This post is long overdue. I mean by months. And for this, I am sorry for not sharing sooner. But now is the perfect time.
I stumbled upon this new shop one day on my lunch break actually, when the window display caught my attention. Only a couple of days passed when a co-worker mentioned that an “old” co-worker of ours had just opened up shop in downtown Troy. I say “old” like such because she is not old at all; just no longer working with us at Sage. She had the wonderful opportunity of starting her own business doing what she loves; blending tea. The woman I am talking about is Courtney and the new shop I’d like to introduce y’all to is Enchante Whole Leaf Teas!
Courtney has been drinking tea for as long as she can remember, starting with tea and toast with her grandmother. Once she decided to cut coffee out of her life, her love of blending loose tea blossomed. Today, she offers a number of blends at Enchante Whole Leaf Teas under the name Little Mew Brew. When I visited her that autumn morning after my weekly trip to the Farmer’s Market, she gave me a few of those blends to try.
*This is where I start my review and share my recipe. But first let me note, I am no tea expert. I drink at least two to three mugs a day of green tea at my desk and honestly, it’s Yogi tea for these two reasons: it’s easy and I love the little words of wisdom. I do, however, own the cutest little pink tea-pot that allows me to steep loose tea, that I occasionally pick up from time to time. During my recent trip to China, I did participate in a traditional tea ceremony and visited a tea leaf farm; so I do know the importance of not over-steeping the leaves. This being said, let’s brew on!
Sample number one and my favorite: Pomegranate Green. Very light in flavor. Very subtle hint of sweetness compared to the traditional green but just enough to make you want that second mug, or third, or heck, the whole little tea-pot full! I only took one photograph back in the autumn (cough cough the following day that I had received the sample) and can’t now because honestly, the tea only lasted about two days in this apartment. I was immediately hooked.
Sample number two: Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish Honeybush. I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous trying these last two teas. Why? Because I am really not a sweets person. This includes but is not limited to: cookies, cakes, candy, soda pop, and soups. I couldn’t imagine wanting to drink this at my desk, so I decided to try it one evening after dinner as a “dessert.” It was a great decision. It wasn’t too sweet. Filled the room with the scent of raspberries but wasn’t too potent while sipping and was the perfect after dinner treat for my friend and I. Seriously, the best “dessert” for those nights when you’re much too full but still craving that little something before bed (and not feel guilty). And that’s just what I used it for until the whole little packet was gone. No picture taken but you can imagine what a delicious mug of tea looks like. Oh! I also used this tea to make iced tea. After brewing for the suggested 4-10 minutes, I added some ice and gulped it down. Gulped is not attractive. But really, it was that good.
Sample number three and the one I fear the most: Buttered Cinnamon Raisin Toast. Just the smell of it was a little overpowering (sweet) for me to work up the courage to sip this with breakfast. But I knew I couldn’t let it go to waste and not write a review, so I sat on the idea on how to incorporate it into my meals. And then, out of no where it hit me: oatmeal. I love me some oats first thing in the morning to fill me up and keep me satisfied until lunch and knew that this tea would work wonderfully in the mix. So, here’s just what I did.
I steeped a little pot of this tea per the instructions, using only 1 tsp for the first try to determine the intensity of flavor. I put it in the fridge to cool/save because I wasn’t in the mood to cook breakfast in the middle of the afternoon. When I was ready for breakfast, I put four cups of tea (my whole little pot) in a pot on the stove and brought it to a boil. I then added 1 cup of steel cut oats and followed the cooking instructions.
I buy my oats in bulk from the co-op but keep them in this container that I had purchased about two years ago. It’s a four to one ratio and they take about an hour to cook, stirring frequently.
While the oats were cooking, I sliced up an apple from the Farmer’s Market, added it to a small pot with just enough water to cover the bottom and a big dash of cinnamon. After about fifteen minutes on medium low heat, you have a serving of the most delicious applesauce, ever.
When the oats are finished, serve with a scoop of the applesauce and some sliced almonds (or any other nut you have in stock).
Um, why the heck wasn’t I making my oats like this before???
They were so stinkin’ good, I gobbled up my bowl and had to share some with the new guy in my life. I’m pretty sure he liked them as much as I did. Actually I know he did because I got a text within minutes that said, “not too sweet, it was a subtle but pleasant compliment to tie together the elements of the oatmeal.” He’s much more professional sounding than I am.
My apartment smells as if I had been baking all morning. Dynamite for these chilly temperatures.
Final statement: all three teas were delicious and despite my lack of interest in sweet flavored teas, the third blend will be staying in my pantry for mornings just like this.
Stop in to see Courtney, check out the store and sit on the couch to relax and enjoy your holiday weekend. She’s located at: 169 River Street, Troy, NY 12180 and open on Saturdays during the weekly market. Make her place one of your local favorites!