by Kristina Jahaly, Special Events Assistant
Caramoor’s Afternoon Teas are a spring staple! This year, a team of Caramoor tasters sat down with The Market on Spring to sample this season’s menu and teas.
The arrival of spring means many things at Caramoor. The lush grounds are bursting with color — the glorious weeping cherry outside the Rosen House gates is virtually dripping with pink petals, and of course there’s the anticipation and planning for the upcoming concert season. Inside the Rosen House, preparations are being made for quite another delicious and satisfying season; It is, quite literally, time for tea!
Caramoor staff recently sat down to a tea tasting and invited two of our Leadership Members to sample and review this season’s menu and tea offerings. Caramoor is in capable hands with local caterer The Market on Spring, whose head chef Pam Friedman offers firsthand expertise of how an English tea should look and taste.
We tasted quite a wide variety of teas — black, white, green, herbal, and even rooibos, each plant variety unique with regard to intensity of flavor and aroma, and optimal amount of time to steep. We tasted a special Earl Grey and an Assam from the black tea collection. A number of playful herbal teas made us think not only of spring but downright summer with names like Kona Pineapple, Piña Colada, and Peach Serenity. Not to be outdone, the white and green offerings we tasted were just as a delightfully warm weathered with names like Lemon Meringue, Jasmine Chun Hao, and White Fuzzy Navel. The list was extensive but we tasted them all, keeping carefully recorded notes so we could later compare, assess, and determine what new and exciting flavors to include for this upcoming season.
We also had the added pleasure of sampling this year’s menu while tasting the teas. The tea service arrived beautifully presented on a white doily-coiffed, three-tiered service, as is proper for afternoon tea; two tiers of tea sandwiches topped off with another of delicious desserts. Some highlights from this year’s menu are: curried chicken salad and arugula on mini brioche; mushroom and goat cheese duxelle on crostini; cured salmon, chive, cream cheese, and capers on rye bread; and roasted beef, onion jam, and cheddar cheese on whole grain bread. You won’t leave hungry!
The Market on Spring also has a new pastry chef on staff who will hand-craft all of our delicious baked offerings. We had the distinct pleasure of sampling her baked goods at our tasting. Some of the standouts were: cookies glazed with rose water and calendula; a light and airy pear custard tart — with and without crystallized ginger; a dense and sticky flourless chocolate treat; chocolate dipped strawberries; a cheesecake tartlet with lingonberry; a poppy seed paste pinwheel; and homemade grapefruit scented scones. It was hard to pick our favorites as they were all quite delectable!
At the end of our tasting, our guests and staff were happily sated and in agreement that we have all of the right elements in place to usher in yet another successful season of Afternoon Tea at Caramoor.