Sunday, March 1, 2009

Crowds and heavenly Empress scones

We had to wait at several of the booths. The people stood three deep. One bakery had an extensive sampling of healthy treats: gluten-free cookies and pastries. They were pretty good but could not compete with the whipped-cream slathered scones passed out by The Empress Hotel.

Several booths whisked up matcha, the powdered green tea used in Japanese tea ceremony. I took a class in this at the University of Washington and still have my tea whisk.

I was disapointed at the scarcity of straight tea like Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon, etc. Most of the vendors seemed to be enamored of tea blends. Various flowers and herbs blended with the teas made up most of the offerings. With a few exceptions, such as jasmine tea, Earl Grey and chai, I don't like tea flavored with flowers or spices. And don't get me started on the herbal "teas". These should be labeled as tisanes and are an entirely different subject.

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