Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Afternoon Tea Delights at Marco Polo

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Feeling fancy schmancy with your pinky up? Hie off to the Connect Lounge  at the 24th level of  Marco Polo Hotel  for some afternoon tea and delightful bites. Discover Althaus a  global brand of tea that originated in Germany.

Yesterday afternoon, with the panoramic view   of  Ortigas (and beyond)  from the floor to ceiling window of Connect Lounge , we quite enjoyed learning all about this wonderful beverage  from the Brand Ambassador of Althaus himself.

Scoop, Slurp, Swirl or Tea 101
with  Mr. Alvin Elman, Brand Ambassador of Althaus

Did you know that the person whose expertise is Tea is also called a sommelier?  Yes, apparently that definitive term is not limited to wine alone as Mr. Alvin Elman is only too delighted to share with us.

So thus begun our journey to the interesting world of steeped leaves,  bouquet, slurping  and rediscovering our salivary glands  while listening to Mr. Elman churn out facts with gusto  about this refreshing beverage.

It was like Wine 101 actually. There were parallelisms drawn by our Tea Sommelier

For instance,  just like with wine there were food pairings too!

7 Selections of Tea

Black Tea
Traditional English Breakfast

Medium bodied , malty, this tea can be mixed with cream or milk to balance out the strong flavor. You will detect a little bit of acidity at the end due to the red soil the leaves were planted on.

Just like Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon, Mr. Alvin shares that the black tea pairs well with rich and  saucy food, barbecued chicken or duck,  or these amazing curry chicken and roast beef tea sandwiches at Connect Lounge

Important : 3 minutes steeping time. Do not keep inside the tea pot

Interesting tidbit :  Apparently can be mixed with red label whiskey to make a delicious cocktail

Black Flavored Tea
Imperial Earl Grey

Black Flavored tea incorporates bergamot.  

Per Wikipedia , Citrus bergamia the bergamot orange, is a fragrant citrus fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow or green color similar to a lime, depending on ripeness. Genetic research into the ancestral origins of extant citrus cultivars found bergamot orange to be a probable hybrid of lemon and bitter orange. 

Per our tea sommelier, we can drink Black Flavored Tea with milk and cream and a slice of lemon.

Although lighter in intensity and with citrus notes relative to its black tea counterpart, this will pair well too with savory food

Or sweet pastries...

Red velvet tea cake's richness will be balanced out by the robust flavor of the black tea

Tip : Blends well with light whiskey too to make Iced Tea Cocktails

Green Tea

If only for its highest anti oxidant property, this is my most favorite tea . Reminiscent  of  freshly cut grass in the morning, this tea retains its healthy quality because it is not fermented unlike its black tea relative.

I just need to remember to 1)  boil it at 90-120 Celsius 2) steep it for 3 minutes max 3) take the tea out of the tea pot after brewing time 4) No need to add sugar because of its natural sweetness

Pairs well with pork buns,  siomai, sashimi, sushi, etc. 

Green Flavored Tea

Flavored with rosehip hibiscus sunflower citrus and lemon , this was a refreshing treat. Fish, light meat, steamed chicken, siomai, dimsum  would be suitable pairing so with anything with garlic and onion or  fresh fruits


What do you know ? Apparently , chamomile and peppermint are not teas at all because they have no caffeine nor tannin. They are digestives or aperitif that helps us relax and best panacea for colds and flu

Note : Steeping is 4-5 minutes. Mr. Alvin recommends we brew in a cup rather than a pot

Bavarian Mint
Herbal Infusion

Just a whiff of the eucalyptus on  this  tea already calms and puts you in a serene mood. No wonder it is used as an antidote to  migraines and headaches

Because of the mint ,  this tea variant can also be  a sorbet to cleanse your palate and prepare you for the next meal.

Manila Mango
Flavored Fruit Infusion

With sour  notes , Mr. Elman recommends incorporating  vodka for an Iced Tea cocktail

Of Scones, Lamingtons and other new delectable bites....

lamington is an Australian cake, made from squares of butter cake or sponge cake coated in an outer layer of chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut. The thin mixture is absorbed into the outside of the sponge cake and left to set, giving the cake a distinctive texture. A common variation has a layer of cream or strawberry jam between two lamington halves.[1][2]

I just love afternoon tea. I simply adore gorging on those scones with clotted cream and jam. so English! Should have thought of doing this while in  " Landin"  some moons back haha

Those  pistachio (?) cream pastries were scrumptious! 

A little caveat - those teeny tea sandwiches may look small but keep popping them babies in your mouth and before you know it you are so full you need to remind yourself to complete 10,000 steps after. 

Omg see those red velvet cakes. So moist and decadent, they are so addicting. I highly recommend you pair it with the black tea for a perfect pairing.

Overall, what an amazing afternoon spent enjoying Connect Lounge's Afternoon Tea Delights while learning everything there is to know from Mr. Alvin Elman, Brand Ambassador of Althouse.

Well curated pastries, cakes,  tea sandwiches, scones, lamingtons, dimsums paired with premium tea from Althouse with a view of Ortigas below and the exceptional service from the crew. What's not to love?

For only P1110 for two persons inclusive of VAT, 10%  service charge and local government tax, this is one good deal that is a must try.

Perfect for those intimate gatherings with the girlfriends or your significant other.

See you there!

Afternoon Tea Delights is  available on weekdays from 2pm-5 pm and 2 pm-6pm on weekends.

Connect Lounge is located at level 24 of Marco Polo Hotel Meralco Avenue Ortigas

Connect Lounge - Marco Polo Ortigas Manila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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