Vintage Tea Service

Check out these really great vintage tea service sets that are up for auction on eBay right now. Many are quite affordable and would be perfect for your next tea party, afternoon tea get together, or perhaps to make Sunday morning tea extra special.

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Afternoon Tea at Butchart Gardens

Afternoon Tea at Butchart GardensIf you are traveling to Victoria, British Columbia this summer then you should definitely check out the afternoon tea at Butchart Gardens. This package includes entrance into Butchart Gardens and then afternoon tea at the Butchart home or Italian Gardens.

Butchart Gardens is a National Historic Site of Canada and is privately owned by the Butchart family. Located on the island of Vancouver, it offers 55 acres of gardens to wander and explore.

Afternoon Tea at Butchart Gardens offers a number of loose teas to choose from as well as fresh fruit, tea sandwiches, scones, other sweets, and Devonshire cream. Book your tea tour before you go, to ensure your reservation for this unique afternoon tea experience. This tea tour is suitable for adults and families with children, as the gardens have a number of kid friendly activities, including a carousel. Stroller rental and Family Discovery Walk maps are available.

Deckan Tea

Over the weekend my husband and I went to a local farmer's market and were delighted to see a local tea company there.  They are called Deckan Tea and they are based in Southfield, Michigan. They had a number of loose teas for sale as well some pyramid tea bags in canisters.

I love getting the chance to sample new teas, especially blends. They had a number of their teas in glass jars in order to sniff them. It was a nice warm morning and they had their Mango Beach Organic black tea available as an iced tea. It was very refreshing.

My husband is a huge fan of black tea, so we picked up a package of their Organic Ginger Peach Clove black tea to bring home. We brewed some right away as an iced tea and is was very good. This tea also has a touch of cinnamon in it, rounding off the flavors nicely.

Next time I want to get a package of their Green Apple Organic and Rooibos Chocolate Organic to try and review. If you are looking for a Michigan based tea company, then definitely check out Deckan Tea. They also offer coffee as well. They have a store location at Great Lakes Crossing Mall in Auburn Hills and ship all over the world.

Edible Teacup Party Favor

Edible Teacup Party FavorI love parties and tea parties are very high on that list. I am always on the lookout for fun party favors or craft projects that can be done at a party. This adorable edible teacup party favor fits the bill.

My friend Heather from Dollar Store Crafts was kind enough to share this with me and I knew that I needed to share it with you. Posted on Ada & Darcy this yummy treat is super easy to make. You will need:

1. Biscuits
2. Marshmallow
3. Half a mint lifesaver
4. Freckle chocolate
5. Icing mixture to glue it all together.

The blog is written by an Australian so biscuit equals cookie and freckle chocolate equals nonpareils.

Make these up ahead of time and place one at each place setting, decorate your buffet with them, or wrap them in a cellophane bag as a party favor. I can also imagine these would be a lot of fun to put together at a child's birthday party with a tea theme.  Enjoy making (and then eating) these edible teacup party favors.

Check out our other Tea Party Favors and these adorable tea party supplies:

What is the Difference Between Green Tea, Black Tea and White Tea?

There are a number of different teas: white, green, black, rooibos and herbal. It can seem very overwhelming at times to keep them all straight and what their differences are. Today I'd like to talk about the difference between green tea, black tea and white tea. One of the most surprising things of all is that they come from the same tea bush, Camellia sinensis. Especially when you look at them:

White Tea Leaves

White Tea Leaves

Green Tea Leaves

Green Tea Leaves

Black Tea Leaves

Black Tea Leaves

It is all in the picking and processing of the leaves that make the difference. White tea is harvested from the very top of the tea bush early in the year. They only pick the top leaf and a bud. These tea leaves are then dried in the sun and that is it.

Green tea are tea leaves from the whole bush and they also undergo a step of being steamed or pan fired. Before being dried it is often rolled into different shapes depending on the type of green tea. For instance Jasmine tea is sometimes rolled into a pearl shape.

Black tea undergoes the most processing. Tea leaves from all over the bush are picked and then left in the sun to wilt. The tea leaves are then rolled allowing the tea leaves to ferment as they react with the air. The fermenting process turns the tea leaves black. They are then dried.

So that is the basics. Look for another post coming soon discussing the various types of teas within each class and why they taste so different. Hope you enjoyed reading about the differences between green tea, black tea, and white tea. Check out our Tea Shop and order some to try today.

American Tea Room Tea Giveaway Winner

I just want to take the time and thank everyone who commented, tweeted and 'liked' us on Facebook for the American Tea Room Giveaway.  I really enjoyed running this and hope that the winner enjoys the yummy loose tea that is about to come their way! I also hope to make giveaways a more regular feature here.

So without further ado, I want to announce the winner. I took everyone who entered and put them into a spreadsheet. Each comment, tweet, and like got you one entry and that corresponds to the line number of the spreadsheet.

1 Nancy comment

2 Nancy tweet

3 Jessica Roberts comment

4 Jessica Roberts tweet

5 Kari comment

6 Betsy comment

7 Melissa comment

8 Glenn comment

9 Glenn tweet

10 DebP comment

11 Viva comment

12 Christie comment

13 Joa comment

14 Lori B comment

15 Julia comment

16 Latoshia comment

17 Jonell comment

18 Adam Hansen comment

19 Kendyl comment

20 Jenna Wood comment

21 Jenna Wood facebook

22 Jess comment

23 Angie comment

24 Adrienne comment

25 Jennifer B comment

26 Jennifer B facebook

27 Jennifer B tweet

28 Alison comment

29 Carolsue comment

30 Carolsue tweet

31 Carolsue facebook

32 Kerrie G comment

33 Kerrie G tweet

34 Kerrie G facebook

35 Kimmie comment

I then plugged in numbers 1 through 35 at Random.org and it gave me number: 19. That makes Kendyl our winner. Congrats! I will be contacting you shortly to see where to send your tea.

Please join my mailing list (on the right) or subscribe to my RSS Feed so that you don't miss my next giveaway.

Vintage China Tea Sets

A Vintage China Tea Set can be a beautiful way to serve guests or perhaps make your daily cup of tea special. There are a number of China Tea Sets on eBay and new selections are being added all the time. Here are just a few of the current auctions:

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A Use For Your Old Tea Bags

Tea WreathI came across this great craft project from my friend Heather on her Dollar Store Crafts site. It is a Tea Wreath and was designed by the creative gals over at Kojo Designs. If your tea collection is anything like mine, you probably have a bunch of tea bags that you just don't know what to do with.

Now you can display them with style with this very pretty tea wreath project. It takes two pieces of cardboard, some wrapping or scrapbook paper, some clothes pins, a ribbon to hang it with, and a hot glue gun.

I love how pretty it looks and that it gives a use for all those tea bags laying loose in my tea cabinet. Check out all the instruction for making the tea wreath over at Kojo Designs.

How to Make Iced Loose Tea

The weather has been so nice in Michigan for the last few days and iced tea has been a great way to get in my daily tea fix. I prefer to make mine with loose leaf tea, which means an extra step from using tea bags. It is definitely worth it and so very easy. I made a little video to show you how to make iced loose tea:

Basically I steep the tea in my tea pot first without an infuser basket and then I pour the tea over a strainer into a pitcher. Today I made a blend of Teavana's Sweet Amore and Plum Harvest. Unfortunately they are no longer making Plum Harvest, so I am going to have to substitute with something else when I use the last of mine. Sweet Fruit Garden Herbal Tea may work.

How do you make iced loose tea? Do you have a favorite type of iced tea? Please share in the comments below.

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