Tag Archives: Tea Pot

Tea Gift Baskets

Tea Gift BasketsIt is December 1st! Do you have all your Holiday shopping done? I do not, so decided to do some exploring to see what kind of tea gift baskets that are available. I have several people on my list that either love tea or have expressed an interest in learning more about all the great loose tea selections available.

To help make your shopping easier, here are some of the great tea gift baskets that I have found:

  • American Tea Room's Bento Box Origin Collection. This hefty tea gift has eight teas packaged in a beautiful black lacquer bento box. It includes Organic Silver Needles, Honyama Sencha, Long Jing, Bao Zhong Royale, Qimen imperial, Ceylon, Maharajah and Pu Er imperial.
  • Teavana Tea Gift SetTeavana Tea Gift Set. This includes four of their most popular teas along with a perfect tea scoop ( I have one and love it!), a PerfecTea maker. The teas include My Morning Mate, Strawberry Lemonade, Fruta Bomba Green Tea, and Rooibos Chai. It is everything they will need to make a perfect cup of tea.
  • Dammann Freres Coffret 1925. This collection of four teas with an infuser is in a stylish metal box. It contains Goute Russe, Jardin Bleu, Paul and Virginie, and Melange Mysterieux. These tea blends were made in France.

  • One last one from American Tea Room. Their Signature Black Gift Set (also available in white) contains three of my favorite teas from them along with a beautiful tea pot and two tea cups. It also has some rock candy swizzlers and a tea prep guide. It is wrapped in white linen gift wrap and tied with a bow.

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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Mother’s Day Tea Gifts

Mother's Day Tea GiftsMother's Day is about 2 weeks away. Is your shopping done yet? No? How about a Mother's Day Tea Gift then? Here a few gifts that your Mother will absolutely love to receive.

  • Signature White Gift Set - This beautiful tea set comes with a tea pot, two tea cups, three types of American Tea Room teas (including some of my favorites), and three rock candy sugar swizzlers. It comes wrapped in white linen and a navy satin ribbon. The teas include Martinique, Brioche, and Immortal Green.
  • Tea Pot - I really think you can never have too many tea pots, especially when getting a style or design that you do not have already. Does Mom have a Cast Iron tea pot yet? These are long lasting, traditional Japanese tea pots that are known for their durability and heat retention.
  • Flowering Tea - Instead of flowers, get your Mom these blooms instead. These hand tied teas unfurl to reveal a beautiful tea blossom. You definitely want to steep these in clear glass so that you can watch it happen. Plus it comes in a delightfully wrapped gift box.

Whatever Mother's Day Tea Gift you decide on, she is sure to love the thought and care you placed into picking it out. You can not go wrong with any of the the items above or any of the fine teas available from the American Tea Room.

What is a Tisane?

Tea, infusion, decoction, tisane? With all the various titles, it can be a little confusing, if not daunting when it comes to herbal preparation. Simply put – a tisane is an infusion of herbs without any leaves from the tea bush (although, camellia sinensis, tea is considered an herb). Thus, tisane and infusion mean exactly the same thing.

A tisane is an easy way to prepare herbs, made in much the same way as tea, and especially calls for flowers and leafy parts. The standard quantities for medicinal use are often 30 g of dried herb to 500 ml of water. For just a simple beverage, 2-3 teaspoons per cup of water should suffice. Be sure to only “just” boil the water as vigorous boiling dispserses the volatile oils in the steam. Merely place your herbs in a tea pot with a close fitting lid, pour hot water over, cover, and let steep 10 minutes.

Try mixing together herbs like:

-          Lavender, rose hips, and cinnamon

-          Chamomile, lemon balm, and cloves

-          Raspberry leaf, lavender, and orange peel

-          Red clover and Nettle leaf

I think you will enjoy the process of discovering great tasting drinks with helpful benefits. Definitely check out Healing Herbal Teas by Brigitte Mars for a delightful compilation of recipes, instructions, and inspiration.

Loose Teas

loose teasWhile there are some tea bags in our tea cabinet, the majority is loose teas.  I find that they have a far superior flavor to tea made from a teabag.  We have everything from a gundpowder green tea flavored with almond slices to a rooibos with red currants and blue mallow blossoms.

Loose teas can be either single origin teas that are just purely tea leaves.  Other times they are blends of various teas, flowers, fruits, or berries.  Brewing tea loose in a tea pot or inside of an infuser is a great way to let the leaves expand and uncurl in the water.  You want to give the essential oils a chance to impart as much flavor to the water as possible.

While I have tried some poor quality loose teas, for the most part the teas that I sampled are all very good quality.  Most tea merchants choose the finest quality tea leaves.

What do you look for when choosing a tea?  What are some of your favorite loose teas?  It is definitely all based on personal preference.  My husband has not found a rooibos tea that he likes and while I like most teas, I do not like to drink chai tea iced.  We would love to know what you like and dislike.