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So we talk a lot of the “do’s” of English tea but what about the “don’t’s”. Today we are bringing to you three things you should not do while enjoying English Tea. As always, this is for fun and you are perfectly allowed to drink your tea however you would like! We promise the tea police will not come after you. Or will they?

 

  1. DO NOT Stir Vigorously

This is almost common knowledge to a lot of people. Tea is a liquid and there is no need to be scraping your cup or sending flying tea off your spoon at your neighbor! Simply try not to make any sound while stirring, staying away from the bottom and sides of the cup. This is also helps to keep your cups looking perfectly new.

 

2. DO NOT Leave Your Spoon in the Cup

This is seen as lazy by those who are serious tea drinkers. Always remove your teaspoon and set it beside the cup. This is also helps so that you don’t hit yourself in the face with it!

 

3. DO NOT Place Lemon Wedges in your Tea

You know how we go out to dinner and get lemon in our water and simply let it float. This is not correct for proper English Tea. You may squeeze the lemon into your tea but do not keep the entire wedge in your tea.

 

Pinkies Up!!

 

-Alexis

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Seven years after the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Royal

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Wedding fever has once again spread! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are due to wed on May 19, 2018. The wedding will be televised by many networks, with coverage beginning as early as 4:00 AM Eastern time with the actual wedding beginning at 7:00 AM Eastern. Whether you are watching the wedding live or having a party in general, it’s a reason to celebrate!

A very important element is the flags. Prince Harry is a British prince marrying an American so that means Union Jacks and Stars and Stripes everywhere! Adorn the room with a large Union Jack or wave smaller ones. Head over to our sister site, United States Flag Store for American flags. Either way, it’s red, white, and blue!

Put the kettle on for anyone who drinks tea. Twinings is the tea of choice for Queen Elizabeth. In fact, she has her seal of approval on it, or Royal Warrant. Set out a box along with some biscuits. In fact, Prince William’s own wedding cake was a chocolate biscuit cake, which is chocolate and crushed digestives.

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You can make your own by using the Betty Crocker recipe below.

• Cake
o 1 pkg (8.8 oz) McVitie’s® chocolate digestives tea biscuits, rich tea biscuits, or sugar cookies.
o 1 ⅓ cups dark chocolate chips (8 oz)
o ⅔ cup whipping cream
o 2 tablespoons butter
• Frosting
o ⅔ cup dark chocolate chips (4 oz)
o ⅓ cup whipping cream
o 1 tablespoon butter
Directions
• 1. Line a 6- or 8-inch round cake pan with foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Break each of the biscuits into 1-inch pieces; set aside.
• 2. In medium bowl, place 1 1/3 cup chocolate chips; set aside. In 1-quart saucepan, heat 2/3 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted and mixture comes to a boil. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and stir smooth.
• 3. Add biscuit pieces to chocolate mixture, gently fold until all pieces are coated. Spoon into the prepared cake pan. Gently press mixture into pan. Refrigerate cake for 3 hours or until firm.
• 4. Remove cake from cake pan and turn upside down onto a serving plate. Remove foil. In small bowl place remaining 2/3 cup chocolate chips. In 1-quart saucepan, heat remaining 1/3 cup whipping cream and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted and mixture comes to a boil. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and stir smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the cake; frost top and sides using a butter knife or offset spatula. If desired, decorate with melted milk chocolate.
These are just a few ways to help get ready for the Royal Wedding. I know that I will be getting up early in the morning to watch it! Are you?
-CD

Thanks to Ahmad Tea of London we are bringing you a simple explanation of a few more types of tea time in England that we haven’t talked much about in our blog yet! These might fit some of our tea lovers lifestyles better than the ones we have already mentioned.

Cream Tea:

This type of tea often includes scones, clotted cream, marmalade or lemon curd and a cup of nice warm tea.

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Royale Tea:

This tea includes friends & family served with some alcohol (aka: champagne) at the beginning! You can also serve sherry at the end.

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Elevensies:

This one is simple & to the point and is my personal favorite. It is morning tea or coffee hour in England! So take a break from those emails and enjoy!

 

Celebration Tea:

Very similar to afternoon tea but with a cake to celebrate an occasion!

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There are many different types of tea depending on your schedule, who you are enjoying it with and why you are enjoying it. Most importantly, make sure to have fun with it! Bring out your fancy cups and best tea! (Don’t forget to take a picture for our Facebook page also!

 

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Moms are everywhere. Whether it’s your mom, your sister, your daughter, or a friend, all mothers are celebrated each year on Mother’s Day. If you are looking something to get for her, then English Tea Store has got you covered. We have Mother’s Day gifts Mom will love!

If the mother in your life loves bundles of goodies, then she will love our gift baskets. Specially picked and carefully packed basket is sure to delight the mom in your life. We have gift baskets to suit everyone’s fancy. Our tea gift baskets are some of the best, ranging from cream tea to Irish. We even carry an organic tea basket, not to mention one full of chocolate!

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If she does not fancy gift baskets and is a big tea drinker, then our gift sets are sure to please her! If Mom needs an electric kettle or needs to replace an old one, try one of our kettle gift sets. Our starter set comes with an Ovente electric kettle, two bags of tea of your choosing, and a teapot with a rose gloss finish. If there are no kettles or teapots involved, try a gift set with a mug. Each English Tea Store mug and tea set comes with a flavor variety, such as British favorites and Morning Blends. We also have mug sets in which you choose from a selection of flavors.

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My own mother was a big candy lover, so for those moms with a sweet tooth there is a wide selection of sweets to please that sweet tooth. One favorite of moms is chocolate. Try a large bar of sweet, creamy, and melty Cadbury Dairy Milk or a cool, refreshing bar of Nestle Mint Aero. However, not all moms enjoy chocolate. Chewy candies like Jelly Babies, Wine Gums are familiar favorites, but there could be new favorites like Rowntree’s Randoms or Pick and Mix. Rowntree’s Randoms are fun to enjoy, especially with filled jellies and foam sweets and in shapes you never thought you would see in candy, like hats and paintbrushes. Pick and Mix is a familiar mixture of Tooty Frooties, Fruit Gums, and Fruit Pastilles.

No matter who your mom is, thank her in any way you can. Happy Mother’s Day!
-CD

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It’s a boy! Prince William and Duchess Kate welcomed Prince Louis Arthur Charles on April 23, 2018. The new prince is now the fifth in line to succeed the throne, right below his older brother George and sister Charlotte. The birth of a new royal is always a reason to celebrate. That is why in honor of the new prince, we should make a toast with tea. Not just any tea, though. I believe it is more fitting to celebrate with tea approved by the Royal Family.

Enjoy some Twinings tea, which has the Royal Warrant. Now what is a Royal Warrant? Royal Warrant.jpgThey are products or services to the British Royal Family that are granted a mark of recognition, or also known as a seal of approval. If you see the Queen’s, Prince Philip’s, or Prince Charles’ crests on a product, you will be able to tell whose warrant it is. It’s not just products that are given these warrants, but services like optical services or stores. Some warrants are even given by two of the royals or even all three of the royals with warrants. In Twinings’ case, it has the warrant of the Queen. You will notice the crest above the Twinings logo if you take a look at it.

Taylors of Harrogate has a Royal warrant given to them by Prince Charles. You will see his crest right on the box. You can normally see his crest atop the Yorkshire Gold logo on the box but is also seen on other Taylors of Harrogate products. Other items we carry with Royal Warrants include Cadbury chocolate (the American version does not have the royal warrant), HP Sauce, and Weetabix. The warrants may not be on the very front of the product, so you may find them either on the side or the back.

It is no doubt that Prince Louis and his siblings will be using these products and services someday. Their own family has influence of official products, as Prince William and Prince George will eventually have their own royal warrants. They may give these warrants to the same companies or they may give them to someone who has never had one before. For now, enjoy the ones approved by the Queen!

-CD

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The first day of May marks a celebration in the UK, the arrival of spring. It’s known as a public holiday (or bank holiday) which is normally observed on the first Monday in May. This is so that people could go out and celebrate the day by enjoying it in the gorgeous weather. The tradition is said to have originated as a pagan Roman festival celebrating the arrival of warmer days.

Traditional May Day activities include Morris Dancing, which is a folk dance. It is said

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the dance is done to banish the dark Winter and celebrate the warmth and fertility of Spring and Summer. The music is made by an accordion, a fiddle, a fife (a flute), and drums. Special costumes are worn along with bell pads on the shins. Some wear tatter jackets or wear white with colored belts, or baldrics, on their chests.The Morris Dance involves rhythmic dancing and choreography. Morris dancing varies on the region, whether you are in the North West or Cotswolds or the Welsh Border, but in recent years, Morris Dancing has made it to the US. The dance is done from California to New York with its popularity growing each year.

Another May Day dance is the Maypole dance, which is done with a pole beautifully decorated with a garland and colorful ribbons. There are two forms of the dance. One is circle dancing around the pole. The other dance is taking a ribbon from the Maypole and dancing around in a circle, creating a braid on the pole as they dance. The dance is not only popular in the UK but also Germany and Sweden, as well.

Many towns and cities hold a May Day festival each year with its own Morris dancing and Maypole dancing, as well as food and flowers. Flower wreaths are made and a May Queen is crowned while you may see a Green Man, representing Spring, walking about town.

-CD

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Every year, April is known as Earth Month due to Earth Day taking place on April 20. Since 1970, we have taken the time to reuse and recycle in a bigger effort to preserve the planet. More companies are turning to biodegradable or eco-friendly products and some shops are doing away with paper or plastic bags.

 

So how can you do your part to help preserve our planet Earth? It starts right in your tea collection. If you have a teapot or mug that is chipped, cracked, or if they handle has broken off and you can no longer use it, don’t toss them out, get creative! To start, create a small garden using old teapots and mugs! If you have some soil and seeds or a small plant, you can easily fill the old teapots and mugs with soil and place plants or seeds inside. Water according to directions and watch them grow! As an added bonus, your plants will look extra gorgeous in your old teaware! Just remember to drill a small hole on the bottom of each container.

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Reuse old tea bags once you’re done using them for your cup of tea. Instead of tossing out the teabags, you can reuse the leaves and add them to a compost pile. If your tea bags are made from a biodegradable or compostable material, then you can add the whole tea bag to your compost. Once the compost is ready, you can use it for your gardening needs! If you have leftover tea, use it to color Easter eggs during Easter time. You can also make tea ice cubes so you do not waste tea or water. Once the cubes are frozen, enjoy them in a glass of iced tea.

 

And with spring cleaning in full swing, you may be cleaning out your tea cupboard or containers and you discover you have old or extra teabags. Don’t toss those out! Use them around the house instead! Use them to deodorize your cat’s litter box. Simply spread some loose tea leaves into the box and change it out along with the cat litter each time. Use dry green or black tea to deodorize your refrigerator. Place an uncovered container of it in the fridge to help control odors in it. Spread some leaves over your carpet, leave in for about 20 minutes, and then vacuum up!

 

Tea is straight from the Earth and it can go right back in. Help take care of the Earth this Earth Day. What are some of your favorite ways of going green?

 

-CD

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Every March and April in Washington DC over four weekends, the annual Cherry Blossom Festival is held to celebrate the blooming of the cherry blossoms along the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Mall. These trees were a gift from Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki in 1912 to honor the ever-growing friendship between the United States and Japan. Millions of people visit every year to see the 3,000 cherry trees in full bloom and revel in its beauty.

 

If you are a fan of cherry blossoms, the festival doesn’t have to end. Celebrate cherry blossom season your own way with an afternoon tea! Start with a blue bone china teapot, adorned with beautiful cherry blossoms. Add a set of matching cups and saucers tor a set of cherry blossom can mugs to go with it. Set some dessert plates down and you will have a complete cherry blossom tea set. Decorate the table according to your style with blue or pink napkins and tablecloth (bonus if you are able to find a cherry blossom tablecloth).

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Food and drink are key, of course. The star of the party is always tea! Try our Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Festival Green Tea, one of our most popular teas. This mellow green tea is blended with cherry and rose flavors, adding an exotic flavor. It can be enjoyed both hot or iced. For those who prefer caffeine free, there’s Ahmad Tea’s Rosehip, Cherry, and Hibiscus tea. This sweet tea has an earthy wine-like flavor due to the flowers and cherry. You can also add some Wildflower Blossom honey sticks for anyone who likes honey with their tea (green tea with honey is heavenly). Just slightly spicy but deliciously sweet. If you don’t fancy honey in your tea, then these honey sticks make a perfect snack for when you have a craving for sweet!

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To suit the them of cherry blossoms, some cherry bakewells would really hit the spot. Mr. Kipling is a British cake company and we are fortunate enough to have these cherry bakewells in our shop! Delicious pastry with almond cake and cherry-plum jam topped with icing and a glace cherry. If there are scones or toast, enjoy with some Bonne Maman Mini Cherry Preserves. Since they are mini jars, place one by your guests’ teacup, where they would be seated. These are all perfect treats to go with your cherry blossom theme or for any time!

 

So if you can’t make it to the cherry blossom festival, hold one of your own! It’s easy, fun, and beautiful to look at. Everyone is sure to have a good time!

 

-CD

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Spring has sprung and that may make you want to change up your tea routine. Gone are the days of cinnamon and apples (we will see them again in six months), and it’s time to bring out the flowers. Yes, you read that correctly. Beautiful, colorful, blooms in your tea to help give your add a light, floral finish. They have been used and blended in teas for ages and it looks like there is no withering in sight.

You would be surprised to learn the role flowers play in tea. Sometimes they are blended with tea or, in the case of camomile and Butterfly Pea, they are the tea. Camomile flowers are similar to a daisy while butterfly pea flowers look like a little bell. Both camomile and butterfly pea flowers boast health benefits to whomever drinks it in the form of a tea. You can flavor each tea to your liking but the added bonus of Butterfly Pea is the addition of lemon for a magical, color changing effect!

A popular flower tea is the Flowering Tea (aka Blooming Tea), in which a dried up ball is dropped into a cup or teapot of hot water and you watch as not only your tea brews, but the ball opens up to reveal a flower, thus its namesake. These beauties are usually handcrafted using tea and flowers like chrysanthemum, lily, marigold, jasmine, osmanthus, and many others. They are sewn together mostly in China where much of the tea is grown but they can be made elsewhere in the world. To make a flowering tea, simply place a tea ball in your teapot (a glass one is usually best for these) or cup and pour freshly boiled water on it. It is always a sight to see when they are brewed since the tea ball blooms as it steeps, but the best part is getting to drink it!

While most flowers are used as an herbal tea, they are also used with caffeinated teas like black, green, and white tea. Popular flowers include cornflowers, hibiscus, lavender, rose petals, and calendula. Some good teas we suggest include some of these flowers.

English Tea Store’s Versailles Lavender Earl Grey Tea is the best of two countries, England and France. Citrusy, flavorful English Earl Grey is blended with heavenly French lavender to make this floral pick-me-up. This tea will make you will want to dance in a field of lavender flowers!

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English Tea Store’s Lavender Herbal Tea is not only pleasing to look at, but it’s also got a very pleasing aroma. You can blend this lavender with any of your favorite teas, or use it to add the soothing scent anywhere in your home.

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English Tea Store’s Jasmine Green Tea is a must green tea lovers. Our Chinese grown steamed green tea is blended with delicate Jasmine flowers for a lovely balance of flavors in your teacup. You will be captivated by the scent and and taste. Enjoy with honey.

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-CD

Did you know that you can bake with tea? Yes, you read that correctly! You can take your tea and add it to nearly anything you make! Usually, the recipe calls for the tea to be steeped in with hot milk or even cream, since it is the best way to bring out its flavor. Just don’t boil the milk too hot or else it will curdle! Other recipes will also ask for tea that was brewed in water, which is also a good idea, which can also be used to soak dried fruits like raisins or sultanas.

 

Here are two recipes from Typhoo Tea to help get you started:

 

Typhoo’s Tea Flavored Shortbread

 

  • 125g/4oz butter
  • 50g/2oz caster sugar (or superfine sugar)
  • 175g/6oz plain flour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Extra strong teabag (or 1 regular teabag)

Preheat oven at 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4

Rub butter, caster sugar and flour together in a big bowl until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add it all to the food processor and pulse it.

Heat a small cup of milk and add the teabag and allow to steep.

Add a tablespoon of milk to your bread crumbs and knead for a minute or two until it forms a smooth ball of dough.  Cover with plastic wrap/clingfilm and put in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Turn onto a floured surface and roll out the dough until it’s 1cm thick.  Cut out biscuit shapes using a cookie cutter.

Reshape the scraps and cut more shapes. Place the biscuits on a baking tray and prick with a fork.

Bake for 15 minutes before placing on to a wire rack to cool.

You can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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Typhoo’s Coconut & Cinnamon Tea Loaf

  • 300ml strong, hot Typhoo tea (made with 2 teabags)
  • 280g raisins
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 40g desiccated coconut (also known as shredded coconut)
  • 55g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg

10-tealoaf-683x1024-683x1024.jpgPreheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. Make the tea in a jug or bowl (leaving the teabags in) and add the raisins to it. Leave for 20 minutes.

In the meantime stir together the flour, coconut, sugars, and cinnamon until well distributed

If the brown sugar has any lumps be sure to squash these with the back of a spoon. Add the raisins and tea being careful to discard the teabags. Then add the egg. Use a spoon to combine, but beware of overmixing.

Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour until a skewer comes out of the centre of the cake clean.

Cool on a wire rack in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Serve with a cup of Typhoo tea! Happy Baking!

-CD

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