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You may have heard of Tazo teas a few years ago in certain coffee shops and proved to be very popular. We are happy to announce that their teas are now here at the English Tea Store! We currently carry 11 varieties of the Tazo brand tea. They range from simple teas like Earl Grey and Chamomile but if you are feeling more adventurous, you can try the less than traditional teas like Zen, Refresh, and my personal favorite, Passion!

Here’s more info if you want to check out the other flavors of Tazo!

Wild Sweet Orange – If you are looking for a caffeine free tea, this is one of Tazo’s many delicious options. This tea is an herbal infusion of licorice root, lemongrass, citrusy herbs, and a hint of orange essence, not to mention the sweet taste of orange peels. The sweet tea tops off with blackberry leaves and rose petals. It will help curb your citrus craving and let you feel mellow.

Green Ginger – If you’re a fan of both green tea AND ginger, then this tea is for you! Green ginger is a spicy mix of  ginger along with a hint of juicy, sweet pears and made with all-natural ingredients.

Organic Peachy Green – A blend of darjeeling green and black teas to help give you a nice pick-me-up along with a lovely peach flavor and a hint of cucumber. Try it iced for an amazingly refreshing summer drink!

Sweet Cinnamon Spice – With Autumn around the corner, I feel this tea is much more suitable for the upcoming dog days. This herbal infusion of spicy cinnamon and star anise will wake you up from the lazy days of summer!Tazocategory

Organic Chai – Chai is already popular with many, so why not try Tazo’s version? Robust and spicy, this exotic blend of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and black pepper to black tea will take you on a taste adventure. Try iced or hot with a bit of milk.

Passion – My personal favorite from the Tazo range. This sweet tea brews a beautiful pink color and is made with zesty orange peel, hibiscus, lemongrass, and rosehips, along with a luscious passion fruit taste. I enjoy this both iced and hot!

Refresh – Another favorite of mine, this tea really does live up to its name! Refresh is a mint tea blend of spearmint and peppermint leaves and a bit of tarragon. I like to add a little honey to my cup of Refresh to add a kick of sweet flavor! Did I mention this is caffeine free, too?

Try them and let us know how you like them!

-CD

 

IMG_5998

Julia Briggs (c)

Is it OK to say I do not like chocolate cake?  I do make chocolate cakes and I do eat some chocolates, like Maltesers but I have never been a fan of rich chocolate cakes so I make this orange flavour cake and put chocolate chips in and it is good.

You can of course use cocoa powder in place of some of the flour if you want a chocolate colour, you can also use milk, plain or white chocolate chips, I only had white chocolate in stock.  I filled half with orange marmalade and half with lemon curd and butter icing to satisfy the whole family!

You will need: Two 8″ cake tins well greased or one well greased 10″ cake tin. Oven 180 C  350 F  Gas Mark 4

  • 8 oz Butter
  • 8 oz Caster Sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • A few drops of vanilla essence
  • A few drops of orange essence
  • 8 oz Self Raising flour
  • Grated rind of an orange
  • juice of half an orange
  • 4 oz chocolate chips
IMG_5995

Julia Briggs (c)

Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy then add the beaten eggs with a spoonful of flour and the vanilla and orange essence.  Fold in the flour, grated rind, juice and chocolate chips.  Pour into two 8″ cake tins or one 10″ tin.  Cook for 35 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch.  Leave in the tin to cool slightly, using a cake tester or needle prick all over the top of the cake and then mix the other half of the orange juice with a little hot water and pour onto the cake. When slightly cool take from the tin and place on a wire rack until completely cold.

Slice the cake, or not if you have made two!  Spread orange marmalade or lemon cheese on the bottom half then cream or butter icing onto the underside of the top half of the cake.  Sandwich them together and enjoy a piece with a cup of tea.

 

–  JAB

Smack dab in the middle of winter, it’s hard to keep up hope for Spring. Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and the excitement has sadly worn off from it. With all the winter storms and blizzards coming and going, the world outside the window becomes white and colorless and the only reason to come outside is to dig yourself out of the snow.

When I visited my fiance in January 2016, we were hit by Winter Storm Jonas out on the East Coast of the United States. It was my first ever blizzard, being a California girl. For me, it was fascinating to watch the wind blow the snow that was falling but the aftermath was just atrocious! But during the storm, all I had to enjoy was my Yorkshire Tea, which I thankfully packed from home. While I love my Yorkshire, it got to be very boring when it was all the tea I had to drink while being snowed in since I love variety. Since I was away from home, I did not have access to my tea collection from home, which has green, white, herbal, and rooibos teas along with black.

Here are some good teas to help get you through a blustery blizzard:

tolsl16_orgcher_-00_bulk-loose-tea-organic-sencha-kyoto-cherry-rose-festival-green-tea-16ozOrganic Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Festival Green Tea -This green tea, which is most often used during Japanese tea ceremonies, is flavored with sweet Montmorency Cherries. The taste is light, fruity, and smooth and can be enjoyed iced or hot. The caffeine content of this tea is low and is considered to be a good source of antioxidants This tea is sold in loose leaf form.

French Blend Tea – This one is truly a treat. If you want to escape or just have something a bit different but still enjoy black tea, then this one is just right. This tea is inspired by Britain’s neighbor, France, it is fragrantly noted by Earl Grey, Lavender, and Jasmine, while blended with Ceylon, Nilgiris, Assams, and Kenya tea. The lavender in this tea is from Provence along witTOLSLL_GRNLIS_-Long-Island-Strawberry-green-loose-leaf-teah some beautiful rose petals to add its romantic charm. The color when brewed is a nice, rosy color, helping to make you blush!

Long Island Strawberry Green TeaFinally, to help make you think of more summery days, this tea has summer written all over it. Another one of our Sencha green teas, this tea is grown in the Hunan Province of China. Strawberry is not only the key fruit but dried papaya pieces help boost it’s sunny flavor! Try it hot or iced with some strawberries in the glass!

These teas are also good pick-me-ups when you’re a weary traveler. I will know next time I head out on a trip (or as the British say, on holiday), to pack more types and flavors of tea!

-CD

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.

teatpgt1000031917_-00_pg-tips-juicy-raspberry-green-tea-bags-20-count teatpgt1000032454_-00_pg-tips-red-bush-vanilla-herbal_1While 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!

IcedTeaDid you know that June is Iced Tea Month in the United States? While millions of people drink it all year long, it is widely celebrated during this early summer month on June 10th. It’s a good time, too, since iced tea is a very popular drink among Americans, especially in the summer months! About 80 to 85 percent of tea that is consumed in the United States is taken iced. While my palate is adapted to the British style of tea, who could blame my fellow Americans for liking iced tea? It’s refreshing, especially since a large amount of the U.S. is overrun by humidity during the summer months. Iced tea is dated all the way back to at least the 19th century, however, it was not made popular until the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.

The best thing about iced tea is that just about anyone can make it! You can make it to however you fancy. You could take it sweetened or unsweetened, add a bit of lemon, or garnish it with a nice piece of fruit. While iced teas consumed in the U.S. are usually ready to drink, many use teabags to make it themselves. However, another method of iced tea brewing is growing in popularity. The Keurig brewing system is already synonymous with coffeTEATTWN1000028259_-00_Twinings-Pomegranate-and-Raspberry-Iced-Tea-K-Cups-12-counte brewing and many are using it to brew iced coffee.

With more households owning Keurig brewers, many of the owners like tea. So to settle the growing demand, many tea companies began to make k-cup versions of their teas. Twinings has recently made some delicious varieties like:

Prefer a simple black tea? Not to worry! There’s a pure black tea as well!

If you still prefer to make it the old-fashioned way, there’s always the regular Twinings TeabagsShangri La which steeps a total of 12 quarts per packet, or even our English Tea Store brand. I have previously mentioned Lady Londonderry as one of my personal favorites since it tastes tsl5059d_pjg_-00_iced-tea-by-shangri-la-organic-tropic-green-brew-bagslike summer, with notes of strawberry and lemon in there. If caffeine is not your fancy, then the Casablanca is a brilliant tea that goes well iced! A bright red color when brewed, it is not too strongly scented before it is brewed. Once you taste it, it is a light fruit medley. Great for kids, too!

Iced Tea Day is a great day to kick off a summer of iced tea, picnics, and barbecues. Bring family and friends around for a nice cup or pitcher of iced tea and watch some fireworks. Happy summer!

 

PG Tips Chimpanzee

While searching online for tea I found the history of PG Tips. It is not everyday that a product such as tea has a unique story behind it. I do not know about you, but I find the history of how a business came about to be quite fascinating.

You see PG Tips began with an entrepreneur who opened his first shop in Manchester, United Kingdom in 1869. Mr. Arthur Brooke opened what we would call a modern day coffee house selling coffee, tea, and sugar. He had the fantastic idea to break the mold of other tea companies who were producing blended teas. Mr. Brooke produced pure, high-quality teas from India and China making his brand quite popular. Who would have thought being different and innovative could work?

Following Arthur Brooke’s influence of innovation and creativity, PG Tips launched a novel advertising campaign involving chimpanzees. At this time there were not many commercials aired in the United Kingdom. PG Tips hit gold with the campaign for the chimpanzees to be one of the longest running characters in British television advertising.

Another bit of the story is PG Tips produced the most expensive tea bag ever made. The tea bag was covered in 280 diamonds raffled off to raise money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. Okay, okay, I know-do not give away the entire story. Sit down with a cup of tea and check out the rest of PG Tips’ history.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from 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 classic entry originally published 01.23.2009

Thanksgiving is once again upon us. And tea is an important part of this annual gathering of kith and kin. No matter what you traditionally serve in your house, there is a tea that is perfect to go with it.

Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Flavored teas are especially welcome at such times, and not just any flavors but typical flavors for this time of year. Pumpkin, cranberry, cinnamon, apple, oranges, and various spices. These carry through when the Thanksgiving feast is done and into the Christmas season.

A few options:

Stash Tea has a number of Fall and Winter flavors that will go great with whatever your feast consists of (note that Stash – and some other tea vendors – mislabels their spiced teas as “chais”):

  • Stash Chai Spice Black Tea — Very aromatic, slightly sweet, strong, and penetrating flavor, with lingering notes of almond. Excellent plain or with milk (regular or evaporated) and sweetener.
  • Stash Christmas Morning Black Tea — Black teas and jasmine green tea in this breakfast blend makes a rich, multi-layered drink. Brisk and sweet. Full-bodied. Lovely aroma. Enjoy it hot or iced, with milk and sugar or plain.
  • Stash White Christmas Tea — A unique blend of white tea, cool peppermint, and a hint of ginger. Add a touch of sugar or honey to bring out distinct flavor notes.
  • Stash Orange Spice Tea — Full-bodied black teas from India, Sri Lanka and China, with cinnamon from Sri Lanka and sweet California orange peel and orange oil. Aromatic with flavors of zesty orange and spicy cinnamon.
  • Stash Chai Green Tea — Lung Ching (Dragonwell) Chinese green tea and cinnamon, whole cloves, cardamom, ginger root, and sarsaparilla. Flavorful and spicy, great with milk and sugar any time of the day.
Blue Q Pleasant Holidays with Family Tea  (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Blue Q Pleasant Holidays with Family Tea (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Other brands have some wonderful flavors, too:

  • Blue Q Pleasant Holidays with Family Tea — A black tea spiced with ginger, cardamom and cinnamon.
  • Harney & Sons Holiday and Spiced Teas — Available in festive blends like Hot Cinnamon and White Christmas, these teas are sure to please. Don’t miss Hot Cinnamon Spice and Indian Spice.
  • Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea — A sweet and spicy tea with a blend of cinnamon, orange, and sweet cloves. Very seasonal aroma and taste!
  • Revolution Orange Chocolate Green Tea — An amazing combination of flavors: chocolate, oranges, and green tea. The aroma will make your mouth water!
  • Taylors of Harrogate Spiced Christmas Tea — Created by master tea blenders especially for the Yuletide season, but popular year round. Black China teas, tangy lemon peels, fruity orange peels, cinnamon and safflower petals. Enjoyed with a bit of honey.
  • Twinings Christmas Tea — Expertly blended black tea with traditional spice flavors of cinnamon and cloves. The aroma will get you into that special holiday mood. Enjoy plain or with milk and sweetener.
  • Twinings Cranberry Green Tea — Green tea with the essence of fresh cranberries for a great fruit flavor that pleases all the senses.
  • Twinings Orange Bliss Black Tea — A fresh citrus tasting tea combining the awesome flavor of freshly squeezed oranges with an exquisite black tea for delightfully sweet tea you will love.

As you’re getting that Thanksgiving menu all set up, be sure to include teas. They will enhance that festive mood and please your guests’ tastebuds!

© 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 top brand of tea in the UK is PG Tips, a Unilever brand. That special blend has been pleasing palates for over 75 years. In late February 2014 they added some updated blends and flavored teas to their line-up.

Premium Range:

PG Tips has found an exciting new way of making tea; by pressing fresh, high quality leaves to release their natural essence.

  • The Fresh One –A blend of 100% Kenyan teas that steeps up a fresh and smooth tasting cuppa tea with an aroma likened to “freshly baked bread” and a deep red color (a true red tea, what we Westerners call “black tea” – read more about it). This as fresh as tea gets.
  • The Strong One – Kenyan and other African teas have been blended for a bold cuppa tea with a strong, bright red color, malty aroma, and thick character. The boldest tasting PG Tips blend available. And, if you prefer your cuppa British style, this tea will be great – a splash of milk and a dash of sugar will enhance that bold flavor.
Strong or Fresh? Take your pick! (ETS image)

Strong or Fresh? Take your pick! (ETS image)

Fruit & Herbal:

The popularity of some herbals is really growing, especially among those who want to avoid caffeine or are seeking some health benefits. PG Tips have come up with several offerings to meet these customer requirements.

  • Aromatic Spices and Mint Herbal – An exotic herbal infusion that features fragrant spearmint, warming cinnamon, subtle orange (from orange peel), and aromatic spices (chicory root, rosehips, and liquorice).
  • Smooth Red Bush and Vanilla – While I’m not a Rooibos (red bush aka “red tea”) fan generally speaking, when combined with vanilla or chocolate this herbal can be quite tolerable. This PG Tips Smooth Red Bush & Vanilla herbal is authentic South African Red Bush with a smoothly soft hint of vanilla flavor. The liquid is aromatic and has a brilliant red color but no caffeine. A bit of hibiscus and cranberry flavorings add just the right touch.
  • Delicate Camomile – Relax and unwind with this natural camomile and flower infusion. For me, it is the perfect bedtime cuppa, helping me ease into sleep.
  • Refreshing Peppermint – A clean and refreshing peppermint infusion that is also caffeine free. Enjoy a cupful as a nice change of pace from regular tea and coffee.
Herbals for that caffeine free cuppa! (ETS image)

Herbals for that caffeine free cuppa! (ETS image)

All feature the famous pyramid-shaped tea bag invented in 1996 by the innovators at PG Tips. They allow more room for the contents (tea, herbals, etc.) to infuse and produce a better flavor. The Freeflow material allows water to pass through the filter and reach the contents quickly, decreasing the steeping time and producing a superior taste.

Try one, try all. You’re sure to find a favorite among them.

See also: PG Tips — “Perfectly Great” Tea! Why My Teapot Loves PG Tips

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.

In memorium – John Harney 20 August 1930 to 16 June 2014.

The English Tea Store, owner of this blog, has been proud to carry a selection of the teas from a tea company that has become quite well-known here in the U.S. – Harney & Sons. Recently, John Harney, founder of this company, died. He will be greatly missed but certainly leaves behind a legacy and a family who can carry on.

A brief history of Harney’s tea career in his own words from this article published in 2009:

In 1960, Stanley Mason, an English gentleman and owner of Sarum Tea, met with me at the White Hart Inn, where I was general manager and a partner, and asked me to serve his tea in the inn. People asked daily where the tea could be purchased. I sent guests to Stanley’s home, where Stanley could be found packing teas. In 1967, Stanley convinced me to serve only loose-leaf tea at the inn, then unheard of in the United States. Again, people wanted to purchase the tea. I knew I was on to something. In 1970, I bought Sarum Tea, and Stanley Mason became my mentor. The apprentice period lasted 10 years, until Stanley passed away in 1980, at the age of 80. In 1978, I sold tea to my first hotel, the Ritz-Carlton in Boston. They purchased English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Assam, Gunpowder, and Chamomile—the full Sarum Tea line!

Their teas are seen just about everywhere, but sadly I can usually only find them in bagged form, not loose. (I have to cut open the bags and toss the loose leaves into the pot.)

Harney has a history of coming up with special blends for special occasions. I tried this one awhile ago. (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Harney has a history of coming up with special blends for special occasions. I tried this one awhile ago. (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

A few of their teas and herbals that are classics and just plain good to try:

Our thanks to Mr. Harney for his years of work dedicated to the beverage he loved – tea! And our best wishes to his successors.

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.

Our line-up of Twinings Teas (ETS image)

Our line-up of Twinings Teas (ETS image)

If you wanted to discourse on the various members of the Twinings tea dynasty, you certainly wouldn’t be at a loss for material. The company moved into their fourth century of operations a few years ago and the latest of the Twinings line – Stephen Twining – is in the tenth generation of tea people from this august family.

If you wanted to read more about the Twinings family, you could try The House of Twining, 1706-1956: Being a Short History of the Firm of R. Twining & Co. Ltd, Tea and Coffee Merchants, 216 Strand London W.C.2. It’s a 115-page volume that was written by one of the Twinings nearly six decades ago. Used copies of this volume are apparently still floating around out there for a rather reasonable price.

If you’re up for instant gratification, however, you could go to various points around the Internet where free public domain books are offered and take a look at The Twinings in Three Centuries: The Annals of Great London Tea House, 1710-1910. Which might seem like a confusing title at first, but it references the fact that, at that time, the family had operated in three different centuries.

It’s a relatively slim volume that’s published by “R. Twining & Co., Ltd.” to celebrate the bicentennial of their entry into the tea business in 1710. It’s at that time that what the book calls “Tom’s Coffee House” was transformed into “an emporium for the sale and consumption of what was still timidly spoken of as ‘the new China herb.'” Tom, of course, referring to Thomas Twining, who kicked the whole thing off.

The move to tea was an opportune one for the family, given that it would eventually overtake coffee and become not only a national drink, of sorts, but an icon of British culture. The first half of the book focuses on the early days of the business, during which time it prospered greatly and ends with the death of Thomas Twining in 1741, at which point the reins were handed over to his son, Daniel.

The second half of the book deals with the generations of Twinings who followed and like the first half touches on various key incidents that took place in tea history during this time. Also worth noting, the numerous interesting illustrations that provide an excellent enhancement to the text.

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.

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© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. 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, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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