THE VINTAGE TEA COSY BACK IN FASHION WITH A BANG…

 

The first documented tea cosy in Britain was in 1867 and it was probably the Duchess of Bedford, who by establishing the activity of afternoon tea in 1840, increased the popularity of tea cosy.

They then flourished during the late 19th Century and were also starting to be used in North America during the same period.

It is defined in Wikipedia as ‘a cover for a teapot, traditionally made of cloth or wool, which is used to insulate the tea, keeping it warm while it brews’.

Cloth tea cosies often have padded inserts which can be washed separately and many are hand knitted looking just like a woollen hat with a bobble on the top.

A company called Start Knitting have the patterns, which are free, of most of the images I have put on here. For a more traditional tea cosy you could either copy the pattern from Castoncastoff Blog.

Of course they don’t have to be knitted you can buy tea cosies made from fabric like this tweed fabric one from Folksy at £28

 

 

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LAST MINUTE HANDMADE GIFTS FOR #CHRISTMAS…

Last minute handmade gift ideas that are great for #christmas. Easy to follow these lovely teacup candles infographic from Pinterest.

If you haven’t got any tea cups to use how about these shells instead, also from Pinterest

If you are handy with the knitting needles and have some spare wool around why not get this free tea cosy pattern from Love Knitting on Pinterest.

Or copy this DIY cup cosy also found on Pinterest

There are lots of easy handmade gifts all around tea which could soon be knocked up for any tea lover. These were just a few I found on Pinterest. It has inspired me to quickly knit up some of the cup cosy for my friends.

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PRETTY TEA ROOMS IN PRETTY EASINGWOLD…

It’s worth a visit to the lovely Georgian village of Easingwold to appreciate the lovely tea rooms and cafes available. The Clark’s have two to choose from, Clark’s Tea Rooms, Market Place, Easingwold, Yorkshire, YO6 3AG Tel No 01347 823143. This tea shop has all the same cakes, breads and pastries sold at their other shop ‘Clark’s Cafe’ bakery.

It’s divided into three rooms with walls adorned with local artists work and a smokers parlour at the back.The position of this tea shop in the central Market Place is perfect for a stop while shopping where you can enjoy their delicious home-made cakes and a refreshing pot of tea.

Clark’s Cafe, 195 Long Street, Easingwold, Yorkshire, YO6 3JB Tel No 01347 821285. This shop started back in 1925 when the Clark’s grandmother-in-law used to make scones and tea and sell it from the kitchen window to road repair men and cyclists.

You can see from the displays of canal-wares around the room that the owners enjoy narrow boats.

There is also a pretty garden with outside seating for the good weather months.

Everything is made on the premises with the speciality being the all day breakfast, ploughman’s lunch and the set afternoon or cream tea. This comes with a selection of sandwiches, scones with cream and cakes and tea.

A GREAT GIFT FOR ANY TEA, CAKE AND CHOCOLATE DEVOTEE…

I have just published my book ‘A Little Book on Tea Cake & Chocolatewhich would make a great gift for anyone who loves tea, cake and chocolate. 

This little book on tea and cake is a guide about one of our favourite beverages. It explains tea pairings, tea and chocolate, tea and health, tea and sandwiches, fascinating tea facts, buying the right tea, tea to help you sleep and tea cozies and teapots. It also features over one hundred tips on baking cakes and has some recipes for delicious loaf cakes. It finishes with several lovely tea quotes.

A great book for any tea devotee. It’s available on Amazon for £2.99

Over the last three months of spending hours after hours and days after days at the hospital, where my Dad was,  I started making notes of some of my posts on tea, cake and chocolate as I felt sure I could use it in a book.

There are nineteen chapters which cover all the tea topics I have mentioned above plus tips on how to make the best cake, pastry, and more. I also cover baking apps and recipe books old and new.

I finally finished it at the weekend and it is now available to buy as a paperback and hopefully as a kindle read soon. I would love some feedback if any readers bought the book.

 

GROWING YOUR OWN TEA…

We are not talking about herbal teas either, but real tea: Camellia sinensis. You don’t need a large garden to grow your own tea, a planter on a balcony would work just fine.

‘You could try growing Camellia sinensis in a greenhouse, or in a pot that you can bring indoors during cold winters.

The Camellia sinensis plant is a small shrub about 1-2 meters in height, though it will grow taller if you don’t prune it. In the fall, your tea shrub will flower with small white blossoms that have a delightful scent. These plants are often grown as ornamentals. For planting, Camellia sinensis likes well-drained and sandy soil that is on the acidic side. If you are going to grow your tea in a container, add some sphagnum moss to the potting mix. You’ll need some patience, too. Your plant should be around 3 years old before you start harvesting leaves.

A great site with all the details on growing your own tea is ‘Guide to Growing Tea’, and you might be able to get seeds at your local nursery or try online at Amazon.

From that plant, you could make black, green or oolong tea. Fascinating stuff and for all us tea lovers, its another thing we can try growing in the garden.

THE HISTORY OF BABYCHAM…

Babycham was created in the 1940s by Frances Showeing where it became one of the first drinks actively promoted to the middle-classes. Post-war, it was one of the first adverts to appear on television and it was targetted specifically at women.

The first Babycham Deer leapt into our lives and onto our glasses in the 1950s.  He was a white deer standing upright at first with all four legs together. In the 1960’s the deer turned into a golden brown colour with a loose blue bow.
In the 1960’s and 70’s, it became an international icon for chic. It was also very important in Somerset as the drink maker employed around 1,000 people.

During the late 1970s, a champagne flute with the well known yellow deer came into circulation with no wording around the base and no gilt trim. It remained as a champagne flute into the 1980’s but the deer changed from yellow to fawn and he lost his antlers.

In the 1990’s the deer disappeared with a rebrand of Babycham which they did in the hope it would appeal to both sexes. However, by 1997 the deer returned for the female sex.

You can still find Babycham in the supermarkets now and of course, it always tastes better out of a Babycham glass whatever decade it originates from!

BLACK TEA AROMATHERAPY – IT COULD AID STRESS…

Natural Health News says that black #tea aromatherapy could aid stress but before you drink it read how this could help.

Try inhaling it. New research shows that back #tea contains aromatic compounds that may help to lower stress levels and improve mood.

#Tea consumption has been shown to have many benefits on mood and attention, such as improving relaxation and concentration, reducing tiredness and psychological distress. But now scientists in Japan are looking in to not just at overall benefits of tea, but how specific components that make of the flavour and aroma of tea might influence health and wellbeing.

In a small study, published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology​, researchers at the University of Shizuoka, Chubu University, Mitsui Norin Co Ltd and Tokai University conducted a study to determine the effects of two kinds of black #tea aromas on physical and psychological stress. They reported that compared to those in the control group, those who inhaled black tea aroma had lower salivary CgA concentration levels after half an hour of mentally stressful tasks.

A student inhaling either Darjeeling or Assam tea aroma in the middle of a stressful maths test showed measurably lower levels stress.