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Tea Spotlight: Darjeeling

We asked Ellen, the owner and official tea sommelier of The Novel Tea, and here’s what she had to say!

My go to favorite and comfort tea is a first flush Darjeeling from India.  Darjeeling is considered the champagne of tea because it is the first picking of the newest leaves from the Western Bengal area of India at the foothills of the Himalayas. The elevation and terroir imparts a wonderful pure tea taste that has a slight astringency and muscatel qualities.  Second flush Darjeeling is also a personal favorite with a slightly rounded fuller flavor and not quite as astringent as first flush.  Traditional Earl Grey tea is made with a second flush Darjeeling flavored with Chinese’s bitter orange oil of bergamot.  Because of the exacting standards for harvesting, withering and oxidizing Darjeeling, it is very often one of the more expensive black Indian teas, but so worth it.  It is one of the few teas that can be steeped and enjoyed at any time of day or evening.

Ellen of The Novel Tea

You can find Darjeeling in our online shop. Give it a shot and you won’t regret it!

Tea and crumpets,
Ashley

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Calendar of Events

The Novel Tea is proud to share that we have an entire year of classes scheduled! Be sure to mark your calendars for the remainder of 2019 and the first half of 2020. You won’t want to miss any of our upcoming tea classes or high tea events.

Click the link below to check out the calendar, download a PDF, and get information on how to register!

Tea and crumpets,
Ashley

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Customer Rewards Program

Introducing The Novel Tea’s brand new Customer Reward Program!

Why should I get one?

The program is free, and you will receive a free bag of custom-blended tea when you earn enough stamps!

How does it work?

Show your Customer Reward Program card every time you attend a Novel Tea event to receive a stamp. You can receive a stamp for attending any of our tea events and shopping our store. Qualifying purchases can be made online and in person. Conditions apply.*

Where can I get a Customer Reward Program card?

A Customer Reward Program card can be picked up in person at any of our events and are included with every online purchase.

If you have any questions regarding our Customer Reward Program, please contact us.

*Redemption: No cash value. One event cannot count for multiple circles. Completed card will be exchanged for a free custom-blended tea gift certificate. Recipient is responsible for completing custom-blended tea questionnaire and following all gift certificate instructions to receive their custom-blended tea.

Tea and crumpets,
Ashley

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How to Plan the Perfect Tea Party

Register Now!

Come spend the afternoon learning how to hold your own high tea! The Novel Tea is offering a workshop of tea party basics and essentials.

Each attendee will:
– learn how to fold cloth napkins 3 ways
– receive tips on setting the table for tea
– craft 10 menu cards and matching place cards to use at their future party
– enjoy a traditional 3-tiered afternoon tea (lots of food & drink!)
– hear the history of tea and tea etiquette
– get tips on how to steep tea for a large group, including a demonstration, and
– learn how to make the perfect scone and get Novel Tea’s favorite scone recipe.

With so much information packed in this workshop, you’ll have everything you need to host your own party with confidence!

If you love tea, tea parties, crafts– or all three! — please join us.

EVENT INFO:
Saturday, June 22
1:00-3:00 p.m.
in the Garden Room of Sierra 2 Center
2791 24th St
Sacramento, CA

REGISTRATION:
Fee: $45/person
Advanced Registration Required; class is limited.

HOW TO REGISTER:
(1) Register online at sierra2.org, or
(2) Call during business hours at (916) 452-3005 x 208, or 
(3) sign up in person at the Sierra 2 Center office.

Register Now!

Tea and crumpets,
Ashley

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St. Patrick’s High Tea

Join The Novel Tea for an Irish High Tea to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy three tiers of delicious Irish tea food while you learn about tea culture in Ireland. Listen to stories about tea from an Irish expert, who will discuss all things tea, from the role of tea in popular culture in Ireland to the role tea plays in rural life. High Tea service will include custom blended Saints Tea inspired by Irish Breakfast Tea and blended by The Novel Tea’s tea sommelier.

Register Now!

This event is the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style!

Sunday, March 17th
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the Garden Room
Sierra 2 Center
2791 24th Street, Sacramento, CA

Fees: $40/person
Advanced registration required; space is limited.

Register Now!

Tea and Crumpets,
Ashley

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Recipe Roundup: Maple Chai Tea Latte

Recipe Roundup is a biweekly post where we share our favorite recipes that include a tea ingredient. We share recipes every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month.

Hello, my fellow tea-drinkers! We’ve taken a wonderful month off of blogging duties. It was a much-needed respite after the craziness of the holidays. 

We’d like to jumpstart our 2019 Recipe Roundup with this delish recipe for Maple Chai Tea Latte from Through Her Looking Glass

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups choice of milk (regular, almond, coconut etc.)
  • 1-2 chai tea bags (2 for stronger flavor – in this case, use 1-2 scoops of our chai tea in either a DIY tea bag or in a mesh tea infuser)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Optional: ground cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice

Instructions

  1. Heat milk until steaming (not boiling) in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop.
  2. Pour steaming milk over chai tea bag(s) in mug and steep 3-5 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bag(s).
  4. Stir in vanilla and maple syrup.
  5. Pour into a mug and serve hot.
  6. Optional : lightly dust with ground cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice.

Hope this recipe warms you right up!

Tea and Crumpets,
Ashley

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Chocolate High Tea

Sunday, February 17th
1:00-3:00 p.m. in the Garden Room
Fee: $40
Advanced Registration Required; space is limited.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day — or, if you prefer, Galentine’s Day — with this chocolate-themed tea. Featuring all new chocolate and chocolate mint teas, plus three tiers of delicious high tea food. The menu includes high tea classics, as well as special items created just for this event, such as a chicken mole, chocolate chip scones, and a truly decadent top tier!

This is a great social experience for tea and chocolate lovers. Celebrate the ones you love with this sweet high tea event.

Register online now

Other ways to register: Call Sierra 2 Center during business hours at (916) 452-3005 x 208, or sign up in person at the Sierra 2 Center office.

Excited to see you all there!

Tea and crumpets,
Ashley

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Tea Class: New Year, New Teas

Let us cheers to more tea drinking!

Sunday, January 27th
1:00-3:00 p.m.
The Garden Room at Sierra 2 Center
2791 24th Street, Sacramento, CA

Fee: $25
Advanced Registration Required; class is limited.

Register Here

Calling experienced tea lovers and those turning to tea as part of a New Year’s resolution to cut back on coffee or drink more clear liquids. This class will explore some new tea tastes including:

  • flavored black teas such as Apricot Brandy,
  • Nilgiri from India,
  • oolongs from Taiwan,
  • a flavored cherry black and green from China,
  • and a Columbian surprise blend.

This class includes: tasting of all teas, steeping instruction and demonstration, tasting notes, recommendations of food pairings (and a few tasty treats to try in class).

 

Tea and Crumpets,
Ashley

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Recipe Roundup: Earl Grey Cupcakes

Recipe Roundup is a biweekly post where we share our favorite recipes that include a tea ingredient. We share recipes every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month.

Check out this recipe for Earl Grey cupcakes and lemon buttercream by Foodie with Family!

Ingredients

Ingredients for Earl Grey Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Lemon Buttercream:

  • 1 stick 8 tablespoons or 4 ounces by weight butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups 1 pound, by weight powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream or chilled infused Earl Grey whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract

Instructions

To Make the Cupcakes:

  1. Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Scald the milk (heat until it is steaming and many tiny bubbles have formed in the milk around the edge of the pan. Add the tea bags, remove the pan from the heat and put the lid in place. Let the milk cool to room temperature like this. When the milk is cool, squeeze the excess liquid from the tea bags and discard them. Measure one cup plus 2 tablespoons of the cooled infused milk and reserve the rest.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a mixing bowl with an electric hand-held mixer) beat together the butter and sugar until lighter in colour and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat well.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter/egg/sugar. Beat on low just until combined. Add about 1/3 of the infused milk that you measured. Again, beat just until combined, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and repeat -flour, milk, flour, milk- until both flour and milk are completely incorporated.
  7. Line 24 muffin/cupcake wells with cupcake liners and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Fill the liners about 2/3 full of cupcake batter.
  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until they spring back when pressed lightly or a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

To Make the Lemon Buttercream:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer) beat the butter on high until it is light and fluffy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar until incorporated. Then, with the mixer on high, whisk in the cream or infused milk and the lemon extract until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Use an offset spatula to smear the buttercream on the cupcakes or load it into a pastry bag with a big tip to pipe on the frosting.

Tea and Crumpets,
Ashley

Spill the Tea: Have you made this recipe or one similar? Share your experience with us in the comments!