It’s a hot summer day. You’re staring at your ice cream. It sits naked in its bowl, looking like it’s missing… a little something. What that sultry sucker needs is to be drowned, in a bit of classic matcha tea. Hello, 21st century, meet my dessert needs—the matcha affogato.
Not only will it look great on your Instagram feed, but using matcha is a delicious way to dress up your ice cream without using sugary syrups or other crap. Alternatively, it’s a way to make your morning matcha a little bit extra.
I first wandered into the Camellia Sinensis Teahouse in Montréal during a summer road trip across the country. It was around the corner from the Jean Talon Marché where our friend was taking us on a neighbourhood tasting tour of Montréal’s Little Italy, including succulent oysters, artisan sausages, and delectable duck meats. Finding the unassuming Teahouse entrance and enjoying some nice iced matcha and nerdy tea conversation with the staff inside was a highlight of the day (it also relieved Rob of having to listen to my tea gibberish for ten minutes).
So of course I got when Camellia Sinensis reached out with some samples. When I think quality Canadian tea, and especially ‘Quebec Tea,’ they’re one of the first to come to mind.
When I think of Nuts Huts, I think of sitting in their large communal room on a covered deck two stories high, looking down into the milky green Luboc River.
If I pop my head of the hammock and look through the layers of thick green foliage, down the hill I can see a little lunch boat floating down said river, blasting 80s music while the middle-aged crowd on board eats the buffet table within an inch of its life. A karaoke cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” comes on, and sneaks up the hills to reach me in my synthetic cocoon.
When I wrote about South Korean Teas from Teas Unique on Monday I realized that I’d never but into blog-post-form the story of how Rob and I visited this really cool place on Jeju Island: The O’Sulloc Tea Museum.
I know, a tea museum? But trust me, it was so, so, awesome. Even if you’re not a tea freak like me, I’d bet you’d still get excited at the adorable demonstrations of Korean tea culture and beautiful, historic tea artifacts found inside. Plus, there’s a delicious café that serves FRESH matcha and these delightful matcha Swiss rolls, served chilled so their creamy centres are almost an ice-cream-like consistency.
This American importer of organic, single-estate Korean teas has offerings that would pair well with your summer picnic.
Back in 2015 when Rob and I visited South Korea, a highlight of our trip there was taking the ferry to Jeju Island, the ‘Hawaii of South Korea.’ As beautiful as you might think, this island paradise and popular Korean vacation destination is just a few hours by ferry south of the mainland. We took the ferry from Mokpo and spent a week frolicking around sex museums, climbing South Korea’s highest mountain (with no water), eating delicious black pork belly, and visiting the O’Sulloc Tea Museum (which I was VERY excited for).
It is very satisfying to reach for a tin of tea, pop off the top, and be rewarded with the sight of fresh tea spilling out. That was the first thing I noticed about the samples I ordered from Adagio Teas—they were filled to the brim and aesthetically pleasing, like something I’d want to give a friend. By default I’m suspicious of fancy tea packaging, as too often it hides a less-than-superior product. I’m glad to report that’s not the case with Adagio Teas. The high quality of their product matches the thoughtfulness of their fine packaging, which even includes steeping instructions on the bottom.