1. Try cooking with tea

Our latest experiment was matcha pasta. Adding matcha to your pasta recipe gives it not only an interesting colour but a nice taste. I will definitely try it again with more matcha to see if I get even more of the grass taste that I like so much.

Matcha has many health benefits as well. We love this Gokou Ceremonial Matcha

2. Try Beauty Products With Tea
Another way to experiment with tea in a new way is to purchase a beauty products that uses tea as an ingredient/component.

Note: not tea tree oil which is an essential oil distilled from the leaves of the native Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia.

I recently purchased a green tea konjac sponge at KOKITO, one of my favorite stores in The County. I’ve also bought some products from Teaology, a company that offers a line of vegan, animal cruelty-free products with a focus on natural, botanical ingredients. They use tea infusions in the creation of their products. I’m looking forward to giving them a try.

3. Learn about tea traditions around the world 

We love to travel and usually pick our destination according to tea culture.

On our last trip, we headed to Turkey because we knew that tea was a big part of their culture. We realized that even though Turkey is one of the biggest tea producing countries, their export is relatively low. This is because their people are the biggest tea consumers in the world!

We were amazed to see how much tea was part of their daily life. Tea kettles in every store and people delivering tea all across town in beautiful tulip shape glass is part of their daily rituals. It was a beautiful and inspirational experience.

Tea pot that you find in a lot of stores in Turkey.

4. Invite a friend to a local afternoon tea or create one of your own

For over two centuries the taking of afternoon tea has been a great British tradition. Since the 1660’s, when it was first popularized by King Charles II, afternoon tea was considered the height of sophistication. Due to the expense of tea at the time, afternoon tea was the domain of the aristocracy. In the 1840’s, Anna Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, feeling a mid-afternoon faint, began ordering a tray of tea, bread and butter, and cake to her room, and invited friends to join her. Thus the afternoon tea was born. A lifelong friend Queen Victoria, Anna introduced the Queen to the new tradition. The Queen loved the idea and soon added light cake with buttercream and fresh raspberries (later known as Victoria sponge) to accompany her precious cup of tea.

As Afternoon Tea grew in popularity, it became a social event as well. Ladies would come for tea dressed in their best finery and tea was served in drawing rooms or outdoors in high society gardens. Elegant silver teapots poured tea into fine bone china cups. Dainty morsels including various sweet treats, scones and crustless finger sandwiches were carefully presented on low tables as the ladies relaxed in parlour chairs. Today, Afternoon Tea is usually reserved for special occasions – a birthday, anniversary or special day out – rather than a daily event.

An internet search will help you find local Tea Rooms in your area or you might even consider hosting your own tea experience for special friends at home. Many recipes for traditional offerings can be found online. A selection of loose leaf teas, such as Assam, Earl Grey, Darjeeling and Lapsang Souchong, should be served in pots and poured into teacups. Whether in an elegant tea room or on your backyard patio, you are guaranteed to share a wonderfully fun  experience together.

Sarah + Chris

Do you have a favorite Afternoon Tea story? Let us know in the comments below.

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