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.

Mixing Bowl by Mason Cash (ETS image)

Mixing Bowl by Mason Cash (ETS image)

’Tis the season for those yummy holiday puddings – the British kind, that is. So out come the pudding bowls from the cupboard along with all the ingredients to make the perfect British-style pudding. But that’s not the only way these bowls can be used. Their size, shape, and even appearance makes them perfect for a number of different tasks in the kitchen and elsewhere. I’ve listed a few to get your brain firing on all cylinders. I’m sure you’ll come up with more.

First, a little bit about pudding bowls. Or more correctly, pudding basins. Unlike regular mixing bowls, pudding basins are used not only to mix the ingredients but to steam them. The basins have a raised rim that helps keep the covering of muslin or greaseproof paper in place (with the help of some kitchen twine). They come in different sizes, such as the 2-quart and 3-quart sizes shown at right. They are made of earthenware and are dishwasher safe.

As for the British pudding, there are sweet ones that are served mainly as deserts and savory ones that can be part of the meal. The closest thing we have in the U.S. to a savory pudding is bread stuffing, even though it is served loose as opposed to more firmly compacted during the steaming process. Favorite British puddings for Winter are Spotted Dick and baked fruit crumble, both sweet puddings usually served with a luscious custard (essentially a thick chilled cream).

Peach Cranberry Gelatin Salad (Screen capture from site)

Peach Cranberry Gelatin Salad (Screen capture from site)

Now to those alternate uses:

  • Obviously, they can be used as mixing bowls for those breads, cakes, and other holiday treats.
  • If you’re planning a big Jell-O dish, these bowls/basins can be good for that, too. You could use a gelatin mold, but if you’re expecting quite a horde, then that probably won’t do. The 3-quart size pudding bowl should be called into service here. You may need a bit more refrigeration time to be sure the gelatin solidifies all the way through, though. The tan bowls shown at right would be very attractive for serving this salad.
  • They can be used to serve up other things, too, from other types of salads, to a huge amount of mashed potatoes (yum!), to Chex Mix (a holiday favorite).
  • Food uses aren’t the limit here. Holders for potpourri, a flower arrangements, collection bowl for odds and ends (buttons, etc.) are just a few possibilities.
  • They also make great gifts! In fact, you can put some pudding mix or fresh nuts or even fresh fruits or cookies in the smaller bowl, nested inside the bigger bowl and covered with some colorful plastic wrap and a nice bow.
Pudding Basin by Mason Cash (ETS image)

Pudding Basin by Mason Cash (ETS image)

Of course, you can buy the bowls, use them for some of the purposes above, and then buy ready-made puddings. What a plan!

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.

Well, most of us in the U.S. have set our clocks back for one hour. It’s that seasonal time change we undergo twice a year. If you’re like me, it can take a few days to adjust so that you don’t automatically wake up an hour earlier than you should (your internal clock will say it’s 7 a.m. while your clock now reads 6 a.m.) or get sleepy an hour earlier than your usual bedtime (the clock will say 10 p.m., but your body will say it’s 11 p.m.). Plus, those of you used to having your Elevenses Tea Time and your Afternoon Tea (at 4 p.m.) will find yourselves wanting tea at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. respectively. Tea can definitely help you make this adjustment to the seasonal time change. Here’s how.

Egyptian Chamomile Caffeine Free Herbal Tea - Loose Leaf Pouches (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Egyptian Chamomile Caffeine Free Herbal Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Staying Awake Longer

This is a little tricky. You can have a nice strong cuppa tea such as matcha or a breakfast blend in mid-evening to keep you alert a bit longer. Then, switch to a nice cuppa chamomile infusion about a half hour before bedtime (the new one, that is) to help calm you and get you ready for sleep. Timing is critical. But so is avoiding taking in too much fluids shortly before going to bed. Your common sense will have to be the real judge here.

Staying Asleep Longer

If you follow the advice above but also don’t drink too much of the chamomile, you will be very likely to sleep until your alarm goes off. (Nothing is worse than waking up ahead of that alarm and then trying to get back to sleep just to be awaked by the alarm just as you have managed to doze off.) Another option is a cuppa tea with warm milk in it at bedtime. It will help you sleep deeper which will assure you don’t wake too early.

Adjusting Your Tea Times

This is going to take some willpower on your part. Or you can apply a little trick I’ve learned. Have an extra cuppa at breakfast. If this doesn’t work, though, you might try having your Elevenses tea time early – about 10:30 a.m. – and your Afternoon Tea also early by about a half hour. A couple of days of this will help you last until the new normal time.

Yes, resetting our clocks can lead to periods of adjustment. But with a bit of help from tea, you can cope!

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.

Flowering Tea - 3 Flower Burst - Green Tea (ETS image)

Flowering Tea – 3 Flower Burst – Green Tea (ETS image)

Tea is being cultivated in more and more countries around the world. China and India remain top producers with Sri Lanka and Kenya being close contenders. It makes me and others interested in the culture of these countries, and that includes some of their holidays. So, I have been looking them up and thought I’d start sharing some of them with you as a way of enhancing your experience of enjoying their teas.

Guy Fawkes Day – United Kingdom

Always on November 5th and also known as Gunpowder Day. It dates back to when King James I, an avid Protestant, was crowned king and began persecuting Catholics (unlike “bloody” Queen Mary who did the opposite). Well, as can be expected, a group of Catholics didn’t like this very much and sought to send a bit of a message by blowing up the British Houses of Parliament when the king and his supporter were in the buildings. Their leader was – tick… tick… tick! – Guy Fawkes! He led the infamous Gunpowder Conspiracy of 1605. He was stopped as he was about to light the fuse for all the gunpowder that was set in place for the big bang. And appropriately the day is celebrated with fireworks and bonfires – and effigies of Fawkes. The UK is quite a bunch of tea drinkers, although their tastes are getting more varied. And they have a bonafide tea garden there called Tregothnan. A great tea to celebrate with is Gunpowder (hee! couldn’t resist).

Veteran’s Day – United States

Always on November 11th, this date was called Armistice Day and first celebrated in 1921, but was changed to Verteran’s Day in 1954. It honors those members of the Armed Forces who served and died in any wars or military service. The date was selected since it was the day marking the official end of World War I in 1918. It’s a time for pausing and having a moment of silence – and then a nice hot pot of tea! More and more tea gardens are growing tea here in the U.S., from the garden in Charleston, South Carolina, to the ones in Hawaii. Time to celebrate with a nice blooming/flowering tea.

Labor Thanksgiving Day – Japan

November 23rd is the annual celebration of Labor Thanksgiving Day (勤労感謝の日 Kinrō Kansha no Hi) where thanks is giving to those who perform manual labor in fields and factories. Various festivals are held throughout the country, and school children give drawings of thanks as gifts to local kōbans (police stations). This holiday is the modern incarnation of a harvest festival known as Niiname-sai (新嘗祭?, also read as Shinjō-sai) that possibly dates back as far as the reign of the legendary Emperor Jimmu (660–585 BC). The modern version came about after World War II in 1948. You have several Japanese teas to choose from, so just pick one for your celebration.

While you dedicated tea drinkers certainly need no such reasons for drinking a great cuppa, these will help you get a better feel for the source of those teas and may inspire you to a special toast to them all.

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.

It’s a month of being thankful. From the beautiful Fall colors to the bountiful harvests, we have a lot of good things going on around us. And the same goes for tea. The tea farmers have, for the most part, done their final harvests for this growing season, and the leaves have or soon will be harvested into teas like these:

5 “Thankful” November Teas! (ETS image composite by A.C. Cargill)

5 “Thankful” November Teas! (ETS image composite by A.C. Cargill)

1 Full of Character: Yorkshire Red Loose Leaf Tea

A great tea, blending the best from India, Africa, and Sri Lanka for that distinctive character on Yorkshire Tea has. Strong aroma, rich color, and satisfying flavor will make this a tea you will certainly be thankful for!

2 A Great Tea Gets More Variety: Earl Grey Teas

Quite frankly, there are many folks out there who couldn’t get through the day without a cuppa Earl Grey (hey, that rhymes!). This flavored tea has been around since the 1800s and is said to have originated with Charles Grey, the second earl in his line, who supposedly was given the recipe by a Chinese mandarin with whom he was friends, and whose life he had saved. How true this is remains a bit of a mystery. The flavoring comes from the Bergamot orange, a cross between the sweet or pear lemon (Citrus Limetta) and the Seville or sour orange (Citrus Aurantium). The sour orange is native to southern Vietnam, but whether the hybrid existed then is another matter. The Bergamot orange is currently grown in southern Italy in Calabria. Plus the tea is said to be a blend of Indian and Ceylon teas, but when this tea came about, tea from Sri Lanka (formerly, Ceylon) was not generally known to the Chinese, who had plenty of their own growing. But who cares? We have it today, and the flavor still ranks as a top tea in The UK and U.S. There are also various versions available, such as the Double Bergamot Earl Grey Tea, for those who like a stronger taste of citrus. Lots to be thankful for!

3 True, Clean Taste: Blackcurrant Naturally Flavored Black Tea

A fruity black tea featuring blackcurrants and Ceylon high-grown (above 5,500 feet elevation) tea. The blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) is rich in vitamin C, various other nutrients, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. It therefore combines well with tea! The fruit can be eaten raw but is usually made into jams, jellies, syrups, and juices. It can also be used, along with the plant’s leaves, for homeopathic medicines and dyes. Such a versatile fruit is certainly something to be thankful for!

4 Refreshing: Gyokuro Japanese Green Tea

True gyokuro is a very special tea. It is made from single buds that are picked only in April/May. For 3 weeks before harvesting the leaves are covered with black cloth, bamboo, or even shades made of straw. This is supposed to increase chlorophyll, turning the leaves darker green, while reducing tannin so that the flavor is sweeter as opposed to bitter. Quality levels vary from tea garden to tea garden, due to terroir (basically, soil and growing climate) and the skill of the tea master who processes those leaves. This involves plucking the small leaves, steaming them at the tea factory for about 30 minutes in a “kill green” process that halts oxidation, fluffing the leaves and then pressing and drying them to move about 30% of the moisture, and then repeated rolling to shape those leaves into the traditional dark green needles, usually unbroken if the tea master is highly skilled and more broken if he/she is not. So we can all be thankful for a gyokuro processed by a highly skilled tea master!

5 Hearty and Satisfying: Scottish Breakfast Tea

Full-bodied, malty, and bright flavor with a hint of oaky character makes this tea blend (Assam and Keemun) a real must have tea any time, not just at breakfast. And the best part is that you have no need to travel to Scotland and don a kilt. Just steep some up and sip on it to get that feeling of heather and peaceful lochs. Both great things to be thankful for!

Hope you get to try some of these during November and give thanks to those tea farmers!

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.

A great time to make use of that pot warmer stand! (From Yahoo! Images)

A great time to make use of that pot warmer stand! (From Yahoo! Images)

If you’re like me, drinking tea is a necessity not to be interrupted by an hour or two of answering a doorbell rung by those trick-or-treaters. So here are some ways to enjoy tea even during that “trick-or-treat” time.

Prepare Ahead

Steep up a nice pot of tea for yourself and any other tea drinkers “sitting vigil” with you on Halloween. Use a warmer stand to help keep the tea at a decent temperature or wrap the teapot in an insulating cozy, either snuggie or dome style. Don’t forget a little something to nibble on. Some scones, McVitie’s Digestives, cheese and crackers, even popcorn – anything that will satisfy and keep you away from that candy – is essential. Don’t forget the comfy seating near the front door. And practice your “Gee, I’m so surprised and you really scared me” look for the kiddies in costume. (Under no circumstances should you laugh at them or say how cute they look – you can save that observation for the parents chaperoning them around the neighborhood.)

Perfect Your Teacup Technique

Unlike normal tea times when you can – and should – ignore interruptions such as phones, doorbells, smoke alarms…uh, well, maybe not that last one, the trick-or-treat tea time will of necessity be full of interruptions. And you should welcome them or you will be stuck with all those bite-sized chocolate bars, Tootsie Roll Midgets, toffees, bubble gum, jawbreakers, suckers, and so on. They could last you until the middle of next year! (Or, if you’re like some of us, you can just hide in a closet and finish them off all at once, explaining that you are saving the rest of the household having to be part of that process.) Anyway, there will be interruptions. You need to be able to take a sip of your tea and set the cup back on its saucer in a genteel and safe manner to avoid chipping or breakage (which could lead to spillage which would be very sad indeed). So… all together now… LIFT… SIP… SET! Got it? Good!

Assign Someone to Refill Duty

Nothing is more distressing during times of stress (such as kids you don’t know and never see any other time of the year coming up, ringing your doorbell, trying to scare you, and then “convincing” you give them candy to avoid a much worse alternative) than an empty teapot. So be sure someone is on refill duty and has that new potful ready before the first one is gone.

Here’s hoping your “trick-or-treat” time will go smoothly!

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.

There is a trend toward people trying to bake their own tea. I like that “do it yourself” spirit, but there are 3 reasons why you should let the vendor bake your tea. There may even be more.

Baking machine for tea used by Thomas Shu, expert on Taiwanese oolongs (Screen capture from site)

Baking machine for tea used by Thomas Shu, expert on Taiwanese oolongs (Screen capture from site)

No, we’re not talking about the kind of baking that produces such deliciousness as cakes, pies, breads, and scones. This is a rather different process, but philosophically, there are similarities. Which brings me to reason #1.

1 The Process Takes a Practiced Skill

Just as when making any of the luscious treats named above so that they turn out truly luscious or like when making a soufflé that would bring tears of joy to the eyes of a chef at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, success with baking tea leaves takes practice which in turn builds up skill. Just cracking an egg can be tricky. Mixing the batter just right is, too. So is baking tea leaves. The right temperature and duration is determined often through experimentation. You also need to monitor the process, baking for awhile, then smelling the leaves, then maybe baking some more, adjusting the temperature up or down as you might think is due. Of course, what you use to bake the tea leaves matters, too, which brings us to reason #2.

2 The Process Takes Special Equipment

Unless you’re planning to bake a lot of tea or just like to spend your money on something that will sit around collecting dust most of the time, you may not want to buy your own tea baking oven. See the one shown above used by tea pro Thomas Shu who bakes quite a bit of tea and is a real pro in this area. Sure, you can use the regular oven in your kitchen, but this is better in that the leaves can be closer to the heat source. A toaster oven is another option, though. It’s smaller and easier to control the amount of heat getting to the tea leaves than that big turkey-sized oven is. But even so, you could end up with burnt tea nuggets instead of a lovely nutty oolong or wonderfully toasty black tea, no matter how skillful you are. Which is a waste and brings up reason #3.

3 Wasting Good Tea Is Criminal

Well, not technically criminal. There’s no real law or statute or government regulation against it. But considering the time and effort that goes into growing, tending, harvesting, and processing the tea that you are trying to bake, I would certainly not be happy about it.

There are certainly legitimate reasons to try to bake your own tea: experimentation, the tea leaves have absorbed moisture from the air around them due to improper storage, the tea wasn’t baked enough for your taste. Whatever the case, should you get the urge to bake your own tea, do so with care. 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.

One version of a growing number of Earl Grey Teas (ETS image)

One version of a growing number of Earl Grey Teas, preferred by Star Ship Captains throughout the known galaxies! (ETS image)

Once upon a time I wrote an article in which I tried to determine how many people in the world drink tea on a given day. I arrived at the tentative conclusion that the number was just over two billion. But I’m no statistician so that’s a very tentative figure. It might be interesting to come up with an estimate of how many people have ever consumed tea, but that’s a task that might be too much for my modest abilities.

In the meantime, I thought it might be interesting to look at a few well-known historical figures who drank tea. In my first article on the topic I looked at a number of U.S. presidents who were known to drink tea and the late Russian leader, Vladimir Lenin, as well as some leaders you’d assume were tea drinkers but actually were not.

Samuel Johnson
One of the great cheerleaders for tea who deserves a mention, as well as a rather avid tea drinker, was the great English writer Samuel Johnson. Who drank tea to a point that some might consider excessive. I’d say more but I already have so I’ll just point you to that article.

Henry James
While the historical record shows that novelist Henry James was a fan of tea, it’s more interesting to note how many times he mentioned it in his writings. Such as this oft-repeated snippet from The Portrait of a Lady, “Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Tea turns up so often in James’ works that it inspired at least one in-depth research paper – Tea and Henry James’s ‘Scenic Method’ in The Awkward Age and The Spoils of Poynton.

Jean Luc Picard
Okay, so he’s a fictional character, specifically the captain of the starship Enterprise on TV’s second incarnation of Star Trek. But Captain Picard’s renowned request for “Earl Grey, hot” has become a well-known cultural catchphrase that’s done its part to raise awareness of tea.

Boris Karloff
Here’s one that combines a great fictional figure (Frankenstein’s monster) with a great historical figure, the actor who became famous for his portrayal of said monster. Look here for a number of shots of Karloff drinking tea, both in and out of that famous makeup.

See more of William I. Lengeman’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.

One of the chief areas in India for growing tea is the state of Assam in the northeastern part of the country. There are hundreds of tea gardens (Chah-Buwas or tea plantations) with names that can be real tongue twisters. Two of my favorites are Borengajuli and Tarajulie (simple to say if you pronounce them a syllable at a time). Dan Bolton, a tea writer, collected a partial list of Assam tea gardens and tea estates. I have added to that and ran the total up to about double what he had. Many of them are not known outside the tea auction houses. Others are part of larger companies such as McLeod Russel/Williamson and Tata. But with so many, a full list is a bit tricky. I wrote about a few in this article, and thought it was about time to write about some more.

Tarajulie, hot, malty, rich, and great served “British style”! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Tarajulie, hot, malty, rich, and great served “British style”! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

The exact number of tea gardens varies, but one thing is for sure: they produce a lot of tea – and that amount varies per source, with one claiming it’s 400 million kilograms and another claiming it’s a mere 1.5 million pounds (about 680,400 kilograms, a lot less). The tea gardens stretch out on either side of roads as you drive through Assam Valley where the Brahmaputra river flows. They are more level than gardens in more mountainous areas of India, China, Taiwan, and other tea growing nations. And the bushes are low-growing (about waist height or lower).

Some tea gardens of note:

  • Achabam Tea Estate – the name literally means “it has good soil”; founded in 1921 by the manager of the Borhat Tea Estate (Mr. Knoll); between the Desam River and neighboring villages; the garden is quite productive, producing as much as 2,836 kgs per hectare.
  • Borengajuli Tea Estate – part of McLeod Russel (a member of the Williamson Magor Group); a smaller garden near the village of Bamonjuli where most of the older residents help in the tea garden and keep it safe from wild elephants and their children go off to larger towns to seek work (usually as domestics); the tea has a very high reputation (including with me and hubby).
  • Dikom Tea Estate – named after the high quality of the water there; dates back to the Medieval era of the state of Assam when it was ruled by kings; teas from here are tippy, bright and malty in flavor, famous the world over; in the heart of the tea growing region of Assam; very well maintained fields with an aggressive uprooting and replanting program using high quality clones with high yields; their teas tend to have a natural sweetness, said to be from the water in the area.
  • Dhunseri Tea Estate – managed by the Dhunseri Group; their tea has won the trust of traders and consumers, due to its superior quality.
  • Glenburn Tea Estate – on a hillock above the banks of the River Rungeet, high in the Himalayas, overlooked by the Kanchenjunga mountain range; started by a Scottish tea company in 1859 and then passed into the hands of one of India’s pioneering tea planting families – The Prakashes.
  • Harmutty Tea Estate – founded in 1870 by Major Gibb; named after Queen Hiramati; Dikrong River is along one side and their northern border extends into the thickly forested hills of Arunachal Pradesh; fertile soil is perfect for growing the carefully selected clonal plants there; the leaves get processed into a range of teas that are full-bodied and flavorful.
  • Keyhung Tea Estate – at 1,500 feet above sea level; produces Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) Cut, Torn, and Curled (CTC) tea that is strong, full-bodied with excellent maltiness and rich color – perfect for an early morning pick-me-up; garden is in the state’s northeast corner, between the state of Arunachal Pradesh and the country of Myanmar (Burma); it covers nearly 3 square miles, 2 of which are under tea; over 3,000 people are employed in the harvesting and processing of the tea, and a total of 10,000 people call the estate (more like a small town) their home.
  • Mangalam Tea Estate – has a unique style of bush planting; it is managed by Jayshree Tea Industries who uprooted original plantings and replanted with 100% clonal bushes with greater yield potential; the plantings are arranged so that employees can drive from place to place; teas produced are very high quality Assams processed as CTC and Orthodox styles.
  • Mokalbari Tea Estate – founded in 1917, produces premium 2nd flush Assam tea as CTC and Orthodox styles; not to be confused with Makaibari, a Darjeeling tea garden.
  • Satrupa Tea Estate – in Upper Assam, at the eastern-most part of the Assam region; rich red loom soil, year-round tropical wet climate, and old-growth forest all around; on the periphery of the last contiguous rainforest tracts in the Eastern Himalayas.
Tarajulie even looks rich in the dry leaves! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Tarajulie even looks rich in the dry leaves! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

There are many more, but this will give you an idea of the tea-growing prowess of this part of India. This is also my favorite class of teas. They can be infused milder or stronger, served over ice or piping hot, stand up to milk and sugar or please your palate as they are, add a lively appeal to a bland tea blend or stand on it’s own. You can’t go wrong.

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.

The holidays offer a time for us to get together with family and feast on all the delightful holiday traditions we look forward to all year. This sure fire simple tea recipe is sure to be one used over and over again. This ham is bursting with holiday cheer and wonderful flavors. Perfect with so many side dishes synonymous with the holidays.

Tea Cranberry Glazed Ham (photo by Janet Sanchez, all rights reserved)

Tea Cranberry Glazed Ham (photo by Janet Sanchez, all rights reserved)

¼ cup orange spiced tea
1 ½ cups 212°F water

Steep the tea for 5-7 minutes.

1 6-8 lb smoked uncooked ham (can be adapted for a cooked ham)
1/3 cup agave syrup
1 cup orange spiced tea

Preheat oven to 325°F. Scour the ham on all sides. Place into a deep roasting pan. Pour the agave syrup over the top covering all sides. Pour the tea into the bottom of the roasting dish. Cover with foil and place into a preheated oven. Cook until internal temperature is 145°F which is about 15-20 minutes per pound. If using a cooked ham follow the instructions that come with the ham except add the tea at the bottom of the roasting pan.

8oz frozen cranberries
¼ cup agave syrup
½ cup orange spiced tea
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
8-10 cloves whole
1 tsp cinnamon

Bring ingredients to a simmer then reduce to medium low heat and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the cranberries burst. Once burst, remove from heat and mash up together. Pour berry mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds and cloves.

Once the ham is cooked remove it from the oven and take off the cover. Using a pastry brush, brush the cranberry sauce over the entire ham. Place under a low broiler for about 5-8 minutes or until the cranberry adheres to the ham and the outside is slightly crisped. Use the same instructions for this portion of the recipe regardless if the ham was cooked or uncooked. Slice and serve.

Recipe serves 10-12 people.

See more of Janet Sanchez’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.

Categories

Explore our content:

Find us on these sites:


Follow Us!     Like Us!     Follow Us!     Follow Us!     Plus 1 Us!
Follow Tea Blog on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Tweet This!    add to del.icio.us    add to furl    digg this    stumble it!    add to simpy    seed the vine    add to reddit     post to facebook    technorati faves

Copyright Notice:

© 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.

Blog Affiliates

blogged
Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory

Networked Blogs

%d bloggers like this: