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Every year during New Year’s, we do one thing: we make resolutions. We set goals for ourselves. We strive to be better than we were the previous year or we challenge ourselves to do new things. One of the most popular resolutions many make is to be healthier. Some may take up eating better with adding more fruits and vegetables to their diets along with more exercise, but you can also drink better, too! Here are some good teas that will help get your year off to a great start!

 

 

 

Balance Tea is an herbal blend of rooibos tea meant to help restore balance within yourself. Anise and cardamom help spice up this otherwise mellow tea.

Balance Tea  - Tea Bags

If you resolved to take more time to stop and calm down, then our Serenity Tea might be just right for you. Our blend of light chamomile and rooibos mixed in with spice will allow you to stop for a break and have a moment to yourself.

 

Now, if you strive to be healthier in general, why not give our Wellness Tea a try? Unlike our other two teas listed, this tea has caffeine as it is a green mate. This South American tea will help brighten up your day with a lively blend of ginseng, lemongrass, spearmint, and ginko.

 

These teas are available in 25 pouch bags or if you are in the mood to mix things up, then get a sampler size and try all three!

 

To health and happiness!

 

-CD

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We’ve read many articles on this lately and there seems to be much conversation that a hot cup of tea per day can in fact reduce the risk of blindness. Give yourself a pat on the back if you’ve been saving your eyesight without even knowing it!

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a buildup of fluids in the eye that can damage nerves such as the optic nerve that is responsible for so much of our vision. (This nerve is pictured below). This leads to gradual vision loss and blindness.

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What’s the proof?

There was a study done in the British Journal of Ophthalmology that included 1678 participants.  Using technology to observe the optic disc, they correlated glaucoma with beverage consumption. After factoring in age, sex, ethnicity, and a few other factors, they saw that those that drank a cup of hot tea per day were 74% LESS LIKELY to develop glaucoma.

Wait, but why?

The researchers have explained that this study needs to keep being replicated for true proof but the tea contains phytochemicals and flavonoids that are anti-inflammatory. This helps the optic nerve to stay healthy.

It is thought that black, green, white and oolong tea have the most flavonoids. So stock up by hitting those links!

In other words, keep drinking your hot decaf tea, tea lovers!

-Alexis

Thanks to the NY Times, British Journal of Ophthalmology for this helpful info.

 

 

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Did you know that all the different tea times in Britain have a specific name? Pretty neat. Afternoon tea and high tea are sometimes used interchangeably but if you really know your British tea habits, you will know they are nowhere near the same. Afternoon Tea is more for the non-working class or those who have plenty of afternoon time while high tea is for the working class. (aka: most of us busy people)

Afternoon Tea

If you’re like me, you’re snacking between lunch and dinner because it feels like such a long gap of no food. This is exactly what afternoon tea was designed for. Afternoon tea emerged in the early 19th century. This tradition is carried out at 4 pm and everyone sits down with their cuppa & nibble on some sandwiches and scones. Back then, they often ate diner very late back because afternoon tea fulfilled their hungry tummy’s. Then they usually serve dinner as late as 8pm. (I’d be starving)

In today’s day, they simply use afternoon tea as a refreshment, not a decadent meal. Not many have the time to sit down and enjoy many scones & cakes at 4pm. They are working and getting along with life. Ever wanted to try out this tradition? Check out some of the famous tea rooms in Britain.

High Tea

As we said above, many are working during afternoon tea so they have to wait til after work to enjoy their cuppa. Since they are enjoying after work, they are usually very hungry so the meal that comes with the tea is little more hearty. Some may even refer to this as supper because it is basically a full meal.

 

-Alexis

 

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We are proud to say that we have a really good base of tea lovin’ customers that purchase the teas we carry and review them truthfully. We use these reviews to carefully handpick which teas to keep & which to give the boot. Therefore, thank you for your honest reviews and keep them coming!

Without further or do, the highest rated product on our site is the Loose Leaf Buckingham Palace Garden Tea Party. It may not be the most rated product on our site but it is definitely the highest rated with over 80 five star reviews in quality AND price.

Buckingham Palace Garden Party Tea - Loose Leaf

 

This loose leaf tea is a medium bodied tea with Ceylon Earl Grey & Jasmine flavor. Jasmine is also known to be a very healthy tea as you can read about in a previous blog here. It makes for the perfect afternoon tea because it is light but still full bodied. This tea is served every year at the Buckingham Palace with a delicious meal.

 

The caffeine content in this tea is medium. The only caffeine comes from the tea leaves in the flower L. Camelia Sinsensis. However you can reduce the caffeine levels by rinsing the tea leaves in hot water beforehand. You won’t want to do this for long or it will take away flavor. The antioxidant content is extremely high which is awesome! The longer you brew your tea the more antioxidants you will benefit from. Each cup you make may taste a little different because it is a loose leaf & it depends how much or how little you use.

 

You can enjoy this tea in 16 ounces, 4 ounces or 1 ounce bags.

Learn more about this delicious tea on our YouTube channel here.

-Alexis

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Did you know that January 6 is National Shortbread Day? Shortbread biscuits are a classic Scottish biscuit that has spread to all the ends of the earth. It is fitting for it to have its own day! If you are looking for ways to celebrate National Shortbread Day, why not:

 

Make Shortbread!

Try this chocolate caramel shortbread recipe, otherwise known as Millionaire’s Shortbread. You have to admit that this recipe is a bit like a Twix bar, only you can cut whatever size you like! Once you take your first bite, you won’t want to stop so make sure you make this to share!

 

Learn some trivia about shortbread!

We all know shortbread biscuits got their start in Scotland, but when? Shortbread dates back to at least the 12th century and Mary Queen of Scots is often credited for launching its popularity. It started off as “biscuit bread” and was only made for special occasions like weddings, Christmas, and Hogmanay. It was said that Mary Queen of Scots was very fond of petticoat tails, which were said to be inspired by the petticoats worn by Queen Elizabeth I.

Walkers Shortbread Petticoat Tails- 5.3oz (150g)

Enjoy shortbread!

Last but not least, enjoy shortbread with a cup of tea. You don’t have to just eat them with tea, of course. If you prefer them with milk, or in your ice cream, that works, too! Crumble some up and use them as a base for a cake or top them on cupcakes. The choices are endless!

 

Happy National Shortbread Day!

 

-CD

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Happy New Year! Welcome to January and welcome to National Hot Tea Month! That means this month we will celebrate all things hot tea. It is early in what may be a long and cold winter for some, so it has never been a more perfect time to drink more tea.

 

What are some good ways to celebrate National Hot Tea Month? You might already be celebrating it! But in case you are in need of some ideas, why not try these:

 

New Year’s Resolution: As I have said in the past, with New Year’s resolutions being made, some of us might resolve to drink more tea. You can challenge yourself and try to go this month without coffee. Switch your morning joe for a cuppa and see how you feel. If you like the change, keep it. Can’t go without coffee? No problem! You can add a cup of tea to your day (like the afternoon) in addition to your coffee.

 

New Year, New Tea: Want to try something new? Why not try something different from your normal brew? Do you normally drink black tea but want to venture into a different type? Maybe some green tea or or white tea? Enjoy some jasmine with flowers green tea or a fusion of green and white like this one from Stash. Or how about something completely new like Darjeeling? You never know if you do not take the leap!

 

Cut Out the Caffeine: If you are trying to cut out caffeine (or at least reduce your intake), it’s a little hard at times but tea can help make it easy. Rooibos and herbal teas are some of the best routes one can take. Rooibos teas come from South Africa, often known as “red tea”. It is also a little sweet, so it can be good for an after-dinner tea. Herbal teas can often be enjoyed right before bed, since they are often made from herbs, fruits, and flowers, like chamomile. My choice for chamomile is Twinings Winter Spice, an apple flavored chamomile tea with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and clove.

Twinings Herbal Tea - Winter Spice - 20 count

Do you have a favorite hot tea? Or are you an iced tea person? If you took on any of these challenges this month, tell us how you did.

 

Happy Hot Tea Month!

 

-CD

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The world is made up of so many different rituals and traditions. But one thing most countries have in common is their love of tea. Whether you enjoy bold tea, light tea, flavored tea, or herbal tea – there is a tea for everyone. Each country has a special touch to their tea and a reason behind it. Let’s explore some countries rituals.

 

 

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Morocco: As soon as a meal is brought to the table, so is a cup of warm mint tea. Poured from a barrad, this tea consists of a mixture of green tea, mint leaves, and a bunch of sugar. There are sometimes three sets of tea offered..each having their own meaning (love, life & death). It is unseen to refuse one of these cups of tea.

 

 

Tibet: Who doesn’t love butter? I feel like I am constantly at the store buying milk & butter because we use it in everything! In Tibet, butter tea, also known as po cha, is the most popular tea. It is made of a black tea called Pemagul, yak butter, milk & salt. (This sounds really interesting.)

 

 

New England: As we are an English tea store, we specialize in the favorites of this country. The most popular ritual in NE is afternoon tea. Alongside the tea, there are often finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream and more to make your afternoon more decadent.

 

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Japan: Matcha has amazing benefits for your body so Japan knows what they are doing. They use Matcha is their tea, candy & beauty products! They also specialize a ceremony called chanoyu that is meant to be both tranquil and calming that revolves around Matcha tea.

 

 

 

United States: Personally, I love our ritual of sweet tea. Living in PA my whole life, I look forward to my family beach trip every year to get some of my ice cold southern sweet tea.

 

China: As China had discovered the first tea leaf – they deserve a lot of credit. The preparation of tea in China is their ritual. Due to climate change all over the country, teas taste different depending on what part of the country they were produced in.

 

Which is your favorite?!

 

-Alexis

As fast as it came, old year 2017 is now passing the torch to new year 2018. What better way to ring in the new year than the British way? Here are a few ideas for nibbles and drinks at your New Year’s Eve party to help ring in the new year, British style!

 

Jacob’s Twiglets

This holiday classic is loved by many. A wholegrain snack that is baked and never fried. They are designed to look like little twigs with the delicious flavor of Marmite. Serve them up at your New Year’s Eve party.

Jacob's Twiglets - 1.58oz (45g)

Schweppes Bitter Lemon

A rare mixer in the United States but very common in the UK! Bitter lemon is a zingy combination of lemon and quinine. Goes well with gin and other cocktails. Try in your favorite alcoholic beverage or on its own!

 

Schweppes' Bitter Lemon - .33fl. (1L)

Jacob’s Afternoon USA Tin

Over two pounds of your favorite plain and milk chocolate biscuits, all in one tin! Set out a platter of these at your New Year’s party and your guests will be asking all about them.

Jacobs USA Tin - 2.2lb (1000g)

Ribena

A new way to toast a happy and healthy new year, try serving a pitcher of Ribena, made from British blackcurrants and loaded with vitamin C. Sweet and tart for everyone to enjoy! Try mixing with unflavored seltzer water for a sparkling blackcurrant drink.

Iced Tea by Shangri La - Natural Black Brew Bags

Branston Pickle

A truly great party is not truly great without Branston pickle. Make Branston and Cheese sandwiches using Branston Pickle and cheese (English cheddar or a mature cheese). Cut them into small pieces or make them into sliders! There are limitless possibilities with Branston!

Branston Pickle - 18.3oz (520g)

No matter what you do, be sure to have a safe and Happy New Year! We look forward to having you with us in the coming year. Happy 2018!

 

-CD

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Have you ever hung a stocking on your chimney mantel? Do you happen to see them everywhere you go during the holiday season? While I grew up here in the US, I always saw them everywhere but never knew that they were actually filled with anything since my family never did stockings. It was adulthood when I found out that people stuffed them with “stocking stuffers”, which are little gifts of toys, sweets, an orange, and other goodies that one would enjoy. It is like a little Christmas bonus from Santa Claus, unless you are bad, of course. Then you might get coal in the Christmas stocking!

 

There is no way of telling where the tradition of Christmas stockings came from but one thing for sure is that it is a fun way to get some yummy treats! If you want something different from the standard Christmas candy, then look no further. Our British candy make some of the most popular stocking stuffers for adults and children alike.

 

Bassett’s Jelly Babies Snowmen

A winter take on the classic British sweet, Bassetts Jelly Babies take on the form of snowmen for the holiday season. They also come in two of the best flavors, strawberry and lime.

Bassett's Jelly Snowmen Bag - 5.82oz (165g)

Kinder Mini Christmas Figures

Six little snowman figures made with creamy milk chocolate from world renowned candy maker Kinder. Add a few of these to stockings for some smiles on Christmas!

Kinder Mini Christmas Figures - 3.17oz (90g)

Bassett’s Liquorice Allsorts Jar

Any licorice lover will cherish this treat! A tin of the Bassett’s Allsorts mascot filled with mouthwatering allsorts! Keep the tin afterwards to fill with whatever you want! Maybe more allsorts?

Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts Jar - 17.4oz (495g)

Walkers Uno Hammer Pack

This is a fun stocking stuffer! A hammer is included in this pack of toffee. Simply whack and unwrap (or unwrap and then whack, the choice is yours)!

Walkers Uno  Hammer Pack - Original Toffee - 3.5oz (100g)

I honestly think filling stockings are more fun than receiving. What do you like to put in your Christmas stockings?

 

Have a Merry Christmas!

-CD

Having a party with the girls? Or just love dipping something in your tea? We’ve got you covered. These are delicious for any occasion that tea may be involved. (Even on Christmas after dinner…wink wink) They are easy, fun & delicious. They’re a great way to get the kiddos involved also!

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You Will Need:

  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 6.5 Tablespoons Cold Butter (Diced)
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3.5 oz. Chocolate (of your choice)
  • String & Paper

How To:

  1. Pulse butter & flour in food processor until crumbly.
  2. Add sugar, egg, vanilla & salt and mix with hands, kneading until smooth.
  3. Wrap in saran wrap & put in fridge for 45 minutes.
  4. Dust a surface with flour & roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness.
  5. Cut out tea bag shapes in dough using a tea bag you already own (put side by side to31069015470_e9985b4a43_o.jpg save room)
  6. Poke a hole in the top of your dough tea bags where the string would go
  7. Put back in fridge for 30 minutes & preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Bake for 11-12 minutes!
  9. Melt your chocolate while dough is baking. Learn how here if you never have before.
  10. Once the cookies are out of the oven and cooled, dip them in the chocolate & place on parchment paper.
  11. Once chocolate has hardened, add a string and homemade tag & enjoy!

 

 

-Alexis

 

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