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7 Gifts for Tea Lovers Under $100: The Definitive Gift Guide

7 Gifts for Tea Lovers Under $100: The Definitive Gift Guide

Practical or luxe, quirky or classic, these tea gifts will send just the right message to the people you are so grateful for this year.  Browse until you've checked everyone off your list (and maybe discovered a few gifts for you, too!)

 

Dragon Pearl Flowering Black Tea & Gift Box

$30.00

The black tea composition not only tastes amazing thanks to the herbs but can also support the normal functioning of the digestive and Immune system with its anti-inflammatory substances and Vitamins*. It also offers you soul harmony through its amazing visual charm. The tea can bloom in hot water just like the real flower in spring. 100% natural ingredient including, Yunnan raw Pu'erh tea, red rose, pink peony, white chrysanthemum, gold calendula. free ...

Premiere Japanese Kyoto Matcha Gift Set

$89.00

Our contemporary style Japanese Tea Ceremony Gift Set combining our finest hand-crafted matcha-ware with our signature Premiere Japanese Kyoto Matcha, perfect for your daily ritual The Social Tea HousePremiere Japanese Kyoto Matcha Gift Set combines our signature artisanal grade matcha with a carefully selected assortment of handcrafted matcha-ware products curated and designed to balance traditional ceremonial values with contemporary functionality. The kit contains our premiere Japanese Kyoto ...

Dragon Pearl Flowering Tea & Gift Box

$35.00

These flowering compositions not only tastes amazing thanks to the herbs but also help to settle your nervous system and relaxes your digestive system, especially good when stressed or tense.*It will also offer you soul harmony through its amazing visual charm. With the beautiful tea blooms in the water, you will feel like sitting in the garden surrounded by the fragrant flower. A selection of 18 hand-crafted dragon pearls with 6 purely delightful flavors including red rose and hibiscus, gold ch ...

Gold Imperial Chrysanthemum

$3.00

PURE, HAND PICKED AND HIGH QUALITY- Grown on the Huang Shan mountain, the imperial chrysanthemum was hand-picked during blossom season. To keep the elegant full blossom and original aroma, they were dried in low-temperature right after been freshly picked. BREW IT AND DRINK EVERYWHERE-Perfect for the hot, cold and special drink. When been put into hit water, you can witness the elegant coloration and full blossom chrysanthemum inside your teapot. The petals can expand to 4-5 inches with great fr ...

Premiere Japanese Kyoto Matcha Latte Gift Set

$59.00

Our contemporary style Japanese Tea Ceremony Gift Set combining our cutest lucky cat mug with signature Premiere Japanese Kyoto Matcha, bring luck and relax to your tea table. The Social Tea House Premiere Japanese Kyoto Sugaring Matcha Gift Set combines our signature artisanal grade sugaring matcha with a handcrafted lucky cat mug designed for you to enjoy a cup of homemade Matcha Latte. The kit contains our premiere Japanese Kyoto sugaring Matcha, a Handpainted Ceramic Mug, a Japanese style ha ...

Glass Tea Pot with Bamboo Lid

$30.00

Perfect for afternoon tea time to brew loose leaf or flower tea to share with your family and friends; Made of medical grade borosilicate glass that is safe for use with hot water. It is also lead-free and guaranteed for life against clouding. The beautiful design makes it an ideal table décor. The built-in filter allows tea leaves to expand and provide full infusion of the leaves. Capacity: Glass Tea Pot with Bamboo Lid: 1000 ml/30 oz 1500 ml/40 oz

Glass Tea Set with Marble Pattern

$50.00

The elegant marble pattern makes the pot a perfect décor for the dining table. Can be used for various teas, and can also be used to brew coffee and milk; Made of medical grade borosilicate glass that is safe for use with hot water. The heating base that is came with the pot can keep the tea warm The built-in filter allows tea leaves to expand and provide full infusion of the leaves. Capacity: 650 ml/20 oz.

Ceramic Seaside Plate Set

$20.00

Create a seaside retreat at your tea and dining table with the relaxed style of the Coastal Starfish, Shellfish, Whale & Fish Dinnerware Collection. It features a lovely starfish, coral, and shell shape design in daily blue or white ceramic. Durable earthenware Dishwasher safe Microwave safe for reheating The Social Tea House exclusive.

How to Make Raspberry Black Tea Cocktail

How to Make Raspberry Black Tea Cocktail

There’s no better time to mix up a sweet cocktail than Christmas! Our Raspberry Ceylon Black Tea pairs brilliantly with the tart lemon and peach flavor to create a refreshing beverage that is begging to be drunk poolside while listening to your favorite playlist. 
 
 

 

Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients:
  • Handful of raspberries
  • 1 small peach, sliced
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 pouch of Iced Raspberry Ceylon Black Tea, steep for 3 minutes in 1 quarter of water. 
  • Vodka
  • Ice
 
Instructions:
  1. Place raspberries, sliced peach, and lemon juice in Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker. Muddle until fruit until smooth.
  2. Pour brewed Raspberry Oolong into Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker. Add a splash of vodka. Place lid on and shake.
  3. Pour over ice and enjoy!

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Victoria Rose Black Tea Miller Crepe Cake

Victoria Rose Black Tea Miller Crepe Cake

A crêpe cake has been on my to-do list all year. Leave it to a procrastinator like myself to finally set aside time during the last few days of 2018 to tackle this classic recipe. This isn’t the easiest cake to make, but I love its chic meets rustic vibe.

One of the main ingredients is our Victoria Rose Black Tea. People fell in love with this black tea upon opening the pouch. It is a mix of the light spice of delicate, young rose buds and petals atop the sweet fullness of Ceylon black tea.  it’s floral and fragrant without being overwhelming.

Makes 1-8″ cake. 

Ingredients:

{Pastry Cream}

1/4 cup cornstarch

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups whole milk

2 Tbsp Victoria Rose Black Tea 

4 egg yolks

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp rose water

{Crêpes}

3 cups all-purpose flour

6 eggs

1 1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cup milk

6 Tbsp butter, melted

3/4 tsp salt

3 Tbsp sugar

non-stick spray or melted butter

{Garnish}

powdered sugar

Equipment:

mixing bowl

medium pot

mesh strainer, for tea

whisk

plastic wrap

blender

8″ crêpe pan

spatula

1/3 cup measure

paper towel

large plate or cake stand

Tbsp measure

sifter, for powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Make the Pastry Cream. In a medium bowl, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, and egg yolks. Add in 1/2 cup of the milk, then mix everything together. In a pot over low-medium heat, heat the milk until it simmers. Turn off the heat, add the loose tea, then let it steep for 5-7 minutes. Strain out the tea, pressing out all of the milk from the leaves. Add this hot tea milk gradually into the cornstarch mixture, whisking continually. Return the mixture to the pot, then set on low heat and stir vigorously for 5-7 minutes until the pastry cream is thick and comes to a boil. Mix the butter, vanilla, and rose water into the pastry cream. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl, then cover with plastic wrap against the surface. Set this aside to cool.

2. Make the Crêpe Batter. Place all the crêpe ingredients (except the non-stick spray) in the blender, placing the liquid ingredients in first before adding the dry. Blend until the mixture is lump-free and smooth.

3. Cook the Crêpes. Spray the crêpe pan with non-stick spray (or coat with a thin layer of melted butter), then place it on very low heat until the pan gets evenly warm. Pour a 1/3 cup of the batter in the center of the pan, then roll the pan in a circular motion so that the batter distributes to an even thickness. Cook the crêpe for a few minutes on the first side until it releases from the pan. Check to see that the color of the crêpe underneath is lightly browned, then flip the crêpe over to cook on the other side for a few minutes more. Stack the crêpes on top of one another as you make them, covering them with a damp paper towel. Repeat this step to make 20 crêpes.

4. Construct the Cake. Place one crêpe on a large plate or cake stand. Spoon 1 Tbsp of pastry cream in the middle of the crêpe, then spread it out evenly over the surface of the crêpe leaving a 1/2″ border all around. Repeat this step for 19 of the crêpes, topping with one last crêpe to create a finished cake. Optionally, dust the cake with powdered sugar to finish…enjoy!

Earl Grey Tea 101: What is Earl Grey Tea?

Earl Grey Tea 101: What is Earl Grey Tea?

Just like cookie dough goes with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter goes with chocolate, and lime goes with tequila, bergamot goes with black tea to create one of the world’s most beloved teas: Earl Grey.

Earl Grey tea, believe it or not, is not its own category of tea. It falls into the category of flavored teas. Flavored teas include any type of tea—white, green, oolong, black—that has been scented or flavored with fruit, flowers, spices, oils, extracts, and natural or artificial flavors.

Earl Grey is one of the most recognized flavored teas in the world. This quintessentially British tea is typically a black tea base flavored with oil from the rind of bergamot orange, a citrus fruit with the appearance and flavor somewhere between an orange and a lemon with a little grapefruit and lime thrown in. Today’s cultivar of the bergamot orange is believed to be a hybrid of the bitter Seville orange native to the Mediterranean and a sweet lime/lemon native to Southeast Asia.

So how did England and the rest of the world come to fall in love with this citrus and floral-infused black tea?

SHOP OUR EARL GREY TEA

Earl Grey origins:

While Earl Grey tea was popularized by the English, it was not an English invention. Scented and flavored teas are uniquely Chinese. Early Chinese tea masters constantly experimented with ways to make their teas more exotic, not only to capture the attention of the reigning emperors of the time but also the business of worldwide trade merchants looking to return home with the unique flavors of the Far East. From fragrant jasmine flowers and wild rosebuds to bitter oranges and sweet lychee fruits, Chinese tea masters infused all kinds of fragrance and flavor into their teas during processing to create distinctive and highly drinkable beverages.

One history of the origins of Earl Grey explains that a Chinese mandarin tea master blended the first Earl Grey tea as a gift for Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl of Grey and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1830 to 1834. According to the Grey family, the tea master used bergamot as a flavoring to offset the lime flavor in the well water on Earl Grey’s estate, Howick Hall, near Newcastle, England. Earl Grey’s wife, Lady Grey, loved the tea so much that she entertained with it exclusively. It proved so popular with London society, she asked tea merchants in London to recreate it. Exactly which English tea merchant marketed the first Earl Grey tea blend is somewhat of a debate in the world of tea. But one thing is for sure: While the 2nd Earl of Grey abolished slavery and reformed child labor laws in England during his political leadership, he will be most famously remembered for the beloved tea he helped introduce to the world.

How Earl Grey is made:

A tea is flavored or scented during manufacturing toward the end of the processing, usually once the tea leaves have dried. One way teas are flavored is by blending the finished tea with flowers, herbs and spices so that the blended ingredients are visually appealing and lightly infuse the tea leaves with their aroma and flavor. Another way tea is flavored is by spraying or coated the finished tea with extracts, essential oils or flavoring agents during or after the drying process. This adds much a much stronger flavor to the tea and uses fewer ingredients. The flavoring-to-tea ratio is completely up to the tea manufacturer, and the flavors that come through to a brewed cup of flavored tea will vary by brand.

Earl Grey is most widely defined as a black tea that has been flavored with the oil of bergamot. There is no one way to make Earl Grey tea, however, which is why every Earl Grey tea you've ever tried has probably tasted slightly different.

 Some of the most significant variables in how Earl Grey tea is made include:

TYPE OF TEA USED:

The classic Earl Grey tea is made with a base of black tea leaves. But the black tea used can be anything from Ceylon to Indian to African. It can be a single estate black tea or a blend of black teas from around the world. The black tea flavor can be sweet and floral or rich and malty. It depends completely on the terroir (the characteristics of the geography, climate and culture) of the tea plant and the processing style of the tea master.

TYPE OF BERGAMOT USED:

Both synthetic and natural bergamot is used to flavor Earl Grey tea. Synthetic bergamot is popular with manufacturers because its flavor is consistent and it contains no actual citrus, so it is safe to consume for those with citrus allergies. The flavor of natural bergamot can vary immensely depending on where it was cultivated and how it was processed. Natural bergamot is often defined as a sharp and intensely citrus flavor. Calabria, in Southern Italy, is home to 80% of the commercially grown bergamot, followed by France and Turkey.

AMOUNT OF BERGAMOT USED:

The art and style of the tea master will define not only which type but also how much bergamot is used in a particular Earl Grey blend. Depending on the flavor of the base tea, a tea master may decide to use a subtle amount of bergamot flavor so as not to cover up the delicate flavor of the tea leaves. Or a tea master may decide to give a bold, sharp black tea a hefty kick of bergamot to stand up to the bold flavor profile of the tea leaves.

Black Tea Processing:   Withering  Rolling  Oxidation  Firing
Our black tea is rolled immediately after withering to help get the oxidation processes started quickly. The leaves are then fully oxidized before they are dried, which is how they get their dark color and rich flavor.

 

Tasting Earl Grey

There is something about the sweet, floral, sour and bitter flavor profile of bergamot that blends perfectly with a bold, full-bodied and malty black tea. For some, a flavored black tea is more palatable to sip, hiding some of the astringent or bitter notes that may come through in the steeped tea leaves. For others, a flavored tea is simply a more interesting, exotic and fun way to explore a range of tea flavor profiles.

The Social Tea House Earl Grey Tea is inspired by the traditional Earl Grey, but it has a delightful lightness and freshness to it. We use one of the finest oils of bergamot, so a mild citrus note hits gently on the center of the palate and seamlessly melds into the satisfying, full-bodied maltiness of our black tea.

Just as we have created our own inspired take on Earl Grey tea, various regions of the world as well as many tea marketers have adapted their own versions of Earl Grey, some of which move away from the traditional black tea base. Some of the more well known variations include:

  • The English are fans of flavored teas and blended Chinese Lapsang Souchong black tea with Earl Grey for a smoky version.
  • Lady Gray is an Earl Grey blend that is said to be more subtle and more floral than a traditional Earl Grey, but most manufacturers marketing this blend have different approaches.
  • The French add their beloved lavender to Earl Grey for a distinctively Parisian version.
  • Earl Green is blended using green tea instead of black.
  • Rooibos Earl Grey features the South African red rooibos herb, typically marketed as red tea, flavored with bergamot. Earl Grey tea lovers looking for caffeine-free options gravitate toward this blend.

The unique flavor of Earl Grey is so beloved that it has lately leapt out of the teacup and into all kinds of culinary treats, from marshmallows to chocolate to cookies. One of our favorite tea-inspired treats our Earl of Bengal Cookies, made with Teatulia’s Earl Grey tea.

Caffeine content in Earl Grey

The caffeine content in an Earl Grey made with a black tea base will be similar to any other cup of black tea. Like any beverage brewed from a caffeinated plant, however, there are a lot of factors that can determine caffeine levels in your cup of Earl Grey black tea, including how the plant was processed and how the beverage was brewed. Between coffee, black tea and green tea, coffee generally has the most caffeine content per 8 oz. cup (95 to 200 mg), then black tea (14 to 61 mg), followed by green tea (24 to 40 mg).

 

Buying and storing Earl Grey

As with any green or black tea, storing a flavored tea properly will ensure your tea will remain fresh as long as possible in your cabinet. It’s always a good idea to buy tea from a reputable company that can tell you when and how the tea was processed and packaged as well as provide storage and freshness tips.

Generally, an oxidized black tea is more shelf stable than its delicate green tea cousin. But teas that have been flavored have a shorter shelf life than a straight black tea. While your flavored tea won’t really go “bad”, it will get stale if it sits around too long and it will definitely lose its flavor potency. If stored properly in a cool, dark place and in an opaque, airtight container away from light, moisture and pantry items like coffee and spices that can leach flavor into the tea leaves, flavored teas can last six months to a year before they should be used or replaced.

 

Preparing Earl Grey

Always ask your tea vendor for brewing instructions specific to the tea you purchased, because flavored teas can have different ideal brewing temperatures and steeping times. Here are a few general Earl Grey tea brewing tips to keep in mind:

  • Use fresh, pure, cold filtered water. Spring water is the best.
  • If your Earl Grey has a black tea base, it can typically brewed for longer periods of time and in hotter temperatures than flavored teas with a green tea base. Generally, this is somewhere between 200 and 212 degrees. We steep our Teatulia Earl Grey tea for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • If you don’t have an electric kettle with temperature control, just remember that at sea level water simmers at 190 degrees and boils at 212 degrees. The boiling temperature drops about a degree for every 1,000 feet in altitude increase. So, generally, somewhere just off a rolling boil should be perfect for brewing a flavored black tea.
  • If your Earl Grey tea came with specific recommendations for brewing, use those. But using about 2 grams of loose leaf tea per 8 oz. cup of water is a safe bet.
  • Cover your Earl Grey tea while it steeps to keep all the heat in the steeping vessel.
  • Avoid over steeping your flavored tea. The longer your tea steeps, the stronger the added flavor becomes and the more quickly the tea leaves will release any of their bitterness and astringency. Taste your tea after the recommended steeping time and then decide if you’d like it to steep a little longer.
  • Many high-quality, loose leaf Earl Grey teas can be steeped multiple times to yield several cups of tea.
  • Most Earl Grey teas are meant to stand up to milk and sugar per the popular English teatime traditions. But for a true education in the flavor differences between the many varieties of Earl Grey, try sipping it plain with no additives.

 

 

How to Make Lady M's Earl Grey Crepe Cake

How to Make Lady M's Earl Grey Crepe Cake

Dessert aficionados may recognize the name Lady M as a French patisserie, famous for their delectable 20-layer mille crepe cake, available in a variety of flavors. Sadly, not everyone has the chance to pop into one of their major cosmopolitan locations. Try this recipe instead—with the addition of warm tea-steeped milk, this impressive dessert tastes just like a fragrant cup of earl grey tea. 

Lady M's Earl Grey Crepe Cake

  • Prep Time:1 hr
  • Cook Time:1 hr
  • Total Time:2 hrs
  • Servings:12

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 oz premium earl grey black tea.
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups double cream
  • 2 tbs powdered sugar
  • 1 earl grey teabag
  • STEP 1

    For the pastry filling, bring the 1 ¼ cups milk to a near boil over medium heat. Once simmering, lower the heat and steep the 3 teabags in the milk for about 5 minutes. 

    Meanwhile, whisk together the egg, 1 tbs flour, 1 tbs sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl until smooth.

  • STEP 2

    Remove the milk from heat and gradually stir into the egg mixture. Return all the ingredients to the stove and keep stirring until thick.

  • STEP 3

    Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. If it’s looking too clumpy, you may want to stir in an extra tablespoon of milk. Refrigerate until firm.

  • STEP 4

    Whip the 2 cups of cream with a hand mixer. Add in the 2 tbs powdered sugar and tea leaves in the earl grey teabag. 
    Slowly fold the earl grey pastry cream prepared in Steps 1-3 into the whipped cream until smooth. Refrigerate the filling.

  • STEP 5

    For the crepe batter, heat the 2 ½ cups milk until steaming. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 
    In a separate bowl, mix together the 5 eggs, 1¼ cup flour, 3 tbs sugar, 5 tbs butter, and salt. Slowly add in the warm milk and mix until smooth.

  • STEP 6

    To make the crepes, melt 1 tbs butter on a pan over medium heat. Pour about 3 tablespoons crepe batter in the pan and swirl until the surface is covered. 
    Flip after about a minute, or once the edges start crisping up. Repeat until you have a stack of 20 crepes (but if you run out of energy, a shorter cake will taste just as good).

 

  • STEP 7

    To assemble the cake, lay down a crepe and evenly spread dollop of the earl grey cream filling over the crepe. Lay down another crepe on top. Keep going until the cake is complete.

 

  • STEP 8

    Once your cake is assembled, cut the tip off a corner of a Ziploc bag and fill with leftover cream to pipe whatever decoration you’d like on top, or simply finish with a dusting of powdered sugar. Take lots of pictures and enjoy

 

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