Tea News - It's Tea Time! – Page 2 – A.muse Projects
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Nib + Noble Recipe - Chocolate Vegan and Gluten Free Banana Bread

Warm your belly with this yummy healthy banana bread! 

Now that's what you call comfort on a plate. Warmed slightly, it will be the night cap you have been searching for along side a nice warm cup of hot chocolate. 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cups N+N Organic Drinking Chocolate (Original used but any variety works) 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 ripe (spotty) bananas 
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup soy milk (or preferred)
Optional: 

       Method

        1. Pre-heat your oven to 190ºC.
        2. Mix the ground flax seeds and water together. Allow it sit for 15 minutes to thicken.
        3. Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine the flour, drinking chocolate, baking powder and salt. Stir mixture until well combined.
        4. In a separate bowl mash the ripe bananas until they form a purée. Then add the vanilla extract, melted vegan butter, soy milk, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup and the flax seed mixture. Mix until well combined.
        5. Add the wet mixture to dry ingredients and carefully fold together until just combined, do not over mix.
        6. Pour the mixture into an 8 x 4-inch greased bread pan. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar and place vegan chocolate chips 
        7. Bake the bread at 190ºC for approximately 50-55 mins. Stick a long skewer in the centre to check if it's done. It should come out relatively clean when the bread has cooked. Once removed from the oven, allow bread to cool out of the pan on a rack before cutting. 
        8. Drizzle chocolate sauce on top to serve (optional)
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      Are Tea Pods going to kill loose leaf tea brewing?

      With the launch of our latest product - Tea Pods, the last few weeks has been nothing short of exciting. We are extremely thrilled to see many are as excited as us about our Tea Pods and embracing them with wide open arms!

      At our most recent two public events, we couldn’t be happier to see and hear the ‘wowS’ our customers exclaim after having discovered our Tea Pods and some even exclaiming (excuse our language) ‘About bloody time!’. Having seen first hand the positive reactions and feedback from our customers and fellow tea geeks, we are extremely humbled!



      During the one and half year when we spent discussing, debating and experimenting, the biggest question which we had anticipated many might ask or have already asked us -

      Why brew tea in the form of a pod instead of loose tea?”

      our response is simple:

      We aren’t trying to change the way anyone brews tea or having people stop brewing loose tea. We are offering an alternative.

      Some enjoy brewing loose tea leaves in Gaiwans / enjoying brewing in tea pots as it brings some peace and it’s a form of a ritual. But there’s also another group who prefers the convenience of brewing up tea bags in a cup as it brings them the convenience of not having to clean up loose tea leaves in tea pots or infusers. Similarly, with our Tea Pods, we are offering tea in a different vessel form - pod. It brings convenience for anyone in a rush or lack of patience to clean up loose tea or wait 3-5mins for a cup of tea with a tea bag. We want to take that one step further to attempt getting hardcore coffee drinkers to try some teas with their machines too. Providing them an alternative beverage with their existing machine at home or office.

      We know, understand and appreciate the beauty of the tea leaves, the tea plant, the tea farms and the hard work put in by tea farmers to create and grow amazing teas. We love our loose teas as much as our tea bags and as much as our tea pods. We aren’t looking to change how people drink tea. We are simply offering and providing an alternative vessel for tea for us, for you and anyone. At the end of the day, enjoy and appreciate tea in any form possible at all! ❤️

      Tea Leaves

      Fresh tea leaves harvested by us.

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      #amuseprojectstravels to Bangkok, Thailand

      Singaporeans love travelling to Thailand for a number of reasons: cheap and good food, extremely affordable massages, beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and ever-growing cafe/coffee scene. I personally am guilty as charged especially for the awesome massage and local food. I would never ever refuse a massage session unless I’ve had two sessions the day before, terrible I know.
      Beyond all the goodness mentioned above, in the last year or two, I’ve really started looking forward to visiting Bangkok for a new reason - to check out the local tea scene. No, not our not-so-secret-favourite Thai milk tea, but their specialty and artisanal teas! Some may not be aware but there’s a local tea movement brewing in Thailand. There are a few notable tea houses / cafes to check out in Bangkok and here are some from my recent visit! They are listed in no particular order! What I loved about each of the tea houses / cafes was that each had something unique / different to offer making my tea-house-hopping experience very interesting!
      Enjoy visiting them and do let me know what you thought about them!
      1. Peace Oriental Teahouse
      Peace Oriental Bangkok by A.Muse Projects
      Known for specialising in Japanese teas e.g. Matcha, Hojicha, Sencha. 
      They do offer other teas e.g. oolong and black teas we well.
      It was quite a walk from the BTS station to the location plus the weather was really warm and humid.  I was in desperate need of a cold drink / dessert when I arrived and I could not help but order their Hojicha Extremist - Hojicha ice cream coated with black charcoal, flash freezed and served with a side of sticky rice! It was definitely perfect treat in the weather! 
       
      2. The Orange’s Tea
      I had previously met sweet Chanya (owner) in Singapore and when I learnt that she had opened a tea room of her own, I had to visit! I loved how quaint and cosy her little space was. She serves up a wide range of single estate teas (pure teas) as well as blended teas. But what I loved most was her nitro fresh brews! I'm mad in love with her Nitro Hipster Moroccan and savouring it in my memories! Absolutely refreshing and flavourful. Also made me feel like I was sipping a beer! 
       
      3. Te Time and Space
      I’ve long heard about @thetepot in the tea scene in Thailand and I’ve previously gone to different retail shops to try their teas prior to my last trip. I were super thrilled to find out that they had recently just opened up a tea house of their own in Thong Lor! Te Time and Space is a 3-storey space with workshop space and tea bar at the 3rd level. You will be able to see them brewing up fresh teas for you at the tea bar. If you are feeling up for a chat, sit at the bar to chat the lovely couple (Nanthida Ratanakul and Nattakit Udomsrirat) who started Te! I was very fortunate to have met them and had a chance to chat about Thailand’s tea industry and I am extremely envious of how they have access to a world of herbs grown locally in Thailand! I ordered an iced version of their midsummer dream and it was absolutely tangy and refreshing! Loved the colour of the drink too. Perks one’s mood up immediately!
      P.S. either take a cab or tuktuk over as it’s a fairly long walk to the nearest BTS station. We took about 25mins to walk back to the BTS.
      4. Seven Suns - Energy Tea Lounge
      Serves up a wide range of tea selection but Matcha is their signature! 
      I took awhile to find this place as Google Maps was taking me all over the place. But you’ll be rewarded with a solid good Matcha when you finally find the place!
      Oh, did I mention there's free wifi available?
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      Prana Chai Apple Muffins Recipe

      Craving for something sweet and healthy that goes super well with tea? 

      From the official Prana Chai cookbook, here is a tried and tested recipe that you'll love!

      Ingredients:

      • 2 tablespoons of Prana Chai, Masala Blend

      • 200ml of milk

      • 2 cups of self-raising our

      • 1 cup of brown sugar

      • 2 eggs

      • 100ml of olive oil
      • 200g of diced poached or tinned apples
      • 15g / 1 tablespoon of butter, melted
      • 1 tablespoon of raw sugar
      • 1⁄2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

      Instructions:

      1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place muffin liners in a muffin tin.

      1. In a small saucepan, place the Prana Chai and the milk.Slowly bring to a boil then turn off the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes before straining. Set aside to allow to cool (about 5 minutes).

      2. In a large bowl, mix the flour and brown sugar.

      3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and strained milk.

      4. Stir the egg mixture into the flour, mix gently, then fold through the apples.

      5. Pour the mixture into the muffin cases, lining them to about 3⁄4 full.

      6. Place it in the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes.

      7. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Combine the sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle on top of muffin while still warm.

      Have you tried this recipe? We want to see your photos and videos! Tag us on social media with #pranachaisg and @amuseprojects

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      Chinese New Year & Tea Traditions

      When we think of Chinese New Year  ("CNY") traditions the first thoughts that come to mind is probably giving out and / or receiving red packets 红包 or indulging in all the festive snacks e.g. Pineapple Tarts and Bak Kwa. 

      What you may not know is that tea is also present in many CNY traditions. 

      For example, on the first day of the traditional CNY celebrations, guests are welcomed with tea and sweet fruits and treats to sweeten the upcoming year. It is not unusual for the treats to be arranged in eight units for each tray (for auspicious reasons). 

      In China, every region has different traditions when it comes to how teas play a part in the New Year celebrations. One of the popular practices is to brew up premium pure tea and serving it to the oldest member of the family who then passes it on to the younger members. Pu'erh and Tie Guan Yin are often chosen for this ceremony and passed around with a tray of sweets, called "the box of prosperity".

      Photos credits: @imehly

      Another example is found in Southern China where guests are usually welcomed with three cups of tea.

      Each cup has a meaning: 

      First cup is sweet to bring "sweetness" in the near year;

      Second cup is a smoked bean tea, a blend of tea leaves, shredded carrots, orange peels, perilla seeds and sesame seeds. It's said to wish "harmony"; and

      Final cup is instead a cup of simple green tea, offered after a meal to conclude the tea ceremony. 

      Have you heard of any other tea tradition? Do share them with us. 

      Gong Xi Fa Cai wishing you and your families a very happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!

       

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