Monday, February 27, 2017

Gyokuro Shade Grown Green Tea

Readers here know I drink unflavored black tea. 
I have tried several different green teas trying to find one I like. 
Bruce Richardson gave me this package of Gyokuro, Shade Grown Green Tea
a few months ago when I visited the Elmwood Inn Fine Teas Shop in Danville, KY.
Bruce brought this fine hand-picked tea from a recent visit to Okabe Town, 
in the Shizuoka Prefecture of Japan. 
The directions say to use 1/2 teaspoon tea per 8 oz. cup of 160 degree F water
and steep three minutes. 
Above: tea before steeping. 
Below: steeping in a metal infuser in my mug.  
 After tasting this tea a few months ago, I decided to 
return to it for another taste test.  
In my opinion, it is the best and smoothest green tea I have tasted. 
 Below:  The tea after steeping

I found several online vendors for Gyokuro Tea.  
The following is a very good description from the internet
>>About Gyokuro Tea:   Gyokuro is admired as the highest grade of Japanese green tea. Its leaves are grown in the shade for twenty days before being expertly picked by hand. Then they are immediately steamed, dried and carefully rolled into distinctive shapes resembling pine needles. Gyokuro is harvested only once a year in the early spring. The delicate flavor and slightly sweet aftertaste make Gyokuro the choice of green-tea connoisseurs.<< 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Too Many Teacup Trios?

 Thanks for the comments and questions on my last blog post 
about my most recently acquired teacup trio. 
How many teacup trios do I have?  
I don't know, and it's not likely I'll ever count them.  
Some are stored, and others are displayed here, there and everywhere! 
And, do I have room for more?  
No, but that probably won't stop me from purchasing more. 
The teacup trio in the photo above is Crown Staffordshire "Springtime."
This was my mother's and the only set she had, long before I knew what a "trio" was. 
I was able to collect multiples of this pattern from eBay and other sources.
It's one of my favorite sets of teacup trios to use when serving afternoon tea.  
 I prefer to use the 8" salad plate as the serving plate, 
but many trios I purchased and brought home from  England have
6 1/4" plates, just a bit larger than the saucer.  
The Royal Tara trios below are the smaller size.
I will show other examples in another post.
My trio collecting officially began in September, 1998 when Glenn
and I visited a little antique shop in Chipping Campden in the beautiful
Cotswolds area of England.  I had three matching teacups, saucers and plates in
my hands to pay when the shopkeeper exclaimed I had found trios. 
Since then I have collected English Bone China trios, often finding them
in England at church "tabletop" sales and thrift shops everywhere I travel.
 I often use a combination of trios at the tea table, because
most of my trios are not the same pattern.  
 You may remember, I did a birthday series of blog posts 
in 2015 using twelve Royal Albert "Flower of the Month" sets. 
Below is my table set with Royal Patrician Rose Tree Chintz
This teapot, cream pitcher and sugar bowl are featured on my blog header.  
 I have multiple Christmas trios, including several
matching to set a tables of six or eight. 
So, how and where do I store and display all these trios?  
Hmmm, perhaps that is a blog post for the near future. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Royal Albert Teacup Trio

 I just added a vintage Royal Albert teacup trio to my collection. 
The pattern is "Memory Lane" and is a pretty blue and lavender floral
English Bone China.  
I have many pink floral pattern trios, and thought this would make 
a nice addition to the few blue floral trios in my collection.
The tea cup shape is a Montrose, and according to the
internet, the pattern is dated 1965 - 2007.
My collecting of teacup trios began at an antique shop in
Chipping Campden, located in the beautiful Cotswolds area of England.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Celebrating President's Day with Tea

 Mary gave me this vintage George Washington teapot.  
It is back stamped: 
Tea Time Legends
No.18 George Washington 
Dept. 56 1990
It will be fun to celebrate President's Day using this teapot
and drinking one of George's favorite teas, 
Hyson Green Tea

Thursday, February 16, 2017

My Mother's Dinnerware

 This is my mother's Noritake Dinnerware, 
pattern #5201 from Japan, Circa 1951 - 1961.  
The dishes are white with a gray and tan border and rose swags. 
This set of dinnerware was my mother's pride and joy. 
She was raised on a small farm in Appalachia (southeastern Kentucky).  
The youngest of six children, her father died when she was twelve years old. 
I remember when she proudly collected these dishes
 a few at a time from a local grocery store in the 1950s.
They are currently displayed in one of my cherry corner hutches in her memory. 
A thank you to Bernideen at Bernideen's Tea Time Blog.
I love the way Bernideen displaysher glass cake stands with teapots, 
so I took several of mine out of a storage closet and put them in the 
corner hutch to better display my mother's dinnerware. 
I enjoy learning from tea friends and bloggers!  

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentines Week

Celebrate with Tea!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Memories from our 2002 Travels in England

I mentioned in my last post that our family was in England in 2002, during
the Queen's very festive Golden Jubilee Celebration. 
Above: Austin is playing with his train in the garden of our 
Ebrington cottage (near Chipping Campden) on May 27, 2002.
Our original trip planned for us to leave the USA on 9/13/2001, but was 
postponed due to the terrible events of 9/11/01.
We are very fortunate the trip was rescheduled without difficulty. 
Our goal on this trip was to ride as many steam engine trains as possible, 
visit at least one tearoom everyday. (21 in 17 days).
Austin celebrated his 3rd birthday with tea and scones!  
We visited several beautiful English gardens, 
and castles, palaces, churches and more!
All our travels are approached as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 
Austin, age 17, is scheduled to visit England for the 4th time this spring. 
The upcoming trip will be with a group with the itinerary out of my 
control.  That's a little difficult for me, the "OCD Trip Planner."

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Queen's Sapphire Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to 
reign 65 years on Monday, February 6.  The jewelry she is wearing in this photo,
a 1947 wedding gift from her father, King George VI
is perfect for celebrating the Sapphire Jubilee.
There will be a variety of celebrations around Britain. 

Austin, Glenn and I were in England during the queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Austin celebrated his third birthday during that trip, his first to England. 
I purchased a commemorative Golden Jubilee teapot to remember that special trip. 
I used the teapot as a centerpiece for a decorated table at the 2008 
Berea Health Ministry afternoon tea fundraiser.  
My table was titled The Queen's Golden Jubilee. 
A few photos below: 
I used my Royal Worcester china purchased in 1998 at the factory. 

This was the most fun themed tea table I've ever decorated!  
I wonder what commemorative Sapphire Jubilee items might be available?  

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Fruit Gelees on the Afternoon Tea Menu

 These are photos of our delightful 2013 Afternoon Tea dessert tray at
The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.
The gelees, made by their pastry chef, are gluten free and delicious. 

I was pleased to find similar Fruit Jellies at Trader Joe's recently. 
 Trader Joe's Fruit Jellies are a Gluten Free treat I will gladly serve 
on a dessert tray at my next afternoon tea. 
There are several recipes online if you would rather make your own. 
I am all about simplification these days.  

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