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We are all about tradition here at the English Tea Store. English Christmas Pudding, also known as Plum Pudding or Figgy Pudding, is a delicious Christmas dinner tradition dating back to the 14th century! It has been changed & re-invented over the years. By Victorian times, it has molded into what they are today, a delicious modern take on a blend of nutmeg, raisins, nuts, apples, cinnamon & many other ingredients! (Each brand has different ingredients) Spend more time enjoying your family this Christmas than in the kitchen and get a Christmas pudding today!

Putting a silver coin in the pudding is another custom that is said to bring luck to the person that finds it first! That may be a fun tradition to start with your family.

 

#1: Matthew Walker’s Classic Christmas Pudding

Matthew Walker's Classic Christmas Pudding - 14.1oz (400g)

Ingredients: Sultanas (31%) (contains Cottonseed Oil), Sugar, Breadcrumbs (Wheat Flour, Wholemeal Wheat Flour, Wheat Germ, Yeast, Salt), Water, Cider (7%), Palm Oil, Wheat Flour, Molasses, Candied Citrus Peel (Glucose, Orange Peel, Sugar, Lemon Peel, Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid), Salt, Mixed Spice

You can purchase this pudding in 3.5 oz.14.1 oz or 28.2 oz.

 

 

#2: Matthew Walker Luxury Christmas Pudding no. 13

 

Matthew Walker Luxury Christmas Pudding no 13 - 28.2oz (800g)

 

Ingredients: Sultanas, raisins, currants (32%), cider (11%), demerara sugar, sugar, breadcrumbs (wheat flour, wholemeal wheat flour, wheat germ, yeast, salt), palm oil, brandy (4%), glace cherries (4%) (cherries, glucose-fructose syrup, colour: anthocyanin, acidity regulator: citric acid, preservative: sulphur dioxide), rum (3%), rusk (wheat flour, salt), wheat flour, sherry (2%), almonds, walnuts, orange and lemon peel, molasses, mixed spice, salt.

You can purchase this pudding in 3.5 oz.14.1 oz., or 28.2 oz.

 

 

We highly recommend that you put a whiskey butter, whipped cream or clotted cream on top of the pudding for some added flavor!

 

-Alexis

 

 

 

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St. Andrew’s Day is known as the national day for Scotland. It is celebrated annually on November 30. St. Andrew was the patron saint of Scotland (along with Romania, Greece, and Russia), but he has a larger cultural impact in Scotland.

 

St. Andrew was originally one of the twelve apostles of Christ. He was a fisherman along with his brother Simon Peter (also known as St. Peter, another apostle), both living and working in Galilee (now present day Israel). On November 30 of the year 60 AD, St. Andrew was believed to have been crucified on a diagonal cross, which led to the inspiration to the flag of Scotland, called The Saltire.

Scotland - St Andrews Cross 3ft x 5ft Nylon Flag with Indoor Pole Hem and Fringe

 

St. Andrew’s Day is a day to celebrate Scottish culture and to celebrate the life of St. Andrew. There is singing, dancing, parades, bagpipes, and food like Cullen Skink (smoked fish soup with leeks and potato) and haggis. St. Andrews Day is considered a Bank Holiday in Scotland and marks the beginning of Scotland’s Winter Festivals, including Hogmanay and Burns Night. The holiday is not only celebrated in Scotland but by anyone in the world who has Scottish ties, by blood or heart!

 

-CD

 

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Halloween just passed and Thanksgiving is around the corner; we are in the heart of fall! This time of year is most beautiful due to the colors of the changing of leaves and cozying up next to a fire with a fall snack and tea. Why not bring that joy to someone you loves’ home or as a gift to yourself “just because”. Here at ETS, we have beautiful hand made gift baskets that can act as a decoration and provide some tasty treats and teas to visitors throughout the holidays! It is a great way to try some things you’ve been wanting to without purchasing more than you need. Choose a gift basket from below and let us know what your favorite item is!

 

Tastes of Fall Gourmet Gift Basket

The Tastes of Fall Gourmet Gift Basket

 

This beautiful basket is for the food lover in your life! It features some delicious treats that are perfect for a fall party! You will receive a popcorn ball, corn cob popping popcorn, smokey cheese straws, smoked salami, chocolate & caramel salted cookies, honey wheat dipping pretzels, vanilla caramels, chamberry truffles, grained mustard, french onion dip mix and a copper finish oval platter!

 

 

 

Fall Snack Chest

Fall Snack Chest

 

This basket is great for the snacker in your life. With many different chips & candies and some tea to wash it down with, this basket is great for trying some things you’ve never had before! This basket includes miss vickies bistro chips, snack mix, cherry bon bon candies, vanilla cream spice tea, shortbread cookies, veggie cheese dip and honey mustard pretzels all wrapped in a dark stained wicker hamper.

 

 

 

 

Or for our more crafty customers, you can head to our British Food Store Section on our site, choose some items to add to your basket, then head to your local crafts store to purchase a basket and fall decor to make your own!

 

 

-Alexis

 

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What is Bubble Tea?

The other day at a fall apple festival near my hometown in PA I saw a huge sign that read “Bubble Tea $6.99”. I have never heard of such a thing so I came home and researched exactly what it was because I love trying new things. I soon found out that bubble tea, also known as tapioca tea or milk tea, originates in Taiwan where you can find bubble tea stands on every corner. The “bubbles” come from the froth that the milk makes when the drink is shaken prior to drinking. The pearls in the bottom of the glass are tapioca pearls that are typically black in color but can also be white or clear. They are soaked in a simple syrup before using so that they add sweetness to the drink. After the pearls are placed in the glass, it is then filled with a chilled drink then shaken.

Now for a recipe! If you like Chai Tea, you have to try this awesome bubble tea recipe. It is delicious! However, if you prefer other flavors of tea, feel free to sub them in!

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What You’ll Need:

5 Chai Tea Bags (we recommend Tazo Organic Chai Tea)

Coconut Milk (or whole milk if you prefer)

Honey

Tapioca Pearls (you can find these on Amazon)

Simple Syrup (optional)

 

Put it together!

  1. Boil the tapioca pearls for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let them cool in the water for 6 minutes.
  2. Rinse the pearls, place in a container with simple syrup or water and chill. (If you like a sweeter drink use the simple syrup so the pearls absorb the sweetness)
  3. Brew your chai tea by steeping 5 chai tea bags in 3 cups of water.
  4. Grab a tall glass, put 1/2 cup of coconut milk in the glass, add honey to taste.
  5. Add a few spoonfuls of tapioca pearls.
  6. Put 3/4 cup of your tea in the glass and mix it up!
  7. Grab a straw and enjoy!

 

-Alexis

 

 

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For years there has been green tea but have you ever had a blue tea? Butterfly Pea Tea is the latest tea to hit our teacups and it is mesmerizing! Not just because the tea is a bright, beautiful blue color, but also because it can change color! No, really! Just add lemon or lime juice and watch this magical tea turn from dark blue to a purple or pink color, right before your eyes!

 

Butterfly Pea tea seem new to many of us but in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia, it has been well-known for many years. In fact, it is often used in Thai cuisine such as rice cakes and ice cream. The anthocyanins in the flowers are what make the tea blue and the flavonoids in the tea add a remarkable amount of antioxidants. It is said that the tea is also known for its medicinal benefits.

Butterfly Blue Pea Flower Herbal Tea - Loose Leaf

This fascinating tea can also be used in a number of ways. You can:

 

Use it as a food coloring thanks to its natural color. Add it to your cupcake icing or use to dye Easter Eggs.

 

Make Butterfly Pea Sun Tea by filling a container (one with a lid is best) with water and adding several flowers to the tea. Let it sit in the sun all day and chill once it is ready. Add lemon juice to a cup or the whole container! Enjoy!

 

Make Butterfly Pea Tea or lemonade ice cubes for a refreshing and mesmerizing effect in your iced tea.

 

Make blue or purple ice pops. Want to be even more creative? Make two toned ice pops! Simply freeze half of one color of tea first and then the second color after the first is frozen.

 

Use the tea in alcoholic beverages to create beautiful drinks and impress your guests. Mixologists have been using Butterfly Pea in recent years and now you can try your hand at home!

 

Previously, there weren’t too many places online to order these beautiful dried flowers but now you can get them right here at English Tea Store! You can try a sample size of 1 ounce or get a full bag of 4 ounces! Be careful, though. The tea is very fun to brew and drink! Simply soak some flowers in a cup of boiling hot water and let steep for about 15 minutes. While the tea brews, the color from the flowers will starts to flow from the flowers!

 

Enjoy!

 

-CD

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We haven’t even reached Halloween yet but we are extremely excited to tell you that we now have Christmas Crackers available for your purchase. It’s never too early to stock up on them as gifts or for yourself! And it’s also never to early to talk about Christmas!

 

What are Christmas Crackers?

I had no idea what a Christmas Cracker was before the English Tea Store starting selling them! But I am so happy I now know because they make such easy, inexpensive & fun gifts that all ages will love.

They were invented (by accident) by a man named Tom Smith in 1847. That means this tradition has been around for over 150 years! A cracker, pictured below, is a small cardboard tube wrapped in beautiful Christmas paper. Two people hold on either side of the tube to “pop” it. Next the cardboard turns into a hat for you to strut around in, a small gift, a balloon and a saying/joke. The “joke” is usually so laughable because they really are not that funny. The tradition is to crack them open after Christmas dinner.

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Tom Smith eventually started making Crackers for more seasons because they were so popular! Something that makes crackers so special is that they are made by hand.

 

 

Here at ETS, we have crackers for all ages. There are crackers for adults & kids.

 

Christmas Crackers for Kids:

Christmas Crackers for Adults:

 

We also carry a large variety of Pudding Lane Crackers! If you’re planning on having a Christmas party this festive season, they would make for perfect party favors! Or even pick one up for each member of your family for an inexpensive & fun tradition to start.

 

-Alexis

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Pumpkin! Like Halloween, pumpkin creeps up on us all and suddenly appears everywhere! In recent years, there has been a pumpkin craze and it seems to be growing. At first it was just coffee but now it has even escalated all the way to makeup! If you just like to leave the pumpkin in your coffee and tea, then why not try some of our favorite pumpkin products!

 

English Tea Store’s Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea is our very own brand of pumpkiny goodness. This blend of South African rooibos and black tea is a mellow balance of flavors with a mix of cinnamon and natural pumpkin flavor. Try this with a splash of milk and bit of sugar.

 

 

Stash Pumpkin Spice Tea is one of our popular pumpkin spiced teas. A decaf blend of black teas along with the natural flavor of pumpkin allows you to indulge, even at night!

Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea  - Loose Leaf

Twinings Pumpkin Spice Chai is one of our best selling chai teas! A fine blend of chai spices and Twinings’ famous black tea, you can’t help but feel this tea being a special treat! Enjoy in the morning to accompany a hot, fresh breakfast and seasonal fruit. Also available in K-Cups!

Twinings Chai Tea - Pumpkin Spice - 20 count

For pumpkin goodies to eat, why not try some Sticky Fingers Pumpkin Scone Mix and Pumpkin Cranberry Scone Mix? These mixes are easy to make and within the hour, you will have hot, fresh pumpkin scones. The cranberries are a bonus if you love them, as well.

 

If you have heard of apple butter, step up your fruit butter game and check out Sticky Fingers Pumpkin Butter. Made with Northwest pumpkins, this apple based spread from Sticky Fingers is a tasty way to get more pumpkin in with your favorite bread or cake!

Sticky Fingers Pumpkin Spice Fruit Butter - 8.2oz (232g)

-CD

Depending on where you live here in the US, you may see the leaves begin to change and the weather go from blazing hot to cool and chilly in a mere few days. You may see blustery winds and leaves changing along with gray and drizzly weather along with bright orange pumpkins dotting the neighborhood doorsteps. Now, if the weather has you thinking about the UK, it may have you craving a good scone with some jam and clotted cream and a nice steaming cup of your favorite tea. Never worry! We carry a load of your favorite British baking mixes that will bring you the comfort of Home right here in the USA.

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Our scone mixes are some of most popular baking items that we carry. Sticky Fingers brand Scone Mixes are a gourmet line of mixes based right here in the United States. They are easy to make and are usually baked in a short amount of time! Try some unique flavors like White Chocolate Raspberry or Coconut Chocolate Chip or take the traditional route and enjoy Original or Lemon Poppyseed. These mixes are delicious and will be gone in no time!

 

 

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For traditional British baking, bake with true British ingredients and flavor! Caster sugar is much more finer than granulated sugar, so it allows for the sugar to mix in much more quicker with your batters and dough’s and makes it feel much more lighter and fluffier. Caster sugar is perfect for Victoria Sponges, meringues, and puddings. And with Christmas coming up, you will want to stock up on jars of mincemeat filling! Robertsons Mincemeat is a popular mincemeat filling made with dried fruits, candied peels, and mixed spices. Make your own pastry crust (or use store bought) and make enough mince pies to last you until New Year’s!

 

Another British bake that could also be considered American in my book is the crumble. I have grown up eating crumbles but I never knew they were British! Green’s Crumble Mix is a mix from the UK that allows you to make your own for a quick warm dessert on a cool autumn night. Add your own fruit like apples or berries or even add some Ambrosia Devon Custard along with it for an even more hearty dessert!

 

-CD

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We are staying with the luck of the Irish again this week with Bewley’s Tea, founded in 1840 by Samuel Bewley and his son Charles Bewley. They took a chance with a little shop in Dublin, Ireland and thank goodness they did, because they are now a worldwide power house in the coffee & tea industry!

Today, 175 years later, they are owners of many awards for espresso blends & single origin teas. They are the leading supply of hot beverages in Ireland with over 4,000 hotels & cafe’s selling their tea and coffee.

They pride their Quaker origins and run their company with these origins in mind. They have long term relationships with their suppliers and other coffee/tea producers.

 

Bewley’s has sold over 600 Million cups of tea worldwide!

 

Now for some of our fan favorites here at ETS:

 

Bewley’s Irish Breakfast TeaBewley's Irish Breakfast Tea - 80 count

  • Made in Ireland
  • Indian Tea Leaves (Assam & Darjeeling)
  • Creamy, Malt Flavor
  • Caffeinated
  • $8.79 / 80 bags

“This is my go to tea. I love how dark and full bodied this tea is. I never had a bitter cup of tea from this blend. I drink this tea all day long, and enjoy every cup.” Claudia, an ETS Customer

 

Bewley’s Dublin Morning TeaBewley's Dublin Morning Tea - 80 count

  • Made in Ireland
  • African Tea Leaves
  • Creamy, Malt Flavor
  • Caffeinated
  • $8.79 / 80 bags

“this is my all time favorite tea! I love dark, strong, malty flavor, taken straight–no milk, no sugar. This one fills my criteria. So glad it’s available online!” – Laura, an ETS Customer

 

That closes our Breakdown of Brands series! I hope you all enjoyed learning some history behind the brands we sell & why we love them so much. The next set of Wednesday blogs are going to feature some hot new Christmas items! 🎄

 

-Alexis

At the English Tea Store, we love sweets just as much as we love tea. Chocolate, jellies, gummies, you name it. Some of the sweets that don’t get enough attention are our classic British sweets from many childhoods. Today we highlight these much loved sweets and explore how they came to be.

 

Liquorice Allsorts have a long history and a funny story to go along with it. In 1899, it was said that a candy sales representative named Charlie Thomson was with a customer in Leicester, UK, showing some sweets to sell. The customer was not liking them until Mr. Thomson accidentally dropped his tray of sweets and ran to pick them up. The client saw that the candies were such a colorful mess and very interested, he placed a large order for them! On the packets of liquorice allsorts, you may notice a man made entirely of the sweets. That is the mascot, Bertie Bassett! He has been the face of Bassetts for generations.

Bassetts Liquorice Allsorts - 6.7oz (190g)

Pontefract Cakes are another popular liquorice sweet. The history of these sweets are older than the US itself! Back in 1760, an apothecary from Pontefract named George Dunhill began to add sugar to a Pontefract Cake, which was already made at the time but it was only used for medicinal purposes. The recipe uses raw liquorice and a special stamp that nearly everyone in the UK recognize.

Haribo Pontefract Cakes - 5.64oz (160g)

Sherbet in the US is considered a type of ice cream but in the UK, it’s a fizzy and powdery confection. It’s tangy and sweet, and people love to pair it with other sweets. Try a strawberry lollipop and you get the winning combination of a Dip Dab. These are much like a certain lollipop I used to enjoy as a kid that had popping candy but instead of popping candy, you get sherbet. If you love sherbet but are still on the liquorice train, then there is the Sherbet Fountain. These are not actual fountains like I thought (don’t ask) but they are like a fountain in your mouth. These are plastic tubes (originally paper) in which they house a small stick of liquorice and an amount of tangy sherbet. You can do as you please with your liquorice, whether lick it to dip with or bite the top off and use it as a straw. Everyone has their favorite way of enjoying this classic.

Candyland Sherbet Fountain - .88oz (25g)

What are some of your favorite classic sweets? Any that we should carry but don’t? Let us know! We always listen.

 

-CD

 

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