With hectic days filled with non-stop work, I have to remind myself to take a deep breath regularly. Stretching classes are part of my weekly routine to help keep me centered and focused. So, when I was invited to a morning yoga and meditation class followed by a matcha tea tasting, I could not say no. Not even morning traffic would stop me as I traveled across the city to Wanderlust Hollywood for a morning of meditation and matcha. Before and after class, I enjoyed a variety of matchas from the new matcha collection from David's Tea, all served in David's Tea Matcha Maker. This handy, portable matcha maker let's you make matcha on-the-go and is the Please The Palate Pick of the Week.
Cheese tea? Yes, I wrote that correctly and you read it correctly. Little Fluffy Head is a tea shop located in downtown Los Angeles and they specialize in cheese tea and it is the Please The Palate pick of the week.
It really is hard to image cheese and tea being mixed together. But, the trend was started in China and is popular throughout Asia. While it was questioned by many at first, apparently people line up for hours to get a cup of cheese tea in Asia. In the fall of 2017, Little Fluffy Head was opened by owner Jenny Zheng in downtown LA to offer cheese tea to Los Angelenos.
So, what is cheese tea? You may be thinking of a chunk of cheese placed in a cup of tea, at least that is what I had first envisioned. In fact, cheese tea consists of a thick layer of creamy cheese foam that is sweet and salty, paired with a refreshing sweet tea.
With only one night in Chicago, and a rainy one at that, I hopped into a taxi to the neighborhood of Logan Square to enjoy dinner and drinks at Chiya Chai, recently named Best Indian Restaurant in Chicago by Chicago Reader. A fan of Indian food, I was looking forward to a comfort meal and got so much more.
Chiya Chai is owned by brothers Swadesh and Saujanya Shrestha who grew up in the midst of the world of tea in Kathmandu, Nepal. Their family are Nepalese tea farmers and their father was one of the first exporters of Nepalese tea to the United States. Swadesh Shrestha recalled growing up in the foothills of the Nepalese Himalayas and loved going to his grandfather's tea shop where he would sit quietly sipping a cup of milky chai as he watched the comings and goings of the village.
The brothers, along with Swadesh's wife Rajee, who is also from Kathmandu, opened a restaurant in Minneapolis and ten years later, in August of 2016, opened Chiya Chai in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago.