The Whistling Kettle Tea Lounge & Cafe {Review @whistlingkettle}

Last Sunday two of my lady friends and I decided to pay a visit to the new Troy location of The Whistling Kettle.  I have to say it is a beautiful space to stay and enjoy their afternoon tea.  But it’s also a nice place to stop into grab a quick cuppa to go.  I love the Ballston Spa location.  But the layout of the new space is so much better.  I didn’t get a whole lot of photos this trip, because there were a lot of people in enjoying lunch.

Check out all that tea ware!

Check out all that tea ware!

You can even take home a Whistling Kettle Mug to enjoy your tea from at home!  Plus other tea making goodies.

You can even take home a Whistling Kettle Mug to enjoy your tea from at home! Plus other tea making goodies.

Last but not least in this area we have the sniffing bar!  Which I think it a great idea.  But like a friend said – it might have been better to have the herbals and rooibos teas near the bottom for the younger visitors who don’t need all that caffeine.

All their teas in one convenient space to sniff.

All their teas in one convenient space to sniff.  Also I LOVE the funky lighting.

I took all of the above photos after our lunch had been ordered.  I then had an opportunity to congratulate co-owner Kevin on a very sweet new space.  Of course like all things he told me there were still a few bugs to work out.  But this was only their third official day open so naturally everything wouldn’t be perfect.  But I will tell you his new staff in the Troy location know their stuff!  Our server was quick to notice my gluten free menu and ask if I had any questions.  I didn’t save my usual hope for a gluten free soup and other gluten free dessert choice.  One day I hope those two wishes become a reality.

That day I went with their crab salad with lemon butter tea sandwich, house salad with peppercorn ranch dressing, and flourless chocolate cake.  The bigger question was what tea would I have?  Today I went with their Golden Monkey tea.  The tea had a nice cocoa scent and a hint of cocoa on the finish too.  This is one of those teas I will be picking up once I finish off some of the current stash in my tea cabinet as it runs $18 for 4 oz.

Nom, nom, nom!

Nom, nom, nom!

Anyway, if you find yourself in Troy, stop in.  They are open seven days a week from 11am-6pm.  However, they may be looking to change the hours in order to stay open later for the dinner crowd on certain nights.  Stay tuned on their Facebook Page and website for more info and any change in hours.  And yes folks you can purchase all their teas in stores and online!  Enjoy!

Kiss Me Organics Matcha {Review}

A few weeks ago I was asked to review this product by Jessica at Kiss Me Organics, their product is only available via amazon.com $25 gets you 4oz. of matcha green tea as well as a copy of their recipe book sent to you electronically.  So I ordered my matcha with their voucher and it turned up in 2-3 days (as I used my free Prime shipping).  I then promptly got another cold.  Which put off my testing for a few days.  I will also admit that I have tried matcha in the past and I never liked it.  I even tried flavored matcha which I found even more gross.  I basically felt like I would be the I do not like it Sam I Am of matcha.  But then I tried it in a few things as you’ll read below.S

Over the last two weeks I’ve tried it in a variety of different things to get an extra boost of antioxidants and all that other good stuff that comes with green tea/matcha.  Now I haven’t baked or cooked anything with it yet.  Simply because I would have to cook it for myself as my husband is not a tea person.  So I may try to add some matcha to the cream cheese frosting I plan to use for cupcakes tomorrow.  Heck I may even had matcha to half of the batter and see what people at work think.

Anyway, you may be wondering WHAT I did use the matcha in?  I used it in several smoothies.  I LOVE one particular smoothie…I’ll even give you the recipe:

Yumm-o

Yumm-o

What you’ll need:

  • 1 banana (sliced)
  • 1-2 cups of regular silk milk or chocolate silk milk (I prefer the chocolate)
  • 1-2 tsps of PB2 powder (easier to clean up after unlike regular pb)
  • 1-2 tsps of matcha powder
  • 1/4 cup of boiling water
  • 1 cup of yogurt (any flavor – I use strawberry or vanilla)

First you’ll want to prepare your matcha.  Trust me I tried just sprinkling it into the blender and just ended up with a few clumps of matcha at the bottom of my glass.  So add 1/4 cup of boiling water to the matcha and either whisk with a fork or one of those battery operated frothers to mix it up well.  Add all other ingredients to the blender and pour the matcha in last.  Now blend, blend, blend!  Pour into a large glass and enjoy.  Seriously yummy.  I couldn’t really taste the matcha.  But I will say there was an extra pep to my step that day.

Another thing I like to add matcha to is iced green tea.  Which I know sounds silly and yes redundant.  BUT it was so good!  I had pre-made a pitcher of Gojiberry Blueberry Pomegranate Green Tea from The Whistling Kettle chilling in the fridge.  So I figured why not UP the antioxidant factor and add in some matcha?  Yes this probably like adding bacon to a ham sandwich, but whatever!  I did it and you know what?  It was delicious!  It was also VERY green.

Green is GOOD!

Green is GOOD!

This it the spot and yep gave me a little extra boost to get me through a very rainy/drab Friday.  Plus everyone who wandered past my desk was wondering WHAT I was drinking and some people responded “I HAVE TO TRY THAT!”  Others had no idea what matcha was…so I educated them and said I’d share IF I had anything left after this weekend.

In case you were wondering at home….

Matcha is green tea from the Camellia sinensis, but it a very fine powder version of the healthy
drink. Unlike other teas derived from Camellia sinensis, matcha has not been fermented. Matcha, like other varieties of green tea, can be harvested from anywhere in the world. But more than simply ground up green tea leaves, matcha is derived from tea leaves grown in the
shade so that the leaves achieve a dark green color, which gives matcha its magnificent amino
acids. - from the Kiss Me Organic electronic recipe guide

Now for the last recipe I tried direct from their handy dandy recipe guide – Matcha Latte.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tsp. Matcha powder
  • ¾ cup almond milk (or soy or cow or goat milk)
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp. agave syrup (optional)

Place matcha in the bottom of a coffee mug or other heat-proof cup.  Now I didn’t have any silk milk in the house.  I also had very little regular milk.  But what I did have was chocolate silk milk…so I used that instead.  Bring chocolate silk milk to a simmer in a small pot.  Whisk boiling water slowly with the matcha powder in the mug, then pour in almond milk.  Tip the cup to up the foam factor.  Sweeten with agave syrup if desired.  I did not use the agave as the chocolate silk milk covered sweetening up the drink perfectly.  I also wasn’t sure if adding the chocolate silk milk would be a poor idea or a delicious one.  I’m happy to say it was a success!

Yummy matcha in my tummy.

Yummy matcha in my tummy.

So after trying matcha in various drinks over the course of two weeks.  I must confess, I do like matcha, I do, I do.  So thank you, thank you Kiss Me Organics for contacting me to review your product.

Ethiopian Mocha Pu-erh ~ Tea Review {@whistlingkettle}

When I started my new job back in July ’13 I’d gotten into the nasty habit of drinking…coffee. I know, bad, bad. But I’ve been trying to kick that (slowly) by bringing some of my favorite teas to work and to make a thermos full of something before I leave in the morning.  I’ve also brought in some tea making goodies to make a proper cup.  As for the tea I’ve used to try and kick the coffee?  I’ve looked to pu-erh’s because they tend to be super strong like coffee.

No no!

No no!

So the other day I noticed that my local tea room (The Whistling Kettle) just started carrying a new blend – Ethiopian Mocha Pu-erh.  I knew I had to get my paws on some ASAP.  So I ordered 4oz. I know you might be thinking this is a bit much for a tea I’ve never tried before.  But I’ve only ever had one tea I bought in a large amount from The Whistling Kettle that I didn’t like.  Thankfully my order arrived yesterday and I’m just digging in today.

Contains Pu-erh tea and coffee! Think fine roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and a caramel finish when trying this for the first time, works well with a spot of milk.

Contains Pu-erh tea and coffee! Think fine roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and a caramel finish when trying this for the first time, works well with a spot of milk.

The dry leaves smell like coffee.  Not crummy coffee either, like top notch coffee that might be served in some swanky cafe in Paris.  The steeped leaf smells more like the earthiness I’ve come to expect from a pu-erh teas.  There are also hints of chocolate/mocha and caramel in the tea.  The mocha and caramel notes come out and mix really well with one another in this tea too.  Which I find to be really nice because flavors sometimes get lost in pu-erh teas.  So I was happy to find everything promised in this tea was delivered!

I think I found a nice way to get a little coffee and yet not feel guilty for not having tea!

Updates and Announcements

Hello new and old followers alike!

I’m sorry I’ve been quiet here for a bit.  But I was sick for close to a week and a half at the end of February/beginning of March…not good times.  But I did drink plenty of tea!

So I’m slowly getting back into the blogging.  I know I owe everyone a Taking Tea With and I’ll be working on that today in order to have it up to post on Tuesday.

I also am waiting on some tea to review from TeaVivre.

TeaVivre is a group of tea lovers and aficionados from China, Canada and France, who all share a passion for drinking great tea and appreciate the healthy life style it brings.  With all of us living in China, we frequently travel through the country visiting China’s tea plantations so we can track down only truly exceptional teas.  As a result we are able to bring to you – and us – the absolute highest quality Chinese teas that are, wherever possible, 100% organically grown and produced. – From the TeaVivre website

I’m hoping it will be clearing customs soon and into my cup as soon as it arrives.  I’ve received samples from them in the past and they have yet to disappoint in quality and quantity.

I’ve also received a request from Kiss Me Organics to review some matcha.  So I’ve got that to come to the blog as well!

PLUS the Troy, NY Whistling Kettle location will be opening on March 21st!  Naturally I’m hoping to get in there opening weekend to do a review of the new space!  Fingers crossed as I know it’s going to be a popular spot in downtown.

Now that I am finally on the mend I hope to be back to blogging here more.  Even if it’s a simple review from something in my tea cabinet.

Until next time…

Taking Tea With _____ to return!

On the old blog (by the same name) I did this thing called “Taking Tea With _____” and I filled it in usually with fictional folks I enjoy watching on the television.  Usually these tea trips were made possible with help by The Doctor and his Blue Box.  Sadly these posts have vanished into thin air like a puff of smoke.

Well, all that is about to change.  And hopefully they turn out as good as the old ones did.

So stay tuned as my tea taking tales will return sometime this week! 

Should have been doing this ALL day...

Should have been doing this ALL day…

Everything is coming up TEA!

As you can see I’ve been adding things here and there today to the blog.  I’m always open to suggestions.  There are not links to tea companies I like/have shopped with as well as bloggers I enjoy reading up on.  If you know of one I should add please let me know.

I’ve also been reclaiming my tea cabinet today – which now looks like this…

I need to find a place for the serving dishes...

I need to find a place for the serving dishes…

Everything is finally back in one place!  My tea heart is again happy.  Keep an eye out as I keep adding to the blog and tweaking things here and there too.  But now?  Tea and lunch!

Do you like tea? {@whistlingkettle}

Of course you do!  Why else would you be reading this?  Anyway, if you live locally in the “518″ and you like tea then you may be excited to learn that a much loved tea local is opening a second location in Troy, NY!

That’s right kids – The Whistling Kettle is opening a second location in March in downtown Troy!  Right on Broadway not far from Monument Square.  Even better, more seating, a room for events, and not that far of a drive for those of us familiar with the Ballston Spa location.  Which I love, but it’s often a special trip because it take us somewhere close to 45 minutes to get there.

For those not familiar with one of my favorite local tea spots.  The Whistling Kettle offers many tasty eats including afternoon tea – soup/salad, sammich, and dessert, plus a pot of your choice of tea!  You may also order items individually.

Yum!

Yum!

They also have pretty amazing gluten free menu options too.  Which for me is equally awesome.  They also have quite the vast and varied selection of teas.  I never leave without a bag or two of some tea or another.  Looking for tea wares?  They have you covered there too!

You can visit/shop them on the web by clicking here.  Check them out!

Did you miss me?

So, I’m back!  Did you miss me?  I thought you might have.  I was going to try the whole – one blog two topics, but that wasn’t really working out very well for me…seeing as I NEVER really ended up posting about tea things.  Go figure.

So I’m hoping this will become my new “home” for reviewing tea again.  Plus I’m bringing back my “Taking Tea With” bits that I used to host on the old tea blog.  They were fun and people seemed to enjoy them.

This will of course involve me setting up a schedule again for blogging, but I love schedules and order.  Which means it shouldn’t be very difficult at all.  Well, at least I hope not!

Away we go!

Still one of my favorite photos.

Still one of my favorite photos.

Welcome!

Hello and welcome to the new home of The Purrfect Cup! I’m glad to have you stop by.

We will be under construction for a bit as I settle into my new home on the web. So please hang in there while my husband/web guy and I work out the kinks that comes with a new place on the web.

I can tell you a little of what you can expect in the near future:

  • Recap of World Tea East 2012
  • Tea reviews of the tea samples from World Tea East
  • Guest posts
  • Taking Tea With ____ (this was a somewhat regular feature on my old blog)
  • Product reviews
  • Tea promotions and information from around the internet
  • Interviews with up and comers in the industry and those who have been in the tea industry for a while.
  • And an e-newsletter!

Again, thank you for coming by, please remember to come back and see what’s new!