Monday, January 2, 2012

Celebrating National Hot Tea Month!

Today starts my month-long celebration of National Hot Tea Month! What's not to like about tea? It's tasty, easy to make, and affordable.

My love of tea started very early in my life. Like most Southerners, I was introduced to iced tea at a young age. But I didn't begin my love affair with hot tea until about the year 2000. At that time, I began researching and studying all about tea and etiquette. The more I read about world's SECOND most popular beverage, the more I wanted to know about it.

This afternoon I was happy to sit down a rest a bit after the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's rush. I'm looking over one of very favorite tea books..."Tea & Etiquette," by Dorothea Johnson & Bruce Richardson. Ms. Johnson, founder of The Protocol School of Washington, was one of my etiquette teachers years ago and she has teamed up with Bruce Richardson, owner of Elmwood Fine Teas and the author of twelve other tea books to write this richly-illustrated book.

This book is a must-read those who take tea for business or pleasure. It includes chapters on tea history, tea & health information, hosting an afternoon tea at home, tea faux pas, guest duties at a social tea, going out to tea, business tea etiquette, finessing the food at tea, tea types, steeping guides, and recipes. This book is available to order on the sidebar of my blog under "Miss Janice Recommends!"
"At tea, as in any other interaction, we are not free to act merely as we please; but we must act with mutual consideration, as befits our interdependence."
~Dorothea Johnson

My secretary is set with all the proper tea accoutrements needed for Tea for One!

Today I'm using my 'Blue Willow' teaware by Johnson Brothers. I steeped Pomegranate Oolong tea and made delicious Cashew Caramel scones.
A white battenburg lace tea serviette...placed to the left of the plate with the napkin fold facing the tea plate.
A tea knife {I used a luncheon knife} is used to slice through the scone horizontally. Place small dallops of the cream onto your tea plate...never spooning directly onto the scone. Break off a bite-size piece with your fingers and use your knife to dab a bite-size piece with cream.

A votive candle is used inside the silver teapot warmer to keep the beverage hot.
The teacup, is filled 3/4 full and sat on a doily on the tea saucer...with the handle always at 4 o'clock! The Pomegranate Oolong tea is available at Harney Teas. The leaves of Ti Quan Yin Oolong are infused with tangy pomegranate. This is a wonderful tea y'all..try it, you will love it!

A traditional English scone...
The Devonshire cream is placed on a butter pan plate and then served onto the tea plate...Remember, do not spoon the cream directly from the pat plate to the scone!

To sit and have a cup of tea is one of the most relaxing things that you can do. It is not the actual drinking of the tea, but the ritual of boiling the water, preparing the tea, and patiently waiting and anticipating some quiet time. It slows you down from your hectic pace and gives you a chance to take a deep breath and relax.

Thank you so much for visiting with me today. Remember, tea is considered the beverage of hospitality--so go steep some tea and...Make it Southern!


Brittany said...

I love tea!! Last year was the first time I ever had it with honey and I fell in love. I swear that it kept me from getting sick too. Also, did I ever tell you that I collect tea pots? I have about 40. I'll have to do a blog post all about them. I just adore tea rooms (I even worked in one for a while) and have been to several around the state. Great post! Excited to celebrate now!

Whosyergurl said...

I LOVE hot tea. I am just as good with hot tea as I am coffee. Makes no diff to me! I love Constant Comment. I call it Constant Comfort.
xo, Cheryl

Leigh Powell Hines said...

Love tea. Happy New Year!

Jan@southernjunkin' said...

Very pretty and great info! Although I do not drink hot tea, I do love coffee which in my southern home began when I was able to hold a cup! Stop by for a visit real soon...have a gift-away going on!!!

Tammy B said...

Without even thinking about it, I came home and fixed me a pot of hot Twining's Christmas tea. Happy Hot Tea Month!

AngelaV said...

Is there a reason why you keep the cup at the 4:00 position?

Royar said...

Hot Tea is so good! I love your dishes! I also mentioned you on my blog today! XO

Miss Janice said...

Angela V,
Lord, I've just always been told to do it:) When I worked in the China Dept at Dillard's, I was totally OCD about it...walking around all the time...moving those teacup handles to the 4 o'clock position! I would watch people pick up the teacup and sit it back down...with the handle facing every which way but the right way. It about drove me crazy!