Browsing Tag

Iced Tea

Food & Wine

5 Things to Love at the Restaurants Canada Show

April 26, 2016
Pluck Tea Southbrook Berry Blend

If you work in the restaurant industry in Canada, the Restaurants Canada show is one of the best events of the year. It’s a fun and informative opportunity to learn about new products and services that can improve your business and impress your customers. A trade event, which is only open to those in the restaurant industry, it’s a great way to track emerging trends and find new and delicious things to add to menus. Here are a few things I hope will be appearing at local eateries soon.

Sloane Tea artisanal tea blends1.    Artisanal teas – I’ve long been a fan of Toronto’s Pluck Tea, who were once again showcasing their products here. Sloane Teas also had a booth and I was torn between two of the best cups of tea a girl could ask for – they’re both delicious. I hope more restaurants will start to realize that having quality tea available is just as important as having good bottles of wine on the list.

PEI Mussels on Mondays are a great option2.    PEI Mussels – While I’m all about oysters, I have to admit I don’t eat enough mussels. So I was pleased to see PEI Mussels making a case for restaurants to choose Canadian and offer more options. I’m hoping Canuck mussels in white wine sauce will start appearing on more menus soon.


Pure Leaf iced tea offers unsweetened options3.    Unsweetened iced tea. When I gave up sugar-sweetened drinks in September, I missed having a cold beverage to sip. Enter Pure Leaf. I like the black tea with a little milk as an alternative to soda or juice and I really enjoyed trying the new unsweetened green tea. While I usually like a glass of wine with my restaurant meals, this is a great option when you’re going for a non-alcoholic beverage. What do I need to do to get this offered at the salad place where I gravitate for lunch on days I don’t bring my own?
William Street Beer Company Ontario brewery

4.    Local craft beer. It’s everywhere these days and I love seeing restaurants supporting local breweries. From William Street Beer Co. to Mackinnon Brothers, to High Park Brewing and everything in between, there was lots of local goodness on display. Shawn and I are already planning a few weekend trips to visit some of the Ontario communities that have joined the beer revolution.
Fever Tree Tonic Water and Ginger Ale

5.    Good quality mixers. So Fever Tree is far from new, but ever since I took my recent Spirits course, I’ve been obsessed with cocktails made with high-quality ingredients. While Fever Tree does have sugar, putting it on my very, very occasional treat list, it’s so much better for my body than a cheap tonic. I can understand the ingredients in the bottel and it just creates a much more high-quality (but not inexpensive) cocktail.

What are you hoping to see more of at restaurants in the year to come? Share your thoughts in the comments or on social!

Drink to your Health

Iced Tea Instead

July 20, 2012
Takeya Flash Chiller
Having kicked the iced coffee addiction into high gear this summer, I’m actively trying to find alternative options that involve less caffeine, sugar and whatever else they put in those drinks. It’s working, to a degree.
One of my biggest allies in the fight has been my Takeya Flash Chiller, which I use to make brewed iced tea. I freely admit that it was an impulse purchase. Shawn was getting his hair cut and I wandered down the hall to the David’s Tea to get an iced tea. I chatted with the girl who waited on me and was fascinated by the iced tea brewing process they used. She said I could purchase one of my own – I nodded appreciatively and paid for my drink.
But the thought stuck with me. I like cold drinks and I tend to go a bit off the rails with my calories and chemicals when I vow to stick just to water. I get bored with that and end up having a diet soda or juice – not great health options. I’ve tried cutting my juice with sparkling water and just drinking sparkling water, but neither option really worked.
So when Shawn finished his haircut, I asked him to come with me to check out the Flash Chiller and see what he thought. Surprisingly, he was on board. It was $50, though, so he made me promise that I would actually use it. And I have – a lot.
These days, I brew a pitcher on the weekend to use throughout the week. I take a glass with me in the morning and then often have one in the evening. Sometimes I go through two pitchers in a week and that’s just fine too. David’s offers a range of fantastic flavours and I like the process of making tea in my chiller. We have an IKEA brew pot too, which I use for hot tea or making iced chai tea a la Oh She Glows, but I like the Takeya one best. It’s also BPA-free, which is a big bonus for me.
I even lugged it with me to the cottage this summer – and wished I had brought more tea because I ran out after just two days. Sadly, there isn’t a David’s in cottage country.
So was it worth the cost? I think so. It’s easy-to-use and easy to clean. I also like how it’s tall and thin so it doesn’t take up a lot of space in the fridge. I am willing to pay a little more for an item if it’s something that I will get value out of (and actually use). In this case my Takeya Flash Chiller fits the bill. Using David’s Tea, however, does make this a decadent purchase. I have spent more on tea in the last few months than ever before and because it takes about 20g to brew a pitcher it is a significant investment.
But I’ve decided that if paying extra for fancy tea means that I’m not putting diet soda or sugar-laden juice in my body then I’m OK with that. And I am hopeful that over time I’ll figure out what varieties I like the best and which ones are the most cost-effective, so I’ll make better purchases.
Do you brew your own iced tea? What are some of your favourites? Do you use a home brew system or just a regular tea pot?