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http://www.nationalteaday.co.uk/ April 21st, 2017

National Tea Day is celebrated in April in the UK. While tea is the most popular beverage in the UK, this is its official day. This day is entirely different from National Hot Tea Day in the US, which is celebrated each January. This day celebrates all aspects of tea, including Afternoon Tea, one of the most popular times to enjoy tea.

Whether you have a full on English Afternoon Tea with some friends or just a cup while curling up on the couch, take the time to treat yourself to a fine brew. It’s always completely up to you if you want to go to with a familiar favorite like PG Tips or Typhoo or go with something new and different like Taylor’s of Harrogate. Have some English Breakfast, Green Tea, or how about something unfamiliar? Try a few of these teas that are becoming popular all over the world:

Darjeeling: Known as the “Champagne of Teas”, this reigns one of the best in its class. Darjeeling is grown in India, in the Darjeeling district, which is where it gets its name. Brands to try: English Tea Store, Twinings, Harney and Sons, and Taylors of Harrogate.

Oolong: A popular Chinese tea, this distinctive tea is just a bit fermented and oxidized for a perfect balance of green and black tea. Brands to try: English Tea Store Orange Blossom Oolong, Twinings China Oolong.

Assam: Assam tea was named after the region in which it was grown in India. It is a black tea with a strong malty flavor and deep bronze color. It is perfect for breakfast or any other time of day with a little sugar and milk. Brands to try: English Tea Store and Taylors of Harrogate.

What kind of tea would you celebrate National Tea Day with and who would you share your cup with? If you are a tea lover, then National Tea Day is every day!

 

-CD

 

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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

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*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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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
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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!

Decaf Irish Breakfast Tea

Decaf Irish Breakfast Tea

Unfortunately for many tea lovers, the truth is that there is no real way to escape caffeine in tea. As this post notes, the claim that one can “self-decaffeinate” tea by steeping it briefly, throwing out the water, then reinfusing simply isn’t true. Plus, there is no way to remove all the caffeine in tea, even through effective, industrial methods; even decaf tea has some caffeine, albeit very little. So, for those who want to avoid caffeine, or sharply restrict it, options include drinking herbals (though some herbals, such as yerba mate, also contain caffeine) or consuming decaffeinated tea.  For those that love the taste of true tea, the notion of decaf may have some appeal.

Davidsons Decaf Spiced Raspberry Loose Leaf Tea - 2oz

Davidsons Decaf Spiced Raspberry Loose Leaf Tea

The problem is that a lot of decaffeinated teas simply don’t taste that good. They aren’t necessarily bland, but they do lack the delightful intensity of flavors that makes tea so wonderful to drink. Some are considerably better than others, though, and many people do manage to find a decaf tea that they like. If you really crave tea and herbals won’t do, you should at least try the various loose and bagged decaf teas available to see if any suit your preferences.  You may find that decaf tea tastes best with additives such as lemon (which can supply a nice, refreshing “kick”) or even milk and sugar.

Personally, I’ve found that flavored decaf teas can often be much tastier than their non-flavored counterparts. The other ingredients help boost the flavor of the tea, while the tea provides some body and additional flavor to the blend. Another option is to use decaf tea for making iced tea: As the flavor of cold/iced tea is often blunted anyway, you may not miss the nuance of flavor that decaf tea lacks. Use a generous amount of leaf to prepare the iced tea and, if possible, flavor it with some fresh lemon slices to produce a tasty, refreshing drink.

More great tea info on Lainie’s blog, Lainie Sips!

© 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.

Stash Decaf Chocolate Hazlenut TeaName: Chocolate Hazelnut Decaf Tea

Brand: Stash Tea

Type: Black tea, decaffeinated, flavored

Form: Paper-bagged tea

Review: It’s 3:00pm at the office. You last ate about three hours ago, and you have a few more hours of work before you can leave. In the break room is a vending machine full of chocolaty snacks. Around your hips are three extra inches that you’ve been trying to get rid of.

What to do?

Tear open a foil-wrapped pouch of Stash’s Chocolate Hazelnut Decaf Tea.

No, it isn’t quite the same as a candy bar, but it does a darn good job of helping you to cope with those chocolate cravings. Plus, since its decaf, it won’t get you too wired and unable to sleep later on in the evening. Stash blended decaffeinated black tea, vanilla nut, and hazelnut to make this blend. The hazelnut flavoring helps to keep this tea interesting: Decaf tea isn’t so much bad as it is boring. The hazelnut and vanilla notes work to combat the inherent flatness of the black tea used in this blend. Stash Chocolate Hazelnut Decaf isn’t a Belgian chocolate bar, nor is it a sublime tea. But it does a dandy job of getting some chocolate into your mouth without it landing on your hips.

(And sometimes, that’s all that matters.)

Stash recommends adding a bit of milk and sweetener to the hot tea to bring out the hazelnut flavor, though I find that it is quite obvious without any additives. A bit of milk and sugar does work if you are looking for a decent hot chocolate substitute, but I don’t think that either are necessary to make this tea work as a snack/desert tea.

Recommendations: Try serving it with an assortment of other teas at holiday parties. Makes a great tea for the office as well. Try tucking it into your purse in case of chocolate-related emergencies.

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

© 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.

Stash Decaf Raspberry & White TeaName: Raspberry & White Decaf

Brand: Stash Tea

Type: White tea, decaffeinated, flavored

Form: Paper tea bags, individually wrapped in foil

Review: Subtlety can be a good thing. Many flavored white teas are a joke. The “manufacturers” simply blend a cheap, flavorless white tea with a whole lot of artificial flavorings. The result is something that tastes like the flavorings, but not like the tea. The tea is a marketing gimmick, added to create the illusion of a “healthy” beverage with all those wondrous antioxidants.

Peh.

But sometimes, a bagged-tea blender gets it right: Stash’s Raspberry & White Decaf is a nifty blend of a decaf white tea and a light touch of raspberry flavoring. Does it compare to a delicious, whole-leaf white tea prepared in a gaiwan? Certainly not. But it is delicious, with clean, crisp, yet gentle flavors. The raspberry isn’t overdone, and the tea has a nice sweetness and gives the cup some balance and body.

About the decaf bit: You may have heard that white tea has less caffeine than other types of tea. This isn’t true, so if you’ve been drinking white tea in hopes of avoiding caffeine, you’ve been getting a lot more caffeine than you bargained for. Decaf tea itself does have some caffeine, so if you avoid caffeine for health reasons, talk to your doctor before drinking even decaffeinated teas and coffees.

Recommendation: Weirdly enough, I sometimes like a white tea first thing in the morning. I know this is decaf and all that, but when you want to wake up slowly, this tea does the trick. The hint of fruit flavoring perks up the tastebuds, which is just enough to get me going on a day when there is nothing pressing in my schedule. Lovely on ice, very refreshing. Try making a tea spritzer with it: Pour some soda water over ice, and then some cold Raspberry & White Decaf over it. Add a slice of fresh lemon to liven it up a bit. Tasty and refreshing.

Preparation Tips: Bring the water temperature down to 180F or so, and only let this tea infuse for about a minute.

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

© 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.

Stash Decaf Pumpkin SpiceName: Decaf Pumpkin Spice

Brand: Stash Tea

Type: Black tea, flavored, decaffeinated

Form: Paper tea bags, individually wrapped

Review: Pumpkin Spice flavored teas and coffees are always a big hit this time of year, and Stash’s version brews up hot and spicy. Even better, it’s decaf so it won’t add to your pre-holiday jitters.

While I am no fan of decaf tea, and the black tea used in this blend is fairly weak, the other flavors, including nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and pumpkin spice flavor definitely make their presence known. The clove, not unexpectedly, dominates the blend, though it is easy enough to discern the other flavors. The body of this tea is very light, probably due to the decaf tea, so while this can make a nice pick-me-up in the afternoon or at the end of the day, it may not satisfy your need for a rich, creamy drink, unless you decide to add milk.

Pumpkin Spice decaf would make a great hostess gift or addition to your holiday tea selection: It’s included in Stash’s Gold Box Gift Set, a beautifully packaged set of nine different flavored teas that could also make an awesome Secret Santa gift.

Preparation Tips: Use boiling water for this tea, and give it a fairly long steep: Check it at 3 minutes and take it up to 5 if you have to. Decaf tea, sadly, isn’t the most flavorful tea, so you’ll want to give the other flavors awhile to develop. Try some honey and milk for a creamy pumpkin pie flavor.

Caffeine Tip: This is a decaffeinated tea, not a caffeine free tisane. The amount of caffeine in “decaffeinated” coffee and tea varies from brand to brand and batch to batch, so if you are medically restricted from using caffeine, talk to your doctor about whether drinking decaf tea is a good idea.

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

© 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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