A Cup of Tea

This blog is dedicated to Buddy. She calls me her google because I am her resource for well, many things.

Yesterday I was talking to her, wondering what I could get my parents for their anniversary. This was no easy task-- you see my parents seem to have just about everything and have quite discriminating taste. I wanted to get them something they could both enjoy together. I was stumped and Buddy came up with a great idea- tea. Buddy was so happy that she could be my google this time and I was thrilled at the great suggestion. So Buddy, thank you!

Both of my parents love tea so off I went to Les Palais des Thes in Beverly Hills. [401 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (310) 271-7922]http://www.palaisdesthes.com/eng/index.cgi

I've learned through the years to ask the experts for advice, and this is just what I did when I walked into the store. I explained to Matthew that my parents were major tea drinkers who already had many tea accoutrements and teas and I wanted to get them a special gift.

I walked away with a great gift my parents loved: Gyokuro Hikari tea, their finest tea, and a package of Ecuadorian honey.

Gyokuro Hikari tea is translated "Pearl of Dew". They say that it is "one of the best Gyokuro teas from the province of Uji. To create this exceptional tea the tenderest buds are selected by hand, something that is very rare in Japan, and then one by one, finely rolled. In this tea one discovers a lively, fresh taste, with an absolute remarkable delicacy and roundness; the result of a refinement and a degree of care that only the Japanese are capable of. A tea to delight any tea lover."

Matthew explained to me that out of all their teas, this tea has the most antioxidants. It is prepared a little differently than other teas. "For optimum enjoyment infuse 10 g of tea in 60 ml of water at 50°C for two minutes." If the water is boiling, let it sit for 4 minutes before you add the tea. Tea should be brewed for no more than 2 minutes. If it taste bitter than it probably was brewed for too long or the water was too hot.

I asked if the store sold any electric devices to heat water, like the ones in England. They don't. It gave me a great idea for a Christmas gift for my parents though.

I also bought a box of The du Hammam for Buddy. It's one of my favorites there. It is a green tea flavored with date pulp, orange blossom, rose and red fruits. It is quite light and elegant.

My parents were thrilled with the gift and loved the exquisite taste of tea.

Another favorite at Les Palais des Thes worth mentioning is Melange de Cap. It is an rooibos tea flavored with pieces of cocoa and vanilla beans. Rooibos is a great alternative to tea- no caffeine and high in antioxidants. This particular one is one of my personal favorites.

I also like Mighty Leaf's African Nectar, a rooibos with tropical fruit and blossoms. http://www.mightyleaf.com/product-pouch.aspx?ID=80

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