Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Perfect Cup of Tea (Ladybugs Invited)

Hello, all my teatime friends! 
I knew today was supposed to be in memory of the Titanic, but I really don't have anything to commemorate the anniversary that has to do with tea. I did write a post on Sunday, dedicated to the Titanic and if you would like to read it you can go HERE.

 Today, though I'm posting about another one of the great
tea gift books I bought recently.
This time the book I am sharing with you is called

"The Perfect Cup of Tea"

"The taking of tea has evolved into an art form,
ranging from the simple to the sublime.
Sprinkled with traditional recipes, this book boasts
all the fascinating facts, brewing secrets, and wisdom
from the ancients on all things tea, from its earliest history
to its current trends."

(I'm pretty sure ladybugs have crashed this party, too!
If you didn't notice, there were a few on the cover of my book. Oh, well, I love ladybugs, don't you?)

I'd like to share some of the things I found written in this book.

Tea may be taken plain, with milk, with honey, with sugar, or with lemon – but don’t add lemon and milk at the same time. The lemon curdles the milk, which can ruin a nice cup of tea.

The Twinings  were a tea dynasty, a long-term family of tea merchants with five generations in the tea trade before their fist cafe' opened. In their cafe', they encouraged sampling tea by the cup, then opened a retail store next door to sell coffee and tea. They also sold tea in packets and in tea bags to palaces and grand hotels. Today, a Twining still heads the business.
A Scotsman named Thomas Lipton purchased his own tea plantations and warehouses, modernized tea production, eliminated the middle-man, and thus lowered prices. His many stores, plus his skill at advertising, made his last name the household name it is today. He rose from working in a small family grocery store to billionaire with slogans such as, "Direct from the tea garden to the teapot."

Royal Tea is a full tea with champagne or sherry served at the end.
Cream Teas are afternoon delights. Devonshire or clotted cream plays a prominent role. The cream is spread on fresh scones, which can the be topped with berries or preserves.
Elevenses  is a late morning snack of tea and pastry, much like a coffee break.
(I didn't think this was actually a real thing at first, since it was mentioned in the movie, "Lord of the Ring:Fellowship of the Ring"), which I recently watched again:

(Hahaha!! I love this part of the movie.)

Low Tea is called "afternoon tea" and is served at nice hotels, such as the Ritz and the Savoy, and is definitely a treat. The tea is always steeped correctly - tea bags are not used. It's called "low tea" because it's served on low tables beside armchairs. Afternoon tea is frequently served on a tray or cart, rather than at a table. While it can be expensive in hotels, you can do this same tea at home with little effort or expense.

High Tea, sometimes called "meat tea", is a meal served when the family is home from school and work. High tea is more of a dinner and can have meat dishes, along with tea and sweets.

Light Tea is a lighter version of afternoon tea.

Full Tea is a four-course menu with finger sandwiches, scones, sweets, desserts, and choice of tea. Sandwiches are what separate this from light tea.

How long to steep tea?
White tea: 30 seconds to 2 minutes
Green Tea: 1-3 minutes
Oolong tea: 2-3 minutes
Black tea: up to 5 minutes 

 Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary.   -Chinese Proverb

5 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups whole milk
3 eggs
optional: raisins, currants, chocolate chips, etc.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix flour and baking powder. Add softened butter until mixture is crumbly. Add milk and eggs. Mix into dough consistency. Add any optional ingredients. Scatter flour on work surface and roll dough to  1-1¼ inches thick. Use a round 2½-inch cookie cutter to cut out scones. Place them on a buttered baking sheet. For best results, let the uncooked scones chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Bake 20-25 minutes. Serve with Devonshire cream and preserves.

Feeling Calmer Already?
Simply reading about tea can be relaxing and enjoyable! So take a moment out of your daily routine, enjoy a cup of tea, and have your own personal tea party whenever you can. 
Tea, an international symbol of friendship and hospitality!
Linking on over at these "tea" hops!


  1. Hello Ann,
    This looks like a great book on tea and tea etiquette. Thank you for sharing so many interesting quotes. It looks like a book which every tea lover should have in her home. Have a lovely day.


  2. Thanks, Sandi, for stopping by! Your kind words are always a welcome encouragement to me! Have a blessed week!

  3. I adore tea as well. And I always say when you take tea, you calm down for when you have coffee you go pour your cup from the coffeepot and off you go often with mug in hand.

    When you have a cup of tea, you have to wait until the water comes to a boil, then pour the hot water over the tea and wait for it to steep, then pour your cup and have to wait a bit for it to cool . . . by that time you've wound down and probably are sitting and relaxing with your cup of tea!

    That's why I prier a afternoon tea instead of a coffee break!

    And yes, elevenses are real!

    1. I love Ann Voskamp's writings. She wrote,
      "We stand on the brink of eternity.
      So there is enough time.
      Time to breathe deep and time to see real.
      Time to laugh long, time to give God glory and rest deep and sing joy. And just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done."

      Taking tea, sure allows us to take time to take a break.

  4. Lots of great information here! Thanks for linking with FST and like Martha above - Afternoon Tea is great!

    1. Thanks, Bernideen, for stopping by! It's always a joy to hear from you.

  5. Hi Ann! Thank-you for all the interesting tea information. We are at the same tea party, Bernideen's Anne of Green Gables. Denise from englishpurpleribbon.blogspot.com/


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