We have a friend who serves the best tea. Of course she’s english. We think maybe they have three taps on their sinks over there: hot, cold and tea. Whenever we visit, even unannounced, the first thing she does is offer a ‘spot of tea.’ With a splash of milk and sugar optional, her tea induces immediate relaxation and conjures great conversation. It probably doesn’t hurt that she’s a renaissance woman equally at ease talking handbags or high finance and has a husband who is on a quest to record the entire Beatles catalog on ukelele. Seriously. But we digress.
Inspired by this friend and in search of the Pavlovian calm that comes when we visit with her, we’ve been experimenting with new teas. A current favorite is Harney & Sons Earl Grey Supreme, an upgrade to Harney’s regular Earl Grey. What makes Earl Grey tea distinctive is the addition of essential oil from bergamot citrus fruit to black tea. The Supreme uses a higher grade of teas along with the addition of ceylon vintage silver tips. These are the terminal buds, not leaves, of the tea bush, that are handled carefully so they remain intact and turn silvery when they dry. They offer a subtle undertone and allow the citrus notes of the Earl Grey to shine.
Tea is like comedy – timing is everything. After adding boiling water, this tea can steep from one minute for a light cup to three minutes for a full-bodied brew, but no more lest bitterness creep in. You know how a pause can often precede or follow something important or profound? That’s what tea time should be. A pause in the day. Enjoy.
Next Sunday is Easter! Don’t forget to place your hot cross bun order at the coffee counter and your lamb or heritage ham order at the butcher counter. Our butcher is offering leg of lamb and and bone-in and boneless hams.
Bone-in hams average 15 lbs and are $9.49/lb, the boneless hams average 5-7 lbs and are $10.49/lb. You can also reserve petit boneless hams with maple/brown sugar seasoning that average 1 1/2-3 lbs for $10.99/lb. All our hams are fully cooked having been smoked over real applewood chips. They are antibiotic- and hormone-free and come from pigs fed vegetables and roots (no by-product feed, ever).
All special orders must be placed by Thursday, April 9 at 9pm.
The weekend before Earth Day is a hopping one at The Greene Grapes. On April 18 and 19 from 10-5 the Brownstone Brooklyn Garden District is hosting an edible plant sale and seed bomb making project for youngsters right outside Provisions. Edible plants include nasturtium (pictured). Seed bombs will be made by recycling coffee grounds from Provisions’s coffee bar and will hopefully lead to a floral explosion in Fort Greene!
The wine store will be urging you to ‘Think Global, Drink Local’ and will be pouring New York State wines all day April 18. Also on April 18 we we welcome back our neighbor Habana Outpost from winter hibernation. A sure sign that summer is right around the corner!
“We recently dropped the price of a small regular drip coffee 10 cents and a large 19 cents. Also, we thought that including tax was a good idea because people want to pay an amount that they see on a menu for items such as coffee and quarters and dollars are easier for customers to deal with, especially when they are in a hurry to grab their coffee. So smalls are now $1.80 even and larges are $2.25 even. We also added a 8oz latte/cappuccino option.”
You’ll be happy to know that the reduction in price of our coffee doesn’t mean we’ve shortchanged you on quality. We’re still using a blend that includes Kenya AA, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and Indonesian Sulawesi from the same roasters who supply coffee to Bouley, Picholine and Mario Batali’s restaurants. Now that’s change you can believe in!
Also for your convenience, there’s now an extra pump pot of coffee and cups by the front register. So if you see the B25 bus rattling down Fulton, you can dash in, fill up your cup, slap down two bucks and a quarter and maybe even catch your bus (until July, that is, when the MTA has proposed eliminating the B25).
This Sunday, March 22 from 11 am – 2 pm, we’re happy to host Crop to Cup Coffee. They’ll be pouring tastes of their signature coffee, Uganda Bugisu, and a crowd favorite, french roast. Uganda Bugisu is a single-origin arabica coffee from family farms in Uganda. Bright and light, it boasts a honey-soaked, melon-mellow taste and a snap. French roast is a dark, rich roast of one or more seasonal East African coffees.
Crop to Cup features coffee from family-owned farms and is dedicated to making your coffee dollar go far in the communities where coffee is produced – 5% of every coffee purchase and 10% of Crop to Cup’s profits are reinvested in the community where the coffee comes from. So you can enjoy your cup of joe knowing where the money goes.