You Know You Really Love Tea When…

So some people love tea and others love tea.

I’m in the second category.

1. Yep, you know you love tea when five minutes feels like forever!:

2. When cup sizes never please you:

3. Life just doesn’t feel right if you don’t have a cup in hand:

4. When tea pops up in your everyday conversations:

5. When you use it to calm down:

6. Or from saying things you shouldn’t:

This could get ugly, better stir my tea.

7. You aren’t even British, but because of your love of tea people assume you are:

8. Your idea of “going out drinking” is going to a coffee shop and drinking hot tea:

9. You drink tea no matter the time of day or temperature:

10. When it is your tea time you wait for no one and will not be interrupted:

11. You are always offering people tea to drink:

12. You have a huge collection of tea spoons, tea cups, tea tins, loose leaf tea, bagged tea, etc.

13. When you go out to Coffee shops or Starbucks, you are the only one not drinking coffee.

Yep, the Tea Life is the Life for Me

For more tea posts, go to Perfectea, A Perfect Cup of Tea or Tea for Two

For more C.S. Lewis quotes, go to Book Club Picks: Sandcastle Kings

For more Wilkie Collins quotes, go to I Made My Own Teabags

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to Triple Berry Salad

Aunt Neal’s Old-Fashioned Tea Cakes

Thoughts Before Cooking:

This recipe comes from my sister blog, MysteriousEats.wordpress.com. I like to include ay recipes that go well with tea and books.

Even though Christmas is eight months away, I don’t care. I’m making them anyway.

Truth be told I don’t

Background on the Cookie:

“These delicious tea cakes were made by an Aunt Cornelia (“Neal) on special occasions and holidays, using hand-churned butter and eggs she gathered from the hen-house. This southern Georgia version dates back to the turn of the twentieth century. “

**Dough has to be chilled**

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Butter, Softened
  • 1 Cup of Granulated (White) Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, Lightly Beaten
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • White Sparkling Sugar

Directions:

  1. Beat the butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
  2. Add one cup of sugar, beating well.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla; beat well.
  4. In a separate bowl: combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the flour mixture and the milk to butter mixture, alternating between the two. Begin with adding half the flour mixture, then add the milk, and finish with adding the flour mixture.
  6. Mix at a low speed after each addition, until just blended.
  7. Shape dough into two discs.
  8. Wrap the discs in wax paper and chill for at least one hour.
  9. After having chilled, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  10. Roll each disc to 1/4 inch thickness on a floured surface.
  11. Cut with a 3.5 inch round cookie cutter; and place one inch apart on lightly greased baking sheets.
  12. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  13. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  14. Cool for one minute and then remove to wore racks to cool.
  15. Makes about two dozen.

Thoughts After Baking:

When I took it out of the fridge it was super hard and I was unsure if it would come out okay.

Not good

But after being in my hands it quickly became super sticky, so make sure you flour the rolling pin and the cutting board.

But after all that this cookies were super good. Not too sweet and perfect for tea time.

For more recipes, go to Cherry-Pistachio Tea Cakes

For more on cookies, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

Perfectea, A Perfect Cup of Tea or Tea for Two

So you know how much I love tea:

And then I got into loose leaf tea. That can take a lot of time and work. You heat the water, fill the little infuser, steep-thats the easy part. The hard part is trying to clean your infuser, it takes forever!

So much time

But then I went to Teavana and I saw the coolest thing ever!

An infuser that makes two perfect cups of tea and is so easy to clean-Perfectea.

And it really is perfect! I just love it so much! It is so easy to use, to clean, etc. Just watch it, you will want one too.

It makes two cups of tea- the perfect amount for tea time with a friend:

Or if you are like me- the perfect cup of tea. Yep, I love tea and a lot of it.

All you do is:

  1. Scoop two teaspoons of whatever tea you love and place in the infuser.
  2. Add hot water and steep according to tea instructions.
  3. Place infuser over a mug and push it down, allowing the tea to come out and fill it.
  4. Add sugar, milk, cream, or creamer.

Fantastic! I love it so much I can’t stop using it.

For more tea posts, go to How to Make a London Fog

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to What Would Jane Do?: Quips and Wisdom from Jane Austen

For more on C.S. Lewis, go to When A Willing Victim Who Had Committed No Treachery Was Killed in A Traitor’s Stead, the Table Would Crack and Death Itself Would Start Working Backwards: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

How to Make a London Fog

As you can tell, this post isn’t about this:

Stay out of the forest!

But this:

StirsTea

So during the week I go to a coffee shop in the morning to kill an hour before work and while there buy a cup of Earl Grey tea.

tea

I drank so many that I had enough to get any drink free! I asked the barista what she recommended and they said a London Fog- Earl Grey tea with Vanilla and heated, foamy milk. I tried it and LOVED it!

joker-yum

I had to have more of it. So I decided to make it myself.

keepcalmputthekettleontea

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Ingredients:

  • Tea Kettle/Teapot
  • Earl Grey Tea (I use loose leaf but you can do bagged)
  • Milk
  • Vanilla Creamer
  • Milk Frothier
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Tall Glass
  • Tea Mug or Teacup

Directions:

  1. Put your kettle or teapot on and heat the water.
  2. Prepare your loose leaf tea (one teaspoon per cup of water). [I typically drink out of a two cup tea mug.]
  3. When water is ready pour in mug over tea infuser or tea bag. (Tea should steep no more than three minutes.)
  4. When tea is steeping prepare the milk. This is something that might take a few trials until you find your perfect taste. I typically take 1/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of Vanilla creamer and pour both into the tall glass.
  5. Using the frothier, whisk the milk mixture until it is nice and airy. If you don’t have a frothier you can use a tall glass jar and shake it up.
  6. Heat the milk mixture in the microwave for a minute.
  7. When the tea has steeped, remove it from the mug and add sugar (if needed) and foamy milk mixture.
  8. Drink & enjoy!

teabookshotdate

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It was delicious, and cheaper than forking over four dollars every time you wished to have it. Delicious!

youcan'tbuyhappinesscanbuytea

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For more recipes, go to Harlem Tea Room Cheddar-Thyme Scones

For more Tea posts, go to I Made My Own Teabags

For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

I Made My Own Teabags

PatrickjanementalistTEA

So I don’t know how many of you remember, but I went to Teavana and became addicted to loose leaf tea.

StirsTea

Yes, loose leaf tea is so much better than the bagged one. It is richer and just tastes amazing.

keepcalmputthekettleontea

Now there is a problem with it, unlike the bagged tea you can’t just stick the loose leaf tea in your purse or bag and take it wherever you go. You have to have the infuser, keep your tea dry and cool in an container, have a dish to hold the infuser afterwards, etc. It can be a lot of work.

tea

I mean a good infuser is hard to find, one that the holes are small enough the tea doesn’t come through. Once you find one, you protect it and make sure that it doesn’t get damaged. I like having my tea throughout the day and at work, so I’ve been buying loose leaf for home and carrying the packaged ones with me for travel.

teatimealiceinwonderland

But this was starting to rack up in money and I knew there had to be an inexpensive way to make tea bags. But what to do?

ThinkingHmmwriting

I checked online to see if there was anything I could do. I found a way to make teabags using coffee filters on The Make Your Own ZoneThe directions and guide were super easy to follow and do. I made two bags and thought I would test them out at the nearest tea time.

teatimewomeninwhite

I stuck the bag in, and I think I folded it wrong as it had a ton of air in it and floated to the top. I had to use a spoon to weigh it down so it would steep. It tasted alright, but not as good as a regular infuser. I think it is good of you want to take your tea on the go.

But either way, loose leaf or bagged: I love tea!

teamansfieldpark

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For more on tea, go to It’s Always Tea Time

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to There’s a Cyclone Coming: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

 

It’s Always Tea Time

So a while back we had a tea party at our church for an event.

teaandscone

Different people were given a table, in which we could make our theme whatever we wanted. I was given a table and my theme was books! After all:

blanceTea&Books

Anyways, I just realized I forgot to post the pics from it. So I thought I would now.

tea

My centerpiece was a collection of nice hardcover classics stacked on top of each other, with a hollowed book on top that a tree branch came out of. Clipped to the tree was tea bags for each person to choose from.

I then chose six of my favorite classic books in which the characters have tea time or talk about tea. With each table setting I tried to embody the book.

mr knightley drinks tea

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Setting 1: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, 1814

mansfieldpark

So for the first setting I made sure to pair it with a very simple cup, as Fanny is not only a poorer relation, but she is a girl who likes simple things over the grandiose and showy. I laid out a copy of the book cover in front of the table setting, and then had this quote on the table.

teamansfieldpark

Then the cutlery:

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I put a white bow because Fanny would be the type to have a simple adornment like that, instead of extensive work on her dress.

I also added the gold cross as that is a huge part of the scheming by Maria Crawford to get Henry and Fanny matched up. When Fanny asks to borrow a chain for the gold cross her brother gave her, Maria sneakily gives her one that Henry gave her; so when Henry sees it he thinks that Fanny has decided to embrace his attentions, (i.e. gave him the green light).

For more on Mansfield Park, go to A World of Teas

For more Jane Austen, go to Free, for Lack of a Better Word, is Good

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Setting 2: Emma by Jane Austen, 1815

emma

The second setting I choose Emma. For this I had a gold and cream cup and saucer; the fanciest one I could find as Emma was rich and from an old family. She would have the finer things.

I laid out the book cover and this quote from the novel:

teaEmma

For Emma’s cutlery I wanted something a bit showier and fancier. I made a hair clip out of a red flower and gold fan charm. I thought this would encompass the character of Emma.

tea

For more on Emma, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to I Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be

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Setting 3: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, 1859

thewomaninwhite

This was the table setting I choose for myself as I figured I would probably be the only one at the tea party who has read this book. And I was right. I don’t know why people don’t read Wilkie Collins anymore. This one of my favorite mysteries, as our main character comes upon a woman in white who holds a warning, leading him down a very twisted path. As the story continues, different characters become the voice of the book, until we reach the conclusion and discover who this woman in white is and what she is trying to stop.

I set up a copy of the book cover, and in front of it had my absolute favorite tea quote:

teatime

Seriously, if you aren’t here I am starting without you.

StirsTea

Anyways, the silverware:

tea

This was the first one I put together going with a magnifying glass as this was a mystery, and adding a cameo afterwards. I thought it would be a great symbol of the time, along with the white silhouette of a women being reminiscent of the woman in white.

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Setting 4: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, 1865

AliceinWonderland

The fourth setting was an Alice in Wonderland theme. The cup I choose for this was one designed to be a rose, while the saucer a leaf. This was to symbolize the Garden that Alice has a not so fun time in.

I set up a copy of the book cover, and in front of it had this quote:

teatimealiceinwonderland

Then I designed the napkins thusly:

teanapkin

The watch of course for the White Rabbit who is always running late, and the creamer for the Mad Hatter and March Hare’s obsession with tea and their endless tea party.

For more on Alice in Wonderland, go to Disney Lesson

For more on Lewis Carroll, go to Can’t Go Back 

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Setting 5: Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, 1911

PeterPan

Second to last we had Peter Pan. The cup I choose for this one had strawberries on it, and I choose it because I thought it was something that Wendy would have liked.

I laid out the book cover and this quote:

peterPanteaadventure

For the setting I went with something a little more basic, a red feather. This feather was supposed to be the feather Peter wears in his hat.

tea

For more on Peter Pan, go to My Teaddiction (Tea Addiction)

For more on J. M. Barrie, go to Fan-do or Fan-don’t. There is No Fan-try

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Setting 6: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, 1950

lionthewitchandthewardrobe13

For the last setting I went a little more modern than the others. This one’s tea cup had a winter scene as the world of Narnia is stuck in a cycle of :

Always winter but never Christmas”

I laid the book cover and this quote:

tealionwitchwardrobe

This quote is from Mrs. Beaver, but for cutlery design I went with Mr. Tumnus and Lucy’s tea time. I had two tiny tea cups tied to symbolize their tea for two.

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For more on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, go to Simply Fantastic

For more on C. S. Lewis, go to Going on a Treasure Hunt

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drinkteaReadbooks

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For more on my love of tea, go to My Trip to Teavana

For more book-filled posts, go to A Book Only a Reader Could Write

Better Than Asprin

Yep sometimes I feel down and stressed.

Victor Moritz: You're crazy! Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.

Victor Moritz: You’re crazy!
Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

But then I remember something that always helps me:

NervousBreakdownTea

Yep:

CupofTeaFeelBetter

After all:

whereteaishope

Yep the best medicine in life:

keepcalmputthekettleontea

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For more on team go to My Teaddiction (Tea Addiction)

My Teaddiction (Tea Addiction)

So everyone, I have a problem.

Boy Meets World Problem

I’m an addict.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

A teaddict.

StirsTea

Before I would just drink tea when it was cold, snuggling under blankets and curling up with a good book.

gloomyrainydays

Then I started drinking in the mornings when I woke up.
peterPanteaadventure

And then I started drinking late afternoon, nightish.

mr knightley drinks tea

And then one 8-oz cup wasn’t enough. I was drinking multiple cups, and then I was collecting the largest cups I could: pints, beer mugs, nothing was large enough for me.

C.S. Lewisteamugbook

And I was drinking tea at all hours of the day.

blanceTea&Books

And if I don’t get my tea, the day just doesn’t feel right.

CupofTeaFeelBetter

But hey, there are worse things out there that I could be addicted to. After all:
teaWisdom

So I’ve decided to just live with my teaddiction and enjoy it.

keepcalmputthekettleontea

Anyone else care for a cuppa?

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For more on tea, go to The Dark, Dark, Dark Side

For more on my addictions, go to I Have a Problem

For more on Peter Pan, go to Fan-do or Fan-don’t. There is No Fan-try

For more on C.S. Lewis, go to Going on a Treasure Hunt

The Dark, Dark, Dark Side

So you all know how much I love tea.

teaWisdom

But you might not know what my favorites are. I used to be a fan of fruit or mint, but now my loves are Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Chai Noir, or any variation of black chai. You know the dark teas. As I always say, the darker the better.

And the fun we have...

So the other day I was shopping for more tea, when I spotted some on sale for $1.65.

Say What

Most tea ranges from 2.99 to 3.99. It is never that low.

ShutUpTake MY Money

It was a new tea by Bigelow. They had made an American Breakfast tea, saying that we needed our own to add to the English and Irish Breakfast teas. I decided to buy it and then later threw away my receipt as I didn’t need it anymore.

Majorly

Majorly

It was only afterwards that I saw it has 50% more caffeine in it.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Now I don’t do well with caffeine. If I have a little of it, I am up all night and bouncing off the walls. The next day I feel sick, have a gigantic headache, and just want to sleep. It like having a hangover.

WakeUpNoThankYou

But I thought maybe this time it won’t be so bad. I decided to try it out.

mr knightley drinks tea

And it was…

It was awful!

It was darker than dark. It was so dark and strong I had to throw in a bunch of cream and sugar.

StirsTea

It was as if the makers of Bigelow thought Americans don’t like tea, only coffee; so let’s make the most coffee-est tea we can. For me it was good was far too strong.

forcestrongstarwars

Definitely not my cup of tea. I’m sticking with Earl Grey from now on.

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For more on tea, go to Going on a Treasure Hunt

For more on Star Wars, go to This Day in History

Tea Time

Tea is amazing

teaWisdom

Think about it. China, some of the best inventors; The Brits, some of the best authors. It could be the reason.

Hmm

Hmm

Well whether it is or isn’t don’t forget to take time out for it.

peterPanteaadventure

Tea first, then adventure.

blanceTea&Books

Yep:

drinkteaReadbooks

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For more on Tea, go to Words to Live By

For more on Peter Pan, go to Now You’re Gone

For more book filled posts, go to A FANtastic Voyage

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Helping Hands