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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,

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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 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


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,

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,

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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,

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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


  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,

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

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The Amazing Scone Baking Race

The Novel Tea is happy to host The Amazing Scone Baking Race on November 18th in Sacramento, CA!

All you need to participate:

Register Now!

You can read more information here on our website.

Anyone planning on attending the reception must RSVP, which you can do so here.

Following the contest and reception, The Novel Tea will be hosting a Tea 202: Food and Pairing class. This is a separate event that requires advanced registration. For more information, check out the event at The Learnery.

Tea and Crumpets,

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Get Social With Us

Hi, beauties! 

Be sure to follow us on social media to stay updated on all of our tea shenanigans. Click the images below or copy and paste the URLs into your browser. 

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Tag us in photos or posts for a chance to get featured in any of our social media accounts!

Tea and Crumpets,

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Recipe Roundup: Tea-Rubbed Maple Turkey

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, fellow tea-lovers! It’s holiday season, and we’ve got the ultimate turkey tip to impress your guests this Thanksgiving: Tea-Rubbed Maple Turkey!

I know, I know – tea on turkey? What junk are we smoking and where can you get some?! Ha! But in all seriousness, the magic comes from the Lapsang Souchang premium tea in the rub.

We made this recipe last year and it was the juiciest turkey any of us had ever had. It was tender, smoky; it literally melted in our mouths. We are definitely making it again this year as our show-stopping bird for Thanksgiving.

Here are some of the “in progress photos.”

The rub seasoning with the Lapsang Souchong tea leaves.
Getting our buddy ready for the oven.
All dressed up and ready for the show!
Finished! Look at that glorious glaze!

Check out the recipe below to see how just how easy it is to create an unforgettable main course.

Tea-Rubbed Maple Turkey Recipe*


Instructions for the Turkey

  • Mix rub ingredients together and rub half the mixture under the skin of the turkey breast, thighs and drumsticks. Rub the remaining mixture over the skin of the turkey and leave uncovered in the refrigerator overnight up to 24 hours.
  • Roast at 325 for 2 hours (magazine suggests putting 4 cups of water in the roasting pan) then remove from over when thickest part of the thigh registers registers 155-160.
  • Baste with 1/4 cup of glaze and return turkey to oven until breast registers 160 and thigh 175 approximately an hour to an hour and a half basting every half hour.

Instructions for the Glaze

  • Steep 2 heaping tablespoons of lapsang souchang tea in boiling water for 4 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup of tea with1/2 cup pure maple syrup, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 Tblsp unseasoned rice wine vinegar,1/2 teasp ground white pepper in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, cook down to about 3/4 of a cup. Reserve 1/2 cup to serve with turkey and use 1/4 cup for basting.

*Original recipe from Milk Street Magazine Nov-Dec 2017 (pg 16)

Ready to make it yourself? Order your Lapsang Souchong today!

Happy cooking, communi-tea! 

Tea and Crumpets,

Have you made this recipe or a similar turkey recipe? Share your experience with us in the comments!

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Upcoming Class – Tea 202: Tea and Food Pairing


Just as different wines pair well with different foods, the same is true for tea. Join The Novel Tea for TEA 202: Tea and Food Pairings and experience the image tea can have on the taste of food, and the impact particular foods can have on tea.

We will be exploring three different teas – black, Oolong and green teas paired with sweet and savory scones, and then with veggie-based sandwiches and protein-based sandwiches, and different types of sweets, including chocolate.

Lead by Ellen, The Novel Tea’s certified Tea Sommelier, the class will have participants used tasting mats as well as a “taste bud map” to help our tasters find what combinations are most pleasing.  All participants will take home a small bag of their favorite tea to create the perfect pairing at home.

All class participants are invited to come a bit early to attend the reception for the participants and winners of The Amazing Scone Baking Race.

Event Details

Sunday, November 18th
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the Garden Room of Sierra 2 Center
2791 24th St, Sacramento, CA

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

Register now before spaces fill up!

Hope to see you there!

Tea and Crumpets,