Tiffany Tea for Two: Blue Box Cafe To Go
Updated: Jan 8, 2022
AFTERNOON TEA TO GO INFORMATION:
3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
T: (714) 540-5330 press 7
Average cost: $$$
Parking: Purple Pick Up Area (in the North Parking Structure near Nordstrom)
Pickup hours: Monday-Saturday: 11am - 6pm Sunday 12pm - 6pm
Notes: luxurious, well prepared, and an all around lovely experience at home that's comparable to fancy hotel afternoon teas like the Montage and the Peninsula
Recommended: for special occasions and/or anytime you're feeling extra fancy
I don't know if you've seen any photos floating around online, but the Blue Box Cafe at South Coast Plaza, along with the newly renovated Tiffany & Co store, look so pristine and charming... Although the cafe is currently closed, you can still get your afternoon tea fix because Blue Box Cafe is offering curated packages to enjoy at home, and has plans to open for full service in spring 2021.
The TIFFANY TEA FOR TWO Signature Package is $150 pre-tax, and at ~ $75 per person, is similarly priced to other high-end afternoon teas, except that you get to take home an entire canister of the BELLOCQ No.727 THE TIFFANY BLEND, which is a beautifully fragrant, floral infusion of Chinese and Ceylon black teas with gentle notes of lychee, rose buds, lavender, and vanilla. Between that, the generous portions, the thoughtful variety of sweet and savory afternoon tea items, and the wildflower honey that will last you far more than one afternoon tea, we felt that this package was excellent bang for buck. (Don't be startled by the other package prices - those include actual Tiffany signature china and/or crystal sets so it's going to be MUCH pricier. When I first saw them I was like !!! before I read the description.)
Rudy, curious bulldog that he is, of course has to come over and investigate and photo bomb hehe:
Tim lent a helping hand for the unboxing video below. We were given instructions at pick-up to keep the bag as level as possible, because within the box, all of the delicious items were already pre-organized into tiers for easy service and enjoyment. By the way, the pick-up process was very smooth and safe: pick a parking space in the designated Purple Pick Up area (North Parking Structure near Nordstrom), call the store, and someone will come drop off the package. Great service from Blue Box Cafe; while we were searching for a place to park, I got a call from Crystal who kindly gave me the option of picking up from the store itself, but we went with the parking option because there were way fewer people around and less contact.
In addition to the tiered server and beautiful tin of tea, the Tiffany Tea for Two package also comes with two sets of eco-friendly bamboo utensils, tea sachet bags to put the loose leaf blend in, and some Blue Box napkins, so even though you can't enjoy a full tea service, the package does come with everything you'll need to enjoy tea at home (other than milk and sugar, if you're into that sort of thing).
Due to the tiered structure, I was concerned about the inability to photograph the full spread, so we took a little time to plate it (we fit allllmost everything into the photo below). In addition to the Tiffany Tea for Two package, Tim had the brilliant idea to swing by La Petite Sourie to add one of their delicious pear tarts (top left) for an epic afternoon of indulgence:
We eagerly dove into the savory items first:
Smoked Salmon: Chive Cream Cheese, Borage Blossom, Pumpernickel Bread
Lemon Cucumber: Purple Mustard Greens, Sea Salt Butter, Blossoms, Sourdough Bread, Maine Lobster Roll: Tarragon Aioli, Butter Brioche
“CLT” Chicken Salad: Toasted Almond, Golden Raisin, Vadouvan Spice, Wheat Bread Sonoma Goat Cheese: Honey, Grilled Fig, Fennel Pollen, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Black Bread
Truffle and Mushroom Butter: Pickled Mushrooms, Toasted Sourdough Bread
Sharing some close-ups from most to least favorite, although all were high quality and enjoyable to eat. I loved the variety of flavors and how different each one was, as afternoon tea sets don't typically include such a wide range for savory flavors. To no one's surprise, the Maine Lobster Roll was my absolute favorite - flavorful, delicious, creamy, and all the right textures. Wish the lobster roll was bigger but also not really, because there was so much to eat.
Followed closely by the CLT - the vadouvan spice was a great twist to what would otherwise be a classic combo for a tea sandwich. This one was Tim's favorite, but it was a close one between the CLT and the Sonoma Goat Cheese.
For anyone who likes goat cheese, the Sonoma Goat Cheese was a real treat and perfectly balanced with the figs and aged balsamic vinegar.
The earthy flavors of the Truffle and Mushroom Butter tea sandwich were very enjoyable; this may have been the first time I remember tasting "pickled" mushroom, and I really liked it.
The Lemon Cucumber tea sandwich was refreshing and a nice palate cleanser.
I expected to like the Smoked Salmon more than I did, and this may have been because the bread ratio was a little high for me, and because the pumpernickel bread was a stiffer texture, I preferred the other tea sandwiches to this one. This one had cute presentation, as it was set up as a chair and meant to be folded back down into a sandwich, but would probably taste better as an open-faced sandwich. (Sorry for the squished appearance; I folded it before I remembered to photograph it.)
Moving on to the delightful sweet treats, and Tim and I living out our Great British Bake Off tasting dreams...
PETIT FOURS & CONFECTIONS:
Chocolate Hazelnut Rocher
Bird's Nest with Chocolate Robin’s Egg
Apple Petit Four
Citrus Olive Oil Cake
Key Lime Petit Four
Blue Box Petit Four
Once again, we appreciated how unique each sweet was, and the generous variety. For sheer wow factor and taste, the Apple Petit Four reigned supreme:
Glossy and life-like, but also super mini and cute, the inside of the Apple Petit Four was bursting with apple flavor and had a lovely cream around the apple filling. Super well done and of course I had to slice it open (à la Mr. Paul Hollywood).
Next, we really loved the Citrus Olive Oil Cake - yummy dense texture inside and strong but not overpowering citrus flavor, thanks to the aromatic flecks of delicious citrus peel scattered throughout the cake.
For any key lime pie fans, you'll enjoy the tartness of the Key Lime Petit Four. Topped with blueberries, it's well-balanced and almost has a cheesecake like consistency:
For any coffee lovers, the Opera Cake was a dreamy, layered confection with rich roasted coffee flavors and topped with a beautiful piece of thin chocolate stamped "T & CO":
This gorgeous and iconic Blue Box Petit Four was also very tasty. Its pleasantly soft cake filling was not overly sweet, and was complemented nicely by the texture of the buttery biscuit bottom (can you tell we've been watching too much Bake Off?) underneath.
Check out that subtle gold shimmer on the robin's nest for this beautiful Bird's Nest with Chocolate Robin's Eggs. The chocolate eggs had quite the crunchy shell, with tasty chocolate and caramel inside. Eating them together with the bird's nest helped tame some of the sweetness of the caramel.
Neither of us are chocolate truffle people, so this Chocolate Hazelnut Rocher rounds out an otherwise incredible list of petit fours and confections. If you're a chocolate truffle fan, you'll likely enjoy how decadent and rich this was. We thought it was a little too rich, without enough balance, even though there were hazelnuts throughout.
By this time, we were quite full, even with me slicing most of these in half and saving the other halves for later, but we still wanted to try the scones and madeleines.
Cranberry Citrus Scone
Pine Nut Brown Butter Thyme Scone
Sage and Red Kuri Squash Madeleine
Served with a trio of:
Cherry Ginger Marmalade
Scones were delicious, especially when paired with the very unique Cherry Ginger Marmalade and Devonshire Cream.
We're no madeleine connoisseurs, but it seemed like the ones we got were a tad overbaked, so they were a little more dry than we expected.
All in all, the Tiffany Tea for Two was a truly enjoyable at-home afternoon tea experience, and the perfect holiday indulgence for a strange and difficult year to say the least. Considering the quality and quantity, this was good bang for buck, and we would definitely consider ordering again for some special occasion. Whew, that was a lot of detail; thank you for sticking around for my longest post yet!
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