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You love your mother. She does so much for you and sometimes it feels like we don’t do enough for them. Busy schedules usually don’t allow for it but why not spend Mother’s Day having tea with your mom?

If your mother is a huge tea fan and loves to drink her favorite type or brand of tea, she could never have too much! We always carry a wide variety of loose leaf and tea bags along with all of our popular teas, ranging from our very own brand to the popular British brands, along with many more.

However, if your mother is talking about trying new things, why not trying an English Tea Store Tea of the Month subscription? While you can pay month to month and choose loose leaf and tea bags, you can also pick a prepaid annual subscription along with a 20% automatic discount! This way, our teas of the month will simply arrive at your mother’s door! Click here for more information.

To enjoy with her tea, pick some of Mom’s favorite cookies and cakes or get her something she has never tried before! Some of our newest cookies include two of Cadbury’s most popular chocolate bars in a biscuit: Cadbury Crunchie and Cadbury Wispa. The Crunchie biscuits have a honeycomb crunch while Wispa biscuits have a bubbly, chocolatey middle. If she prefers something simple, then you can’t go wrong on Walker’s shortbread, pure buttery rounds of sweet crumbly goodness. Perfect with nearly everything from tea to coffee.

For more Mother’s Day gift ideas, check out our wonderful selection of gifts.

 

-CD

Please note: When purchasing chocolate products in the spring or summer time, please be aware of weather conditions as chocolate may melt during shipment. For chocolate to arrive in top condition, please select “Next Day Air” at checkout.

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Valentine’s Day is well known for celebrating love between two people. I feel Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers, but for friends and family, as well. After all, these are people you love and cherish. Why not show your love and appreciation for them? Try our selection of Valentine’s Day gifts that are sure to brighten up everyone you love!teagsmg1000037835_-00_a-stash-of-love-gift-set

If you have a tea loving friend or family member, while tea is a good gift, but why not an accessory or an essential? By essential, try a tea kettle or a teapot. One can never have too many of those? If one ever breaks, you can always have extra! As always, our English Tea Store teapots come in many colors and you can choose from 2 cup or 6 cup teapot!

Perhaps the person you love is from the other side of the Pond? Wouldn’t you like to give them a taste of Home? We’ve got our selection of British sweets and chocolate to start off with. Some of our most popular candies include the world famous melt-in-your-mouth Cadbury Dairy Milk and the gooey but heavenly sweet Walkers Toffee. Let your love show their patriotism with their favorite items featuring the Union Jack. Give them a travel mug to sip their tea from or let the world know where they’re from with they’re shopping bag. Or surprise your Across the Pond Honey with a flag of Home! Great Britain, Scotland, and plenty more! Hang it in the kitchen or living room, it will bring a smile!

You can always put a steasvbf1000033494_-00_the-romance-of-tea-valentine-gift-basket_2urprise package together but if you’re strapped for time, try our gift baskets. They’re easy, convenient, and best of all, there’s just about one for everyone! If you know someone who is a fan of mint, we have a mint tea time basket featuring chamomile tea, or someone who is just getting into tea, there is the English Tea Store basket, and then the Deluxe Afternoon Tea for the full English tea experience!

There’s just about something for everyone. Take a look around our site and check out all of our categories!

-CD

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

 

My wish list begins “Dear Santa, I want this teapot…” The problem is that there are so many choices out there. Stylish teapot designs abound, so selecting just one takes some careful consideration. It’s essential, though, this time of year for tea lovers to leave hints here and there about which of these teapots are their favorites and would be great to unwrap on Christmas morning. So, here goes…

Decor Infuser Basket Glass Teapot

Decor Infuser Basket Glass Teapot

Decor Infuser Basket Glass Teapot
For those of us who want the taste that comes from tea leaves steeped loose while getting the no mess convenience of an infuser, this teapot is ideal. The wide opening at the top means that a large infuser basket can be used, and this teapot comes with a large infuser basket!

Being made of glass, it appeals to the tea voyeur who likes to watch those leaves steep (you can leave out the infuser basket to get an even better show).

Tsuki 0.5L Cast Iron Japanese Teapot

Tsuki Cast Iron Teapot

Tsuki Cast Iron Japanese Teapot
Made by the family firm of Iwachu in the town of Morioka in Japan using a sand casting technique, this cast iron teapot has a reputation for being among the finest Tetsubin teapots available.

It’s hand-polished, holds about a half liter (approximately 50 ounces), and comes boxed with booklet and removable filter.

Creative Colored Glass Teapot

Colored Glass Teapot

Creative Colored Glass Teapot
Strictly decorative, this teapot adds color and curves to your tea time. The styling is so “out there,” in fact, that this teapot transcends teapotness and approaches being a sculpture.

My favorite part is that glass bead that hangs from the curved handle and just above the lid. It makes me think of an inspiration, an idea, a wisp of sudden insight into the great puzzle of life, a capsule of light that has traveled all the way from some vastly distant star that long ago went nova and is no longer except for these stray rays.

Well, you get the idea, I think!

Lazy Teapot

Lazy Teapot

Lazy Teapot
Getting back to the practical side, try this modern yet practical teapot on a heating stand. You don’t even have to lift the pot to pour your tea! The height of ease.

The clean white ceramic teapot goes well with the satin finish stainless steel base.

Bauhaus Style Teapot
Bauhaus design emphasized basic materials and functionality, and designer Marianne Brandt, a student at the Bauhaus in 1924, came up with this teapot to meet those standards. She used brass, silver and ebony in this minimal design with no decorative elements and simple geometric shapes to create this very usable teapot.

Bauhaus Style Teapot

Bauhaus Style Teapot

As far as selecting one of these beauties to be the one in that brightly wrapped box festooned with ribbons and bows and that most magic item (the gift tag that says it’s for me), I would have to engage in a game of “Hammer Scissors Rock” to reach that Solomon-esque decision.

Here’s hoping you can decide so that your hint list (or letter to Santa) will be more specific for those in a position to grant you this boon. Ho, ho, ho!

See also:
Holiday-Colored Teawares
Teawares Fit for a Queen (or at least a Duchess)
Collectible Sadler Teapots
Metal vs. Porcelain and Bone China Teapots
My Yixing Teapots
Teapots, Teapots and More Teapots
All About Teapots
Cast Iron Teapots
Trying New Teawares — Glass Teapots
“Basic White” Teawares
Tis the Season for Sparkly Teawares
Teawares as Part of Your Holiday Décor
“Basic Black” Teawares
Price & Kensington Teawares  

© 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.

Part of what makes the holidays so merry and bright is that so many people are looking forward to getting together with friends and loved ones, both near and far. Dinner parties, annual traditions, and holiday festivities are par for the course this month. At this time of year, a thoughtful gift is also part of the sharing that happens amongst people.

Flowering Tea Gift Set

Flowering Tea Gift Set

Whether you are exchanging gifts or simply bringing a token of appreciation for the host or hostess, there is a way to extend the warmth of the holidays in the gift that you bring. What I am referring to, of course, is bringing the gift of tea.

Some people shy away from tea gifts because they are not sure what the recipient will like, or if they even drink a lot of tea to begin with. As with anything, it is not what you bring, but the thought and attitude behind it that counts.

So whether you’re giving tea to a tea novice or to a tea expert, here are a few unique ways of giving the gift of warmth this holiday season:

#1: Say it with Flowers!

What better way to say “thank you” or “I love you” or “Happy Holidays” than with flowers – and a floral blend can make the same statement. Search for teas that have specific flowers in them, like Earl Grey Lavender or Cherry Rose Green or Orchid Oolong. This is especially good if your recipient has a favorite flower they enjoy.

For an even more unique gift, give someone a flowering tea set, complete with glass pot so you can watch the flower unfurl. These beautifully arranged blossoms are a work of art to behold – and the glass tea pot or large glass tea cups allow for visual poetry of the leaves. A special gift indeed.

#2: Infuse with Holiday Cheer

At this time of year, many companies make holiday-inspired blends, so even if your recipient isn’t an avid tea drinker, who could resist a cup of Christmas tea? Or spiced Christmas tea? With names like: Comfort & Joy, Tea of Good Tidings, Dream by the Fire and White Christmas you’re sure to find an appropriate gift for anyone. This options is especially good when introducing someone to tea. The blends tend to be warm and spicy, with ingredients that sound good enough to eat and the inviting thematic names may softly encourage someone to try something new!

#3: Create a Theme Basket

Giving the gift of tea should always include other items to make tea time festive all year round. By adding cookies, candies or special tea ware you can make an ordinary box of tea into an extraordinary gift of warmth. Whether choosing a pre-arranged holiday basket of cheer or creating your own theme like “Chocolate Lovers,” “Sugar & Spice,” or “All Things British,” you’ll find that it truly is as fun to give as to get.

Madam Potts’ blog, Mad Blog of Tea!

© 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.

Chocolate-Flavored Chai

Chocolate-Flavored Chai

I love chai — I love the winter holiday season — so it’s natural to have chais for the holidays! Well, actually, chai is good anytime. It just seems to be especially good this time of year. All that chilly weather and those leaves putting on their color show and then drifting into piles on the ground — they prompt us to get the fireplaces crackling, the snuggly blankets out, and the mugs full of chai for a cozy tea time.

“Chai” is actually a Hindi word for “tea,” but in the U.S. the term is used to mean a spiced tea. There are a wide variety of recipes, ranging from the more authentic Indian chai, preferred by us self-proclaimed “chai snobs,” to those chai latté drinks you can get at your favorite tea/coffee shop, chocolate chais, egg nog chais, and even chais used in holiday recipes.

Chocolate chai is one of my favorite variations from the traditional version. I like to start with a good black tea, such as Scottish Breakfast, a CTC Assam, or Young Pu-erh (some people have even been known to start with a nice smoky Lapsang Souchong). Usually, the ratio of water to milk is 2 to 1, but with this type, I do 1 part water to 4 parts milk. Start by steeping the tea and then adding it to a saucepan on the stove. Stir in sugar or sweetener (about 3/8 cup per cup of water) and cocoa powder (1/4 cup per cup of water). Stir and heat mixture over medium heat to a boil. Add in milk, vanilla (preferably the whole bean kind) and some nutmeg and cinnamon to taste. Heat through but don’t boil.

"Happy Holidays" MugThis next step is crucial: Find an appropriate mug, not just some every day mug, but one befitting the occasion. If you’re not quite ready to break out a mug that says “Happy Holidays” and is decorated with poinsettias, snowmen, ornaments, etc., stick to a plain mug in an appropriate color, such as harvest gold, bright green, or red. This is also an occasion when a big glob of fresh whipped cream will be most fitting and not upset the sensibilities of those among the avid tea drinking set who shudder at the thought. If desired, sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on the whipped cream.

While you can certainly drink chais without milk, the flavor tends to be smoother and more holiday-ish with milk. If you’re worried about the calories, I can assure you that they’re minimal. According to the carton of whole milk in my fridge, 8 oz. of milk has 150 calories, or about 19 calories per ounce. Your cup of chai (the normal kind, not the kind I just described) will normally have only about one ounce, possibly two, so you’re only adding 19-38 calories. Unless you are planning to drink a few dozen cupfuls at a time (in which case, you will be buzzing around so much from the caffeine that you’ll burn off all those calories from the milk), the extra calories won’t hurt a bit. Of course, if you add in a heaped teaspoon or two of table sugar at about 25 calories each, the numbers start to add up. Try using another sweetener instead, if you’re watching your intake.

Chai Gift Basket

Chai Gift Basket

Spread the joy to your tea drinking friends. Gift baskets are burgeoning with pre-mixed chais, from single serve packs by Chai Amore, Serenity, etc., to bagged versions from Twinings, Stash, Revolution, The Republic of Tea, Harney and Sons, Mighty Leaf, and many more. You will be able to find just about any chai variety your giftee could want. Most of these contain cinnamon, nutmeg, and other standard spices. (Caution: some people are allergic to cinnamon and nutmeg; you might want to check first.)

Cheers!

Make sure to check out A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!

The lovely tasty treats you can make with tea and cherries!

The lovely tasty treats you can make with tea and cherries!

Due to a struggling economy and a limited budget, my family’s gift giving will be somewhat limited this year. We’ve discussed options with our immediate and extended family members such as buying gifts under a certain cost, holding a Pollyanna or purchasing no gifts at all.

Still, I feel obligated to give certain friends, family members and co-workers a small token of my appreciation. Therefore, I will be passing along this inexpensive Cherry-Berry Bread to those I feel will need or deserve a little extra holiday cheer!

To make enough mix to make four (4) loaves of bread (just think – four gifts done!) you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Quaker oats (quick-cooking or old fashioned), uncooked
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

To prepare the mix, first combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Once well mixed, add the remaining ingredients and mix again. Transfer the mixture into a re-sealable bag and store it in a cool, dry place until you are ready to bake your loaves.

When you are ready to bake your bread you will need the following ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup honey (I use Organic Honey by Dutch Goldfor this recipe)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 12 Tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly spray four  6 x 3-3/4-inch disposable aluminum foil mini loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray. Place bread mix in large bowl. In small bowl, combine honey, milk, butter and eggs with wire whisk or fork; mix well. Add the wet mix to the dry mix all at once; stir until the whole mixture is moistened. Do not over-mix! Pour the bread mix into the pans, dividing evenly.

Bake 22 to 28 minutes or until tops of breads feel firm when touched and wooden pick inserted near the center has few moist crumbs clinging to it. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack. The bread can be stored at room temperature for up to two days or can be frozen for longer storage.

Ideas to consider before giving your gifts…

Each loaf can be wrapped in cellophane and given alone or can be included as part of a gift basket. If you choose to make a gift basket you can add inexpensive items such as an assortment of Christmas teas, a teapot, or a variety of chocolates to the basket. The basket can be wrapped and tagged in a fun, festive fashion. Don’t forget to include the recipe to your Cherry-Berry bread!

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

© 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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