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In the past decade, I have seen many tea trends become popular. About fifteen years ago, I had seen bubble tea take over my metro area (I live in Los Angeles) by storm and it still has a strong following today. Just recently, I have been seeing matcha green tea all over. Not just coffee shops selling it but now shops are beginning to incorporate it into food. At first it was in desserts but now it has taken on a new form in hamburger buns or even sauces!

The hardest part is choosing which type of matcha you want to try. You can always take advantage of our Matcha sampler. Try them all at once or try them one by one. Here are our matchas:

Japanese Izu Matcha: This is our most popular of our Tea Store Matchas. This blend is made with pure luxury sencha tea and Gyokuro leaves. It’s perfect for use during a Japanese tea

ceremony at home (for the perfect kit, click here: https://www.englishteastore.com/matcha-tea-starter-kit.html) This is the matcha to use if you want matcha flavor in nearly all of your food. This is not just for plain tea and lattes, but you can add matcha to your pancakes, incorporate into a cheesecake, or blend into a smoothie. It’s very versatile!

Peppermint Matcha: The same matcha but infused with cool peppermint!

Bengal Club Chai Matcha: Much like our chai teas, this amazing matcha is blended with fresh Malabar spices to give you a peppery and saucy finish.

Kenya White Rhino: This is a green and white tea blend grown all the way from Kenya, made with young tea leaves. Nice and powdery, it would give your food and drinks a wonderfully warm a mossy note of grass and and slight floral undertones of oolong. This is named after the Kenyan White Rhino although the White Rhino is technically gray!

Our tea samplers are 1 ounces each or you can choose 2 or 8 ounces. It’s always worth it to try just a little bit of everything.

If matcha follows the way of its friend bubble tea, it will have a good lasting impact on the tea world. If you add matcha into your favorite foods and drinks, let us know! We would love to hear about it and see the pictures!

 

-CD

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In a trend of “life hacking”, everyone is always looking for new ways to make life easier, save money, or going green. Holidays are no exception. If you are low on Easter egg dyes or simply want to reduce your carbon footprint, look no further than your cupboard! If you have a large collection of teas and want to use up old ones or make room for new teas, then this is a perfect time to use them up!

Introducing tea-dyed Easter Eggs! As an American, I grew up dyeing hard boiled eggs and then eating them for Easter. We always used store bought color tablets and mixed them in vinegar. Sometimes you may run low on vinegar, so tea and water can also be the best solution. Here’s how to do it:

 

 

  • Eggs
  • 1 or 2 teabags of your favorite tea. Depending on the type, you would be surprised at what colors will come out!
  • 1 cup of water for each egg
  • 1 cup or deep bowl for each egg

To boil the eggs*, place them in a saucepan that should allow them to be in one single layer. Pour water up to about 1 inch above the eggs and turn on the burner, letting them cook until they start to boil. Let them stand for about 12 minutes for large eggs or 15 minutes for extra large eggs. If you want to cool them at a much quicker pace, run them under cool water or put them in a bowl of ice water.

Brew your tea as you normally would, but let it cool completely. Once the tea is cooled, pour into either a glass, a bowl, or leave it in a mug. Place the eggs in and let them sit for about 8 hours, or overnight for a good coloring. If you want to add patterns, use a crayon and draw lines or swirls!

When I made my tea-dyed eggs, I was surprised at how mine came out. I used teas like chamomile, Bingo Blueberry, and PG Tips along with a few others in my cupboard. The chamomile egg came out a light yellow while the Bingo Blueberry egg turned blue (the blueberries in the tea help). The PG Tips egg came out very vibrant, as well, with a nice hue of brown. I had used a mango strawberry tea but it also turned the egg blue, which was very surprising. But felt these were festive colors for Easter.

Try this out on any tea you have and see what colors you get! Don’t forget to include the kids! Have a Happy Easter!

 

 

*Source: http://www.incredibleegg.org/

 

-CD

 

Subscriptions! They’ve been around for many years but just recently, subscriptions have been taking on new forms and increasing in popularity. From movies to even dinner kits, you can get just about anything through a subscription. So when you hear about subscribing to tea, is it truly a surprise?

The answer is yes! Introducing English Tea Store’s Tea of the Month Subscription! Each month presents an opportunity to try new teas at an unbeatable price. How does it work? You can either try the:

Loose or Tea Bag Month-to-Month Subscription: For $13.95 a month, you can choose between loose leaf tea or tea bags! Loose leaf comes in 4oz and tea bags are in packs of 25. If loose leaf is chosen, two of the 4oz packs are sent or if you prefer tea bags, you will get two packs of 25 teabags. You can also choose to get one loose leaf and one tea bag! Also included are 5 tea bag samples or a 1oz loose tea sample. This subscription is billed monthly and you can cancel at any time.

Tea of the Month, Loose Leaf Yearly Subscription: As previously described above, you will get two 4oz packs of loose leaf tea, plus a 1oz loose tea sample. However, with this subscription, you must prepay a lump sum once a year. For purchasing the yearly subscription, you get to save an extra 20%, bringing your monthly total down from $13.95 to $11.17.

Tea of the Month, Tea Bag Yearly Subscription: This subscription has the same terms as the Loose Leaf Yearly Subscription, only you get to choose the two packs of 25 tea bags per month for a prepaid annual price (same as the Loose Leaf Yearly Subscription), billed once a year when you begin your subscription. A sample pack of 5 tea bags is also included!

The boxes ship out the first week of each month for our subscribers. Tea samples are selected by our own tea enthusiasts, ensuring you will get to try the best teas! You can subscribe to these services for yourself, or you can give one as a gift! Every month will feature new teas to try and you may find a new favorite. Give us a try!

-CD

 

 


*MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTIONS

By purchasing a Monthly Subscription, you agree and acknowledge that your subscription has an initial and recurring payment charge at the then-current subscription rate and you accept responsibility for all recurring charges prior to cancellation, including any charges processed by Englishteastore.com after the expiration date of your payment card.

*ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS

By purchasing an Annual Subscription, you agree and acknowledge that your subscription has an initial pre-payment feature for 12 months of service without a recurring Annual Subscription renewal. Including any charges processed by Englishteastore.com after the expiration date of your payment card.

Orders placed on or after the 1st of the month will ship the 1st business day of the following month.

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Recently my family and I had to pack up and move to a new house. While I was sorting through my things, I came across some of my tea sets. I noticed that I had several tea-for-one sets. My fiance saw them and immediately wanted to try them out. Then I remembered that National Hot Tea Month was coming up again so now is a good time to delve into tea-for-one sets!

teapchn1000029112_-00_rose-porcelain-tea-for-oneIf you are unfamiliar with these unique tea sets, many of them are usually made of ceramic, porcelain, or bone china. Each set comes with a small teapot to brew a teabag or two in, depending on how strong you like your tea, a cup, and a saucer. Stack the teapot on top of the cup and set it all on the saucer and voila! These nifty sets look great on any counter, cupboard, or table, and they fit nearly anywhere.

English Tea Store carries our very own brand of tea-for-one sets, much like our own regular teapots. These are made of ceramic and carry up to 16 ounces of delicious tea along with a 10 ounce cup. They are touched with a beautiful glossy finish and come in a range of lively colors, from blue to lime green. You may end up teadt1p1000031882_-00_shabby-rose-porcelain-tea-for-onestarting a collection!

But if you want to explore the more exotic versions, we carry an excellent variety. There is the beautiful Shabby Rose Turquoise Porcelain set, which is a pleasing look for the eyes, or the Rose Porcelain set. This one features a beautiful gold trim* and a more traditional teapot look and very charming. One of our best selling sets is the Irish Claddagh, beautifully decorated with creamy colors and Celtic knotwork and patterns. A Claddagh is embellished in the stoneware, symbolizing love, friendship, and loyalty.

These tea sets are very ideal to give to someone who fancies a quick cup of tea but doesn’t want to pull out the entire tea set. I had received my tea-for-one sets as gifts and they are the best ever. These are sure to wow and you will enjoy using your tea set.

-CD

 

*For tea sets with gold trim, these are not recommended for microwave use.

 

As soon as summer is over, pumpkin spice and cinnamon begin to fill the shelves of stores faster than you can say “Halloween”, boots replace flip flops, and coats are brought out from dark closets and into the bright orange sunshine. The cooler weather is finally upon us for a short time, and you can finally enjoy tea hot once again! What better way to celebrate Fall than with tolsll_psp_-00_loose-leaf-tea-pumpkin-spiceour Fall flavored tea?

tolstb_cran_-00_cranberry-pouchOur refreshing Cranberry Black Tea is a good way to transition to fall but still have a sweet fruity flavor. The black tea is grown in the high districts of Sri Lanka: Nuwara Eliya, Uva, and Dimbula. This tea is flavored using oils and not flavoring crystals, which give the tea a more brighter taste. Try it iced for a cool, refreshing experience!

Or are you a huge fan of pumpkin? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Twinings Pumpkin Spice Chai is perfect for your pumpkin fix without having to get a latte. Twinings is one of Britain’s best known tea brands, using quality black tea along with the finest spices for their chai teas. Add milk once your cup of pumpkin chai is ready and you will be taken to a spicy heaven! Not a fan of chai? Try our English Tea Store Pumpkin Spice, a blend of black tea and South African Rooibos, creating a medium caffeinated tea to give you a lovely balance of flavor. We also have Stash’s Pumpkin Spice, which is a decaf blend and is in a small 10 pack.tolsll_meraps_-mercedes-apple-spice-herbal-loose-leaf-tea

For the apple lovers, we have our very own Mercedes Apple Spice Tea. It’s a crisp and spicy blend of apple, hibiscus, cardamom, cloves, pepper, and cinnamon. It’s caffeine free and it’s loaded with Vitamin C! Need more of a spicy kick? Try Twinings Apple Chai, a sweet chai equivalent to the Pumpkin Chai but with apple flavor. It is a one of a kind tea experience that will leave you wanting more!

 

-CD

 

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With the Olympics going on at the moment, it’s been quite a ride so far for the delegates over at Rio de Janeiro. History was made not just by America’s own Michael Phelps but some nations alone such as Fiji, who won their very first medals. Whether you support Team USA, Team GB, or any other team, celebrate them by toasting them with a lovely cup of tea. Not just with any tea, toast them with a cup of GOLD!

Not sure on which of our special teas to try? Here are a few good ones to get you started!

ttoh40b_ykg_-00_yorkshire-gold-tea-bags-40-countYorkshire Gold: Much like its standard counterpart, only a bit stronger. It has a malty taste thanks to a fine blend of teas from Africa, Sri Lanka, and India. It’s a perfect mate for your breakfast either black or with milk and sugar. Try it in loose leaf, too!

Typhoo Gold: Another fine brew, Typhoo Gold is a strong blend of Assam and African black tea leaves. This tea is also Rainforest Alliance Certified.

PG Tips Gold: This is the finest and the most indulgent cuppa that PG Tips has to offer from their range. A golden blend of Ceylon, Assam, and African teas are pressed to release their natural juices and create their bold and rich flavor. The teabags are pyramid shaped to allow more room for water to flow through and decrease the brewing time.

Barry’s Gold Tea: This Irish tea is a signature blend for Barry’s Tea. Their tea comes from the most luscious tea gardens of Rwanda, Kenya, and the tbry_gld40_barrys_tea_gold_blend_40ctAssam valleys of India and produces a lovely golden color. This tea is one of our must-try teas! We also carry it in loose leaf!

Lyons Gold: Another well known Irish brand of tea, this expertly blended mix of Ceylon, Assam, and Kenyan teas brings a rich, full bodied flavor to your teacup. Every box comes with 80 teabags but it may not last very long if this is your favorite!

Whether you have tried one or all of them or you simply like their regular brands better, have it with a little cake or cookies while watching your teams play. Don’t forget your flags!

For USA and other national flags, head over to our sister site,  http://www.united-states-flag.com/

 

-CD

 

The first discounted tea this month is our Keemun Panda, in bags or loose leaf. Keeman is written in traditional Chinese like this: 祁門紅茶, and pronounced chee-MEN. It brews into a vibrant red with smoky and chocolately hints.fdd332ef6296e4d34ac74234d63ebb71

Of all the China black teas available, Keemun Panda is probably one of the best known. Keemun is one of the congou-type teas meaning it requires a great deal of gongfu (disciplined skill) to make into fine taut strips without breaking the leaves. Interestingly, the characters in the written Chinese script for time and labor are the same as those used for ‘gongfu.’ It is often said that a properly produced Keemun, such as Panda, is one of the finest teas in the world with a complex aromatic and penetrating character often compared to burgundy wines. Traditionally, Keemuns were used in English Breakfast tea. Keemun is one the best-keeping black teas. Fine specimens will keep for years if stored properly, and take on a mellow winey character.

The name Keemun comes from Qimen county in southern Anhui province where almost all the mountains are covered with tea bushes. Qimen county produced only green tea until the mid 1870’s. Around that time a young man in the civil service lost his job. Despite being totally heartbroken and completely embarrassed by his shame, he remembered what his father told him: “A skill is a better guarantor of a living than precarious officialdom.” In America we would say, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” Following this advice, the young man packed up his courage and his bags to travel to Fujian Province to learn the secrets of black tea manufacturing. Upon his return to Qimen in 1875, he set up three factories to produce black tea. The black tea method was perfectly suited to the tea leaves produced in this warm, moist climate with well drained sandy soil. Before long, the superb flavor of Keemuns became very popular around the world.

If you haven’t tried our exquisite Keemun Panda tea, now is the perfect time, with 15% off through the month of May only.

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(c) Crystal Derma for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

As a tea lover, I can’t go a day without at least one cup of tea. I brew my tea either using teabags, self-made teabags with loose leaf tea, or loose leaf in a strainer. Lately in my efforts to go green, I have begun to use the strainer as much as I possibly can. I find it fun and easy to use and it’s very interesting to open the strainer after brewing to see the steeped tea leaves. I have noticed that the tea leaves expand in the hot water, so it’s very important for the tea to have much room to brew as it can. If you have seen advertisements for tea (at least in Britain), you will notice they boast how much room the teas will have to brew. So far, PG Tips is a game changer with their pyramid tea bags, while Yorkshire comes square and Typhoo is round and flat. The teabags also do not have tags or strings. Many tea companies have eliminated the use of these due to their efforts to reduce paper and other material waste that would affect the earth.

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(c) Crystal Derma for The English Tea Store, all rights reserved.

The teabag came to be entirely by accident! In 1908, a tea merchant named Sir Thomas Sullivan sent packets of loose tea to potential buyers in silk-muslin sachets. The buyers took this as a new way of brewing tea by simply tossing the bags into boiling hot water to brew and enjoyed it. Sullivan was confused and surprised when his customers began to ask for “tea bags” but was unable to continue his silk-muslin combination due to high costs of silk. To combat this issue, Sullivan adopted the use of gauze sacks.

Since then, tea has been sold in bags but before the teabag, it was sold loose and brewed in infusers and strainers. In 19th and 20th century England, however, tea was brewed in silvery tea balls (also called tea eggs). Some are made with mesh so the tea leaves have a harder time escaping, while others are metal with tiny perforations. These have been making a comeback lately since many people are trying to make efforts to go green. It is good to use larger-leafed teas like Organic Pearl River Green Tea to steep inside an infuser. If you have a tea with tinier leaves, like Organic Peppermint Tea, it is probably a better idea to use a paper filter so the tea leaves do not seep through the strainer and float throughout your tea. However, everyone’s tastes are different. Either way, brew green!

~CD

jollyingIn the ceramics world, jolleying is a method of shaping the inside of a plate or pot – the inner shape of the ware is made with a cutting material (metal or rigid plastic), and the clay is placed on the pottery wheel. As the clay spins, the cutters shave and shape the ware. In this case, into a Brown Betty. It is very similar to hand-throwing a pot and using your left hand to hold the pot centered and your right hand to create the depths of the pot by pressing down against the wheel and out against your left hand. Your right hand is acting as the jolley (your left hand is doing the jiggering but that’s another topic altogether!). Originally the Brown Betty was made this way and the spout attached separately. Because there is shrinkage during the firing of the clay, creating a lid that nests properly can be a challenge if the thickness of the walls of either the pot or the lid is not standardized.

mouldCurrently, the Brown Betty employs the slip casting method. Not only does this take less time, but it offers more consistent and precise results. The spout is an integral part of the pot, making it sturdier.20150227_082316 Slip casting involves creating the mould, mixing the original red terra cotta clay with the secret ingredients to make the Brown Betty “slip,” smoothing the unfired pot, firing the pot to set the clay, dipping in the secret-ingredient glaze, wiping the excess to give you that plain little ring on the underside of the teapot that I love, and refiring to set it all for generations to come. The lid has a mould that allows the finished lid and pot to settle into one another perfectly.

kilnMy first degree was in art, and I have taken ceramics classes. I know how to fire, how to wedge the slip by hand, and how much damage a mechanized pottery wheel does after a night of partying when you aren’t paying attention. Ask my friend Raychel. 🙂 I also believe that hand-throwing a pot adds sensuality and uniqueness to a piece, which is invaluable if the recipient is connected to the potter, or wants a unique piece with unique blemishes and characteristics. If the recipient wants a piece (s)he can count on to be of a certain standard, size, durability, and thickness for heat transfer without relying on the whims of the wheel, slip casting is the way to go.

~Your editor

Our second tea for March is vanilla flavored black tea. According to our site, “Vanilla calms the nerves, lifts the spirits and improves the romantic aspect of one’s life.” Wow. Maybe I should have written about this one last month instead of wasting space driveling about chocolate (oh, wait, sorry, chocolate is never drivel.).

GOC-hand-scrub-photo4I’ve lately found myself tempted to buy some essential oils and experiment, because they are great for making your own lotions, body scrubs, and candles. Around the DIY sites you can find 1001 uses for them, and vanilla is one of the most popular. If you mix some coconut oil with sea salt and a few drops of pure vanilla, you can smooth and nourish your skin in one inexpensive step. A drop of vanilla on the cardboard toilet paper tube before you put it on the holder will make your bathroom more inviting. And if you are painting a room, a tablespoon of the oil into the paint will not only knock out paint fumes but make the room smell pleasant for many months. Who knew? Vanilla being at the top of the list for creating your own “me time” products attests to our site’s statement.

snowman-graphicsfairy004pl-1024x671I’m not sure how the weather is in your locale but where we are, the winter has been one of the coldest, breaking a few records. More commutes than usual have seen white knuckles through ice, significant snow, and “wintry mix” (euphemism for “holy man, not this mess again!”). I am voting for a two-minute mini break when you get to the office. Brew a strong cup of our vanilla black tea, inhale deeply and languidly, then sip slowly as the steam brings warmth back to your cheeks and the scent envelops you. If your boss pokes his (or her) head out and yells, you can tell him (or her) I gave you permission for this and your productivity will be higher. If you are the boss, treat your reports to this tea.

Our vanilla tea is available in bags, loose form, and as a variety in our flavored tea sampler, all at a 15% discount this month. If that doesn’t lift your spirits, I’m out.

~Your editor

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