Verily Magazine | The Art of Tea

Hooray for the first issue of Verily Magazine! It’s been a year since the teaser issue (remember the magret de canard?) and I can’t wait for the second. Huge thank you to Krizia for being such a wonderful editor to work with, and Alice for making this piece look extra beautiful with her photography. 

Subscribe to the magazine here, and check out my article on page 78. It’s all about curating a basic at-home tea collection…get the staples down and then branch out from there. We stopped by Le Palais des Thés (so happy they now have two locations in NYC) to handpick teas worthy of your soon-to-be collection ^_^

A Tea Wing Matcha Kit

Here’s a little primer on matcha… 

…specifically the matcha from Tea Wing.  

It all starts with the water…

…and this exquisite matcha kit. 

 They’ve got three types of matcha:

I. Shinme is ideal for usucha, or thin matcha. Shinme has a distinct element of astringency that you want from a good thin matcha.

II. Hibiki can be used to make usucha and thicker koicha. Hibiki produces a very concentrated flavor and creaminess, with the bitterness and astringency muted when it’s made as koicha.

III. Kiwami is best for koicha. This matcha is made from the most tender, highest-grade tea leaves. The result is a tea that is the sweetest of the three and most velvety on the tongue.

The reward for opening a brand new tin of matcha? That distinct pop and then the puff of matcha into the air. Almost as rewarding as the drink itself.

There are a number of tools required to make a proper bowl of matcha and the kit has everything you need (matcha included ;) Clockwise from top-left:  a Karatsu-yaki chawan tea bowl, the matcha felt-lined trivet (for the kettle), white oak chashaku tea scoop, stone scoop rest, and Chasen whisk (all from Japan). The box is made in Brooklyn by Pat Kim…and as a bonus, the kit’s lid also functions as a removable serving tray.

To make Usucha (thin matcha), whisk 2 sifted chashaku scoops (1.5 grams) of matcha with 2.5 ounces of 190°F water. Whisk vigorously in an “M” or “Z” shape until a thin foam appears on top. For koicha (thick matcha), use 4 scoops of matcha and 2 ounces 190°F water. Knead the matcha in a circle or cross pattern until lumps are removed.

Pair with wagashi (I am in love with this chocolate porcupine) and you are good to go ^_^

Man Wah’s Hong Kong Dim Sum at the Mandarin Oriental New York

Hello! Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday. I am staying inside with the air conditioning at full blast because it is too hot for anything else. Prosecco, gelato, and ice cold showers are the only things I crave today ^_^ 

For you dim sum fans, take note! This is one worth splurging for and you only have until Sunday (7/7) to check it out. The chefs from Man Wah in Hong Kong are over at the Mandarin Oriental New York and they’ve put together a stellar menu. It’s served in the same room as afternoon tea (here, here, and here) and is a welcome change from NYC’s down and dirty Chinatown dim sum (which isn’t even that good).

See my Serious Eats post for a look behind the scenes with Chef Man Sing Lee – he’s been making dim sum at Man Wah for 26 years.  

On the menu are steamed tiger prawn dumplings…

…scallop siu mai,

…black pepper wagyu beef puffs (this one was my favorite!)…

…char siu bao…

 …deep-fried shrimp spring rolls, pork and black truffle dumplings, morel and wild mushroom dumplings…

…black sesame filled jin dui…

…and osmanthus jelly.