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Apple Spice Naturally Flavored Black Tea (ETS image)

Apple Spice Naturally Flavored Black Tea (ETS image)

For some folks, Labor Day is officially the end of Summer, which among the folks in the Hamptons also means it’s the last day to wear white until Memorial Day, but officially Summer continues until around the end of the 3rd week of September. I always like to observe this official version of the change of seasons with a nice toast of the teacup. And that means steeping up some tea with great Fall flavors.

Autumnal Darjeeling Teas

Most teas come from leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush (lots of various cultivars, actually) and are harvested 3, 4, or even 5 times per growing season (flush). Each harvest has its own flavor characteristics. Many tea connoisseurs go ga-ga for first and second flush Darjeeling teas. These are the ones harvested during early to mid-spring and in June or July. But my faves are the autumnal teas, harvested during September-October. They are the final “hurrah!” of the growing season, and the plants put a lot of “oomph!” into them. They tend to steep up stronger tasting, enough so that their flavors endure in the cup even after you add a bit of milk and sweetener, which make the flavor even more naturally fruit-like with a hint of an Assam maltiness.

Apple and Cinnamon Flavored Teas

A fruit that is usually harvested around this time of year, the apple is seemingly made to go with tea. And an apple-flavored tea is better than apple pie or some other calorie-laden dish. Add a dash of cinnamon and this tea really brings out that Fall atmosphere.

A great example: Apple Spice Flavored Black Tea – A blend with a lively, fruity flavor of fresh orchard apples with delicious cinnamon notes. Uses natural high grown Ceylon tea from estates at more than 5,500 feet above sea level. Includes apple pieces, cinnamon, blackberry leaves, safflower petals, and natural flavors.

Pumpkin Flavored Teas

Another crop that is harvested about now is pumpkins. Items with pumpkin in them start popping up all over. Pies, cakes, breads, soups, candies, and teas, to name a few. A cuppa this style of tea is just right for enjoying cooler weather after the heat and humidity of Summer.

A great example: Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea – A blend of black teas and South African Rooibos (redbush herbal) – absolutely perfect when served hot with milk and sugar. Includes black tea, Rooibos, apple, almond, orange, rosehip, and vanilla pieces, calendula and sunflower and hibiscus petals, cinnamon, nut oil, and natural flavors.

Robust Black Teas

Another aspect of a good Fall time cuppa is a more robust flavor, mainly because many of us like a tea this time of year that can take a bit of milk and sweetener. A few options are:

  • Yorkshire Red Label Tea – A blend of the very best of teas from India, Africa and Sri Lanka to create the unmistakable character of Yorkshire Tea. It has a strong aroma, rich color and satisfying flavor.
  • Irish Breakfast Tea – A stout robust blend of February Kenya BP1 and 2nd flush Assam. A superb color and very full-bodied tea.
  • Organic Assam TGFOP Tea – A flavorful tea with superb astringency and jammy profile. The expansive malt character opens with milk.
  • Taylor of Harrogates Scottish Breakfast Tea – A thick-tasting and strong cup of Assam tea with a rich malty character best served with milk and a bit of sweetener.
  • PG Tips – The Strong One – A blend of Kenyan and other African teas for a bold cuppa tea. A strong, ruby-colored liquid with a malty aroma and thick tea character. Great with milk and sweetener.
  • Sylvakandy Estate Orange Pekoe Tea – A malty flavor that smoothes with a floral character. Best enjoyed hot with a dash of milk to help open and expand its flavor profile.
  • Kambaa Estate Tea – A very malty flavor with light hints of currant.

Whichever tea you choose, it should be a great way to start Fall. 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.

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(ETS image)

(ETS image)

Fall is coming up fast, so your fall teapot line-up needs to be brought out of storage and prepared for duTEA. Don’t have any Fall teapots? Goodness gracious! Something needs to be done about that and quickly. Fortunately, I have the solution – eight teapots that will bring a feeling of that crisp, clean, cool, Fall air to your tea time.

1 James Sadler Big Ben Monument Teapot

For some reason, Big Ben, the worlds largest four faced chiming clock, makes me think of cooler Fall-time weather. The clock is just over 155 years old and is regarded by many as the most popular landmark in the UK. Small wonder that Sadler, known for their collectible and iconic designs, would make a teapot version of this clock tower. This one is trimmed in gold and will fit in nicely with your houseful of teawares – or give you a good start on your own collection. Teapot measures 8″ high x 7″ wide, and holds 2 cups (about 20oz). Not recommended for microwave or dishwasher use.

2 English Garden Teapot

The colors of fall are well-displayed here in this hand-painted ceramic teapot. The sturdy design also seems to convey Fall, the season of harvest and bounty. The teapot holds 34 ounces, a good size for having a friend over and sharing a cuppa with them. Don’t forget the matching cream and sugar set.

3 English Cottage Fine Bone China Teapot

The iconic English country cottage is also a symbol of chilly weather outside and a warm fire inside with a nice pot of tea and cakes. This teapot, from the English Heirloom Collection, holds 6 cups to warm you thoroughly and serve your guests. It is pleasing to the eye as well with fine gold edging, vibrant colors, and a detailed rendition of the well known cottage of Anne Hathaway against crisp white English bone china. (The pattern is available as a complete tea set, too.)

4 Blue Willow Porcelain Teapot with Infuser

One of the most enduring transferware patterns is Blue Willow. This teapot holds 32 ounces, nice for a Fall tea time with a friend or two. The pattern had been around since the late 1700s and depicts the famous Chinese legend of a wealthy man whose daughter falls in love with his clerk. The young couple elopes and the father pursues them through his garden and onto the bridge where they transform into lovebirds and fly off beyond his reach. Central components to the story, the weeping willow, pagoda, bridge and lovebirds, are shown on every piece. The teapot will be quite the focus of conversation for your guests as you tell them the story.

5 Hemisphere 32oz Teapot

Orange and round like a pumpkin, this teapot, which holds 32 ounces of tasty hot tea, is ideal for a Fall tea time. The contemporary styling will suit those of you with that more modern flair to your décor. The durable stoneware helps keep your tea warm longer and assures that this teapot will serve up cup after cup for many years.

6 Wedgwood Oberon Floral Teapot

A bit more formal in design, this teapot is elegant yet very much in line with the Fall theme here. The exotic Chinese-inspired pattern is in soft shades of green and gold, with black accents, against pure white fine bone china. The border is of pale sage green with red accents, featuring vine motifs, bursts of flora and rimmed with lustrous 22-karat gold. It holds 1.4 pints of hot tea, so is a smaller one in our line-up.

7 James Sadler Teapots – Red Lion

I couldn’t resist including another Sadler design here. This teapot, depicting the Red Lion Pub in rich detail with flowers and even a dog on the front steps, will be quite the show piece at tea time. Your guest will be examining every side while enjoying the tea inside. This bone china teapot is a bit smaller, holding only about 16 ounces, for that more intimate tea time.

8 Country Sunflower Teapot

Another teapot with the colors of Fall accentuated by country sunflowers and made of sturdy ceramic. It holds 35 ounces for serving to your guests. And don’t forget the scones!

As cooler weather approaches, and the leaves begin their annual transformation, let your teapot reflect that seasonal change and bring the spirit of Fall to your tea time!

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.

Fall is just around the corner, only about a couple of weeks away, and it’s a time when my tastebuds crave certain teas, including a few with added flavorings (something I usually avoid). But such anticipation can make time seem to crawl by slowly. And that makes me cry out, “Hurry up, Fall, I need those special teas!”

Fall colors add that perfect touch! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved.)

Fall colors add that perfect touch! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved.)

We’re supposed to have temperatures in the low nineties for the rest of the month. So it seems that Nature is not being very cooperative in my desire for that seasonal change as our tilting planet travels along its orbit around the Sun. At least not in our part of the country. You folks in the Northeast are very likely enjoying those cooler temps that go along with the bursts of color washing across the landscape as the tree leaves lose their chlorophyll. Such a display that it inspires “leaf peeping” expeditions from near and far.

Having grown up in an area that had four seasons clearly delineated, my internal calendar clicks over to Fall as soon as school is back in session or the beginning of September, whichever is first (school seems to start earlier every year, which muddles my insides a bit). That “click” turns over my tastebuds, too, and points them toward certain flavors: pumpkin, crisp apples, corn dishes, squash, and spices like cinnamon, cloves, thyme, sage, and cardamom. Any tea with these flavorings added draws my interest, too.

Top of the list is what many in the U.S. call “Chai Tea” (a bit of a misnomer since “chai” means “tea”), usually a black tea with an array of Indian spices. I like to fix this in a saucepan instead of steeping in a teapot. Two cups of boiling water, two teaspoons of CTC Assam, and a half teaspoon or so of “chai masala” (the Indian spice mix for tea). I put all in the saucepan, bring the water to a boil, and let it go for a few minutes. Then, I add a cup of whole milk, bring it back to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer another minute. One of the best things about this tea is its adjustability, where you can add more tea or more spices or more milk to get it just the way you like.

Other teas perfect for Fall that I can’t stand to wait for:

  • Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea – Loose Leaf  — While pumpkins are mostly used to create Jack O Lanterns, they can also be used to concoct delicious soups, desserts, and dishes. Made using a blend of black teas and South African rooibos, this delicious tea is made using natural pumpkin flavoring and spicy notes of cinnamon. A tea that’s absolutely perfect when served hot with milk and sugar. For the best brew, steep in water that has been brought to a rolling boil for 2-5 minutes.
  • Apple Spice Flavored Black Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches — This tea has the lively fruity flavor of fresh orchard apples with delicious cinnamon notes. High grown Ceylon tea from estates at more than 5500 feet above sea level. Product of Sri Lanka.
  • Cinnamon Naturally Flavored Black Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches — Mildly spiced with a refreshing cinnamon flavor. A naturally flavored black tea. High grown Ceylon tea from estates at more than 5500 feet above sea level. Product of Sri Lanka.
  • Apple Spice Flavored Black Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches — Lively fruity flavor of fresh orchard apples with delicious cinnamon notes in a naturally flavored black tea. High grown Ceylon tea from estates at more than 5500 feet above sea level. Product of Sri Lanka.
  • Granny Green Apple Tea – Loose Leaf Pouches — Deliciously refreshing, just like the real thing! This all natural fruity flavor is perfect for any time of day.

Lots more choices out there, but I like these since, except for the last one, I can add milk and sweetener and have a “dessert in a teacup.” One of the wonderful things about Fall. Of course, I could instead have pumpkin pie or apple tarts or cinnamon buns and enjoy them with a nice cup of straight Assam or Ceylon black tea or even some Keemun Panda or a nice Kenyan black tea with that dash of milk and sweetener.

Yes, Fall is a fabulous time of year for us tea lovers. 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.

Stop whatever you’re doing and take a tea moment. It’s once again time to watch the Fall leaves fall! And no it’s not akin to watching paint dry, but pretty close.

Sipping tea and enjoying those fall colors! (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Sipping tea and enjoying those fall colors! (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Why do leaves fall? Pretty simple: they shut down. As the days grow shorter and the angle of the Sun’s rays gets lower on the horizon, the leaves say, “Uh oh! Summer is over. Time to close up shop and split.” So, they shut off the chlorophyll and stop being green, turning instead to various colors that paint the landscape like an Impressionist madly dabbling on those golds, reds, oranges, and browns.

The leaves don’t do this all at once, but rather some get the ball rolling, so to speak, and then others start joining in. It’s sort of like a lone piccolo playing the melody line and then being joined by the string section, with the brass and percussion sections joining in a few bars later.

Sounds like that biological event of trees denuding themselves in preparation for their Winter’s nap is quite an artistic endeavor — from painters to orchestras. It certainly doesn’t seem practical from a human point of view. We tend to bundle up during cold weather and have lots of hot tea!

Speaking of hot tea, you can enjoy this seasonal arboreal wardrobe discardment while enjoying some piping hot tea, especially good if you’re in the great outdoors in a part of the world where the temps have dipped below those that are generally comfortable in mere shirt sleeves. Grab that steaming hot spiced chai, or a mug of gunpowder green tea, or even some young pu-erh (which I like steeped strong with milk and sweetener) and head outside to “leaf peep.” You can even make a bit of a game out of it, sort of like “Punch Buggy” (“Leaf falling — punch!”) or “I Spy” (“I spy with my little eye a leaf falling from THAT tree!”).

Timing is important, too, since in parts of the Northeastern U.S. leaves have already changed color and gone to their final resting place (first on the ground and then into the compost heap or into that big truck that drives along the street and sucks them up or even into the flower beds to blanket the soil and keep it warm for Spring). You might want to search online to see where the best places are to go for this particular tea moment, that is, if your own area isn’t suitably dabbled by that Impressionist or properly orchestrated by Nature.

See also:
“Leaf Peeping” Tea Party

© 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.

Green Chai (a spiced green tea) (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Green Chai (a spiced green tea) (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Unable to work squash into a recent article on using seasonal produce in herbal infusions, I decided to make squash muffins to pair with tea.

The recipe (makes 12 muffins):

  • ½ pound butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cubed)
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground gloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Bake the squash in the oven for 30 minutes, until soft.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and spices.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, egg, and butter together. Then stir in the squash. Fold the squash mixture into the flour mixture, and do not over mix it.
  5. Lightly grease your muffin pan, and then distribute the batter evenly among the cups.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes in the oven. To test the muffins’ readiness, insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, they are done. Make sure you remove the muffins from the muffin pan and let them cool on a wire rack.

The tea:

I was torn. The obvious choice was some sort of chai blend, because it would contain similar spices to the recipe, and therefore complement the muffins nicely. But I also had the urge to be nibbling these muffins with a classic black tea with a touch of milk, English-style.

In the end, I went for both. The day I made the muffins, I drank English-style tea. Just like scones and pastries, the muffins were delicious companions to a nice comforting cup of afternoon tea. The following day, I had the muffins with a green chai tea. This combination was equally delicious, and the spices complemented the muffins perfectly, as expected. The green tea base made for a much lighter cup, and whereas the milk in the black tea had balanced the muffin spices, the spices in the green chai brought them out even more.

Conclusion? Both were successful pairings, and would depend on what you are looking for in your squash-inspired teatime.

© 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.

Whenever I use up the last of the tea in one of my tea tins, it is a sad day. The warning signs were all there. A week before, I had seen the bottom of the tin appear. The day before, I had to really work to get a whole teaspoon out. Then, finally, when I barely manage to coax out enough to make one last cup, and I am forced to admit: this tea tin is empty. If it were anything else, I might rush out to quickly grab some milk, or stop on my way home to pick up some more bread. But with tea, I like to wait until I have a few tins that need replenishing. Then I make a special trip for a shopping spree devoted purely to tea.

Estate Tea Sampler - a great way to restock. (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Estate Tea Sampler – a great way to restock. (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

I like to think of it as a restock. Restocking my tea is something that I do about once or twice a year, and something that I look forward to immensely. It requires careful thought and advance planning; buying tea is a strategic business, especially when on a budget and short of storage space for tins.

There are always some staples that, when running low, I will automatically include in my restock (Earl Grey, and Gyokuro come immediately to mind). And if I am out of these in between restocks, I will not wait for the next one to buy some more. After all, there are limits to how much tea one can do without. Anyway, the point of the restock is not really to replenish staples; I use it as an opportunity to take a look at my tea collection and change it up a little bit. There are two reasons for doing this. Firstly, I might not have liked some teas I bought last time enough to refill them. Secondly, the decision to restock with different teas may have to do with the seasons; if I am restocking at a different time of year than my last restock, I might go for different types and flavours of tea.

This is what happened with my most recent restock. With the weather shifting, and temperatures and leaves falling all over the place, I angled my restock towards fall, and selected teas that suit my mood more during the colder half of the year. Firstly, I chose a Keemun as a heavier black tea to replace the Darjeeling I had. I enjoy Darjeeling but I am going to see how I get along without it for a bit, and see if it is something I actively miss. (This is a useful aspect of the restock—it can reveal which of your teas really are your staples, which ones your really want around all the time.) Then I selected a couple of teas with ginger, as this is one of the flavours I crave in cold weather. Lastly, I selected a new blend of chai spices that I have not tried before, and I am looking forward to see how it compares with other chai teas I have had. There is a wealth of delicious teas with fall flavours out there, so it was no easy task. However, after much hmm-ing and hah-ing and smelling of different teas, I made my decisions and declared my tea shopping a success. Then, of course, I headed home to put the kettle on and try out some of my new teas!

© 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.

Teapot - Price & Kensington - 2 Cup (bright orange, one of 9 colors) (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Teapot – Price & Kensington – 2 Cup (bright orange, one of 9 colors) (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

As the green on the trees turns to the hues of Fall, it’s time to add those colors to your tea time. The best approach is to bring out the fall colored teawares, from teapots to cups and mugs to creamer and sugar sets to tea-for-one sets.

Fall colors come not only from the changing leaves as they lose their chlorophyll and reveal the colors within but from the crops best known to be harvested this time of year: pumpkins, corn, and apples, to name a few. These food crops seem to dominate our menus as well, and teas flavored with “pumpkin spice” or pieces of dried apple mixed with cinnamon and vanilla become quite popular, too.

Mug - Price & Kensington (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Mug – Price & Kensington (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea would taste even better (okay, maybe not actually, but certainly psychologically) when poured from this bright orange teapot from Price & Kensington (one of nine colors available). The tea is made using a blend of black teas and South African rooibos, plus natural pumpkin flavoring and spicy notes of cinnamon. A tea that’s absolutely perfect when served hot with milk and sugar. Steep in water that has been brought to a rolling boil for 2-5 minutes. (My review)

English Garden Teapot (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

English Garden Teapot (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Serve up your tea in these colorful mugs from Price & Kensington, an old English pottery brand; these mugs hold about 8 ounces and are the perfect accompaniment to tea! Read all about this company here: Price & Kensington Teawares.

Check out the colors on this English Garden Teapot that holds 34 ounces (6-7 cups). These teapots are hand-painted, so there will be slight variations on the flower designs, making your teapot a true one-of-a-kind! A great feature that customers have remarked on is the large lid and teapot opening at the top, allowing for easy cleaning. You can also get an English Garden Creamer & Sugar Set to add even more Fall color to your tea time.

A design I absolutely love is this Wedgwood Oberon Teapot, with it Fall colors and a white background.

Wedgwood Oberon Teapot (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Wedgwood Oberon Teapot (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

The pattern is inspired by exotic Chinese artistic designs, using soft shades of green and gold, with black accents, against pure white fine bone china. The border is of pale sage green with red accents, featuring vine motifs, bursts of flora and rimmed with lustrous 22-karat gold.

Wedgwood Oberon Leigh Flora Teacup (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Wedgwood Oberon Leigh Flora Teacup (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Wedgwood always adds that touch of refinement to your tea time, and this teapot pouring tea into matching teacups sitting on dainty saucers can make your tea time guests not only feel Fall-like but downright regal!

Not into those bright colors and want something a bit more affordable? Keep things a bit understated with this Nouveau Chic Tea-for-One Set in Mocha. “Chic” truly is the word that best describes this Tea-for-One Set. Made of high quality porcelain, the teapot holds 14 ounces.

Nouveau Chic Tea for One – Mocha (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Nouveau Chic Tea for One – Mocha (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Just a few ideas to get you thinking here. Have a fabulous and colorful Fall tea time!

© 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.

Apples bring that Fall crispness to your tea time. (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Apples bring that Fall crispness to your tea time. (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Fall is in the air, and tea time shows it. From the choice of teas served to the flavors of the foods with a harvest theme, tea time is a great way to celebrate the change of seasons.

Fall Tea Time Teas

While warmer temps lead people to lighter flavored teas, as the weather cools the tastebuds say “Gimme that stronger tasting tea!” So, how do you answer this clarion call from your gustatory perceptorial devices? Try a few of these on for size:

  • Cinnamon naturally flavored black tea loose leaf A black tea mildly spiced with a refreshing cinnamon flavor. The tea is a high grown Ceylon tea from estates at more than 5500 feet above sea level.
  • Apple Spice naturally flavored black tea loose leaf This tea has the lively fruity flavor of fresh orchard apples with delicious cinnamon notes. The tea is a high grown Ceylon tea from estates at more than 5500 feet above sea level.
  • Loose Leaf Tea – Yorkshire Harrogate — A blended black tea with a full body and a deep, rich flavor that takes milk well and delivers a lightly astringent infusion. A perfect tea to sip while you’re curling up with a good book on a cool Fall day.
Especially good for a Fall tea time, Yorkshire Harrogate will please your palate. (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Especially good for a Fall tea time, Yorkshire Harrogate will please your palate. (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

  • Golden Heaven Yunnan China Black Tea – Loose Leaf — A delicious tea that’s outstanding with milk or sugar, as it helps to capture the malty character. Composed of tippy, neat, wiry, and well-made leaves, this tea is characterized by its shape, color, aroma, and malty taste. A bright reddish cup with a brisk, fragrant aroma.
  • Cinnamon Sibu Loose Leaf Green Tea — A sweet and spicy blend of green tea, cinnamon pieces, rose petals and natural flavors. A delicious tea with dessert or alone.
  • Flavored Black Tea – Loose Leaf – Holiday Spice — A refreshing, medium black tea with natural flavors of cinnamon, orange, and clove. Available year-round but especially good for a Fall tea time. Try it with a little sugar and milk for a wonderful taste experience!
Holiday Spice Black Tea gets your tastebuds primed! (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Holiday Spice Black Tea gets your tastebuds primed! (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

  • Scottish Caramel Toffee Pu-erh Tea – Loose Leaf — A truly unique blend of flavors from Scotland and China, with the musty, earthy character of pu-erh combined with the sweetness of caramel and toffee, delivering a sweet, burnt, sugary flavor that’s a perfect blend.
  • Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea – Loose Leaf — A blend of black teas and South African rooibos, using natural pumpkin flavoring and spicy notes of cinnamon. Absolutely perfect when served hot with milk and sugar.

Of course, you need the right foods to go with them to give your tea time that true Fall atmosphere.

Fall Tea Time Foods

The first thing that comes to the mind of many folks here is pumpkin. Another is squash. Then, there are apples, corn, and other crops typically harvested at this time of year.

Sticky Fingers Pumpkin Spice Scone Mix (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Sticky Fingers Pumpkin Spice Scone Mix (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

  • Corn dishes — corn chowder, cornbread, corn pudding.
  • Pumpkin and cinnamon — Just about anything flavored with pumpkin and cinnamon, including pies, cupcakes, chai lattés, and scones.
  • Apple dishes — fritters and pies, plus jellies and cider.
  • Sweet potato dishes — pie, casserole, fritters, etc.
  • Squash dishes — Baked squash, squash soup
  • Fig Preserves — Not sure why, but figs just seem right for a Fall tea time. And fig preserves are great on some nice hot-from-the-oven biscuits. Sweet, fruity, and very much Fall!
  • British-style puddings like Auntys Sticky Toffee Pudding 110g (a traditional steamed sponge with dates smothered in a delicious toffee sauce) and my favorite Aunty’s Chocolate Fudge Steamed Pudding – 110g (a traditionally steamed moist chocolate sponge smothered in a delicious fudge sauce).
  • Chocolate! (as if there was any time of year when this would not be a great item to have) Some pairing tips.

Put several together for your own gift basket. Then, give it to yourself (or to a friend or neighbor and then invite yourself over) and have a great Fall tea time!

Fall Harvest Snacker Gift Basket (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Fall Harvest Snacker Gift Basket (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

See also:
Fall Is Just Around the Corner
Tea Moments — Hubby Bakes Some Pies
The Possibilities of Young Pu-erh Tea
Yes, It’s Fall Teatime Again
Spicing Up Your Autumn Teatime
“Leaf Peeping” Tea Party
Harvest Time Hurrahs!
Winding Down Summer with Tea
Tea Moment — That Fall-time Frame of Mind
Apple-Flavored Teas and Tisanes
Tea Time and Sticky Toffee Pudding
Pumpkins and Tea
Tea and Candy Corn
Making a Pumpkin Pie for Tea Time

© 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.

Hello again, fellow tea lovers, time to explore special dates in September that are worthy of a toast of the teacup. Of course, there some well-known ones: Labor Day, the Autumnal Equinox (marking the first day of Autumn), and of course the 11th. Here, though, I bring out the lesser known occasions for your to explore and celebrate.

“Bob the Tea Bunny” with one of his fave Fall flowers: a bright yellow Chrysanthemum! (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

“Bob the Tea Bunny” with one of his fave Fall flowers: a bright yellow Chrysanthemum! (Photo source: A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

  1. Be Late for Something Day — September 5th — Just be sure you’re not late for tea time. In fact, make tea time the reason you’re late for something else — linger over that Darjeeling instead of rushing out to that meeting with the new client, sip that savory Assam rather than scurrying to your dental appointment, prolong that oolong experience for a bit and don’t worry that the kids missed their school bus (you can drive them in when the tea is done), and get sensual with that sencha as opposed to slouching at that weekly meeting where the same things get repeated over and over.
  2. Pardon Day — September 8th — This day you ask for or grant forgiveness, even for something as heinous as oversteeping the gyokuro or serving up burnt scones and rather rancid clotted cream. Yes, folks, even such feats are deserving of a pardon on this day!
  3. Swap Ideas Day — September 10th — From recipes to what to plant in that bed along the front of the house to which financial planner will better handle your investments to how best to market your fledgling company, sip your tea, nibble your McVitie’s Digestive, and get swapping!
  4. Defy Superstition Day — September 13th — It’s not on a Friday here, but the 13th day of any month is regarded as a day to take extra care and expect bad things to happen. Defy this superstition by engaging in 13 somethings: sipping 13 cups of tea, playing 13 games of hopscotch, chanting “I am not superstitious” 13 times, going around the block 13 times before pulling into your driveway, or whatever.
  5. Collect Rocks Day — September 16th — Rock collecting can be fun. How many of us as kids picked up a piece of quartz or granite and marveled at how it sparkled in the sun? As adults, we can go rock collecting, too, even occasionally finding something really worthwhile. Personally, the rocks I like best are rock candy! And they go great with tea!
  6. National Punch Day — September 20th — We are not sure with kind of punch is being celebrated here but are choosing to believe that it is the beverage (non-alcoholic version) kind, just because…uh, well, the other kind of punch hurts. You can make tea punch, too! Just add a cup of steeped black tea to 4 cups each of 3 different fruit juices and 2 liters of ginger ale. Add sugar or sweetener if desired. Serve on this day to show your respect to the tea punch fairies (those magical little critters who first thought up the idea).
  7. International Rabbit Day — September 22nd (always on 4th Sat in Sep) — Whether it’s that rabbit looking at his watch and then dashing down the hole or the Year of the Rabbit that brings tranquility and calm according to the Chinese Zodiac or maybe some rabbit stew served up in Australia with Billy Tea, today you can celebrate them all. Don’t forget Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, whose image has graced not only books but scores of products including this gorgeous teacup and saucer set!
  8. Dog in Politics Day — September 23rd — A doggone good day that will get you barking glad to have a tea party.
  9. Confucius Day — September 29th — As a kid, I heard quite a few sayings by Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC) being repeated by the adults around me. These sayings had and have a widespread popularity. It might have been those Charlie Chan movies being reshown on TV at that time. One of my favorite sayings: “The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” When it comes to tea, it’s great to talk about but much better to do. Get steeping!
  10. World Heart Day — September 30th — Tea is said to be very important for heart health, and it is certainly good for heartfelt situations with your sweetie. Let’s face it — tea is just good!

You’re all set for September now. Stay cool (or warm if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) and steep up a few potfuls of tea and toast these and other special days this month. It gives you something to do in-between sips!

See also:
Tea Tale ― “Bob the Bunny”

© 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.

Here in Chicago, there is definitely a chill in the air, and while I love the colors of fall, I often find myself putting on an extra sweater as the temperature drops. Still, even though I know that the chill will eventually give way to the freezing cold of a Midwestern winter, I’ve got one comfort: It’s chai season!

Chai Tea Gift Basket

Chai Tea Gift Basket

As far as I’m concerned, nothing compares to a hot mug of spicy chai when the weather gets cold. And I don’t mean chai latte, either, though I don’t criticize those who like their chai blended with milk. I’m happy to drink my chai straight, without milk or sugar, as I simply love the flavors of warm spices in a base of robust tea.

Here are some ideas for chai drinking this fall:

  • I think that chai always tastes best when drunk out of large, thick mugs. If your supply of mugs has dwindled over the years, check out the English Tea Store’s collection.
  • Stock up on different chai blends so that you will have a variety to sip this fall and winter. The English Tea Store brand is an affordable option, but Stash also makes inexpensive, bagged chais that are both delicious and a great value.
  • If you are a DIY type, try making your own chai blend with a good quality Assam tea and a mix of cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and other spices. Feeling adventurous? Try making chai with green tea instead.
  • Send your college student a chai care package: The English Tea Store offers a gift basket that contains five different types of chai, chocolate truffles and cinnamon honey sticks for sweetening.
  • If you like chai lattes, try making them with almond milk instead of regular milk. You’ll not only reduce the drink’s calorie count, but the almond milk typically meshes very well with chai spices.

See also a couple of Lainie’s chai reviews:
Review — Stash Holiday Chai
Review — Stash Double-Spice Chai

© 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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