Review: Sticky Fingers Red Raspberry Scone mix

Sticky Fingers Red Raspberry Scone mix.  Photo: Elizabeth Urbach

Sticky Fingers Red Raspberry Scone mix. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach

Scone mixes are a good item to keep in your tea party pantry for those times when you don’t have 30 minutes to make a batch of scones from scratch, but you still need something to eat with tea, and you want something a little more special than toast.  Enter the packaged scone mixes!  With the company tag line “homemade taste for modern lives,” Sticky Fingers was the first brand of scone mix that I saw in San Jose-area stores, and it has expanded to include several flavors that are available in local Safeway, Target, Nob Hill, and Cost Plus World Market stores, as well as Lisa’s Tea Treasures in Campbell and at Santana Row.  The scone mix is packaged in a foil-lined paper sack, and includes enough dry ingredients for 12 medium-sized scones; the only ingredient that the user needs to add is water, but you can enrich the scones by adding milk, cream, or a combination of those and water when you mix up the scones.

The company website says that all their mixes contain no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, trans-fats or saturated fats.  Ingredients for the Red Raspberry mix include: unbleached enriched flours (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavins, folic acid), sugar, canola oil (with ascorbic acid and rosemary added to preserve freshness), buttermilk powder, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate), freeze dried raspberries, natural flavor, and salt.

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Tea and _Saving Mr. Banks_

_Saving Mr. Banks_ official movie still.  Copyright Disney Studios

_Saving Mr. Banks_ movie still from the film’s Facebook page. Copyright Disney Studios

San Jose residents have the opportunity to see, among the other usual holiday movie offerings, a biographical sketch of the author, P. L. Travers, creator of the beloved character “Mary Poppins”, immortalized by Walt Disney.  Starring Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, _Saving Mr. Banks_ is the story of the author’s deep personal love for her characters, and her fight to keep them from being too “Disney-fied” in Hollywood.

The plot also features frequent flashbacks to Travers’ childhood in Australia, and gives glimpses of the various people in her life who inspired Mr. and Mrs. Banks, Bert, and Mary Poppins, in particular.  Fittingly, the movie also features tea many times; Travers is only seen drinking tea, and makes many pithy comments about tea, including: “it is an abomination to drink tea from a paper cup”, and “tea is balm for the soul.”  She also weighs in on the “milk in first/milk in last” question: she takes her milk in first.  During one of the childhood flashbacks, Travers’ prim and proper aunt – a major inspiration for Mary Poppins herself — arrives to help the family, and promises to fix everything while opening her capacious carpetbag and taking out a teacup and saucer.  Walt Disney also visits her in London and asks for “a cup of your English tea.”

We all know the end of the story – since most of us have seen the finished product, animation and all – but most don’t know the struggle it took to make the movie, and the personal investment of the author herself.  I found it a very interesting and moving story, and I would definitely see it again.  It is a good movie to accompany a cup of hot tea, and if you can bring your own travel mug of tea and tea party pantry treats to the theater, so much the better, because my cup of Earl Grey cost me over $4!  The movie will be running in the San Jose area for a little while longer, so why not welcome the new year with tea and a movie?

Copyright 2014, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read?  Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my other blog, The Cup That Cheers,  or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea or Pinterest!

For more information: 

“P.L. Travers” entry in Wikipedia
“Mary Poppins” movie page on the Disney website
“Saving Mr. Banks” movie page on the Disney website
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?”
“Celebrate Beatrix Potter’s work with a tea party”
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea”
“Tea 101: How to brew a pot of hot tea using loose tea”
“Making the most of a cup of restaurant tea”
“Have an English tea and Royal Wedding-viewing party”
“Review: Twinings Earl Grey tea”
“Tea and food pairings for black teas”
“Stay up late with tea on New Year’s Eve”
“Use tea as a holiday champagne substitute”
“Review: Mobile Teapot from Village Tea Company”
“How to have tea with Jane Austen (in spirit) in San Jose”
“6 points of proper tea etiquette for San Jose”
“Curl up with tea and a New Year’s Day brunch to watch the Rose Parade”

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Filed under Books, Movies, Tea

Raise your teacup to Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday.

The Coventry Carolers at Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe.

The Coventry Carolers at Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe.

The popular Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Holiday Party, which opened the weekend before Thanksgiving this year, is in extra celebratory mode, remembering the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth.  Born February 7, 1813, Dickens created some of the most iconic stories and characters known to Western literature, which are brought to life at the Dickens Fair in Daly City at the Cow Palace.  Actor Robert Young portrays the author every year and conducts readings of his works throughout the six weekends that the Fair is open. The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through December 22nd.

Dickens’ characters are often found enjoying a cup of tea and some cake, so why not join them – and all the other visitors at the Dickens Fair – over a cup or pot of tea?  Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe is the most popular place to have tea, because you can sit in a Victorian tea room and be served by costumed waiters and waitresses, and if you are in costume yourself, you become part of the holiday scenery.  Be ready to stand in long lines to wait for a table, however, and if you want a full afternoon tea menu you need to reserve your spot in advance on the Cuthbert’s website.  Be advised that full afternoon tea seatings sell out quickly!

There are a few other options if you want to have some tea at the Dickens Fair.  Cuthbert’s has a “take-away” window at the back of the shop, where you can buy each of the tea menu items a la carte, and find your own seating outside the tea shop.  There is Mr. Brown’s Fine Coffee & Teas, which is one of the food vendor booths, where you can get tea, chai, scones, and other treats a la carte.  New this year is 2 English Ladies, a shop that sells cream tea supplies for your tea party pantry, like lemon curd, jam and preserves, and loose tea blends.  Cuthbert’s also sells teapots, if you need one of those.  There are many ways to enjoy a nice cup of tea and a treat for the holiday, and raise your cup to the joy and imagination of Charles Dickens’ works!

Copyright 2013, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read?  Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page  on Facebook, read my other blog, The Cup That Cheers, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea or Pinterest!

For more information:
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair website http://dickensfair.com/
Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe website http://cuthbertsteashoppe.com/
Food booths at the Dickens Fair http://www.dickensfair.com/food-drink
Dickens 2012 website http://www.dickens2012.org/
“Charles Dickens in Pictures” from The Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/charles-dickens/8954312/Charles-Dickens-in-pictures.html
“Review: Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/review-cuthbert-s-tea-shoppe-at-the-great-dickens-christmas-fair-review
“Tea-tasting San Jose area day trips: San Francisco’s Chinatown” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/tea-tasting-san-jose-area-day-trips-san-francisco-s-chinatown
“Tea 101: what do we mean when we talk about tea?” http://www.examiner.com/x-8683-San-Jose-Tea-Examiner~y2010m7d14-Teatime-101-what-do-we-mean-when-we-talk-about-tea
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/what-you-need-to-make-a-good-pot-of-hot-tea
“Tea 101: How to brew a pot of hot tea using loose tea” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/tea-101-how-to-brew-a-pot-of-tea-using-loose-tea
“How to have afternoon tea at the Dickens Fair in San Francisco” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/how-to-have-afternoon-tea-at-the-dickens-fair-san-francisco
“Last weekend for tea at the Dickens Fair!” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/last-weekend-for-tea-at-the-dickens-fair
“Enjoy traditional Irish seed cake with a nice cup of tea” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/enjoy-traditional-irish-seed-cake-with-a-nice-cup-of-tea
“Escape the rain in San Jose with a Cornish cream tea & Pirates of Penzance!” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/escape-the-rain-san-jose-with-a-cornish-cream-tea-pirates-of-penzance
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?” http://www.examiner.com/article/what-should-i-keep-the-pantry-for-tea-parties
“By Dickens, a Victorian Pacifican serves up delectables at Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe” http://www.mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_19393798?source=rss
“When the exhibits are people: first-person cultural interpreters at Dickens Christmas Fair.” http://www.examiner.com/x-19428-San-Jose-Museum-Examiner~y2009m11d29-When-the-exhibits-are-people–firstperson-cultural-interpreters-at-Dickens-Christmas-Fair

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Filed under Events, History, Holiday, Tea, Tips

Have a Halloween High Tea while greeting trick-or-treaters

A Jolly Halloween.  Image: Halloween Cavern of Clipart.

A Jolly Halloween. Image: Halloween Cavern of Clipart.

Halloween is almost here in San Jose, and the trick-or-treaters will soon be out in force.  Since it also looks like it may be a cool, rainy autumn evening, why not put together some hot tea and treats for yourself – and maybe some friends – as you wait through the night to hand out candy to the local kids?  Unfortunately, homemade goodies can’t be passed out to trick-or-treaters – everything must be individually wrapped and sealed in its original factory wrapping – but there’s no reason why you have to limit yourself to leftovers, microwave popcorn or extra Halloween candy tonight.  A pot of hot tea will hit the spot as the rain falls outside, and you can give yourself a delicious shiver with some spooky treats to go alongside.  Here are some suggestions for your own Halloween High Tea:

Orange Spice Tea
Pumpkin Spice Tea
Masala Chai
Pumpkin Spice Tea Toddy

Spooky Black Olive Scones
Pumpkin Seeds
Hot Dog Mummies
Tombstone Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Psycho-delic Cat Eyes

Vampire Cupcakes
Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes
Spider Truffles
Meringue Ghosts

Hearty black teas pair better with the hearty food that is so appropriate for cooler weather.  Cozy up with your own special food and a nice hot pot of tea, and you’ll be ready to welcome any number of trick-or-treaters!

Copyright 2013, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read?  Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page  on Facebook, read my blog, The Cup That Cheers, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea or Pinterest!

For more information:

“Tea 101: what do we mean when we talk about tea?”
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea”
“Tea 101: How to brew a pot of hot tea using loose tea”
“Enjoy San Jose’s harvest moon with some hot tea”
“How to make masala chai at home”
“What to do if it rains in San Jose on Halloween: have a tea party!”
“Tea and food pairings for black teas”
“A Twilight theme tea”
“How to put on a Gothic high tea”

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Filed under Holiday, Menus, Party Ideas

How to use tea to dye fabric

Prince George of Cambridge in the reproduction christening gown.

Prince George of Cambridge in the reproduction christening gown. Photo: The British Monarchy. All Rights Reserved.

Great Britain’s Prince George of Cambridge was recently christened in an ecru lace-trimmed and silk satin christening gown, a replica of the one made in 1841 for Victoria, Princess Royal, the eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, by Janet Sutherland, Embroiderer to the Queen.  The antique gown had been worn by every newborn in the Royal Family at his or her christening until 2004, when it was determined that the garment was too fragile to be worn further.  Queen Elizabeth commissioned her personal dressmaker and designer, Angela Kelly, to make a reproduction of the gown, which was, itself, a nod to Queen Victoria’s wedding gown.  The replica was made, like Queen Victoria’s gown and the original royal christening gown, from ivory Spitalfields silk satin and Honiton lace, and was dyed a lovely sepia shade, to imitate the original, with tea.  The reproduction gown was first worn in 2008 by the Queen’s grandson, James, Viscount Severn, the son of Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex.  The guests later enjoyed a private afternoon tea, with champagne and Christening Cake – part of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake, which was a rich fruitcake — after the ceremony, at the Prince of Wales’ and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s home, Clarence House.

Official christening photo of Prince George of Cambridge.  Photo: The British Monarchy.  All Rights Reserved.

Official christening photo of Prince George of Cambridge. Photo: The British Monarchy. All Rights Reserved.

To achieve a similar ecru color on your own white cotton or linen garments, try the following:

  • Get about 20 black tea bags – the cheaper the tea, the better, because nobody is going to drink it.
  • Fill a large pot or pan – at least 4 quart size — with water, and bring it to the boil.
  • Add the teabags, turn off the heat, and allow the tea to steep in the water for at least an hour.
  • Wash the garment or fabric you intend to dye, to remove dirt, oils, and factory finishes that will impair the dyeing process.
  • When ready to dye, remove the teabags, and reheat your pot of strong brewed tea.
  • When the tea is hot but not boiling, put your fabric into the strong tea, turn off the heat, and let it soak at least 1 hour, or until the fabric has achieved the color you want it to have.  You can soak the fabric overnight, if you wish.  Make sure the fabric is a little darker than you want, before you remove it from the tea soak, because it will lighten as it is rinsed and dried.
  • Remove the fabric to the sink and wring out, then rinse in cold water.
  • Wring out again, and air-dry the garment, or put it in the electric dryer.
  • Iron your garment on medium heat, and you should be good to go, with a lovely ecru textile instead of a blindingly white one.  This can be a perfect way to make yourself something a little different, or to make a nice gift for someone special.

Copyright 2013, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read?  Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my blog, The Cup That Cheers, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea or Pinterest!

For more information: “Prince George christened, 7 godparents named”
“Prince George christening, official photos released”
“Prince George’s Christening Robe – the History Behind His Royal Look”
“Prince George’s Christening Dessert: Fruitcake”
“William and Kate break tradition for Prince George’s christening”
“Royal Wedding Rewind: Prince William and Kate Middleton Ate the Top Tier of their Wedding Cake After Prince George’s Christening”
“Chinese black tea in San Jose”
“Tea 101: what do we mean when we talk about tea?”
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea”
“What to do if it rains in San Jose on Halloween: have a tea party!”
“Tea and food pairings for black teas”
“5 gifts you can make with tea”
“Have an English tea and Royal Wedding-viewing party”
“Stay up with tea and watch the Royal Wedding”
“Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge, role model for tea drinkers and new mothers”

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Filed under Events, History, Tips

Raise a cup of tea on September 21st for Hobbit Day

A traditional cooked English breakfast, perfect with a cup of tea.  Image: FreeFoto.com

A traditional cooked English breakfast, perfect with a cup of tea. Image: FreeFoto.com

San Jose’s vintage literature fans know that September 21st is Hobbit Day, and many locals like to celebrate it with a cup of tea and an appropriate mid-day snack.  The official Hobbit Second Breakfast website extends this invitation: “You are cordially invited to take part in a global celebration of the 76th anniversary of The Hobbit. Wherever you are in the world, join us at 11am on 21 September to take a few minutes out to enjoy a Second Breakfast with friends and family.”  Why not enjoy this whimsical idea you’re your own Second Breakfast, Elevenses, or Afternoon Tea?

Hobbits are known, in Middle Earth, for their healthy appetites, and their love of comforting, traditional country dishes, accompanied by glasses or mugs of ale or beer and cups of hot tea.  Meat pies, roasted meat, garden vegetables and bread puddings, as well as fruit, scones, clotted cream, jam, cakes, tarts, and biscuits, all make their appearance in the Shire.  The Hobbit Second Breakfast website even includes recipes for Hobbit Scones and Seed Cake if you want to make your own, although nice scones can be purchased ready-made from the bakery booths at local farmers’ markets and even in some grocery stores.  Check Nob Hill, Zanotto’s, and Fresh & Easy stores in the San Jose area, as well as the British food supply stores in the Bay Area for Hobbit-friendly treats.  Of course, be sure to check your tea party pantry, too! Combine the food with a pot of English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey, or other hearty black tea, pick up a good book on Saturday morning or afternoon, and celebrate in Middle Earth style!  Continue reading

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Filed under Holiday, Menus, Party Ideas

Make homemade jam for the tea party pantry

Orlando's Fruit Stand in San Jose.  Photo: Elizabeth Urbach

Orlando’s Fruit Stand in San Jose. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach

San Jose’s history as “The Valley of Heart’s Delight” is no longer visible in the orchards that once covered the Santa Clara Valley, but plenty of local people still have fruit trees in their front and back yards, trees that are filling with ripe fruit this season.  Wild plums and berries can also be found along the banks of rivers, creeks and streams in the Santa Cruz mountains and local foothills.  For those that don’t have edible landscaping at home, and even for those that do, the local farmers’ markets are a wonderful source of fresh, ripe fruit for tea-table jams and preserves.  What better treat to serve your tea guests, give as gifts, or enjoy by yourself than homemade jam?  You can make jam either with or without adding pectin; it’s a fairly easy recipe either way.
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Filed under Recipes, Tips, Uncategorized

Tea for new moms like Katherine, the Duchess of Cambridge

Kate Middleton drinking tea in Kuala Lumpur from km-dofc on tumblr resized

The Duchess of Cambridge drinking tea on the Royal Jubilee Tour in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: KM DofC on tumblr.

Katherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, expressed her love for tea last year at her first official public appearance with Queen Elizabeth and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to 306-year-old Fortnum & Mason, when the department store’s restaurant was renamed The Diamond Jubilee Tea Station in the Queen’s honor.  Katherine said “this is so interesting. I would really like to learn to make the perfect cup of tea as when I last made a pot of tea with dried tea leaves I got it very wrong.”  Tea shop staff obliged and demonstrated making the perfect pot of tea, and hopefully Katherine has had a chance to use her newly-learned tea-making skills.

When pregnant, it was reported that the Duchess of Cambridge craved black teascones, and lavender biscuits.  Now that she is a mother, however, Katherine’s dietary needs have changed. Since she is breastfeeding, she shouldn’t drink caffeine freely, as she could before her pregnancy, although a bit will probably be welcome from time to time to combat the fatigue that is common to new mothers, especially once she resumes making royal appearances on September 12th.

As she rests at her parents’ home in the country, Katherine should be able to indulge in a calming cup of tea each day.  While there’s no official consensus on the topic, many doctors believe that drinking 1 to 2 cups of tea per day is safe for a nursing mother and her baby.  Many recommend that the mother enjoy her cup of tea after nursing her baby, in order to minimize the amount of caffeine that passes to the child through the milk.  There is some question about green tea and its effect on a nursing mother’s folic acid levels, however.

On the other hand, tea-drinking is so much a part of Asian cultures that pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children of almost all ages drink tea as they have every day for centuries, with no (reported) caffeine-related health problems.  De-caffeinated black tea, however, is generally thought to be safe for most nursing mothers, although it still contains trace amounts of caffeine.

As for herbal teas, so-called “mother’s milk”, “nursing” or “breastfeeding” teas have not been proven to be either safe or effective for increasing milk production, despite numerous testimonials to the contrary and recommendations from naturopaths.  During pregnancy, while it is tempting to use herbal tisanes to combat discomfort, expectant mothers are encouraged to proceed as slowly and carefully when considering herbal remedies as they would when considering commercial pharmaceuticals.  The reason for this is the fact that there haven’t been enough studies done on the subject of the safety of natural remedies and herbal infusions during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and the FDA encourages caution.

The result of all this contradictory information?  A vague answer that a new mother doesn’t really want to hear, but the only one an online article can give: check with your doctor! You might also want to sign up for the American Pregnancy Association Natural Medicines online database.

Copyright 2013, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read?  Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my other blog, The Cup That Cheers, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea or Pinterest

For more information:

“Tea and the mold-free diet”
“Chinese black tea in San Jose”
“Japanese tea from San Jose’s Japantown”
“Can you really de-caffeinate your tea in 30 seconds?”
“The top 10 tea myths: don’t be fooled by any of them!”
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea”
“Tea 101: How to brew a pot of hot tea using loose tea”
“Stay up late with tea on New Year’s Eve”
“5 ways to treat cold and flu symptoms with tea”
“What are the different kinds of green tea available in San Jose?”
“Have an English tea and Royal Wedding-viewing party”
“2012 Olympics-watching calls for tea and British food”
“Pregnant Kate Middleton craves tea and scones”
“Kate Middleton will be back in the limelight after the birth of Prince George”
“Kate Middleton will breastfeed Prince George, but won’t be a pinup for it”
“Kate Middleton, the Queen and Duchess of Cornwall on official visit to Fortnum & Mason”
American Pregnancy Association Natural Medicines database
“Can you drink green tea while breastfeeding?”
“Black tea”
“Green tea and breastfeeding”
“Breastfeeding and caffeine”
“Is caffeine consumption safe during pregnancy?”
“What effect does the mother’s consumption of caffeine have on the breastfeeding infant?” La Leche League
“Consequences on the newborn of chronic maternal consumption of coffee during gestation and lactation: a review.” Nehlig, A., Debry, G.  _Journal of American College Nutrition_,1994.
“Herbal safety for nursing moms”
“Review of 5 nursing teas”
“Herbal tea and pregnancy”

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Filed under Health, Tips

Review: Peet’s Summer House Iced Tea

Peet's Coffee & Tea on Santa Clara St.  Photo: Elizabeth Urbach

Peet’s Coffee & Tea on Santa Clara St. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach

Summer has definitely arrived in San Jose, with the highest June temps we’ve seen in years!  Definitely time for lots of iced tea, and happily, someone has designated the month of June to be Iced Tea Month.  While cold tea, served with or without ice in the glass, has been a familiar drink in the United States since the middle of the 1800s, especially in the warm Southern states, “iced” tea is generally agreed to have been “invented” – at least formally introduced – to Americans at the 1906 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.  Iced tea became a sensation and has remained a popular warm-weather beverage ever since then.  Iced tea is easy to make at home, with a glass jar or decanter and some cold water in the fridge, but when you’re out and about, sometimes it can be difficult to find a good iced tea.  Various dine-in and fast-food restaurants serve iced tea, and most coffee shops in the San Jose area do, as well.

 

Peet’s Coffee & Tea on Santa Clara St. usually has a few cold tea-based drinks on the menu, but if you want your basic iced black tea, their Summer House Tea is a good choice.  It is a blend of black teas specifically created for making iced tea, and it is only served iced in-store.  You can also buy it as a loose-leaf tea in tins, or in tea bags, for about $7 per tin or box of tea bags.  The company website describes the blend this way: “Iced tea is an altogether different drink from its steaming counterpart, calling for a smoother, more refreshing flavor.  Summer House contains three teas from China and India for a blend that’s at once slightly sweet, toasty and mildly brisk.”

Peet's iced tea.  Photo from the Peet's company Facebook page.

Peet’s iced tea. Photo from the Peet’s company Facebook page.

I tasted the Summer House Tea for the first time a few years ago.  I would not consider it a smooth-flavored tea, and I didn’t taste any sweetness or toastyness.  The description suggests that the blend is a mix of Assam (for the toastyness), with some other Chinese teas.  There must be some Darjeeling in the blend because there was a good amount of astringency (“briskness”) in the flavor, as well as a citrusy tartness.  The tea is served unsweetened, and although I usually don’t add sugar or honey to my tea – hot or cold – I would add a small amount of honey to this iced tea.  It would also be tasty with a slice of fresh Meyer lemon.

Stay hydrated this summer with lots of iced tea! You can even change it up by adding fruit juice and sparkling water to make ice-cold spritzers.

Copyright 2013, Elizabeth Urbach.

Like what you read?  Leave a comment below, click on “Subscribe” above, visit the San Jose Tea Examiner page on Facebook, read my blog The Cup That Cheers, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea!

For more information:
Peet’s Coffee & Tea
Peet’s Summer House Iced Tea product page
“The Perfect Cup: Tasting Tea”
“Tea Tasting Terms”
“Tea tasting 101: characteristics of a good-quality black tea”
“Chinese black tea in San Jose”
“Iced tea and how to make it”
“Iced tea punches and mocktails: variations on a theme.”
“Sweet tea: the ‘Elixir of the South’”
“Review: Amandine Decanter by Teavana”
“Cool off with tea ice cream”
“Review: Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea”
“Review of Haagen-Dazs Green Tea ice cream”
“Review of Tazo Organic Spiced Black Tea Latte concentrate”
“Review of Oregon Chai Original Chai Tea Latte concentrate”
“Use tea in refreshing fruit spritzers this summer” 

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Filed under Product Reviews, Tea Tasting, Vendors and Shops

Steampunk tea and Clockwork Alchemy in San Jose

 

Photo: MorgueFile.com

Photo: MorgueFile.com

Clockwork Alchemy, the Steampunk convention associated with FanimeCon, has returned to San Jose’s DoubleTree Hotel for the second year.  Featuring dance, art, crafts, writing, music, fashion and food within the Steampunk aesthetic, because the genre is tied to Victoriana, tea will always be available whenever convention attendees want a cuppa.  Not only will the DoubleTree Hotel’s restaurant offer its usual hot tea on the menu, but the convention is setting up its own tea room, called The Alchemist’s Tea Parlour, where guests can get not only a nice hot cup of tea and a biscuit, but even have their fortunes read in their tea leaves.  The Tea Parlour will be open from Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Riesling Room.

Other occasions for tea include a writers’ gathering and reading, called “Tea and Trumpets”, on Friday from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Monterey room.  On Monday at 11 a.m., there will be an interesting class called “Stocking the Steampunk Pantry, Equipping a Steampunk Kitchen, & Setting a Steampunk Table” in the San Carlos Room.  The class will explore the relationship between the Industrial Revolution and agriculture in changing how people got the food they ate and what was available to various locations.  Class attendees will use this information to imagine the tools, gadgets, and ingredients appropriate to a Steampunk kitchen.  There might also be an episode of “Tea Dueling” in and among the other activities!

Admission, or Membership, to Clockwork Alchemy costs $65 for the weekend (and includes free admission to FanimeCon, also in San Jose this weekend), but you can also buy a Membership for each day on its own.  Just go to the At-Con Registration line in the Bayshore room at the DoubleTree Hotel; Friday, the opening day, costs $35 to attend, Saturday and Sunday each cost $40, and Monday is $30 for a general admission Membership.  Children are welcome to attend with an adult, and have a discounted rate.

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Filed under Events, History, Tea