Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mindfulness and Taking Tea

This morning I found a nice article on mindfulness and taking tea in the publication titled The Power of Mindfulness.  On the cover of this publication, it notes "reprint of a special edition back by popular demand."  In the article, entitled "Tea Time," the author tells the story of how adding tea times to her family's busy schedule gave them opportunities to come together as a family in a mindful way.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Trader Joe's Cream Early Grey Loose Tea

I enjoy cream Earl Grey tea blends, and this one from Trader Joe's does not disappoint.  Called "Earl Grey de la Creme," the name makes reference to the phrase "creme de la creme," the "best of the best," as well as noting that this is a cream Earl Grey blend.  As the package indicates, the blend contains a hint of vanilla, along with black tea, bergamot flavor, dried sunflower and dried cornflower.

At the suggestion on the package, I heated the water to a lower temperature than my usual 212 degrees. I heated the water to 200 degrees simply because that was a default setting on my adjustable temp tea kettle.  I steeped the leaves for 5 minutes. 

The brew is a light, perfumed tea that carries a somewhat floral and creamy flavor.  I am enjoying it with a Biscoff cookie.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Oliver Pluff Tea at Biltmore Estate

A short while ago I learned that Oliver Pluff tea is carried at Biltmore Estate here in Asheville.  My family and I visited the estate today, so while there, I could not resist purchasing a canister of Oliver Pluff's Biltmore Estate English Breakfast black tea blend.

I brewed a pot of this tea once we were back home.  It is very nice.  It is a light and smooth English Breakfast style blend.

I learned about Oliver Pluff teas a while back when my family and I were visiting Charleston, South Carolina.  I blogged about that discovery HERE.  I am smitten with this tea company because they incorporate a bit of tea history into their blends.  Also, their teas can be found at many historic sites - in the Southeast and perhaps more widely than that.  I don't know.  But I do know that I always enjoy finding their trademark black cans with white labels when I visit a historic site gift shop.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Tea at Twenty Six Divine, Charleston, South Carolina

In early January, my family and I enjoyed a lovely and cozy afternoon tea at Twenty Six Divine in Charleston, South Carolina.

As is fitting for an establishment located in Charleston, Twenty Six Divine serves teas produced by the Charleston Tea Plantation.

We had our fill of savories, scones, and sweets made by owners and chefs Jenn and Enan Parezo.

proprietress Jenn Parezo

This was a lovely experience that I highly recommend to any tea lover who visits Charleston, South Carolina.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

January is Hot Tea Month So Visit your Local Library!

Here is the northern hemisphere, January is the perfect time for all things cozy.  And what could be more cozy than a cup of hot tea?  January is observed as the official Hot Tea Month in the US, Canada, and Britain.  (It may be observed elsewhere as well.)

I found a very thorough list of ideas on how to observe this Hot Tea Month over at a blog post entitled 31 Ways to Celebrate Hot Tea Month.  One thing that I would add to this well-thought-out list is "Visit your Local Library!"  Books on tea can be found in various sections of the library, depending on the facet of tea that they focus on.  But you are sure to find a number of books on tea in the non fiction section of books that begin with the numbers 641. (This is according to the Dewey Decimal System of classification which is used by most public libraries in the United States.)

So, as winter blasts the great outdoors, take some time to curl up with a book from your library and brew a cup of hot tea.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Resolution 2018: How It Involves Tea

My new year's resolution for 2018 involves tea - and all other aspects of my life.  My guiding word for the year will be mindfulness.  You have probably heard of mindfulness, but may not have thought about how it could relate to your love of drinking tea.  This article, How to Be Mindful With a Cup of Tea lays out the connection beautifully.

The definition of mindfulness that I found with a quick online search is as follows:

  1. 1.
    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

    "their mindfulness of the wider [tea] tradition"
  2. 2.
    a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

In 2018, I will try to follow and journal about my interest in tea and my experiences with mindful tea drinking here on this blog.  This will, I hope, result in regular reviews of my tea drinking experiences, my thoughts on various tea-related books that I have read, and my ongoing creating of tea-themed DIY projects.  In sum, I will be blogging about the same things I have touched on in the past - but with greater attention to and focus on detail in the coming year.

I hope you will continue to visit and share your thoughts and reactions with me!

Harney & Sons Lotions

I was so excited to find a container of Harney & Sons tea scented lotion in my stocking. I had no idea Harney & Sons carried lotions. As you see in the photo, the lotion I have is called "Earthy."   It is scented with Harney & Sons Lapsang Souchong tea so it has a slight smoky fragrance.  At first I was not sure if I would like this smoky note in a lotion, but I have enjoyed wearing it this past week.  The smoky scent is subtle so when I wear it I feel more like "woods" than "campfire."

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Morning Tea

We had a lovely Christmas morning at my house. As usual, the first thing I did upon waking up was to heat water for tea.  I brewed my first pot and drank it while opening gifts with my family.  After opening gifts, I just had to make Christmas morning's second pot of tea.  I used my new VAVA electric temperature controlled tea kettle to heat the water.  And once the water had boiled, I poured it over one of the tea blends that I had found in my stocking, the Victorian London Fog blend from Harney & Sons.  This tea was delicious!  It was smooth and tasted of vanilla and citrus.  Yum. I look forward to finishing off the sampler packet with another pot of tea in the coming days.