Monday, June 29, 2015

Until next week...

Hello Tea Friends,

My flight arrived a little later than expected last night and I'm a bit more tired than expected too so no post this week.

I will be sharing the "tea" parts of my trip with all of you in future posts.
For this week I look forward to reading your blogs and responding to your comments. I apologize for not responding last week.

Have a wonderful 4th of July Weekend and come visit next Sunday.

All the best,
Nora


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Tea in the Redwoods

Hello Tea Friends,
Hope your weekend brought you blue skies and time for tea. Camping along the California coast in a Redwood Tree grove was certainly the highlight of my weekend. We just returned from our ninth annual camping trip so please excuse the brevity of this post. There is so much unpacking, washing and laundry to be done. While all of this is tiring, the actual trip was rejuvenating. Being under and among the Redwoods is simply amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading, hiking and having tea on this trip. 


It almost seems impossible to capture the enormity of these amazing living creatures on film.



The smell of the sea hugged the fog in the redwood trees,
All cool and dank, dimly lit and rank with green,
And in the shadowed limbs the Stellar jays jabbered free,
And me, standing silently, an alien in this enchanted scene...
~Michael Garofalo

That excerpt really describes the scene of our campsite. The stellar jays are always on the lookout for the tiniest of crumbs and their shrieks demand attention. The cool weather was a welcome relief too.



Not a great photo...but seeing the morning light seeping through the trees is magical, almost spiritual.

Of course I have to have my tea while camping. Two nicer mugs of mine were broken on past trips by raccoons during the night. This mug is from a Secret Santa exchange five years ago. It survived the trip.

Nice to start the day with hot water!

This year I wanted to bring my favorite black tea which is a special blend from a local tearoom. It's called French Vanilla. It's a loose tea contained in a canister that I placed in tea bags for my trip using Tea Pockets.


These bags almost feel like cloth and can be steeped multiple times. I use them when making iced tea also. Here is the link if you are interested in purchasing a box of fifty:


Thank you for letting me share my camping trip with the oldest living creatures on earth.
Upcoming travels will soon take me to some new tea rooms and next week I'll be back to sharing a featured teacup.
Until then, happy tea and conversation~
Nora


New Redwood growth in a protected area!




Sunday, June 14, 2015

Ginger Pear Iced White Tea

Happy Belated National Iced Tea Day!

Did you celebrate on June 10th? In honor of this national day, I would like to share a white tea I discovered two years ago that makes a really nice iced tea.

Typically I like my iced tea strong and straight. I usually use Irish or English Breakfast teas. Recently I've been inspired by two issues of Tea Time magazine that featured a wide variety of iced teas. I want to branch out this summer and order some of these teas.

Come join me for a refreshing glass of organic Ginger Pear Iced White Tea.


This tea comes from Trader Joe's. I prefer it iced. It's a great thirst quencher for hot days. The ginger flavoring is very subtle not spicy and the pear flavoring adds a small amount of natural sweetness.
The tea comes in individual bags which makes it easy to make iced tea. (Excuse the shadows.)

"American-style iced tea is the perfect drink for a hot, sunny day. It never really caught on in the UK, probably because the last time we had a sunny day was in 1957."
                                              ~Tom Holt

All kidding aside, my family in Ireland thinks the whole idea of iced tea is bizarre. 

I admit I'm really picky when I go to restaurants and order iced tea. I always ask if the tea is freshly brewed. I'm not a fan of the sweetened powdered "fast food" type of iced tea. Also, I've never had southern sweet tea. I'm looking forward to trying that one day.

*Do you have a go to iced tea? Please share your favorite iced teas that you recommend for this summer.*
Thank you in advance! I appreciate your visits.

Best wishes for a wonderful week filled with conversation, tea and sunny skies. 
~Nora






Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Classic Rose in a Teacup and Cosy

"Won't you come into my garden? I would like my roses to see you."
                                                                                              ~Richard Brinsley Sheridan





The rose is the classic garden flower as well as this month's birth flower. I love garden roses and their wonderful scents. Our garden has two rose bushes: Blue Girl (featured on the left) and Fiesta. Our rose tree is Mellow Yellow. Right now there are just buds on it so I didn't include a photograph.





When it comes to teacups, many feature rose designs. This Mother's Day I was gifted by my own mom with a Shelley teacup in the Rosebud pattern. Needless to say I was thrilled! She knows that I'm always looking for Shelleys. I appreciate her efforts in trying to find one locally.

I just love the sweet flowers as well as the green handle and trim. Such a feminine teacup!

The classic Dainty shape by Shelley...my personal favorite



The Rosebud pattern #13426 was produced after 1960 which was right before the factory closed in 1966.

Another classic that is perfect to serve with a casual tea is chocolate chip cookies and milk.
The cookies will be served on a new Royal Albert plate in the pattern Rose Confetti.
This plate along with other new patterns from Royal Albert are now produced in Indonesia. It's a Home Goods find.

Finally we need to have a rose cosy for our teapot. Most of my friends have never seen a tea cosy before. They stare at it when I cover the teapot. Growing up in an Irish household, the tea cosy was and is an everyday "essential." Are you familiar with tea cosies and do you use them? Is it just an Irish and English custom to use them?

Here's an up close look at the cosy. It was an Etsy purchase from a UK store that is no longer in business. It's lined in petrol blue silk from Cambodia with Cath Kidston rose fabric.

Thank you for letting me share my rose teawares with you today. As always I appreciate your visits.