Monday, September 15, 2014

Third Tea Tasting at The Rendezvous With Tea

On Monday, September 8th, a friend and I returned to The Rendezvous With Tea for our third tea tasting.  It was a busy day before our trip to Delaware, but we didn't want to miss it. Naszreen, the Sri Lankan born owner, didn't disappoint us.

The tea tasting area was set up for eight teas, and we began with a white Pai Mu Tan from China's Fujian Province.

It was followed by Bora Bora Mango Rooibos herb tea.  Rooibos means red bush, grown in South Africa.  While it is referred to as tea, it isn't a true tea since it doesn't come from the camellia sinensis plant.

Next was another herb tea called Relax, made with Chamomile, Mint and Lemongrass.

We moved on to a Green Sencha tea grown in the Zheijiang Province of China. Sencha is traditionally a Japanese tea.

The fifth tea we sampled was called Earl Grey green tea from Sri Lanka. I found it interesting that Earl Grey green tea is named after Sir Albert Henry George, the 4th Earl of Grey who lived between 1851 and 1917, while the Earl Grey black tea is named after the 2nd Earl of Grey. 

Sir Albert, who was Canada's Governor General, made a visit to Newfoundland, which was still part of England at that time.  A magnificent tea party was planned at the front of the Parliament House, but two days before, a bolt of lightening struck the storage shed and destroyed the tea.  A young Scotsman named Angus McAfee, remembered that a new stock of bergamot had just arrived from the West Indies, and his grandfather had just received a new shipment of green gunpowder tea from Ceylon.  He spent the next 48 hours blending the tea which became Earl Grey Green.

The Earl Grey green tea was followed by a Formosa Oolong tea from northern Taiwan, and the seventh sampling was Adam's Peak Breakfast Tea, a black tea from Sri Lanka.  It is said by some in Christian tradition that Adam's Peak is where our first ancestor, Adam, set foot when he was exiled from the Garden of Eden.  

In my humble opinion, Naszreen saved the best tea for the last as it's her own special black tea blend called Magical Motown which she just received from Sri Lanka in July.   She's had four black teas blended to represent areas where she has lived.  This tea, made with Apple Essence [Apple Blossoms are Michigan's State Flower] rose petals, and vanilla represents the Detroit area of Michigan perfectly.

To my knowledge, it's the only tea that has been blended to represent the area.  Kudos to Naszreen for making it happen!  Detroit has been dubbed the Automobile Capital of the world since Ford, GM and Chrysler automobiles are manufactured there, but Motown is also the name of the American Record Company founded in 1959 by Berry Gordon, Jr., where groups such as the Four Tops, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, and many other artists recorded their albums.

The cupcakes Naszreen made to serve at the conclusion of her tasting were made with Magical Motown tea and garnished with apple slices and rose petals.  At some point the recipe will be on her website.

A wedge of Quiche made with Applewood smoked cheese and sun dried tomatoes accompanied the cupcake.  Both were delicious!

Almost everyone wanted a full-size cup of Magical Motown tea to accompany their food, and Naszreen graciously provided it.

Naszreen mentioned that one of America's leading tea authorities, James Norwood Pratt, has visited her shop twice while visiting a relative in the area.

For local readers, check the tea tastings schedule on her website to sign-up.  They are limited to ten and reservations fill up quickly.  The tea shop is a 13-year dream come true for Naszreen, and there is no place like it in southeastern Michigan.  She carries over 222 loose teas in her shop and it is well worth a visit.  She will celebrate the 1st anniversary of her opening in November, and I'm doing my part to help spread the word to keep the shop successfully thriving for many years to come! 

Thank you, Naszreen for another well-done, enjoyable tea tasting!


  1. What a wonderful opportunity! Again, I'm convinced you live in the best possible place in the US for all things tea - you can get to so many things! yay!

  2. You have so many wonderful opportunities around you! I really appreciate you sharing with us who are more geographically challenged/rural. Love it!

  3. Those teas all sound good, and especially the Motown one!

  4. This does sound like a wonderful tea shop, and I'm happy you're helping spread the word. Love the name of that "Magical Motown" blend!


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