Saturday, February 16, 2019

Tea Drops

This wooden gift box with an assortment of Tea Drops was presented to me recently. Perhaps you have heard about these - there were one of Oprah's favorite things. And they have been advertised on Facebook and in various magazines. Basically, they are a combination of sugar and finely ground compressed tea leaves and flavoring oils. The success story of this young entrepreneur is pretty amazing as Tea Drops originated in her California kitchen, and over the course of a few years has developed into a profitable business with a youthful and energetic team. #teamagic captures the spirit of these tea drops.
The variety of tea drops in this sampler included individually wrapped and uniquely shaped assorted flavors. There was Rose Earl Grey (sugar, organic black tea, with added rose petals and bergamot oil), Citrus Ginger (sugar with added orange peel, dried ginger, spearmint, and orange and lemon extracts), Sweet Peppermint (sugar with spearmint, peppermint and peppermint oil) and Matcha Green Tea (sugar and matcha green tea). The packaging clearly states that some sediment is expected, and as you can see in the photo, the finely ground tea leaves do not dissolve, but it does settle quickly to the bottom of the mug. Due to the size of the tea and herbs, full sweet flavor is quickly released. There is an ease to preparing tea this way, which leads me to believe that is what makes them so popular. With organic cane sugar listed as the first ingredient, these little teas are very sweet, particularly if you are not accustomed to adding sugar to your favorite tea.

 We reviewed Tea Drops on this blog in 2014, when they were still in the developmental stage and just introduced to the market. To Nancy, they were 'too sweet', and to Susanna, 'oh that's good, they taste like candy' which is pretty much the review we give them again in 2019.  On their website, they do have a product that does not include sugar, so they are attempting to meet the demand for something without added sugar.

With regards to their Matcha Green Tea, my reaction is simply, no. Even when prepared in a traditional Japanese chawan, this is not the way to brew matcha. And it is not a true representation of matcha. Skip what might seem like a convenience and purchase true unadulterated matcha.

Tea Drops are fun and convenient and easy to use. Just be aware that they are sweet.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day Tea!

Today we celebrated Valentine's Day in the tea room. The first course began with a Strawberry Salad topped with Feta Cheese and a sweet poppyseed dressing. Individual little pots of tea were offered to our guests before we served the salad. 

Sandwiches included a heart shaped Cucumber Sandwich, Strawberry Bread with a pink cream cheese heart piped on the bread, a Hearty Herb Filling on Tomato Basil Bread, Toasted Parmesan Cheese Heart (the favorite), and Cheddar Chicken Salad Triangles.

Scones served today include a heart shaped Traditional English Cream Scone and a triangular Chocolate Chip Scone with sweet cream and strawberry preserves along side fresh fruit, including strawberries cut to accent their natural heart shape!

And dessert rounded out the Afternoon Tea with a Cherry topped White Cake, decorated heart Sugar Cookie and Coconut Chocolate Candy. 
Happy Valentine's Day, friends!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Rose Shaped Folded Napkin - A Reprise

We have shared this napkin folding technique in year's past. These heart shaped napkins are perfect for Valentine's Day - and easy to do! Quietly convey a subtle statement about love with this fun napkin folding technique. In the language of flowers, roses symbolize love.

Take a large square napkin and fold it into a triangle.
 Beginning at the wide top edge, fold the napkin over and over and over, stopping slightly two thirds of the way. These two loose ends will form the leaves for the rose so it's important to have just the right amount!

Then, starting at the farthest right hand side, tightly roll the entire napkin towards the left. The trick here is to roll it tightly to form a tightly shaped blossom.

This is the trickiest part, when you can't roll the napkin any more, tuck that last bit of edge into bottom of the roll. And then re-tuck it when it flops back out!

Stand the rose upside down, and pull the 'leaves' out, each going opposite directions.

Turn it over, and voila, you have a beautiful rose napkin! A very special thank you to Betsy for sharing this creative napkin folding technique with me!
Our Valentine's Day teas will be extra special this year.

Monday, February 11, 2019

In Celebration of Valentine's Day

This past Sunday, the tea room was filled with happy guests dressed in pinks and reds and beautiful heart necklaces to celebrate Valentine's Day. The tables were set with red napkins folded into roses, and heart designs adorned both the menu and the tea lists. Tea orders were taken, and the Afternoon Tea began.

 The first course featured a Salad with fresh strawberries and ruby red raspberries, a touch of Parmesan cheese, a sprinkling of sugared pecans, and a glaze of sweet Poppyseed Dressing.

 The Sandwich plate included a Heart shaped Herbed Party Sandwich on Rye bread, Strawberry Glazed Brie Baguette, Miniature Broccoli and Swiss Quiche, Tomato and Egg with Parmesan Butter on Tomato Basil Bread and Cheddar and Apple Chicken Salad Triangle.

Scones were served next and they included a heart shaped Traditional English Cream Scone and a triangular Double Chocolate Scone which had mini chocolate chips added to the chocolate scone. Yum! And dessert was a medley of decorated White Cake, Sugar Cookies, and Coconut Cream Candy. Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

MATBA January Seminar - Kate Pearl Tea Room

Members of the Mid Atlantic Tea Business Association gathered at the Kate Pearl Tea Room at Gypsy's in Winchester, MD earlier this week for the first quarterly seminar of the new year. Members traveled from NJ, PA, MD, and VA to reunite with fellow tea business entrepreneurs, to share their stories and welcome new ideas, to listen to an educational program, and to enjoy a relaxing Afternoon Tea hosted by the new owners of the Kate Pearl Tea Room, Becky and Jessica, a mother/daughter duo.
Pristine white china graced the tables with tea themed treasures adorned the table, The tea menu was extensive, and guests selected their personal favorites as individual teapots were offered. The delightful young homeschooler graciously served our table with ease.

Warm Spinach Dip & Crackers

The first course featured an individual portion of Spinach Dip and Crackers. Above, MD member, Janet Meyers of Tea By Two in Bel Air, MD enjoyed being served tea! Following the appetizer, a fresh veggie soup of carrots, kale, and potatoes was served next. PA member, Susanna Reppert of The Rosemary House, is anxious to sample this tasty vegetable soup. Well seasoned and hearty, it was a good starter for the brisk cold day.

The next two courses included a large lavender honey scone drizzled with a lavender glaze and served with cream, lemon curd, and jelly. The salad was offered next, and it included blueberries, crispy apple pieces, and an apple cider vinaigrette.
Sparkling elderflower rose lemonade was served garnished with fresh blueberries. And, to complete the tea service, the three tiered tea tray laden with sandwiches and delicious desserts was served.

All  delicious, fresh, and tasty, it was a real treat to be served this lovely Royal Tea. There are different levels of tea service available, the Royal Tea required advance reservations. Dessert featured an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie dipped in White Chocolate, a sinful Chocolate Truffle, and a Rosemary Lemon Bar. Of course, shopping before and after tea was a must!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Teatime for Kitty

Surprise presents are always the best! Our newest staff member brought a cat toy for our garden cats. She simply couldn't pass up this teacup cat toy when she saw it at a local pet store with her mom. Teacup shaped and filled with two little catnip tea bags, it was a very thoughtful gift.

Friskie, our garden cat, and the only one that enjoys catnip, checked it out, but sadly, wasn't really interested. He obviously prefers the fresh stuff. He'll have to wait for spring to enjoy that treat.

Here's Friskie with his nose in a healthy crop of fresh catnip. He has a wealth of catnip within his reach - spring thru summer and fall. He'll wait for the real deal.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tea Themed Ornaments

This delightful variety of tea themed ornaments were all tucked in my Christmas stocking. This pretty ceramic teapot, made in Britain, is the Portmeirion design, Rosa canina (Dog Rose) from their Botanic Garden collection. It has all the subtle designs associated with Portmeirion including the butterflies, only in miniature. It will be fun to add this to the tea pot tree.
This soft crocheted ornament was discovered at the Ten Thousand Villages shop in our area. Ten Thousand Villages promotes a global 'maker to market' concept. This was hand crafted in Vietnam, and although it's actually labeled cappuccino, it will still fit in with the tea themed ornaments.

This little tea cup was a souvenir from the Magnolia Plantation that we visited in October. Not sure how I passed it up, but on of my sisters plucked it from the display and it found its way into the stocking. A perfect reminder of a special visit to South Carolina last year. Of course the design on the cup is a magnolia blossom.                                                                                                                                                                Be sure to look for these ornaments on the tree when it returns to its table top spot later this year! 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Happy New Year!

We bid farewell to 2018 with our annual Candlelight Tea. This past year there were actually two candlelight teas, one on the 30th and again on the 31st. It is a tranquil way to end the year, and celebrate the promise of a hopeful, happy, and healthy new year. The evening tea begins with a Salad that featured leafy greens, fresh pears, white cheddar cheese, maple candied pecans, thin slices of red onion, and a Maple Dijon Dressing. Yumminess on a plate.

The Sandwich course included Cranberry Apple Chicken Salad, Melted Brie & Apple Crostini, warm Pistachio Bacon Asparagus Rollups, Olive Pepper Pinwheels, and Pear Chutney Goat Cheese Baguette served with your choice of hot tea.

Scones included Traditional English Cream Scone and a White Chocolate Apricot Scone served with fresh fruit, cream and jelly. Always served warm and fresh from the oven, these are popular!

 Holiday desserts included a miniature Caramel Pecan Cream Pie, Pistachio Shortbread Stars and Neopolitan Wedges. A fitting end to the year.

The tea room has been restored to its tranquil blue theme, the holiday decor, tea cups, and other festive decorations have been safely stowed until we find ourselves in the throws of another holiday season. Until then, here's looking forward to a happy and healthy 2019. May the new year be bright!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Holiday Hand Bell Concert in the Tea Room!

We welcomed nationally known solo handbell artist Ron Bellamy of  Lancaster, PA to the tea room recently where he performed holiday classics and entertained with his delightful skill of bringing to life this amazing array of handbells and chimes. After playing a beautiful assortment of holiday numbers, our guests were provided chimes and sheet music and a quick introductory course in playing the chimes and singing along to holiday favorites concluded the mini concert.
Afternoon Tea preceded this special event where bells took center stage. A Holiday Coleslaw with an Orange Vinaigrette was topped with a petite red beet bell. Sandwiches included Cranberry Pistachio Chicken Salad, Benedictine Bells, Cranberry Conserve and Brie in a Tart Shell, Swiss Apple Melt, Roast Beef, Tomato Puff, and Basil Pesto on Pastry Rounds, and Asparagus and Blue Cheese Rollups. Special thanks to Kathie Bittenbender of First United Methodist Church for the use of her handbell cookie cutter to create the Benedictine Bell sandwich. Kathie is the handbell choir director for the local Methodist church in Mechanicsburg.

The scone course included English Cream Scones and Cinnamon Chip Scones with scone toppings and fresh fruit. Dessert featured a Chocolate Coconut Bon Bon, Petite Glazed Fruit Cake and Cream Cheese DreaMint Bells.

Here is Ron Bellamy performing a rendition of Silent Night.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Desserts! From Sweet Remembrances!

 Pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy some holiday desserts.


 All homemade. Simply delicious.