Tag Archives: black tea

Last chance this weekend for tea at the Dickens Fair!

Brochure and complimentary teapot from High Tea at Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe.  Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.

Brochure and complimentary teapot from High Tea at Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace in Daly City closes this weekend, and tea at Dickens is still as popular as ever!  The Dickens Fair runs weekends only, between the Friday after Thanksgiving and the Sunday before Christmas; it’s open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday, December 21).  General Admission is $30 at the gate, but you can get disounted tickets if you know one of the workers or performers. Take a look at these other articles for more information about having tea at the Dickens Fair:

“How to have afternoon tea at the Dickens Fair in San Francisco”
“Review: Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair”
“Take tea with Charles Dickens for two more weekends at the Dickens Fair”

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Filed under Events, Holiday, Product Reviews, Tea, Tips

Refreshing Citrus Rose Tea Punch recipe

tea punch ingredients

Citrus pomegranate rose tea punch ingredients. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach

Labor Day may be the unofficial “end of summer” but it’s not the end of the hot weather here in San Jose!  Cooling, refreshing drinks are still necessary to survive the warmth, especially for those of us who live in older homes without air conditioning.  Tea – especially iced or cold-brewed – is a great drink to keep in the fridge, and it makes delicious mixed drinks and punches.  Served over ice, it is wonderfully cooling and easy to drink. Here is the recipe:

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Filed under Recipes, Tea, Tips

Review of Whittard of Chelsea’s Summer Pudding Tea

Whittard of Chelsea Summer Pudding Tea.

San Jose tea-lovers have a lot of tea options when shopping online. Summer Pudding black tea from Whittard of Chelsea is a great treat to buy online. Summer pudding is a vintage English dessert that is great for summer time because it is a no-bake treat, a combination of day-old bread, fresh fruit, sugar and cream, so it doesn’t heat up the house to make it.

Summer Pudding tea blend is a berry-flavored black tea. The company website describes it like this: “A cracker! Created because blackcurrants and particularly the dessert ‘Summer Pudding’ are Giles’ favorites. Combining the taste of the best soft fruits – strawberries, raspberries, redcurrant and blackcurrants – into a tea blend just seemed to develop naturally!” The ingredients are: Black tea, juniper berries, blackcurrants, blackberry leaves, redcurrants, flavouring. Website brewing notes read: “Always drink lightly brewed with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of leaves per 6-cup pot. Boil freshly drawn water, warm the pot first with a splash of hot water. Add the tea and pour on boiling water. Brew for 2-5 minutes. Do not add milk.”

I found this tea to be have a very pleasant aroma and flavor. The dry tea leaves are whole and medium-sized, slightly twisted, mixed with visible pieces of green raspberry leaves, and a few juniper berries. I couldn’t detect any juniper in the flavor or aroma of this tea, so I assume the juniper was in there for appearance. I also couldn’t detect the red and black currants in the flavor or aroma, but I could smell raspberries and strawberries. The berry flavor carries through into the brewed tea nicely, not overpowering the tea. I never followed the company recommendation of using only one teaspoon of tea leaves to 6 cups of water; I used the more standard 1 teaspoon to 1 to 2 cups of boiling water, and didn’t find it too strong. I think this tea would make a refreshing iced tea, as well.

Whittard of Chelsea is one of England’s oldest and most established tea merchants, but there is no Whittard’s vendor in the Bay Area. The closest source is Annie’s Tea Time, a vendor based in Southern California, which carries Whittard of Chelsea tea and other products from the UK and ships them to customers all over the USA. Annie’s Tea Time sells a 4.4 ounce package of loose-leaf Summer Pudding Tea for $13.50, but you can also get a small free sample of the tea, with purchase.

Copyright 2012, 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:
Whittard of Chelsea website
Loose-leaf Summer Pudding Tea product page
Annie’s Tea Time website
Summer Pudding product page at Annie’s Tea Time
“Whittard Tea” (no longer available in USA) on TeaDog
“Victorian recipe reborn: summer pudding”
“Tea tasting 101: characteristics of a good-quality black tea”
“Celebrate the Fourth of July with a tea party picnic!”
“Iced tea and how to make it”
“Greet the summer in San Jose with iced tea during Iced Tea Month”
“San Jose kids can spend a summer afternoon with tea and books”
“Use tea in refreshing fruit spritzers this summer”
“Review of ‘Time for Tea’ exhibit at historic Ainsley House”

More tea reviews:
“Review: Vital Tea Leaf Angel green tea and Siberian Rose tisane”
“Review: Amandine Decanter by Teavana”
“Review: the Royal Wedding tea from Lisa’s Tea Treasures”
“Review: Buccaneer blend from SerendipiTea”
“Review of Stash Coconut Mango Wuyi Oolong”
“Review: Orange Blossom 100% White Tea from The Republic of Tea”
“Review: Passion blend from SerendipiTea”
“Review: Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea”
“Review: Twinings Earl Grey tea”
“Review of Haagen Dazs Sweet Chai Latte ice cream”
“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”

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Filed under Product Reviews, Tea, Tea Tasting

Review of Tazo Organic Chai Spiced Black Tea Latte Concentrate

Tazo Organic Chai concentrate. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach

Chai is becoming more and more popular in the United States, and liquid chai concentrates make it very easy to enjoy an instant cup of chai.  Tazo Organic Chai Spiced Black Tea Latte Concentrate is described as “a rich blend of flavorful teas, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom & vanilla” and “an enticing source of wonder, inspiration & optimism.”  It is packaged in 32 oz. sealed, aseptic cartons and does not need refrigeration until after it is opened.  Tazo is made in the USA from imported teas, is certified organic by the QAI, and Kosher.

The carton reads: “Chai first enchanted tea drinkers in the Himalayas more than 2,000 years ago, a time when all things were organic.  To make Tazo Organic Chai, our tea shamans combine full-flavored teas with aromatic, natural spices.  Enjoyable hot or iced, this drink is especially delightful when consumed with pure thoughts” and “Like tea itself, good fortune is best when shared with others.  To see how Tazo gives back to communities around the world, visit us at http://www.tazo.com/csr.”

Preparation instructions (in French and English) on the carton read: “A splendid cup of chai—1. Simply shake carton and mix equal parts of Chai concentrate withmilk (or any milk substitute).  2. Add heat. Tazo tea lattes are easily prepared using your microwave, stove top, or open fire pit.  To Prepare Cold: Mix with equal parts milk (or any milk substitute) and pour over ice.”

The ingredients are “an infusion of (water, [organic] black tea, [organic] black pepper, [organic] cardamom, [organic] cinnamon, [organic] ginger root, [organic] cloves, natural flavors and [organic] star anise), [organic] cane sugar, [organic] honey, [organic] ginger juice, natural flavors, vanilla and citric acid.”  There are 70 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrate in a 4 fl. oz. serving (undiluted with milk).

Tazo Chai has a nicely balanced flavor and is not overly sweet.  The black tea flavor is in the background, and the warm spices are the predominant flavor, but none stands out and can really be identified apart from the other spices.  There is a bit of heat sensation from the ginger, pepper, cinnamon and/or cloves when the chai is consumed cold, which would probably be more pronounced if the chai was hot.  It is a tasty addition to a tea party pantry, and a good choice to have on hand for chai lovers.

P.O. Box 125
Portland, OR 97207

Copyright 2011, 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, or follow me on Twitter @SanJoseTea!

For more information: “Review of Haagen Dazs Sweet Chai Latte ice cream”
“Tea tasting 101: characteristics of a good-quality black tea”
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?”
“How to make Thai tea”
“Iced tea and how to make it”
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea”
“What is chai and where can I get it in San Jose?”
“How to make masala chai at home”
“How to make ‘instant’ chai”
“Tea and food pairings for black teas”


Filed under Product Reviews, Tea, Vendors and Shops