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Every year, April is known as Earth Month due to Earth Day taking place on April 20. Since 1970, we have taken the time to reuse and recycle in a bigger effort to preserve the planet. More companies are turning to biodegradable or eco-friendly products and some shops are doing away with paper or plastic bags.

 

So how can you do your part to help preserve our planet Earth? It starts right in your tea collection. If you have a teapot or mug that is chipped, cracked, or if they handle has broken off and you can no longer use it, don’t toss them out, get creative! To start, create a small garden using old teapots and mugs! If you have some soil and seeds or a small plant, you can easily fill the old teapots and mugs with soil and place plants or seeds inside. Water according to directions and watch them grow! As an added bonus, your plants will look extra gorgeous in your old teaware! Just remember to drill a small hole on the bottom of each container.

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Reuse old tea bags once you’re done using them for your cup of tea. Instead of tossing out the teabags, you can reuse the leaves and add them to a compost pile. If your tea bags are made from a biodegradable or compostable material, then you can add the whole tea bag to your compost. Once the compost is ready, you can use it for your gardening needs! If you have leftover tea, use it to color Easter eggs during Easter time. You can also make tea ice cubes so you do not waste tea or water. Once the cubes are frozen, enjoy them in a glass of iced tea.

 

And with spring cleaning in full swing, you may be cleaning out your tea cupboard or containers and you discover you have old or extra teabags. Don’t toss those out! Use them around the house instead! Use them to deodorize your cat’s litter box. Simply spread some loose tea leaves into the box and change it out along with the cat litter each time. Use dry green or black tea to deodorize your refrigerator. Place an uncovered container of it in the fridge to help control odors in it. Spread some leaves over your carpet, leave in for about 20 minutes, and then vacuum up!

 

Tea is straight from the Earth and it can go right back in. Help take care of the Earth this Earth Day. What are some of your favorite ways of going green?

 

-CD

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Every March and April in Washington DC over four weekends, the annual Cherry Blossom Festival is held to celebrate the blooming of the cherry blossoms along the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Mall. These trees were a gift from Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki in 1912 to honor the ever-growing friendship between the United States and Japan. Millions of people visit every year to see the 3,000 cherry trees in full bloom and revel in its beauty.

 

If you are a fan of cherry blossoms, the festival doesn’t have to end. Celebrate cherry blossom season your own way with an afternoon tea! Start with a blue bone china teapot, adorned with beautiful cherry blossoms. Add a set of matching cups and saucers tor a set of cherry blossom can mugs to go with it. Set some dessert plates down and you will have a complete cherry blossom tea set. Decorate the table according to your style with blue or pink napkins and tablecloth (bonus if you are able to find a cherry blossom tablecloth).

Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Festival Green Tea - Loose Leaf

Food and drink are key, of course. The star of the party is always tea! Try our Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Festival Green Tea, one of our most popular teas. This mellow green tea is blended with cherry and rose flavors, adding an exotic flavor. It can be enjoyed both hot or iced. For those who prefer caffeine free, there’s Ahmad Tea’s Rosehip, Cherry, and Hibiscus tea. This sweet tea has an earthy wine-like flavor due to the flowers and cherry. You can also add some Wildflower Blossom honey sticks for anyone who likes honey with their tea (green tea with honey is heavenly). Just slightly spicy but deliciously sweet. If you don’t fancy honey in your tea, then these honey sticks make a perfect snack for when you have a craving for sweet!

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To suit the them of cherry blossoms, some cherry bakewells would really hit the spot. Mr. Kipling is a British cake company and we are fortunate enough to have these cherry bakewells in our shop! Delicious pastry with almond cake and cherry-plum jam topped with icing and a glace cherry. If there are scones or toast, enjoy with some Bonne Maman Mini Cherry Preserves. Since they are mini jars, place one by your guests’ teacup, where they would be seated. These are all perfect treats to go with your cherry blossom theme or for any time!

 

So if you can’t make it to the cherry blossom festival, hold one of your own! It’s easy, fun, and beautiful to look at. Everyone is sure to have a good time!

 

-CD

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Spring has sprung and that may make you want to change up your tea routine. Gone are the days of cinnamon and apples (we will see them again in six months), and it’s time to bring out the flowers. Yes, you read that correctly. Beautiful, colorful, blooms in your tea to help give your add a light, floral finish. They have been used and blended in teas for ages and it looks like there is no withering in sight.

You would be surprised to learn the role flowers play in tea. Sometimes they are blended with tea or, in the case of camomile and Butterfly Pea, they are the tea. Camomile flowers are similar to a daisy while butterfly pea flowers look like a little bell. Both camomile and butterfly pea flowers boast health benefits to whomever drinks it in the form of a tea. You can flavor each tea to your liking but the added bonus of Butterfly Pea is the addition of lemon for a magical, color changing effect!

A popular flower tea is the Flowering Tea (aka Blooming Tea), in which a dried up ball is dropped into a cup or teapot of hot water and you watch as not only your tea brews, but the ball opens up to reveal a flower, thus its namesake. These beauties are usually handcrafted using tea and flowers like chrysanthemum, lily, marigold, jasmine, osmanthus, and many others. They are sewn together mostly in China where much of the tea is grown but they can be made elsewhere in the world. To make a flowering tea, simply place a tea ball in your teapot (a glass one is usually best for these) or cup and pour freshly boiled water on it. It is always a sight to see when they are brewed since the tea ball blooms as it steeps, but the best part is getting to drink it!

While most flowers are used as an herbal tea, they are also used with caffeinated teas like black, green, and white tea. Popular flowers include cornflowers, hibiscus, lavender, rose petals, and calendula. Some good teas we suggest include some of these flowers.

English Tea Store’s Versailles Lavender Earl Grey Tea is the best of two countries, England and France. Citrusy, flavorful English Earl Grey is blended with heavenly French lavender to make this floral pick-me-up. This tea will make you will want to dance in a field of lavender flowers!

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English Tea Store’s Lavender Herbal Tea is not only pleasing to look at, but it’s also got a very pleasing aroma. You can blend this lavender with any of your favorite teas, or use it to add the soothing scent anywhere in your home.

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English Tea Store’s Jasmine Green Tea is a must green tea lovers. Our Chinese grown steamed green tea is blended with delicate Jasmine flowers for a lovely balance of flavors in your teacup. You will be captivated by the scent and and taste. Enjoy with honey.

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-CD

Did you know that you can bake with tea? Yes, you read that correctly! You can take your tea and add it to nearly anything you make! Usually, the recipe calls for the tea to be steeped in with hot milk or even cream, since it is the best way to bring out its flavor. Just don’t boil the milk too hot or else it will curdle! Other recipes will also ask for tea that was brewed in water, which is also a good idea, which can also be used to soak dried fruits like raisins or sultanas.

 

Here are two recipes from Typhoo Tea to help get you started:

 

Typhoo’s Tea Flavored Shortbread

 

  • 125g/4oz butter
  • 50g/2oz caster sugar (or superfine sugar)
  • 175g/6oz plain flour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Extra strong teabag (or 1 regular teabag)

Preheat oven at 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4

Rub butter, caster sugar and flour together in a big bowl until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add it all to the food processor and pulse it.

Heat a small cup of milk and add the teabag and allow to steep.

Add a tablespoon of milk to your bread crumbs and knead for a minute or two until it forms a smooth ball of dough.  Cover with plastic wrap/clingfilm and put in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Turn onto a floured surface and roll out the dough until it’s 1cm thick.  Cut out biscuit shapes using a cookie cutter.

Reshape the scraps and cut more shapes. Place the biscuits on a baking tray and prick with a fork.

Bake for 15 minutes before placing on to a wire rack to cool.

You can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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Typhoo’s Coconut & Cinnamon Tea Loaf

  • 300ml strong, hot Typhoo tea (made with 2 teabags)
  • 280g raisins
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 40g desiccated coconut (also known as shredded coconut)
  • 55g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg

10-tealoaf-683x1024-683x1024.jpgPreheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. Make the tea in a jug or bowl (leaving the teabags in) and add the raisins to it. Leave for 20 minutes.

In the meantime stir together the flour, coconut, sugars, and cinnamon until well distributed

If the brown sugar has any lumps be sure to squash these with the back of a spoon. Add the raisins and tea being careful to discard the teabags. Then add the egg. Use a spoon to combine, but beware of overmixing.

Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour until a skewer comes out of the centre of the cake clean.

Cool on a wire rack in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Serve with a cup of Typhoo tea! Happy Baking!

-CD

With Easter being early this year (April 1, 2018) it can be tough to find Easter gifts and baskets for your loved ones in such a short amount of time. This is where we come in! You can bring an Easter basket to a friend or family member who is hosting Easter at their home or for a child or grandchild. Our pre-made Easter baskets are beautifully decorated and there is something for just about everyone!

For the little ones, we carry something for princess fans, pink bunny lovers, and this easter_little_princess_sku_915332.jpgbasket, or anyone who just loves the color pink. Not into pink? Then how about blue? There is also a basket for Disney fans with activity books and sweets. Speaking of activities, the Hip Hoppin Fun Easter Pail has plenty of fun things for a young one to do, with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and more fun Easter games. Plus, it comes in green for any child that does not like pink or blue.

For the older ones (they don’t have to be children!), something more suitable like a basket FILLED with sweets or something much more smaller, like a singing duckling with some Jelly Belly beans. Of course, as I got older, I no longer had my own Easter basket, so my parents had one large basket for everyone in my family to share. Our Deluxe Easter Basket is ideal for everyone to share, featuring tasty treats like fudge brownies, buttercrunch caramel corn, and chocolate cream puff cookies, among candies packed inside.

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If your loved one is not a fan of traditional Easter baskets but you still want to give them something, then our regular gift baskets could be more suitable. We have gift baskets for one of the guys in your life and the snack lovers. We even have gift baskets for tea lovers! You don’t even have to get a basket for someone. It could be a treat for yourself!

However you decide to celebrate Easter this year, make sure it’s a good one! From all of us at English Tea Store, have a Happy Easter!

-CD

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One fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is tea the Irish way. If you want to change up your tea routine or just do something new with your friends and family, then this would be a wonderful activity.

Let’s start with the most important part: tea. Ireland has some of the best tea you can buy. Barry’s Tea is one of the best selling brands of tea in Ireland. There are several kinds, with Gold Blend, Irish Breakfast, Classic, and Decaf. The Gold Blend is the signature blend and you can see why with its beautifully bright golden color and refreshing taste. Another popular Irish tea brand is Lyons tea. Like Barry’s, TEATTOT1000016767_-00_Bewleys-Original-Blend-Tea-80-Teabags.jpgLyons has a Gold blend but the teabags come in a pyramid shape and there is an “Original” Blend. The Original Blend is normally called Lyons Green but it’s not actually green tea. Instead, it is still black tea. Finally, there is Bewley’s Irish Tea which is a bit different than both Barry’s and Lyons. While there is a Breakfast and a Gold blend, Bewley’s also has a Dublin Morning Tea and an Irish Afternoon Tea. Dublin Morning is a malty blend of full-bodied African teas while Irish Afternoon is lighter, yet stronger, blended with teas grown from Kenya and other parts of Africa.

 

The next part is the bread and scones. Our variety of Hogan’s bread mixes feature two TEAJAMS1000016691_-00_Sticky-Fingers-Irish-Soda-Bread-15oz.jpgtypes of Irish soda bread with brown and white. Hogan’s also makes a scone mix so it makes it easy for you to make a batch of fresh Irish scones. If you are strapped for time, however, there is always O’Hara’s of Foxford’s Farmhouse Fruitcake, which is something that’s already baked. The best thing about it is very moist and packed with fruit. Did I mention that the cake is made in Ireland?

 

teafsjm1000032889_-00_abbey-farms-rhubarb-and-ginger-preserves.jpgFinally, we have jam. Scones are no fun if they don’t have any jam on them, so add a little fun and flavor to them! We carry two brands of Irish jams, Abbey Farm and Follain. The two brands may have a few similar flavors but there are a few different ones. Try Follain’s Gooseberry and marmalades or Abbey Farm’s Strawberry! Don’t forget the clotted cream and Devon cream!

 

Add a few tea sandwiches and you have yourself an Irish tea time. Enjoy and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

-CD

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Easter is coming early in 2018! This year, it will fall on April 1st and it’s no joke! Luckily, British Easter chocolate and treats have arrived just in time here at the English Tea Store! Get some British Easter candy before it hops away!

 

Fill your Easter baskets with some of of Britain’s most beloved filled chocolate eggs, which include the Cadbury Creme EggCadbury Caramel EggsSmarties Chick in Egg and Nestle Milkybar Chick in Egg instead of or along with jelly beans and there are sure to be some delighted faces this Easter!

Cadbury Mini Eggs and Cadbury Dairy Milk Mini Eggs can be hidden among the Easter

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grass while a hollow Cadbury Dairy Milk Bunny sits atop the grassy patch. His innocent purple face is very good at keeping secrets! Maybe you can persuade it to tell you where the Galaxy Golden Eggs are!

Then there is the grand finale! The chocolate egg! Whether big or small, basic or luxurious, chocolate eggs delight everyone both young and old. While America is a little behind on this tradition (okay, we are REALLY behind on it), the British are always one step ahead and making these eggs better with each passing year. Cadbury’s Crunchie Bar Eggs would most definitely make my Easter, but of course, many people are different. Some like more fun with their chocolate eggs, like 1cMarvellous Creations or enjoy the finer things in life with Thorntons.

 

However you celebrate your Easter this year, always be careful, and be safe. Happy Easter!

 

-CD

Looking for something different in a biscuit? If you are not a fan of the plain old Digestives or just simply not into chocolate, then fruity biscuits could be your thing. Sweet and tangy biscuits with bits of fruit are usually some people’s cup of tea to go with their cup of tea. If you aren’t sure which ones to try, of course, then check out the following biscuits below and see what might be suitable for you!

 

The Garibaldi biscuit is fruity currant-raisin sandwich biscuit that was named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian leader and general who led a fight to unify Italy. When

20180227_165519-002.jpgGaribaldi visited England in 1861, he was very popular amongst the British, so a biscuit was created in his honor. The Garibaldi biscuit has similarities to squashed flies, which led to the nickname Dead Fly Biscuits. These biscuits were originally manufactured by a different company but are now made by Crawford’s, owned by McVitie’s.

 

Speaking of McVities, they have their own fruity biscuits with currants in them. The Fruit Shortcake is a crumbly shortbread biscuit with sweet and juicy currants packed inside. They are also sprinkled generously with sugar granules.

 

McVities Ginger Nuts do not actually have any nuts in them but one thing we can assure you is that they are loaded with a spicy ginger flavor. There is also a sweet lemon and molasses flavor to help add to the gingery kick. These biscuits are very, VERY crunchy, though! For a less crunchy ginger fix, try Walkers Stem Ginger Shortbread. These mouthwatering biscuits are loaded with Australian stem ginger and baked into Walker’s Famous Buttery Shortbread. However, if you just happen to love ginger, then you might have a hard time deciding which of these two are your favorite.

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Lemon lovers who enjoy the taste of lemon would love Bolands Lemon Puffs. These cookies have a light lemon cream filling and sandwiched together by two crispy slightly sweet puff pastry biscuits. It’s just hard to stop eating them once you start!

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All of these delightful biscuits are perfect for dipping or dunking in your afternoon tea! Black tea is perfect for soaking up these crispy, crumbly, and fruity biscuits so why not give them a go?

 

-CD

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Whether you are having your first tea party or just a friend over for tea, you’ll want to know the basics. This is just one of many ways to set a table for tea! Sometimes if you are going to a formal tea party, you may want to really watch for strict etiquette but this is just for fun! (Watch our for a blog on formal tea party setting) It usually is based on preference and what you will be serving but here are a few tips & tricks to get you started:

 

 

 

 

Salad Plate: This plate is usually used for a small salad or even a few danishes. It should sit one inch from the edge of the table.

Spreader: Knives sometimes do not look as dainty. So a small spreader or butter knife can be used and is placed on the right of the salad plate. (Make sure it is facing the plate!)

Spoon: A small spoon should be placed on the right of the spreader.

Napkin & Fork: The napkin is to be 9″ sized (not dinner sized) and folded neatly on the left of the salad plate. You can also use a napkin ring instead of a nice fold. The fork then is placed in the middle of the napkin.

Name Card: A name card should have the guests’ name on it and folded on top of the salad plate.

Water Glass: A pretty small water glass should be placed right above the spreader on the right.

Teacup & Saucer: This set will go right somewhere above the fork/salad plate.

Small Bowl: You’ll also want to place this off to the top left of the napkin. This can be used for waste of lemons and tea bags.

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-Alexis

 

Rio Tea SetThe groundhog has predicted six more weeks of winter this year! If there is snow stuck on the ground in your area and it has you longing for the colors of Spring, then why not brighten your home up with some colorful teaware? English Tea Store carries solid color teapots, mugs, and more so you can add a colorful variety to your tea collection.

 

Our own brand of ceramic teapots range in 2-cup (16oz) and 6-cup (32oz) sizes and come in many colors, from Burgundy to Hunter Green! Each teapot has a beautiful gloss finish, and are perfect for use at home, events, or in restaurants. Pick our a friend or family member’s favorite color and give one as a gift or match the color of your kitchen! Our teapots are also microwave and dishwasher safe, but keep in mind, they are never to be used on the stove.

Teaz Cafe Infuser Mug with Lid - 11oz - Turquoise

 

If you happen to not have a teapot or just don’t fancy using teabags to brew your tea then a solid color mug could be for you. The Teaz Cafe Mugs each come with an infuser so you can put in any loose leaf tea you like. An added bonus to these mugs are that they each come with a lid! When you are done infusing your tea leaves, but you’re not quite ready to drink your tea yet, simply remove the infuser and place the lid on, helping to keep your mug of tea nice and hot. Of course, if you just want a plain mug to drop a teabag in, then there are the colorful Rio Mugs! They come in four bright and vibrant colors. You can pick one or get them all in a set of 4!

 

Tea for One Desert Rose Gloss Finish - English Tea Store Brand

Last up is our English Tea Store Tea-For-One tea sets. They come in the same colors as our standard teapots but small enough for one person, holding 10 ounces. Each teapot is made of ceramic and has the same glossy finish as the standard teapot and they come with a cup and a saucer which stacks and stores neatly in small and compact spaces. If you would much rather see flowers than color, however, then our Summertime tea-for-one sets may be more suitable. There are porcelain ones with gold trim* like the Summertime Flowers or you can get bone china, if you prefer.

 

Now, all you need is some colorful tea like Butterfly Pea or some Blue Suede Shoes Green Tea to go with these colorful tea sets and you will have added a delightful blend of color to your tea time! Just don’t forget the lemon for your Butterfly Pea Tea!

 

-CD

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