Afternoon Tea [recipe]

My parents took a 3 1/2 weeks European vacation when I was in kindergarten. I vaguely remember sitting on the staircase, waving at them goodbye with my grandparents while being mad at them for leaving for so long. Anyway, after 3 1/2 weeks, they returned from this amazing experience with lots of goodies like music boxes, chocolates and confections, beautiful tiles, and of course, toys and trinkets for me and my siblings. But the best thing they brought back was, in fact, not an object at all. They started the tradition of having afternoon tea, just like the English does. On the afternoons that everyone was home, my mom would serve a big pot of tea (or coffee for the adults) with some kind of pastry or confections. We then dropped everything that we were doing, gathered around and enjoyed each others’ company while wolfing down the goodies. Over the year, this tradition continues and evolves. The desserts are now served on nice Chinas that we’ve collected over the years. We have sampled a great varieties of European tea, and mastered our coffee-making skills. (But none of us have mastered how to do latte art yet!) And of course, the desserts range from simple pieces of cookies, delicate truffles, to buttery pastries, decorated cakes, and luscious cream puffs. My siblings and I have developed a habit to buy desserts when we pass by the bakeries we like, just so we can have an excuse to have afternoon tea together. Who doesn’t love an impromptu afternoon get-together?

On the days that I get home early from work, I will make myself a nice cup of tea, or in this case, a big mug of french-pressed latte. Enjoy it with a little sweets that I have on hand. (Here you can see a couple delicious chocolate-covered Trader Joe’s Joe-Joe’s.) It just makes my day that much better!

French-Pressed Latte

  • Follow the French Press instruction to make coffee
  • While waiting for the coffee to be pressed, heat up the milk on the stove or in microwave until piping hot. (a latte = equal portion of coffee and milk. So depending on how big your mug is, measure accordingly.)
  • Instead of adding sugar in the coffee, I like to add honey to the milk. (1 tbsp for every 1 cup or 8oz of milk)
  • Using a milk frother, froth the milk with honey lightly until the volume almost doubles.
  • Press the coffee, pour into mug, add equal parts of milk. Sprinkle some cinnamon and/or nutmeg on top for extra flavor.
  • Voila, enjoy your HUGE mug of latte!
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