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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!!

 

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As many of us go back to normal life from the hustle and bustle of the holidays passed. Meanwhile, in China, the party’s just getting started! Chinese New Year brings hope and excitement to the people of China but it is very  special. For fifteen days each year based on the lunar calendar, Chinese people all over the world celebrate, wishing for luck and prosperi20170120_140654ty while relaxing and spending time with friends and family.

Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year) also celebrates the arrival of a new zodiac animal. There are 12 animals: dragon, snake, tiger, snake, pig, ox, monkey, horse, rabbit, goat, dog, and rooster. Every 12 years, these animals were used to date the years. 2017 happens to be the year of the rooster, 20170120_151524but 12 years ago (as of this writing) the year of the rooster was previously in 2005, then 1993, and so forth.

Some Chinese New Year traditions and rituals include cleaning up the house to sweep out any bad luck and welcome good luck into their sparkling clean homes. Other traditions include red envelopes with money inside, parades, and best of all, food! Many people eat foods like mooncakes, dumplings, and tea eggs! What are tea eggs? Tea eggs are simply hard boiled eggs that are cracked to make a marbled effect and then re-boiled in a tea and soy sauce mix. These are some of the most popular New Year foods for Chinese New Year. The best part is that these are easy to make at home and inexpensive!

 

Below is a recipe that is based from other tea egg recipes in my research:

Chinese tea eggs

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 bags of black tea, any kind you like. Pu-erh is traditionally used, but for my recipe/experiment I used Yorkshire Gold since gold is very symbolic in Chinese culture. It is a symbol of good luck and a color of the emperors.
  • Soy Sauce, about ½ cup or ounces
  • Dried orange or mandarin peel (optional)

First thing to do would be to hard boil the eggs like you normally would. Once the eggs are cooled, tap on the eggs with the back of a spoon, creating nice, intricate cracks for the tea and soy sauce to seep through.20170120_190031

With the water that you boiled the eggs in place the teabags, soy sauce, anise, and cinnamon in the pan along with the now cracked eggs. Let the eggs boil in this mixture for about 20-40 minutes, or however you feel is best. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the mixture for at least an hour so they can “steep”. The longer the eggs steep, the darker your marbled eggs will be.

My eggs did not come out very dark since I had only let them sit there to steep for an hour. Pretty good for such little time.

Enjoy these with traditional Chinese New Year foods or on their own for breakfast. They are excellent!

-CD

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Recently my family and I had to pack up and move to a new house. While I was sorting through my things, I came across some of my tea sets. I noticed that I had several tea-for-one sets. My fiance saw them and immediately wanted to try them out. Then I remembered that National Hot Tea Month was coming up again so now is a good time to delve into tea-for-one sets!

teapchn1000029112_-00_rose-porcelain-tea-for-oneIf you are unfamiliar with these unique tea sets, many of them are usually made of ceramic, porcelain, or bone china. Each set comes with a small teapot to brew a teabag or two in, depending on how strong you like your tea, a cup, and a saucer. Stack the teapot on top of the cup and set it all on the saucer and voila! These nifty sets look great on any counter, cupboard, or table, and they fit nearly anywhere.

English Tea Store carries our very own brand of tea-for-one sets, much like our own regular teapots. These are made of ceramic and carry up to 16 ounces of delicious tea along with a 10 ounce cup. They are touched with a beautiful glossy finish and come in a range of lively colors, from blue to lime green. You may end up teadt1p1000031882_-00_shabby-rose-porcelain-tea-for-onestarting a collection!

But if you want to explore the more exotic versions, we carry an excellent variety. There is the beautiful Shabby Rose Turquoise Porcelain set, which is a pleasing look for the eyes, or the Rose Porcelain set. This one features a beautiful gold trim* and a more traditional teapot look and very charming. One of our best selling sets is the Irish Claddagh, beautifully decorated with creamy colors and Celtic knotwork and patterns. A Claddagh is embellished in the stoneware, symbolizing love, friendship, and loyalty.

These tea sets are very ideal to give to someone who fancies a quick cup of tea but doesn’t want to pull out the entire tea set. I had received my tea-for-one sets as gifts and they are the best ever. These are sure to wow and you will enjoy using your tea set.

-CD

 

*For tea sets with gold trim, these are not recommended for microwave use.

 

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Christmas time is a favorite for many, meaning yummy food, delicious drinks, and of course, gifts! I find that tea can be a delicious drink and a gift rolled into one because it’s warm, cozy, and it’s something that can btolsll_-swscho_-00_swiss-hot-chocolatee given or received. I have given and received tea for Christmas and it’s always been quickly opened up and brewed so we could sample the never-before-tasted tea. This holiday season, English Tea Store has some new holiday flavors that will keep you from ripping these open before giving them away (or saving them until brewing for Christmas)!

Swiss Hot Chocolate Black Tea This is a surprising blend of Ceylon tea grown in Sri Lanka mixed with cocoa beans and white chamomile petals for a nice floral lift. You can’t even tell this is a tea! Add a splash of milk for a creamy effect.

Vienna Egg Nog For those who are fans of egg nog, this is a real treat! This is another Sri Lankan grown Ceylon tea but with delightful hints of ginger, cinnamon, and caramel. Try with or without milk!tolsll_eggnog_-00_vienna-egg-nog

Peppermint Matcha Green Tea – Our delicate matcha powder but with a refreshing peppermint flavor. This matcha powder can be drank in its simple form brewed with hot water or you can make Peppermint Matcha Green Tea Lattes oreven  in desserts such as cheesecake. Be creative!

Whether you give these teas as a gift or buy them for yourself, be sure to share with a friend or a loved one. After all, it is the season of giving and one of the best parts of tea is being able to share it with someone.

Have a Merry Christmas!

-CD

 

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Thanksgiving is here and you probably have a lot on your plate already. Who is coming to dinner? Should I bring out the good china? What kind of snacks should I serve? Fear not, here are just a few ideas on how to spruce up your Thanksgiving!

Snacks: Before the big meal of turkey and stuffing, everyone is always looking for something to nibble on. If you have guests, it’s sometimes best to have a small spread for everyone to munch on,teatssc1000025103_-00_jacobs-mini-twiglets-caddy-7-05oz-200g_1 just to tide them over until dinner. That’s when you break out the cheese and crackers. Most people love cheese and it can go very fast, especially with some Jacob’s Biscuits for cheese. The best cheeses to try these savory biscuits with would be brie, English cheddar, or even your own special cheese dip. These go with just about anything and they’re well worth it! Another savory snack that is a hit among snackers are the Twiglets. These crunchy little sticks are Marmite flavored, so some may love them, and some may not but they do cause some conversation at the snack table.

teatssc1000015134_-00_mcvities-biscuits-victoria-carton-10-58oz-300g_1Cookies: If your guests fancy cookies as much as crackers, then cookie varieties are a must! McVitie’s makes a variety box called Family Circle which features some of their best cookies (like digestives, bourbon creams, and jammy cookies) all in one box so there’s something for everyone! Or more in the mood for chocolate? Try the Victoria selection box. There’s lots of chocolatey cookies in this beautiful box but be careful, this could be gone very quickly!

Tea: If you plan to serve tea at your Thanksgiving feast, it may be a bit hard sometimes as you may not know what type of tea to serve since there are guests who have different preferences. Luckily, there are English Tea Store Samplers, which provide everyone a type and flavor for everyone. Not sure which sampler? There’s the Tea for Any Occasion. Perfect for parties, dinners, or desserts, it’s literally perfect for any time! This loose leaf sampler includes Pumpkin Spice, Godiva Roche, English Breakfast 2, and along with 5 other teas.

What are some of your favorite things to serve at a Thanksgiving dinner? Any ideas of your own? Let us know!

-CD

 

 

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Recently we became purveyors of Yogi Teas, a brand of herbal and spicy teas that originally started being sold in natural food stores but are now growing in popularity. Each box comes with 16 tea bags and help support either mind or body.*

How Yogi Teas got started is a very inspiring story. Back in 1969, a man named Yogi Bhajan came to the US from India to teach yoga. Many said he was a very inspiring man, one who shared his knowledge, wisdom, and teas with his students. He made his teas using only five traditional Ayurvedic spices: cardamom, cinnamon bark, black pepper, ginger root, and clove bud. The tea he served to his students after his yoga classes was described to be aromatic and soothing, and so it was nicknamed “Yogi Tea”.

20161030_204421Now Yogi’s teas have blossomed into more than 60 blends, many of them carrying the five spices in them and many herbal. One noticeable thing about the teabags, which have strings, is that they have inspiring messages written on the tea tags. It’s a nice little surprise and it makes tea time just a bit more fun that it already is. The one I got when opening my teabag of BerryDeTox said: “People who love are happy”. Each teabag is different so prepare to be surprised.

We carry 18 blends so it’s very tempting not to buy all of them and try them at once! My own personal favorite is the Echinacea Immune Support. It’s a nice blend of soothing herbs and it’s perfect for bedtime. Try a Yogi tea today!

-CD

 

*Please note: While these teas are advertised to help relieve an ailment like tension or stress, each box states that these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and the products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

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With the Olympics going on at the moment, it’s been quite a ride so far for the delegates over at Rio de Janeiro. History was made not just by America’s own Michael Phelps but some nations alone such as Fiji, who won their very first medals. Whether you support Team USA, Team GB, or any other team, celebrate them by toasting them with a lovely cup of tea. Not just with any tea, toast them with a cup of GOLD!

Not sure on which of our special teas to try? Here are a few good ones to get you started!

ttoh40b_ykg_-00_yorkshire-gold-tea-bags-40-countYorkshire Gold: Much like its standard counterpart, only a bit stronger. It has a malty taste thanks to a fine blend of teas from Africa, Sri Lanka, and India. It’s a perfect mate for your breakfast either black or with milk and sugar. Try it in loose leaf, too!

Typhoo Gold: Another fine brew, Typhoo Gold is a strong blend of Assam and African black tea leaves. This tea is also Rainforest Alliance Certified.

PG Tips Gold: This is the finest and the most indulgent cuppa that PG Tips has to offer from their range. A golden blend of Ceylon, Assam, and African teas are pressed to release their natural juices and create their bold and rich flavor. The teabags are pyramid shaped to allow more room for water to flow through and decrease the brewing time.

Barry’s Gold Tea: This Irish tea is a signature blend for Barry’s Tea. Their tea comes from the most luscious tea gardens of Rwanda, Kenya, and the tbry_gld40_barrys_tea_gold_blend_40ctAssam valleys of India and produces a lovely golden color. This tea is one of our must-try teas! We also carry it in loose leaf!

Lyons Gold: Another well known Irish brand of tea, this expertly blended mix of Ceylon, Assam, and Kenyan teas brings a rich, full bodied flavor to your teacup. Every box comes with 80 teabags but it may not last very long if this is your favorite!

Whether you have tried one or all of them or you simply like their regular brands better, have it with a little cake or cookies while watching your teams play. Don’t forget your flags!

For USA and other national flags, head over to our sister site,  http://www.united-states-flag.com/

 

-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

 

You love your tea kettle. It is there for you when you are happy, sad, angry, or need a good pick-me-up. It brews the hot water for your tea, coffee, cocoa, and many other things to make that specialIMG_20160721_2217203_rewind drink for you. But sometimes, your tea kettle may need a bit of love and care itself.

Over time, your tea kettle may develop limescale, mineral deposits, and hard water residue. If you see any buildup in your tea kettle, whether it’s electric or standard stove top, don’t worry! It can easily be fixed with something that might be sitting right in your cupboard!

Ingredients:

  • White Vinegar
  • Water

Directions:

Warning: Be sure to UNPLUG your electric tea kettle and let it cool before cleaning! Safety is always a must when handling electric appliances.

IMG_20160721_2213418_rewindFor Electric Kettles:

  • Fill your kettle with equal parts (about 1 cup of both) white vinegar and water, then let it soak for about an hour.
  • Turn on the kettle and let the solution boil up until it’s at a rolling boil or the kettle shuts off. After that, pour out the solution and rinse thoroughly with water, about once or twice.
  • Fill with water and boil again to clear out the vinegar from the kettle. It should be ready to use once you have boiled water in it once or twice, to be safe.

For Range-Top Kettles:

  • Fill your kettle with equal parts (about 1 cup of both) white vinegar and water, then let it soak for about an hour.
  • Set the kettle onto the stove, turn it on, and let the kettle get to a rolling boil. Turn off the stove and pour out the solution. Rinse thoroughly with water, about once or twice. Like with the electric kettle, fill with water and boil about one or two times.
  • If there is still a little bit of residue left, try wiping with a damp sponge.

If you look at my pictures, I admit I did not wait an hour because I was too excited to try this experiment out and it did work on my Ovente kettle! So if your kettle is not brewing the best water for your tea and other drinks, try this method before going out and buying a special cleaner. It’s cheap and it’s a “life hack” that you have mastered.

before

Before Cleaning

after

After Cleaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-CD

 

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