Brewing Tea

Tea is becoming a popular beverage and new tea drinkers are asking for clear, easy instructions on how to brew. For those people who are new to tea or veterans of the fabulous beverage, there are a few simple steps to a perfect cup of tea. The first step to brewing the perfect cup of tea is to heat the teapot before adding tea. To do this, all one needs to do is add boiling water to the teapot and swirl it around to bring it up to temperature. Pour it out and select your favorite tea. Keep in mind that adding boiling water to a cool teapot will immediately cool the hot water and the concept is to maintain the proper steeping temperature.

PG Tips Tea Bag

The second step is selecting either loose leaf tea or tea bags. For those people who choose to use loose leaf tea, a large teapot with a tea strainer is a good place to start. A large teapot is ideal for this type of tea to allow the hot water to circulate and allow the leaves plenty of room to bloom during the steeping process. Tea bags are also suitable for making a perfect cup of tea, but they do not give the tea enough room to move about during the steeping process. Fortunately, many newer teabags are of a pyramid shape alleviating this problem. Regular tea bags routinely use fannings and tea dust to enhance flavor. Also, be sure to move the bag around a few times to circulate the water. Now that you have selected loose leaf tea or tea bags, it is time to mention measuring your tea. Measuring tea is very important to ensuring a pleasant flavor and aroma. The typical rule is to use 1 teaspoon of tea per cup (8 oz.) of water for a perfect cup of tea. If you are brewing a pot of tea then the ratio is 1 teaspoon per person plus one for the pot. Along the line of measuring water and tea, one needs to pay attention to the temperature of water used. Different teas achieve their best taste when using the optimal water temperature. For example, both green tea and white tea taste best when brewed with steaming water (150°-180°F).

Loose Tea

The final step in making the perfect cup of tea is proper steeping times. I will admit it is very easy to over steep tea and produce a cup that is less than pleasing. A general rule of thumb is the heavier the tea, the shorter steeping time. For example, black tea will steep for 2-5 minutes in water at a rolling boil, whereas green and white teas need to steep for 1-4 minutes in steaming water. Herbal teas are steeped for 5-7 minutes in water that is at a rolling boil. Do these ideas inspire you to brew a perfect cup of tea? I do not know about you, but I am ready to get my teapot, strainer, tea, and teacup and enjoy a delicious cup of tea. My favorite tea is Black currant tea manufactured by the English Tea Store. What is your favorite flavor of tea? Please, leave a comment and share. It is always exciting to hear from readers. Enjoy!

Vienna

Hello everyone, this is Julia from over the pond with my first blog and recipe.  These Viennese fingers and rosettes are made with a kind of shortbread mixture and are very rich.  I hope you enjoy making them and eating them with a nice cup of tea.

6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) butter
2 oz (1/4 cup) caster (superfine granulated) sugar
6 oz (3/4 cup) self raising flour
Few drops vanilla essence (extract)
Finishing ingredients of your choice (jam, icing, melted chocolate, etc.)

Preheat oven to 160C/320F/gas mark 3.

Cream together the butter and sugar thoroughly; stir in flour and a few drops of vanilla.

Put mixture into a piping bag and pipe fingers about 3 inch long, or rosettes or both onto a baking tray and bake for about 20 mins. When cool sandwich together with jam, chocolate or butter icing. Or dip the ends in melted chocolate.

~JB

You have a tea pantry, right? No? Well, that needs to be the first step here. I’ll wait until you toss aside all of those food items taking up the space in there … tick tock, tick tock, tick… all done? Great! Time to see what “must have” teas you need to have in your tea pantry!

Some “must have” teas you can always count on for a great cuppa! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Some “must have” teas you can always count on for a great cuppa! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

The Basics

Just as with food where you need to keep sugar, flour, and other basics on hand, so it goes with tea. Let’s keep it really simple here. Experts will tell you that there are anywhere from four to seven or eight basic tea types. But let’s just stick with two: black and green.

  • Black: A blend is best here so that it’s balance of flavors can go with a wide variety of foods or stand on its own at your Elevenses or Afternoon tea times. A nice one is English Breakfast Blend No. 1 Tea. You can serve it hot, iced, straight, or with milk/sugar (British style).
  • Green: Great to have on hand even if you usually drink black tea. We all need a change of taste now and then. Or you may want to have them alternately during the day. Whatever the reason, be sure to have some on hand. Again, stick with a basic. There are many types of green tea, but Gunpowder, Sencha, or even a Ceylon Green Tea are great options here.

Personal Favorites

Okay, that gets the mainstays out of the way. Now it’s time for the special ones. After all, flour and sugar do not a meal make. And so it is with teas. You will need some teas that are extra special or flavored in a way that you really, really like.

  • Special ones: These are the premium teas. An extra special white tea such as Adam’s Peak versus just a generic white tea, or a rare and totally hand-made tea made from leaves hand-picked from old tea trees, or a pu-erh processed in an extremely limited quantity by a true tea master. These are just a few options. The point here is to have something really special on hand for those private tea moments or even a special cuppa with someone special.
  • Flavored ones: Think of these as that special package of cookies or box of chocolate truffles. Something to indulge in to a limited degree as a bit of a treat. Earl Grey comes to mind, and not just because Captain Picard claimed this as his tea of choice, but because it has remained a favorite since it was first created in the 1800s. But others would be some fruit flavored such as Monk’s Blend or Rose Sencha or a nice Spiced Chai. Seasonal choices are good, too, such as Pumpkin Black Tea in the Fall and Peppermint in the holiday season.

Odds and Ends

Even teas that are just there, some how, in your stash deserve a place in your pantry. I still have a tea I bought during one of those impulse moments at one of those shopping mall stores, and every now and then I pull out the well-sealed package, steep some up, and re-seal and store the package for the next time. You might also have such a tea or two on hand, plus the teas that you received as gifts at some point in time from some well-meaning gifter.

Keep ’Em Organized

Whatever teas you have, keep ’em organized. It helps you grab the right one at the right time. You wouldn’t want to grab those truffles instead of that bag of flour, right? So you wouldn’t want to pull out that special hand-made tea when you want that breakfast blend tea. A proper order will assure that you can enjoy that cuppa whenever the urge strikes. Cheers!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

20141117_111106pumpkin spiceI brought home a package of our Pumpkin Spice Scone mix for the weekend, with the promise of baking them and bringing them to our merchandising meeting. These are the kind where you just add water. For comparison, I also baked a batch of regular scones. The instructions on the pumpkin spice were easy to follow but the mixture was a little crumbly. More along the line of a pie crust flaky, the drop-biscuit type of scone was difficult to form. They turned out crunchy in the oven after the 12-15 minutes stated. The flavor was mild, without overpowering cinnamon or clove. They paired well with the double devon cream.

Next week catch our informative blog on scones, and be prepared for some lively debate!

 

 

20141117_140157

 

brit flagI fell in love with Britain at a young age, even going as far as wanting to live there when I grew up. When I did grow up, my life took different turns and I ended up staying in the United States. I figured the closest things to Great Britain would be to immerse myself into the food and culture. I became an English major at my college since I love to read and write. While my school offers a program to study abroad in Oxford, I am unable to go due to my current obligations. I hope to save up to go Britain for a visit so I can find the Globe Theatre, Big Ben, and ride a red double decker bus.

PG MonkeyHowever, Britain isn’t complete without a nice cuppa tea! I started my tea drinking journey with PG Tips after I watched one of their funny advertisements on their website featuring their mascot, a wooly monkey and his human companion, Al (played by English comedian Jonny Vegas). The tea bags are in pyramid form so the loose-leaf tea can unfurl and steep more freely than the standard, round, and flat teabags. The taste is smooth, crisp, and robust. The tea itself is strong when black but it can be mellowed out with the addition of milk.

digestiveFrom what I learned in my research, tea is an important part of life in Great Britain. My best friend and I went to an afternoon tea and I can see why the British love it so much! It’s very calming and relaxing to take some time to enjoy tea along with some sandwiches and tasty scones. Tea is considered a meal and there are a lot of places where you can stop have a nice cup of tea. When I have my tea at home, I enjoy it with some digestive biscuit dipped into my cup. But do be careful, they soak up rather quickly and can break apart and get lost in the bottom of the cup!

~CD

 

More of the teas from The English Tea Store that I have tried over the years and that became true favorites. Feel free to post your own favorites English Tea Store teas in a comment here.

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The teas (I used to rate teas on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being best, and so included those ratings were appropriate):

  • Mim Estate Tea – One of the better of the 87 or so tea gardens in West Bengal that merit the designation of being a Darjeeling garden (put in place to keep the teas from being blended with lower quality teas from other areas). Their tea infuses a liquid that has the unique “Muscatel” (as in Muscat grape) character. This is a 2nd flush tea harvested in June/July. The production is limited, so the price tends to be higher. – no rating [Article]
  • Monks Blend Black Tea – The sweetness of pomegranate and the exotic scent of vanilla combine with a wonderful black tea to infuse a liquid that is light with the fruity notes of grenadine and caramel – unique, heavenly flavor. – 4.5 rating [Review]
  • Nine Bend Black Dragon Tea – Superb full-bodied flavor with deep burgundy depth and delightful oaky notes. One of the finest examples of a Chinese black tea now on the market and considered to be one of the luckiest teas in all of Asia. The number 9 and the Black Dragon are both symbols of good luck in China. – 4.5 rating [Review]
  • Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea – A blend of black teas and South African Rooibos, Uses natural pumpkin flavoring and has spicy notes of cinnamon. Absolutely perfect served hot with milk and sugar. – 4.5 rating [Review]
  • Scottish Breakfast Tea – The Scottish Breakfast Tea blend from English Tea Store has a malty full-bodied character with bright flavoury notes and hints of cask oakiness. A bracing Highlander’s cup of tea. – 5.0 rating [Review]
  • Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Festival Green Tea – High quality green tea with sweet cherry and morning rose flavor. Light, fresh, and smooth with reasonable depth and body. The cherry flavoring and subtle rose hints give the tea a wonderfully exotic character. – 4.5 rating [Review]
  • Snow Dragon White Tea – A delicate white tea from the Fujian province of eastern China. Jammy pungency in the curly, hand-molded, downy dry leaves comes alive during infusion with notes of spring water, light grassiness and touches of sweet peach. The leaves are processed according to an ancient method many years ago. Only the best leaf buds are used. – 5.0 rating [Review]
  • Steamed Darjeeling Green Tea – Another 2nd flush Darjeeling tea from West Bengal, India. It’s grown at 3,000 to 4,600 feet elevation, and the harvested leaves are steamed in the manner of green tea processing. They infuse up a liquid with a “Muscatel” character. – no rating [Article]
  • Tarajulie Estate Tea – Another tea estate in the Assam state of northern India. This is a 2nd flush tea that infuses a thick, full-bodied liquid with a malty flavor good straight or with milk and sweetener. Tarajulie is a beautiful estate that lies in the shadows of the Himalayan mountains on the Bramaputra River plain. – 4.5 rating [Review]
  • Young Pu-erh Tea – Loose Leaf – From the Yunnan province of China. Growers and processors there received a geographic designation for their tea a few years ago. The tea leaves have to be grown and processed in that province plus meet certain stipulations for the tea plant cultivar, etc. There are many versions of this style of tea. The main division is between those that are naturally aged (sheng) and those that are force-aged (shu) which is this one. I find the earthy qualities quite appealing and even tried it with milk (infused 10 minutes). – 4.5 rating [Review Part II Review Part I]

Hope you enjoyed the slideshow and will get a chance to try each of these teas!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

Over the years I have had the pleasure of trying quite a few teas from The English Tea Store. Most proved to be quite a pleasure, but some outshone the rest and became true favorites. I thought I’d share them with you here (half here and half tomorrow on this blog since there were more than I first thought), and then maybe you could post your own favorite English Tea Store teas in a comment.

This is a bit of a different approach, using the Gallery feature in WordPress to lay out the photos (some show 2 or more teas). There are quite a few, so this seemed more user friendly. You can scroll through them. I have also listed them below with links to my original review (or article on this blog) as well as where they are on the store site. Enjoy!

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The teas (I used to rate teas on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being best, and so included those ratings were appropriate):

  • Assam TGFOP Tea – A 2nd flush tea from the gardens of Assam, India; flavorful with superb astringency and a jammy character; the expansive malt quality develops more fully with milk. – no rating [Article]
  • Bohemian Raspberry Tea – Sencha, a Japanese style green tea, with natural raspberry flavoring. It infuses a pale green to yellow liquid, that is smooth with mellow grassy undertones, sweet raspberry notes, and a sweetish, honey like finish. – 5.0 rating [Review] and Lovers Leap Estate Tea – A tea from one of the best tea gardens in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon). The liquor is bright with an excellent light and flowery flavor, making this a good after-dinner tea. – 4.5 rating [Review] and Spring Pouchong Tea – Fresh and lively with a light astringent finish. One of the world’s most exceptional teas, with fragrances of flowers and melon, and a rich, yet mild cup. – 4.5 rating [Review]
  • Borengajuli Estate Tea – from the Darrang (Mangaldai) region of the state of Assam in India. The flavor is malty with a jammy-like character and is great straight (infuse 2-3 minutes) or with milk and sweetener (5 minutes). – 4.5 rating [Review] and Sylvakandy Estate Orange Pekoe Tea – A single-estate tea from the Kandy region of Sri Lanka (Ceylon); grown at 3,000 feet above sea level. It has a malty flavor that smoothes to a floral character. Enhance this by serving hot with a dash of milk and enjoy for your afternoon or after dinner tea. – no rating [Review]
  • English Breakfast Blend No. 1 Tea – The finest Assam, Kenyan, and other choice teas. Strong, malty flavor that makes a great start to the day. Best served hot with milk and a little sugar, or try with lemon or even as iced tea. – 4.5 rating [Review]
  • Genmaicha Japanese Green Tea – A good grade Japan sencha tea blended with fire-toasted rice, has a fresh vegetative bakey-like character with a natural sweetness and almost chewy character to the finish. (Note: the legend on the store site has been shown to be just one of those stories that makes the rounds.) – 5.0 rating [Review]
  • Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea – Made of tippy, neat, wiry, and well-made leaves and is characterized by its shape, color, aroma, and malty taste. Infuses a bright reddish cup with a brisk, fragrant aroma. One of the highest quality teas available from Yunnan Province in southwest China. It also takes a bit of milk or sugar well, as it helps to capture the malty character. – no rating [Article] and Lavender Butterfly Tea – A blend of soothing lavender and Chinese green tea with notes of sweet grass, moss and honey leading to a finish sprinkled with peach and floral tones. – 5.0 rating [Review]
  • Indian Spiced Chai – Unlike many spiced chais (“chai” means “tea”), this one is made from premium Ceylon black tea blended with an assortment of delightful spices. Best enjoyed with milk and sugar. Turn the bag upside down then back right side up a few times to redistribute the spices that settle at the bottom. – 4.5 rating [Review]
  • Kambaa Estate Tea – A Kenyan tea with a very malty flavor and light hints of currant. The tea plants grown there are originally from India, brought in after India declared its independence from the British Empire. This garden is east of the Rift Valley, an area best for growing tea in that country. – 5.0 rating [Review]
  • Keemun Panda China Black Tea – A tea from Qimen province in China. It infuses up a bright, reddish liquid with a winey, fruity flavor that has depth and complexity. Takes milk well. – 5.0 rating [Review]
  • Lapsang Souchong China Black Tea – A tea from the Fujian province of eastern China. It’s famous for its aroma of pine and oak wood fire smoke. The best Lapsang is produced in the Wuyi mountains with thick pine forests and heavy mist providing an ideal environment for growing top quality tea (the area is said to the be origin of wulong/oolong teas). The legend on the store site is a fairly popular story of how this tea was originally created, but it’s difficult to know for sure. – 4.5 rating [Review]

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Lots of coffee drinkers are hearing the call of tea for a variety of reasons. One of the things that impedes them, though, is not quite knowing which tea to switch to. Here’s a bit of the whys and wherefores to help you along.

A spiced chai is a great substitute for coffee, especially if you like milk in your coffee. (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

A spiced chai is a great substitute for coffee, especially if you like milk in your coffee. (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Cutting Down on Caffeine

Some coffee drinkers want to reduce their caffeine intake but not eliminate it altogether. On average, teas have about half or even less the amount of caffeine as an average cup of coffee. Go for one of the breakfast blend teas. There are different versions, including English Breakfast, Scottish Breakfast, and Irish Breakfast – often very proprietary blends that are based on black tea from Assam, Kenya, or Sri Lanka, and livened with Keemun black tea or others.

Great Flavors and No Boredom

Drinking coffee day after day can get a bit monotonous. It’s a less-often named reason for switching than the caffeine one. And many think that tea is also boring. But the variety of teas seems endless, falling into these groups: white, green, oolong, black, and pu-erhs. Plus there are lots of teas with flavorings added, so your choices are virtually endless. No chance for boredom. You will find yourself trying various ones and then gravitating to those you like best. Many say Earl Grey is mild-flavored with a delicate aroma but quite distinctive, not boring – a great place to start for many.

Matching Tea Flavors to Coffee Flavors

Even if you’re bored with coffee, you might find tea rather too different to take all at once. But if you select teas with similar flavors, the transition will be smoother. A nice spiced tea (often called “chais” here in the U.S.) is a great option. They’re especially good if you like flavored coffees. Several options are out there, with hazelnut, vanilla, pumpkin, and other flavors similar to those coffee creamers. The flavor transition will be a close one. Lapsang Souchong is recommended by some due to its strong smoky taste that also goes well with milk and sweetener, the same way that many people drink their coffee. Others say that Genmaicha reminds them of Guatemalan coffees, and they’re a good option if you don’t take milk in your tea.

Coffee to tea pairings:

  • Kenyan, Zimbabwe, Ethiopian Harrar – Earl Grey
  • Brazilian, Kona – China Rose Petal
  • Sumatran – Jasmine, Ti Kwan Yin
  • Guatemalan, Sulawesi – Keemun
  • Tanzania Peaberry, Ethiopian Sidamo – Assam (Goldentip, or extra fancy)
  • Puerto Rican Yauco Selecto, Papua New Guinea – Formosa Oolong, China Gui Hua (black tea with pieces of dried kwei flowers)
  • Espresso – Imperial Gunpowder, Lapsang Souchong

Time to Switch?

Well, now you see some teas to get you started. And you certainly don’t have to go “cold turkey” on the coffee. Start with a tea or two, or better yet buy a sampler pack so you can try several and start to get a feel for what satisfies you. Enjoy!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Spring Pouchong is a great tea for Thanksgiving! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Spring Pouchong is a great tea for Thanksgiving! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Whether you have a more traditional, Norman Rockwell-esque Thanksgiving dinner or something very untraditional and unique, tea is an important part of that feast. And serving the right tea can make the difference to you and your guests between success or “so long, folks.” Not that anyone would walk away from a great meal just because you served the wrong tea with it. But they will walk away from the tea. So, let’s see how to have a bit more assurance that this won’t happen. Here are 5 tasty teas that are great with traditional Thanksgiving dishes and even non-traditional ones.

1 Assam Black Tea (CTC style)

The sky is the limit here, as far as food pairings are concerned. So, no matter what your feast menu consists of, this tea should be a big hit! Great hot or iced, straight (steep only 2-3 minutes instead of 3-5 minutes) or with milk and sweetener.

  • Meats: Hamburgers, Bacon, Fried or Roasted Chicken, Baked Ham, Eggs, Mexican Foods, Lasagna
  • Cheeses: Goat Cheese
  • Grains: Corn Bread, Couscous
  • Vegetables: Chiles, Baked Beans, Mushrooms (Chanterelle, Common, Morel, Porcini)
  • Desserts/Sweets: Dark Chocolate, Carrot Cake, Crème Brûlée, Caramel, Pecan Pie, Ones with Coffee or Mocha Flavors, Cinnamon, Nutmeg

2 Spring Pouchong Tea

You’re probably thinking I’ve flipped my lid, but quite the contrary. This is a rather surprising tea, pairing with more foods than you might think. Plus, although many classify this as an oolong, it is so lightly oxidized that it is more like a green tea.

  • Meats: Chicken Curry
  • Fish/Seafood: Anchovies
  • Cheeses: Gorgonzola, Muenster
  • Vegetables: Potato Salad, Antipasto (even ones with meats in them)
  • Desserts/Sweets: Baklava, Ones with Bananas, Avocados, Ones with Vanilla, Ones with Mint, Fresh Fruit

3 Darjeeling Tea

Another tea style that goes with a wide range of foods. And it can be served hot or iced (I’m keeping all you folks in warmer climates, like the Southwest U.S., in mind here).

  • Meats: Turkey, Hamburgers, Chicken (Buffalo Wings, Curry, Lemon), Lamb, Smoked Ham, Eggs, Quiche, Pork, other meat curries, Carpaccio (an appetizer made of raw meat or fish, thinly sliced or pounded thin)
  • Fish/Seafood: Blinis with Salmon, Smoked or Grilled Fish/Seafood, Anchovies
  • Cheeses: Brie, Cheddar, Cream Cheese, Edam (best with Autumn Flush Darjeeling), Camembert (best with First Flush Darjeeling)
  • Vegetables: Eggplant, Potato Salad, Morel Mushrooms (best with Second-Flush or Autumn Flush Darjeeling), Polenta (cornmeal boiled into a porridge – can be eaten as is or baked, fried, grilled)
  • Herbs/Spices: Cinnamon (best with Autumn Flush Darjeeling), Basil, Ginger, Mint, Nutmeg
  • Desserts/Sweets: Chocolate (Dark, Milk, or White), Baklava, Carrot Cake, Cheesecake, Crème Brûlée, Crêpes, Fruit Compote/Tart (Ones with Apples, Blackcurrants, Raspberries, Strawberries), Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Fresh Fruit, Avocados

4 Ceylon Green Tea

An all-round good green tea that will be strong enough in flavor yet light enough in its general impression on your palate to suit your guests after that big meal. Consider this your dessert tea, although it can go with a few other foods well, too.

  • Fish/Seafood: Anchovies, Clam Chowder, Prawns
  • Other: Capers, Salsa
  • Desserts/Sweets: Pumpkin Pie, Baklava, Carrot Cake, Cheesecake, Crème Brûlée, Ones with Raspberries, Ones with Caramel

5 Ceylon Black Tea

Another tea that is pretty general when it comes to pairing with foods. So let your inner chef take over when planning the menu and have free rein.

  • Meats: Turkey, Pork, Beef (Hamburgers, Stews, Roasts, Briskets, Steaks), Bacon, Eggs, Quiche, Chicken (Buffalo Wings, Fried, Lemon, Roasted), Baked Ham, Lamb, BBQ Meat, Salami, Lasagna, Antipasto (even ones with meats in them), Carpaccio
  • Fish/Seafood: Ones that are Smoked
  • Cheeses: Cream Cheese, Edam, Gorgonzola, Provolone
  • Vegetables: Any Raw Veggies, Mushrooms (Chanterelles, Common, Porcini), Eggplant, Potato Salad, Baked Beans
  • Grains/Pastas: Corn Bread, Couscous, Macaroni & Cheese
  • Other: Nutmeg, Spicy Foods, Mexican Dishes, Pizza
  • Desserts/Sweets: Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Baklava, Carrot Cake, Cheesecake, Crème Brûlée, Fruit Compote/Tart, Ones with Caramel, Ones with Bananas, Ones with Raspberries, Ones with Vanilla

Wishing you a great dinner and some lovely tea experiences. Enjoy!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Matcha Shortbread Cookies – all sparkly with sugar. (Screen capture from site)

Matcha Shortbread Cookies – all sparkly with sugar. (Screen capture from site)

One of the most delightful, special, and versatile of the green teas out there is Matcha. It is not only made from the best tea leaves (with the veins and stems removed) and carefully ground to a fine mesh (by traditional grinding stones or newer machines), it can be used in a variety of recipes. I selected three as representative of the bunches available online.

1 Matcha Shortbread Cookies

What better to make as we approach the holiday season when cookies are as common as grains of sand on a beach. These will certainly delight the relatives gathered round for that special Thanksgiving feast coming soon. If you are hosting that dinner, bake a batch or two of these a few days ahead. If you will be a guest, bring a batch or two along with you. The best things about these is the sugar you roll them in at the end. It makes them all sparkly and holiday-ish. And since you can cut them into any shapes, you can do some as pumpkins and turkeys, or make some for Christmas in the shape of Christmas trees or Santa heads.

Hot Matcha Latte – almost better than hot cocoa! (From Yahoo! Images)

Hot Matcha Latte – almost better than hot cocoa! (From Yahoo! Images)

See the full recipe here.

2 Hot Matcha Latté

A nice alternative to hot cocoa and coffee for warming your innards as the days get cooler and the hours of daylight get shorter. This hot matcha latté is also chock full of matcha goodness. And it’s easy to make. Pour 3/4 cup of milk (or if you’re lactose intolerant, use the substitute of your choice) into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Boil 1/4 cup of water. Add 1 teaspoon of matcha powder into a mug and slowly whisk in first the water and then the milk or substitute. Sweeten with sugar, agave syrup, or other sweetener of your choice. TIP: If you want more foam, tip the cup slightly while whisking.

3 Matcha Smoothie

For those of you living in warmer climes, don’t forget the smoothie. And matcha makes it even better. It’s also so simple to make that you can whip one up to enjoy while preparing that holiday feast. Get out the blender. Add 1 cup ice cubes, 1 cup orange juice, 1 ripe banana, and about 1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea powder. Blend on medium until smooth. TIP: When you are near the end of having everything blended, switch to high for a final bit of frothing.

Matcha Smoothies (From Yahoo! Images)

Matcha Smoothies (From Yahoo! Images)

Whichever you choose, be sure to use a high-grade matcha. And make enough to share!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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