Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Tea Brick

My Tea Brick (above)

The Fall 2011 issue of TEA A MAGAZINE features an interesting article by Eve Hill about Tea Bricks.
According to Eve, "tea bricks are made with tea leaves that are usually dried, ground to powder form, then compressed."  Tea bricks were once used for making tea.  Currently, they are more often used as a decoration or a conversation piece.  I used mine, shown in the top photo, for demonstration purposes when I present
 tea programs and classes.

I hope you pick up a copy of this issue of TEA A Magazine or contact for a copy.
This issue contains several interesting articles about the tea world. 
I have subscribed to this magazine for several years. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Leaves of Green" Magazine Article

The hubby, GJ, brought home a copy of a special issue of NYSE Magazine with an interesting article about
Andrew Mack, founder of Teavana.  The company currently has 200 stores.  Mr. Mack states he expects to to have 500 U.S. stores by the end of 2015, plus additional stores abroad with the help of franchise partners. 
Teavana has come a long way from the original store which opened in Atlanta in 1997. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gong Fu Tea Set — A Gift from a Friend

A  long-time friend gave me this Gong Fu Tea Set as a gift yesterday. 
It was purchased in Hong Kong several years ago. 
He gave it to me because he knew I would appreciate it.
Thank you Paul for the lovely gift!  
Perhaps it time I learn more about the Gong Fu Tea ceremony.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Teacup Thursday — Handpainted Orion China

This pretty vintage teacup and saucer was given to me by Aunt Ida.
It is one of a dozen+ she collected while "antiquing" with lady friends
along the scenic back roads of Kentucky.
It is a hand painted Orion China made in Occupied Japan,
probably from 1945 - 1952.
This special gift from Aunt Ida sits in a place of honor on my mantle
in memory of a very special lady.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dainty Dining Book

Angela McRae, a fellow tea blogger, and a good tea friend,
 at Tea With Friends has written Dainty Dining
"a book of Vintage recipes, memories and memorabilia from America's department store tea rooms."

 Oh, how I remember shopping at large department stores in Lexington, Louisville and Cincinnati
with my mother and aunts in the early 1960's.
Those were the days when ladies wore hats and gloves for shopping trips to down towns of "big" cities.
A shopping trip was an all-day excursion, and always included lunch at the department store tea room. 
 Chicken salad was my favorite then, and still is, as I continue my search for the "perfect" chicken salad.

In Dainty Dining, Angela includes historical information about 20
 U.S.A. large department stores of the early 20th century with photos and a recipe from each. 
She also features photos of her collection of department store memorabilia.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dainty Dining. 
It's a great addition to the library of this tea-drinker,, recipe book collector, and
history buff with memories of department store shopping and store tea room dining.

I can't wait to try some of the delicious recipes! 
OK, where should I start?  Chicken salad or Fudge cake?

Please visit Angela's Blogs at to learn how to purchase the book or for more information and recipes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Store-Bought" Scones

A couple of tea friends told me about "pull-apart" scones from the grocery store.
I've been looking for for several weeks.
While shopping at our local WalMart, I found these Barista Baking Company™ "Break and Bake" Scones.
There were two flavors to choose from, Almond and Chocolate Chip.
I purchased a package of the almond flavored scones to bake at home. 
I baked and taste-tested them last night.

These are NOT sweet and frosted like the cake-textured two bite scones found in most grocery stores.
They were "ok" but, keep in mind I am very critical of scones.  They would have been much better if I had clotted or Devonshire cream and curd or preserves to eat with them!

However, in my opinion, you can't beat the taste of fresh, home baked English scones. 

Comment added later, thanks to Ruth's question:
These were in the refrigerated section near the canned biscuits and regrigerated cookies.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Library Tea Program

 I presented two-hour tea programs at branches of of the Madison County Public Library. 
The two room and kitchen set-ups were different. 
There was an electrical problem at the first one on November 5th at the Berea branch and I could only heat on 6-cup electric tea kettle at a time. 
The power situation was the same at the Richmond branch on November 12th, but fortunately, we were prepared and used extension cords connected in the hallways outside the community room to be able to use all three of my 6-cup Capresso electric tea kettles. 

I discussed how tea gets from the plantation to the cup and demonstrated proper brewing methods of black, green, oolong and white teas.  Everyone sampled these four types of tea. I disused the difference between afternoon tea, royal tea, high tea and cream tea.  And, we served a cream tea  ( a pot of tea served with scones,  mock Devonshire cream, and lemon curd.)

I could not have presented the programs, brewed and served multiple pots of tea and the food without the help
 of my great friends, Patty and Lynn.

The aprons are mine, their outfits of red sweaters and black pants were not planned. 
Gotta love these gals!!

Thank you to Christina at the Madison County Public Library for inviting me to present the tea programs,
and thank you to the ladies and 3 gentlemen who attended. 

(visit my post from November 11th to read a little of the "tea education" I presented.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Camellia Sinensis the Tea Plant

I recently purchased two Camellia Sinensis plants (Tea Plants) from
These plants came from Larry's Orchids.

What an impression they made on Saturday at the tea program at our local library!
I am presenting another program tomorrow at another library.

Our weather here in southeastern Kentucky is too harsh in the winter to plant these outside.
Hopefully, they will survive inside this winter.

A little tea eduction:
TEA is produced from the Camellia Sinensis,
an evergreen plant
discovered in China nearly 5000 years ago
grown in tropical and sub-tropical climates.
There are thousands of different varieties of teas made from the Camellia Sinensis.
The most common types of teas are
Black, Oolong, Green, and White.
The Camellia Sinensis is currently grown in thousands of plantations in 80 countries around the world.

Come to my tea program at the county library tomorrow morning to learn more! :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scones and Tea

My copy of Hoffman Media's Teatime Magazine's, Scones and Tea arrived today.
As you know, if you are a reader of this blog, I am a long-time subscriber of TeaTime Magazine.
I have every issue of the magazine and use them as a tea party planning resource. 

Scones and Tea is a collection of beautiful photos and recipes of sweet and savory scones and toppings for the scones. 
I recommend you add this beautiful book to your tea library!

The above strawberry scone recipe is from one of our favorite tea rooms,
Camillia Rose Tea Room in Plant City, FL. 
I posted about our tea-lightful 2010 visit at

Plain scones are my favorite, because I learned to eat scones in Britain.
But, most folks in the USA enjoy flavored scones.
Everyone should be able to find a favorite iamong the variety of recipes n this book!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Kentucky Breakfast

Mary and I recently returned to Windy Corner Market and Restaurant in rural Fayette County to
celebrate our friend Lynn's birthday.  Lynn loved Windy Corner as much as we do!
We enjoyed a late morning typical Kentucky breakfast of
Scrambled Eggs, Country Ham, Fried Potatoes, Cheese Grits,
Biscuit, and Windy Corner's version of Red Eye Gravy.
Yum, Yum! 
What a fun place in beautiful horse farm country!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tables Set with Royal Patrician Trios

Thanks for the requests for photos of tea tables set with my collection of Royal Patrician Trios.
These are two different afternoon teas.
The top photos are in my dining room, and the occasion was honoring a group of sisters.

The bottom photos are of a St. Patrick's Day Tea, my first event at Aunt Ida's house after the renovation there.

I believe it's time for another afternoon tea using these beautiful English teacup trios,
don't you? 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Teacup Thursday — Royal Patrician Blue Roses Trio

This Royal Patrician teacup trio is one of the few blue and white sets I have.
I believe I need to shop for a variety of blue and white tea cups, don't you?

Join Miss Spenser's Blog today for Teacup Thursday to see more pretty teacups.

I promise to show a tea tables using my various Royal Patrician Trios soon.
Thanks for the requests! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat Fun

Julian Tea Room — Shopping

I hope you enjoy these photos from the Julian Tea and Cottage Arts
in Julian, CA

These photos are from one room of the shop/house filled with tea gift items.
I was so glad we drove to Julian while we were in the San Diego area!

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