Evolution of Tea infusers

A tea infuser, also called a teaball (tea ball) or tea maker, and sometimes referred to as a tea egg, is a device essentially used for steeping tea. Loose tea leaves are placed in the tool and it is then immersed in hot water, usually in a cup. Essentially, the infuser is a small mesh that allows easy steeping. Traditionally, tea infusers were made from metal alone and there was one standard design. In the modern times, however, infusers are made from a range of materials and the designs also vary. mesh ball tea infuser

The most basic and traditional tea infuser is a mesh ball. Loose tea is placed in the mesh ‘ball’ that opens in half and the device is then inserted in hot water. Once the tea has infused, the tea ball is removed. The infused leaves cannot be reused and have to be discarded. The device is popular for its ease of use. Some mesh ball infusers come with measuring spoon conveniently attached at the other end.  This just makes the brewing process a little easier. teaspoon2

The next ‘level up’ for tea infusers are floaters that bob on the water level and house a mesh infuser under the water to steep your tea. They come in a variety of cute designs like rubber ducks or water lilies to dress up your cup.

lily

Stick infusers are the newest products on the market and they take up less space and move away from the previous thought that the infuser has to be fully submerged. The infuser sticks are easier to store and clean plus many tea connoisseurs claim that they steep faster with a stronger taste. ps_acc_ginza_lg

Acting as a filter, today’s infuser can float atop the hot water or be immersed deeply in the cup or pot. With spring-action handles or built-in scoops, modern infusers have made steeping almost effortless. The durable and colorful silicone infusers on the market today were preceded—and are still accompanied by—the metal and mesh tea-ball infusers.

Regardless of the design, some general rules apply to using either an infuser or a tea ball. Fill the device only halfway with tea leaves to allow for movement and expansion. This will release optimal flavor. Base your choice of infuser on the size of the tea leaves—the smaller the leaves, or pieces of leaves, the smaller the holes in the infuser.

High-tech or low-tech, silicone or sterling silver, the types of infusers are as varied as the cups of tea they create. Fanciful tea balls, fine strainers, and contemporary infusers illustrate the evolution of steeping, as well as the range of devices that have made infusing a way to customize the beverage and maximize the experience.

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Dyeing easter eggs with tea!

During most of the centuries that people have colored eggs for Easter, the dyes used were made from natural products like onion peels, bark, beets and blueberries.

Using tea to dye your eggs is not only natural, it is also inexpensive. I bet you probably have tea in your pantry that you haven’t drank in years…Just use that and then it will be FREE!!! To get a light green color use green tea, for a natural brown color use black tea. Use hibiscus to get a pinkish hue, rooibos for a reddish tint or chamomile for a subtle yellowish tone. Be creative and use what you have in your pantry…

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tea bags (1 tea bag/2 eggs) or 1 gram loose tea per 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • Optional, for more color add 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Powdered Alum an aluminum sulphate product used for pickling or baking powder
  • Optional, for shine: Vegetable oil
Instructions:
  1. Place unshelled eggs in saucepan of cold water — water level should be at least 4 cm (1-1/2″) higher than eggs, add vinegar and cover with lid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add tea (see different tea options from above), then simmer for 5-6 minutes with lid on. Reserve the tea water to use for step #3.
  2. Remove eggs and blanch (place in ice bath) to cool.
  3. Add Alum and ice ice to tea water and cool for 10-15 minutes. Place eggs back into tea water, put in refrigerator over night.
  4. Remove eggs and dry with paper towel.
  5. Option: Rub with vegetable oil to make them shiny.
These eggs are not only pretty, they are safe to eat, and are naturally healthy filled with protein.

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How to Throw an Irish Tea Party.

In the month of March, many English-speaking countries celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. While St. Patrick’s Day is a nationally celebrated holiday in Ireland, it’s become an unofficial holiday to celebrate throughout the world, especially in areas where there are large Irish populations.

Tea and Ireland are practically synonymous. In fact, in Ireland more tea is consumed per capita than in any other country in the world. Tea is the favored drink of the Irish people, challenged only by Guinness (a stout Irish beer).
For a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, an Irish tea party is a charming idea and a fun chance to try some new Irish teas, foods, and listen to some of the lovely music of Ireland.

Things You’ll Need

Invitations/ Tea trays/ Teapots/ Teacups/ Saucers/ Lemon forks/ Milk Jug/ Table/ Decorations/ Irish music

Preparation

- Making a list of friends and family who would enjoy an Irish celebration is a good idea.

- For an intimate tea party, three or four friends (plus oneself) is a good number.

- For a large event, a buffet or potluck might be more appropriate and easier to handle.

- For a light afternoon tea, 2:00 or 3:00 is a good starting time.

- A larger full meal could be served from 4:00 to 6:00.

- Create a list of teas to serve at your Irish party. Include the strong black tea blend of Irish Breakfast Tea or traditional Indian Assam tea blends. Consider the tastes of your guests. Provide a variety of selections, including Earl Grey, Chamomile, or organic herbal teas. Write your choices down on a sheet of paper to start your party shopping list.

- If special costuming (such as St. Paddy’s colors like green and white) is desired, include this information on the invitations.

- Select decorations, utensils or napkins that are green or feature traditional Irish symbols, like shamrocks. Add more novelty decorations, like shamrock-shaped serving bowls, green sectional trays and an Irish Flag table cover.

The Day of Your Irish Tea Party

Bake any Irish tea cookies or pastries early in the morning. Allow them to cool in clean, dry containers. Wash any utensils and tea service pieces and take care to dry them so they sparkle. Pick up any fresh foods and last-minute items from the store.
Set the table. An Irish tea tray includes teacups and saucers, sugar bowls, milk jugs and a slop basin to discard used tea leaves. Provide lemon tongs, forks and lemon slices (instead of lemon wedges). As an Irish courtesy, supply cups with larger handles for male guests or for those who prefer them.
Thank your guests for coming when they arrive and help them to find a seat. Tell each guest about the choices in desserts, finger foods and teas. Give a traditional Irish tea party welcome to help the guests feel comfortable.

Play traditional and modern Irish music, including traditional Celtic music, Irish lullabies or bagpipe music. Ask guests if they like the volume of the music. Play traditional Irish party games, like the Pot of Gold Toss, Irish Hot Potato or the Shamrock Relay.

Thank guests for coming to your Irish tea party.  End the party with a traditional Irish song or Irish blessing.

Aren’t you lucky? Dream Tea Boutique is offering 15% off all green teas until St. Patrick’s Day (No code needed).  Enjoy, and the Gaelic say, Cuppan Tae!

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Free DIY printable valentine card

Free DIY printable valentine card – You are my cup of Tea

Download our FREE printable card here.

valent-day

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10 DIY Valentine’s Day tea gift ideas

Homemade valentines tea gifts are the best kind because they are made with love!  These would be perfect for friends and family.

diy-tea-gift-ideas

1) Heart shaped tea bag
Sometimes the simplest things are the most thoughtful & memorable. If you are looking to do something sweet & simple for valentine’s, surprise your loved one by brewing a cup of tea filled with love or gift your friends & family with a bag filled with these individual heart shaped tea bags.  To learn more about this craft and for a full tutorial, head over to Her imajination.

2) Homemade Sugar Cube
Heart shaped sugar cubes easy to make and add such a nice detail to a party or just make daily tea drinking extra special! These homemade shaped sugar cubes would also make a nice homemade gift. To learn more about this craft and for a full tutorial, head over to Skip to my lou.

3) Handsewn Teabags Tied to Yummy Cookies
Warm your sweetie’s heart with this clever tea & cookies combo: Handsewn teabags tied to yummy cookies that anchor the teabag as it steeps. To learn more about this craft and for a full tutorial, head over to Merriment design

4) DIY: Chalkboard Mug
You can scribe your love note on the Valentine’s Day, and reuse the mug everyday of the year. To learn more about this craft and for a full tutorial, head over to Wit & Whistle’s website.

5) Valentine’s DIY – U are my Rock
A handmade and affordable gift featuring rock sugar swizzle sticks and a festive loose leaf tea. You can write a note “u are my rock,” so the ideal recipient would be a person in your life who has been your support system or source of inspiration. Someone you want to show gratitude to on Valentine’s Day, like your mother, sister, daughter, BFF or anyone else deserving of this sweet gift from the heart. To learn more about this craft and for a full tutorial, head over to Posh little designs

6) Homemade Flavored Sugar Cubes
Try adding a drop of vanilla or anise extract, or scraping in the seeds from a vanilla bean. You can also use small cookie cutters to create pretty molded sugar cubes. Simply pack the wet sugar tightly into the cookie cutter of your choice and lift the mold up gently. To learn more about this craft and for a full tutorial, head over to Always order dessert

7) You’re My Cup of Tea Valentine Printable 
What a perfect idea for a teacher, co-workers, or your day home/daycare provider. To download the FREE printable head over to Crafted by Lindy

8) Heart-Shaped Tea Tag
Warm someone up by adding a handwritten note to a tea bag. Cut two hearts out of red construction paper using a heart-shaped crafter’s hole punch (available at crafts stores). Use a metallic pen to write a short message on one of the hearts. Next, remove a tea-bag tag and, at the end of the string, affix two hearts, back-to-back, using double-sided tape or a stapler. Package bags to give as a present, or steep one in hot water and serve. Valentine’s Day Ideas by Martha Stewart.

9) Teatime Valentines Indian spices
Nothing warms the heart and conjures fond memories like a cup of tea with hints of spice. Make your own stamp Valentines card with a traditional wood block and packaged with the ingredients to make a unique brew. Materials you will need to fill the valentines:  individual black tea bags, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and allspice berries. To learn more about this craft and for a full tutorial, head over to Oh happy day

10) Personalized Tea Box
Simply start with your favorite tea. Then take scrapbooking paper and glue it on. For Valentine’s Day take some cute red and pink paper with “I Love You” notes. This would also be cute personalized with a name or anniversary date. The possibilities of creativity with these are endless. This personalized tea box would be perfect to take your tea to the office and to put away in your desk. Young wifes guide.

Homemade gifts become very important this time of year. They save money, provide fun for crafty ladies, and help us to show our loved ones that we really care.

For more DIY ideas visit our Pinterest board. To buy loose leaf tea online visit http://dreamteaboutique.ca/tea.html

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5 Easily Achievable New Year’s Resolutions

Even though buying a big house or a new car might sound great, but is it really achievable? It is important to pick some realistic resolutions that will make a big difference. Achievable resolutions can make you feel proud when look back on your year. We’ve got a list of 5 easily achievable New Year’s resolutions for you to make.

 New Year’s Resolutions

1. Read more

Now when you are no longer a student, it can be extremely difficult to find the energy and time to read. Reading could help prevent mental decline and improve our memory, so it is not only enjoyable and relaxing but it is also good for our mental health. Buy a collection of short stories to make sure that you get to read more this year. You can also download a book list, which has been voted for by people, so that you have some well-written and exciting books to read.

2. Drink tea

After consuming two months’ worth of drink and a month’s worth of food within one week, it is not surprising that after the New Year and Christmas period we all swear to lose weight and be healthier over the coming year. But how many of us do it and how many of us can’t stick to our resolutions? One of the easily achievable New Year’s resolutions is drinking herbal tea. For example, green tea is believed to aid weight loss, and the antioxidants can protect your heart and blood vessels and help improve your skin.
But what should you resolve if you’re already a tea drinker?
Do not stuck on the same few teas you cycle through. This year mix it up a little more; keep the variety in your tea drinking this year. New Year resolution idea – To try at least one new tea each month.

3. Try a new food each week

Rather than cutting out foods from your diet as with so many New Year’s resolutions, opt to add more foods in to your diet next year instead (bonus points if they’re green!). Many of us don’t eat a varied enough diet, so ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs – as well as enhancing your enjoyment of food – by making a resolution to try a new food each week.

Try hitting the fruit and veg aisle first to sample some exotic fruit and vegetables you may have yet to try, such as dragon fruit, lychees, romanescu and plantain.

4. Moneybox

After the dozens of gifts you have just bought your bank accounts are not looking too healthy. To improve finances over the coming year most people make a New Year’s resolution. Maybe it sounds like an easy resolution, but it’s one that many people can’t stick to after even February. Buy a moneybox and when you get home from work put in it some coins you’ve loose in your pocket, purse or wallet. It is amazing how quickly and how much money this saves. After three or four months you will need a new moneybox. But don’t open it until December next year. If you stick to the daily money-giving routine, you will have enough money to cover some costs of Christmas and New Year.

5. Do something nice for others every day

Many of our resolutions are inwardly focused, concentrating on ways to become thinner, healthier, wealthier people. However, while there is nothing wrong with improving yourself, it’s worth remembering there’s a whole world out there too.

Next year, why not make a resolution to focus outwards instead and help make the world a better place. Plan to do one nice thing a day for someone else; whether it’s something small like giving a compliment, or something potentially life-saving like donating blood or sponsoring a child in need. By knowing you are making a difference, you will also indirectly boost your own happiness and sense of achievement.

These are all easily achievable New Year’s resolutions. Which of them are you going to make? Do you have something to add to this list? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page!

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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from Dream Tea Boutique!

From our family to yours, have a joyful holiday
season and a very happy New Year!

These make perfect last minute gift!

Finding the perfect gift for someone isn’t always easy. DreamTeaBoutique.ca has a wide selection of Forsman loose tea, but sometimes it’s difficult to choose right tea for that special someone. Let her/him decide.Whether it’s a birthday present, holiday gift, employee reward, a gift to celebrate a special occasion, or a simple gesture of appreciation, a Virtual Gift Certificate from DreamTeaBoutique.ca is the perfect present.

***

Dream Tea Boutique will take a break from weekly emails until the New Year. However, the website will still be active and accessible. Stock up on tea for the next year with our Free Shipping offer for orders over $49 for the rest of 2013 year.

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10 ways to relax during the holidays

Relax during holiday

Stress is a common phenomenon of a hectic workday, when everything speeds up to an unmanageable pace, especially during holiday time. Stressing over credit card debt, gift-giving, and scheduling can easily take over. What do you do? Relax! Here are 10 ways to relax during this holiday season.

1. Think positive

The holidays may drive you to your breaking point, but don’t focus on the bad. Negative thinking can trigger the your body’s stress response, just as a real threat does. Remember, it’s time to celebrate with your family and friends (even if they do stress you out!). An optimistic outlook will help you cope with challenges that come your way.

2. Power Nap

You may not have the time for a lazy Sunday morning lounging in bed, but a short power nap in the middle of the day will lower your stress hormone levels enough to make visiting your in-laws bearable. Skip the snooze button in the morning – studies have shown that a 20-minute nap in the middle of the day provides more rest than staying in bed an extra 20 minutes in the morning. And don’t forget to close the blinds and shut off your cell phone for minimal distractions.

3. Indulge in happy foods

Chocolate has been proven to increase serotonin in your brain, relieving depression and stress, so eat it!

4. Say “no” without guilt

Just do it. Say, “no.” No, you can’t carpool the entire basketball team; no, you can’t bake six dozen cookies for the bake sale; no, you can’t fit one more roll-away bed for an extra guest. It doesn’t make you mean. Suggest other things that work better for your schedule. Taking on too much is one of the biggest reasons we’re so stressed this time of year.

5. Get some fresh air

Cool, crisp air is a wonderful thing. It clears your head. Changing your scenery can help change your perspective and stress level, too.

6. Tea Time

To help slow things down and relax a bit, brew a cup of tea. This simple action can create profound results. Unlike chugging an ice-cold drink, sipping something hot takes time and a bit of patience. A cup of herbal tea like chamomile, known for its relaxing qualities, can provide a moment of calm and help you recharge so you have energy to tackle the rest of your day.

7. Finish shopping before December 15th

Last second shopping is a huge stress trigger. Work extra hard to get everything done early, and then sit back and enjoy the rest of the holiday.

8. Spike that eggnog!

Have a drink! Now, don’t get sloppy and fall into the tree, but a cocktail here and there can help you to relax and de-stress a little.

9. Change something about your look

How about a different hair color or makeup palette? Even a subtle change in our appearance can help us de-stress a little and perk up.

10. Don’t sweat anything not worth sweating over

Stop obsessing over doing it all. The world is not going to end if the house is a little cluttered or dinner is on the table a few minutes late. Focus your energy on enjoying the people in your life. Don’t sweat the small stuff and your holiday will be much more enjoyable!
How do you like to unwind during the holiday season? Do you already do some of the things on this list? The holidays don’t have to be stressful if you plan ahead, keep priorities in check, and remember to spread the joy!
Share your relaxing ideas on our Facebook page.

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Free gift with every bundle purchase

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Buy Green or Black tea bundle and receive a FREE gift $6 value – Tea Filter Plastic Clip – is a smart and fun way to close tea filters.

Ideal for nearly all disposable tea filters.
For placing at at any pot, mug or cup/glass.
Easy to use plastic clips to secure the Paper Tea Filters closed and hung on the side of your mug or cup.

Every bundle include 4 Tea bags (50g each) and pack of tea filters

To make brewing process easier for you we include Tea filters – 1 cup or 2-3 cup teapot size – 100 filters per pack. These paper tea filters work equally well for use in a mug or a teapot. Simply spoon the loose tea leaves into the bag, place it in the teapot or mug, and pour the hot water over the bag. When your tea is done steeping, remove the bag. These paper tea filters have a pleated bottom and roomy size giving tea plenty of space to open fully, making for the best possible infusion.

***Holiday Special***
With every Bundle purchase ($25) you will receive FREE gift $6 value – Tea Filter Plastic Clip to hold your tea filters.

6 options available. You can leave a note about which design you like us to send.
Limited quantities available.

Buy Green Tea bundle

green-tea-Bundle

Buy Black Tea bundle

black-tea-Bundle

 

 

 

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Black Friday to Cyber Monday Sale

40% off on Green and Black tea

plus Free shipping when you spend $49 or more

40% off

Don’t miss a chance to save 40% on all green and black Forsman tea during Black Friday to Cyber Monday Sale! (Including our best sellers Emperor’s Choice and Organic Pear Sencha)

Valid 28 Nov to 2nd Dec 2013. No coupon code needed.

 

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