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With the colder weather beginning to fall upon us, it’s becoming a bit harder to keep our tea hot. Not just in our teacups but in our teapots! Not only is it important to keep yourself warm but your tea as well! And how do we keep our tea warm outside the kettle? Tea cozies!
The first known use of tea cozies date back to as far as the 19th century, in the 1800s around the time the Duchess of Bedford, Anna Russel popularized Afternoon Tea. With the tea parties always in full swing, it becomes easy to forget about the hot pot of tea. By the time someone went to pour another cup, it had already gone cold. And when tea has to be reheated, it’s just not the same.
Tea cozies were purchased in shops but over the years, people have begun to craft their own. The tea cozy is usually made with cloth, usually wool, although some have been made with recyclable materials in recent years. Patterns to make your own tea cozy are sold in sewing and knitting shops in many locations. Tutorials to make your own cozy are often given online or in person.
There are many kinds of tea cozies. There are the dome styles that you must remove in order to use the teapot, and then the snuggie ones that are made more intricately. They have a drawstring and have two slots, one for the handle and the other for the spout. This makes it convenient for the user to be able to use the teapot without having to remove the cozy. The knitted cozies also have the same holes for the spout and handle.
Yes, tea cozies come in many shapes and sizes! While they come in a more traditional form, there have been ones that are customized to look like characters, animals, or items like houses or beehives! It’s all up to you! As long as the tea stays warm.
What kind of tea cozy do you have? Are there ones you collect? Much like teapots and teacups (or in my case, mugs), people have collections of cozies. The hardest part is deciding which one to use.
Break out the tea kettles and tea cozies! Autumn is finally here after a long and brutal summer! Back in June, I compared and contrasted how British and Americans take their tea during the summer. While most Americans drink their tea iced during the hot summer months, the British stick to tradition and continue to enjoy their tea hot. With Autumn, or Fall, as some call it, the weather finally begins to cool down enough for a nice hot cuppa tea and some hot, fresh baked goodies. The leaves change into beautiful colors while some cool rain may fall along with the leaves.
Tea is already a very comforting beverage but when you mix it with the things you affiliate with Autumn, it’s even better! Autumn in the United States is already associated with the smells of cinnamon and maple. Then there are apples and pumpkins being harvested. A good population of Americans like to think of Fall as a cozy time, which is possibly why they list Autumn as their favorite holiday (next to Spring/Summer, of course).
All this talk of Fall makes me want to enjoy tea all over again. Since summer has ended, many people have returned to their normal lives, so it’s nice to take a break and catch up with them to enjoy a good cup of tea and a freshly baked pumpkin cranberry scone, straight from your oven. Try some cinnamon tea like Harney and Sons Cinnamon spiced tea for a good kick of cinnamon and warmth or Stash Pumpkin Decaf.
More Autumn here on the blog soon!
It is officially October and that means it is the perfect time to start enjoying seasonal teas! What’s even better is that two of our seasonal teas are on sale the whole entire month. For our sale selections we’re offering Pumpkin Spice & Indian Chai + a Tea Sampler Bag.
Our Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea (Loose) is made using a blend of black teas and South African rooibos. The Pumpkin Spice flavoring is made using natural pumpkin and spicy cinnamon. This blend is the perfect balance for the palate. The Rooibos does not overpower the pumpkin while the black tea balances out the spicy cinnamon equaling the perfect blend of taste. Black tea is extremely popular and has great health benefits. Some of the benefits include: Oral health, healthy heart, antioxidants, lower risk of diabetes, better immune system, and even increased energy! The Pumpkin Spice Black Tea (Loose) is available in three sizes: 4 ounces, 16 ounces, and 80 ounces. Try the 4-ounce blend for only $4.41!
The next Tea of the Month is Indian Spice Chai. Over the past few years, Chai Tea has seen phenomenal growth and popularity. Great Chai tea can be found in most Indian restaurants and even grocery stores. The spices vary from region to region and among households in India. The most common are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper. Chai produces a warming and soothing effect and acts like a natural digestive aid. Many people agree that Chai tea is a healthy alternative to coffee. Unlike coffee, Chai tea has many beneficial properties like antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. This month we’re offering discounts on our Indian Spice Loose Leaf and Tea Bags. The tea bags start at just $3.90 for 25 or try the 4-ounce blend for only $4.41.
If you’re looking for different teas to sample, try our Time For Tea – Tea Bag Sampler. This sampler includes Double Bergamot Earl Grey, Cranberry Orange Black Tea, Maple Black, Chocolate Mint Black, and Peach Apricot Black Tea. For the best brew, these teas should be brewed in water that has been brought to a boil for 3-5 minutes. Only $3.18!
*all special pricing will end October 31, 2015.
The French call this recipe ‘Salmon en croute’ but it is basically fresh salmon coated with cream cheese, is desired, cooked inside pastry and it is delicious. It does not take long to make, especially if you use ready made pastry and it only takes 20 minutes to cook.
I used ready rolled puff pastry from the supermarket and some lovely fresh salmon and parsley from the market. I like cream cheese so I used that too. First, I cooked my salmon for 30 minutes in the oven with the parsley until it was almost cooked through but I could still handle it. Then I cut my pastry into squares, placed a piece of salmon on the pastry then spread cream cheese on the top of the salmon and folded my pastry over and crimped the edges. Brushed the whole thing with an egg wash and sliced the top to let the air out, then placed it on a baking tray.
Bake for 20 minutes in a hot oven 180C until nice and brown.
Take out of the oven but leave on the tray so it does not loose the heat. I baked some potatoes in a cream cheese sauce whilst the oven was on and served this with peas and carrots. I also made a fish sauce with a fish stock cube, water, cream and balsamic vinegar. I had only clean plates afterwards so it must have been good.
The other day my very friendly Market stall holder gave me some fruit for jam making and amongst the pile was some very nice juicy lemons. Now I am a big fan of lemons and just love Lemon curd or Lemon Cheese spread as it is sometimes know. It is very simple to make, tastes good and you can use it to sandwich a cake together as I did or just on some nice crusty bread. So after I had made the lemon curd I bought some clotted cream and proceeded to make a celebration cake for my friend who needed a ‘pick me up’
For the lemon curd I used: the rind of 3 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 8 oz jam sugar, 4 oz butter and 2 eggs.
Grate the rind carefully not allowing any of the white pith in as this tends to make the curd bitter. Roll the lemons on a hard surface to soften first before squeezing the juice out. Put the rind, sugar, butter and lemon juice into either a double boiler or a jam pan and allow the sugar to dissolve and the butter to melt. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the well beaten eggs. If you add the eggs too soon you get scrambled egg!! Back on the heat cook until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, usually about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning. Pour into warm jars and seal immediately with a a circle of grease proof paper. The next day you can use it.
Make one deep or two shallow Victoria sandwich cakes (or buy two) and slice each one across and remove the top sliver from both cakes. Place the base of one layer on a board and put lemon curd on then add another layer and spoon the clotted cream on top and then repeat by adding another layer of cake on top of the clotted cream and put lemon curd on this one then add the top layer of cake upside down and dust with icing sugar and decorate with any fruit you may have. (I only had strawberries left!) Enjoy a slice with our ETS Brand Tea!
One looks at that title and thinks a cake that you boil? No not a cake that you boil but a boiled fruit, cake. We boil the fruit first then bake it in the oven, it is a very good cake for keeping as it does not go dry very quickly. Also an added bonus for you with egg problems it does not contain any! If it is still too hot over there for cooking you may need to save this recipe for Winter.
Oven gas mark 4/5, 350/375 F 180 C
greased 8 inch cake tin
1/2 pint water or cold tea if you have any
3 oz fat (dripping, lard, marg, cooking fat or butter)
3 oz Sugar, brown if you have it
3-6 oz dried fruit (any combination you have)
10 oz Self Raising Flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.
Boil the liquid, fat, sugar and fruit together in a pan for 2 to 3 minutes. Whilst this is cooling sieve together your dry ingredients, flour, spice and bicarb. Combine the liquid with the dry ingredients and beat thoroughly. Pour into the tin and bake for 40 to 50 mins depending on your own oven. If it is burning on top then turn your oven down and leave it in longer or cover with tinfoil. I used the whole 6 oz of fruit in mine and it was cooked in 50 mins. It is really good when sliced and buttered with a nice cup of tea.
A little bit of French today because we are making ham and cheese pastries and as you probably know a chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese is called Chicken Cordon Bleu!
They are very simple to make if you can buy the ready-made puff pastry, you will also need some nice cooked ham and some very strong cheese. We have made cheese pasties before and they are similar but the ham just adds that little bit extra taste and also they can be used as a main course if you make them big enough.
Roll out your pastry and place a slice of ham on, then some thick slices of a nice strong Cheddar cheese on top of the ham. Fold the whole thing up and crimp the edges with a fork and brush with beaten egg.
Bake in a very hot oven for 20 minutes until puffed up and golden brown. Serve straight from the oven as a main course, I served mine with some oven roasted tomatoes, or if you want you can make smaller versions and allow to cool slightly before serving as a snack with a cup of your favorite English Tea Store tea!
July has arrived! It may seem like the past few months have been flying by, but we’re here to give you a little bit of tea encouragement. The teas listed below offer special pricing that will last all month long (no code needed.)
The first tea is our Regular Earl Grey Tea in Fine Loose Leaf or Teabags. The Earl Grey Tea blend from English Tea Store is a blend of Ceylon and Indian teas. The tea receives its unusual and unique flavor from oil of Bergamot – which is a small acidic orange. The Bergamot orange is 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. The Earl Grey Fine Loose Tea is available in 4 different sizes: 4 ounces, 8 ounces, 15 ounces, or 80 ounces. The Earl Grey Teabags are available in a 25 pouch, 25 tin, 50 pouch, 100 bulk, or 500 bulk.
Curious about the benefits of drinking Earl Grey Tea?
- Good for your teeth – That’s right! Tea contains very high levels of catechin, which is an antioxidant that fights oral infection. Flouride is a naturally occurring component in Earl Grey.
- Promotes good digestion – Earl Grey can aid and relieve painful digestion, colic, and nausea.
- Fights anxiety and depression – Unfortunately, in today’s world many people suffer from anxiety, depression, or both. Maybe you’re looking for other routes instead of medicine? The Bergamot in Earl Grey has a calming effect and has natural aromatherapy qualities.
- Weight loss – Like most teas citrus teas, Earl Grey an induce weight loss. It is thought that calories are broken down into food for your muscles or released through the metabolic process. Try adding some extra citrus like lemon!
- Hydration (It’s Key!) – Hydration is so important for your body…and it’s not just because tea is made with water. Earl Grey has a high potassium content so it keeps your fluids in check.
Moving on to our next July tea – Mim Estate in Loose Leaf. The Mim Estate blend from the English Tea Store has a distinctive “Muscatel” character with a hint of currant. This tea is a 2nd flush Darjeeling and comes from the Mim Estate in Northern India. The genus of the Darjeeling tea bush is the Chinese Jat, which gives it the distinctive muscatel character. The fragrance and taste is a complex bouquet that travels right out of the cup. Some may describe the taste as nutty, black currant, or muscat grape-like.
The final tea of the month is actually multiple teas in a sampler (What more could you ask for?!) – The Fruit Kick – Loose Leaf Sampler. This is great if you’re looking to try something new and adventure out of your safe zone. Each sampler pack comes with 1 ounce of each of our favorite fruit flavored loose leaf teas: Apple Spice Black Tea, Blackcurrant Black Tea, Pomegranate Lemon Black Tea, Wild Blueberry Organic Tea, and Florida Orange Rooibos Tea. We recommend brewing in water, that has been brought to a boil, for 3-5 minutes.
Okay – I think we’ve given you a lot to think about. Tell us your favorite flavored tea!
When someone asked me to think back to when I first started drinking tea, I had to think. It was in my teen years, but I’m not sure what led me into drinking tea back then. Maybe it was my introduction to “white tea” and “green tea” that tantalized my taste buds. It took me a while to adapt to these, but I didn’t really explore tea until I got older.
Children in the United Kingdom are usually introduced to home-brewed tea at a young age. Cups of black tea are incorporated into everyday life and are later introduced to other types of teas like darjeeling and oolong. They learn to become little connoisseurs! American children do drink tea but not as much as their English counterparts. One thing they do have in common is the tea sets! Many children have tea sets and love to throw tea parties! They can invite friends or family to join them for tea time (I would have tea with my dolls and stuffed animals). Having tea together encourages play time, imagination, and social skills.
I live with my nine-year-old nephew and he has a budding interest in tea. When he learned I became a tea blogger and what I would be doing, he was very interested and tried a few brews with me. Now, I like to brew myself a cup of decaf tea at night to encourage sleep and my nephew will ask for a cup, which I will happily make for him. While he prefers his iced, he loves tea very much and we will drink together. Sometimes his older sister and younger brother will even join us! My nephew has even tasted PG Tips which he likes. While I have yet to teach him the winning combination of digestives and tea, he has expressed interest in not just trying teas alone but biscuits and cakes! I really enjoy teaching him about tea and English culture. I am so proud to be this young man’s aunt!
For the little tea drinker, a good fruit tea can be suitable for their young taste buds. A simply wonderful tea for children is our Bingo Blueberry. While it is good hot, it is refreshing as an iced tea. It is an herbal tea so it has no caffeine and has a strong blueberry flavor along with a dark purplish color. Another kid-approved tea is the Bella Coola, which has a citrusy pineapple flavor. The color for this one is a little bit orange-red. This one is good iced with a garnish of strawberry or pineapple. Since summer is almost here, another way to enjoy these teas is to make popsicles out of them (once they are sweetened to the child’s liking).
Warning: When brewing tea, make sure an adult is handling the hot water and enjoy under proper supervision.
If you know me, one of my favorite brands of tea to brew is PG Tips. It is usually my go-to tea for whenever I feel like I need a good pick-me-up or something to warm me up in the cold days of winter. It was one of the first British teas I tasted before I really began to dive into British food and culture and I introduced it to my young nephew, keeping the love for PG Tips well into the next generation.
While plain black tea is what they started with, PG tips recently began to expand their tea line from beyond the standard black tea. While there is loose leaf and decaf, PG Tips has ventured into the world of green, herbal, and fruit teas. Five varieties of green tea have been produced by PG, Pure Green, Juicy Raspberry, Fragrant Jasmine, Vibrant Mandarin Orange, and Zesty Lemon. Each box of green tea has 20 bags and is a fine blend from Indonesia and Kenya. All but the Pure Green are infused with a floral or fruity flavor.
Perhaps you fancy a more lighter taste and less caffeine? That’s where the herbal teas come in. Delicate Camomile, Refreshing Peppermint, Smooth Redbush and Vanilla, and Aromatic Spices and Mint are all here to soothe you. Camomile is infused with delicate flowers, Peppermint is a clean and refreshing minty goodness, Redbush and Vanilla is a mixture of South African Rooibos, vanilla flavor, hibiscus flowers, and cranberry, and finally Spices and Mint is a combination of familiar spices like cinnamon, mint, and a bit of orange.
Still prefer black tea? There are some new varieties that PG tips has in store such as the Strong One and the Fresh One. The Strong One has a bright red color when brewed, a malty aroma, and a bold tea character. This tea is blended from teas grown in Kenya and other African nations. The Fresh One is also red when brewed, and this tea is a Breakfast Blend plus English Breakfast, all blended from tea grown in Kenya.
It is hard to choose from all these varieties! I like to expand my horizons and try new tea but if you’re a tea lover like myself, you might have a large cupboard full of tea! Have you tried any of these flavors? Let us know!