Mother’s Day will be here soon and you probably have little time to sit and read this, but if you haven’t the slightest idea how to celebrate your mom, then you probably should read on. Whether your mom loves tea with company or a quiet cup alone with a good book, we can give you the inspiration you need to make her Mother’s Day a memorable one. No need to run out and shop for a gift or pay extra fees for expedited shipping.
A Cup of Tea and Quality Time
Most moms adore the time spent with their families. Time is probably the most precious gift you could give her, and a pot of tea does wonders for inspiring warm feelings and heartfelt conversation. Bring her in and let her choose from one of our many teas, or come in ahead of time and select a few that you think she would like. A pot of Subtle Strawberry White Tea or Finest Lady Grey are almost always hits. If your mom likes to go green with her tea, Sweet Pomegranate or Finest Jasmine Pearls are well liked too.
You probably can’t go wrong with a little dark chocolate on the side as well. After all, it is the day to indulge your dear mother. Just make sure you keep the preparation simple so that you can spend plenty of time with her.
Homemade and Heartfelt
Most moms also love homemade gifts from their children. If you are reading this, you’ve probably moved past the refrigerator pictures and macaroni necklaces, but we’ve still got some ideas for you. Try baking some Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies to go with your tea time, or making a bookmark for the mom who likes time alone with a book. This can be as simple as a few beads on a decorative string or a sketch on cardstock of some special memories with your mom
Celebrate your mom this weekend, whatever you choose to do. And make tea time with this special lady a regular part of your week.
May 7th, 2015
A slice of lemon in a cup of tea is tradition from England to Russia and in several countries in between. For most tea drinkers, it serves to merely enhance the flavor, but read on and you will see that it does so much more than that. Check out a few reasons why lemon continues to be a popular and healthy addition to your cup of tea.
- Lemon juice is packed with Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential to help fight free radicals that damage DNA. Free radicals can lead to diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C also helps maintain teeth and bone health as well as decrease the risk of cataracts. If you don’t have a slice of lemon, lemon juice will benefit in the same ways.
- Lemon can help control blood sugar levels. They contain a compound called hesperidin which can modify the enzymes in your body that can cause high blood sugar levels. Hesperidin also has cholesterol lowering effects.
- Lemons contain limonoids. According to a study done by the “Journal of Nutrition” in 2005, this compound has the potential to slow the growth of cancer cells.
- A little lemon can help reduce astringency. Black teas such as an Assam, Ceylon or even Darjeeling is known to have an astringent or “bitter” taste. Lemon juice can help counteract that taste which may be the reason tea lovers have enjoyed lemon in their tea for so long.
- Tea with lemon can improve digestive health. On its own, hot tea can encourage the elimination of toxins and waste products in the body. The addition of lemon can help your body better absorb the beneficial substances in tea such as the antioxidants.
Are you convinced yet, or maybe a little curious at least? As for what tea we recommend with a slice of lemon, we can honestly say that just about all of them go well. Steer clear of white teas though as the delicate taste will definitely be overshadowed by even the slightest squeeze of lemon. Black teas or green teas are all fair game. Even flavored teas, oolongs or pu-erh teas will take lemon. What tea will you try? Drink to your health and good taste.
April 16th, 2015
This time of year, many of us start to think about getting in the dirt and planting seeds. Whether you are planning a garden that takes up your entire back yard, or putting a couple of pots in a south-facing window, there are a number of herbs that will compliment your cup of tea. Before you get your garden started, read on to learn about a few plants you may want to include.
Mint is very easy to grow, but can quickly become invasive if not contained. It’s an excellent plant to grow in your window so you can easily pick a sprig to add to your cup of tea. Though there are hundreds of varieties of mint for the garden, peppermint and spearmint are the most popular. Spearmint is much easier to grow from seed, but if peppermint is your favorite, look for a small plant that is already started for the best results. Take a look at some tips for growing mint in your garden. It goes well with most teas, or can be enjoyed on its own. If growing it seems like too much of a hassle, order some of our Moroccan Mint or Chocolate Mint Rooibos.
Anise is a rare treat. Its seeds are typically used in food or beverages because they carry a strong licorice flavor. The leaves are also sometimes used in soups or salads. Anise tends to be very fragile, so it is best grown in a place where it has protection from wind. It likes a lot of sun, however, and can even be planted in poor soil. Read more about growing your own anise. Then experiment with adding it to teas. Ceylon or Pinhead Gunpowder may be good choices to try first.
Chamomile plants like a lot of sun, even while they are germinating. For this reason, they can be tricky to start from seed, but well worth the effort. Once established, the plant (especially German Chamomile) is extremely hardy. If you’re up for the challenge, see more about how to add chamomile to your garden, or check out our selection. Stop in for a cup of chamomile without all that effort and take home some Lemon or Mint Chamomile to try later.
You don’t need too green of a thumb to grow lavender. It grows very well in containers and can survive a few forgotten waterings. Lavender does best with good drainage, full sun, and good air circulation. Check out more tips to grow lavender, and then have a cup of tea while you wait for your seedlings to grow. Or have a cup of our lavender before you start your own.
Happy Spring! Get out and enjoy it!
March 19th, 2015
With spring so close at hand, comfort food gives way to lighter and fresher tastes. It’s the perfect time to explore the delicate and slightly sweeter taste of white tea. Check out a few reasons why white tea is worth a try.
Although most of the research done on the health benefits of tea focus on green tea, white tea very likely retains even more of those precious antioxidants that health-conscious folks like to discuss. White tea and green tea (and black tea for that matter) come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. White tea, however, goes through less treatment when the leaves are processed. Green teas are picked, sometimes cut or rolled, and either steamed or fired to halt the oxidation process. White teas are simply picked when the leaves are young and then dried. Sometimes the leaves are picked before they even open. This delicate handling makes for a delightfully mild taste and very pale color.
What does this mean for your health? Less of the leaves’ precious antioxidants are lost in getting white tea leaves from the fields to your teapot. And many of the studies specifically focused on green tea have results that can easily be applied to white tea too. Drink up!
So where do you start when trying out white teas for the first time? Many enjoy the addition of sweet berries or peaches as in our Organic Blanc de Blueberry, Subtle Strawberry, Raspberry Champagne or Organic White Peach. These selections also make great iced tea. Pair them with dark chocolate for a fantastic contrast of tastes.
If you enjoy a little more complexity in your cup, white tea can blend very well with rose petals, lavender or peppermint. Sweet Serenade may be the best choice for you, or Sonoma Sunrise White Tea.
Many also enjoy a cup of white tea on its own to experience the full flavor profile. If you are one who makes a habit of stirring in milk and sugar, however, you may want to refrain from these additions or you will taste just that – milk and sugar. White Darjeeling or Doke White Silver Needles go very nicely with a quiet spot and time for contemplation.
So, take a break from your usual choice of tea with the changing season. What flavor will you try?
March 12th, 2015
There is no better time of year for baking than winter, and a warm out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie is likely our nation’s favorite treat. While the weather often drives you inside and your body craves more calories this time of year, why not spend some time perfecting that beloved classic?
We let someone else do all of the experimenting for us so we could focus more on selecting the right type of tea to pair with your plate of cookies. Brew up a cup of your favorite variety, and take a minute to find the chocolate chip cookie that sounds the tastiest to you.
Your Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie
If you don’t already have stained page in a recipe book with your favorite cookie recipe, here is one you can try from well.com. Keep in mind, you may want to tweak it a little before you bake your first batch.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 1/2 pound) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated [white] sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups (12-ounce package) Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
- 1 cup chopped nuts
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE in preheated 375-degree [Fahrenheit] oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Your Perfect Cookie
Chocolate chip cookies are, believe it or not, very versatile and flexible. Apart from forgetting them in the oven too long (which was my very first attempt gone wrong), each one of these ingredients can be tweaked. Adding up to a half cup more flour can make the cookies more cake-like. Cutting out the brown sugar for all white sugar will make your cookie spread out more on the pan, while using all brown sugar will give them a darker, crispier edge and give them a butterscotch flavor.
You can also leave out the baking powder or the baking soda to see the difference that gives your cookies. Just don’t leave both out. When it comes to butter, melting it versus creaming it with the sugar will make the fluffiness and texture of the final product vary. Finally, you can try chilling the dough before you bake it, although the difference here may really boil down to convenience of having a cookie closer to the time you are craving it.
Now for the fun part: pairing the perfect tea with your fresh-baked, uniquely personalized cookie! This is also a challenging decision because so many types of teas pair compliment this well-loved treat. To get the full flavor profile of your cookie, try a tea that has not been blended with other fruits or flowers. a rich Keemun or Assam Sessa would go nicely, especially with a splash of milk. If you want something that contrasts flavors nicely, try Moroccan Mint. Chocolate and mint is great at any time.
The smell of fresh-baked cookies has always had a way of bringing people together and making your abode feel more cozy and comforting. And fresh baked goodies and tea make the very best companions on a chilly day. Which recipe will you try?
January 29th, 2015