London Fogging


I have a muse (or a dear friend rather) who I will turn into when it comes to tea suggestions.  You would think with the season we’re in, that it wouldn’t be that difficult.

And it really isn’t.

But I’m grateful for ideas and suggestions, because that’s what tea and the love of tea is all about it, informing, sharing, educating, and most important of all, sipping.


So when my friend suggested I write about a couple of teas from Starbucks, I was intrigued and surprised.

I’m immediately thinking pumpkin this and pumpkin that.  And while there is a pumpkin pastry included with my two teas, the pumpkin teas will return at a later time.

It’s all about chai and this is quite the chai my friends.

My friend had asked me if I ever tried the Chai Latte or the London Fog Tea Latte, and suggested I write about one or the other.  The answer is right in front of me.  How about both?


I was reminded that I may have had the Chai Latte before, when we used to frequent Starbucks on a regular basis.  I know frequent Starbucks on a regular basis.  I’ve become accustomed to local tea and coffee shops.  It’s where my heart is and it’s the symbolic gesture I feel I need to be doing.   Nevertheless, the Chai Latte is fine.  It’s just what I remember, if this is what I had before.  If you can get what I’m saying, it’s not that memorable.  And I’ve grown to like Chai’s in the past few years, partially because of this blog, and because I’m all about expanding my horizons.  This isn’t anything special.


The pumpkin cream cheese muffin that I had with my chai, either became tainted because of my chai or it wasn’t that great on its own.  I love pumpkin and I didn’t get much pumpkin here.


And I love cinnamon, cloves, and milk.  This screams fall and would hopefully scream success.  I know many love it, and will love it if they haven’t tried it.  To me it’s just a latte you could have anywhere, and not spend as much on it.    It’s not that it’s even that  sweet.  It’s just that I’ve had better.  And the black tea, which is the most important part of it for, seems to be lost in the shuffle with everything else.  And it’s not like there’s too many moving parts.  This would usually come together well in another setting.

And before you think I’m being hard on Starbucks…


Then there’s the London Fog.  Oh my goodness, now we’re talking.  I knew it was great before I even ordered it.  And it’s because my friend told me that it’s not on the menu.  She told me if you mention London Fog, they will know what it is.  Now that’s a friend. And this is a tea.  This is a tea latte.  This is art.


The ingredients are here, and this take on Earl Grey is giving me chills after I write about it.  It was a joy to sip and was so kind to my sense, my taste buds, and my spirit.   I adore the way bergamot smells and tastes, and it’s the highlight for me even with the lavender, vanilla syrup, and milk thrown into the mix. They’re all perfect complements of each other that enhance the Earl Grey.


You can see why I prefer this more.  The integrity of the tea remains intact while everything plays its part perfectly.  This paired perfectly with their Caramelized Apple Pound Cake.  A match made in tea and autumn heaven.


I must mention that the Earl Grey is from Teavana, which I happily wrote about some months back.



I will gladly come back and order the London Fog a couple more times before the season changes.  And this is something you can have through the winter, so there’s plenty of opportunity.    I highly recommend it if you’ve never had this before, and it’s a different take on a classic tea.    Tremendous.

In the past I’ve mentioned that Earl Grey was likely the first tea I ever sipped.  And knowing myself, I appreciated the simplicity of it.  I’m not big on adding anything to my tea.  If a tea is that good it doesn’t necessarily need milk, honey, cinnamon, or anything to overcompensate for a tea, whether it’s good or bad.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t try or embrace teas with those same additions.  I’m all for trying something new.  I’m happy the London Fog worked out.

More to come as I feel rejuvenated and have so much more in the world of teas to talk about.  It just keeps on getting better.

Peace be with you.



Father’s Day Special


I hope everyone enjoyed their Father’s Day. This post is a tribute to my dad and one of his favorite teas.  As I’ve stated before, he’s the main reason I have a passion for all things tea.


Ahmad Tea is a very popular tea all over the world and for good reason.  They have a multitude of varieties and flavors. It’s too much to process quite honestly.    There’s so many that I could do a separate blog on just them.  There’s also so many that they have a separate USA website.

Over many visits with my pops, we’ve indulged on many a tea and many a flavor.  In particular the Ceylon Tea has been the drink of choice.  And it’s got some pop.  Pun intended.

There’s another layer to this.  As you can read, the Ceylon comes in three grades, in loose and bagged format.

This package contained the red band.  If you look closely, you can see the orange tint in the leaves.   I think that’s a nice touch.   It adds a little flavor aroma that makes this tea go down smooth, with a little bitter taste at the end.  But I think it’s just right.

For more on their story you can click on this link.   What always makes me feel good is reading about the charities these tea companies are actively involved in.  It makes me want to do more and play my part.  And it feels great to support them.


We enjoyed our feast with some delicious Iranian food.  We had some ghormeh sabzi, which is a traditional dish from our country. And we finished it off with some incredible pasties, which included baklava and other charming sweets!


In honor of him and the holiday, I treated myself to another cup.  My dad, having the sense of humor that he has, packed me some tea in a medicine bottle.   I appreciate the recycling and comical aspect of it all.


Back by popular demand, the Tovolo is back! For the inaugural post on this thing of beauty, click here.

As always, I love the prepping, infusing, and steeping process.  So the photos of this journey are shown below.  Can you see the orange and red leaves in the infuser? Magnificent!



If you look close at the picture below, you can see a bubble on the left hand side.  That sequence was going on for a few minutes. Very cool.


And how great is that color?  The red-orange hue really shows.  That’s a work of art right there.


I enjoyed this masterful beverage with one of my dad’s favorite treats, dried figs.


I can’t wait to enjoy another cup and meal with you again.  Here’s to you pop!