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Tasting Notes

Two East Frisian Tea Blends

East Frisian tea blend comparison!  East Frisians drink copious amounts of tea and prepare it in an unusual way. Short version: they use special rock sugar, add cream (!), and empathetically don’t stir. For a more detailed account of how they prepare tea, I invite you to check out my blog post on East Frisian tea culture.

In this post, I am comparing two tea blends: Harney & Sons’ “East Frisian” and Thiele’s “Broken Silber” “Echte Ostfriesische Mischung.” East Frisian blends in Germany are mostly Assam, accented by Ceylon and/or Darjeeling tea. Harney says its blend contains all three. The Thiele package says, translated, the “best Assam teas characterize the full, fine, bitter taste of this classic top blend.”

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Blog

MoTeaVate: Focus Words

Vision boards, mantras, focus words. Some years I have ignored these New Year resolutions and trends. They didn’t feel authentic to me. I felt very differently in 2021. So, this year, I choose four words to help focus and inspire my choices. These motivational words, speaking as as a devoted tea drinker, MoTeaVate me to think harder about how to live better. Since “create” is one of my words, I challenged myself to make an image for each of my words in January.

I posted them on my @teainfusiast account on Instagram each Monday (AKA #MoTeaMon, or MoTeaVate Monday) in January and gathered the posts, here, to share in one convenient gallery.

MoTeaVate: image shows a cup and saucer with pebbles underneath, each with a letter that spells the word "create"
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Blog

Valentine’s Teas and Tisanes

February Flavors & Colors

Valentine’s Day is coming up! Maybe a romantic restaurant dinner for two, an in-person Galentine’s tea party with our Besties, or another ritual we used to do can’t be safely done this year. The disruptions are disappointing. Daily and seasonal rituals are so important. Finding a way to safely honor the time and mark the season can restore our sense of control and a bit of normalcy.  This post shares Valentine’s teas and Valentine’s tisanes to celebrate the season!

What’s more Galentine’s and Valentine’s than chocolate, pink, and red? Here’s a fun way, with a twist, to infuse the flavor of chocolate and the colors of the holiday into your February. I heartily recommend three Valentine’s teas and three Valentine’s tisanes that will get the job done deliciously.

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Recipe

Grapefruit Bee’s Knees Mocktail

Grapefruit Bees Knees Mocktail in a class with a spring of rosemary and a lime garnish. A sliced grapefruit and lime are on a cutting board to the left.

I love a mocktail. It elevates the moment, gives me something delicious to sip on, and doesn’t make me tired or interfere with my sleep. I enjoy many tea-infused mocktails. But since I usually drink mocktails in the evening and don’t drink caffeine that late, tea mocktails aren’t my go-to choices. 

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Blog

East Frisian Tea

East Frisians are long-time and prodigious tea drinkers

Tea is a big deal in Ostfriesland, part of northwestern Germany that borders the Netherlands. The name of the region is sometimes translated into English as Eastern Friesland, sometimes as East Frisia. A regional museum, the Ostfriesisches Teemuseum, pays homage to the history of tea in their culture. UNESCO even highlights it, noting that East Frisia has been a tea-loving region for about three centuries. A 2013 article in the New York Times by Ian Johnson helps further quantify East Frisians’ love for tea, noting that: “[A]ccording to the German Tea Association, if East Frisia were a country its annual per capita consumption of 300 liters would be the highest in the world.” Since East Frisians have been prodigious tea drinkers for so long, let’s explore what they drink and how they prepare their tea.

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Blog

Boston Tea Party

I timed my first blog entry to post on December 16, 2020 in honor of the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. 

Let’s just say I like to get PoliTEAcal sometimes!

In 1773, an organized and infuriated group of Bostonians, joined by some impromptu enthusiasts, hacked open and threw the contents of hundreds of chests of tea into Boston Harbor. 

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Recipe

Earl Grey or Orange Zest Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate

I was inspired by Claire Robinson’s Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies. Using her recipe, I made some delicious cookies. 

Tea pouring into a white cup on a saucer with Earl Grey shortbread cookies falling off the saucer

Although I love traditional, crumbly shortbread, I also really liked the texture of Robinson’s recipe. It’s less crumbly, slightly soft, and still very buttery.  So, I experimented with it. My orange zest shortbread variation with chocolate was a crowd-pleaser, too.