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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!

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Holiday High Tea

That really busy and engaging time of year is upon us so it’s a perfect time to take a few hours to relax, treat yourself and the people you love to our Holiday Afternoon Tea. Each person receives afternoon tea, including seasonal specialties and the Novel Tea’s bestselling Christmas Carol tea.

In addition, each person will receive a special holiday treat from The Novel Tea and we will have a photo op and photographer to help you capture those special holiday memories.

These tea events are quite popular! Not only is the food and drinks great, but the festive atmosphere is also a treat for you and your crew of people in your life.

Register for the Holiday High Tea Now

Tea and Crumpets,
Ashley

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A Little About Us

It’s Small Business Saturday! We thought it would be apt to share a little bit about who we are, what our company stands for, and how all of us came together to form The Novel Tea.

Once upon a time…

Ellen and Cid, owners of The Novel Tea, have been friends, family and professional colleagues for many years. Long ago best friends, the two discovered that they loved tea—both the drink in its infinite variations and the experience of connecting with others while having good conversations over a cup of tea.

This is a passion Ellen and Cid passed on to their daughters, Emmy and Jess. Ellen’s daughter Emmy joined the ranks when they opened The Novel Tea and functions as the operations manager. Cid’s daughter Jess is the marketing and catering consultant. They’ve even recruited Ellen’s daughter-in-law Ashley, who handles our social media.

Ellen and Cid have over sixty years of teaching experience, and now instead of teaching communications or educational theory to college students, they plan to teach everyone in Sacramento how much better life can be with a book in one hand, a cup of tea in the other, and a friend by your side.

Who Are We? 

Ellen is the resident tea expert, and one of only a handful certified tea sommeliers in California. Ellen is passionate and knowledgeable about everything related to the Camellia sinensis plant (from which all tea comes), has picked tea in China, and taken tea on almost every continent. As soon as Antarctica opens a tea shop, she’ll be one of the first customers.

Cid is the culinary extraordinaire of the company. She loves whipping up delicacies, both savory and sweet, in her kitchen. She’s our favorite hippie who can talk your ear off about tea, books, politics – you name it!

Emmy has taken on the business-side of the company’s endeavors. From accounting, event management, and running meetings, she’s the one making sure we’re all operating at our best and ensuring everything runs smoothly. We’d all be chickens running around without heads if we were without Emmy!

Jess is a Bay Area transplant with a Masters in Marketing. She has extensive experience in catering, and she regularly guides our events with a gentle voice and quiet wisdom amidst the cup-and-saucer-clattering chaos and gallons of hot water.

Ashley is your average millennial who is always on her phone, but now she has a legitimate excuse! She manages our social media, newsletter, and website blog. Armed with a Silhouette, she uses her crafting hobby to make some pretty cute merchandise for The Novel Tea shop (which you should totally check out).


Of course, there are more folks involved in this family-business (think: husbands) who operate behind-the-scenes. In 2019, we will be doing an ongoing series where we go more in depth into all of our involved members, so keep an eye out!

Tea and Crumpets,
Ashley

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Recipe Roundup: Chai French Toast Skewers

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.

Ready for a chai-tastic French toast? We are!

Okay, even thinking about this recipe makes us salivate. What better way to start off any holiday morning than with Chai French Toast Skewers by Lauren Grier? Not only is it absolutely scrumptious, the only “special” ingredient you’ll need is brewed chai tea, and we just so happen to carry an amazing line of Australian Chai from Prana Chai

Another awesome note about this recipe? It can be made ahead of time! We can’t think of anything that encompasses the holidays more than this! Read on for the recipe.

Chai French Toast Skewers*

What You’ll Need

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup brewed chai tea
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 8 slices Texas Toast, or other thickly-sliced white bread
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided (I used less)
  • powdered sugar, for garnish
  • maple syrup, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, whole milk, kosher salt, vanilla extract and chai tea. In another small bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and pepper.
  2. Lay the bread slices on a baking sheet. Dust the tops and bottoms of each slice with some of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Go as heavy or as light as you want! Next, cut each slice into four 1-inch cubes.
  3. Preheat a large skillet to medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter on the pan. In batches, lightly dredge the bread cubes through the chai milk mixture making sure to shake off any excess batter. Cook the bread cubes on both sides until golden brown, or for about 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat the process until all the bread cubes have been cooked.
  4. Next, take a skewer and thread on 4 to 5 bread cubes. Place the skewer on a plate. Repeat the process until all the skewers have been assembled. Serve the Chai French Toast Skewers with powdered sugar and maple syrup.

Note: These skewers can be assembled and made ahead of time. To reheat, simple preheat your oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray and place the skewers on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the oven for about 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through.

Happy cooking, communi-tea!

Tea and Crumpets,
Ashley

Have you made this recipe? Share your experience with us in the comments!