Tea Diaries: Infuse Cafe

Tea Diaries: Infuse Café - Candy Coated Culinista

Tea Diaries: Infuse Café – Candy Coated Culinista

Location: 3 Gerrard Square Mall – Main Floor – 1000 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario M4M 3G6
Hours: Monday – Friday: 10am – 9pm; Saturday: 9:30am – 6pm; Sunday: 11am – 6pm;
Website: http://www.infusecafe.ca/

I was invited to my first instameet up and got introduced to Infuse Café’s at their second location in Gerrard Square. I had actually browsed the café for a quick moment on Boxing Day when shopping; but I didn’t have a moment to grab a tea; but a this launch party I got to learn all there is to the Infuse Café. Infuse Café combines organic and fair trade ingredients with industry leading technology; which results is a one of a kind tea experience. Rich, bold and robust flavours are layered using the RAIN technology. If you have ever had a tea that smells when you open up a container; but then the tea doesn’t really taste of that fruit anymore when you drink the actually tea – this is your new cafe. RAIN technology is the Reverse Atmospheric Infusion technology that uses vacuums to remove the air that is trapped in organic materials cellular structure; this result in a more flavourful tea profile. The Bkon Craft Brewer is a machine that uses the RAIN technology to give the purist cuppa. This machine costs $14,000 – $16,000 totalling $22,000 total including the technician flying in from San Francisco and installing the machine. Infuse Café has the only 4 Bkon Craft Brewers in the area and has exclusivity on the device for the next 4 years.

Tasting for the night included blueberry hibiscus ice tea and infuses signature coffee iced. Each tea takes about 120 seconds to make and a special algorithm is used to make each tea; which is steeped just under the boiling temperature to not scorch the teas leaving resulting in a harsh flavour. These machines can also create alcoholic drinks and it takes out the alcohol flavour and ups the value and taste; and if you are a coffee lover more caffeine is extracted than the normal brewing process.

A tea demo was provided by World Tea Podcaster TJ Williamson showing steeped and un-steeped processes. This gave us all some insight into the art of Japanese tea making and I will add this podcast to my feed.

At both locations Cecelia’s Cheesecakes are the perfect treat to accompany your tea. The cheesecakes are light and airy with a hint of cheese. Each is beautifully decorated and I think Japanese style cheesecake may be the way to go for me regarding cheesecakes.
I went back yesterday to try two more teas which were the customer favourite White Peach Blossom tea and the Tropical Crimson which reminds me of Caribbean sorrel with is vibrant deep red hue. I enjoyed my hot tea unsweetened and it tasted delicious. It was light and I could smell the peach. The iced tea had very little ice in it which was great as the tea wasn’t watered down.
Loose leaf tea and tea sets are also on sale and the barista’s couldn’t be any more friendly or helpful. I think I have found a new tea shop in my neighbourhood to frequent. The beverages whether tea or coffee hot or iced is rich, strong, robust, bold and flavourful but not overpowering; it just taste pure.

Tea Diaries: Infuse Café - Candy Coated Culinista

Tea Diaries: Infuse Café – Candy Coated Culinista


Tea Diaries: Infuse Café - Candy Coated Culinista

Tea Diaries: Infuse Café – Candy Coated Culinista

Tea Diaries: Infuse Café - Candy Coated Culinista

Tea Diaries: Infuse Café – Candy Coated Culinista

Cecelia's Cheesecakes  - Candy Coated Culinista

Cecelia’s Cheesecakes – Candy Coated Culinista

World Tea Podcast  - Candy Coated Culinista

World Tea Podcast – Candy Coated Culinista

Mediterranean Inspired Dinner

Mediterranean Inspired Dinner - Candy Coated Culinista

Mediterranean Inspired Dinner – Candy Coated Culinista

Secondo : Parmesan Crusted Salmon
Contorno : Rapini with Caramelized Onions & Grape Tomatoes
Insalata : Bulgur Wheat & Organic Black Beluga Lentils Salad

It’s 2014, and the New Year is upon us and after all the heavy foods in excess we consumed during the holidays, those light dishes in January are really needed. I was surfing through Food Network Canada and came across their Cooking Club Challenge and for the month of January its salmon. Everyone seems to be on the same wavelength with starting off the year right by eating healthy. So Monday night I went home and made a Mediterranean inspired salmon dinner, with some of the grains I promised myself I would start integrating into my meals.

Secondo : Parmesan Crusted Salmon

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10-15 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 salmon fillets
• ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
• ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Lemon juice, from half a lemon
• Extra virgin olive oil

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix together the Parmesan and breadcrumbs until well combined.
3. Season salmon with salt and pepper and then squeeze lemon juice on.
4. Coat the un-skinned side of the salmon with the parmesan mixture.
5. Preheat an oven proof non-stick pan to medium-high heat and pour in olive oil.
6. Once pan and oil is hot place salmon in crust side down and don’t touch.
7. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Flip over salmon and place in oven to cook for 6 to 8 more minutes.

Tips
• An ovenproof pan will make this process so much easier. I had to transfer my salmon from a frying pan to a baking pan.

Contorno : Rapini with Caramelized Onions & Grape Tomatoes

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 15-20 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large yellow onion, sliced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
• 1 bunch rapini, washed and trimmed
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 tbsp red chilli flakes

Assembly
1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until sweated.
2. Add in the grape tomatoes and the rapini and cook until rapini has wilted.
3. Season with salt, black pepper and pepper flakes.

Insalata : Bulgur Wheat & Organic Black Beluga Lentils Salad

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 20 min
Difficulty level is: Easy, labour intensive

Ingredients
• ¼ cup organic back beluga lentils
• ½ cup bulgur wheat
• 3 springs, green onion, diced
• 1 baby zucchini, diced
• ½ red pepper, diced
• ½ green pepper, diced
• 4 garlic cloves
• 1 handful or fresh dill, chopped
• 1 handful or fresh parsley, chopped
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Lemon juice, from half a lemon
• 1 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar

Assembly
Organic Black Beluga Lentils
1. In a small sauce pan soak lentils in 1 cup of water lightly salted for 1 hour.
2. Simmer lentils on low-medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes, and drain.
Bulgur Wheat
3. Boil 1 cup water in a saucepan.
4. Rehydrate bulgur wheat in the boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Turn off heat and cover until all the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
6. Fluff up wheat with a fork and pour into a large bowl.
Salad
7. Prep the green onion, zucchini, red pepper, green pepper, garlic, dill & parsley and place in bowl.
8. Once lentils and wheat are tender pour into same bowl and add olive oil, salt, black pepper, lemon and red wine vinegar.
9. Stir until well incorporated.
10. Serve.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
“The dinner was excellent. I really liked the crust on the salmon it added a nice crunch to the flaky salmon which was cooked perfectly. The bulgur wheat and dill salad was very tasty. I especially liked adding it to a bite of salmon for that burst of flavour from the dill and the texture of the bulgur wheat and lentils. The fried veggies were especially tasty and there was a very sweet veggie in there that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.”

My thoughts
This was an amazing dinner: healthy, vibrant and flavourful. I thought I wasn’t going to like the bulgur wheat or the lentils, as I really really really hate lentils but this tasted delish. The mix of all the veggies and herbs complemented the lentils and even Mr. C. enjoyed it. Usually I like to introduce new recipes one at a time. Something familiar mixed with something new; however with this recipe I went in feet first with 3 new recipes off the top of my head with just the idea of salmon. The bulgur wheat salad tasted better the next day when the flavours married. I had the leftover bulgur wheat salad and rapini for lunch the next day, and this was one of the few lunch dishes that I had with no meat. It was so flavourful that I didn’t even miss the meat and to me that means I did real good.

%d bloggers like this: