Tag Archives: tea tips

A Springtime Tea Table: Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown, Tea Time Magazine

Tea Time Magazine is one of our favorite resources for tea inspiration. Along with their large and loyal following, we expect you’ll agree!

With Springtime in our thoughts, please allow us to direct your attention to Tea Time’s article for a bird themed tea table. It includes slideshows showcasing three different ways to decorate: Classically Elegant, Playfully Childlike and Casually Refined.

Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown

Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown.

If you don’t subscribe to Tea Time Magazine, we highly recommend it for interesting articles, delicious recipes, inspiration and lots of extras! You can subscribe, give a gift subscription (a great tea gift that keeps on giving) or receive the Tea Time Newsletter at TeaTimeMagazine.com.

Our Tip: If you can afford a subscription to Tea Time Magazine, it is well worth the money as a resource that you’ll continually reference and share. Otherwise, get the Newsletter and check out the website! They’re free and the website has many wonderful resources like these recipes for Salmon Mousse Tea Sandwiches and Apple-Pomegranate Gellies.

Apple-Pomegranate Gellies shown with Pear-Walnut Gellies

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea setsteapots & tea accessories.

From Tea Time Magazine: Teapots by Amy Cates

This week, we’re sharing a nice article on teapots from Tea Time Magazine.

Teapots by Amy Cates

Teapots by Amy Cates

If you don’t subscribe to Tea Time Magazine, we highly recommend it for interesting articles, delicious recipes, inspiration and lots of extras! You can subscribe, give a gift subscription (a great tea gift that keeps on giving) or receive the Tea Time Newsletter at TeaTimeMagazine.com.

Our Tip: If you can afford a subscription to Tea Time Magazine, it is well worth the money as a resource that you’ll continually reference and share. Otherwise, get the Newsletter and check out the website! They’re free and the website has many wonderful resources like slide shows for making Candied Lemon Zest Curls or Sugared Flowers, printable recipe cards and many downloadable recipes.

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea setsteapots & tea accessories.

Candied Lemon Zest Curls Slideshow, Tea Time Magazine

Sugared Flowers Slideshow, Tea Time Magazine

Cold-Brewing Coffee and Tea – The Curious Cook

A great article on cold-brewing tea and coffee from The Curious Cook, The New York Times. See it on Scoop.it – All About Tea

Cold-brewed teas and coffees tend to contain less caffeine and less acid than their hot counterparts. And, of course, they taste different… on www.nytimes.com.

V101: Recipes for Style – Sun Tea :: CeciStyle :: Ceci New York

See on Scoop.it – All About Tea

Recipes for Style: Sun Tea by LuWanna Johnson

Here’s how to make Sun Tea – even in NYC! Includes Sun Tea recipe and Simple Syrup recipe.

See on www.cecinewyork.com

My 4 Cup Teapot is 24 ounces?!?

Summertime Rose 2 Cup Teapot

We have a riddle for you: When is a one cup measure not 8 ounces?

Answer: When it’s measuring the volume of an English teapot!

No, really…it’s true. Okay, you’re not laughing. We have to admit it’s more confusing than funny.

For instance, you buy a 4 cup teapot for your Tea Set for Four. You expect it to be a 32 ounce teapot, 8 ounces times 4 cups. However, when it arrives it appears so small and you discover it is only 24 ounces. What gives?

Well, teapot manufacturers have a quirky measurement for teapots. It does actually make some sense and once you understand it, you’ll always know what to buy.

Summertime Rose 4 cup Teapot

The first thing to know is that manufacturers measure the volume of teapots to the rim. Of course, you won’t fill it that high, but this is quirky measurement #1.

Secondly, the cup measurement used is 6 ounces, not the standard 8 ounces. This is based on 6 ounces of tea per cup. Therefore, a 4 cup teapot will hold 24 ounces which should be enough for four tea cups. Now you see that “cup” refers to tea cups not standard measuring cups.

Remember that we don’t fill our teapots to the rim? Here’s where the measurements fall apart.

Summertime Rose 6 cup Teapot

Imagine you’re having guests for tea. Let’s say three guests. Maybe you fill your teapot with 20 ounces of water, about 2.5 standard cups. You pour for your guests and yourself, filling the tea cups about two-thirds full, 6 ounces.  So you’re pouring about 24 ounces of tea, but the teapot only made 20 ounces.  The teapot is too small!

Tip: We recommend at least a 6 cup teapot when serving four guests. A 6 cup teapot, which is 36 ounces to the rim, will brew about 32 ounces of tea in the real world.

And what about refills? Good question! The tip below is our tried and true solution for a quick second pot. It works as long as you’re using a good quality loose tea which is brewed loose in the teapot. Otherwise, you’ll need to pull the tea bags and start a new pot brewing.

Summertime Rose 8 cup Teapot

Tip: As soon as you’ve poured the first pot, refill with more hot water and pop on a tea cozy. You’ll get another steep out of your leaves and be set for refills by the time your guests are ready.

So, a small mystery is solved. We hope you’re entertained and helped, not royally confused!

Below are the teapot measurements in ounces for easy reference:

2-3 cup Teapot: 12-18 ounces (A Tea for One Teapot)

4 cup Teapot: 24 ounces (Think Tea for Two…or Three)

6 cup Teapot: 36 ounces (Perfect for a Tea Set for Four)

8 cup Teapot: 48 ounces (Hard to find, but good for a Tea Set for Six. Otherwise, we recommend you buy a second teapot.)

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

Have a Charity Tea

With great empathy, we’ve watched the news from Japan this week along with all of you. Our hearts break for the stories of loss and alternately rejoice through tears for every life saved, every act of courage and bravery. In the face of such destruction, it is easy to feel small and insignificant. However, these are the times that require our action and affirmation of all that is good in each of us.

So, what can you do? Well, what are you good at? Are you a good organizer? Are you a good baker? Do you love to decorate? Do you know a lot of people? Do you love a good party? Perhaps a tea party?

Japanese Geisha Girl Tea Table

If you’re answer is yes, we suggest a Charity Tea. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just send out invites and plan a tea as you normally would with one small change. Ask your guests to bring a donation of any amount, large or small. You’ll be surprised at how your little bit can add up when you put it all together.

Below are some ideas to spark your imagination and philanthropy!

1. Who should we give to? If you are seeking to help the  Japanese people, American Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse are a few good suggestions. These organizations are already in the country with people and delivery systems in place. Other possibilities are a local children’s hospital, food bank, cancer society or disabled veteran’s group. Just look around or ask your guests for suggestions and pull one out of a tea cup during your tea party.

2. If your tea is small enough, total up your donation while your guests are present so everyone can share in the accomplishment. Otherwise, be sure to send out a donation total with your thank you notes.

3. To accompany your donation, write a short letter or card together with your guests and have everybody sign it.

Silk Fan in Box

4. Give your guests a remembrance of the day such as a Japanese fan, nice chopsticks, bamboo coasters or a pretty candle.

5. Make it fun. Share good food & good company for a good cause. You’ll be glad you did!

Thoughts On Collecting Tea Cups

Vintage Hand Painted Tea Cup & Saucer

This week, we acquired a lovely old estate tea cup for our vintage and antique collection. It is old porcelain with no mark and completely handpainted. A beauty! The only historical clue is an old sticker on the bottom of the saucer which says “Aunt Claire”…apparently the former owner. When I hold these old tea cups, particularly the ones with a little character, a romantic notion strikes me. What have they seen? What joys celebrated? What sorrows comforted? What frustrations soothed? What would they say if they could talk?

Collecting tea cups, or anything vintage, is always an adventure. Sometimes you’ll find a bit of history or a rare treasure. Other times, you’ll find a common piece that you really love. With tea cups, there are so many to choose from at flea markets, estate sales, antique shops, garage sales and online. In fact, the choice on ebay alone is staggering! So, how do you determine what to collect?

Satsuma Hand Painted Cup/Saucer/Plate Trio

Some people collect tea cups made in specific regions such as England, Japan or Europe. Others collect specific manufactures such as Royal Winton, Lefton, Satsuma or Limoges. You can collect certain patterns or types such as Geisha Girl porcelain, Blue Willow, Royal Winton Julia Chintz, or Limoges hand painted designs.

However, most collectors choose tea cups they love. We believe this is the best way to collect and offer the following simple guidelines for your consideration.

1. First and most important, choose what you really love and will still enjoy 10-20 years from now.

Royal Winton Julia Chintz Cup/Saucer/Plate Trio

2. Don’t collect for value or profit. Tea cups or anything vintage are like fine art. It will only be as valuable as the consumer demand for it. A tea cup purchased for little money may never be worth much except to you or it may someday be valuable to collectors. Conversely, a tea cup in high demand and highly priced may eventually lose value if the demand for it goes down. So again, whether vintage or new, buy what you love.

3. Finally, make memories with your collection. It’s easy with tea cups! Make sure you have tea parties with your collection: big, small or even just you. Celebrate joys, comfort sorrows, sooth frustrations, share your life and enjoy your tea cups. They won’t talk! 🙂

For information on Wileman Shelley China, visit our posting The Wileman Shelley Potteries: A Brief History.

We invite you to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our current selection of vintage & antique tea cups as well as new bone china teapots, tea sets and other delights.

 

Mock Clotted Cream

A  yummy, inexpensive substitute for Clotted Cream or Devonshire Cream!

Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups.

1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese (equal to 1/3 cup)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring

1. In an electric mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add powdered sugar and butter flavoring and beat well.

2. Gradually add the heavy whipping cream and continue beating until solid peaks form. Do not overbeat or cream will separate.

3. Handle gently and as little as possible. Turn gently into a plastic container, seal tightly and refrigerate until use. Will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.

4. On the day of your tea party, transfer mock clotted cream to your serving bowls. Cover and keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve with the scones. This cream will separate if it sits on the table too long, so be sure to keep cold until used.

Tip: Butter flavoring can be found in the baking aisle of grocery stores, near extracts or from cake decorating supply stores such as Wilton Cake Supplies.

Gift Idea: Consider giving this recipe on a cute store bought or handmade recipe card as an inexpensive, but much appreciated, party favor!

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, tea spices, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

A Little Teapot Talk…

As promised, today we’re talking about teapots. Much has already been written on the subject. In fact, a quick Amazon search turns up books on making teapots, collecting teapots, anthologies of teapots, artful teapots, history of teapots, pricing guides, expert guides, British teapots, Chinese teapots, Japanese teapots and so forth.

Rather than assume we have some new insight to add on this vast subject, you will find below a short collection of our observations on teapots of the European ceramic variety – Asian ceramic teapots we’ll save for another time.

Brown Betty Teapot

Ceramic Teapots: We particularly enjoy ceramic teapots, such as Brown Betty types, for everyday use. These teapots come in a variety of color schemes, decorations and shapes, generally less fancy and more whimsical thereby adding a light note to the day as your daily tea time should. They are relatively inexpensive & hold the heat decently well, even better with a tea cozie. Brown Bettys have the added benefit of being in continuous supply due to their popularity and, therefore, should one break we won’t cry over a broken teapot. Teapot collectors will find a large selection of fanciful shapes in this type of teapot and many miniatures are available as well.

Maryland China Swan Teapot

Porcelain China Teapots: We like these teapots for their versatility and pricing when looking for a nicer teapot on a budget. There is a large variety of shapes and patterns available from numerous manufacturers and countries. Our favorite manufacturers are Lomonosov Imperial Porcelain and Maryland China. There are a large number of highly artistic teapots and, as with ceramic, many unique shapes and miniatures crafted in porcelain. On a side note, we’ve noticed, in a side by side comparison, that the same pattern on porcelain and bone china will have small, but noticeable differences. The colors in the pattern decal will be brighter and the lines more crisp on porcelain while the bone china presents a softer, more muted overall look. Additionally, bone china is generally whiter than porcelain. When putting together a tea set of the same pattern, we recommend that you do not mix porcelain and bone china pieces. However, if you are putting together an eclectic tea set (mismatched patterns), we see no problem.

Heirloom Summertime Rose Bone China Teapot

Bone China Teapots:  Ah…our favorite for elegant tea times! Bone china teapots are available from a number of manufacturers and countries in a variety of patterns and shapes, both traditional and modern. The addition of bone ash makes this china whiter and stronger than porcelain, also providing its name. These teapots are generally thinner walled and more delicate. Consequentially, they don’t hold the heat as well and, for this reason, tea cozies are a good investment. They generally cost more than porcelain or ceramic and the prices vary widely from company to company. We’ve observed that bone china teapots coming from England can command higher prices, but even in this category the prices vary widely. Some English bone china manufacturers outsource the making of the bone china to other countries and finish the product in England. We believe this is the reason for the wide price range from company to company. Our favorite English bone china company is Heirloom Bone China. This company has all their bone china manufactured and decorated in Staffordshire, England, using 50% bone ash for superior quality.

Good care is required with any ceramic/china teapot, but especially bone china. We recommend hand wash only to maintain the finish and any gold decoration as dishwasher action and detergent are too strong. This is a good recommendation for any ceramic teapot as you don’t want a build up of detergent residue in the teapot body or spout. It doesn’t make for tasty tea!

A Final Observation: If you are brewing different types of tea in the same teapot, we recommend teapots that are fully glazed inside. Unglazed teapots can absorb the odor and flavor of the tea brewed. Hence, you wouldn’t want to brew a citrusy Earl Grey or smoky Lapsang Souchong and then a delicate Jasmine Green tea in the same unglazed teapot. The Jasmine tea just wouldn’t taste right. In fact, nothing would taste right after the Lapsang Souchong!

Well, hopefully we’ve entertained you and imparted some useful information. Please share your questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

As always, we invite you to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our current selection of english bone china teapots, porcelain teapots, tea accessories, tea cups, tea miniatures and bone china tea sets.

The Make Ahead Options

Thank you for the great feedback on our two new scone recipes! We’re also very excited about them along with our two kitchen tested Make Ahead Options.

Tip: We’ve discovered that both options work very well with baking powder biscuits.

Since we like to make our scones as close to tea party time as possible, the frozen option is our personal favorite. 

We’ve pretty much run our course, along with trying your patience, on scone postings, so next week join us for some teapot talk!

For those who are wondering about the options, they are listed below for your convenience. They are also inserted in our recipes: Triple Chocolate Scones & World’s Best Scones Made Even Better.

Make Ahead Option #1: After mixing your dry ingredients and add-ins (ie: dried fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, etc) seal this mix in an airtight container such as a plastic bag and store for up to 6 months in a cool, dry place. When ready to use, place mix in a large bowl and add the butter, milk and vanilla according to recipe directions. You’ll have tea & scones within a 1/2 hour if you multi-task on the tea. And this is also a great, inexpensive gift idea!

Tip: Exclude moist add-ins such as fresh fruit or lemon zest until you are ready to make your scones. At that time, add them between cutting in the butter and adding the milk & vanilla.

Make Ahead Option #2: After cutting your scones into desired shapes, place them on a cookie sheet and freeze. When completely frozen, wrap scones well in plastic wrap and foil or freezer bags. Well wrapped scones will keep at least one month. When ready to use, place frozen scones on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake according to recipe. Do not thaw first or add additional baking time for small scones, however, large scones may require a few extra minutes. You’ll have scones in approximately 20 minutes!

You’re invited to click Teapots ‘n More and browse our selection of english bone china teapots, tea accessories, tea cups, tea miniatures and bone china tea sets.