Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chazzano Coffee Roasters to Serve Tea

Hello TEA Friends,

I confess, I enjoy a good mug of coffee as much as I do a good cup of tea and I admit to visiting the dark (roasted) side frequently. Fortunately for me, Chazzano Coffee now allows me to have my choice of either in the same place.

Owned and passionately operated by Frank Lanzkron-Tamarazo, Chazzano Coffee Roasters in Ferndale will soon be adding loose tea to its menu. With the same care Chazzano takes in brewing gourmet coffee, they now turn to three new green tea offerings: matcha, sencha and puerh. Barbs TEA Shop was lucky enough to preview these this weekend.

Frank prepared matcha tea and whisked the characteristically phosphorescent green powder to a frothy concoction. Smooth and mellow, this is the traditional drink of the Japanese tea ceremony.

We also sampled another Japanese green tea, Sencha. This tea had a fine delicate flavor without the heavy grassy taste.

But, my favorite - and what a special treat - was the Puerh. Unlike most teas, Puerh actually improves with age. Pressed into cakes and stored away from light and humidity, these teas are now often categorized by region and year like fine wines.

And, Chazzano's Puerh delivers. It is absolutely delicious. Though in its unprocessed state, it is classified as a green tea, once ready for brewing, it has the color and taste of a hearty, but smooth black tea. Pure tea flavor that gets better with each steep.

My son, Rob, and I enjoyed a laid back weekend afternoon in this comfortable, contemporary coffee house. Barb's TEA shop plans to invite TEA friends to join us at Chazzano's once the teas are ready for serving. Keep checking back for more details. (But we encourage you to go anytime for a satisfying cup of expertly roasted coffee!)

In (Coffee) TEA and friendship,


Chazzano Coffee Roasters
1737 E. 9 Mile Road
Ferndale, MI 48220

Sunday, February 14, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons. . . Add Them to Your Tea

Hello TEA Friends!

Sometimes "Plan B" and a good cup of tea can do wonders.

This weekend we had scheduled, as we have for the past nine years, our family ski vacation in northern Michigan. Due to a work emergency for Mr. G., this year’s trip was cancelled at the last minute.

When I called all of this year’s attendees to let them know, all were disappointed, but all understood. It seemed it wasn’t so much the skiing that was going to be missed, but the time together.

On Saturday morning, I talked to my son, Matt, about making an impromptu trip to Michigan State University to see my daughter, Rachel, and take her out lunch. He quickly agreed to the plan and with a speed dial to East Lansing and our GPS in tow, we were on I-96 heading west in less than twenty minutes.

When I spoke to a surprised and excited Rachel, I asked her to think about a few places we could go. My only criterion was that the venue served tea. We ended up in the State Room at the Kellogg Center, right on campus. In my “State of the State Room Address”, I can attest to this restaurant as an excellent choice: bright and uncluttered with a delicious and varied menu. But, the highlight was the tea selection. Our enthusiastic waiter brought out a tea caddy filled with Mighty Leaf selections. New teas to try! Plan B - not so bad.

After several tension-filled minutes, I finally decided on "Leaves of Provence", a black tea which is supposed to invoke thoughts of the South of France with its mix of Provencal herbs, lavender and mint. Although served in tea bags, the sachets were not only beautiful, but large enough to allow for sufficient leaf expansion.

The tea smelled wonderful – and based on that alone, Rachel quickly asked for a cup for herself. We both loved it and I’m ready to order more of this gourmet tea. I checked out the Mighty Leaf website and I am finding it an enjoyable struggle to pick out my next selection.

Although we all couldn’t be together for the traditional family ski trip, we could, at least, gather for a few hours to talk over bowls of butternut squash soup, Caesar salad and, toast with a bit of Provence in a cup.

Family hugs good-bye and Facebook status’ changing from “dislike” to “like”, just keep in mind, when life gives you lemons, make the best of it and just add them to your tea.

Yours in TEA and friendship,