Tea at Downton

 Tea at Downton: Afternoon Tea Recipes From The Unofficial Guide to Downton Abbey, while short, a mere 77 pages, is a treat of a book.

Written by Elizabeth Fellows, Tea at Downton shares the origins history of afternoon tea time.
It came as no surprise that afternoon tea began as a necessity in a woman's life.  With a myriad of responsibilities, then and now, sometimes a woman just needs a treat to make it through the day.

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I enjoyed the history aspect of how World Wars influenced changes in tea time and its menu.  The book is filled with recipes and etiquette techniques.

With Downton in the title, you can expect the book to cater to we Downton Abbey fans.  The book does include tidbits of information on Edwardian kitchens and homes, such as Downton. There are recipes that bear the names of favorite characters from the television show.

My only grumble of complaint would be that a few photos would have been nice, throughout the book or at least in the recipe section.  Being an average cook, I like to see how my new creation should look when I am finished.

I am looking forward to trying out a new recipe or two when the last season of Downton Abbey airs in January 2016.

Tea at Downton is best, when read in an English accent and is a lovely addition to my kitchen bookshelf.

 

 

 

 

 

The Teashop Girls

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I can't take credit for this book find.
With the word "tea" in the title, I am not sure why it never came up on the many book searches I was do- but I am glad my daughter found this book.

The Teashop Girls is a cute story about a girl named Annie, whose grandmother owns a tea shop call the Steeping Leaf.
Someone needs to turn this fictitious tea shop into a real place! 

Imagesteepingleaf
Annie and her best girl pals, aka the tea shop girls, ban together after an eviction notice to try to save this special place. 

I found the images of old tea advertisments adorable, the smattering of tea facts, awesome.  The clincher for me had to be the tea quotes that began each chapter! 

This story is written for girls ages 8-14.  I do not speak for everybody, but I would bump that age up to 12ish.  I can't see the boy crush element of the story appealing to an eight year old who can't imagine liking a boy. Not to mention that the "Teashop Girls" are eighth graders.

 

Still those opinions aside, this was a tea-rrific, light hearted story.  A worthy read for tween girls and their tea obsessed moms!

 

 

 

 

Three Cups of Earl Grey ~ A Tea Comparison

I am ready to take on the world!  Anything is possible ~ now that I have sipped and savored multiple cups of tea!

In a previous post I blogged about Earl Grey and how it obtains that distinctive flavor.

3EGinarowToday I am sharing three of my favorite brands of Earl Grey. 

Each brand of tea will be steeped for four minutes with water just off the boil.  Two of the brands are bagged and one is a loose leaf tea. 

Lets begin the comparison.

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I have been sipping this tea since my teenage years.  Twinings is readily available in most grocery stores and for an affordable price. I generally have a box of this in my tea stash as a tea on the go selection.

Twinings Earl Grey has a nice citrusy scent after opening the package and it brews into a lovely amber color. 
The tea flavor leaves a bit of a zing to the tongue. That may be due to the bergamot flavoring that is added to the black tea.  The zing can be calmed with splash of milk.

Numibag

I discovered this brand of tea because of a drive thru tea/coffee shop. 
( One must have their afternoon cuppa even on the run! )
I have been pleased to find this in a specialty grocery store in my area, but it is available online as well.

Numi is an organic and free trade company.
Organic Bergamot is aged with organic Assam black tea.  The tea leaves are aged with the bergamot to absorb the scent, which lends a more delicate flavoring to the end product.

With its smooth and subtle flavoring I tend to brew this tea when I have a moment or two to savor the flavor. 

RishiLeaves&box

This delicious tea was discovered through a friend who sampled it at a spa.  She loved it so much she purchased it online and shared it with me.

Rishi uses organic tea and essential oil of bergamot for its flavoring.  The aroma of this tea is very fragrant. When I brought home this loose tea, it scented my kitchen all day.  Not in an overpowering way, just a pleasant scent. The taste is mellow but full of flavor.  It pairs extremely well with tea time treats that you may be enjoying.

The only downside I see with Rishi is that I have only found it in a specialty health food store and of course online. Well worth the search though.

 I love tea – that is no secret.  I currently have all three of these delicious teas in my stash.  It is difficult to choose between them. 

Here are links to get your own Earl Grey tea!

Twinings Tea, Earl Grey, 100 Count

Numi Aged Earl Grey, 100 Count 

Rishi Tea Organic Loose Leaf Black Tea Earl Grey — 1.94 oz

What type of Earl Grey tea do you prefer?

 

 

Sips of Earl Grey Tea

Most any tea drinker has heard of or has tasted a cup of Earl Grey. 

After all, by some historical accounts Earl Grey tea has been sipped since the 1830’s.

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The distinctive flavor that tea drinkers have come to love is extracted from the oil found in the rind of a bergamot orange.

But how does that happen?

There are different methods to achieve this infusion of flavor. 

One method is to blend the flower, fruit or spice with the dried tea leaves, to produce a light and delicate flavoring.

Another method is to spray or coat the tea leaves with extracts or essential oils during the drying process.  This will produce a more robust or flavorful tea.

Each manufacturer will use a set method and ratio of flavoring to produce their brand of Earl Grey tea. 

That means each cup of Earl Grey will differ slightly in brew & taste.

This statement is very true. 

I have sipped many cups of Earl Grey tea and each one is different.

Keep your eyes on the blog for a comparison of my favorite Earl Grey tea brands!

 

 

 

 

The Tea Rose

I found this book by happenstance. It is so hypnotizing that I am going to give it a permanent home on the book shelf!

I have mentioned before that I am a happy fluff, light reading kind of fiction girl.  Well this book proved you should go outside your comfort genre and try something new.

The Tea Rose, by Jennifer Donnelly, is a novel filled with suspense, murder & star crossed love & was quite the page turner!

  Tea aRose Book


This book had me reading until my eyes blurred at night and then reaching for it with my first morning sips of tea.

The setting- East London, not the richy well dressed London, but the hardworking yet close to poverty side in 1888.

Fionna, a hardworking tea packer has a dream. One she shares with life long love Joe. They will leave this place of despair one day and make it on their own.  They save to open up their own shop one day.

Tragedy strikes and Fionna knows she must leave all she has known behind for survivals sake.

I want to tell you more…but that would take away the thrill of reading it yourself!   I will say there is a smattering of language, some gore and sensuality. Nothing that I thought was cringe worthy but everyone has their own levels of tolerance.

The Tea Rose has many twists and turns and will leave you breathless and reading every spare moment you can! 
Get a copy of The Tea Rose: A Novel (The Tea Rose Series) today!!

A favorite line from chapter 24-

~ Fionna found life’s trials easier to bear with a strong cup of tea in hand.

Tea Leaf Beginnings

What is your favorite type of tea?

Is it a Green Tea, Black Tea or perhaps an Oolong? It doesn’t matter which kind you sip, it all stems from one plant!

I know- it boggled my mind too! I thought for sure there were dozens of tea plants!

How do so many variations of tea come from one plant?  

Well, I’m not a botanist so my answer is simple.

All tea leaves come from a plant called Camellia sinensis, which is indigenous to China and India. But is grown all over the world. 
I wonder if it could be a house plant?  Hmmm, something to read up on!

Tea_plants1

The leaves are harvested and left to oxidize.
It is the level of oxidation that determines what type of tea the leaves will become.  

To produce a black tea, the leaves are fully oxidized and would then deliver a darker brew & higher caffeine content than say a green tea.

This is my simple synopsis of tea leaf beginnings. Really, no matter which leaves you choose to brew, you really can’t go wrong!

All things sippable

When I curl up with a book, my sippable beverage of choice is ~ TEA! 

~ Hot or Iced ~ Sweetened or Unsweet ~
~Loose leaf or Bagged ~ Green Tea or Black Tea ~

There is a tea for my every mood & a tea to pair with every book!

Join me as I share my love of all things tea through:

~afternoon teas
~tea parties
~teas I loved
~tea time treats
~histories of tea
~tea time etiquette
~tea shops
~tea pots & tea cups

Really, C.S. Lewis said it best when he said:

C.S.Lewisquote

What is your favorite sippable beverage?