Friday, May 28, 2010

Fun Friday

French Tea

It's friday..... Thank goodness I say. It's been a LONG week but I thought I would provide you all with a bit of "French" inspiration for the day. I went with the red theme since that is what i am wearing today - RED :-) All you need now to go with that is a nice cup of "Earl Grey De La Creme".
Last night I made up some beautiful blueberry scones for morning tea and even whipped up some decadant lemon butter to go with it! My taste testers approved of the combination so the recipe and photo's will be coming soon! I hope you all have a great weekend!

Happy Sipping

Simply Tea
Visit: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

“Taking Tea With Elegance”

I have always been fascinated by the Victorian era. Sometimes I thought it would be fun to have lived in that era, dressing up in elegant dresses with our hair done up high on our heads, daintily sipping cups of tea and eating cucumber sandwiches. But that’s me day dreaming for you. I have done a bit of research on the Victorian term “Taking Tea” and it has been fascinating to learn what this term means and how to “properly” take tea.

Afternoon tea was invented by Anna Duchess of Bedford (1783-1857), one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting. Anna was quite fond of taking tea and petite-sized cakes in her boudoir during the late afternoon hours. Many followed the Duchess' lead, and thus the ritual of afternoon tea was birthed.

{Anna Duchess}

By the end of the 19th century, taking afternoon and high tea was a daily ritual, complete with rules of etiquette that could make or break a lady of consequence.

Here is some Etiquette to “Taking Tea”

1. First and foremost never hold your cup with your pinkie finger extended. This is improper and in most social settings is considered rude. Place your index finger into the handle of the cup up to the knuckle while placing your thumb on the top of the handle to secure the cup. The bottom of the handle should then rest on your third finger. The fourth and fifth fingers should curve back towards your wrist.

2. At one time it was traditional to pour the milk into the cup before the tea. This was done to prevent the glaze on delicate tea cups from cracking. We do not have that problem today, so add the milk after the tea so that you can judge how much to use based on the colour change.

3. When stirring your tea, be careful not to clink your spoon against the cup. Gently swish the spoon back and forth without touching the sides of the cup. When through stirring, remove the spoon and place it on the saucer behind the tea cup and to the right of the handle. Of course, never take a drink of your tea without removing the spoon first, and please never, ever sip from the spoon.

4. If seated at a table, do not lift the saucer (this is only proper if standing; then lift the saucer with the cup.) When you taking a sip of tea do not look around at the other guests, but lower your eyes so you can see what you’re doing and not spill your tea down the front of your blouse or dress.

5. When your cup is low try to avoid the temptation of swirling the tea in the cup. How embarrassing if some should happen to slosh onto the tablecloth and we all know how easily tea can stain.

 {I can imagine myself here on a beautiful spring day sipping a nice cup of tea}

Imagine us GEN Y's trying not to clink our spoons against our tea cups and trying not to spill our tea down the front of our blouse! Ha. Maybe I'm not made for that era........  Anyway I will continue this topic of 'Taking Tea' in further blogs with hopefully some great recipes to show you to create your own 'High Tea'. Until then....

Happy Sipping

Simply Tea

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Art Of Cupcake's

Cupcakes are a perfect accompaniment to any good cup of tea. They are also a great idea for birthdays, high teas or any celebratory event! Not only do they look fantastic they a super easy to make and there are so many ways to decorate them. I think in the last few years the art of cupcake making has exploded. Cupcake stands, cupcake papers, toppers, ribbons, flags, bows, sprinkles & myriads of little extra's have
come on to the market to help your cupcake making creativity. Cupcakes shops have even opened selling decorative and delicious arrays of cupcakes. I love to make cupcakes for special occasions and have had the honour of doing so for birthdays, hen’s parties and even a WEDDING!!! (Not that i saying a pro or anything)

{ Look at this gorgeous "Tea" Inspired Cupcake}

The first step to making the most delicious cupcake is the type of flavour. There are millions of flavours to choose, from the most basic of flavours such as vanilla or chocolate or extravagant flavours such as Lemon Meringue, Cherry Ripe, Banana Split, Turkish Delight, Rocky Road, Vanilla Latte, Chai, Cookies & Cream and the list goes on and on and on! Don’t get me started on icing flavours as well.

{Anyone for a pink cupcake wrapper?}

So once you have decided on what delectable cupcake & icing combination you want to devour next is what to “dress” your cupcake in. Honestly the options are endless....... to make things easier stick with a theme, try going with a colour, pattern or shape to make things easier. You can get some gorgeous cupcake papers but or any plain or patterned cupcake paper which matches your theme is great.

{ You couldn't go past these gorgeous cupcake toppers}

Next is to choose a topper... whether it is sprinkles, icing flowers, bows, flags, cachous balls, candles, butterflies... whatever suits your theme. Remember the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid. The simplest things bunched together in a group will look absolutely stunning.

{What a tantalising array of beautifully decorated cupcakes}

And the last step is how to present your cupcake creations. Depending out what the occasion it is there are various cupcake stands available – ranging in tiered stands, wire holders or simply gathered on a platter.

{ A simple yet effective display}

DON’T forget the most important addition to any cupcake creation is a warm and comforting cup of tea. Tea’s that would compliment a cupcake should be a good strong black tea to cut through the sweetness. Old favourites such Earl Grey, English Breakfast or Ceylon Orange Pekoe would be a great choice but for the real Tea connoisseur you could try an Australian Daintree, Darjeeling or a Pu-erh Oolong to stretch your taste buds.

{Perfect partners.... Tea & Cupcakes}

{Here is a photo of the cupcakes i did recently for my cousins wedding!}

So whatever cupcake adventure you go on.... remember HAVE FUN!

Until next time.....

Simply Tea

The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fun Friday

Since it's Friday and it's nearly the weekend i thought i would put a little Tea inspired creativity to pique your interest for Monday's Blog - CUPCAKES!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Simply Tea....

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Welcome to the Simply Tea Blog.

We hope to have some FUN in this blog, we'll be less formal in format and hope to not only pique your interest in tea but to inspire and motivate you to try and create new things - some tea related, some not so tea related.

Something that Simply Tea is developing at the moment is Tea Tasting Parties.... This is currently in the woodworks at the moment and we hope to have it up and running soon. Details will be available once we have more information to share!

We hope that you will enjoy reading our Blog and we look forward to tantilsing your tastebuds and your creative senses as well!

Until next time....

Simply Tea

p.s Coming up...... Creative Cupcake's (Just a teaser for you)


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