Tea of the Week: Irish Breakfast

No winner last week. We have a big new batch of Irish Breakfast tea in this week, please leave a comment to win your 4 ounce bag!

I found a recipe for a typical Irish Breakfast to go with your tea, yummy!

Per capita, Irish consumption of tea is amongst the highest in the world. The Irish prefer a full bodied cup of tea that if brewed long enough one could almost stand their spoon upright. The strength is achieved by buying the best teas available from seasonal production periods in Assam and Kenya. This means that the Assam teas are from the second flush period during June, and the Kenyas are from February and August growth. 2nd flush Assams give a deep malty astringency and the best make your mouth feel dry they are so astringent. This astringency leads to a malty character that is almost so thick you feel like you could chew it. The seasonal Kenyas have a golden coppery color with an almost floral note that give a complex depth to the tea. Furthermore, you will see that the grade is CTC - cut, torn curled. The green leaf whilst it is being processed passes through a machine the cuts, tears and then curls the leaves into tiny balls. This ‘mash’ ferments very quickly after which firing takes place to ‘lock-in’ the flavor. These tiny tea balls when infused release their full flavor, more so than whole leaf tea. The reason is that there is more surface area on the tiny balls which can infuse as compared to the whole leaf tea. This is how the Irish like their tea!

I have some inventory updates. Back in stock, Keemun Three Monkey (it's actually here this time!), Chocolate Mint teabags, Maple Foil teabags and at last Sugar Cubes.

Looks like Holiday sales are almost in full swing here, have a great week!


Tea of the Week English Breakfast

We have a winner for 4 ounces of Assam Tarajulie and it's Kevin! Sending you off an email to get your snail mail addy tomorrow. This week we have one of the all time favorites English Breakfast Tea. Leave a comment to win 4 ounces! Don't forget it's also 20% off at the store. We also have a 10% off coupon on everything!

English Breakfast Tea was actually invented in Edinburgh, Scotland. A tea master (Drysdale) came up with the idea of marketing his blend as "Breakfast Tea". The concept soon spread to England where tea was very popular. Tea houses in London began adding "English" to the name and the tea became and remains one of the most popular teas in England. It is a robust, full-bodied beverage with light floral undertones (coppery). When blended with milk, it's aroma is similar to warm toast and honey.

Have a great week!


Tea of the week: Assam Tarajulie FBOP

No winners last week, not a real surprise since I've so neglected this blog. This weeks tea is Assam Tarajulie, a thick full bodied tea that is a great morning tea! Please comment below for a chance to win 4 ounces of this wonderful tea.

Tarajulie is a beautiful estate that lies in the shadows of the Himalayan mountains on the Bramaputra River plain. On a clear day the majestic mountains are visible on the northern horizon. The estate was purchased by the George Williamson Group of companies in the mid 1980’s and they have maintained the high standards that this estate was known for. The estate produces only orthodox manufactured tea. You might ask - What gives Assam tea its special characteristics? The Assam valley is dominated by the Brahmaputra River - a large slowly meandering river which over millennia of spring and fall flooding has deposited a rich loam over the valley. The soil is a deep and sandy and the region suffers a very hot and steamy monsoon season, but equally important a relatively dry and cool winter. Perfect conditions for the Assam tea bush.

Back in stock this week is Decaf English Breakfast, Decaf Peach Apricot and Keemun 3 Monkey. I hear from my supplier that Chinese black teas will probably be going up in price soon, so stock up.

Fall sales have definitely kicked in and our Fall Sampler is as popular as ever...go check it out! Last weekend hubby and grandson went camping with the Boy Scout den and they were gone all weekend, boy was it quiet ... just me and the dogs! The leaves are starting to come down like crazy, I think we will be raking this weekend. The fall colors are beautiful this year. How is it in your neck of the woods? Have a great week!


Tea of the Week: Cream Earl Grey

Wow, I have been so bad about posting here. All I can say is life is sometimes not gentle. We will have a drawing for Tea of the Week. And I have an inventory update and reviews from The Tea Review Blog.

Our Cream Earl Grey tea is 20% off this week and boy do we have plenty, just got a big shipment in last week. Earl Grey is one of the most popular English teas in the world. Cream Earl Grey has a taste that is smooth with vanilla overtones which compliments the bergamot flavor of our premium Earl Grey. I adore Earl Grey, but the addition of vanilla really takes it to the top of my list of favorites. Don't forget to leave a comment to be included in the drawing for a free 4 ounce bag!

The good people over at the Tea Review Blog have been reviewing our teas again. Look for their review button on Angels Dream, Blackberry Green, Chai Rooibos, Cream Earl Grey and Maple Cream.

One inventory update, Superior Gunpowder is back in stock after being gone almost 2 months.

Hope you all have a great week!


New Crate of Earl Grey Tea

This week we received a new crate of Earl Grey tea. If you are a Earl Grey lover than you should place your order now because you can't buy it any fresher than it is right now. That powerful bergamot is just bursting from this tea. It is also the tea of the week which means you can save 20% when buying Earl Grey this week! So don't miss out on the incredible opportunity.


Tea Ice Cream

Last week I re-discovered my Ice Cream Maker. My children found boxes of homemade ice cream mix while raiding my cupboards and asked how we could make it. It had been so long since I had used the ice cream maker that they didn't even know I had it. After double checking I had all the ingredients and that we could find all the parts to the machine we gave it a try. For something that required no cooking I must say it was mighty tasty but it left me wondering wanting to give real homemade ice cream another try. It had slipped my mind again this week while nursing myself and a couple kids through the latest greatest flu bug when I got a call from my mother. She is always finding interesting recipes and calling me to tell me about them and this time it was about a recipe for ice cream made with tea as the flavor base. Owning a tea company has its advantages because I have access to just about any flavor and type of tea you could imagine and suddenly my ice cream horizons seemed endless. What would I try first? Plain green tea would be to plain. How about using one of our wonderful flavored green teas like Blackberry, Raspberry or Passion Fruit? Then there are the black flavored teas that are just begging to be experimented with like Chocolate Mint, Earl Grey, and so many others. I am going to make it my goal this summer to make as many difference ice creams as I possible and rate them all here. I am starting this experiment with my odds and end of tea that I should clean up and what a wonderful way to use them. This ice cream can be made with any tea except herbals because they will likely cause your custard to curdle.

I browsed thru many recipes online and then referred to my personal library to see what I wanted to use as my base recipe. Eventually I found my "How to Make Ice Cream" book from Cook's Illustrated. I trust them implicitly to give me a recipe that will be full proof because that is what they do. As a side note if you don't have a subscription to Cook's Illustrated you are missing out on the best cooking magazine period. This recipe is adapted from their master ice cream recipe.

Tea Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup sugar

4 egg yolks

5-6 teabags or 5 teaspoons loose tea

Combine milk, cream, 1/2 cup of sugar in a heavy 21/2 quart saucepan. Heat on medium until mixture comes to 175 degrees stirring occasionally. Add tea, cover and remove from heat to allow to steep for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes strain through a fine-mesh strainer to remove tea leaves if you used loose tea, otherwise just remove teabags.

While milk/tea mixture is steeping beat 1/4 cup sugar with egg yolks in a medium bowl until mixture turns a pale yellow and thickens so that it falls from the spoon in ribbons.

After the milk mixture has steeped it needs to be warmed back to 175 degrees. Take 1/2 cup of the milk mixture and slowly trickle it into the yolk/sugar mix while stirring briskly with a whisk. Once the milk is incorporated into the yolks repeat the process this time whisking the yolk mixture in with the remaining milk mixture. Reduce heat to low and bring mixture to 180 degrees, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Custard should thicken but not be curdled or boiled.

Remove saucepan from heat and pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a nonreactive bowl or container. Place bowl in an ice bath to quickly chill to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate custard for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Pour custard into ice cream maker and churn until frozen but a still a bit soft. I personally like to eat it at this stage but you could place the ice cream in an non reactive container to seal and freeze until firm. Flavor will start to degrade after 2 days.


For green tea ice cream made with Matcha you will skip the steeping time and just stir in 2 tablespoons of Matcha into the sugar and yolk mixture before mixing it with the milk and cream mixture.


Tea of the Week: Papaya

No winner last week, I guess my inability to get to socializing on the net is showing. I did get into Twitter and FaceBook this week, I just need to get back in the habit of being there daily again! The new Tea of the Week is Papaya, as you can tell I'm thinking about spring! I am so done with winter. So please leave a comment to win a free 4 ounce bag.

Though the exact area of origin is unknown, the papaya is believed native to tropical America, perhaps in southern Mexico and neighboring Central America. It is recorded that seeds were taken to Panama and then the Dominican Republic before 1525 and cultivation spread to warm elevations throughout South and Central America, southern Mexico, the West Indies and Bahamas, and to Bermuda in 1616. Spaniards carried seeds to the Philippines about 1550 and the papaya traveled from there to Malacca and India. Seeds were sent from India to Naples in 1626. Now the papaya is familiar in nearly all tropical regions of the Old World and the Pacific Islands and has become naturalized in many areas. Seeds were probably brought to Florida from the Bahamas. Up to about 1959, the papaya was commonly grown in southern and central Florida in home gardens and on a small commercial scale.

What's Happening at Culinary Teas

Things here are back to a more normal pace, I've been working on getting more teabags in stock. Teabag sales went up quite a bit last year, so I will be adding more in the next few months...look for new additions in our newsletter! Candie is working on reconciling last years accounts and getting ready taxes ready, so that means alot of rocking out orders by myself (Kid Rock and tea, what a combo!). The only important things I have out of stock are:
618B Amaretto due back on 3-28
Tibet Rhodiola due back on 4-5

Home Front

Little master Ethan got his Bear badge in Cub Scouts, he's so proud! Rascal (our Yorkie) got his first yearly adult shots and got very sick, but is better now. Hubby has actually been perch fishing for me it's a miracle! I try to get him to do it every year but he loves fishing for bluegill. Everyone have a great week!


Tea of the Week: Boysenberry

All I can say is wow...what an end of year we had! I want to thank all our customers (new and old) for your patronage. Candie and I are unbelievably lucky in this area. We are finally back to a more normal pace. As you know we take off the week between Christmas and New Years to be with our families. Then the next week I had the flu, so we were more behind than normal. I want to thank my wonderful customers that had patience with me those two weeks... you guys rock!!!

Getting in the groove again, we have a new Tea of the Week, Boysenberry. Please leave a comment to get a 4 oz bag free. We've just put up the Valentines Teas, these are teas we only blend this time of year. We have quite a few chocolate blends, but our Chocolate Covered Strawberry and Chocolate Rose are exceptional!

In the late 1920's, George M. Darrow of the USDA began tracking down reports of a large reddish-purple berry, he enlisted the help of berry expert Walter Knott. The inventor of the boysenberry is believed to be Rudolph Boysen, who experimented with various berry crosses in Napa, California in the 1920's. In 1923 his cross of a blackberry, loganberry and raspberry successfully grew and bore fruit. Darrow and Knott learned that Boysen had abondoned his experiments and sold his farm, they went and found several frail vines in a field choked with weeds. They transplanted the berries to knotts farm and he began selling them at his farm stand in 1932. When asked what kind of berries they were, knotts said 'boysenberries' after their originator.

I've been drinking a lot of Oolong lately, trying to get off those Holiday pounds. Also got a mini trampoline called a Rebounder for exercise, it's actually a lot of fun! Just trying to make it a habit...I forget how many days does that take? Hope everyone has an awesome week!