Cho Best Matcha Latte

Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte

Hey there! How has your week been?? I've been taking things slowly lately. After a few really hectic weeks, my body just needed a major reset. Over the weekend, Reuben and I lived our best homebody lives. We finished Queer Eye in a day, caught up on the craziness of West World, and made pizza (Reuben made it while I melted on the couch). Speaking of couches! We did manage to leave the house for some fresh air and some West Elm research. Our TV watching spot is about to get a nice upgrade! Oh, and we also went over to our good friend's parent's house for a beautiful dinner party full of cheese, clams, and Polly Ann Ice Cream. It was the best! It's always so nice to have someone else prepare an great meal for you. Alex's parents have a house in the Inner Richmond, so not to far from us, and it is the most beautiful place. If you dream of the ideal San Francisco home, this is it. Bright, sunny, breezy, charming, and with a backyard full of plums and other tasty things. I wonder if they would let me move in??

The weekend was everything that I needed it to be. Calming. I feel like with all the travel and craziness over the last 6 weeks, I've fallen out of my daily rhythms. Since I typically have a bunch of things happening at the same time, whether that's balancing work with blogging or the handful of other side hustles or just managing to make dinner most nights, I need daily rituals to help ground me. For a solid 5 months I was really good at getting up early enough to make myself breakfast and a matcha latte. I'm not a waking up person... but once I'm awake I'm a morning person... if that makes sense. I always look forward to the morning so I could plate a pretty bowl of yogurt and whiz up a frothy and warming matcha latte. Those 15 minutes of calm and focusing on one simple task helped me set myself off on the right foot each morning. I've finally started getting back into that rhythm this week. Well not this morning, because I had to wake up at 4am to drive 1 hour for a 6am meeting... 6am meetings should be illegal, right??! But other than this morning and some sick vibes I've somehow combatted, I'm feeling good. 

Good thing too, because I need to get back into the kitchen and share some real food with you guys and not just popsicles and matcha lattes! This matcha latte is the best though. I promise! I posted an iced matcha latte recipe about a year ago and honestly, you can ignore that recipe lol. I've learned a lot about matcha and how I like to make own matcha latte at home over the past year. When I first had matcha, it tasted like seaweed to me... but eventually I got over that or maybe I've found better tasting matcha since them. If you're looking to purchase matcha powder I highly recommend Mizuba Tea Co. or Ippodo. I currently have Mizuba Culinary Organic Matcha in my kitchen and I really love it. The color is super bright green and the flavor is strong. I like to buy culinary grade matcha because I can bake with it too. You really shouldn't waste ceremonial grade matcha on baked goods. If you do buy it, make sure to store your matcha in a dark place, otherwise the sun with cause your matcha to turn a little pale green grey. I learned that the hard way!

My secret ingredient to Cho Best Matcha Latte is vanilla infused agave syrup. I've had many coffee shop matcha lattes, but the best one I've ever had was from this random coffee shop up in Tahoe. I can't even tell you the name of it right now. But I asked them what they put in theirs because it just tasted so unbelievably good. Sweet but not too sweet. The matcha flavor was strong and not diluted from too much milk or water. And there was an interesting flavor I just couldn't put my finger on. The coffee shop told me they used vanilla agave syrup! Such a good idea! Infusing the vanilla bean pod in the agave gives it a really beautiful, light, and almost floral vanilla flavor to the latte. It also works great in regular old coffee! I tried it this morning. Coconut butter is another secret ingredient I've picked up. It adds a really lovely coconut flavor and also helps make the latte extra thick and frothy without all the extra milk! I sometimes add collagen protein powder or maca powder for some extra health points, but you can experiment with whatever you like! Add a little dash of pumpkin pie spice in when October comes along.

Another secret tip for making Cho Best Matcha Latte is using a blender! Don't be ashamed. It's is like a million times faster than whisking it by hand, frothing your own milk, and then artfully combining everything. I love my quiet mornings. But I don't have hours to spend at home doing it all at a snail's pace. While my water kettle is boiling, I prepare everything else in the cup of my immersion blender, and then whiz it up for a minute once my hot water is ready. It's crazy easy. You can save the matcha whisk for a special occasion or if you want to fit in a morning arm work out.

I hope you get the chance to make Cho Best Matcha Latte soon! And I hope it brings you as much calm and joy as it brings me : )

*** Also happy birthday to Reuben's Mom today!!! and happy birthday Cho Momma tomorrow!!!!! Yay, Moms!


Cho Best Matcha Latte

makes one 12oz latte

latte materials:

1/2 cup warm milk
1 cup just boiled water
1 tsp matcha powder
1 tbsp coconut butter
1 tsp vanilla infused agave syrup (see recipe below)
* you could also use honey

vanilla infused agave materials:

1 vanilla bean pod
2 cups agave

vanilla infused agave syrup:

Split the vanilla bean with a sharp knife lengthwise, careful to not cut the pod all the way through. Scrape out the vanilla "caviar" and mix with agave. Place the scraped bean pod in the agave as well. Seal up the jar and allow the vanilla bean to infuse for at least 24 hours. Remove the pod after 3 days and store the agave in a cool dry place.

hot matcha latte:

Combine warm milk, just boiled water, matcha powder, coconut butter, and vanilla agave in a blender or vessel for an immersion blender. Blend for 1 minute until frothy. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!

iced matcha:

Combine hot milk, matcha, and agave in a blender or vessel for an immersion blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Pour over ice and add in milk.

Cho Best Matcha Latte

Jasmine Milk Tea with Brown Sugar Boba

Jasmine Milk Tea with Brown Sugar Boba

I have a shorty post for you this week. There is a bit too much life happening and not enough time to fit everything thing at the moment. I'm leaving for LA tomorrow! And then I'll be meeting up with my friends in the desert for best friend Jeff's bachelor party! In between now and my flight to LA I need to pack, do my freaking taxes, make sure Reuben has food for the weekend, get some real work done, and pick up my inflatable pineapple inner tube. Getting the inflatable pineapple and finishing my taxes are obviously top priority. Please send me good luck and lots of thai food.

Gosh, I really need a boba tea. I often think about the day when I won't have the luxury of living a few short minutes away from a great boba tea place. It's going to be tough, but I will be ready! Making your boba tea is actually pretty easy. Plus you feel lot better drinking it knowing what you're actually putting in the tea. The biggest thing for me is being able to control how much sugar I put in my tea. I always order 30% sweet at the tea shops and I find it still plenty sweet. It makes me sort of grossed out thinking about how much sugar 100% sweet is.

Do you have a go to milk tea flavor? For me it's either classic black milk tea, taro, or jasmine! Jasmine is a really light and beautifully floral tea. Perfect for spring. My family always ordered chrysanthemum tea when we went out for dim sum, it has a really similar floral flavor. When I was a kid I would pour myself a little cup of tea, add an entire packet of sugar in the cup, and wait for it to cool throughout the whole meal. Once we finished all our food I would have a cup of chilled and super sweet tea. It was awesome. My brother and my little cousins followed my lead obviously. So I guess you could say I was obsessed with my sweetened tea drinks from the very beginning.


Jasmine Milk Tea with Brown Sugar Boba

makes 2 - 4 milk teas

for jasmine milk tea:

2 jasmine tea bags
2 cups just boiled water
perfered dairy
ice

for brown sugar boba:

1/2 cup dried boba
4 cup water + 3/4 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar

1. Prepare your boba first. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Add dried boba to the boiling water, cover the pot, and boil for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, keep covered, and let the boba sit in the hot water for an additional 3 minutes. Remove boba from water and place in a heat proof jar. 

2. Start making your brown sugar simple syrup by boiling 3/4 cup water. Add in the brown sugar and whisk until dissolved. Remove simple syrup from the heat and allow to slightly cool for 2 minutes. Carefully pour the simple syrup over the boba balls. Allow the balls to soak in the simple syrup for at least 30 minutes.

3. Steep 2 jasmine tea bags in 2 cups of just boiled water for 8 minutes. Discard teabags. Pour 1 cup of tea in a steel shaker with some ice, desired amount of your preferred diary, and a tablespoon of the brown sugar syrup. Give it a quick shake to mix.

4. Pour milk tea over a glass of ice and sweetened boba. Enjoy!

Jasmine Milk Tea with Brown Sugar Boba

Oolong Tea Blondies

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Oolong Tea Blondies
Oolong Tea Blondies
Oolong Tea Blondies
Oolong Tea Blondies
Oolong Tea Blondies

Hey, hey, hey!! How was your weekend?? Did you have to work on President's day? Did you stuff your bellies full of dumplings and noodles on Chinese New Year?!

I had a pretty swell weekend! Well it's technically still going on. It is Monday/President's Day. I am sitting at a tiny cafe table at the Sierra Ski Resort up in Tahoe. I am not skiing. Because I hate skiing and I'm not very good at it. But Reuben is having a great time though. Zipping through the snow, doing whatever skiers do. The lodge smells like chicken fingers and donuts right now. It's terrible. Because I'm so full from just general eating this weekend and the idea of eating anymore makes me a little nauseous. But I LOVE chicken fingers and donuts. OH GOD, THERE ARE CHICKEN AND WAFFLES AT THE LODGE! Ugh, and the family behind me brought their own instant noodles for lunch! THE TORTURE.

(Ok focus - ignore the delicious and conflicting smells) 

I'm going to rewind our weekend just a smidge. One of my very best friends, Kate, made a last minute visit to San Francisco on Saturday. She is literally a ray of sunshine. Or maybe more like a cosmic light beam/rainbow hybrid. I had not seen her in like a year (or maybe even more?!). So I got to spend the day with her showing off my hood, making matcha popcorn (recipe coming up next week!), and celebrating Chinese New Year with a big old feast! We invited a few friends over, folded dumplings (I made my family's classic potstickers. THEY ARE SO GOOD. But I don't quite have the heart yet to share the recipe.....), sipped on some beers and wine, giggled alot, and ate until our bellies ached. It was so great. How Chinese New Year should be celebrated. It also made me incredibly happy to have other people fold dumplings for me, muahahahaha!

The next morning, Reub and I woke up early to drive to Sacramento. We planned a really weird weekend. Instead of paying a million dollars to stay in Tahoe over President's day weekend, we got a hotel room in the nicest hotel in Sacramento for the night. The nicest hotel in Sacramento is not that expensive... if you're looking for a weird vacation destination. We stopped in a cute coffee shop with waffles, drank beer at a brewery, had the best poke, watched the olympics in bed (IDEAL), and got Mexican food for dinner. Pretty much our typical vacation itinerary. The next morning, we woke up before the sun was up to drive to Tahoe. Which is where we are now. Suffocating from the smell of chicken fingers and donuts.  

Sorry, we should probably talk about these blondies now, right?? One of my favorite ingredients to bake with is tea. Matcha. Ceylon. Jasmine. Earl Grey. Green. Oolong. I love it all! Infusing baked goods with tea creates a really lovely and delicate flavor. It's not as in your face as coffee flavor can be. I found that the best way to get tea flavor is by infusing butter with loose tea leaves. Instead of steeping tea in hot water you steep tea in hot butter. Sounds great, right?!

The idea for these blondies have been dancing around in my head for a few weeks now. I originally wanted to make Oolong Tea Snack Cakes (think Hostess Snack Cake), but when the weekend came for me to make them I was really craving something slightly fudgey, chewy, and slightly chocolatey. Blondies! These blondies definitely satisfied my fudgey, chewy, and chocolatey craving!  Oolong tea is a darker full bodied tea, with beautiful caramel and floral notes. It pairs perfectly with chocolate and the little bits of pistachio. I think they are best after they have cooled and firmed up. Plus it makes it a lot easier to cut into perfect little bars or squares to dunk into some ice cold milk! They sort of taste like one of those giant chocolate chip cookies you always wished you bought from the mall. But better and fancier because you just infused butter like a pro!


Oolong Tea Blondies

makes 16 2" squares

steps:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line an 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low to medium heat. Once butter is melted, add in loose leaf oolong tea. Heat the butter and tea leaves over low to medium heat for 5-8 minutes.

Remove the butter from the heat and pour butter and leaves into a fine mesh sieve over a heat proof bowl. Use a rubber spatula to gently press down on the leaves to get as much butter out as you can. Discard the tea leaves. Add the butter back into the sauce pan with the brown sugar and salt. Whisk over medium heat until the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 2 minutes.

Pour butter mixture into a large heat proof bowl. Allow butter to cool to about room temperature. Mix in eggs and vanilla until combined.

Sift together flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet mixture, while mixing with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Add in chopped pistachios and chocolate until combined. The batter will be really thick.

Scrape the batter into baking dish and spread out with an offset spatula or back of your spoon so that the batter is evenly distributed.

Sprinkle flakey sea salt over the top. Place in the oven and bake for 18 to 22 minutes. Once golden brown, remove from the oven and allow the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

Once cool, remove the blondies from the pan by pulling up on the parchment paper. Cut into squares and enjoy!

materials:

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
14 tbsp butter
1/3 cup loose oolong tea leaves
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
3/4 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
2 tsp flakey sea salt for topping


Adapted from Vanilla Bean Blog's Coffee Blondies!