Chocolate & Tea Pairings

chocolate & tea pairingA regular customer of ours, Diane, came to tea yesterday at Silver Tips with a friend and tried our Chocolate & Tea pairing for the first time. This is no ordinary customer.  Diane hosts an annual afternoon tea at her house and sets a wondrous table with whimsy and detail and invests a lot of thought into each event.  She wrote to us after her visit yesterday:

Yesterday, my (chocoholic) friend and I came to Silver Tips to try your tea and chocolate pairings.  What fun!  The presentation was beautiful and we enjoyed every bit of chocolate and every drop of tea.  I just bought some of the Lily Yin Hao green tea because I enjoyed it so much!….I wondered, with the chocolates, what is your process in selecting what kinds of chocolates go with what teas.  Do you start with the chocolates or do you start with the teas and then how do you decide what goes with what?

We thought we’d answer this question on our Blog so it could offer guidance to others.  Although you could begin with either Tea or Chocolate, in our case we started with the chocolates since we were confident that our very extensive list of teas would more than adequately offer pairing choices.  In the chocolates, we looked for variety in appearance, texture, degree of sweetness and taste.  We wanted the right balance among milk, bitter, dark, truffle, sweet, cream, fruit and size. We knew we wanted decadence so very simple but delicious all-ganache types were excluded.  For the teas, we aimed for complementary tastes as well as variety.  Once we set these broad guidelines, we selected the following:

  • Sea Salt Caramel – we chose Lily Yin Hao green for the natural hint of mellow sweetness to balance the sea salt.
  • Tiramisu Truffle – we wanted a bold black tea to complement the richness of the Truffle so a malty Manjushree Assam did this perfectly.
  • French Mint – we selected a flowering tea for this category, both for aesthetics as well as for the Jasmine to complement the dark sweetness and the mint.
  • Raspberry Cream – we wanted to heighten the fruity component of this chocolate so we paired it with Rooi Afrikana with notes of sweet vanilla & citrus.
Flowering Jasmine Globe
Flowering Jasmine Globe

A customer visits Makaibari

In the Mist of Makaibari
In the Mist of Makaibari

One of our good friends recently visited Makaibari and sent us these beautiful pictures.  He went with a videographer and they availed of the Homestay programme at Makaibari which allows visitors to stay with a worker’s family and see how life is lived at the grass roots level at a tea estate.

Fresh 1st Flush Leaf
Fresh 1st Flush Leaf

They follow their routines, work on the plantation with them and share their meals.  It is an authentic experience.

Plucking Leaf under the watchful eye of the Manager's dog!
Plucking Leaf under the watchful eye of the Manager’s dog!

Server position open at Silver Tips

help wantedWe have a Good news/ Bad News situation on our hands.  Our long-standing Manager, Annalisa, was just offered a position in her field of study – Social Work – so she will be saying goodbye to us early July.  Which means we have an opening for a Server.

Our Servers are critical.  They represent the world of Tea to our customers and are the first point of contact for our customers. Not only do we teach them how to make and serve the perfect cup of tea, they recommend teas and tea accessories to the customer as well as take orders, serve food and ring it up.  We’re also considering opening early for Breakfast so we can offer flexibility in days and hours. We were fortunate in finding a great summer person when our last Server left so we’re hoping we will be lucky again! If you are articulate, outgoing, like to smile and make people happy, this may be the position for you.  We’re looking for someone presentable, reliable and trustworthy and without rough edges.  We hire for attitude and personality – we are ready to teach you all about Tea. Contact us at, send us a resume and a cover letter telling us why you would be a perfect fit for Silver Tips.

Our thoughtful customers

IMG_1694We received a 5 x 11″ brown envelope in the mail a few days ago.  It was obvious there was something other than paper inside.  When we opened it, we found a neatly wrapped napkin with the following note:

I accidentally took your napkin home so I washed it and am returning it.  Silver Tips is a joyful and serene haven.  What good times we have when my friends and I meet here.

Fran – you made our day!  And thanks for the extra care you took with the napkin and most of all, for your kind words.  We owe you $2.54 for the postage!