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

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tazo Joy

Holiday season means holiday tea blends. We were a little worried when Tazo was sold to a large chain coffee shop that its quality, quite good for a mass market tea, would suffer. But Tazo surprised us with a black and green tea blend that has enough zip to help us survive untangling the strands of lights while relaxing and soothing us at the same time. 

We're enjoying it with a plate of homemade cookies.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Davidson's English Breakfast

Work has kept us very busy the past couple of months, but when we could take a break, we've been enjoying Davidson's Organic English  Breakfast tea. Organic and fair trade are two things we love about it, but it is also a delicious, strong, smooth tea. So we can feel virtuous while thoroughly enjoying a delicious cup of tea. Here, we paired it with melon, yogurt, and blueberry coffee cake.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

Harney and Sons Organic Black Iced Tea

A local restaurant, Graze, offers bottled Harney and Sons Organic Black Energizing Tea. It's fresh brewed and crisp, but sweetened with organic honey and organic cane sugar. While we usually drink our iced tea unsweetened, this was a delicious, and unexpected, find. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tea Sandwich Recipe Review

We tried a tea sandwich from one of the Laura Childs' Teashop Mystery books: tomato cream cheese tea sandwiches. I think the cream cheese didn't get soft enough, as we really couldn't blend the cheeses together into a smooth spread. We'll try it again, with less cream cheese, and perhaps green onions added instead of the finely diced regular onion for aesthetic appeal. It was a bit on the bland side, so we may add a smidge of salsa to our tomato to give it a little kick.

Friday, June 27, 2014

R.I.P. John Harney

John Harney died last week. Let's all raise a cuppa' to him.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cooking with Tea

As part of our reading and reviewing of the Tea Shop Mystery series, we are going to test some of the recipes that are included in each. Last night, we made the chicken cooked with tea recipe included in "Sweet Tea Revenge." It's a simple recipe with only a handful of ingredients, including two tea bags of the cook's choice. We opted for orange pekoe, as we worried that an earl grey or other tea would interact in an unpleasant way with the soy sauce also part of the recipe.

It was hard to discern any tea taste to this dish. Flavors were dominated by the soy sauce, although we used considerably less than the 1/4 cup for which the recipe called. However, that makes it an easy recipe for cooks serving non-tea drinkers.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Tea Fiction: The Tea Shop Mysteries

We realized in May that the tea cupboard was crammed to almost overflowing, so a moratorium on tea purchases was declared until we finish up some of it up.

But to make that more palatable, we decided to catch up on the Indigo Tea Shop mysteries by Laura Childs. We were four titles behind, including the latest. So June became tea mystery month. 

We'll save the reader reviews for our sister blog, BookTeaCatDog, and only discuss the teas and recipes that feature in the books. We're saving the current hardcover for the future.

We're halfway through the third, so stay tuned for our tea-focused review.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Crafting With Tea

Tea can be used to dye natural fibers. The results can be either faint and light or strong and deep, depending on how long one steeps the item and the strength of the tea.

Here is a Fortune Cookie Bag, a pattern by Josephine Woo published on Interweave Crochet 2009. The initial soak produced a light wash of color, so I dyed the bag a second time in a stronger tea concoction. Then it was shaped, laid flat, and air dried.

I used Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool and Patons Classic Wool.



What a versatile little leaf.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tetley British Blend

When I first moved to England, I enjoyed discovering the different items in the grocery store that were so common place there and so unusual here in the States. The first important difference that I noticed was that Tetley tea came in round pouches rather than tea bags (now we call the sachets). Of course, I bought and drank that in England, so that when I saw Tetley British Blend in the grocery store here in April, I had to buy it. That's what we've been drinking in the parlor the past 6 weeks, a strong, sensible, no-nonsense cup of tea. But then, we're not tea snobs; we think you can find a good cup of tea in unlikely places, and Tetley British Blend is a strong, caffeinated way to start the day.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tea Cookies

There are probably hundreds of cookies and biscuits that are sold as perfect for tea. Here's one easily available in many grocery stores. While it's very sweet, we don't mind one bit because they're called English Tea cookies.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Tea on the Go, Part 2

Last month we attended a local humane society event at an upscale mall, and as we were leaving, our friend brought over some herbal iced tea she'd purchased at Savaya Coffee Market. It was delicious, and while we can't remember what fruit it was, we remember enjoying it immesely. So kudos to them for offering the tea drinkers out there a delicious iced option on a hot day.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tea on the Go

Tea from coffee shops can be hit or miss. Sometimes you stumble across a shop where the owners care that their tea-drinking minority consumers get a good cup, while many times, it's hiss or miss (yes, national  chain, I'm looking at you: if someone specifically orders English breakfast, which your menu says you carry, and gets Earl Gray instead, tsk, tsk, tsk). My coworker kindly picked up a tea for me today from Caffe Luce, and I was happy to discover they carry Republic of Tea. British Breakfast--strong, hot, sturdy. Well done, Caffe Luce!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

China Mist Iced Tea

We've had a very mild winter in the desert this year. We've already taken tea several times on the patio. It's no surprise that we have already served iced tea on these spring-like days, when it really feels like April and not January. China Mist  iced tea appeared in the grocery store this fall, and we love it.

It's a very strong, brisk tea, with a rich body, perfect for every dish we've served with it. It required brewing and mixing with cold water, but that takes no time and is very much worth the effort. Today, we ate a tuna salad under a very bright winter noontime sun with the China Mist iced tea, and enjoyed every delicious sip.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tea Trivia

The first recorded mention in Western history of taking a cup of tea is in Samuel Pepys' diary from 1660.

"At Home: A Short History of Private Life" by Bill Bryson (Anchor Press, 2011)