I was recently invited to have 'Low Tea' with Michele Henry Sorenson, who is literally the Queen Tea of Honolulu. This great idea came about after we had been chatting online recently and I had never been to her tea room before... so she graciously invited me to tea at her latest installment at Stage Restaurant located in the Honolulu Design Center. Sorenson has decades of experience as an entrepreneur, elite athlete and owner of Tea at 1024 in Chinatown.
What I love about her is she is a local girl, who has a passion for the community and an eagerness to see others grow, succeed and help others. We sat down at 2:30pm in the afternoon and got to know each other for a few hours while sipping on specialty teas, munching on handmade sandwiches, scones, pastries, mini-cakes, brûlée and more.
Overall the experience was just delightful. I loved the company most and really enjoyed getting to know Michele and her past, present and future. She has been in the Chinatown community for many years and has so many stories to tell. It truly is fascinating to hear.
I ordered the strawberry tea which was a bit on the lighter side. It was fragrant and not too strong. My favorite samplings of the dishes was the truffle egg salad sandwich, honey lavender creme brûlée and, I was too full to eat the whole thing, the chocolate decadence cake was phenomenal.
You might be asking yourself, why are they calling it 'low tea' when everyone else calls it 'high tea'? Well everyone else has been getting this afternoon tradition wrong when it comes to the proper wording of the event, according to history. 'High Tea' historically comes from the Victorian era when families ate dinner at a high dining table, it was served family style and consisted of meats, cheeses, bread and tea.
Contrary to that, 'Low Tea' was served during the afternoon on a low lying table and it was seen as an afternoon snack and not necessarily a meal. Little and small bites like finger foods, sandwiches and etc are served at 'Low Tea'. Get it? LOL
Stage Restaurant started offering this 'Low Tea' service on Wednesdays only a few months ago, but starting this Saturday 10/11 they will begin serving tea in the Lime Lounge beginning at 11:30am, in addition to the Wednesday afternoon service from 2:30pm.
Here's a look at some of the edible highlights: