January 29, 2007

Japanese luncheons with tea

Tea is an anytime of day drink. I have a cup of tea every morning. Occasionally, if the weather is very cold, I will have a second cup in the early evening. Recently, I have had the pleasure of noon tea, accompanied by a Japanese lunch. In the first instance, we went to O Chame (4th Street, Berkeley) to try their bento box lunches, but the bento boxes were sold out on the day of our visit. So we ordered from the regular lunch menu (arugula with golden beets and salted boiled egg; crimini mushroom and green onion pancake; roasted oysters/ wakame seaweed/ daikon sprouts soup; caramel balsamic gelato). We also ordered tea - Darjeeling (Puttabong 1st flush) and Keemun (Hao Yao A). Unfortunately I lost the tasting notes.

A few days ago, my friend U prepared a delicious Japanese vegetarian lunch (sukiyaki) for three and I contributed the tea - Boh Cameronian. After lunch, we drank the tea with pastries. I ate three types of brownies - homemade cheese cake brownie, a nut brownie from a local bakery, and a packaged brownie. The homemade brownie was the best in taste, alone and with the tea. The Boh Cameronian worked less well with the other pastries. The tea has a full-bodied, roasted flavor which overwhelmed the delicate butter cookies, but accentuated the chocolate notes of the brownies.

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