and now is established as one of the most exciting contemporary artists of today.  I always admired his drive and energy – there was barely a time when he was not an artist and I think this sort of drive and creativity are what result in a truly authentic creative.

9. How is your ideal day when you are not painting?
CG: I enjoy spending time in nature, cycling or even just in the garden – it’s small observations about the natural world that influence the work and it’s the main message in my work – returning the importance to the natural world.

Carne’s entire gallery can be seen on his website and Behance.

RECIPE – Insignia Tea Créme Anglaise by Robert Wemischner

Recipe Tea Rangsaa Insignia Robert W

Pastry chef and culinary educator Robert Wemischner, adds complex wonderful flavors of Rangsaa tea to the popular Créme Anglaise in this vibrant Rangsaa Insignia Tea Créme Anglaise recipe, that finds it’s use in versatile desserts. Thank you Robert Wemischner for creating this wonderful recipe and sharing the Rangsaa love.

KEY INGREDIENTS
Yield: approximately 1 cup
1 generous tbsp Rangsaa Insignia
240 ml whole milk
3 egg yolks from large eggs
50 gms granulated sugar

PROCEDURE
Place the milk and tea in a heavy saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Once ready, remove it from heat and let it stand for another 5 minutes. Pour through a fine-meshed sieve and set aside. While your mixture is getting done, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the sugar dissolves and the mixture has lightened in color. In a clean saucepan, reheat the infused milk to the simmer. Pour gradually over the egg yolks and sugar mixture, stirring to combine. Return that mixture to the saucepan and cook until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (180 degrees F.)  Do not overcook or the mixture will curdle. Once thickened pour it through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl set over ice water. Stir to cool quickly. Store in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 2 days.

RECOMMENDED USE
As the basis for an ice cream, as a dipping sauce for brownies or other rich cookies or bars, as a sauce over the ice cream of your choice, as a plating sauce for a seasonal fruit tart or as a pour over fresh berries.

Check out the original recipe here.

RESTAURANT REVIEW – Nueva by Chef Michael Swamy

restaurant review NuevaWith minimalist cooking, stirred by nature and garnished with love, the distance between dull and delicious can be measured in the molecular realm of flavors at Nueva – India’s first Latin American restaurant by celebrity Chef Michael Swamy.

Nueva seems to make a bold statement – embrace newness, and transform chaos to calm. Art comes alive in all forms as tall black, heavy double doors open into a chic, sophisticated space, that disconnects you with the outside world, and induces you with its finishes and alluring lighting.

We’ll tell you a little later why Nueva served us a lunch that was memorable, but first, let’s set the table. The cutlery is outlandish and the ambience makes you feel special. Appetite builds as tall glass panels transcend mystery into transparency, and you watch chefs work diligently in a state of the art kitchen.

The menu is inventive and is devoted to the pleasure of nature. It prefers the flavor spectrum with lots of fresh produce, herbs, vegetables, fruits and a general feeling of health. Staff is pleasant and their smile adds to the adventure at Nueva.

The meal begins with an assortment of indulging in-house breads and spreads. After fresh fruit drinks, we directly dive into our first main serving – the Tea Salad. Yes….tea in a salad. The eclectic mix of nutty, lemony, vegetal, earthy flavors is complex, exciting and inviting. The side of steamed green tea leaves, pounded into a paste with walnuts, adds wonderful texture, and compliments the crunchy ingredients and tea’s traditional bitter-sweet astringency. A legendary salad!

Chef Michael takes the storm outside the cup by keeping our taste buds on full alert with his house speciality, the Tea Smoked Chicken. Served on a bed of black quinoa, with a side of inlaid greens, the presentation is a bolt of surprise and pleasure combined. Tender, moist, herbal chicken is in the harmony of wonderful flavors, induced with the density of indigenous ingredients, smoky finish and a lingering aftertaste. Quinoa is a careful pairing as it cleanses the palate after every tannic bite and compliments the astringent, drying, puckering sensation and mouthfeel. You must order this!

After the shifting, swirling delectable flavors, the desserts have a meditative effect. While Yogurt Coconut Pannacotta is just as delectable as it sounds, with fresh in-house multigrain granola and blueberries. The Cinnamon Tiramisu is sleep-inducing and therapeutic, with delicious, spicy, creamy smoothness. A gastronomic afternoon of flawless take off and a smooth landing.

Some chefs cook. Others create. Chef Michael’s tea-infused menu is an enthralling sensory experience of tastes, smell and even sight. He loves tea and has steeped it in versatile starters, inspired main dishes and tempting beverages. Tea, in its many forms, is one of the oldest ingredients in the kitchen and we love how Chef Michael is bringing the latest global trend of cooking with tea, in India. A trend we adore and promote.

We believe that a good meal experience is like a cup of good tea. The amalgamation of unique flavors, awakens senses and begins a mindful journey –  faraway from our chaotic modern lives. And when it all comes right from the earth, the symphony is magical in the stillness of our minds.

As vivacious as samba, Nueva is colorful, flavorful, exotic, artistic and will make you curious about South American culture, and why it’s taking over the global culinary landscape. Nueva is Chef Michael’s voyage of love between his admiration for South American food movement and his culinary wisdom, which he celebrates with a stunning Tapas bar on the ground floor of his restaurant.

Thank you Nueva for your hospitality and a great lunch. Next time, we won’t hesitate to order your Tea Salad again and again.

Address: Sangam Courtyard, R.K Puram, New Delhi
Reservations: Recommended
Hours: Noon to Midnight

Rangsaa Review by Robert Wemischner

Robert W Quote blogIt’s an honour for us to share Rangsaa experience with Robert Wemischner, a veteran chef, culinary educator and author of four books, based in Los Angeles.

Getting reviewed by the expert on the subject of flavors and cooking with tea, Robert’s review titled, New Winds Blowing in The World of Tea: Rangsaa Tea’ is simply mesmerising.

“It’s as if a breath of fresh air has entered my tea cabinet in the form of a new line of teas, leavened with an element of fun, subverting the expected.”, adds Robert Wemischner, a tea connoisseur who believes tea is timeless and infinite in variety.

Using tea as a cooking ingredient is a subject close to Robert’s heart. His views on the perfect packaging find credence in Rangsaa’s bold color palette that promises a novel and luxurious tea drinking experience.

He details how Rangsaa introduced him to a new palate experience through a delectable mix of flavors and aromas.

“Though an unscented black tea drinker myself, Rangsaa’s blend has opened up my palate to a new experience and has set my culinary wheels turning–will the subtly flavored brewed tea or dry blend be used in a sauce, a broth, an ice cream, or a sorbet?Or maybe flavor a custard, a filling for a cream puff, or éclair? Ideas abound.”

We’ve been introduced to the concept of cooking with tea just lately, but Robert Wemischner’s long-standing interest in the flavor potential of ingredients has culminated in his expertise in using tea as a flavor ingredient since the 1970’s. Robert Wemischner began his career to great media acclaim in the food business in the early 70’s as the owner of a pioneering gourmet-to-go shop in Beverly Hills. Robert has extensively experimented with cooking and has been a teacher of baking and pastry for more than 20 years at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College. He is also the author of The Vivid Flavors Cookbook, a groundbreaking book about fusion cuisine, Gourmet to Go on the business of specialty food retailing, The Dessert Architect, an invaluable resource on building versatile and creative desserts and Cooking with Tea, an exploration of the culinary potential of the humble leaf.

Thank you Robert Wemischner for your review and belief in Rangsaa’s Global Tea Movement. We urge all our readers to check out the complete review HERE!