Sugarbird Sweets has expanded from its original lineup of marshmallows and now sells hand-blended teas and dainty scones. You may have seen my friend and proprietor Kei Okumura's Sugarbird stand at the South Pasadena and Larchmont farmers markets.
Among her most popular teas, named after friends' children, are Fiona, a blend of organic rooibos with red raspberries, vanilla seeds, honey, rose hips and hibiscus flowers, and Zoe, a blend of organic green tea, mint, vanilla seeds and cacao nibs, inspired by chocolate mint ice cream. Mini scones have chocolate chips or mixed berries in them. And her latest marshmallow flavor is Meyer lemon with vanilla.
And as Valentine's Day approaches (still scrambling for a gift?), Okumura has put together a special Valentine's Day box that includes her specially blended Valentine's green tea (called Aileen) -- with berries, rose and hints of chocolate. Also in the box are marshmallows and another bag of tea of your choice. She has collaborated with XT Patisserie to include a dozen assorted macarons from pastry chef Xuan Ngo (whose macarons are nothing less than extraordinary).
Sugarbird Sweets & Teas Valentine's Day box: $47, available at www.sugarbirdsweets.com.
Larchmont Farmers Market, on Larchmont between 1st and Beverly, Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. South Pasadena Farmers Market, Meridian and Mission, Thursday 4 to 7 p.m.
-- Betty Hallock
Photos: Sugarbird Sweets & Teas