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June is the best month for iced tea drinkers because it marks National Iced Tea Month! Not only does the weather begin to really warm up, but the tea in people’s cups begin to cool down. As I previously said last year, roughly 80 percent of Americans take their tea iced and would not want it any other way.

As always, National Iced Tea Day takes place on June 10 each year. How you want to celebrate it is entirely up to you.

Do something new and different like make some Sun Tea! This tea is a slow brewing but greener way to brew your iced tea.

  • Simply take a large jar or bottle of your choice, add 3-5 teabags of your favorite tea, and fill it with fresh or distilled water.
  • Bring your jar to a bright sunny area either indoors or outdoors and let sit for about 2-4 hours, or however long you would like for it to brew. If you would like, add sweetener according to taste.
  • Once it is done, bring inside and let it sit in the refrigerator so it can cool off and get cold. Add ice and enjoy!

Speaking of ice, what if you don’t like plain watery ice? Try adding tea to your ice cube tray! Brew your tea like you normally would and then add to an ice cube tray. Let it freeze and then add to your favorite tea so your tea does not get watered down by regular ice cubes. This way the flavor in your iced tea stays! Note: I used a heart shaped ice cube tray because I love to have fun with ice!

Of course, you can always make your own iced tea with our store’s own brand and our own favorite teas. Try our Peach Apricot at a baseball game, blackcurrant at your next barbecue, or bring one of my personal favorites, Lady Londonderry for some 4th of July firework watching. Simply brew according to instructions and add some fresh or frozen strawberries for an even sweeter, fruitier tea! Make some of those tea ice cubes to make it even cooler!

However you like your iced tea will make summer a breeze. Always feel free to tell us how you like your iced tea and share your pictures on our social media channels! We love to hear from you!

 

-CD

 

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You may have heard of Tazo teas a few years ago in certain coffee shops and proved to be very popular. We are happy to announce that their teas are now here at the English Tea Store! We currently carry 11 varieties of the Tazo brand tea. They range from simple teas like Earl Grey and Chamomile but if you are feeling more adventurous, you can try the less than traditional teas like Zen, Refresh, and my personal favorite, Passion!

Here’s more info if you want to check out the other flavors of Tazo!

Wild Sweet Orange – If you are looking for a caffeine free tea, this is one of Tazo’s many delicious options. This tea is an herbal infusion of licorice root, lemongrass, citrusy herbs, and a hint of orange essence, not to mention the sweet taste of orange peels. The sweet tea tops off with blackberry leaves and rose petals. It will help curb your citrus craving and let you feel mellow.

Green Ginger – If you’re a fan of both green tea AND ginger, then this tea is for you! Green ginger is a spicy mix of  ginger along with a hint of juicy, sweet pears and made with all-natural ingredients.

Organic Peachy Green – A blend of darjeeling green and black teas to help give you a nice pick-me-up along with a lovely peach flavor and a hint of cucumber. Try it iced for an amazingly refreshing summer drink!

Sweet Cinnamon Spice – With Autumn around the corner, I feel this tea is much more suitable for the upcoming dog days. This herbal infusion of spicy cinnamon and star anise will wake you up from the lazy days of summer!Tazocategory

Organic Chai – Chai is already popular with many, so why not try Tazo’s version? Robust and spicy, this exotic blend of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and black pepper to black tea will take you on a taste adventure. Try iced or hot with a bit of milk.

Passion – My personal favorite from the Tazo range. This sweet tea brews a beautiful pink color and is made with zesty orange peel, hibiscus, lemongrass, and rosehips, along with a luscious passion fruit taste. I enjoy this both iced and hot!

Refresh – Another favorite of mine, this tea really does live up to its name! Refresh is a mint tea blend of spearmint and peppermint leaves and a bit of tarragon. I like to add a little honey to my cup of Refresh to add a kick of sweet flavor! Did I mention this is caffeine free, too?

Try them and let us know how you like them!

-CD

 

national-iced-tea-month-june

If you have ever used a slow cooker to slow cook something, then you might know that slower is sometimes better. It’s wonderful for foods like beef stew or roasts. I love to slow cook something all day because the r20160608_085026esults are always worth it. The same goes with tea. Depending on the tea you’re brewing, sometimes it’s worth brewing it just a bit longer for a wonderful flavor.

This method applies with Sun Tea. What is Sun Tea? It is tea that has been brewed and left out in the sun for several hours. It is very easy to make.

All you need is about 3-5 teabags of your favorite tea (the most common used is Lipton but I used Yorkshire) or more, depending on how strong you like your tea, distilled or filtered water, and a large clear container with a lid.

 

 

 

  • Simply fill the container with water and add the teabags.
  • Take the container out to a sunny area, either indoors or outdoors, where it gets a lot of sun (or else it’s not sun tea!) and let it stand for about 2-4 hours.
  • Bring it out of the sun and chill in the refrigerator. Once chilled, add sweetener and ice to taste. Enjoy!

Sun Tea is the best during the summer because it puts the summer heat and sun to good use and “boils” the tea for you, saving energy and money on your gas and/or 20160614_151446electric bill. You won’t need to use a kettle so it doesn’t heat up your home. Try making some Sun Tea this summer. You will not be disappointed!

Tips:

  • Try making Sun Tea with other kinds of tea, like green or herbal.
  • Add fruit or herbs with the brew for a lovely flavor!

-CD

GraduationCongratulations to all of this year’s graduates! It’s graduation season and we’re currently at the peak of graduation season, at least in my state, California. Here in California, many schools graduate in June while many other states in the country graduate at an earlier date, in May. Many graduates range from Kindergarten to college and many other schools. The grads definitely deserve something for all the hard work they’ve put in over the years. Here are some possible gift ideas, especially if your grad is a tea lover:

Iced Tea: With summer approaching, what better gift to give than iced tea? Our range has a wide selection of teabags suitable for brewing and icing or specially made to be iced. We have our new English Tea Store iced range with varieties like peach black and raspberry black. Both teas are a lovely mix of Ceylon and black teas with just a hint of fruit flavor. If you’re not a fan of iced tea, you can also enjoy them hot, as well.

English Tea Store Samplers: If your tea loving graduate likes tea but doesn’t know which one to stick to, there’s always our sampler packs. Each sampler pack is 5-8 teabags of different flavors and the best part is many have a special theme. There’s a Summertime Sampler pack which tolsll_grnskc_1feature the best flavors of summer like lemon, raspberry, and even includes blends like Monk’s and the Highlander. Then there’s also the Tea With Friends Sampler which include China Jasmine Green and Ontario Breakfast. We also have loose leaf for those who prefer to brew with special teaware or not make any waste with tea bags by going green. The difference with the loose leaf is they are 1 ounce per bag and also vary in price, depending on the quantity of samples. The sample packs are seriously some of the best things we have!

Sweets: My niece graduated middle school and she absolutely loves sweets. I gave her some of her favorites and she was truly delighted to receive them. Your grad might love the same thing, especially with British candy like Cadbury or Kinder, which was one of my niece’s favorites. With summertime conventions coming up, Jelly Babies are some of the biggest British sweets currently sold in the US thanks to a certain time traveling man on TV and my fiance once dressed as a certain time traveling man in a big blue box for a convention we went to in Baltimore back in 2012 (the day the London Olympics started). If your grad is a big fan of this certain show, snag a bag because these go fast! And finally, toffee! If your grad has a sweet tooth or just likes toffee, Walkers makes the best around.

On behalf of the English Tea Store, I would like to congratulate all the grads of 2016!

 

-CD

Iced-Tea-2016

Here we go again! We’re back in the summer months and that means warmer weather and colder tea. Roughly 80 percent of Americans take their tea iced and sweetened. Surprisingly, the British still take their tea hot! This is possibly due to tradition and the weather difference. American summer is much more hot and humid than British summers can be.

One of the most popular types of iced tea in the US is sweet tea, which is more predominant in the Southern states but has become more popular in Western and Northern states like California and Oregon. And I myself being raised in an American family, they all take their tea iced and sweet. Other people take their iced tea flavored with a bit of lemon, peach, or raspberries for a nice hint of fruit flavor.

In the coming weeks, I will show you how to take your iced tea to the next level. This means more ways than just having your tea iced the plain old way! You’ll learn how to brew the tea differently and even enjoy your iced tea in a different form. A whole new form? That’s right! You can cool off in more ways than one with tea this summer. This June is going to be the best for iced tea! Stay tuned!

And don’t forget National Iced Tea Day on June 10th! Be sure to celebrate with a refreshing glass of iced tea, however you like it.

For more information on iced tea, visit my post from June 2015: https://blog.englishteastore.com/2015/06/10/national-iced-tea-day/

-CD

IcedTeaDid you know that June is Iced Tea Month in the United States? While millions of people drink it all year long, it is widely celebrated during this early summer month on June 10th. It’s a good time, too, since iced tea is a very popular drink among Americans, especially in the summer months! About 80 to 85 percent of tea that is consumed in the United States is taken iced. While my palate is adapted to the British style of tea, who could blame my fellow Americans for liking iced tea? It’s refreshing, especially since a large amount of the U.S. is overrun by humidity during the summer months. Iced tea is dated all the way back to at least the 19th century, however, it was not made popular until the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.

The best thing about iced tea is that just about anyone can make it! You can make it to however you fancy. You could take it sweetened or unsweetened, add a bit of lemon, or garnish it with a nice piece of fruit. While iced teas consumed in the U.S. are usually ready to drink, many use teabags to make it themselves. However, another method of iced tea brewing is growing in popularity. The Keurig brewing system is already synonymous with coffeTEATTWN1000028259_-00_Twinings-Pomegranate-and-Raspberry-Iced-Tea-K-Cups-12-counte brewing and many are using it to brew iced coffee.

With more households owning Keurig brewers, many of the owners like tea. So to settle the growing demand, many tea companies began to make k-cup versions of their teas. Twinings has recently made some delicious varieties like:

Prefer a simple black tea? Not to worry! There’s a pure black tea as well!

If you still prefer to make it the old-fashioned way, there’s always the regular Twinings TeabagsShangri La which steeps a total of 12 quarts per packet, or even our English Tea Store brand. I have previously mentioned Lady Londonderry as one of my personal favorites since it tastes tsl5059d_pjg_-00_iced-tea-by-shangri-la-organic-tropic-green-brew-bagslike summer, with notes of strawberry and lemon in there. If caffeine is not your fancy, then the Casablanca is a brilliant tea that goes well iced! A bright red color when brewed, it is not too strongly scented before it is brewed. Once you taste it, it is a light fruit medley. Great for kids, too!

Iced Tea Day is a great day to kick off a summer of iced tea, picnics, and barbecues. Bring family and friends around for a nice cup or pitcher of iced tea and watch some fireworks. Happy summer!

Summer temperatures in much of the U.S. have been cooler than normal – and you won’t get any complaints, at least, not from us. But there is plenty of iced tea weather ahead. Those days when you really need to take in the fluids, with iced tea being the main one. Officially, Summer lasts until September 23rd (this year), but often, warm temperatures can prevail far into October and even November. (You folks living in those parts of the U.S. that have Summer all year round also get to enjoy that iced tea year round.)

To be on top of every moment of iced tea potential now through November, I have compiled this list of average high temperatures for August, September, October, and November of this year (2014). If you live in or near one of these cities, you can see at a glance how much iced tea weather lies ahead during those months.

Your guide to potential iced tea weather through November of this year.

Your guide to potential iced tea weather through November of this year.

Now that you know the iced tea potential for the next few months, gather up some great teas to have during this time. Might as well cram in every bit of potential tea-loving goodness you can. Life is short. So fill it with tea!

Some suggestions:

  • Wild Blueberry Black Tea – Packs a great deal of sweet, tangy flavor with an intoxicating aroma, delicious hot or iced, especially with a pinch of sweetener added. For the best brew, steep for 2-5 minutes in water that has been brought to a rolling boil. Ingredients: Black tea, Elderberry and Raisin pieces, Hibiscus petals, Natural flavors.
  • Blue Lady Flavored Black Tea – A uniquely sweet taste with passion fruit, grapefruit, orange, and grenadine flavors. The sweetness of the citrus mélange blends perfectly with the astringency of high grown Ceylon tea. For the best brew, steep for 2-5 minutes in water that has been brought to a rolling boil. Ingredients: Black tea, Papaya and Pineapple pieces, Calendula and Cornflower and Sunflower petals, and Natural flavors.
  • Lemon Black Tea – Combined with a refreshing medium black tea, the natural lemon flavor of this tea is great with a little sugar, and is absolutely stunning iced. For the best brew, steep for 2-5 minutes in water that has been brought to a rolling boil. Ingredients: Black tea, Pineapple and Lime pieces, Lemongrass leaves, Calendula and Sunflower petals, and Natural flavors.
  • Lemon Green Tea – A pleasant blend of tart lemon, with the sweetness of green tea (Pekoe Gunpowder, one of the stronger flavored green teas on the market, taking your taste buds on a journey of smoky depths with each sip). Also makes an excellent iced tea. Ingredients: Green tea, Lime pieces, Calendula and Sunflower petals, and Natural flavors.
  • Georgia Peach Rooibos Caffeine Free Herbal – A caffeine-free blend of peaches and Rooibos, packed with subtle nuances and a complex flavor profile. Ingredients: Rooibos, Blackberry leaves, Calendula petals, and Natural flavors.
  • Oasis Mango White Tea – An oasis of tropical mango flavor, delicate and round with light honey notes, deep hits of mango, and a lightly astringent finish. Ingredients: White tea, Natural flavors.

Do a little bit of your own blending, mixing together a bit of this flavor and bit of that flavor. Lots of time ahead to explore and 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.

Brazilian Guava Tea - great over ice! (ETS image)

Brazilian Guava Tea – great over ice! (ETS image)

Summer is a relative concept. Which may have some influence on how you consume tea. When I was growing up back in the Northeast, summer began with pools opening on Memorial Day, followed by school letting out. A period of heat followed, the pools closed on Labor Day and school started again. Leading up to that were the dog days of summer, typically the hottest and in many places the most humid time of the year.

Which is all just a memory now that I live in balmy Arizona, where summery type weather lasts from about March to October and I suspect it would be decidedly different for anyone living in a cold clime like Alaska.

Since my esteemed editor has also written about dog days and tea (great minds thinking alike and whatnot) I won’t devote much space to defining them, except to say they occur sometime in July and August, depending on whom you ask, and they get their name from the fact that the ancient Romans associated them with Sirius, the Dog Star.

What all this means for tea drinking, assuming you live in a place where the seasons are more clearly defined than hot, hotter, hottest, and groan, is that there’s still plenty of good iced tea drinking weather to be had, even as we reach the dog days. Hot weather and iced tea drinking seem to be a natural fit, especially here in the United States, where we don’t drink much in the way of hot tea but we do put away considerable amounts of the iced variety.

But the former might not be such a bad choice (hot tea, that is) during warm weather, according to some accounts. They suggest that hot beverages might actually have a cooling effect when consumed on a sultry day. There’s a little more to the notion than I can summarize briefly so I’ll direct you here and here for more details.

Not that I’m convinced, mind you, and like so many Americans my choice of tea during the dog days and the rest of summer will be a nice cool glass of iced tea. No word, by the way, on whether drinking iced tea in cold weather can warm you. But I doubt it and although we’re still drinking iced tea during the dog days most of us will be turning our thoughts to what hot tea might be best to soon ward off the winter chill. That’s present company excluded, of course, but that’s another story and one that I’ve related here.

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.

Monk’s Blend is great when chilled or with ice. (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Monk’s Blend is great when chilled or with ice. (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

You’ve no doubt heard of the Dog Days of Summer. But what about the Dog Days of Tea? No? Well, let me enlighten you. First, a bit about what the Dog Days of Summer are.

Date-wise, these Dog Days occur mainly in the months of July and August here in the Northern Hemisphere. They are typically the warmest and often the most sultry days of the year. The name “Dog Days” comes from Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (big dog). This star is so bright that ancient Romans thought that, like the Sun, our planet was heated by it. In Summer, Sirius rises and sets generally at the same time as the Sun does. So, it seemed that the extra heat during these days came from this “dog star.” The period of time (20 days before and 20 days after the conjunction) are named “dog days.” after that star. Generally, this is from around July 3 through about August 11. The extra heat, though, comes from the earth’s tilt on its axis.

So, what are the dog days of tea? These are the days when iced tea reigns supreme. Of course, the ice doesn’t last long in such high temperatures, so you need lots of it, which also means that you need to steep the tea up a bit extra strong. The melting ice will dilute the tea to a fairly tolerable strength.

Some of us are totally committed to hot tea, so our Dog Day Tea Time is held indoors where a sufficiency of air conditioning is available. And since, like many others, we consider a generous supply of scones, biscuits, and other goodies to be proper accompaniments, this is another reason to stay indoors. It avoids bugs (especially wasps and bees) being attracted to our feast and helps keep our appetites sharp.

When the cooler temperatures return in the Fall, we can once again contemplate that nice outdoor setting for our tea time. Until then, we’ll stay safe and cool indoors. 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.

Iced tea weather is upon us, but for some folks that ice poses a problem: dilution. As ice cubes melt in your glass on a hot day they can water down your tea, weakening it to the point where it’s barely more than water. That can cause many tea drinkers to say “Tea, please…and hold the ice!” But there are solutions.

Ice cubes in your tea? The choice is yours. (From Yahoo! Images)

Ice cubes in your tea? The choice is yours. (From Yahoo! Images)

Several helpful people online have pointed out on numerous occasions their little secret to enjoying an iced tea without that dilution factor. They make ice cubes from some of the tea. Clever! And one of those things that as soon as you hear or read it you say, “Of course!” It seems so obvious. And so easy to do. Just steep up the tea, fill your cube trays, and pop them in the freezer (some folks advise letting the tea cool to room temperature first – your choice here). Then, when they’re nice and frozen, steep up more of the same tea (or if you want to get a bit funky, use a different tea and mix things up a bit), and add the tea-flavored ice cubes in. They will melt and blend in with the other tea.

Those of us who avoid iced tea at all costs (and even chilled tea) will find another meaning in this article’s title: we stick to our hot tea no matter what the season (just as there are those who stick with their iced tea even in the most frigid of weather). There is a real difference in the tea’s flavor when the temperature of the liquid changes. Even a small drop from piping hot will alter things. Actually, for me a slightly cooled tea is best since it will be able to sit on my tongue a little so I can more fully appreciate the various flavors. Tea is not a beverage that should be swilled by those who want to experience those flavors and their attendant aromas. Chugging a bottled tea that has been chilled or a tall glass of iced tea will certainly quench your thirst but have little real tea flavor in it.

Thus, this time of year I and many others say, “Tea, please…and hold the ice!”

Whether you stick with hot tea or go for that iced tea (with those tea-flavored cubes of ice), enjoy the flavors and have a great Summer!

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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© 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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