Paris in August
The weather was dark, cool. The city quiet. I love...
28369403274_c300c09ef3_cThe weather was dark, cool. The city quiet. I love August in Paris ^-^ 29730394565_b979746a67_cThere was that first night in a dollhouse of a room... (more…)
A Warming Basket
Ah, if only all hotel rooms came with a Chinese t...
28912282591_2542c79662_cAh, if only all hotel rooms came with a Chinese tea basket... (more…)
A (Vegan) Afternoon Tea | Shangri-La Paris
A (vegan) afternoon tea, served in-room at Shangri...
28956146486_ac35bbda4a_cA (vegan) afternoon tea, served in-room at Shangri-La Paris. 28956149066_0a069e7101_cI suppose dreams really do come true... (more…)
One Night in Macau
An hour ferry ride takes you from Hong Kong to Mac...
25137078301_67df1c48a3_cAn hour ferry ride takes you from Hong Kong to Macau. Just for one night. Just for fun. 24599615014_a2189e2b22_cChecking in at Mandarin Oriental Macau. Tea in bed... 24603461873_e38576cf00_c...and then a short ride to Casa de Cha Long Wa. Classic teahouse / local dim sum spot... (more…)
Macau | Joël Robuchon au Dôme
I was in Hong Kong for a month earlier this year....
24862596119_bdb4949654_cI was in Hong Kong for a month earlier this year. Of that month I spent one night in Macau. It was mini vacation within a vacation. And so quick! It only takes an hour to get there via ferry. Full Macau recap in the next post. For today... (more…)
Las Vegas // San Francisco
I was recently in Vegas to speak at the World Tea ...
22489493948_fde6a12ff7_cI was recently in Vegas to speak at the World Tea Expo (covering global tea trends in foodservice). It was a busy 36 hours, but the good kind where you're producing and having fun. I had a few great meals before heading to San Francisco. Make time for the things you want ^-^ 28042184996_6d53ae9157_cOmakase at Kabuto... (more…)
Bali, Once More
My last visit to Bali was in 2009. It was a quick ...
22537737416_15b801d981_cMy last visit to Bali was in 2009. It was a quick two-night trip to/from Taipei...not enough time. So we are back again. 22537773456_2c689b343d_cFour Seasons operates two properties in Bali. One near the water (Jimbaran) and another in the jungle (Sayan). 22563561995_e664234a7a_cI've lived on islands (Oahu and Manhattan) all my life. I like being near the water, but love homes surrounded by greenery. Deep in valley and up mountains. Big trees and wild flowers. It was Sayan I found enchanting... (more…)
Hawaii | Happy Hearts Mochi
Hawaii mochi is very different from Japanese mochi...
28278867615_044a703678_cHawaii mochi is very different from Japanese mochi. It's softer, more gentle. It doesn't have the precise, flawless look of Japanese mochi, but I find the final product more happy and enjoyable. In the end, it's all about pleasure ^-^ I have two regular mochi spots in Honolulu. The first is Nisshodo in Kalihi (post here and here for more chichi dango). The second is Happy Hearts Mochi. Happy Hearts doesn't have a retail storefront. You have to order via email (at least two business days in advance), schedule a pick-up time, and then go to Natsunoya Tea House in Liliha for pick-up. It's worth it. 27663445673_f5979d8908_cI first mentioned Happy Hearts Mochi in 2009. It's time for an update. I like Bento #4 (see them all here). It includes a taste of everything and is the right size for a snack (for two people). 28278866075_cfffb7d88a_cAt the top center of the box is Strawberry Mochi... (more…)
Don Bocarte Anchovies
I cook a lot because I love it. A lot of that plea...
26879393734_8924c317ea_cI cook a lot because I love it. A lot of that pleasure comes from great ingredients. Beautiful duck breasts, the sweetest salmon and arctic char. A tray of uni. Good olive oil. Even better wine. Boquerones. Anchovies. For today, Don Bocarte! Thanks to Jee and Fred for the lead on these meaty and clean anchovies. They are the best I've had in the US. The best best still goes to Txomin Etxaniz in Getaria. Pressed garlic makes it all wild... (more…)
Moroccan Mint Tea
I start and end the day with tea (been all white t...
1 - Moroccan Mint TeaI start and end the day with tea (been all white teas from Darjeeling this week), straight and pure. But in the afternoon and especially when friends visit, it's fun serving tea-based beverages. Something different. 2 - Moroccan Mint TeaA big part of my job is identifying global trends and integrating them into the US market. I'm often recipe testing and searching for tea beverages when traveling. When I find something extra special, I adapt it for home use. This is a take on Moroccan Mint Tea (wish I was back here for a day), inspired by Mourad in San Francisco... (more…)
Snapshots from Iceland
A few months late...but I can still feel the wind ...
26069013273_fc61e897a8_cA few months late...but I can still feel the wind chill ^-^ 26066712134_071b8da8bb_cI went to Iceland in March thinking I could wear normal winter attire. No one tells you about the wind. Wild and relentless. 26067135414_94f6c4bb4e_cBig thank you to Don who outfitted me in windbreakers and waterproof this and that. I wouldn't have made it though the trip without all those pieces. I left my RX1 back in NYC (felt so light), these are all phone photos... (more…)
Sunday Afternoon
Apéritif...plus a handful of nibbles ^-^ I was v...
27177385293_8104ba612a_cApéritif...plus a handful of nibbles ^-^ 27713336401_410854b84c_cI was visiting Noelle in San Francisco last week for work projects. And one early Sunday evening, we invited over friends (we all grew up together in Hawaii) for drinks and snacks. We work together seamlessly...Noelle does the cocktails, I do the tea. Wine and food is a collaborative effort. 27753933656_6c77c22415_cRemember how Pierre's mom always served foie gras and white port for apéritif? I first learned of this pairing when we stayed with them in Alsace. Then again in Paris and Brittany. No matter the season or where we were in France, I could always count on this treat for the evenings we dined at home. I didn't know anything about white port before that first summer. Ahh the things you learn. (That's my favorites part about traveling.) Always chilled. And sometimes, with an ice cube or two... (more…)
Tea at Three | Jo Malone London
Ready for a new edition of Tea at Three? ^-^ Jo Ma...
27004350354_e2f406e746_cReady for a new edition of Tea at Three? ^-^ 27250207173_923afccb29_cJo Malone London just launched the Rare Teas Collection. It's a set of six scents, each inspired by a select tea. 27005466343_5d88d03640_cWe celebrated with cold-brewed teas (six types to match each scent)... 27541639591_975d7fd495_c...bowls and baskets of the sweetest strawberries and cherries and... (more…)
Seattle
I was in Seattle last week (first time) for a qui...
27212954480_3c11cbe487_cI was in Seattle last week (first time) for a quick work trip... 26882133273_d0a349cb4d_c...our schedule was packed so I didn't visit every place on the list. Saving Willows Inn, Canlis, and Salumi for next time ^-^ 27035391901_cbe40949b9_cFirst stop, Top Pot for an old fashioned doughnut. 26499913313_30fd01aed9_cThe guy at the counter heard it was my first time there and said, "your doughnut is on us!" How sweet is that? Then... (more…)
Honolulu | Moana Surfrider | Keiki Afternoon Tea
Moana Surfrider recently launched a new afternoon ...
26653818733_24ae4197a5_cMoana Surfrider recently launched a new afternoon tea, designed just for keiki (Hawaiian word for children). You know how much I love Moana's classic afternoon tea. For the keiki tea, guests need to book a minimum party of five with 72 hours notice. It's ideal for groups of children or families (adults can still order the classic afternoon tea). 26653816863_c2d0e04a86_cReady to enjoy? Select a tea from the regular menu (children can also opt for juice). 27190060061_be1ee89c7b_cSavories include... (more…)
Singapore!
A trip to Singapore started off with a little deto...
26807472866_5c348b8b69_cA trip to Singapore started off with a little detour... 26224306494_3d3cde6e83_c...to Narita (the city). 26224318584_8d1d2a7c25_cWhat was meant to be short airport layover in Japan turned into a 24-hour holiday in Narita... 26224314184_9940581d0f_c...where I made good use of time satisfying soft cream cravings. 26224311294_cbeac59823_cBlack sesame topped with crushed white sesame seeds. 26829617245_2d4e4bfb69_cDid you know Narita is known for unagi? 27099020091_57aaea8ca7_cAnd then, Singapore ^-^ I'll warn you now. This is a long post. I treat this blog as a journal, a place to take notes and reference things, people, and places years down the road. 26560084020_c6089d31ec_cFirst, check-in at Shangri-La Singapore... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
The lobby of Shangri-La Hotel Singapore is gigant...
26912715185_47ac02ae8a_cThe lobby of Shangri-La Hotel Singapore is gigantic. Big and small tables tucked behind columns and corners. Exposed or secluded, your pick. High ceilings, good light, efficient service... 26879295776_44a7648b06_c...and afternoon tea, of course. 26914948921_80ee1a0df6_cSelect teas from the regular menu...or for a little extra, one of the house infusions:
  • Blueberry-pomegranate tisane with rose petals
  • Peach black tea with fresh rosemary
  • Italian-almond black tea with elderflower syrup
  • Ginger tisane with orange peels
  • Green tea with jasmine and pandan (pictured)
(more…)
Afternoon Tea | Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
Taking tea... ...outside at Four Seasons Singapore...
26879379256_9125c2fa1c_cTaking tea... 26308536043_df4fab6f0a_c...outside at Four Seasons Singapore. (more…)
Afternoon Tea | The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
Afternoon tea at The Fullerton Bay Hotel... ...tak...
26816722446_fc69a89292_cAfternoon tea at The Fullerton Bay Hotel... 26756846592_9dd66f4078_c...takes place at The Landing Point. 26816720026_bab8fdf8fe_cBut first you must walk through the hotel, through The Clifford Pier (where I'll check out this afternoon tea next time)... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | Anti:dote at Fairmont Singapore
Tea for two on Sunday afternoon... ...inside Anti...
26793609842_8d5f6ae398_cTea for two on Sunday afternoon... 26853226586_7e85122ca3_c...inside Anti:dote at Fairmont Singapore. Tea service (featuring TWG) here starts earlier in the day. That's a very nice thing because it means you can have afternoon tea for lunch. Instead of tiers, sweets and savories come in a drawer chest. But! Before you even get to that part... 26793606552_4321e52ebf_c...tea begins with your choice of a starter. Pick between scrambled eggs topped with Hokkaido uni, ikura, and caviar or... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | The St. Regis Singapore
Remember how afternoon tea buffets are super popu...
26793556032_666c1124ea_cRemember how afternoon tea buffets are super popular in Asia? Most hotels offer afternoon tea tiers and afternoon tea buffets in two separate dining venues (I'll do a complete post on this soon). And the ones who offer it in the same venue usually allow guests to select between tiers or buffets. But at St. Regis Singapore, it's combined...everyone gets three tiers and the buffet. Here's the breakdown... 26793554112_ba96c5a6bd_c...first, pick your tea (TWG menu)... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
Ready for tea today? We're at Mandarin Oriental, S...
26868432505_72783c6238_cReady for tea today? We're at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore. 26834559846_39cb94c383_cA table for two. A pot of Royal Orchid Oolong (nearly all Singapore hotels use TWG). 26595395020_d512657623_cFirst bite, tea jelly. Chilled and topped with citrus foam. The jelly is made with the Mandarin Oriental Singapore Blend... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | TWG Singapore
A mini tea for Wednesday ^-^ We stopped by TWG (th...
26282540703_eb5761d32b_cA mini tea for Wednesday ^-^ 26614175330_73f4af06e6_cWe stopped by TWG (the ION Orchard location) right after tea at Fairmont and right before tea at St. Regis. Productive day. Make sure to budget extra time at TWG, there's always a wait. Those who have been to any Mariage Frères location will recognize the resemblance. It's nearly identical...except Singapore-owned. (more…)
Afternoon Tea | Grand Hyatt Singapore
Two notes:  Afternoon tea buffets are popular in ...
26264529483_fc440075ef_cTwo notes:
  •  Afternoon tea buffets are popular in Asia but almost non-existent anywhere else in the world
  •  Sometimes the most unattractive afternoon tea services are the most delicious. And the most attractive ones can be the least delicious. This happens more often than you'd expect.
26264528203_271850f0b3_cTea at Grand Hyatt Singapore is served at 10 SCOTTS. Most people visit for the tea buffet, but seeing as we just finished afternoon tea at Mandarin Oriental Singapore, we went with the tea set. A simple two-tier affair, no scones. To drink, a tisane of baby rosebuds. 26264524963_8f02518060_cCurry puff was excellent...as close as you get to "real food" when it comes to afternoon tea. Fried to order, super crispy and flaky. Potatoes, peas, and spicy curry sauce inside... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
The Ritz-Carlton in Singapore... ...serves an eigh...
26228120334_b2d5811f09_cThe Ritz-Carlton in Singapore... 26833432415_ce7ef5efcc_c...serves an eight-course afternoon tea. 26560720410_60773caee8_cBut first you must decide if you want champagne. The answer is yes (always)... (more…)
A Royal Hawaiian Weekend
A weekend at The Royal Hawaiian... ...starts with ...
26631703045_a255e429ee_cA weekend at The Royal Hawaiian... 26312050646_7d466aa824_c...starts with one question... (more…)
Afternoon Tea in Hawaii | The Kahala Hotel
There's a new afternoon tea at The Veranda at The ...
25884328874_4958e49041_cThere's a new afternoon tea at The Veranda at The Kahala Hotel. 26489305065_04e69b5ae1_cNew furnishings in the Veranda room, new china from Wedgewood (replacing the blue and white stripes from Bernardaud - see 2012 and 2014 visits), and most importantly... (more…)
Hawaii | Fanta-Sea with The Royal Hawaiian
Every other month, The Royal Hawaiian hosts a dinn...
25735078633_b4be15f89a_cEvery other month, The Royal Hawaiian hosts a dinner series called Fanta-Sea. The concept is pretty neat. Each dinner pairs the resort's Executive Chef Colin Colin Hazama with a local farmer on Oahu. The next one takes place this Friday (more info here) and is done in partnership with Brooks Takenaka of United Fishing Agency at Pier 38. 17362139481_e735a990e0_cThe series happens over the course of two days. First is the dinner (takes place at Azure) on Friday evening. Most guests spend the night at the resort...and the next morning, everyone heads to Pier 38 to get a hands-on look at how the ingredients are selected. Then back to the resort for a little refresher...and then lunch! Lunch is made with all the sourced ingredients from the morning visit and takes place inside the King Kamehameha Suite (which I am very excited to see heheh). (more…)
Afternoon Tea in Hawaii | Moana Surfrider
I'm back in Honolulu for the month. Early to bed a...
25735180653_676946908a_cI'm back in Honolulu for the month. Early to bed and early to rise. Simple dresses and light scarves. Dinner at grandma's and lunch with mom and dad. It's kind of nice being in paradise. Today, afternoon tea for two with Dara ^-^ We're at the Moana Surfrider, 3pm on a Friday afternoon. This was the first place I ever had afternoon tea (in elementary school) so the memories go far back. The service format is classic but the sweets and savories change often enough to warrant a visit each quarter. Take a look at the Moana Surfrider Afternoon Tea service from 2010 to 2013 and 2014. Now we have 2016. 26245543552_d3685194ac_cTea takes place inside the Veranda at the Beachhouse. (more…)
Tea at Three | Sunday at Kristy’s
Sunday afternoon. Tea at three... ...for four ^-^ ...
26196883346_442383dd48_cSunday afternoon. 26052019332_8eb9c6ed75_cTea at three... 25618823983_cf20821d57_c...for four ^-^ (more…)
Afternoon Tea | Mandarin Oriental Macau
Monday afternoon, tea for two... ...at Mandarin Or...
25112051862_50fbe78bde_cMonday afternoon, tea for two... 25204020586_82d493b247_c...at Mandarin Oriental Macau. First, a pot of bai hao and tiny rosebuds... (more…)
Hong Kong | Tea and Dinner Pairing
Last night in Hong Kong, a tea and dinner pairing...
25153347702_00ce4a431b_cLast night in Hong Kong, a tea and dinner pairing... DSC00973...hosted by yú teahouse / 瑜茶舍 and Ngau Saam Gun / 牛三館. Eight beef-centric courses, each matched with a tea. We moved from cool to warm, light to dark. Started with the greens, alternated whites and oolongs in the middle, and finished with three pu'erhs (one raw, two cooked). Compare and contrast with other tea pairings: Dinner started with... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan
Wednesday. Afternoon tea in Bali ^-^ There are two...
22563599195_0b806de373_cWednesday. Afternoon tea in Bali ^-^ 21940613544_fc13d1a46f_cThere are two Four Seasons on the island of Bali. The one at Sayan serves tea at Jati Bar. I grew up in Hawaii, and while the ocean was always close by our family preferred living deep in valleys, in the forest, up the mountains. This is my kind of setting.  (more…)
Butterfly Pea / Blue Pea
Thank you, Bon Appétit (and Amy/Dominique and E...
18630028151_f76611a1c1_cThank you, Bon Appétit (and Amy/Dominique and Elyssa!) for this story on one of my favorite tisanes...the butterfly pea. Photo above is from one of my corporate R&D sessions. The tisane naturally brews up a deep blue. Squeeze in lemon and then it turns vibrant purple... (more…)
Éclat Chocolate | Parallel Bars
A set of Parallel Bars for your weekend afternoon...
24056915655_ea51202d66_cA set of Parallel Bars for your weekend afternoon. Remember City Harvest Bars back in 2013? I've been obsessed with Christopher Curtin's Éclat Chocolate since. 23761231610_5d57999244_cTwo flavors in each bar. Eight squares to a bar. I can't decide if I like each flavor on it's own or melting in my mouth at the same time. Win-win either way. Here, Green Tea and Roasted Rice... (more…)
Magret de Canard
Drinking tea makes me hungry. And because I drink/...
24422317280_6f30c5799f_bDrinking tea makes me hungry. And because I drink/taste throughout the day for work, I end up snacking a lot. Often cakes and sweets...and duck! I keep duck breasts in the fridge, ready to be cooked in a few minutes. I serve bigger duck breasts for lunch and dinner (and sometimes do a lapsang souchong-crusted version) but these tiny ones (about 1/3 pound) are perfect for snack. 24691578136_cfbd0da880_bIf you're in NYC, there are three good places to get magret de canard:
  • Dickson's Farmstand Meats ($12.95/pound)- this is where I get the tiny duck breasts that are 1/3-1/2 pound
  • Eataly ($19.95/pound) - bigger duck breasts, about 3/4-1 pound each
  • Ottomanelli & Sons ($19.95/pound), Bleecker Street location - same size as Eataly
  • D'artagnan ($14.99/pound) - online shop and amazing resource. I've spent hours on this website for fun. If they had a store, I'd visit every day. They also have a ton of other duck products. You can get moulard (which is the one you want for this dish) muscovy, peking, and rohan ducks! Heaven.
Here's how to do it... (more…)
Stick With Me Sweets | Matcha Choco Pie
I stopped in at Stick With Me Sweets to see Susann...
24459802862_11e5cde886_cI stopped in at Stick With Me Sweets to see Susanna and Nina the other week... 24272589550_4f4991f01d_c...and they had a surprise waiting ^-^ They always have Mini Choco Pies on the menu, little chocolate cakes sandwiched with a marshmallow filling and dipped in dark chocolate. But then Susanna brought out... (more…)
NYC | Afternoon Tea at Baccarat Hotel
Afternoon tea for two at the Baccarat Hotel ^-^ I...
24600050252_effd334ffd_cAfternoon tea for two at the Baccarat Hotel ^-^ 24717945295_95302cab64_cIt's a brand new afternoon tea service... (more…)
Mochi Rin | Matcha Kudzu and Camellia Mochi
Sweet treasures from Mochi Rin ^-^ I first spotted...
24485791311_e2b3404e51_cSweet treasures from Mochi Rin ^-^ 24200332469_c677e0cb4c_cI first spotted these sweets on the dessert menu of Kosaka. Turns out they're made by Mochi Rin (order via email and pick up from her kitchen in Soho...thanks, Zui)... (more…)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires was our last stop, right after Patago...
21965166520_4ab07e08db_cBuenos Aires was our last stop, right after Patagonia and Mendoza... 22141547802_81673d2555_c...it was also the most memorable stop for many reasons including... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
Right before afternoon tea at the Alvear, I stoppe...
21532314273_ba160239ca_cRight before afternoon tea at the Alvear, I stopped by Palacio Duhau / Park Hyatt Buenos Aires (just a five minute walk away) to check out their tea service. 21530613984_7b7e07e266_cThe sweets table! The pastry chef presents a dozen desserts each afternoon. Select the ones you want included in the tea set... (more…)
Buenos Aires | Afternoon Tea at Alvear Palace Hotel
Afternoon tea in Buenos Aires ^-^ We're at the Al...
21531465334_0e2fb98c36_cAfternoon tea in Buenos Aires ^-^ 21965533798_959e7b639f_cWe're at the Alvear Palace Hotel. 4pm. A table for one at L'Orangerie... (more…)
Makings of a Tea and Dessert Pairing
A few outtakes from last week's tea and dessert pr...
24031456056_2ca58f15bf_cA few outtakes from last week's tea and dessert project with MW Restaurant. I sourced and brewed three teas (current loves...two oolongs and a matcha :) and Michelle created new desserts to pair with each tea. We did a bunch of tweaking and tasting the days leading up to the event...that was my favorite part. Tea is magical alone, but pairing it with food (from sweets to savories, cheese, etc.) allows you to showcase it under a different light. Thank you, Michelle, for being most talented and sweet ^-^ 24031432436_72314dc199_cFirst, Mi Lan Xiang from Guangdong. The tea itself is robust and rich with clear honey notes (the name of the tea translates directly to "honey orchid") evolving in every steep. To pair... (more…)
2015 | A Year of Travel
It was a good year of travel (though I realized th...
15848565493_b9c86e2d70_cIt was a good year of travel (though I realized that's exactly what I said in 2014 ^-^) 16142882849_fd156529ce_c2015 started at home in Honolulu... (more…)
Argentina | Snapshots from Mendoza
We flew from Patagonia to Mendoza... ...and then w...
21531340483_4ff902fae5_cWe flew from Patagonia to Mendoza... 21964321710_9000860be0_c...and then we ate. We ate a lot... (more…)
A Tea and Dessert Event with MW Restaurant
Aloha from Honolulu ^-^ I still have a bunch of Ar...
23106701353_bfa89b9fc7_bAloha from Honolulu ^-^ I still have a bunch of Argentina posts coming…but in the meantime, I wanted to share this tea and dessert collaboration I’m doing with Michelle Karr-Ueoka of MW Restaurant. My first job (over a decade ago!) was working for Michelle at Alan Wong’s. We’ve been friends since, and I am super excited for this event. It’s a three-course tea and dessert pairing. Three of my favorite teas for the season (prepared in both traditional and more unusual ways) and three desserts specifically created by Michelle to pair with each tea. Hope to see you at MW Restaurant on December 27th!
Afternoon Tea | Correntoso Lake & River Hotel | Patagonia, Argentina
It's not often we get a view of the Andes while h...
21959250010_d283f2b40b_cIt's not often we get a view of the Andes while having afternoon tea. 21526243643_f22477d9eb_cHere's a peek at the Correntoso Lake & River Hotel's tea service.... (more…)
Weekend in Bariloche | Patagonia, Argentina
We flew from NYC to Buenos Aires. Then BA to BRC. ...
22120929856_950b86d062_cWe flew from NYC to Buenos Aires. Then BA to BRC. And then drove another two hours to Bariloche. Patagonia, at last! It was a quick weekend visit that involved provoleta at every meal, and reading books while bundled in soft dresses and scarves. Never thought I'd get a chance to visit Patagonia, but very grateful I did. 22157246251_63b3e06672_cWe stayed at Correntoso Lake & River Hotel... (more…)
Snapshots from London
A quick London recap... ...starts with tea and boo...
21709146025_ef0c131179_cA quick London recap... 21522048199_af3925607f_c...starts with tea and boozy, plum-studded cakes at The Goring... (more…)
London | Afternoon Tea at The Goring Hotel
Afternoon tea is at The Goring, one of my favorite...
21682760876_fdcdd1ce09_cAfternoon tea is at The Goring, one of my favorite hotels in London. 21086512534_ce65c6b166_cA table for two... (more…)
London | The Dining Room at The Goring
Another excellent hotel breakfast (right on par w...
21522307428_dcdb20c50b_cAnother excellent hotel breakfast (right on par with Shangri-La Hong KongMandarin Oriental Tokyo, and Mandarin Oriental Paris)... (more…)
Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at Sanderson London
At the Sanderson Hotel in London, a whimsical afte...
21089524804_5b5daf6104_cAt the Sanderson Hotel in London, a whimsical afternoon tea... 21721522781_3653ab3904_c...in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland. First... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London | The Rosebery
Here's a peek at the limited run of The Pan Aftern...
21698176732_92c7ee6a0b_cHere's a peek at the limited run of The Pan Afternoon Tea served at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. They property just renovated The Rosebery so it's feeling extra fresh in there. How pretty is this arrangement? 21698216042_6e8d3c0cc3_cA late afternoon tea for two. Best way to spend a Saturday in the city... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | London Heathrow Clubhouse | Virgin Atlantic
First time having afternoon tea in an airport loun...
21091105293_4b3a16f203_cFirst time having afternoon tea in an airport lounge. We're at Virgin Atlantic's London Heathrow Clubhouse where... (more…)
Hong Kong, Once More
Whenever I'm in Asia (anywhere in Asia!) I always ...
20641470444_b05db3fbee_cWhenever I'm in Asia (anywhere in Asia!) I always stop by Hong Kong for a few days on my way home. Sometimes for work, sometimes for fun...and most often for both. I love this city. Below, snapshots from my last visit ^-^ I stayed at The Upper House this time... 21253750892_cdd176540c_c...and made sure to wake up extra early for breakfast for at Café Gray Deluxe. All the good stuff in this set. Char siu bao, corn and crab jook with all the fixings, fried noodles and turnip cakes. Chrysanthemum and honey to drink... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | The Peninsula Hong Kong
Tea for two at The Peninsula Hong Kong. Get there...
21272324141_bf74228610_cTea for two at The Peninsula Hong Kong. Get there early, they don't take reservations and there's always a line. 21272330011_2f74f3b2ac_cA selection of signature blends... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | The Upper House Hong Kong
My favorite thing to do in HK is having afternoon ...
21264146875_4221149276_cMy favorite thing to do in HK is having afternoon tea. No other city in Asia does it quite as well. We've checked out the afternoon tea service at all the major hotels including the Intercontinental Hong Kong, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Island Shangri-La, The Langham, The Ritz-Carlton (the original and a limited run chocolate tea collaboration). Posts to come on Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Peninsula Hong Kong, different versions of afternoon tea at Intercontinental Hong Kong, and Four Seasons Hong Kong. But! For today. To get to afternoon tea at The Upper House... 20643131273_1d646afeca_c...take the elevator to the 49th floor... (more…)
Chengdu | Temple Cuisine at Mi Xun
Easily my favorite meal from this trip to Chengdu...
21125806706_97017e9750_cEasily my favorite meal from this trip to Chengdu. Mi Xun serves classic temple cuisine made lighter and more vibrant. Tiny plates, bring a friend, share a dozen. And don't forget to stay for tea. Highlights from the menu include... 21125778296_bef91f19f3_cMenu highlights include iced sweet tomatoes... (more…)
Afternoon Tea in Chengdu | The Temple House
Afternoon tea for one at the recently opened Templ...
20529438064_3766a2f902_cAfternoon tea for one at the recently opened Temple House in Chengdu (more here) ^-^ 21125860706_66b29ee788_cWe'll start with oolong... (more…)
China | Chengdu, Sichuan
A rewarding and spicy week in Chengdu. Half the w...
20964048010_72042f3be7_cA rewarding and spicy week in Chengdu. Half the week in the city, and half the week in Qing Cheng Mountain. This is the entrance to Temple House, the newest (and third) hotel in the House Collective. The other two properties are Opposite House in Beijing and Upper House in Hong Kong. 20529201424_b32af7abb4_cHot water kettle, tea set, and selection of teas...a few of the most important items in a hotel room... (more…)
The New York Times
A profile in The New York Times this week. Thank y...
20963638519_194ec1b03d_cA profile in The New York Times this week. Thank you, Ligaya, for your beautiful writing ^-^  
Afternoon Tea | Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park changes their ...
22309761196_2da55fb674_cRitz-Carlton New York, Central Park changes their afternoon tea menu each season. You've seen past versions of the Fall Tea and Winter Tea before. This is a look at the 2015 Fall Tea service ^-^ 22323326982_b2ae8f9ff5_cAfternoon tea comes in multiple courses (sandwiches, scones, and sweets). The featured tea for fall is the mulled spice tea (it's peppermint tea in the winter, cherry blossom green for spring, wild strawberry for summer). Let's begin... (more…)
China | Simao / Pu’er, Yunnan
We're at a processing plant/showroom in Pu'er, Yu...
15558446967_9834444175_cWe're at a processing plant/showroom in Pu'er, Yunnan* today. 20743738655_9b601769ae_cThis was the scene for most of the day (definitely not complaining)... (more…)
China | Lijiang, Yunnan
Snapshots from Lijiang, Yunnan ^-^ Where to begin!...
15123577114_d0bcc6ef32_cSnapshots from Lijiang, Yunnan ^-^ Where to begin! We'll start with the food... (more…)
San Francisco and Napa Valley
Many of my close friends (all the way from Punaho...
20523582746_19f46cc888_cMany of my close friends (all the way from Punahou days) live in San Francisco (hi, Shann, Noelle, Steph, and Kelly!) So visiting SF almost feels like a trip home to Hawaii. My trips tend to be a Napa/SF combo (see here and here) with a few days in each. Below, snapshots from this week... (more…)
NYC | Nakamuraken Kakigori at Kajitsu
How neat is this? Nakamuraken is a Japanese confe...
19592269963_fd5d16b6f9_cHow neat is this? Nakamuraken is a Japanese confectionary based in Kyoto. The owner himself flew to NYC to do a five-day dessert feature at Kajitsu with kakigori (shave ice) and little sweets. He offered the kakigori in two flavors: rhubarb (with rhubarb jam, lemon, and sugar) and matcha... (more…)
Māmaki | Mamaki
A super thank you to Michelle for these beautiful ...
19986537386_4afff723e1_cA super thank you to Michelle for these beautiful māmaki leaves... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | The Plaza Hotel
Friday afternoon, tea for two... A corner table at...
19392132853_b793fe45a3_cFriday afternoon, tea for two... (more…)
Recently in Tea…
...been working on a number of tea concepts and b...
14323450372_cd6b7a9743_c...been working on a number of tea concepts and blends for clients. Wanted to share a few clippings/bits of news. Super thank you to Mandarin Oriental New York for featuring me in the July newsletter, Business Insider for this piece on my work with matcha... 14767824018_51f927b44d_c...and Details Magazine for quoting me in this story. A few photographs for NPR... 13161089323_816486864a_c...and had the pleasure of developing an afternoon tea etiquette program for the Peninsula New York. Details soon ^-^
Road Trip To Maine (New Haven on the Way)
A little road trip to Maine... ...started in Manha...
19638950822_766b80f6e7_cA little road trip to Maine... (more…)
Uji Matcha is Back
Remember the Uji Matcha my friend shipped over las...
14325221445_91ab11bb56_cRemember the Uji Matcha my friend shipped over last summer? We sold through the supply and I wasn't able to get more...until now ^-^ We just got a new shipment and it's available in the shop. I've been working on bringing in tea from Hawai'i, a few native herbals (one of which is also from Hawai'i!) and more teaware. Let me know if you have any questions! More to come soon.
Snapshots from Monaco
An early summer trip to Monaco involves... ...a d...
18867988732_f43d45a1da_cAn early summer trip to Monaco involves... (more…)
Monaco | Pierre Geronimi and Le Teashop
Two new shops recently opened in Monaco. One is an...
18868787482_f6dc35e467_cTwo new shops recently opened in Monaco. One is an ice cream shop and the other is a tea shop... (more…)
Monaco | Elsa
A summer day. A seaside lunch at Elsa in Monaco ^-...
18250959764_b42db5c661_cA summer day. A seaside lunch at Elsa in Monaco ^-^ I love the intensity of Le Louis XV, the decadence of Joël Robuchon, and indulgence of Le Grill... (more…)
Snapshots from Paris
A quick weekend trip! I met Christina (who came in...
18848795176_7b8a530e4d_cA quick weekend trip! I met Christina (who came in from London) on early Saturday evening... (more…)
Paris | Neige d’été
At Neige d'été, they present the beef before a...
18687603268_51c2f0897e_cAt Neige d'été, they present the beef before anything else.  It's beautifully marbled, aged four months... (more…)
Paris | Saturne table.cave
A table for two at Saturne... ...in Paris. Ready f...
18877088745_7638f0cd92_cA table for two at Saturne... (more…)
Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris | Les Coupes Glacées Pierre Hermé
Monday in Paris. Slightly overcast, a bit chilly (...
18871828142_8256f8ac25_cMonday in Paris. Slightly overcast, a bit chilly (perfect scarf weather). A post-lunch treat at Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris. The property used to do a traditional afternoon tea. Then they switched to the Pierre Hermé Chocolate Bar. And now they have Les Coupes Glacées Pierre Hermé aka ice cream sundaes by Pierre Hermé. And the Bar Glacier Pierre Hermé is launching super soon. Everything Pierre Hermé! Totally fine by me. Here's how it works... (more…)
150th Anniversary Afternoon Tea | Langham Place, New York
There's just one weekend left for the 150th anniv...
18753414230_cbe2b5a608_cThere's just one weekend left for the 150th anniversary afternoon tea at Langham Place. It's served at Measure Lounge and is a decadent take on their classic afternoon tea. They've been offering it every weekend in June...want to see what's involved? (more…)
Afternoon Tea | The Peninsula Paris
Ready for tea? We're at The Peninsula Paris (yay, ...
18688310708_12f5651111_cReady for tea? We're at The Peninsula Paris (yay, Paris!) this afternoon... (more…)
Notes from Qatar
A few notes from Qatar... Have you heard of karak ...
17918792730_7983968dae_cA few notes from Qatar... (more…)
Qatar | Sahlab, Om Ali, Mahalabiya
What to do when its 115F outside and the sun is sh...
18103328581_067c607b3a_cWhat to do when its 115F outside and the sun is shining? Stay inside, surrounded by endless pots of tea and plenty of sweets. I wish I could spend more time here (we'll have to figure out how to get more of the Middle East in my life), because there is much to learn and devour when it comes to desserts. All these flavors! And textures! So intense, so wonderful. We'll start with Sahlab (سحلب), a hot creamy milk-based drink. Sahlab is the name of the drink, and also the name of the flour that makes this drink so rich and velvety. At Four Seasons Doha they mix and top it with sesame seeds, coconut, raisins, and nuts. And just enough sugar for a touch of sweetness. They also make ice cream and puddings with sahlab...on the to-do list. (more…)
Moroccan Tea Service
Found in Qatar, a Moroccan tea service at the Shis...
17916072149_cff09979bd_cFound in Qatar, a Moroccan tea service at the Shisha Terrace. How beautiful is this set? Picture this. Wednesday in May. Crazy hot outside. Cool in here. Good lighting, and an entire afternoon to myself. Men are smoking shisha in the lounge but I have a table off to the side, one with a clear view of the Arabian Gulf... (more…)
A Middle Eastern Breakfast in Doha
You know how much I love a good hotel breakfast. F...
18100984862_1d4c117844_cYou know how much I love a good hotel breakfast. From the one at Mandarin Oriental Paris to Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, a hotel with a memorable breakfast is good incentive to wake up early ^-^ My default is the Chinese or Japanese breakfast...but at Four Seasons Doha, the Middle Eastern breakfast is the one to get (though they do a decent Japanese breakfast). It's a feast... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | Four Seasons Doha
Hello from Qatar ^-^ It's a hazy 110F today (even ...
17914299038_427d7b569b_cHello from Qatar ^-^ It's a hazy 110F today (even in the shade)...but it's beautiful and calm inside the Tea Lounge at Four Seasons Doha. Care to join me for afternoon tea? It's the property's 10th anniversary so they're doing a special afternoon tea. Table for two, please. (more…)
NYC | Frida Kahlo Afternoon Tea at The Pierre
There's a new afternoon tea at The Pierre... ...it...
17516396489_28f68ff2ab_cThere's a new afternoon tea at The Pierre... (more…)
Scottsdale, Arizona | Afternoon Tea at The Phoenician
Afternoon tea for two ^-^ Ask for window seat, a ...
16950154834_9ba4d878e4_cAfternoon tea for two ^-^ (more…)
Scottsdale, Arizona
A spring weekend in Scottsdale. This was my first ...
17572372921_f05481e7e8_cA spring weekend in Scottsdale. This was my first (and hopefully not last!) visit to Arizona... (more…)
Big Island, Hawaii
Snapshots from a quick trip to the Big Island ^-^ ...
17367526305_8dce2568c8_cSnapshots from a quick trip to the Big Island ^-^ We split the visit between both the Hilo and Kona side of the island...both so different but equally magical. (more…)
A Little CBS Segment On Matcha
Hello from the Big Island ^-^ I've been in Hawai'i...

14325221445_91ab11bb56_cHello from the Big Island ^-^

I've been in Hawai'i for a month and am heading to NYC tomorrow morning. We spent the last few weeks visiting tea farms on the Big Island, tasting though a bunch of mamaki, and working on tea projects on Oahu. Just did a segment with CBS This Morning, and I've been meaning to share this clip we filmed at Ippodo. It's a little talk on matcha. Ok, see you guys back in the city!
Tea and Cheese Pairings
Happy Tuesday ^-^ A few weeks ago I met with Ashle...
16345250183_b12d5a6aec_cHappy Tuesday ^-^ A few weeks ago I met with Ashley (she coordinates educational classes at Murray's Cheese in NYC). I brought the teas and she did the cheese (happily we had access to an endless variety of cheese from Murray's). It made for an amazing afternoon. We found that the best pairings enhanced both the tea and cheese, but also introduced a new, third flavor that wasn't there before. An oolong and aged gouda revealed honey notes that neither the tea or cheese had on it's own. Darjeeling and Comté brought out the flavor of roasted chestnuts... (more…)
Maui, Hawaii
One of the best (there are many!) things about goi...
17059248652_687950e0e4_cOne of the best (there are many!) things about going home to Oahu is the easy access to neighboring islands. We've been on the Big Island a few times. And don't forget about Lanai. And Kauai! Hopefully we'll make it to Molokai on the next trip. Everything is close enough so that these could all be day trips...but I like taking my time with travels ^-^ (more…)
Silver Needle Tea Co.
Lucy (remember these posts from when we first met...
16343007864_d155b85320_cLucy (remember these posts from when we first met?) just got two new teas in for spring... (more…)
Afternoon Tea | Langham Place, New York
There's a new afternoon tea at Langham Place, New...
16965310355_4e36f437f5_cThere's a new afternoon tea at Langham Place, New York (just launched this weekend)... (more…)
Snapshots from Taipei
Three nights and plenty of xiao long bao, tea, and...
15737522581_83853ef742_cThree nights and plenty of xiao long bao, tea, and soft-serve ^-^ (more…)
Tea for Eater
I'm writing a new tea column for Eater ^-^ For to...
15719899646_8035f6033b_cI'm writing a new tea column for Eater ^-^ For today, a primer on the five main tea groups. We did one on matcha the other week (along with a matcha map). And restaurant tea trends...so many good things happening in the tea world right now. More to come soon!
Charleston Tea Plantation
Out on Wadmalaw Island is the Charleston Tea Plant...
15055965419_e06e4e142a_cOut on Wadmalaw Island is the Charleston Tea Plantation. (more…)
Charleston, South Carolina
Bao and I went to Charleston for a little eating a...
15242741375_b1d08ede3e_cBao and I went to Charleston for a little eating adventure... (more…)
Tea Scenes | Eleven Madison Park
Just one cup of pu'erh... ...at Eleven Madison Par...
14773317540_9ffc14eeff_cJust one cup of pu'erh... (more…)
Peninsula Hong Kong | Spring Moon
I recently mentioned that my favorite part about H...
16468683005_225fd14543_cI recently mentioned that my favorite part about Hong Kong dining... (more…)