Tag Archive | Tea Room

Tea trivia Sunday: for the love of white tea

Welcome to The Secret Garden’s Tea Trivia Sunday!

Each Sunday, we publish a small bit of information about tea, tea pottery and tea accessories. If you have questions, comments or would like to see us publish an article on a specific topic, please let us know.


White Tea

White tea is the most delicate and freshest tea available as it is minimally processed.
New, young tea leaves and buds from the Camellia senensis plant are harvested for only a few weeks each spring. This happens only in the Northern District of Fujian, China and can only be labeled white tea if it comes from the Fujian Province.


“Camellia sinensis is a species of evergreen shrub or small tree whose leaves and leaf buds
are used to produce tea. It is of the genus Camellia (Chinese: 茶花; pinyin: Cháhuā, literally: “tea flower”)
of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. -wikipedia”

The leaves are typically picked mid-March to early April and only during the right conditions. The leaves cannot be picked if it is rainy or humid.

White tea is named for the silvery type down that covers the leaves and unopened buds. This is known as “Hao”.


Flavor profile

aroma-aromatic-close-up-stock (2)As the flavor is so delicate, common flavor profile descriptions include:

  • Floral
  • Sweet
  • Grassy
  • Delicate
  • Honey
  • Subtle
  • Fruity
  • Mild
  • Melon
  • Herby
  • Peach
  • Citrus
  • Apricot
  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla


  1. Tea does not go bad, but it can go stale. If cared for properly your tea will remain fabulous for up to a year.
  2. Store tea in a cool, dark place and away from oxygen and moisture.
  3. Never store tea in the refrigerator.
  4. Your tea will last longer if stored in an opaque, airtight container.
  5. Coffee and spices can spread their flavor on to your tea, so it should be stored in a different cupboard or pantry.


How to brew the perfect pot of tea

Capture tea times

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the secret garden tea room photo credit the secret garden tea room and gift shopThe Secret Garden Tea Room and Gift Boutique
1711 Elm Street | Sumner, Washington 98390
253.826.4479  |  sgtea.com





Mother’s Day Weekend at The Secret Garden Tea Room and Gift Shop

Celebrate Mom with our Mother’s Day Tea.

Secret Garden Stock PhotoPlease join us here at The Secret Garden Tea Room and Gift Shop and celebrate Mom Saturday May 11th and Sunday May 12th.

This year’s Mother’s Day Tea is a five-course, garden themed event.
Reservations are only taken by phone, 253.826.4479 or in person.

To reserve and purchase your table or for additional information, please call during business hours, Wednesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm. All tickets for the weekend event are purchased in advanced.


Pot of Tea

Toasting Glass of Sparkling Wine or Cider Strawberry Basil Parfait Flower Fairy Salad
with Rhubarb Vinaigrette


Warm Scones with Devonshire Cream, Jam and Lemon Curd

Tiered Rack with Tea Sandwiches, Savories and Sweets

Warm Towel & Commemorative Photograph

Cost is $65 per person | Children’s version $50
Price includes tax and gratuity.

This tea is also available Gluten Free ($5 add) Vegetarian or Nut Free, with advanced notice.

Please visit our website’s special events tab for additional information.

Do you need gift ideas for Mom? Come shop with us!

Photograph | Karie Engels

Elizabeth’s Bacon Leek Tart

bacon leek tart

Usually, when developing a new recipe for the tea room, there’s a whole procedure that I follow:  research, compile, test, re-test and re-test and then make a large batch to see how it works in quantity.

Usually, I am planning at least several weeks out, however occasionally we come up with a winner on the fly.

A couple of weeks ago we needed a savory for our high teas, and I was out of some ingredient for what I had been planning to make.  I knew I’d bought some leeks for potato leek soup that Mark hadn’t used that morning and I spotted a new package of bacon in the fridge.  Hmmm, what could I do with bacon and leeks.  I decided that a creamy goat cheese mixture plopped into phyllo tart shells might just work.  They turned out delicious and so I thought I’d share.
Printable, full recipe below.

I began by chopping the bacon into small pieces and then cooking it over medium heat.


While the bacon was cooking I sliced the leeks crosswise about 1/8th inch thick from the white end up to where the dark green tops begin.


After chopping the leeks, I did a quick swish in the salad spinner with lots of cold water to get any of the gritty mud that they’re grown in.  A quick shake to remove most of the water and they were ready for the pan just as soon as the bacon had rendered enough fat that the leeks wouldn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.


After adding the leeks to the bacon, I stirred occasionally until the leeks were limp and just beginning to turn light golden in a few places.  While they were cooking, I cut the cream and goat cheeses into 1 inch cubes so they would melt faster.  Once the leeks were melted down, I added the cheeses and turned off the heat.


I stirred this mixture until the cheese was incorporated and then added some regular black pepper.  I gave it a taste and decided that it didn’t need any salt, but I suggest you give it a taste and see what you think;  some brands of bacon are saltier than others.  Do not eat all of it while you’re trying to decide if you need salt.

At this point, you can let the mixture cool and then store in the fridge for a few days until it’s needed, or you can go ahead and make the tarts.


I used a scoop that is a scant tablespoon (#70 for those who are scoop users), and just dropped it into the tart shells.  I sprinkled mine with a bit of minced parsley for color, but I think a miniature sprig of thyme would be very nice too.


I baked mine in a convection oven at 350 for about 8 minutes until the cheese was just turning golden brown, but in a regular oven it might be a bit longer.  Taste and enjoy!

Bacon Leek Tarts

Servings: 3 cups of filling | 48 tarts (see note below)


  • 1/2 lb smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 lb leeks, chopped and rinsed
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • salt to taste
  • minced parsley or tiny sprigs of thyme
  • pre-made phyllo tart shells


Saute the bacon over medium heat.  Add the leeks once the bacon has rendered enough fat to cover the bottom of the pan.  Stir occasionally until the leeks are limp and just starting to color.  Add the cheeses and turn off the heat.  Stir until there are no white cheese chunks left, then add the pepper and salt if needed.  Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days, or use immediately.

Assemble Tarts
Scoop 1 scant tablespoon into phyllo shells and top with a bit of parsley or sprig of thyme.  Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes until cheese just turns golden brown on the peaks.  Serve immediately or within an hour at room temperature.

This recipe makes about 3 cups of filling, so it will do about 48 tarts.  They come 15 to a box, so this works out okay.  If you don’t need that many, try the filling in an omelet, or cold on crackers as a spread.  It would also be wonderful in puff pastry.  I’m sure you’ll find a way to use it all, even if it’s just on a spoon!


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