Sunday, October 25, 2009

Napa Farmer's Market Season Comes to an End

A quick post today. I just returned from a weekend in Los Angeles—a mixture of work and pleasure. Isn’t it always? I am home for a day before I head out to Chicago to return to another busy weekend. Fall is in the air, Halloween is fast approaching, and the Napa Farmer’s Market season is coming to an end. Next Saturday, October 31st marks the last day. Don’t miss it! New teas will be on hand. I personally look forward to stocking up on my favorite produce and goodies, as well as wishing all of the vendors a successful off-season.

We will miss visiting with customers in person each Saturday, but I assure you, the Tea Drinker will not miss the 5:30am wake up call. He is looking forward to future Saturdays of sleeping in! A big thank you to our customers for their support this season! You are the best. In the meantime, if you need us---feel free to visit us at

Drinking 1992 Pu-erh, and enjoying being home for the moment. Remember to visit and support your local farmer's market before the season comes to an end.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gone Fishin' Again

Reporting from Singer Island, FL

Last week my adventures in peddling wine took me to Tampa, Naples, Miami and ended with a wine dinner at The Resort at Singer Island with Solu Restaurant . The dinner was sold out, and a huge hit. It was a fun evening had by all, as we enjoyed lots of fabulous wine alongside a memorable meal. After this whirlwind week, I could not resist the temptation to stay for the weekend and settle into a bit of rest and relaxation. It did not take me long to convince the Tea Drinker to join me on this getaway(sorry Mops & Pops that we did not make it Sarasota this trip).

Coincidentally, last week also corresponded with opening season of Stone Crab. The Tea Drinker and I consumed our fair share of deliciously fresh crab over two days, and debated back and forth whether we preferred this variety to its West Coast rival: Dungeness Crab. In the end, we both agreed our hearts were dedicated to Dungeness Crab(season usually starts mid-November). We were first introduced to Dungeness Crab about 13 years ago at a slightly run-down seafood restaurant located in Coos Bay, Oregon. I ordered from the menu with trepidation and stared blankly at our waitress as she inquired if I would like to select my meal from the tank. Gulp. No, thank you. Soon, a beautiful pink crustacean arrived before me, and again I was at a loss for words. How the heck was I to tackle devouring this lovely creature? I breathed a sigh of relief as the waitress man-handled my meal, cracking and crunching the crab right before my eyes. That experience sent me on a lifelong mission of seeking out crab season each year.

Then, there is Alaskan King Crab. For my fortieth birthday, friends surprised me with Fisherman's Express delivered right to my door at our Sea Ranch escape. My Mom was celebrating with us that weekend, and as I opened the box, she exclaimed, “I hope you have butter!”. Not to worry, we always have the goods. In my quest for all things crustacean, it wouldn't be right to leave out soft shell crab. Another favorite of mine, especially if it’s tempura fried and served with a side of pimento cheese grits at the Peninsula Grill located in Charleston, SC. It's no coincidence that my wine travels bring me to the South during season each year.

Go ahead and ask. I am sure you are dying to know how Drink the Leaf loose leaf teas pair with all things crab? I have no idea. I was too busy cracking Stone Crab, wiping creamy mustard sauce off my chin, and slurping down Chardonnay.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Got Goose Bumps? Drink Tea.

It was a cool 52 degrees in Napa this morning. Foggy and cozy. A perfect setting for drinking tea all day. The Tea Drinker’s Internet and Farmer’s Market sales have certainly picked up with the recent dip in temperature. Cool weather brings back tea drinkers who were on a hiatus over the summer months from our favorite beverage. Welcome back! We are ready for you with lots of new tea selections—perfect for fall and the upcoming winter months.

Put on your fuzzy slippers, dig out a handy infuser, and select your favorite Drink the Leaf loose leaf tea. Next, shelf those stressful thoughts about Thanksgiving plans, Christmas gift shopping, raking leaves and preparing for fall, end of year travel season, and selling lots of wine…Whoa- Sorry, I got carried away. Focus--pour yourself a cup of tea and soothe your worries away…

What’s your fancy? Here are mine:

Organic Golden Monkey- I crave this tea. I start most mornings by bellowing from bed that I need this tea. Sorry, Keemun- I still love you, and will call soon. Golden Monkey will make you want to jump around and hang from the chandeliers. A flavorful organic black tea from the Yunnan Province. You will love the finish –cocoa, cocoa, and more cocoa. Try it!

Organic Chic Chai- This tea screams that fall and winter are here! Break out this aromatic tea and you will warm up right away. Black tea intermingled with cardamom and vanilla. Add milk and sugar if you really want to go all out.

Organic Golden Pu-erh- Definitely one of the coziest teas we offer. Any time that I mention Pu-erh to someone, the first thing they say, “Is that the tea that is buried in the ground?” Okay, what’s not appealing about that?! Pu-erh is ancient, rare and mysterious. Enjoy this tea after dinner; a perfect answer for when you want to grab another glass of wine. Instead, steep yourself a cup of Golden Pu-erh. Your head will thank you in the morning.

Go ahead, put the kettle on!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Chicken Wing Dance

Why do I crave Buffalo Chicken Wings whenever I am exhausted? Maybe this craving stems from college, where I ran myself ragged, and consumed my fair share of junk food. It’s a Pavlov response—my eyes droop, and I crave hot wings. Seriously, I love chicken wings. Many of my friends have been subjected to the chicken wing dance(not a pretty sight), and they still hang out with me. Nearly 18 years ago we left Buffalo and headed to the West Coast embarking on a journey that also forced us to begin a quest to find the ultimate chicken wing-- reminiscent of our hometown specialty. Time and time again we have had to settle for mediocre wings, but we never gave up. One whiff of hot sauce, and we were running to find the source.

After years of sampling chicken wings within a 60 mile radius, we thought our quest was numbered. Then out of nowhere I saw a blaring Wing Stop neon sign from the highway, and nearly drove off the road. Should I pull in? It was ten o’clock at night; I was in Oakland and alone. But, it was chicken wings. I pulled into the parking lot and made a call to the Tea Drinker. I could hardly contain myself, as I blurted out, “Have you heard of the Wing Stop?". He had not, and it didn't matter. I announced, "I’m going in”. We agreed that if I did not call back within 20 minutes, a phone call to the chicken wing police was in order. I strutted in and immediately felt light-headed. My nostrils flared as the familiar aroma of hot sauce filled the air. I giggled. My eyes darted to the menu. It was perfectly simple-- wings with nine different sauces, fresh-cut fries, coleslaw, and baked beans. I had really hit the jack pot. The place was teeming with people enjoying themselves. Baskets of wings, loads of napkins, and huge helpings of blue cheese (the real kind) littered every table.

I gathered my double order of wings with extra blue cheese and headed home. In anticipation, my mouth watered the whole way to Napa . This was such big news, that I even called my best friend. We excitedly planned trips to the Wing Stop in the near future. Once home, the Tea Drinker and I devoured the bounty, and stole knowingly glances at each other. We had finally won. Right there and then, we made the chicken wing pact. Every time I returned from the Oakland Airport, I would need to bring home the goods. The Tea Drinker eagerly pulled out my travel schedule to find out how many times we could eat chicken wings before the end of the month. I was concerned. With this new find, I was surely bound to gain back that Freshmen 15 from college.

We carried on like this for months, until one day I received a frantic phone call from my best friend. She yelled into the phone, “You will never believe this. I just saw a Wing Stop in American Canyon!” I could not believe my luck. The Wing Stop was now a mere 15 miles from our home. So, today, after surviving a very successful exhausting weekend celebration, I announced to the Tea Drinker that it was definitely a “chicken wing” day. He agreed. But first, we set aside our new arrivals of Pu-erh (the perfect digestive) to enjoy after the feast. We are not rookies.

Our favorite stand by order: Ten Original Hot, Ten Garlic Parmesan, Extra blue cheese, and an order of fresh-cut fries. Enjoy Drink the Leaf Golden Pu-erh to settle your stomach.