Whether you’re single, coupled up or it’s complicated, you can always infuse your Valentine’s Day with some tea love. We’ve come up with a fabulously fresh and (mostly) healthy Valentine’s Day tea pairing menu for you. Much like wine pairing, pairing tea with food is a sensory experience, perfect for the most romantic day of the year.
Aperitif: Jewelled Jasmine Mimosa Mocktail
Start the evening off right with an impressive aperitif! Take a chilled Mighty Brew Jasmine Kombucha and combine with organic apple juice poured over ice. Garnish with pomegranate seeds dropped into the base of the flute, add a mint sprig pegged to the side.
- 75ml Mighty Brew Jasmine Kombucha
- 35ml Organic Apple Juice
- 2 Teaspoon of fresh Pomegranate Seeds
- 6 Mint Leaves
Starter: Oysters with The Tea Makers of London Jasmine Silver Needle White Tea
Casanova was reputed to eat 50 oysters for breakfast everyday which is probably where oysters got their aphrodisiacal reputation from. They are packed with zinc, so a great feel good energy booster and apparently libido enhancer! We paired our oysters with a delicate and sweet Jasmine Silver Needle tea from The Tea Makers of London which pairs great with any seafood, and particularly well with the soft, plump, mineral flavour of the oysters.
Main: Halloumi & Fig Salad with Nazani Tea Roasted Spring Oats
From beatings with fig tree branches in ancient Greece to promote fruitfulness to the Moroccan custom of throwing figs and raisins over newlyweds, figs have long been associated with fertility. Legend has it that they were Cleopatra’s favourite fruit! So we have gone for a delicious and healthy Halloumi & Fig Salad for our main. We paired this with Roasted Spring Oats from Nazani Tea, the natural nutty flavour and caramel notes pair so well with the saltiness of the halloumi cheese. Give it a try!
Dessert: Lemon Meringue Tart with Whittard of Chelsea English Rose Tea
Roses just had to have a starring role in our Valentine’s Day menu, so it appears in both the food and tea for our dessert. We went for a zesty Lemon Meringue Tart with raspberry & rose coulis paired with English Rose by Whittard of Chelsea. The rich black tea base is infused with fragrant rose flavours that really elevate the citrus tones of the dessert. Wonderful!
Let us know if you give any of these a try. Take a pic and tag us on Instagram @nationalteaday
Check out our Valentine’s Day Tea Gift Guide for the perfect gift for your special tea lover, or why not just treat yourself!
Hands up who’s taking a break from alcohol this month! Having survived the excesses of the festive season, our bodies deserve a well earned rest and a bit of TLC, don’t you think?
This month is the perfect time to kickstart your new health regime and feel better about yourself. And us Brits are leading the trend in switching to low or no alcohol beverages. Research has shown that a huge 65% of 25-34 year olds in the UK are trying, or have reduced their alcohol intake.
However, it doesn’t have to be boring! This month tea is your friend even more than usual. And just because you’ve taken up the Dry January challenge doesn’t mean no more nights out on the town.
Here come our recommendations whether you fancy a classic cocktail, a sumptuous pairing dinner, or a night in with the guys and gals.
Cocktails at the Smith & Whistle with Mighty Brew
Kombucha is a slightly sparkling fermented tea, so the perfect non alcoholic alternative. Mighty Brew’s organic kombucha comes in a range of fantastic flavours, like Sencha, Lemongrass, Jasmine. Pop down to the Smith & Whistle at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane where they’ve put a tea twist on the classic French 75 cocktail using the Hemp flavour kombucha. Check out the video to see Bar Manager, Salman in action!
Tea Pairing Dinner at Club Gascon
A Michelin starred restaurant, Club Gascon has been serving innovative cuisine from the South West of France since 1998. Recognising the trend for reduced alcohol consumption, especially at lunchtime, they introduced a tea pairing menu in 2017. Treat yourself to their delectable 5 or 7 course tasting menu at lunch or dinner with 3 beautifully paired teas.
Throw a DIY mixology party and get your guests creating their own tea mocktails! To get you started here are a couple of our favourites that have seen us through Dry January so far.
Spiced Apple Mock-tea-ni
- 2 Amber Rose Yunnan Green teabags
- 2 tbsp syrup half tsp cinnamon (ground)
- 300ml apple juice
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- apple slices
- sparkling water
Steep 2 teabags of Amber Rose Yunnan Green tea in 300ml of boiling water for 4 hours. Remove bags and put liquor in a saucepan with the syrup/agave and simmer until reduced by half. Cool down the tea syrup to room temperature. Mix tea syrup, ground cinnamon and apple juice and muddle. Pour into 4 martini glasses, top with sparkling water and add a cinnamon stick and fresh apple slices for garnish.
- 1 teabag Yogi Tea Peaceful Moment (Rooibos with lavender oil and lemon balm)
- 30ml Pimento drink
- 30ml Apple juice
- 10ml Lemon juice
- 30ml Sparkling water
Brew tea with 150ml freshly boiled water for 5 minutes and leave to cool. Stir in apple juice, lemon juice and Pimento. Add ice and top up with sparkling water, and enjoy!
Spicy Winter Cooler
- 3 Oteas Lemongrass, Ginger and Cinnamon teabags
- agave nectar
- sliced fresh peaches
- slices of fresh ginger
Using a large teapot, infuse teabags in 750ml boiling water. Add agave nectar to taste, then place teapot in the fridge to cool until ready to serve. Add sliced peaches and ginger to 3 or 4 glasses and pour over the iced tea. Enjoy!
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There’s nothing better than enjoying an exquisite Afternoon Tea lounging in the opulent surroundings of a luxury hotel, but it’s not an affordable regular pastime for most of us! Have you ever thought about hosting your own Afternoon Tea party at home? Cosy, intimate and something a little bit different, great for getting your favourite people round and creating lovely memories. Here are our top tips for creating a fun and delicious DIY Afternoon Tea.
Mini brioche hotdogs
- 4 of your favourite sausages
- 4 Brioche Pasquier Brioche Rolls
- 200g shallots flour
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1tsp caraway seeds
- 1tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 50g tomato ketchup
- 1 teabag Twinings Lapsang Souchong
Finely chop the shallots and toss in seasoned flour. Fry the spices in olive oil for a minute then add the shallots. Fry for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally until crispy and browned. Make a shot of Twinings Lapsang Souchong by steeping the teabag in 60ml boiling water for 3 hours+. Once cooled, stir into tomato ketchup to make a smoky infused relish. Cook the sausages. Slice the brioche rolls and assemble the hotdogs, topping off with the fried onions and smoky ketchup. Cut each hotdog into three, and skewer with a cocktail stick to hold it together.
Smoked salmon & avocado on rye
- 1 avocado
- 100g smoked salmon
- rye bread
- a few cherry tomatoes
Mash the avocado with a squeeze of lime. Spoon onto a slice of rye bread and top with a slice of salmon. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add a half as garnish. Serve as an open sandwich.
So cute and such a fun ideate use brioche loaf to create canapé size pizzas! Thanks to Brioche Pasquier for this recipe, and you check out more recipes on their website.
- Sliced Brioche Pasquier Brioche Loaf
- tomato puree
- 4 slices honey roasted ham
- 75g grated cheddar cheese
- basil leaves
Using a cutter, cut circles out of your brioche slices. Spread a dollop of tomato puree on each circle, then add the ham and a sprinkle of cheese. Stick them in the oven at a low heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Ultimate egg mayo sandwich
- 4 boiled eggs
- 60g mayo
- half tsp mustard
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- salt & pepper
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- wholemeal or granary bread
Chop the boiled eggs and mix with the mayo, mustard and spring onion. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Make your sandwiches and cut into small rectangles or squares.
Scones, scones, scones
This is our favourite tried and tested scone recipe from BBC Good Food. So quick and simple, and works every time! Easy enough to make on the day so they are fresh and warm from the oven. Serve with clotted cream and the traditional strawberry jam. Or mix it up with a spicy ginger and rhubarb preserve or even a sweet lemon curd.
Oteas Strawberry and Cream cupcakes
- 110g softened butter
- 110g golden caster sugar
- 110g self-raising flour
- 2 large eggs
- half tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
For the frosting:
- 3 Oteas Strawberry and Cream tea bags
- 50ml milk
- 150g softened butter
- 300g icing sugar
Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy, then whisk in 2 large eggs. Add vanilla extract, flour and a pinch of salt, whisk until combined. Spoon the mixture into a 12 cupcake tray lined with cases. Bake for 15 mins in a preheated oven at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 until golden brown. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, infuse Oteas Strawberry and Cream tea bags in 50ml of warm milk for an hour. Whisk butter until soft and then whisk in icing sugar until smooth. Beat in the cooled milk. Spoon or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.
Lemon Drizzle cake
We put a tea twist on our favourite lemon drizzle cake recipe from Mary Berry. To top of this glorious tray bake, we made a lemon & ginger frosting.
- 3 Clipper Organic Lemon & Ginger tea bags
- 125g sugar
- 60ml milk
To make the frosting, infuse Clipper Organic Lemon & Ginger tea bags in 60ml of warm milk for an hour. Whisk together the icing sugar and the cooled milk. Drizzle onto the cake.
This is the best part of our DIY Afternoon Tea, irresistible macarons from Brioche Pasquier. The ultimate crowd pleaser, this pack of 36 comes in a selection of Vanilla, Pistachio, Coffee, Raspberry, Lemon and Chocolate. Easy peasy and absolutely delicious!
Sherlock Holmes mini Xmas puds
As we’re well and truly in to the festive season, try these adorable Mini Puds, a perfect twist to a Christmas classic. The smoky flavour of Chash’s Sherlock Holmes tea combined with the booziness of the whisky and sweetness of the chocolate, come together to make a treat your guests will just love. This makes 20 mini puds so they can take a few home too!
- 1 christmas pudding
- 2 tbsp Chash The Fine Tea Co Sherlock Holmes Tea
- 25cl brandy
- 1 bar of milk chocolate
- 1 bar of white chocolate
- some glazed cherries
Sprinkle the Chash Sherlock Holmes tea into the brandy and leave to infuse overnight. Strain your tea-infused brandy into a mixing bowl and crumble in the Christmas pudding. Melt the milk chocolate and add into the bowl then mix together with your hands. Once combined into a wet dough, make into small evenly sized balls. Drizzle the melted white chocolate and pop a glazed cherry on each of the mini puds.
Earl Grey and Darjeeling are the quintessential Afternoon Tea teas, and pair well with many of the traditional Afternoon Tea desserts. However, for our DIY par-tea we went for the beautiful Finest Japanese Sencha from The Tea Makers of London which paired especially well with the Salmon & Avocado on Rye. We doubled up on the cake-ness with a dessert tea from Ahmad Tea. Their Strawberry Velvet Cake tea is a perfect complement to Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle cake, just sublime! As we all know, mint and chocolate work so well together, so it just had to be Clipper’s Organic Peppermint paired with a Brioche Pasquier chocolate macaron (or few!). We brewed up all our teas using ZeroWater filtered water so that we got the full beautiful flavours coming through.
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With Halloween just around the corner we decided to have a spooky little par-tea at National Tea Day HQ! What better time to get your creativi-tea on? We’re excited to share our top tips for creating a devilishly delicious and wicked Halloween par-tea of your own. Go on, pull out all the stops, frighten (and delight) your guests with these dishes to die for!
Almost as important as the food and tea, is a beautiful table setting. Create a gorgeous autumnal table as a backdrop for your terrifying treats and teas! Just a few simple decorations really helps to set the scene. We used:
- a carved pumpkin
- an assortment of mini pumpkins and squash
- red and golden autumn leaves collected from the local park
- a selection of chestnuts and walnuts scattered around the table
We were super excited to be joined by Disney’s Maleficent and Ursula for an extra touch of Halloween magic!! The English Ladies Company was kind enough to gift us their fantastically evil (and beautiful) figurines and teacups.
And of course we had the most mesmerising teas to sip for the occasion. We oo-ed and ah-ed as the stunning artisan flowering teas from The Tea Makers of London slowly unfurled in the glass teapot. We sat transfixed by Nazani Tea’s colour changing Mallow tisane, as it turned blue with a beautiful purple tinge. Otea’s Rooibus Vanilla was the perfect brew for an autumn afternoon, soothing and warming with a subtle creaminess from the vanilla. And finally Opus Raw Pu’er tea from TEASPEC paired so well with our Mummified lamb (see recipe below), with its light smoky floral aroma and fruity notes.
Check out our Halloween video for more recipes including Matcha White Chocolate Sauce!
Halloween Afternoon Tea
We put a Halloween twist on our Afternoon Tea by going for seasonal flavours and colours mixed with traditional favourites. Starting from the bottom up:
- Traditional sausage roll
- Spinach and feta pastry
- Cheese and onion mini muffins
- Pumpkin and sweet potato falafel sandwich
- Salmon with avocado & cream cheese sandwich
- Pecan and cinnamon sponge
- Honey and coconut cake
- Carrot cake
- Polenta cake with almonds
- Brownie with pecan nuts
- Lemon cake with hibiscus
- Scones with homemade blackcurrant jam and clotted cream
- cut figs and red grapes
We also cooked up a storm in the kitchen. Here come the spooky recipes that we came up with!
Pumpkins and Peppers with Green Tea and Jasmine rice
- 100g rice
- 2 x Clipper Organic Decaf Green Tea and Jasmine
- 50g goat cheese
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Toasted pine nuts
- Chopped chives
Boil the rice in 300ml of water for 10 minutes, once the water has nearly evaporated, turn down to simmer add in tea bags, salt and pepper and gently stir. Leave with a lid on a very low heat for 5 minutes and then remove tea bags carefully. Add goats cheese and chopped chives and stir in.
Slice the top of the pumpkin and pepper off, scoop out the content of the base and line with olive oil and salt, fill generously with the filling, put the tops back on, drizzle with olive oil and bake. The pumpkin will need 45 minutes and the pepper only 30 minutes at 180c. Top with toasted pine nuts to serve.
3 Cheese Pumpkin
- 1 pumpkin
- 100g Camembert
- 75g Roquefort
- 75g Goats Cheese
Remove the top of the pumpkin and scoop out the contents. Fill the pumpkin with camembert, roquefort and goats cheese (use more or less cheese depending on size of your pumpkin). Add a splash of white wine. But on the lid, cover the pumpkin in silver foil and bake at 170c for 40 minutes.
- 1 sachet of TEASPEC raw pu’er
- 300g Prawns
- 60ml Water
- 30ml Soy sauce
- 15ml Fish sauce
- Teaspoon of date syrup
- Half a chilli
- Quarter of a lime
Brew the tea sachet in 60ml of water for 3 hours+. The idea is to create a an intense liqueur that can be diluted with other flavours. Mix all ingredients (apart from prawns) with 30ml of the brewed tea and stir. Cook the prawns. Drizzle the pu’er liqueur over the prawns or use as a dip.
- 2 Aubergines
- Olive oil
- Toasted pine nuts
Slice aubergines and score them. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes on 175c. Top with sage and toasted pine nuts to serve.
- 6 lamb sausages
- Puff pastry sheet
- Garnish: olives, tomatoes and sage
Separate the sausages if not already. Lay puff pastry onto a floured board and cut into strips. Wrap a strip around each sausage like a bandage. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180c. Serve with garnish.
- 6g The Tea Makers of London Matcha tea
- 250g White chocolate
- 2 tablespoons of pouring cream
- 2 x Meringues
- Handful of Blackberries
For the meringue: either home made or ready made will work here. Quite simply sandwich 2 meringues with blackberries and centralise on a plate. Sprinkle matcha powder over for effect.
In a separate bowl whisk 4 grams of matcha with 75ml of water until smooth. Melt the white chocolate and add two tablespoons of cream to loosen the mixture. Combine the matcha tea and chocolate mix, whisk thoroughly and pour over the meringue.
Honestly, we were so impressed at how everything came together, you should of seen the chaos back of house ☺
So there you go, we dare you to replicate the entire par-tea…tea can be so exciting and seasonal so be inspired this autumn by exploring new delicious tea experiences starting with Halloween. Sign up to our news letter for blogs and more tas-tea news below.
Enjoy! Have a thoroughly wicked Halloween everyone!
We enjoyed a fantastically indulgent weekend recently at The Cake & Bake Show, ExCeL London! It was great to meet so many tea and cake fans who came along and savoured our live tea pairings.
Brioche Pasquier PITCH brioche and Supreme Earl Grey – No. 07 by The Tea Makers of London
Throughout the 3 days we had great fun pairing up some deliciously devilish desserts with tan-tea-lising teas and infusions. First up, we paired Brioche Pasquier’s PITCH brioche with the Supreme Earl Grey – No. 07 by The Tea Makers of London. The PITCH brioche is filled with a generous helping of hazelnut chocolate filling, and was a huge hit with everyone, young and old! The well-rounded flavour of the Supreme Earl Grey matched perfectly. The distinct citrus notes of this blend of exquisite Ceylon teas, scented with flavours of Bergamot oil with blue cornflowers, enhanced an already sensational chocolate flavour with layers of citrus and chocolate creaminess.
Gooey Chocolate Brownies from Ridiculously Rich by Alana and Nazani Tea Roasted Spring Oats
Next up, we paired the famous Gooey Chocolate Brownies from Ridiculously Rich by Alana with Nazani Tea’s addictive Roasted Spring Oats. Made with 70% dark Belgian chocolate these brownies paired so well with the Roasted Spring Oats. In isolation neither infusion nor dessert contained any nuts. However, when paired together the moreish and sumptuous nutty flavour profile of the oat infusion created a magical choc-nut dream.
Ridiculously Rich by Alana’s Sticky Toffee Flapjack and Oteas Strawberry & Cream Tea
Finally, we paired Ridiculously Rich by Alana’s Sticky Toffee Flapjack with the classic British flavour pairing that is Strawberry & Cream tea, by Oteas. With a wonderful hibiscus flower base, enhanced by hints of sweet apple, distinctive rose hip, zesty orange and the creamy taste of strawberries, our yummy tea pairing complimented the buttery and nutty notes of the flapjack in all its glory.
After chatting with so many lovely tea fans about all things tea and cake, our very own Diaz took to the Cake & Bake Stage! He demonstrated the tea pairings, explaining why each pairing worked in the way it did. The talk was then rounded off with giveaways and tastings. All in all a truly delectable weekend of tea and cake – what’s not to love!
Check out the highlights video on our Youtube channel!
And here we are, The Great British Bake Off 2019, one of the most popular programmes on our shores! A showcase for one of the greatest experiences of autumn – the proliferation of baked goods.
The chill in the air and the shorter days practically beg for something sweet and doughy with a cup of tea of course 😉 . Seriously, is anything more comforting than the warm, sweet smell of a freshly baked cake or cookie? As a tea-m of tea enthusiasts, we have been drooling over The Great British Bake Off with an eye toward tea pairings.
This year’s competition is especially fierce. There have already been so many great moments this season. Here at National Tea Day we love bold flavours, unexpected combinations and oh so delicate tasting notes. As a fan, it’s a tough job to pick just a few of the delicious cakes to pair our teas with, but we thought we’d give it a try. So without further ado, we present our standouts of the season so far!
Carrot and Walnut Fairy’s House
Made by Michelle the Carrot and Walnut Fairy’s House is just too cute! Sturdy, robust and full-flavoured, we think Spiced Rooibos pairs very nicely. The luxurious and strong nature of the rooibos compliments the nutty, earthy and sweet flavours in the cake.
Chocolate and Coconut New Zealand Lamb
The second cake that we just couldn’t resist is the totally yummy Chocolate and Coconut New Zealand Lamb made by Alice. The complimentary relationship between chocolate and coconut offers the possibility of a broad selection of teas, such as White tea or Sencha . However, you should really try traditional Japanese Matcha Tea. We just love this pairing 🙂
Sour Lime Pina Colada
Last but certainly not least is this fabulous Sour Lime Pina Colada cake by Steph . Pina Colada, yes! In cake form? With sour lime, no less… sign us up! The perfect cup of tea to pair with these zingy tropical flavours has to be a Roasted Oolong which itself has undertones of ripe peach and lychee.
With Afternoon Tea Week upon us, we at National Tea Day think it’s a perfect time to brush up on your tea techniques – how to brew and what to pair to enjoy a perfect afternoon tea experience.
Are you looking for something caffeinated or herbalicious? Tea doesn’t always have to be an indulgent occasion, but can be just as delicious with a healthier twist.
An increasingly prominent trend on London’s culinary landscape is the emergence of tea pairing menus. Much as you would pair wine with different dishes, the same is done with tea for an enhanced culinary experience.
Create your perfect afternoon tea party at home, an afternoon tea that is unique, healthier and better for you all round. To help you do just this, we have picked four pairing selections that we think are inspiring and just sublime in taste!
Elderflower Herbal Tea from Nazani Tea paired with fruit scone with clotted cream but no preserve.
Jasmine Silver Needle Tea from The Teamakers of London paired with seared scallops on cucumber salsa crostini’s.
Sencha ( kombucha ) from Mighty Brew paired with dark chocolate tart with raspberries.
Lemongrass, Apple and Hibiscus Tea from Oteas paired with spiced guacamole and pan-fried pepper and aubergine focaccia.
Now, let’s talk tea! Brewing a perfect cup of tea starts with a good choice of water. Too often, tap water contains impurities that impact the flavour of your tea.
Water is best freshly filtered and should not be re-boiled because this diminishes the oxygen content. National Tea Day recommend using filtered water, to bring out the best flavours of your tea. For good leaf tea, the water should be below boiling. This is because the amino acids (which produce the tea’s flavour) dissolve at lower temperatures than tannin.
Many households use a regular filter, but there are more sophisticated water filters on the market for those with specific water problems or a desire for genuinely excellent water. We like ZeroWater filters because they take out all of the unwanted nasties as opposed to others on the market.
Now you have the perfect water, please remember just as the flavours of the teas are different the temperature at which they are brewed is also different.
Some teas should be brewed at 100°c , 80°c or even 60°c. For instance, the Apple and Hibiscus Tea should be brewed at a temperature of 100°c. The reason why tea should be brewed in a different temperature is due to the processing of the different teas. For example, white tea isn’t as oxidised and therefore requires lower temperature water to optimise the flavour.
If you’re a real stickler and want to get it exactly right:
- White is best at 70°c and green at 80°c.
- Black and Oolong teas, use water around 80°c to 90°c.
- Herbal Infusions use 100°c water, and 70°c for Chamomile.
Our pairing selections require brewing between 80°c -100°c but let’s not forget about kombucha, which is the cold fermented tea with many health benefits.
- Elderflower Herbal Tea – brew at 80°c
- Jasmine Silver Needle Tea – brew at 80°c
- Sencha (kombucha) – no brewing required
- Apple & Hibiscus Tea – brew at 100°c
But remember that the temperature is only a part of the brewing story. Indeed, time is the significant factor of bringing a true flavour to your tea. Too often in our hectic world, people are in a rush and don’t allow for proper tea steeping not to mention having some me-time with a cup of tea. Just as each tea responds to a different temperature, they also respond to time.
- For black tea, the steeping time really differs with preference. If you want to drink the tea on its own then 45 seconds to a minute is ideal. However, if you want to build the strong tannin flavours, you may want to leave it for 2-3 minutes.
- Green teas should be steeped for 1 – 2 minutes for the first infusion.
- White tea is the purest and most delicate of all teas. It needs longer brewing time than other teas. Please allow to steep for 1-3 minutes.
- Infusions “herbal teas” come from many different types of plants. Tisane has the most elegant flavours, please allow to steep for 3-8 minutes.
The perfect cup of tea goes beyond the flavours and provide many natural health benefits, and with National Tea Day’s recommendations, you can have a perfect cup of tea. Follow our social media for more tea exper-teas.
So there you go folks, happy afternoon tea week, do enjoy in style! For more inspiration stay tuned to @nationalteaday.
author: Patrycja Pykalo