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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

 

The fourth month of the year is beginning, a time of things like cute bunnies and Easter and everything blooming. A time to be very “hoppy” about tea. In recognition, here are some teas that I would tend to think of as spring-like and not to miss in April:

5 “hoppy” teas for April (you’ll need to supply the cute bunnies in teacups yourself). (ETS image composite by A.C. Cargill)

5 “hoppy” teas for April (you’ll need to supply the cute bunnies in teacups yourself). (ETS image composite by A.C. Cargill)

1 Foil-pouch protected from those April showers: Stash Jasmine Blossom Green Tea

Jasmine is a lovely flower and has been used for centuries to add its wonderful floral fragrance to teas. This is a Chinese green tea scented with jasmine. There are seven grades of quality, depending on the type of tea used and the care used in the scenting process. (Read more about this type of flavored tea here on our blog.) In this case, this a downy silver tipped green tea and most of the jasmine blossoms have been removed. The result is a balanced and delicate flavor of tea and bloom that will add a touch of romance to your day and is also pleasant to sip and relax with in the evening. As one of our customers commented, a dash of agave nectar will sweeten and heighten the jasmine presence in your cup.

2 Ready for those Spring-time blooms: Buckingham Palace Garden Party Tea

Black and green tea take on the glorious Spring-time scents of jasmine blossoms and cornflower petals while also combining with natural flavors such as oil of bergamot. The combination results in a tea perfect for that afternoon tea break to catch some rays after being cooped up inside during the cold months of Winter. The teas used are a high-grown Ceylon black tea flavored with oil of bergamot, green tea from the Fujian Province of China scented with jasmine, some malty Borengajuli Estate Assam black tea, Dimbula Ceylon tea, and some Kenyan from Kambaa and Kagwe. They play together like the London Philharmonic Orchestra where everything is in tune and harmonious yet distinct. A couple of our customers have commented that this tea really lifts their mood and goes well with sweet foods!

Just remember as you’re sipping that this tea has been a long-time favorite at the annual garden tea part held in May by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. See more about the annual Buckingham Palace Garden Party here on our blog.

3 VersatiliTEA: Peach Apricot White Tea

Just remember that April showers bring those flowers that into fruits do grow – and mixed with white tea they do bring glee with each sip setting heart aglow! Hee! A bit of tea time poetry here. Seriously, this is a wonderful white tea with natural flavors of peach and apricot – two stone fruits whose flavors often are imitated in some of the finer teas but here are added in, almost like a fruit-ade but with that white tea goodness. One customer remarked on the divine aroma of this tea and another said she combines it with our blueberry green tea for an even fruitier taste. Whatever way you steep it, this tea will be an uplifting experience.

4 A real surpriser: Oolong Orange Blossom Estate Tea

Be forewarned that this tea is not a straight oolong but a blend of Ceylon black, Taiwanese oolong, and green teas. If you are used to steeping your oolongs a certain way, such as in a Yixing teapot or gaiwan, it will not necessarily be a good idea here. In fact, I prefer one of my smaller ceramic teapots (the reason that I have a bevy of teapots instead of just one or two – in fact, I’ve added to that bevy since writing this article awhile back). One of our customers commented on this and her own experiments with steeping it various ways. In addition, while the name says “orange blossom,” there are actually jasmine petals and other natural flavors, including dried orange pieces, in this tea. Another customer blends it with blueberry tea for serving iced.

5 Generations of tea knowledge in a cup: Harney and Sons Earl Grey Imperial Tea

Several generations of Harneys have built a tea company with a solid reputation, and this tea is one that does them proud. A classy black tea is infused with lemony oil of Bergamot to just the right level. You will find it perfect for your afternoon tea moment or even for that quiet night-time tea time when the house is still and everyone else is in bed. One customer remarked that this tea was rich in flavor, smooth, and not bitter. Sounds like a winner to me.

Hope you get to try some of these during April to help you get make that transition into Spring a smooth one. Enjoy!

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.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-up Adaptation (from Amazon.com)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-up Adaptation (from Amazon.com)

As I research assorted and sundry articles dealing with various aspects of tea history, I’ve run across a number of important historical events that have taken place in the month of April (or more specifically on the 1st). Here are a few of them:

April 1, 2813 BC
Chinese emperor Shung Mung discovers tea and the tea bag at the exact same moment. The Emperor is folding pieces of paper (which he’d invented the year before) into little kitty shapes when a sudden windstorm blows a bunch of leaves from off of the tea plant located right next to the window of his workshop. As he happens to look away for a moment a number of the leaves happen to blow directly into the paper kitty he is working on. At this very moment he just happens to drop the paper packet and tea leaves into a pot of water that was boiling on a fire next to him – for no apparent reason.

April 1, 1703
At the request of the eccentric inventor Baron Percival Egspeth Snork, a blacksmith creates what is believed to be one of the first tea infusers. It is a large, unwieldy device fashioned out a heavy piece of cast iron and tends to crush the dainty porcelain tea cups it’s tested on. Unfortunately, while working on the design of a second prototype of this device, Snork dies in a bizarre whittling accident that remains unexplained to this day.

April 1, 1773
Mrs. Edna Winkerbean holds the first tea party in what will soon become the United States. The party is held at her home in Boston. It is a very nice affair and is attended by several ladies in the neighborhood. Crumpets are served. The participants refer to this momentous event as the Boston Tea Party, which turns out to be a bad choice of names.

April 1, 1899
Jedediah Whufflesnorfer invents the Teafflesnorfer, which he insists is not named after himself. It’s a device that automatically begins to prepare tea at the sound of a rooster crowing. Through a complicated system of gears, belts, and levers, it cleans itself after each use and refills itself with tea leaves and water. It does not do windows. So don’t even ask.

April 1, 2013
Alarmed by the news that the Dormouse kept dozing off during the Mad Tea-Party in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a number of tea companies begin research into tea products that are “enhanced” with extra caffeine.

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.

No fooling, it’s time to line up another round of tasty teas to get you through the month ahead. Between preparing your tax return to baying at the full moon, it’s going to be a busy month. Let’s see what tea can do for us this time around.

1 In This “April Fool” Month Look Smart with a Cuppa Lady Londonderry Tea in Hand

Lady Londonderry, aka Edith Vane-Tempest-Stewart, Marchioness of Londonderry, was no fool. Mother of   five. Volunteer coordinator during World War I, including setting up a hospital in the estate home (just like in the popular series Downton Abbey). Designer of the gardens at the family estate. Wow!You won’t be a fool either when you sip on a cuppa this delightful afternoon tea. A black tea with a malty floral flavor, hints of strawberry and lemon, dried orange, daisy white and natural flavors. An orthodox tea, that is, not dust but large leaf pieces to steep up a fuller flavor.
Lady Londonderry Tea (Photo: The English Tea Store)

Lady Londonderry Tea (Photo: The English Tea Store)

2 Don’t Sweat the Taxes When You Sip Some Harney and Sons Green Tea with Coconut, Ginger, and Vanilla

Stay cool and calm while doing your tax return with this flavorful tea from the tea masters at Harney & Sons. It’s a flavorful blend of green tea, coconut, ginger, vanilla and lemongrass — inspired by Thai tea traditions. This blend is part of the Historical Royal Palace line. So maybe it will have a regal effect on you and then you can collect, instead of pay, those taxes. All hail the Tea Monarch!

Harney and Sons Green Tea with Coconut, Ginger, and Vanilla (Photo: The English Tea Store)

Harney and Sons Green Tea with Coconut, Ginger, and Vanilla (Photo: The English Tea Store)

3 Take a Big Whiff of Jasmine with Flowers Green Tea

Nothing is so wonderful as the scent of flowers in the Springtime. And this tea certainly evokes such pleasure. This is a steamed green tea from Fujian Province, China, grown 1,500 feet above sea level. This environment produces a tea with surprising body and a captivating floral taste that is not found in any other natural tea. On the nose the dry tea has a floral   bouquet which literally causes your senses to come alive with pleasant thoughts. The flavor is enhanced with the addition of jasmine blossoms which give the tea a visual appeal few other teas are capable of copying. This grade of jasmine tea is the first grade below the exotic jasmines yet has all the flavor, aroma and good green tea qualities without the exorbitant price.

Jasmine with Flowers Green Tea (Photo: The English Tea Store)

Jasmine with Flowers Green Tea (Photo: The English Tea Store)

4 Raise Your Teacup in a Toast to the Full Moon with This Ahmad English Tea Selection

Ahmad Tea is a third generation family run company. This sampler includes three individual packs of 10 enveloped sachets of Ahmad’s most popular teas: Earl Grey, English Tea No. 1 and English Breakfast. This selection makes a great gift for any tea lover on your list.

  • Earl Grey: Black tea, Bergamot   flavoring
  • English Tea No. 1: Blend of Ceylon and other regions black tea
  • English Breakfast: Black Tea

Ahmad English Tea Selection (Photo: The English Tea Store)

Ahmad English Tea Selection (Photo: The English Tea Store)

5 Round Out the Month with Long Island Strawberry Green Tea

No Long Island iced tea here. Just fresh and flavorful green tea with natural strawberry flavoring. Get a feel for Summer by having some of this tea served chilled.

Long Island Strawberry Green Tea (Photo: The English Tea Store)

Long Island Strawberry Green Tea (Photo: The English Tea Store)

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.

Sip some Darjeeling White Tips White Tea as your tea toast to April!

Sip some Darjeeling White Tips White Tea as your tea toast to April!

Fill your teacup with some tasty tea and get ready to toast some memorable occasions in April. There are the obvious ones, such as April Fool’s Day on the 1st and Easter on the 8th. However, as always, I present some not-so-well-known occasions to toast.

  1. Children’s Book Day — April 2nd — From “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” to the Harry Potter series and thousands upon thousands more, books created to delight and educate the young among us are true delights for even us older codgers. In fact, hubby and I have bought a few whose illustrations and stories held a certain charm. The Tin Tin series is one of these, and so is The Polar Express, which we bought before the amazing animated movie version came out. Celebrate the day by reading a book to that special young person in your life or even out loud to each other. And keep a cuppa tea at hand to sip from.
  2. Walk Around Things Day — April 4th — “What things?” you may ask. Well, walk around the table, the desk, the car, the guy standing in the middle of the sidewalk texting on his iPhone, the woman in the produce aisle selecting the best navel oranges, etc. If you have a travel mug of tea in hand, you’ll have a great journey!
  3. No Housework Day — April 7th — Leave the cobwebs hanging and the dust bunnies rolling while you have a nice, relaxing tea time.
  4. Russian Cosmonaut Day — April 12th — Steep up some of that Russian Caravan tea. Its smoky taste will send you into orbit!
  5. Blame Someone Else Day — April 13th — Whether it’s spilling the tea or burning the scones, just blame someone else!
  6. International Juggler’s Day — April 18th — Juggling can be a part of everyday life, especially for you moms and dads out there. But even for hubby and I things can get hectic, so an appreciation for the jugglers among us is due here. Try juggling some teaballs (the dry form of flowering teas).
  7. National High Five Day — April 19th — Do not, I repeat, do not have a full (or even empty) teacup or mug in the hand you high five with.
  8. Take a Chance Day — April 23rd — What a perfect time to try a new tea! Been hearing about mysterious pu-erh but have been reluctant to take the plunge and try some? Go for it today. How about finally trying that highly-touted white tea? This is the day to dive on in. Whatever you choose, remember that it’s all to celebrate this special day.
  9. East meets West Day — April 25th — You can celebrate by steeping some Formosa oolong in a Bodum teapot or some English Breakfast Blend in a kyusu. Some Japanese Houjicha steeped in
  10. Hairstyle Appreciation Day — April 30th — Ever had a really, really bad haircut? Me, too. Fortunately, I was surrounded by people of such exquisite manners that not once did I hear things like “Gee, did you break the lawn mower blades getting that haircut?” or “Was that haircut an Edward Scissorhands special?” All they said when I walked in the room or office was, “Hi, you’re looking different today.” On this date if you encounter another such unfortunate victim of the hairdresser’s art, try to be as diplomatic as these people were to me. Of course, often people are quite pleased with the results of their time in the hairdresser’s chair. In that case, your remarks can be fully truthful. Either way, toast their new hairstyle with tea!

You’re all set for April now. Steep up a few potfuls and toast these and other special days this month. It gives you something to do in-between 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.

Pastel Bunny Gift Box

Pastel Bunny Gift Box

Once again it is time to pour the tea of knowledge from the pot of the future into the cup of insight, swirl it mystically and see what guidance we can find as we continue our perilous journey in to April.

The first of the portents revealed by a very agreeable cup of Earl Grey is a dolphin which is a symbol of unexpected help in an emergency. This was followed by a bike and a trident which means success at sea. I’m racking my brains to think of a situation which would involve cycling at sea, but if you do find yourself in one, it seems you can expect it to go well or at least to be unexpectedly rescued if it doesn’t.

Next there was a star which means good fortune, two lions which represent influential friends, a cross which means ill health and a pair of shoes which mean change for the better. This would seem to mean a return to health for someone important in your life, possibly they were mixed up in the oceanic cycling débâcle but will pull through.

Then we have a triangle, for something unexpected, which points up, meaning it will bring success, a bow which means scandal, a bunny and a waistcoat. Rabbits usually mean a need to be brave, but a rabbit in a waistcoat is a prominent feature in several, reasonably surreal children’s stories. If your child comes home to tell you about their sudden miraculous achievement in a previously unpromising field then beware, they are certainly lying to you. Tales of anthropomorphic rabbits should also be treated with caution, especially as we approach Easter. It’s all a scam to try and get more chocolate.

Finally, and I promise I am not making this up, there is a brontosaurus. I often see dinosaurs in my tea leaves which may well point to some deep seated psychological problems on my part, but I chose to believe that it is the leaves warning me that somewhere in a laboratory there is a team of scientists re-enacting the movie Jurassic Park. Remember that Velociraptors have learned to open doors, we should all fit extra locks.

© 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.

 Florida Orange Rooibos

Florida Orange Rooibos

Just as in March, there are tons of days in April to celebrate with a cuppa tea. I have focused on 20 of these dates to get you started and skipped some obvious dates, like Easter on the 24th and Tax Day on the 15th. The point is to bring some lesser known dates to your attention and show how they are great reasons to enjoy tea while steering clear of anything too serious, for the most part.

On to those 20 very special reasons to drink tea during this first full month of Spring.

  1. April is Cancer Control Month, so get a check-up.
  2. The 3rd week (10-16) is Week of the Young Child. The theme is Early Years Are Learning Years. Wish they’d had that when I was a kid. Sigh! Time for tea!
  3. International Fun at Work Day — April 1st — No need to whistle while you work to have fun. Just bring along a thermos of tea large enough to sip on all day long.
  4. National Read a Road Map Day — April 5th — And whatever you do, don’t ask for directions! If you get lost, pull over to the nearest café and see if they have anything resembling tea.
  5. Ponce de Leon Day — April 8th — Born in 1460, de Leon is known for discovering Florida. Of course, he was really looking for the Fountain of Youth but took a wrong turn at Atlanta and headed due South until he reached Miami. Have a nice Florida Orange Rooibos tea to celebrate.
  6. National Siblings Day — April 10th — Even if you’re an only child, you can celebrate this day. We are all basically related. But if you give yourself a bigger slice of the cake at teatime…
  7. Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday, 1743 — April 13th — Thanks to him we don’t have a king, we have a President. I’ll drink a tea toast to that!
  8. Reach as High as You Can Day — April 14th — The sky’s the limit, as the saying goes, so you could go for some goal you thought unattainable. Or does this mean it’s time to clean out the top shelf of your tea pantry? Either way, go for it!
  9. Rubber Eraser Day — April 15th — No mistaking the benefits of this day, especially if, like me, you make mistakes. Don’t worry. Just rub ’em out and have some tea.
  10. National Eggs Benedict Day — April 16th — Eggs Benedict was created in New York City over 100 years ago and is said to have been created by Mrs. LeGrand Benedict in 1893 and Mr. Lemuel Benedict in 1894. That’s one disagreement I’m steering clear of and just enjoying this splendid dish with some tasty Breakfast Blend tea.
  11. Slavery Abolished in D.C. — April 16th — In 1862, President Lincoln signed an act abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, a big step toward full emancipation. Have a wonderful Kenyan or Rwandan tea to celebrate!
  12. First Laundromat Opens — April 18th — Picture Fort Worth Texas, 1934. People are lined up around the block with baskets full of their dirty laundry, along with detergent, softener, and bleach. Finally, they would know the joy of clean clothes again without bending over their bathtubs to scrub them. More time and energy for steeping and enjoying tea!
  13. Kindergarten Day — April 21st — Kindergartens were founded by Friedrich Fröbel in 1837 in Germany. Getting children interested in learning about their world early is important. Learning all you can about tea is good, too, and will help you enjoy this marvelous and varied beverage all the more.
  14. Home Run Day — April 23rd — Hank Aaron hits his first home run in 1954. Score a home run at tea time with some fine teas like Czar Nicolas Russian Caravan Tea or Lover’s Leap Estate Darjeeling.
  15. William Shakespeare’s Birthday (in 1564) — April 23rd — William knew that a tea by any other name would taste as good. He also would have traded his tea kingdom for a horse. Lessons for us all to learn.
  16. East meets West Day — April 25th — This is mainly about sports teams, but it can easily be about tea. Most teas are grown in parts of the globe that we know as the East. A lot of them are enjoyed in what we call the West.
  17. Hug an Australian Day — April 26th — Aussies love tea. You love tea. So, why not love Aussies? After the hug fest, share some tea Aussie-style.
  18. Tell a Story Day — April 27th — Especially good if you finished off the last of the tea in the pot and someone asks about it. Of course, you could also apply this as an excuse to tell friends, family, and co-workers the story of tea.
  19. Zipper Day — April 29th — A day full of ups and downs but somehow everything manages to hold together, including your cuppa tea.
  20. Hairstyle Appreciation Day — April 30th — A time for you to notice your loved one’s new “do” and pay a compliment. Then, turn around quickly and pretend to be making tea so he/she can’t see the smirk on your face. We all have different tastes!

Time for me to go celebrate a most special day: another day of being alive. Enjoy!

© 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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