" Come sit by my side and over a cup of tea, speak to me of the goodness of life."
Lady Evelyn Fitzgerald Dodson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tea in the Parlor Shawl

Look, we have a shawl named after us. Well, all right, probably not named after us per se, but a shawl named Tea in the Parlor will definitely be knitted by us as we drink tea in our parlor this winter.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday Tea Quote

"There isn't enough chamomile tea in the world to quell the rage in my heart."

The character Sheldon Cooper on the television show The Big bang Theory.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Simply Balanced Organic Black Tea Breakfast Blend

We love how organic, fair trade foods are going mainstream. Simply Balanced is a organic brand at Target chain stores that might surprise the average tea drinker. The Black Tea Breakfast Blend is a very affordable black tea blend (although the box doesn't identify the blends, we'd guess a little bit ceylon with a large dash of orange pekoe). No tricks, no surprises--this is a smooth tea that, while a bit mild for our personal tastes, brews up the same smooth cup, time after time. It would make a nice introductory tea for a novice tea drinker; a calming, soothing cup for those too-sick-to-get-out-of-bed days; and a great way to earn some karma points by helping protect Mother Earth and support fair trade practices.

We tried it with a slice of the delicious chocolate truffle babka from Panera and were quite pleased with its creamy, silky texture. Oh, and the babka--delicious. Some chocolate babkas are bitter, but not the Panera babka. (We'll confess we really love the pecan braid that just appeared in the bakery case--yum yum yum.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Teatulia Black Tea

Organic teas and fair trade teas are our preference here in the parlor, and lately we have been drinking Teatulia's Black Tea (in the eco canister). We love that it's organic, we love the compostable 'tin,' we love that we're helping people in a very poor country earn a living.

That's why we are saddened that we don't absolutely love the tea. The tea itself is a bit bland; maybe it's too smooth. There is not signature note of a Ceylon or an Assam that stays behind, which we were expecting from a single estate tea. We prefer a strong tea that says something. But Teatulia wins hands down over any supermarket teas, which are equally bland and aren't trying to save the world, so it will find a place in our tea caddy nonetheless.

We've been drinking Teatulia Black Tea while eating a delicious almond coffee cake on the patio. The autumn weather makes al fresco breakfasts a delight. The black tea is very smooth and muted, and compliments the sweet almond cake very well.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Harney and Sons English Breakfast

Harney and Sons English Breakfast has just become available in local store. This blend of Ceylon Kenilworth and Milima Kenyan black is a lovely, smooth tea perfect for morning or afternoon. The creamy Ceylon Kenilworth matches the robust Milima to create a much more mellow tea than Harney and Sons Classic English Breakfast, which is far more tannic and astringent (although equally delicious). Cheese blintzes were the perfect food to capitalize on the delicious tea, but a special note was the peach lavender bread from one of our favorite local bakeries, Ghini's.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dilmah Darjeeling

Indian summer in the rest of the northern hemisphere is a time of cool mornings and pleasantly warm afternoons, changing leaves, the last autumn flowers. Here in the desert, the only perceptible change is the slight waning of the summer rainy season, which this afternoon sent us some brief showers. But that was enough to inspire a desire for hot tea, and so we served Dilmah Darjeeling, a light afternoon tea. A little astringent, but mildly flavorful and thus perfect for the slow summer afternoons.

Our apologies for not including a photo of the tea and our tea cup. Our camera is acting up and refusing to take any photos.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tea Quote

"Sitting down at the the window with a cup of tea is a deep pleasure, one of those moments when I simultaneously feel basic needs--for warmth and sustenance--and find them met."

Between Urban and Wild: Reflections from Colorado by Andrea M. Jones, University of Iowa Press (2013).

Friday, July 26, 2013

Today's Tea Quote

"It will make us late for Aunt Alice's tea-party. I hate tea-parties."

Daisy in Daisy's Aunt by E. F. Benton, 1910.

We hope Daisy is joking.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sarabeth English Breakfast Tea

We discovered another small tea vendor in an unusual store. Sarabeth's Tea is produced by Sarabeth's in New York City. It's a smooth, mild blended Ceylon that is bright and strong enough for breakfast, and quiet enough for afternoon tea. We enjoyed it over the recent holiday with our family's special French toast recipe and tofu bacon for a delicious, sweet and savory breakfast.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Afternoon Tea shawl

Sipping tea on the patio is our favorite thing to do. Sipping tea while reading or crocheting or knitting makes for a sublime pastime. Add what better than the Afternoon Tea shawl, or a wonderful cozy for your tea pot? Hmm, might be time to make a new cozy...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tea Quote

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

C. S. Lewis

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Trader Joe's Original Irish Breakfast Tea

Irish breakfast tea is a favorite in the parlor--full-bodied, malty, a blend of strong teas that should set the tea drinker up for a full day of work.

We love Trader Joe's products, from the organic, grain-fed beef to the eggs and produce--all are superior to the products in the grocery store and, organic meats aside, cheaper, too. However, we are not great fans of their tea. It's always weak and tastes rather uninspiring. Despite that experience with other TJ teas, we gave their new Original Irish Breakfast Tea a try, and sadly must report that it, too, is weak and rather blah. This is to be expected, given the price point of the tea, but it never fails to confound us that TJ's can offer so many tasty and delicious food options, but their black teas, both regular and decaffeinated, fall flat.

This holiday weekend, we served it with mango smoothies and croissants on the patio, watching the backyard birds flit about, showering in the sprinkler.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Harney and Sons Classic English Breakfast Tea

Harney and Sons are well known for their excellent teas, and this is a good one with which to start as an introduction to their line. Bold, crisp, strong, smooth--this keemun is everything it should be. This weekend we served it with pancakes and tofu bacon, enjoying a late spring morning on the patio. We'll confess we really like the classic collection tin.

Friday, April 12, 2013

A New Tea Kettle

When we moved out here to the big desert, our first purchase was, naturally, a tea kettle. A Paul Revere tea kettle, just like my mother had, to which we got ridiculously attached, After years of hard work, the whistle broke, and we were heartbroken to learn that Paul Revere had been purchased by another company and was no longer being manufactured. So we sadly bought another tea kettle, that served us in good stead for many years and to which we got ridiculously attached. Two weeks ago, the whistle on that kettle broke completely off. And it's just not a tea kettle without a proper whistle. And it's just not tea when we have to watch for the steam rather than listen for the whistle. We were delighted to see the Paul Revere tea kettle on Amazon, and immediately ordered one. We also ordered some new tea to celebrate an inaugural cuppa; more on that in another post.

Tea time in the parlor is happy time again.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Tea Mug

My sister gave me this beautiful tin tea mug. I love using it on the patio as I sip my tea on the patio these cool spring mornings.