Greetings! Come in and enjoy a taste of spring. All around there are signs that winter has given way to a new season. My wisteria has bloomed and my lilacs aren’t far behind. Do take a glance out the window to see nature’s glorious display before you settle in for a cup of Earl or Lady Grey. The Earl Grey is infused with lavender, if that makes your choice any easier. Fittingly, I’ve chosen Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for our music. You may have noticed it’s a favorite of mine.
The floral pattern on this Royal porcelain from Pip Studios certainly fits a spring-themed tea. I love the lively details on this set. If you’re ever in need of a little lift, check out their cheery website at https://www.pipstudio.com. You’ll find it a happy place!
I’ve decided to serve macarons in pretty colors to match the season, as well as these lemon tea cakes. I hope you’ll try several flavors of the bite-sized confections! I bought these tiny macarons at the store. Are you adventurous enough to try making them yourself? I suggest checking out Lisa Maliga’s blog at https://lisamaliga.wordpress.com/french-macaron-baking-adventures for instructions. Be sure to peruse her older posts for countless delicious varieties (I’m talking blueberry, raspberry, double cherry . . . almost any flavor you can imagine!). She’s an expert and her creations are truly mouthwatering! Her instructions and photos walk you right through the process. Let me know how yours turn out.
I inherited my love of flowers and gardening from my grandmother, and I can find plenty of varieties to enjoy during the entire year. I had a lovely rose garden before I began writing. But there are only so many hours in the day, and tending those beauties took a back seat to my literary pursuits. However, I’ve still managed to plant some vegetables and herbs and expect to enjoy the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers in a couple of months. Luckily for me, my wisteria and lilacs seem to be low maintenance plants and thrive without any special attention. Have you a garden? What do you enjoy growing?
Spring is always a time of change and transformation. Grass turns green, flowers bloom, the mercury rises, insects appear, and birds return. My oldest son is in the process of choosing a college. We’ve visited many schools, weighed the pros and cons, compared costs, and still have no decision. Big changes are on the horizon for our little family. But that’s what spring is all about. I’m putting all of that out of my mind for the moment and just enjoying my cup of tea with its lavender tones. Tell me, what kinds of change are you experiencing?
Since Earl and Lady Grey are two of my favorite teas, I decided to look into the story behind these blends. It’s all a bit murky, but Earl Grey is believed to be named for the second Earl, Charles Grey, who was prime minister of England and writer of the Reform Bill of 1832, which brought significant changes to the country’s electoral rules. It’s thought that he received the tea as a diplomatic gift. Another theory claims the Earl obtained the tea as a thank-you gift after saving a boy from drowning. Twinings invented Lady Grey in the 1990s in an attempt to gain a bigger market share in Nordic countries where Earl Grey did not appeal. The newcomer, while similar to her ancestor, benefits from the addition of orange and lemon peel. Both teas are flavored with Bergamot oil, derived from a small orange grown mainly in the Mediterranean.
Many praise the tea’s health benefits. AlternativeDaily.com claims that Earl Grey contains enzymes called HMGF that destroy proteins linked to heart disease and also has high amounts of antioxidants. Bergamot is considered to give a boost to one’s mood and calm anxiety, probably due to its aromatherapy components (my lavender cup must give a double benefit). According to JoybyNature.com, high amounts of potassium in the tea help you to stay hydrated. In addition, the citrus component is believed to boost metabolism and improve digestion, and some state that the tea even contains anti-viral properties.
I can only attest to the lovely aroma and taste of these blends. I think you’ll find a cup, properly brewed, to be a comforting and relaxing experience. Invite some friends over to take tea. Follow my tips and you’ll have a lovely tea party to share in minutes, with minimal effort, and a fit way to celebrate this season of change and new beginnings!
Tips for a Spring Tea
- Choose bite-sized treats in spring colors for an appetizing selection your guests won’t be able to resist. I found the macarons in the freezer section of my big box store. To make your own, check out Lisa Maliga’s blog at https://lisamaliga.wordpress.com/french-macaron-baking-adventures/
- Add color to your table with flowers. If they are picked from your own garden, so much the better!
- Individual vases with pretty blooms make lovely decorations or gifts your guests will treasure.
- Be sure not to over-steep your tea. Allow the proper time for this to ensure a smooth, delicate flavor in your cup. Follow the instructions on the box in a trial run, then adjust to taste when it is time for the party.
- Pick a tea pot with cups and saucers that reflect the joy of the season.
Thank you so much for coming. I always enjoy taking tea together. I hope you’ll share about your own favorite blends in the comment section.
Do stop by again soon!
When you’re feeling sad & blue
And have no clue what to do
Sit down and have a cup of tea
And a hug or two or maybe three
Feel those troubles melt away
And start you on a better day.
-by Paulette, 1998 ~TLC Creations.
COPYRIGHT 2017. VICTORIA BENCHLEY ALL RIGHTS RESERVED