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June is the best month for iced tea drinkers because it marks National Iced Tea Month! Not only does the weather begin to really warm up, but the tea in people’s cups begin to cool down. As I previously said last year, roughly 80 percent of Americans take their tea iced and would not want it any other way.

As always, National Iced Tea Day takes place on June 10 each year. How you want to celebrate it is entirely up to you.

Do something new and different like make some Sun Tea! This tea is a slow brewing but greener way to brew your iced tea.

  • Simply take a large jar or bottle of your choice, add 3-5 teabags of your favorite tea, and fill it with fresh or distilled water.
  • Bring your jar to a bright sunny area either indoors or outdoors and let sit for about 2-4 hours, or however long you would like for it to brew. If you would like, add sweetener according to taste.
  • Once it is done, bring inside and let it sit in the refrigerator so it can cool off and get cold. Add ice and enjoy!

Speaking of ice, what if you don’t like plain watery ice? Try adding tea to your ice cube tray! Brew your tea like you normally would and then add to an ice cube tray. Let it freeze and then add to your favorite tea so your tea does not get watered down by regular ice cubes. This way the flavor in your iced tea stays! Note: I used a heart shaped ice cube tray because I love to have fun with ice!

Of course, you can always make your own iced tea with our store’s own brand and our own favorite teas. Try our Peach Apricot at a baseball game, blackcurrant at your next barbecue, or bring one of my personal favorites, Lady Londonderry for some 4th of July firework watching. Simply brew according to instructions and add some fresh or frozen strawberries for an even sweeter, fruitier tea! Make some of those tea ice cubes to make it even cooler!

However you like your iced tea will make summer a breeze. Always feel free to tell us how you like your iced tea and share your pictures on our social media channels! We love to hear from you!

 

-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

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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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

 

national-iced-tea-month-june

If you have ever used a slow cooker to slow cook something, then you might know that slower is sometimes better. It’s wonderful for foods like beef stew or roasts. I love to slow cook something all day because the r20160608_085026esults are always worth it. The same goes with tea. Depending on the tea you’re brewing, sometimes it’s worth brewing it just a bit longer for a wonderful flavor.

This method applies with Sun Tea. What is Sun Tea? It is tea that has been brewed and left out in the sun for several hours. It is very easy to make.

All you need is about 3-5 teabags of your favorite tea (the most common used is Lipton but I used Yorkshire) or more, depending on how strong you like your tea, distilled or filtered water, and a large clear container with a lid.

 

 

 

  • Simply fill the container with water and add the teabags.
  • Take the container out to a sunny area, either indoors or outdoors, where it gets a lot of sun (or else it’s not sun tea!) and let it stand for about 2-4 hours.
  • Bring it out of the sun and chill in the refrigerator. Once chilled, add sweetener and ice to taste. Enjoy!

Sun Tea is the best during the summer because it puts the summer heat and sun to good use and “boils” the tea for you, saving energy and money on your gas and/or 20160614_151446electric bill. You won’t need to use a kettle so it doesn’t heat up your home. Try making some Sun Tea this summer. You will not be disappointed!

Tips:

  • Try making Sun Tea with other kinds of tea, like green or herbal.
  • Add fruit or herbs with the brew for a lovely flavor!

-CD

GraduationCongratulations to all of this year’s graduates! It’s graduation season and we’re currently at the peak of graduation season, at least in my state, California. Here in California, many schools graduate in June while many other states in the country graduate at an earlier date, in May. Many graduates range from Kindergarten to college and many other schools. The grads definitely deserve something for all the hard work they’ve put in over the years. Here are some possible gift ideas, especially if your grad is a tea lover:

Iced Tea: With summer approaching, what better gift to give than iced tea? Our range has a wide selection of teabags suitable for brewing and icing or specially made to be iced. We have our new English Tea Store iced range with varieties like peach black and raspberry black. Both teas are a lovely mix of Ceylon and black teas with just a hint of fruit flavor. If you’re not a fan of iced tea, you can also enjoy them hot, as well.

English Tea Store Samplers: If your tea loving graduate likes tea but doesn’t know which one to stick to, there’s always our sampler packs. Each sampler pack is 5-8 teabags of different flavors and the best part is many have a special theme. There’s a Summertime Sampler pack which tolsll_grnskc_1feature the best flavors of summer like lemon, raspberry, and even includes blends like Monk’s and the Highlander. Then there’s also the Tea With Friends Sampler which include China Jasmine Green and Ontario Breakfast. We also have loose leaf for those who prefer to brew with special teaware or not make any waste with tea bags by going green. The difference with the loose leaf is they are 1 ounce per bag and also vary in price, depending on the quantity of samples. The sample packs are seriously some of the best things we have!

Sweets: My niece graduated middle school and she absolutely loves sweets. I gave her some of her favorites and she was truly delighted to receive them. Your grad might love the same thing, especially with British candy like Cadbury or Kinder, which was one of my niece’s favorites. With summertime conventions coming up, Jelly Babies are some of the biggest British sweets currently sold in the US thanks to a certain time traveling man on TV and my fiance once dressed as a certain time traveling man in a big blue box for a convention we went to in Baltimore back in 2012 (the day the London Olympics started). If your grad is a big fan of this certain show, snag a bag because these go fast! And finally, toffee! If your grad has a sweet tooth or just likes toffee, Walkers makes the best around.

On behalf of the English Tea Store, I would like to congratulate all the grads of 2016!

 

-CD

Iced-Tea-2016

Here we go again! We’re back in the summer months and that means warmer weather and colder tea. Roughly 80 percent of Americans take their tea iced and sweetened. Surprisingly, the British still take their tea hot! This is possibly due to tradition and the weather difference. American summer is much more hot and humid than British summers can be.

One of the most popular types of iced tea in the US is sweet tea, which is more predominant in the Southern states but has become more popular in Western and Northern states like California and Oregon. And I myself being raised in an American family, they all take their tea iced and sweet. Other people take their iced tea flavored with a bit of lemon, peach, or raspberries for a nice hint of fruit flavor.

In the coming weeks, I will show you how to take your iced tea to the next level. This means more ways than just having your tea iced the plain old way! You’ll learn how to brew the tea differently and even enjoy your iced tea in a different form. A whole new form? That’s right! You can cool off in more ways than one with tea this summer. This June is going to be the best for iced tea! Stay tuned!

And don’t forget National Iced Tea Day on June 10th! Be sure to celebrate with a refreshing glass of iced tea, however you like it.

For more information on iced tea, visit my post from June 2015: https://blog.englishteastore.com/2015/06/10/national-iced-tea-day/

-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

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 Teabags, Shangri 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!

Gyokuro Japanese Green Tea (ETS image)

Gyokuro Japanese Green Tea (ETS image)

There many ways to prepare tea. You can do it the old school way with a tea kettle and a teapot. You can do it in a more newfangled way (guilty) with water heated in a microwave and a gravity type infuser. Or the even more newfangled method of using a fancy gadget that does much of the work for you.

But when you boil it down, preparing tea is about applying hot water to tea leaves. The details of it are up to the individual, but that’s how it’s done – except when it’s not. I’m no scientist and this is a layperson’s description of the process, but what’s important about preparing tea is to transfer the essence of the tea leaves to the water. Hot water will accelerate the process, but if you have a little more time on your hands cold brewing might work just as well.

Some of the benefits of doing things this way are fairly obvious. If you’re preparing tea in warm weather, it’s a plus not to have to use the stove to heat the teakettle – and the surrounding environment. One of the other main benefits of this method is simplicity. All that’s needed is a container and something to hold or strain the leaves. You can spend money for a fancy “cold infusion set” and whatnot, if that’s what grabs you. But a simple glass container should work just fine. Finally, there are those who claim that tea prepared this way has a better flavor.

As for that question of when steeping is complete, it’s kind of up for grabs. Overnight is a term that gets tossed around a lot when discussing this sort of thing, but it can vary according to the type of tea and whom you’re asking. The consensus seems to be that lighter teas such as green should be steeped for a shorter time, perhaps as little as four hours. One primer I read recommended steeping the Japanese green tea known as Gyokuro in ice and serving it when the ice had fully melted. More robust teas such as black are likely to call for a longer steep times, though I might question the wisdom of the four-day steep recommended in one how-to article.

Like so many other things that have to do with tea, the best course of action when it comes to cold infusing is to experiment and see what works best for you.

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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