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7 Tea-Inspired Throw Pillows

February 12, 2018

Drinking tea is a cozy experience. Add in a tea-inspired throw pillow and you might just melt. Any of these pillows are the perfect addition to you, your cuppa, and a good book on a cold day. Rest your back, your feet, or your head on any of these fluffy accents, and your tea’s sure to go down just right:

1) Rain, Tea & A Good Book

This adorable throw pillow from Pastel Trail will perfectly complement tea time on a rainy day.   The pillow is available in pink, purple, and pastel in a variety of sizes, ranging in cost from 14×14 inches for $20.99 to 20×20 inches for $29.99. It will look good on any couch, bed, or in any reading nook.

2) But First, Tea

This throw pillow from Latte Home gets right to the point: you need your tea. Perfect for the guy or gal who can’t even think about starting the day without her dose of earl grey or green tea. Available in a variety of colors, this throw pillow will look good anywhere tea drinkers are present.

3) Sweet Tea & Sunshine

This pillow cover from Sham Shack is a great addition to any outdoor patio set, especially in the summer, when the sun is shining and sweet tea’s on the menu. The pillow is handmade from burlap and available in a variety of sizes, so you can fit it over just about any old pillow you have for a cute makeover.

4) Boba Tea Pillow

If you’re looking for a truly unique accent pillow, opt for this boba tea-shaped pillow from The Branch and The Vine. Boba tea is all the rage, so this is a decidedly on-trend décor choice, and a perfect way to jazz up any bench, accent chair, or baby’s crib. The pillow is handmade from 100% polyester plush fabric. It comes in three sizes: small ($20.53), medium ($24.64), and large ($32.85).

5) Tea?

This pillow from Josephine Penelope UK is simply adorable, featuring an eye-catching pink pom-pom trim and a floral lettering design. Handmade at a countryside studio in Hampshire, England, each pillow measures 16×12 inches and is filled with ethically sourced duck feathers. Great as a kitchen or entryway accent for only $$22.15!

6) Tea Pot Pillow Cover

 This pillow cover from Kat and Dawg Designs is a beautiful way to transform any old pillow, and comes in two sizes: 16×16 inches or 18×18 inches. You can also select your preferred background color: light brown, grey blue, white, or off-white. This pillow cover will look great, and it’ll also make you feel great knowing that 10% of your purchase is donated to the cancer support center Wellspring London & Region.

7) Teacup Pillow

This teacup-shaped pillow from Sew Very Nifty is visually appealing and oh-so-comfy. Hand-stitched, it measures approximately 18x9x6 inches, is made of cotton, and retails for $28. It also has a little pocket where you can stash the book you’re reading.  The blue/green triangle pattern adds visual interest, and makes it perfect for green tea enthusiasts. Put this pillow on your bed, on an accent chair, or entryway bench for a pop of color and a dose of cozy.

Tea Accessories

Teaware You Need This Fall

December 12, 2017

Sip your way to a better fall with these autumn teapots, mugs, and coasters!

 

TEAPOTS

This porcelain teapot from William Ashley will help you get in the fall spirit with its elegant fall foliage pattern and a minimalist design won’t overwhelm. The teapot retails for $99 and is dishwasher and microwave safe.

This porcelain, pumpkin-shaped teapot from Sweese holds 28 ounces and is on sale for $18.99.  Available in white or pink, it’s a simple, classic way to put a little fall in your kitchen.

Quite the opposite, this teapot from Maryland China aggressively screams “fall” with its bright orange hue, pumpkin shape, green vines, and yellow blossoms. The teapot holds 36 ounces and is both dishwasher and microwave safe. It can be yours for $29.95

MUGS

These autumn mugs from Mary Elizabeth Arts are not only fall-themed, but can be customized to put you and your love’s initials on the tree! Two cermamic, hand-made mugs can be yours for $85. And if you want mugs for you and your better half for every season, you can change the leaves on the tree to summer leaves, spring blossoms, or winter snow! Great gift idea for your significant other.

This pumpkin mug from Sur La Table will bring pumpkin to tea time all season. Each earthenware mug holds 14 ounces and goes for $10.

What better way to wake up your sweetheart than with a spot of tea in this mug? Each vinyl mug holds 12 ounces and can feature either an orange background with white text or a white background with orange text. Each handmade mug retails for $11.99.

These travel mugs from Anthropologie will get you and your tea in the mood for fall. Each mug goes for $18 and is the perfect accessory to complete your fall ensemble while you’re on the go.

These mugs from Mugsby are a perfect set for you and your BFF. A set of 11-ounce mugs go for $24, and a set of 15-ounce mugs go for $28. Your friendship? Priceless.

These travel mugs from Red Bubble exude call with their brightly colored fall foliage patterns. Each retails for $25 and holds 15 ounces.

COASTERS

 

These stone coasters from Piper Lea Boutique are the perfect way to class up any autumn table setting. Made natural stone tile, each coaster measures 4×4 inches, is handmade, and features an autumn harvest image. Lacquer has been coated on the top to protect the image, and cork has been adhered to the bottom to protect any surface these coasters adorn. Four coasters are yours for $22.

These maple leaf coasters from Houzz are a tasteful way to add fall spirit to your dining table. Made from clay, each coaster measures 6×5 inches and measures half a pound—hefty! Each also has a wire stand, turning the coaster into a display piece when not in use. A set of 4 retails for $19.95.

These pumpkin-shaped coasters from Macy’s are on sale for $23.99 (regularly $39!). Each coaster in the 4-pack measures 4.5×4 inches and is made from a combination of marble and acacia wood. These elegant pumpkins will add a gorgeous accent to any dining or side table.

 

Tea Accessories

Spooky Tea Accessories for Halloween

December 12, 2017

Halloween is coming, and costumers aren’t the only way you can get in the holiday spirit. Consider adding these ghoulish tea accessories to your kitchen to make this Halloween extra festive.

COASTERS

 These floral skull coasters from The Leaky Paint Pot will make your next tea time beautifully frightening. Made from stone and cork, these coasters come in sets of 2 for $13.50 and 4 for $23.

These spider web coasters are the perfect place to rest your mug of hot tea this Halloween. Each coaster measures 4×4 and is made from natural stone tile. Cork has been adhered to the bottom to protect any surface you lay the coaster one. Snatch a set of 4 for $22.

Snag this set of 6 Halloween coasters from Miller Custom Solution for $10. Each cork coaster measures 4 inches in diameter and is ¼ inch thick.

MUGS

This magical mug from Papyrus is the perfect accessory to anyone dressing up as a witch or wizard this Halloween. And with all the health benefits associated with tea, it deserves to be considered a magic potion. Drink your own potion out of this 20-ounce ceramic mug this year. It retails for $16.95.

This ghostly mug from Crate & Barrel is a great way to enjoy your tea this season. The vibrant orange color and ghost pattern will get you in the Halloween spirit, and the low price will make you downright giddy: this 16-ounce porcelain mug is on sale for just $4.77!

For all the Starbucks junkies out there, this spooky version of the Starbucks mascot is the perfect mug from which to sip your tea this Halloween season. These vibrant mugs hold 14 ounces of tea and go for $11.99.

This handmade glass mug is a beautiful way to nurse a cuppa this Halloween season. Made from high quality glass and painted by hand, each mug holds 11 ounces of liquid and you can add a name, phrase, or initials for free. At $25, this unique mug is a quality steal.

This travel mug from World Market brings the colorful world of Dia de los Muertos to tea time. The cup is made from stoneware and the lid id made from silicone. Retailing for $8.99, this mug holds 16 ounces.

This black skull travel mug from Red Bubble holds 15 ounces and can be yours for $23.95. Made from insulated stainless steel with removable lid, it’s the perfect way to embrace your Halloween spirit while you’re on the go.

SKULL TEAPOTS

This skull-shaped teapot from Blue Sky Ceramics makes a wonderfully macabre addition to any kitchen. The teapot weights 1.5 pounds and costs $44.99.

This teapot from WW Ceramics UK offers a more avant garde version of the skeleton teapot. Hand painted, glazed, and fired, this teapot holds about 6 cups of tea and the color can be customized. It’s yours for $33.04.

Bonus: TEA BAG HOLDER

Harry Potter fans know that “Accio” is the summoning spell. Well, this adorable teapot-shaped tea bag holder is summoning your tea bags. Gift this to the Potterhead in your life who’s dressing up as Harry or Hermione this year, or treat your self. Handmade and ceramic, it retails for just $8.00.

 

Happy Halloween!

Tea Accessories

Winter Tea Accessories

November 13, 2017

Winter is coming.  For some, it’s already here.  This season, add some seasonal teaware to your collection as a festive way to brighten up these dark, cold months.  From mugs and teapots to coasters and infusers,  the market is full of on-trend, on-season accessories to give teatime a special aura this winter.

MUGS

1. Winter Cardinals

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This set of mugs from Macy’s beautifully depicts a white winter scene accented by a small red cardinal. The mugs are porcelain and safe to go in the dishwasher and microwave. Normally retailed for $40, this set of 4 is on sale for $19.99. It may be cold outside, but as you sip tea from these striking mugs, you’ll feel totally toasty.

2. Winter MooseB00OGRBL0Q.01-A15D024ANKT1KE.PT01._SX1500_SCRMZZZZZZZ_V323880123_large.jpegThis mug from Stash Tea comes in a lovely matching gift box, making it a great gift to yourself or a loved one this season. Made from porcelain, it holds 14 ounces and is both dishwasher and microwave safe. It’s yours for $13.95

3. Fun Phrases

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These mugs from Love Leaf Design come in three colors: white, burgundy, and black. Pick one of three festive phrases, or customize a mug with your own winter catchphrase. Each mug goes for $8, and hand washing is recommended.

4. Hello Winter

il_570xN.1334557658_jnt3.jpg

This glass mug from Love in the City Shop is a sparkly way to sip a cup of tea this winter. You can customize both the color of the text and the color of the glitter. The mug holds 13 ounces and is priced at $17.50.

COASTERS

1. Snowflakes on Wood

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These coasters from Twine and Braids come in a set of 4 for $20. Handmade from start to finish, these 4×4 inch, unique coasters will set the stage for many a cozy tea time on a blustering day.

2. On Dancer, On Prancer…

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These handmade coasters from Jens Scraps measure 3.5 x 3.5 inches, and are made from stone tile and a cork backing. They each depict a stately reindeer, the unofficial animal of winter. A set of 4 retails for $24.

3. Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose…

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These gorgeous coasters from Maggies Crafties are made from wood and then painted with acrylic paint. Each handmade piece is finished with a polyurethane varnish, making it safe for hot and cold cuppas. A set of 4 can be yours for $23.64.

INFUSERS

1. Red Mittens Infuser

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This adorable infuser is shaped like a pair of mittens. Made from silicone, this fetching accessory goes for just $12.99 and will bring a dose of cuteness to every cuppa.

2. Snowflake Infuser 

These infusers from Nice Tea Solutions make it look like there’s a snowflake stirring your tea. The set comes with three infusers in white, silver, and blue and is currently available on ebay for just under $23.

SERVING TRAYS 

1. Winter White Serving Platter8552972_fpx.tif.jpg

This serving platter designed by Martha Stewart for Macy’s brings elegance and winter whimsy to tea time. Use this tray at your tea party this winter to serve sandwiches or cookies that complement the brew on hand. Regularly priced at $74, this item is on sale for $28.99.

2. Reclaimed Wood Serving Tray 

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This stunning serving tray from Straw Mattress is made from reclaimed wood and retails for $44.99. On the tray is hand painted a lovely winter tree. The tray has handles on each side, measures 22 x 15 inches, and weighs 6 pounds.

Tea Accessories

Everything You Need For a Super Cute Kids’ Tea Party

August 15, 2017

So your little boy or girl wants to have a tea party… Great! A childhood pastime, the tea party is an easy way to introduce some sophistication into your tiny tots’ life. If you want to get a little fancy with this affair, we’re here to help. We’ve sourced some great options for you to take this kids’ tea party from basic to bangin’. Get ready for cuteness overload:

INVITATIONS 

Set the tone for a cute tea party with the invites. Consider these adorable invitations:

1) Easy Fill In Invitations

M&H tea party invitations

These colorful invitations from M&H Invites come in a pack of 20. Each is 4×6 and made from heavy weight matte card stock, and the fill-in-the-blank option makes it customizable for anyone.

2) Victorian High Tea Party Invitation

Victorian High Tea Party Invitation 

If you want to keep it cute and classy, opt for these Victorian saucer-shaped invites. The front teases “You’re Invited” and the back features details for your soiree.

3) Teapot-Shaped Invites

Teapot-Shaped InvitesThese invitations from Tea For You will get guests in the mood for a tea-party the second they open the envelope.

DECOR & ACCESSORIES 

1) Tea Party Decals

Tea Party Decals

Decorate your walls temporarily with these tea-themed decals from Art Appeel. Your kids will love getting to stick things on the walls, and you’ll love that they can come right off!

2) Teapot CenterpieceTeapot Centerpiece

Stay on-theme with this sweet Tea Time Honeycomb centerpiece from Target.

3) Tea Party Flower Hats

Tea Party Flower Hats

Help the children get in the tea party spirit by donning these fun hats from Cutie Collections. Available in matching colors or a variety, they’ll bring color and class to the event. If your child likes to get really fancy, consider adding white gloves to the outfit.

4) Mad Tea Party Photobooth Props

Mad Tea Party Photobooth Props

 Have a little photo fun with these Alice in Wonderland-inspired tea party props. This set includes 13 cardstock and plastic props, including teapots, top hats, and clocks. Perfect for the Instagram-loving parents in attendance.

PARTY ACTIVITIES 

While grown-ups may be content to sip tea and talk for hours, a kids’ tea party will be a disaster if you don’t have some funtivities to keep the children occupied. Consider these activities for some structured fun:

1) Personalized Coloring Books

Personalized Coloring Books

These coloring books from Frecklebox are personalized to include the host and guests’ names. 20 pages each, children will enjoy sipping on tea while coloring in rhyming pages about the event.

Keep things interesting—and cute!—by offering children these teapot-shaped crayons from Red Elm Designs to go with their coloring books:

teapot-shaped crayons

2) Activity PlacematsActivity Placemats

Keep kids engaged with these placemats. They’ll have fun playing tic-tac-toe with each other, decorating a tea party scene, and showing off their matching skills, all in one convenient place.

3) DIY Party CupsDIY Party Cups

Kids will love decorating these paper cups from Creative Converting. Added grown-up bonus: no dishes to wash!

And last but not least…

THE TEA

Choose a tea that tastes great and has no caffeine to keep your kids’ taste buds happy and their bodies healthy:

1) Chocolate Peppermint Tea
Chocolate Peppermint Tea

A wonderful combination for palates young and old, chocolate and mint go together like PB&J. This herbal dessert tea from Stash Tea will delight young party-goers and their chaperones.

2) Cinnamon Apple Spice

 Cinnamon Apple Spice

Kids will love this tea from Celestial Seasons that tastes like apple pie. Caffeine-free, it’s a safe, tasty treat that’s perfect for any tea party.

3) Orange & Spice Orange & Spice

This herbal tea from Bigelow will satisfy children with its notes of orange and roasted hickory.

 

Tea Accessories

Innovative or Just Plain Weird? Tea Products That Run the Gamut

July 18, 2017

Necessity is the mother of invention. But did we ever really need these tea products? You be the judge! Measure these 3 tea products on your innovation ruler:

1) Aerosol Tea

Aerosol Tea

No More Tea BagsThis liquid tea spray from UK company No More Tea Bags is trying to decrease a major world problem: waste. Tea bags and wrappers certainly aren’t helping our global trash problem… In the United Kingdom, 370,000 tons of teabags are thrown away each year. To cut down on rubbish, No More Tea Bags developed this aerosol tea spray that you simply squirt into hot water, then drink. (Check out this video from Reuters to see how it’s done.)

No More Tea Bags claims the product boasts two user-friendly advantages: 1) You don’t have to worry about under or over-brewing tea—it comes perfectly brewed, which also means no waiting, and, 2) You can control the strength of your tea by spraying more or less into your cuppa.

Committed to environmental responsibility, No More Tea Bags composts all the tea leaves it uses in production for use on its organic farm. The company also says that while aerosol has a bad rap, it uses on-trend nitrogen in its can and produces no CFCs (aka ozone hole culprits). The tea’s storage also means that it cannot be contaminated in any way—no pesky oxidation that corrupts the tea’s intended flavor or lifespan.

Each can makes about 20 cups of tea and comes in three flavors: English Breakfast, Jasmine, and Earl Grey.

But how does it taste?

According to the Huffington Post, not bad:

“Initial reviews of No More Tea Bags in The Huffington Post UK office ranged from apathy (coffee drinkers) to complete unwillingness to acknowledge it’s existence. The general consensus is that it tastes better than it looks (horrendous) and smells when you first squirt into the cup, and the Earl Grey variety proved the most popular.”

Bottom Line: if you’re the kind of impatient person who squirts whipped cream directly into your mouth, this is the tea of your dreams.

 2) Tea Wine

Drinking adult beverage often means introducing your body to all sorts of artificial flavors and ingredients. Wanting to give the drinking experience a healthy makeover, Washington, DC entrepreneur James Henry decided to produce wine with just three ingredients: organic green tea, organic honey, and white wine. The result is TEAVINE, which has been on the market since March 2013. The beverage is slightly carbonated and has a 6.5% alcohol content. You can find it at stores in DC, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Montana, Missouri, Illinois, and Ontario, Canada.

Billed as “Divine Libation for Any Occasion,” does the product live up to its tagline?

According to reviewers on Untappd, it’s alright: it has a 3.35/5 rating based on 10 reviews.

Bottom Line: If you’re a health nut, this wine tea is worth a try!

3) Fresh Leaf Tea

Tea is rich is antioxidants, but its antioxidant levels decrease during processing. Wanting to capitalize on the most disease-fighting antioxidants ever present when tea is first picked, Millennia Tea was born. The producers start with raw, natural tea leaves. Within hours of being picked, they’re washed and flash frozen, and then packaged as loose leaf tea. Add boiling water and you’re done. After operating a booth at the World Tea Expo, Millennia Tea is launching with limited sales this summer, so be on the lookout or email info@millenniatea.com to suggest a shop that you think should carry the product.

How has this new product been received so far?

According to consumer testimonials, Millennia Tea is a “standout product,” “very earthy and spring-like,” refreshing,” and “shockingly delicious.”

The Bottom Line: Go fresh and see if it’s best.

Tea Accessories

How to Organize Your Tea Habit

May 30, 2017

Drinking tea is an easy, simple way to promote health and relaxation. But if you’re a tea junkie, your pantry may be cluttered with disorganized tea packages. Worse, your brain may feel like it’s full of cobwebs thanks to the many specific tea brewing processes you prefer for individual teas. Luckily, there are ways to organize everything about your tea habit, both physical and mental. Read on to make this part of your life as ordered as possible:

PHYSICAL

THE PANTRY

When it comes to your pantry, it always seems like there’s not enough space. Pastas collide with pretzels and cans compete for shelf space with jars. Luckily, you can easily create space by throwing out the box your tea bags came in. Take out individual tea bags and then organize them by type of tea, caffeine level, shape, or even alphabetically.

Here’s some products that can help your cabinets be their best selves:

1) Rectangular Tea Boxes

Rectangular Tea Boxes
There are many rectangular tea organizers on the market. They’re a good choice if you need things in your pantry to stack well, or you want your tea to fit into a corner.  The YouCopia TeaStand from the Container Store can hold up to 100 individual tea bags in its 12 removable, dishwasher-safe bins. It’s a skinny product, so it won’t take up too much pantry real estate, and the Lipper Bamboo & Acrylic 5-Section Tea Box sold at Targetdesign makes it easy to see all your choices. Mind Reader Royce Wood Tea Bag And Accessories Holder

Other options include the Lipper Bamboo & Acrylic 5-Section Tea Box sold at Target (right) and the Mind Reader Royce Wood Tea Bag And Accessories Holder (left), also sold at Target.  To make your own organizer, repurpose a tupperware container or small cardboard box and line with tea bags as desired.

2) Circular Tea Organizers

We know–when you think circular storage box, you’re picturing lots of tea bags mashed up chaotically against one another.  But there can be order inside a circular box!  Arrange tea bags vertically, like this:

Circular Tea Organizers

Washi Sashi Tea Storage Tin from the Art of TeaAbove is the Rosti 8-inch round tea box, which can hold 60 tea bags in its 6 compartments.  For an easy DIY option, repurpose a vegetable tray and do the same thing.  Or, opt for a beautiful circular container like the Washi Sashi Tea Storage Tin from the Art of Tea (right), wrapped in washi, traditional hand-made Japanese paper.

 

3) Hanging Tea Organizers

For an ultimate space saver, store your teabags in a repurposed hanging jewelry organizer and hang it inside your pantry door, like Pinterest user Paula Monnat did.

Wrote Monnat, “I used a hanging jewelry organizer as a cute, inexpensive and space saving way to organize my tea bags. The small pockets are the perfect size for standard individually wrapped tea bags. The large pockets at the bottom hold plastic baggies with the unwrapped tea bags. Best of all, it is double sided! I filled one side with my herbal teas, and the other with my black and green teas. It hangs from a hook on the inside of my pantry door.”  Consider this jewelry organizer from Bed, Bath, & Beyond or this one from JOANN.

MENTAL

BREWING METHODS

Extreme tea buffs need a way to organize all the processes they prefer for brewing different types of tea.  Luckily, we live in the golden age of technology, with a myriad of online tools that can sort all the information in your brain into neat rows and columns.

1) AirTable

Some tea connoisseurs are turning to Air Table to bring order to their kitchens.  The company’s motto is “Organize anything, with anyone, from anywhere.” The platform takes spreadsheets to new heights.  According to their website, “Powerful filtering, sorting, and grouping give you the freedom to arrange your work just the way you like. Choose the right views for your content, and save them for easy access any time.” It’s so much more than just grids and data entry. Reference these posts as a way to use AirTable to organize your tea brewing preferences:

2) Google Docs – Spreadsheets

Of course, there’s a reason Google Docs are so ubiquitous: they’re simple and easy to access anywhere with an internet connection.  If you’re not a tech maestro, use a google spreadsheet to plainly organize your favorite teas’ brewing methods.

Google Docs – Spreadsheets

3) Smartsheet

Smartsheet provides grids that look like standard spreadsheets, but they’re capable of so much more.  From compressing and expanding to including images and video, Smartsheet adds brainpower to any spreadsheet.  Use the service to organize your tea brewing research and preferences.

Tea Accessories

Tea Infusers: Decoding Your Options

May 9, 2017

So you have some loose leaf tea and you’re ready to enjoy a flavorful cuppa.  Good choice: generally speaking, loose leaf tea provides a richer flavor than tea bags.  Why?  As Serious Eats explains, loose leaf tea grows by 2 or 5 times in size when it makes contact with water, unleashing lots of flavor.  This means that the tea leaves need enough room to unfurl and interact with the water, so you’ll need an infusing method that gives the leaves room to breathe.  There are plenty of infusers, and we’re here to give you the skinny on different methods for you’re sipping solo or en masse:

Single Cup Infusing Options

Enjoying a cup of tea by yourself?  Consider these infusers.

 

1) Tea Ball

tea ball infuser

A tea ball, like this stainless steal one from Stash Tea, is exactly what it sounds like: a perforated ball into which you place loose leaf tea, often accompanied by a chain. Pull the chain to remove the ball once your tea’s steeped and you’re ready to enjoy.  At 2 inches wide, tea balls like this one are great for individual cups of tea.

2) Tea Infuser Basket

Tea Infuser Basket

An infuser basket, like this one from Rishi Tea, is another great single-cup solution.  Infuser baskets provide more depth than tea balls, giving your tea leaves more room to expand and unleash all their flavor.  This particular infuser basket contains a top that can double as a coaster for your tea basket, eliminating mess.

3) Tea Stick

Tea Stick infuser

For a sleek and skinny infuser option, choose a tea stick like this one from Pinky Up.  The stick format provides an easy way to stir, as it’s basically a spoon and infuser in one.

Large Scale Infusing Options

If you’re brewing for a group, try one of these higher-volume options.

1) Gaiwan

A gaiwan is a traditional Chinese bowl with a lid that is used to prepare tea. Simply put your tea leaves inside the bowl and add hot water. When you’re ready to pour the tea into individual cups, use the lid as a barrier between the leaves and the cup. Buy a large gaiwan like this one from The Tao of Tea to serve a group.

2) Kyusu

Kyusu tea infuser

A kyusu is a traditional ceramic Japanese teapot. Many kususus on the market today include a mesh filter at the base of the spout, preventing any leaves from falling into your cup as you pour. This kyusu from Hibiki-An holds about 13 ounces and is perfect for a small tea party of 3 people.

3) Modern Teapots With Built-In Infusers

Modern Teapots With Built-In Infusers

Some teapots come with infusers so that you can easily brew tea for a large group, like this one from Crate & Barrel.  Put your tea leaves into the infuser, add boiling water, and watch through the clear glass as your tea’s flavor and color seeps  into the body of the teapot.

4) Use a French Press

French Press tea infuser

You can easily use a french press to make lots of loose leaf tea, like this 51-ounce Bodum french press.  Simply add your tea leaves and hot water to the container and steep.  Once steeped, use the plunger to push the tea leaves to the bottom of the container and pour.  Check out this video from World of Tea Infusers to see how it’s done:

DIY Options

Don’t have an infuser or don’t want to spend the dough on one? Have no fear; you can still enjoy your loose leaf tea by making your own infuser. Here’s a couple do-it-yourself options:

1) Tin Foil Infuser

Tin Foil InfuserOpen your cabinet and pull out a 1-square foot sheet of tin foil to make this infuser. Fold the tin foil twice, then pour tea leaves in the center. Pinch the corners above the leaves to create a little ball around the leaves. You’ll have some tin foil left over, which will function as a handle. Poke 10-12 holes in the ball, and you’re ready to put this bad boy in a hot cup of water.

2) Repurposed Cheese Cloth

If you have a cheesecloth, you can easily prepare loose leaf tea, as described by Save Spend Splurge. Simply place your cheesecloth over a mug, and top it with your tea leaves and hot water. The flavors of the tea will seep through the cheesecloth while the leaves themselves remain on the cloth. Once the tea’s steeped, you can also squeeze the cloth to add every last drop of flavor to your tea.

Tea Accessories

Teaware You Need This Spring

April 27, 2017

Spring has sprung! As you usher in warmer weather, it’s time to update your teaware collection with cups, saucers, and teapots that reflect this season of rebirth and beauty.  Here are six items to bring your tea habit into spring:

1) These Cherry Blossom Teacups

Japense-made teacups from Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen

This set of Japense-made teacups from Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen celebrates the cherry blossoms that bloom every spring in Japan. Pink blossoms—known individually as sakura— spring from the south of the country to the north every year.  Each of these teacups can hold 5 ounces of liquid, perfect for sipping Japanese green tea or for use in your own Japanese tea ceremony. Cherry blossom viewing—aka Hanami—is very important to Japanese culture. Every spring, you’ll see many people taking a break from their hectic lives to enjoy a picnic under these trees. Because the blossoms only last a short while, hanami is seen as a metaphor for the “ephemeral beauty of living.” With that in mind, fill these cherry blossom cups with you favorite tea and take a break from your hectic life to appreciate the beauty of life.

 2) This Bird Teapot

Pier 1 Bird Teapot This teapot from Pier 1 includes two 3-D birds to celebrate the spring migration of birds in North America. According to The National Wildlife Federation, some birds begin moving north as early as February, and most have migrated by early June. Songbirds that spent the winter in the tropics typically migrate in April and May, so keep your ears peeled. This hand-painted, porcelain teapot holds 44 ounces and is perfect for the birdwatcher in your life.

3) These Umbrella Infusers

umbrella infusers

“April showers bring May flowers.” If you’re stuck in the “showers” part of that adage, these adorable silicone umbrella infusers are perfect for you. The umbrella hooks right onto your teacup, they’re dishwasher safe, and they’re yours for only 99 cents!

4) This Almond Flower Teacup, Saucer, and Spoon Bloomingdale’s Franz Collection teacup, saucer, and spoon

This teacup, saucer, and spoon from Bloomingdales Franz Collection brings Vincent Van Gogh’s 1890 painting “Almond Blossoms” right into your kitchen.

Van Gogh Museum painting

According to the Van Gogh Museum, because almond trees bloom in the early spring, they’re a symbol of rebirth. Inspired by Japanese printmaking, Van Gogh painted this piece as a gift for his brother to congratulate him on the birth of his son. This romantic teacup and accompanying saucer and spoon is a great gift for the mom or dad-to-be in your life, or for any tea lover who could use a beautiful teacup to remind her of the joys that spring brings.

5) This Red Floral Infuser Mug

Teavana Red Floral Infuser MugThis striking mug from Teavana screams spring with its bold floral pattern that will catch the eye and have you sipping in style. It comes with a removable stainless steel infuser basket if you’re in the mood for loose leaf on the go and a lid that can pull double duty as a coaster once you’ve reached your destination. Versatile, dishwasher safe, and fashionable, this mug is a triple threat.

6) Any of These Pugg Teapots and InfusersPugg Teapots and Infusers

These teapots from Tea Forte come in the perfect spring patterns. From solid pistachio or orchid white to spring blades of grass, cherry blossom, poppy fields, or a lotus, these designs perfectly capture the beauty of spring. Each holds 24 ounces, can go in the dishwasher, and includes a stainless steel infusing basket.

Happy Spring!

Tea Accessories

Green Tea Sunscreens for Spring and Summer

April 8, 2017

The sun’s coming out, so it’s time to lather on the sunscreen. Green tea is a natural sunscreen, so tea lovers can work with their favorite tea leaves to stay safe in the sun. According to a report in the Scholars Academic Journal of Pharmacy titled Natural Sunscreen Agents: A Review, topical green tea extract “significantly increased the minimal erythema dosage of UV on healthy human skin and reduced signs of UV damage on that skin.” Translation: green tea is a natural foe to sunburn.

If you have a kid in your life, you know how hard it is to get them to sit still while you rub sunscreen all over their skin. Suggestion: make your own green tea sunscreen with your kids. That way, when it’s time to prepare for the sun’s harsh rays, your little one will be excited to put on sunscreen he made, taking pride in his work. If all you have to worry about is protecting your own skin and aren’t up for making some yourself, pick up one of many green tea sunscreens available on the market.

Whether you’d prefer to roll up your sleeves in the kitchen or swipe your debit card at the supermarket, here are several green tea sunscreens for your consideration:

1) DIY Green Tea-Infused Sunscreen

DIY Green Tea-Infused Sunscreen

This sunscreen recipe from Hello Glow brings together green tea, zinc oxide, and natural oils and butters for a homemade cream that will keep your skin healthy and happy. This homemade sunscreen builds on the natural sun-shielding properties of green tea by combining green tea extract with beeswax, red raspberry seed oil, shea butter, non nano and uncoated zinc oxide, Vitamin E oil, and carrot seed oil. Per Natural Sunscreen Agents: A Review, shea butter “enhances skin cell regeneration and promote[s] blood circulation” while also providing “vital protection against harmful UV rays.” The report also says that carrot seed oil provides “natural sun protection,” citing a 2009 study that concluded “products containing carrot seed oil have a natural SPF of 38 and 40.” Bottom line: this recipe’s full of natural elements that protect you from the sun.

2) Pure Green Tea Oil Free Hydration SPF 30Pure Green Tea Oil Free Hydration SPF 30

This SPF 30 sunscreen from 100% Pure targets people with oily skin to both moisturize and protect skin from the sun. It’s lightweight and protects against both UVA (ultra violet aging) and UVB (ultra violet burning) rays.

3) Hawaiian Natural SPF 45 Revitalizing Green Tea Sunblock

Hawaiian Natural SPF 45 Revitalizing Green Tea Sunblock

This sunblock from Alba Botanica contains only vegetarian ingredients such as green tea, aloe vera, and sunflower seed oil. Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, it’s water-resistant, non-greasy, and made in the USA.

4) Banana Boat Green Tea Deep Tanning Sunscreen

Banana Boat Green Tea Deep Tanning Sunscreen

If you’re hoping for a great tan but still want some sun protection, this lotion from Banana Boat is a very low SPF 8 and contains green tea extract. It smells like banana coconut rum (yum!), and has been fortified with antioxidants.

BONUS:

5) After-Sun Green Tea Spray

After-Sun Green Tea Spray

If you got caught in the sun without sunscreen or just want a refreshing post-sun spritz, this DIY recipe from The Tea Cup of Life is here to soothe your skin. The recipe calls for green tea, hot water, witch hazel, and aloe vera. Simply combine in a spray bottle, refrigerate, and then spray.