Tumblr Gets Its Own Tea: TEAmblr

Well, that’s adorable: there’s a tea blend named after a social networking site.

Illustrator Cara McGee created the TEAmblr blend — a complicated blend of black tea, white tea, orange peels, marigold flowers and chocolate chips — for the web site Adagio Teas. Tea fans can fork over $10 for a three-inch pouch or $24 for a six-inch tin. 

 It’s described thusly:

"A bit odd, a bit sweet, but all flavors that manage to work together. Even if they sometimes clash when in improper proportions. Accepts no responsibility if any resulting addiction to this tea ruins your life. Go to bed."

Yup, that sounds like Tumblr! They’ve also managed to use a Tumblr-themed design — white text on a navy blue background — without drawing David Karp’s ire. 

Pair it with a cupcake recipe you found on Pinterest and go make some videos on Vine, why don’t you?

Email me at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Afternoon Tea, Reinvented at The Lambs Club

Take everything you know about teatime and throw it out the window, because The Lambs Club in Midtown has added a chic and modern twist. 

“This area is very deprived of places to have a business meetings, and we were thinking about the best way to service our guests,” said The Lambs Club co-owner Margaret Zakarian. “Sometimes you want a coffee or tea, but not with so many courses.”

So instead of a towering display of finger sandwiches, crumpets, and fruits, the team at The Lambs Club now offers small plates by chef and co-owner Geoffrey Zakarian, executive chef Eric Haugen, and pastry chef Bjorn Bottcher. You can choose one selection for $6, three for $16, or if you want to go all out for your afternoon tea, $29 gets you six of the 11 plates. The delicate choices include a beautiful smoked salmon buckwheat blini, tuna tartare, egg salad, petits fours, vanilla bean panna cotta, and of course, buttermilk scones served with clotted cream and house-made raspberry jam.

For teas, the elegant dining room has stuck to the same ones by Le Palais des Thés that they opened with, save for two new grand crus. If you don’t know what a grand crus is, think of it like the fine scotch of the tea world, and at $8 per small pot of their Darjeeling Mission Hill or the $12 for Thé Noir Jukro, you can see why. On the regular, $6 menu you can choose from a refreshing pot of Thé des Sources, made with mint, bergamot, and rose; or go for the caffeine-free Rooibos a la Camomile or their iced tea, which utilizes tea ice cubes so that your beverage won’t get watered down. 

No matter how you take your tea and scones, it’s nice to have refreshing way to do it. Plus, you get to actually see and smell the tea blends before you choose your brew. With any luck, this will just be the push tea needs to become the next hip thing.

Marcus Does Tea

Is there anything Marcus Samuelsson can’t do? As the celebrity chef launches a line of tea this week that he created with Harney & Sons, it appears he has a foot in just about every door possible—and I am not the only one who thinks so. Just over a month ago, the Red Rooster chef and owner came out with his hyped-up (yet engaging) new book, Yes Chef, and this past Sunday The New York Timeshad a feature on the chef and his accomplishments; past, present, and future. It appears this chef is unstoppable.

But, at least now, he has reason to settle into a more civilized pace, sit down, and enjoy a cup of tea. His tea line is called Ambessa, which means “lion” in Amharic and is the traditional emblem of Ethiopia. Samuelsson offers four whole-leaf blends that follow the timeline of his life. This includes: a Kenyan and Tanzanian estate blend called Safari Breakfast, after his birthplace; Ligonberry Green, after his adoptive home in Sweden; the dessert-like Choco Nut black tea, for his Swiss apprenticeship; and the smoke-tinged Earl of Harlem, which symbolizes his current location and, some might say, status.

At least with Samuelsson’s small takeover, he continually is giving back to society. To celebrate the launch of the tea, he is making a donation to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to help support UNICEF’s water and sanitation programs in underserved areas. You can buy the new tea either online or at the SoHo location of Harney & Sons. What’s next for the chef? We can only imagine.

Mixing Coffee and Tea For a Cool Summery Treat

It took a while for New York to accept that it’s springtime, and it’s finally starting to get warm enough for the switchover from hot coffee or tea to iced.  But what if you can’t decide? Do you want rich, creamy, body-shaking iced coffee to perk you up in the afternoon, or will you go with soothing, not-as-bold-but-not-as-harsh iced tea to go with your lunch? In a perfect world, one wouldn’t have to make this decision, and, luckily, at Davids Tea in the West Village, you can have both.

That’s right: the Canadian cafe serves a tea-and-coffee blend, and, oddly, it doesn’t taste like either ingredient. The geniuses at Davids Tea use a toasted Pu’erh tea, an ancient blend from the southern Yunnan province in China that goes back over a thousand years. This tea has natural chocolate notes that mix well with the whole, dark-roasted beans that lace the blend. To make the iced version of the Coffee Pu’erh, the barista (wait, what do you call a tea shop girl, and, since it’s both coffee and tea, would it be a combo of the name? Discuss.) doubles the amount of tea, about three tablespoons for a 12-ounce vessel, and seeps it for about four to six minutes. Into a cup of ice goes a half pump (about one teaspoon) of agave nectar to add a bit of sweetness and to bring out the chocolate notes.

Once the tea is brewed, you just pour it over the ice, add a bit of soy milk and voila! A light, refreshing drink that tastes like a mocha without the harsh caffeine jitters of coffee but enough of a jolt to put some spring in your step. Even if this sounds odd to you, it’s a crazy combination that works so well, and coffee and tea drinkers both have exulted its praise. Just make sure you ask for it iced for the full summer experience.