The Ladies' Tea Guild

Friday, August 31, 2012

It's the deadline for the ATB Award nominations!

Photo: Graeme Weatherston
Well, as usual, I've waited till the last minute to submit the nominations for the Tea Bloggers' Choice Awards!  Here are the nominations I'll be submitting today: 

Flavored black tea: Satori Tea Bar's Lady Londonderry 
Unflavored black tea: Taylor of Harrogate's Yorkshire Gold blend
Flavored oolong tea: Lisa's Tea Treasures' Louis XIV's Favorite Blackberry Jasmine Yin Ho blend
Unflavored oolong tea: Red Blossom Tea Company's Orange Blossom Phoenix Mountain Oolong
Flavored green tea: Celestial Seasonings' Candy Cane Lane blend
Unflavored green tea:  Koyto Obubu Tea Plantations' Genmaicha
Flavored white tea:  Republic of Tea's Orange Blossom 100% White Tea blend
Unflavored white tea:
Flavored pu-erh tea:Unflavored pu-erh tea:
Unflavored pu-erh tea:
Blended herbal infusion:  Twinings' Lemon Ginger tisane
Single-herb infusion: Stash's Oregon Peppermint 

Here are some other blogs that are also submitting nominations.  Check them out!

The Tea Enthusiast's Scrapbook
Tea For Me Please
The Sip Tip
Black Dragon Tea Bar
The Devotea's Tea Spouts
Joy's Teaspoon
Scandalous Tea
Tea Happiness
Notes on Tea 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back from a summer afternoon in the 1850s

Here is my picnic spot, with a view of the Fallon House.
Photo by Kim.
Well, the ca. 1850 sheer dress I've been working on is finally finished enough to be wearable, although there are some things I'm going to have to tweak ...  But such is life!  Our Greater Bay Area Costumers' Guild Victorian Picnic was a success, with perfect weather (August in San Jose can be scorching hot, but we had a cool breeze all afternoon), plenty of shade, and everyone in wonderful mid-Victorian summer day dress.

Friday, August 17, 2012

It's a Blog Carnival, and you're invited!

Mini pu-erh tuo cha: source unknown.
(They were a gift.)
What's the occasion?  The Association of Tea Bloggers and their Tea Bloggers' Choice Awards.  As a member of the Association, I'm collecting nominations for "favorite teas", and I have too many favorites!  I can only nominate one tea for each category (see below), but I drink mostly flavored black tea blends, and don't know which one to choose as my favorite, not to mention, I'm still getting familiar with the many other teas available and don't know that I have a favorite, say, oolong or pu-erh tea (yet).  So, I ask for your help: which are your favorite teas?

Black tea (flavored and unflavored): I have so many favorites (see previous post) for flavored tea blends, that it's just silly.  I still don't know which one to choose!  The ones I've been drinking most this summer (as cold-brew iced teas) include Satori Tea Bar's Earl Grey Creme which is a smooth vanilla Earl Grey, Lady Londonderry which is a strawberry-lemon scented black tea, and Valley of Heart's Delight which is a black tea flavored with stone fruits; Lisa's Tea Treasures' Royal Wedding which is a raspberry champagne flavored Darjeeling; and Whittard of Chelsea's Orange Blossom black tea.  My favorite unflavored black tea blend is between Taylor of Harrogate's Yorkshire Gold and Tfactor Specialty Teas' Cream of Assam, although I've started to become interested in 2nd flush Darjeelings ... I've also been drinking a lot of Tazo Tea's Chai, iced.  However, these are all blends, and I don't know that I have tasted that many unblended black teas!

Favorite tea.

vintage yellow rose cup and saucer
from my collection.

So, in choosing favorite teas to nominate for the Tea Bloggers' Choice Awards, I have more than one favorite tea in several categories!  I'm sure you can empathize!  Here are some of my current favorites: 

Earl Grey Creme from Satori Tea Bar 
Lady Londonderry from Satori Tea Bar 
The Valley of Heart's Delight from Satori Tea Bar
Bloomsbury Afternoon from The Ladies' Tea Guild 
The Royal Wedding from Lisa's Tea Treasures 
Earl Grey from The Good Earth 
Orange Blossom black tea from Whittard of Chelsea 
Yorkshire Gold from Taylor of Harrogate 
PG Tips from Brooke Bond 
Cream of Assam from Tfactor Specialty Teas 
Candy Cane Lane from Celestial Seasonings (makes a great iced tea!) 
Jasmine Green Tea from History San Jose (sold in their gift shop; don't know the actual source) 
Original Herb Blend from The Good Earth 
Lemon Ginger herbal tea from Stash 
Oregon Peppermint herbal tea from Stash 

Monday, August 13, 2012

What's your favorite tea?

What's in your teapot?

I just heard about a new "competition" called the Tea Bloggers' Choice Awards, and thought it would be fun to participate.  At first I thought I would need to choose my favorite tea blogs (but there are so many!) and nominate them for an award, but the "competition" is actually between tea blends, not companies or blogs.  Here is the explanation from the Association of Tea Bloggers website: 

"What are the TBC Awards?
The TBC Awards are independent awards of the Association of Tea Bloggers (ATB) determined by members of the Association of Tea Bloggers and their readers to celebrate favorite teas of the online tea marketplace.
- The awards showcase favorite teas of the online tea community
- The awards reveal useful info on tea consumer preferences
- It is NOT a list of “best” teas. Awards do not necessarily reflect a tea’s quality
- The awards encourage interaction between bloggers and their readers, strengthening their voice in the tea community
- The awards point new tea drinkers to teas they may also enjoy
Winners are announced once per year. Winning companies receive a formal statement of their tea having won a particular category and an official winner’s seal/logo that can be used in association with that product."

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More summer fashion hints from Godey's of 1855

ca. 1860 sheer dress from St. Albans Museums.
Among the coolest-looking dresses for this hottest month of the year, we notice the so-called “pine-apple” tissues, that are more particularly imported by the India stores of Boston and New York.

One of these establishments is well worth a visit.  Crapes of every description in dress goods, shawls, and scarfs, cashmere shawls, pine-apple handkerchiefs of almost inconcievable fineness and delicacy, gorgeously embroidered taffetas, everything for which the India trade is celebrated, which sea captains bring, and ship owners import for their wives after a successful voyage, are here gathered together.
The pine-apple tissues of which we speak come in patterns, from ten to fourteen yards each, and are less expensive than ever before, ranging from $4 to $8.  They are in stripes, plaids, and checks, on a white ground, and almost transparent, or “see-through muslin,” as some gentleman happily characterized the present style of gossamer summer fabrics on their first introduction.  As they do not rumple or crush, they are especially suitable for flouncing.  The shade of blue, purple, green, etc., in which they come, being rather dull, a bright gauze ribbon trimming adds much to their effect, running around the edge of the flounces, and disposed on the waist and sleeves in bretelles, bows, etc., with flowing ends.

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)