Wednesday, August 10, 2011
COFFEES and TEAS from AFRICA and ASIA
Been falling behind on my coffees (mainly due to the long holiday – didn’t take any of my specials with me).
These specials are coming to me monthly, thanks to my membership of the Robert Roberts Connoisseur Club. I’m not the connoisseur, by the way, but I sure am enjoying these offerings.
They changed continents in May, moving from South America to Africa, to Malawi in particular. And Roberts came up with a gem here: Malawi Mzuzu AAA. The co-op produces some cracking examples of Arabica coffee.
This had a substantial body, well balanced from start to finish and one that you won't be leaving behind you until you finish it off.
The June offering also came from Africa, from somewhat further north. It is Organic Ethiopian Yiracheffe. This is aromatic and quite rich, darker than the Malawian because Master blender Gareth Scully wanted to “ensure those wind and earthy citrus flavours are there with a good spicy aroma and a full syrupy aftertaste”.
Must admit I’d find it difficult to discern all the scents and flavours mentioned by Gareth but it is certainly one good cup of coffee.
It is back cross the Atlantic for the July pack: Organic Peruvian Cecovesa. I haven’t opened that yet but better get a move on before the August offering arrives.
On the tea front, I’ve been enjoying recent purchases from Little Buddha in McCurtain Street, particularly the plain Shu Pu Erh, a four year old from the Menghai district in the Yunnan province of China.
The other loose tea I have at present is Pu Erh Pomegranate and Nettle (also includes orange peel and thistle flowers). This flavoured mix (79% black Pu Erh) has quite a sweet smell in the bag but that doesn’t mean the tea in the cup smells of seeds and flowers.
It does have a flowery scent for sure and that is transferred, in a very moderate way, to the cup, which I find, somewhat to my surprise, quite tasty indeed. A nice change from the straight Pu Erh.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Got a good nose for that those strange things the experts find when they sniff a sample of wine? No wine in Little Buddha’s in McCurtain Street but you could certainly give your sniffing "muscles" a workout in this treasure trove of teas and coffees from around the world.
Called in there today, after a longish absence, on the lookout for some Pu-erh, the black Chinese tea. They had at least six on the packed table (must have been about 100 types altogether).
Lifted the lids on the big jars and sniffed. Some were very flowery (you could see the petals and stems) and in the end I settled for some Shu Pu Erh and some Pu Erh Pomegranate and Nettle.
The first is a four year old loose black tea, from the Menghai district in Yunnan province, the second is 79% tea to which have been added nettle leaves (7.2%) and pomegranate seeds (1.3%).
I let slip that I had been drinking branded varieties of Pu Erh. The lady was rather shocked. “Oh, those are very weak.” She warned. “These are much stronger. For the morning, not for the evening.”
They also have a big selection of flavoured coffees and lots of accessories. If you can't get into town (to give those sniffers a test), then the next best thing to view the website.
North Main Street proved fruitful. Called into Michael in Bradley’s for some Howling Gale made by the Eight Degree Brewery in Mitchelstown.
Man does not live by beer alone so next stop was Daily Bread, just a few doors up, where I bought a lovely Country Loaf. The young lady behind the counter while plying me with a sample of their breads along with some tasty Spanish ham told me they had recently taken over the shop and would have some publicity material available shortly. I’ll let you know.
O’Brien Chop House are well known for their Curry Nights but there are some big differences on July 22nd as the event is being held in Ballyvolane House and is in aid of charity. Get the details here.
Friday, September 24, 2010
CORK FOOD TRAIL
Great standard of service and courtesy, not to mention the smiles, in all four. And, perhaps because of that type of service, each had plenty of customers.
Brennan’s Cook Shop in Oliver Plunket Street has all the utensils and bits and pieces (not ingredients, mind you, though they do have some flavourings and colourings) you need for your baking and cooking and if you can't do either, they have a course for you.
Up to Maher’s then, also on Oliver Plunket Street, for some coffee. They have a huge selection, loads of types of tea too and I noticed the price of their accessories is very keen. After a bit of advice, I bought myself some Sumatran for my cafetiere.
Princes Street was next and the visit was to Nash 19 to stock up from the shop. Some terrific food here including readymade meals from which I bought the lamb Tagine and couscous. Also stocked up with some gorgeous Glenilen yogurts and the magnificent Sparkling Apple Juice from Tipperary’s Apple Farm.
Having sampled Jack McCarthy’s Gold Medal black-pudding in midweek, I said I’ve give his Duhallow Heather Lamb sausage a go. Sampled one just there at lunch and it was outstanding. Worth another gold.
McCurtain Street was next on the list and here I paid a visit to the coffee and tea shop of Little Buddha that is a treasure trove. Was looking for a particular type of Rooibos but it was out of stock. But there were still five to choose from, so I wasn't disappointed.
They also do scented candles, essentials oils, caddies, flavoured coffee, and all kinds of tea and coffee accessories. If you can't get to McCurtain Street, do have a look at their website. You can order on online and soon the range will be even greater. Worth a look. But if you can get to the shop, do so, as it is hard to better smelling the various types of teas yourself.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
(teas and coffees)
There are massive selections of teas and coffees from all around the world in the Little Buddha shop in McCurtain Street. The tea, by the way, is in leaf form, no tea bags in this friendly Czech run shop.
There are dozens of jars there and you smell each one individually before purchase. Just to put my foot in the water, I asked to see the Pu Erh. There were at least four of them. I liked the smell of the regular Shu the best, a four year old from the Menghai district in Yunnan province. Fifty grammes cost me €4.80.
My companion also made a purchase and the man behind the counter threw in some Rooibos (from South Africa) as a freebie.
This little shop is a welcome addition to the food scene here and indeed is attracting people from abroad. While we were window-shopping before we went in, a French couple arrived, Michelin green guidebook in hand, and went directly in and purchased a large amount.
www.littlebuddha.ie (will be operational soon for online sales)
Check out my review of Little Buddha - I am cork - on Qype