Afternoon Tea, by Jane Pettigrew–a Review

ChaRight380Afternoon Tea

Our panda mascot, Cha, loves to read—especially tea books—and has recently dived into the world of book reviews. Here’s his take on Jane Pettigrew’s wise and witty Afternoon Tea. (https://store.globalteamart.com/afternoon-tea-p271.aspx)

AfternoonTeaCOVER

(https://store.globalteamart.com/afternoon-tea-p271.aspx)

“First off, I love holding this book—it’s just the right size for my paws and easy on my eyes. I first note and agree with, Ms. Pettigrew’s accurate observation that tea is ‘quite simply, the best drink of the day.’

Then she leads me on a journey from the discovery of tea five-thousand years ago in Southern China, near by the mountains where I was born, through Alice in Wonderland’s looking glass to women’s independence and the temperance movements and right into the tea renaissance that is sweeping the world today.

A lump came into my throat at this gorgeous book’s tasty recipes for such tea goodies as Strawberry Amaretto Shortcake and Macarons. I literally drooled at the elegant photos of perfectly prepared tea trays and trolleys, as well as historical photos that imbue the book with depth and authenticity.

I can’t say enough good things about this enchanting page-after-page depiction of the art of ‘refined conversation and light hearted chatter’ that has so characterized tea time over the centuries. Tea’s cultural importance is highlighted in her descriptions of traditional tea rituals and ceremonies. Although she doesn’t say anything about pandas, I can forgive her oversight as the entire book is a treat.

I would advise you to enjoy this book with a cup of your favorite tea. In Afternoon Tea you will be fascinated by the historical tidbits and mesmerizing tea stories woven as fine as spotless linens and gracious manners. Ms. Pettigrew’s profound insight into this intriguing and healthy beverage is a treat worthy of the finest tea. It’s no wonder she is aptly dubbed ‘Britain’s First Lady of Tea.’ I raise my cup of tea to you, dear lady, for a job exceedingly well done.”

Cha’s Spicydoodle Cookies

Cha Hat Vignette

Cha’s Spicydoodle Cookies

Cha’s been in the kitchen again with his human helper, Kim. Together they’ve created a scrumptious variation on the traditional snickerdoodle cookie using Global Tea Mart’s Chai Spice Mix, a spicy mixture of sweetener, and freshly ground spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, ginger and clove. (https://store.globalteamart.com/chai-spice-mix-p298.aspx)

Chai Spice Mix (6) TB

Crispy and spicy on the outside and softly toothsome on the inside, Spicydoodle cookies are the perfect accompaniment to a delicious cup of your favorite oolong or black tea. Oh and, so easy to make.

Here’s how you do it…20160629 Spicydoodle Cookies 052

Ingredients:

1 cup softened butter

1 ½ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 ¾ cup flour

2 Tsp Global Tea Mart Chai Spice Mix (https://store.globalteamart.com/chai-spice-mix-p298.aspx)

2 Tsp cream of tartar

1 Tsp baking soda

½ Tsp salt

Optional:

Small bowl of Chai Spice Mix and sugar to taste

Directions:

Cream together the softened butter and sugar. Add the eggs and set this mixture aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, Chai Spice Mix, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.

Add the butter/sugar mixture to the flour mixture and mix well.

Using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop, roll the dough into round balls about the size of a golf ball. Oh, by the way, to answer all of those who’ve asked; yes, Cha does play golf occasionally.

The cookies will have a delightful spicy flavor and if you’d like them to be even spicier, roll the dough balls in the optional dry Chai Spice and sugar mixture. You might even add some cinnamon—if you like cinnamon, that is. Cha loves these cookies after his daily feast of bamboo leaves.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.

Set your prettiest table, steep up your best tea, invite some friends and enjoy!20160629 Spicydoodle Cookies 001

Matcha Green Tea

Cha-Typing-Right-350Powdered green matcha, has a long, storied history. Currently it is enjoying rave status for its healthful properties and unique, vegetal taste. Matcha lattes, matcha energy drinks and other concoctions abound.

Tea first arrived in Japan with Buddhist monks from the Jin Shan area of China in the 800s, but it took until the 1100s for the cultivation and consumption of tea to gain a firm hold on the Japanese nation.

Initially, tea was powdered following the Chinese fashion of that time. It quickly became codified as a ceremonial beverage for the Imperial Court at Kyoto, Japanese monasteries and the noble warrior class, the samurai.

By the 1550s, Japanese tea master Sen Rikyu so ritualized the use of matcha that it became the basis for the time-honored Chado, “the Way of Tea.”dreamstime_m_13372969

It wasn’t until the mid-seventeenth century that other forms of tea emerged in Japan to satisfy the popular demand for a quicker method of steeping tea. With the advent of this innovative rolled Sencha method, finely powdered matcha became firmly associated with the exquisite Japanese tea ceremony.

Today the focus on matcha has shifted from the tea house to include everyday uses for this intensely vegetal tea with its high levels of chlorophyll, amino acids and other beneficial compounds. Recipes are plentiful for matcha lattes, matcha ice cream, even matcha banana bread. Its powdered form makes it easy to add to almost any dish.

Whether you drink matcha in its purest form or add it to baked goods, ice cream, or iced tea, you are in for a delightful, healthful treat.

Check out our premium teas at:  www.GlobalTeaMart.com

Best Alcoholic Tea Drinks

Global tea recipesTea plays an important role in a surprisingly wide range of alcoholic cocktails. In fact, the entire idea of modern iced black tea has its roots in a highly alcoholic green tea punch that dates to the 1830s. While the original recipes were limited by the types of teas that were available in a particular place or time, that is no longer the case. You might enjoy a complex herbal blend or a delicate white tea rather than a traditional green or black tea. With so many teas readily available today, we encourage you to experiment with recipes to find the balance that best suits your individual tastes.

Hot Tea Cocktails

Warm alcoholic tea concoctions are an excellent way to beat back the chill on a cold winter night, but also serve a soothing and relaxing purpose throughout the year. The key to a successful hot tea cocktail is to begin by making the tea and then add the other ingredients as it is steeping. Many of these drinks can be tweaked to create non-alcoholic “mocktail” versions as well.

  • Hot Toddy: The hot toddy is arguably the most famous hot tea cocktail. A blend of tea, honey, lemon, and liquor, it is also one of the easiest to experiment with. Black and green teas are the most traditional, as they react well with the blend of honey and lemon to create a slightly sweet and sour note. However, virtually any type of tea could be used instead, especially if you tweak the amount of honey and lemon.

Whiskey, rum, and bourbon are the traditional liquors in a hot toddy, and each imparts its own unique flavors. However, there is no reason not to use gin, vodka, or any other liquor you prefer. Flavored alcohols can also enhance the taste, from spicy cinnamon to soothing apple.

To create a mock version, consider substituting apple juice, cranberry juice, or another flavored beverage for the liquor. You might need to tweak the amount of water in the recipe as well.

  • Hot Tea Punch: Hot tea punches run the gamut of styles and flavors, but are always heavy on the aromatics. Rum and red wine form the base for a heady, festive winter punch, while cranberry juice and apple cider are excellent additions to a lighter springtime punch. Brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, and cloves fit well into virtually any hot tea punch.

For a non-alcoholic mocktail, substitute dark grape juice for red wine, use non-alcoholic cider, or choose molasses with nuts or rum extract instead of rum. You might need to fine-tune the amount of aromatics you use, as non-alcoholic versions tend to be lighter overall.

  • Chai Drinks: If you are familiar with Chai tea, you know that its spicy blend of flavorings pairs best with milk and sugar. Therefore, it is a natural choice for creamy hot beverages featuring Baileys, Kahlua, or other rich liquor choices. Be careful how much sugar you add, as these alcohols are already sweet. To get a mocktail approximation of this, stick to traditional Chai tea with milk and sugar, and add a spoonful of your favorite flavoring extract.

Iced Tea Cocktails

Iced tea cocktails are refreshing on a summer afternoon, and can be an excellent pick-me-up at any time of year. In these cocktails, the tea serves as a bold background flavor, so avoid choosing very delicate teas that might be overwhelmed. It is important to steep the tea using traditional warm methods to bring forth its natural flavors, and then thoroughly chill it in the refrigerator, freezer, or in an ice bath before mixing your cocktail.

  • Iced Tea Punch: The iced tea punch helped to spawn an iced tea revolution in the United States, and with good reason. Cold and refreshing, iced tea punches can be as simple or as complex as you prefer. Green tea is the traditional base, but there is no reason not to choose black tea or your favorite herbal blend instead. Focus on light alcohols such as vodka for an airy daytime punch, or add rum or bourbon for a more dramatic concoction. Lemonade, lime juice, or other citrus beverages are often added for complexity and to cut some of the alcohol.

A nonalcoholic version can be just as tasty as a punch with alcohol. Choose a bold tea, add multiple citrus juices, and top it off with a spoonful of flavoring extract or an herbal-infused simple syrup. Don’t forget to garnish with some fresh sliced fruit.

  • Flavored Iced Teas: Flavored alcoholic teas are extraordinarily popular and easy to make. For examples, with a bit of bourbon and fresh mint, you can turn your tea into a less-strong mockup of a mint julep. Flavored alcohols, strong aromatics, and fresh fruits can be combined in innumerable ways to create unique flavor blends.

Mocktail versions feature the same tea, aromatics, and fresh fruits, but leave out the alcohol. They are generally sweeter and less bitter than the alcoholic version, but otherwise taste very similar. Perhaps the best-known non-alcoholic example is the Arnold Palmer, which is simply half-tea and half-lemonade served over ice.

  • Iced Chai Drinks: Like their hot counterparts, iced Chai drinks marry the spicy flavors of Chai tea with their natural affinity for sugar and milk. Any milky liqueur can substitute for the milk, or you can simply add a splash of your favorite liquor to a traditionally prepared cold Chai tea. For a nonalcoholic version, add a bit of flavoring extract instead.

Alcoholic tea drinks have been an important part of tea culture since its earliest days. Like all aspects of tea enjoyment, it is filled with rich possibilities for exploration and experimentation. Take the time to try different combinations of teas, alcohols, and other ingredients, and you are sure to develop a personal favorite blend or two.

At Global Tea Mart, we hope to become your online home for all aspects of the world of tea. If we can be of assistance in any way, please do not hesitate to call us at 888-209-4223. We look forward to being a part of your journey!