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
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.
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.
I have just published my book ‘A Little Book on Tea Cake & Chocolate‘, which 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.
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.
This is a great recipe for Pumpkin Loaf Cake for Halloween which I found on the Oakhillhomestead site…
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp mace
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups of fresh pumpkin or 16 oz of canned pumpkin
1/2 cup water if pumpkin is fresh or frozen OR 2/3 cup water if pumpkin is canned
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the flour, soda, salt, spices and sugar in a large mixing bowl. In another large bowl, combine eggs, water, oil and pumpkin; stir until blended. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, add nuts if you’re using them and mix well. Lightly grease the bottoms of two 9×5″ loaf pans and pour in the batter. Bake for one hour. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the loaves; the toothpick should come out clean. Cool slightly and take out of the pans to cool completely on a rack.
#Chocolate – is it good or bad for you?
There has been lots written in the tabloids about the benefits of eating #chocolate but is this true or false?
Well, according to Medical News Today, #chocolate receives a lot of bad press because of its high fat and sugar content. Its consumption has been associated with acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. … #chocolate’s antioxidant potential may have a range of health benefits.
Some studies have suggested #chocolate could lower cholesterol levels and prevent memory decline.
Researchers who studied cyclists doing time trials in the U.K. found that “After eating dark #chocolate, the riders used less oxygen when cycling at a moderate pace and also covered more distance in a two-minute flat-out time trial.”
Antioxidants can help reduce free radical damage linked with premature ageing. It can be found in foods such as beans, fruit and dark #chocolate. Dark #chocolate ranks higher than many fruit and vegetables for its antioxidant power.
Healthline says dark #chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Studies show that dark #chocolate (not the sugary crap) can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease.
So, I guess eaten properly the answer is a definite ‘yes’ #chocolate can be good for you. How appropriate is that with #Chocolate Week this week from 15th – 21st October. ENJOY…