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Tea Guides

Top 7 Teapots You Can Enjoy All Year Long (Buying Guide)

December 15, 2021

The holidays are upon us ⸺ and that means ‘tis the season to cozy up with your favorite cup of tea and enjoy the simpler moments of the season. Teapots can make the perfect gift for a tea lover in your life (or you…but we won’t tell anyone!) With so many options available, it can feel impossible to decide which is the best pot for your use. We’ve made it simple and evaluated the top options on the market, creating a top 10 list that you can refer to for all of your gifting needs this holiday season…and beyond. In this article, we cover 10 of the top teapot options that you can purchase for a tea aficionado in your life. 

What To Consider When Purchasing Your Teapot 

When you purchase your teapot, there are a variety of factors that you may consider prior to deciding. For example, you’ll want a teapot that appeals to your unique design aesthetic, and you’ll want a reliable vessel that can withstand the test of time even against repeated use and heat. Other factors that may contribute to your decision include: 

  • Location of manufacturer 
  • Accessories affiliated 
  • Material used 
  • Capacity 

No matter what your preferences are for your next teapot purchase, you can rest assured that there is a design and type for you to enjoy. The market offers thousands of different pots that you can enjoy and incorporate into your daily tea routine. 

Top Tier Cast Iron Japanese Style Teapot (Diamond Design) 

This pot offers a modern-day upgrade to your kitchen’s aesthetic and has a boiling capacity of 24 fluid ounces, which is approximately 3-4 cups of perfectly brewed tea. The cast-iron design offers the additional benefits of heat retention and the addition of iron into the water, which can act as a nutritional benefit and supplement to your body’s ability to absorb and utilize the element effectively. 

The teapot features an included infuser that is ideal for all tea types: loose-leaf, bagged teas, or blooming teas. It is easy to clean and can be cleaned with soap and water without damaging the pot. The geometric and minimalist design can easily add an air of sophistication to your kitchen.

Primula Half-Moon Teapot and Infuser Set 

This teapot and infuser set features a unique design that is sure to catch the eye of your fellow tea lover! The half-moon design comes in a complementary color triad, including blush, teal, and slate gray. The other half of the pot is crafted from heat-resistant borosilicate glass that lends itself to ultimate durability and longevity. The easy-to-grip handle makes every pour a breeze and is also treated to be heat-resistant, stopping injuries in their tracks. The design and esthetic make this the perfect gift for any tea fan in your life. 

Grosche Aberdeen Perfect Tea Maker Tea Pot + Coaster Set 

This set offers a more unconventional design, inviting the user to a bottom dispensing tea pour experience. This tea maker has an easy-to-clean design and is the perfect thing to start your tea drinking journey with, offering you the versatile capability of bagged brewing or loose-leaf brewing. It is considered to be shatterproof and features a BPA-free plastic construction that is easy to use and simpler to maintain than other brewers. 

T2 Tea Stainless Steel Flask Brewer 

This flask brewing system allows users to enjoy a unique tea brewing experience that gives the drinkers the ability to brew on the go ⸺  something rarely found in loose-leaf brewing systems. The flask is designed to be completely leakproof, and can effectively brew both cold tea and hot teas. This brewer is crafted from insulated stainless steel, preserving the taste and quality of your tea without compromising any of its temperatures no matter what environment you find yourself in. If you know a tea drinker who loves going on adventures, or camping, this is the ideal gift for them. 

Ceramic Tea Infuser Mug With Lid (16 Ounces) 

This tea infuser mug offers your loved one the gift of ease and versatility. The capacity allows for the perfect cup of tea that you can brew on the go, and enjoy for longer periods of time thanks to the insulated design. The cup is dishwasher safe and is safe for a variety of other use cases. To use for coffee, tea, water, cereal, or more, simply remove the infuser component of the cup. The handle is ergonomically designed and all elements used in the construction of the cup are lead and cadmium-free. This is perfect for a tea lover in your life who is always on the go! 

Home Craft Stainless Steel Iced Tea System 

Iced tea lovers… this one is for you! The Home Craft stainless steel iced tea system has a three-quart capacity and a proprietary filter design that is meant to extract the most vibrant, deep flavors possible from your blends. You can utilize the strength selector dial to enjoy the perfect cup of tea, every time. The energy-efficient model is set to shut off upon brew completion, so you never have to worry or wonder about prolonged use dangers or costs. 

Primula Press & Go Portable Tea Strainer

This tea strainer is constructed from high-quality Tritan plastic and features a double-walled design that enhances the ability of the brewer to hold temperatures for a longer period of time. You can also enjoy the spillproof design and sleek, easy-to-use handle and construction that can elevate your tea time with every sip. 

Tea History & Culture

Tea Holidays to Celebrate All Year Long

February 11, 2022

Tea, for many of us, is a beverage that we celebrate in our everyday life. As tea lovers, most of us don’t need a holiday to drink our favorite cup. It’s just part of our routine! But, when there is a holiday, it makes drinking tea that much more special. It’s amazing to feel connected to people around the world celebrating the drink we love most together. Wether you are a hot tea, iced tea, matcha or chai lover, there is a day for you! Let’s jump right into it.

Save this image on your phone for whenever you need a reminder of when the next holiday is!

Now, you may be asking yourself, how do I celebrate?

Here is a list of ways you can celebrate:

  1. Try a new tea and learn the history of it. There are over 3,000 tea out there to try! Every tea has a unique story to be told.
  2. Shop small. When you support small businesses, you are supporting someones dream. It can be as simple as leaving a review if you had a good experience or shouting them out on media platforms!
  3. Prepare. There are many specific holidays that may include preparation. For example, if you are wanting to celebrate National Iced Tea day, prepare the tea the day before so on June 10th, you will be ready to go! Or, if you are excited to celebrate National Matcha Day, make sure you have all that is required to make an authentic matcha including the powder, scoop and whisk.
  4. Invite a friend over. There is nothing more special than sharing something you care about with a person you care about! Invite a friend over to enjoy that magic of tea, together.

Celebrating Tea in History

Over 5,000 years ago, the Chinese discovered that boiling leaves from the Camellia sinensis could make a delicious and refreshing beverage. This discovery led to all of the beautiful varieties of tea we have today. Over the intervening centuries, tea has been a focal point in many different kinds of celebrations. One of the most recognizable events is the Chinese tea ceremony. Chinese New Year (also called Lunar New Year) is one of the most common times of the year for families to participate in the Chinese tea ceremony. Gestures of respect and gratitude are the hallmarks of the tea ceremony. 

The ceremony begins with the teapots. Traditional Chinese tea ceremony teapots are made from special clay that is never washed or touched by metal spoons. Years of use coats the teapot in the tea oils and enhances the flavor of every subsequent cup. Since teas produce a variety of oils and flavors, different kinds of teas have different pots. Before pouring in the water, loose-leaf tea is put into the clay pot, filling it about a 1/4th full. A larger teapot is used to heat water on the stove, and the water is then poured into the clay teapot. After only a few seconds, small teacups are filled with water from the clay teapot. This water is then poured back over the clay teapot, coating it in warm water and oils from the tea leaves. This process is repeated a few more times with more wait time between filling the clay teapot with warm water and pouring that mixture into the small cups. After this process has been repeated a few times, the server will kneel in front of the one being honored. The honoree is typically an elder or someone of high standing. Serving and receiving the tea is done with both hands, as the teacup is placed on a smallholder made of wood, bamboo, or lacquer. Once the receiver has taken a sip of the tea, favorable phrases are spoken by the server. The receiver then traditionally hands the server a red envelope that contains a gift, usually money. 

Before the 1830s, holiday celebrations in England were known for having wine and ale in excess. A countermovement started to try and sober up some of the holiday celebrations by introducing spiced black tea. This unique mixture was called “wassail,” after the spiced German ale. The base for this warm, spicy drink was usually black tea. All kinds of spices and dried fruits could be mixed in to give it incredible flavors, but the most common were ginger, cinnamon, and orange peels. Great Tea Parties were orchestrated with cheap tickets available for everyone to attend, and these events grew to be more popular than the alcohol-related celebrations. Singing groups with fresh, hot wassail would go from neighborhood to neighborhood to share the beverage and spread holiday sheer through songs. Creating a celebration around the drinking and sharing of tea eventually grew into the practice of afternoon tea.

In Russia, the Orthodox Church incorporated tea in their Christmas feast, which occurred in early January. They used Kissel (a wine-like beverage) for toasting and drank hot tea to stay warm. The upper class brewed black tea from China, while the lower classes steeped an array of herbal blends. Jewish families living in Russia or Eastern Europe created a Hanukkah ritual to embrace the holiday spirit and Jewish history. During the “Festival of Lights” celebration, a ceremony took place that involved soaking a sugar cube in brandy on a teaspoon and then lighting it on fire. While the brandy-soaked sugar cube burned, everyone would sing a holiday song. When the song concluded, everyone dropped their sugar cube into a tea glass and consumed the brew.  

Let us know if you plan on celebrating any of these tea holidays. For daily tea recipes, facts and more, follow us on Instagram @theteakitchen!

Tea Guides

The Tea Kitchen’s Loose Leaf Tea Brewing Guide

February 2, 2022

Making the switch from tea bags to loose leaf tea can feel intimidating at first but we promise it is easy and worth it! When you steep loose leaf tea, it has more room to expand and infuse the water with its many vitamins, minerals and aromas, resulting in a much stronger and flavorful drink. Whether you are a fan of earl grey or a herbal chamomile, we got you covered. We created an entire guide from what tools you need to how to steep the perfect tea every time. To brew the perfect cup of tea, you will need a few basics that you probably have laying around your kitchen right now!

About Tea

True teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The Camellia Sinensis plant can be found in Asian and African countries, but is primarily native to the Eastern regions of Asia. It grows in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Today, tea is grown and produced in every continent except Antarctica.

In order to achieve the flavor of a certain type of tea, there are different processes the leaves must undergo. The different cultivation types allow teas to develop different scents, aromas, flavors, and colors. Oxidation plays a huge role in this process.

The type of tea that requires the least amount of cultivation is White Tea and is typically a great tea to start with as it is the easiest to brew. The delicate aroma and flavor of white tea is achieved through picking young tea buds that are tightly enclosed in new tea leaves. Because of the lightness of white tea, it is often combined with floral notes to create a tasty infusion. Our White Peony Tea is a perfect example of this delicious combination.

Green tea has a quick turn around due to the lack of oxidation. Green tea leaves can be picked in the morning and served as tea the same evening. Because it does not undergo the oxidation process, green tea retains the chlorophyll and minerals from the plant and remains dark green as it produces a more astringent flavor. Green tea can be associated with various different health benefits including promoting brain function and cardiovascular health. To read more about the different benefits that come alongside green tea, read our post on the health benefits of green tea. Some of our favorite green teas to brew, including Chinese Sencha and Jasmine Special Grade Green, can be found in our online collection.

In contrast to green tea, Black Tea is oxidized which is how it earns the dark brown coloring. Following the oxidation of the tea leaves, they are fired in an oven to stop the process and allow the leaves to turn color. Black tea is generally stronger and more potent than the other types of tea. It is a common tea that can be used to make Southern Sweet Tea, and afternoon tea as the British tea tradition stands. One specific Black Tea that is commonly served at afternoon tea is Earl Grey tea.

Oolong tea undergoes partial oxidation allowing it to find its place in between black and green teas. It combines the astringent flavoring of green tea and the complexity of black tea. Oolong tea is rich in flavor and like any other tea, you can control the strength of your tea by the timing of each steep.

What you’ll need:

  • Loose leaf tea of choice. Picking out a quality leaf is crucial for the perfect cup of tea. Some easy tips to follow are: the larger the leaf, the higher the quality and the better the flavor; Smell the tea to make sure it hasn’t gone stale. Generally speaking, if it smells good it will taste good; For herbal teas, you want to focus on color and scent; if the herbs are faded or don’t have a fragrance, they are probably too old.
  • Electric kettle, stovetop kettle or pot. No worries if you don’t have a kettle lying around. You can easily use a pot that you have in your cupboard. Your trusty old French press is also perfect for brewing tea! Nothing special here; use the press like you always do and use tea leaves instead of coffee (just make sure to clean the press very well first so you don’t get any coffee flavors mixed with your tea). If you are interested in stepping up your tea game and are needing a new teapot, check out this blogpost for the best teapots.

    Tip: If you don’t have a thermometer laying around, use this rule of thumb: 180° F = bubbles form on the bottom of the pot, 195° F = the first bubbles begin to rise, 212° F = full rolling boil.
  • Tea infuser. If you do not have a tea infuser, you can use a kitchen strainer. If you do not have a kitchen strainer, you can place the tea leaves directly into the hot water for infusion. However, the tea prepared by this method will be harder to drink for someone not used to drinking this way because tiny bits of leave will float on the surface. You can avoid the tea leaves hitting your lips by blowing a bit in your cup.
  • Fresh water. Tea is made up of nearly 99% water. This primary ingredient definitely deserves some consideration! Using clean water will help with the best taste for your tea. Using water that has been in your kettle overnight may result in a stale tasting tea, and we definitely do not want that!

How to:

1. Pour fresh water into your tea kettle or pot and bring to appropriate temperature.

2. While waiting for water to boil, add the appropriate amount of loose leaf tea to your tea infuser. Place the tea infuser inside your teapot or mug. 

3. When the water reaches the desired temperature, pour it over the tea infuser into your mug or teapot. This will allow the water to circulate through the leaves.

4. Time your tea. Once the time is up, dunk the infuser a couple of times to circulate the water. Remove the infuser.

5. Serve in your favorite mug and enjoy your delicious cup of tea.

Brewing Guidelines:

Black Tea
If you like your black tea to be full bodied and rich, we recommend steeping it with boiling hot water. If you are looking for more of a caffeine kick, black tea with broken leaves will release caffeine more easily.
Teaspoons: 1 to 2
Brew time: 3 to 5 minutes
Temperature: 190 to 210 F

White Tea
White tea is usually quite forgiving when it comes to brewing. It is hard to over-brew and it shouldn’t get too bitter if you steep it at high temperatures. However, lower temperatures might give you a more nuanced brew, so this is a great opportunity to experiment and find out for yourself what you prefer!
Teaspoons: 2
Brew time: 3 to 4 minutes
Temperature: 170 to 180 F

Green Tea
Green tea is slightly more sensitive to temperature, especially with Japanese green tea. Make sure to keep your water temp lower so your tea does not come out bitter.
Teaspoons: 1 to 2
Brew time: 1 to 3 minutes
Temperature: 170 to 180 F

Oolong Tea
Oolongs vary significantly in the level of oxidation. Some lighter oolongs are much closer to green teas (you’ll recognize the low oxidation level by the green color of the dry leaves). Therefore, brewing these teas at a lower temperature might bring out some interesting notes and flavours. However, in general oolongs are quite forgiving and can be brewed with boiling water.
Teaspoons: 1 to 2
Brew time: 3 to 5 minutes
Temperature: 170 to 180 F

Herbal Tea
Unlike real types of tea such as green and white teas, herbal teas are much easier to brew. They also steep for longer, too!
Teaspoons: 1 to 2
Brew time: 3 to 5 minutes
Temperature: 190 to 210 F

Chai Tea
Chai tea’s base is black tea so, like above, if you like your cup full bodied, make with boiling hot water. If you are making this as a chai tea latte, using whole milk will bring ut all the richness in the spices (but all milks will do!)
Teaspoons: 1 to 2
Brew time: 4 to 5 minutes
Temperature: 205 to 212 F

Must Try Loose Leafs:

If you are a newbie to brewing loose leaf, your safest bets are black and herbal teas. These tea types are more forgiving with the brewing temperature and timing. Our recommendations for black teas are China KeemunAutumn Cranberry Black and Vanilla Black tea. For herbal teas, Hibiscus Flower and Lemon Ginger are fan favorites.

FAQ’s:

How do I store my tea? Will it go bad?
Tea should be stored away from light, moisture, and strongly flavored or fragranced foods. Storing in an airtight container is recommended. Green and white teas will keep fresh for up to a year. Black and oolong teas for no longer than a year and six months.

Can loose leaf tea be reused?
Yes, if the tea is green or oolong. Do not reuse black tea. When reusing tea increase the brewing time with each successive infusion to ensure sufficient taste.

What are the health benefits of drinking tea?
We have some great blog posts written on the benefits of tea here!

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @theteakitchen for daily tea tips and more!

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

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 MooseThis 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

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

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

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…

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…

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

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 Platter

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 

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 Health Benefits

Why You Should Start Drinking Tea Now

May 22, 2017

The ceremony of tea evokes a grey-haired British grandmother with Victorian fine silver teapots; porcelain cups hand-painted with violets; Emily Post place settings on rustic William and Mary style antique chestnut dining tables; doilies on every available surface; dusty heirlooms and curio cabinets – you get the picture. And, certainly, the British have owned the domain of tea—originally discovered by China—since the 1600s and the advent of the East India Company.

And yet tea is not just for elderly grandmothers or the British. The beverage appeals to all generations and cultures. What’s more, the beverage provides certain health benefits as we age. These can only be fully taken advantage of by creating your tea drinking habit sooner rather than later. Here’s our guide to getting the most from your tea. The fountain of youth may very well be flowing with tea.

Detoxification

In the article, “Anti-Aging Research Brief” published by the Academy of Anti-Aging, tea is brimming with antioxidant polyphenols called catechins, flavonols, theaflavins and thearubigins. Antioxidants ultimately help prevent cancerous cells from forming, repair damage to cells and to protect blood vessel walls from free radicals. The article cites a study from King’s College in London that compared a group of black tea drinkers with a group of coffee drinkers. Scientists studied the health of both groups after one year, and found “that the tea drinkers’ risk of a heart attack approached half of the non-tea drinkers.” The scientists speculated “that tea’s beneficial cardio effects are due to the beverage’s large amounts of flavonoids.”

So what teas contain the highest levels of antioxidants? Many brands you can purchase at large chain grocery stores contain high levels of antioxidants, including Celestial Seasonings Green Tea, with 217 milligrams (mg) of antioxidants, Lipton Green Tea (201 mg), Bigelow Darjeeling Blend (164 mg). Surprisingly, a few brands of popular teas have absolutely no antioxidant content, including Lipton Lemon Iced Tea and Snapple Peach Iced Tea.

Prevent Cancer

Studies have shown that caffeine and consuming two cups of coffee can “harden a person’s arteries for several hours afterwards. This puts extra pressure on the heart, thus increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.” Further, “it is evident today that many of our cancers are related to a dominance of estrogen. In a world flooded with estrogen and estrogen-like compounds, it is important for our bodies to have as low of an estrogen load as possible.” So drinking more than two cups of coffee can increase estrogen and lead to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Reducing caffeine is integral to cancer prevention, and replacing coffee with tea can easily half caffeine consumption and decrease the risk of cancer.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Teas, especially the variety of green tea known as matcha, can help regulate blood sugar. Matcha is actually powdered green tea leaves prepared with boiled water and a bamboo whisk, and is known to stabilize metabolism for those with hypo- or hyperglycemic maladies. Taking an active role in regulating blood sugar at a younger age can help prevent complications down the road.

Weight Loss

An ingredient in matcha tea, EGCG, boosts metabolism. While matcha has a high level of caffeine and may contribute to higher estrogen levels, which will help you burn fat and lose weight.

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 Gifts

Mother’s Day Tea Gifts

May 5, 2017

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14. If your mom is an avid tea sipper, we’ve got some great gift ideas for you right here:

1) This Spoon

This Spoon

Think you have the best mom ever? Remind her every time she adds a spoonful of sugar to her tea with this vintage, stamped spoon from Eve of Joy. Choose from a teaspoon for $16, a tablespoon for $20, or a long handle teaspoon for $18. Want a different message for Mom stamped on your spoon? This shop does custom orders as well.

2) This Funny Mug

i make my own people mug

Is there anything more impressive than growing a human being? Your mom literally made you, so the very least she deserves is a mug that states this oh-so-impressive feat. (And even if your mom isn’t your biological parent, she still made you the person you are today, so she deserves a mug, too!) With every sip of tea from this mug, your mother will know that you revere her strength and general awesomeness.

3) Any of This Gorgeous Tea ware

 Gorgeous Tea ware

These handmade teapots, teacups, and mugs from ocpottery might not be as beautiful as your mother, but they’re still pretty stunning. A little on the expensive side, they’re worth it for the craftsmanship and beauty. Made by Kazem Arshi in Anaheim Hills, California, this pottery is uniquely perfect for the tea drinking mama in your life.

4) This Mug for a New Mom

new mom mug

If this is the first Mother’s Day for a woman in your life, gift her this cheeky mug to mark the occasion. With parenthood, they say the days are long but the years are short. It won’t be long before she’s sipping tea from this mug, reflecting on her first Mother’s Day back in 2017. (For more experienced mothers, you can also customize the year on this product.)

5) Jewelry from Tiny Teapot Jewelry

Tiny Teapot Jewelry

Tiny Teapot Jewelry sells lots of jewelry that has one thing in common: teapots. From charm bracelets to necklaces and pendants to earrings, this company offers a wide array of items, and something is bound to fit your tea-loving mother’s style.

6) These Teabag Holders

Teabag Holders

What better place for Mom to rest her used teabag than an adorable, teapot-shaped dish? These handmade teabag holders come in a variety of colors, and are wheel thrown from stoneware clay out of Colorado. They can go in the microwave and the dishwasher, so they’re a winning combo of practical and cute–just like Mom.

7) Wine Style Cold Brew Tea Bottle

Arbor Teas Cold Brew Tea Bottle

 

This unique cold brewer from Arbor Teas replaces your pitcher of tea with a wine bottle-inspired container. To use, Arbor instructs:

Simply place your loose leaf tea in the glass bottle, fill the bottle with room temperature water, mount the bottle spout and cork with the filter set inside, and place in your refrigerator for 4-8 hours. Easy as that! When it has infused to your desired strength, uncork and pour. The tall body allows your tea leaves to swirl freely for maximum flavor as it steeps.”

Made in Japan, each bottle holds 25 ounces of tea, and is sure to put a smile on your tea (and wine)-loving mother’s face.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!