Time for Tea?  Review of Wise Owl Tea

I was so delighted to receive my samples of Wise Owl Tea through the post* that’s because of two things, firstly any excuse to use my vintage china and secondly the quality of Wise Owl Tea is very much evident.

Sunday morning is always a slow start for me, I adore having a lie in and taking my time at getting to work so to waken me up I decided to opt for the Organic Jamaican Lemongrass.

Upon opening you see a wonderful piece of art, a silky tea pyramid and inside the beautiful blades of lemongrass and sage.  I’ve tasted several lemongrass blends of tea over the years and nothing can compare you for the pure, vibrant and crisp taste and aroma of this blend of Wise Owl Tea.

While the lemongrass does have a citrusy tone it is accompanied by the depth and warmness of sage working in complete harmony.  Both ingredients seem to enhance each other, creating a taste which is smooth, uplifting and delicious.

What Wise Owl Tea has to say about Jamaican Lemongrass:

“A vibrant blend of Lemongrass and sage. Uplifting and great for a morning brew.  Lemongrass tea is smooth and fragrant, with a soft mouth feel and clean finish. Greatly uplifting, yet naturally caffeine-free.   Sage is relaxing and is sometimes used for nervous, anxious or excitable conditions, for depression where caused by anxiety, and also as a general tonic.  In traditional Chinese medicine Sage is used for menstrual problems, sleep disorders and stomach pains.  Sage Tea has a delicate, smooth, relaxing, refreshing flavour not unlike Lavender, and was believed by the Romans to improve clarity of thought.”

I have to say I absolutely adore this tea.  You don’t have to take my word for it, nip along to the Wise Owl Tea website and you too can buy a remarkable blend of teas to suit your particular tastes.

Enjoy!

Elf x

 

 

*pr sample

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Vintage Baking: Irish Wheaten Bread

It has become a pleasure to research vintage recipes and to attempt baking them.  I am not the best of bakers but will certainly give it a go.  I do hope you liked my vintage recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Custard Kisses?

With the Great British Bake Off now on our screens it has spurred me to continue baking and researching a new recipe each week.  Since it is bread week on GBBO I have decided to make a good old Irish favourite – Wheaten Bread.  It is extremely easy and quick to make – no waiting about for it to prove!  It has been a favourite in my family for many years, it can be eaten with butter and jam or with cheese on top to make it a savoury treat.

Wheaten Bread has been a staple of Irish baking for many years, with Irish bakers bypassing yeast and instead using Bicarbonate of Soda which brings us to the other name for Wheaten Bread – Soda Bread.  The reason why Soda Bread was so popular was the fact it could be baked at the open fire.   I’m sure you have seen the pictures of the iron plate resting directly on the fire embers?

Vintage wheaten breadOriginal photo can be found here.

Less of the history lesson please, I hear you say.  So, let’s get down to it, here is my basic Wheaten Bread recipe.

 

 What you will need:
200g of wholemeal flour

100g of plain flour

400 mls of Butter Milk (if you can’t find butter milk you can sour regular milk with vinegar)

25 g butter

2 teaspoons of Bicarbonate of Soda

2 heaped teaspoons of sugar (as an alternative to the sugar you could use honey or maple syrup)

1 small teaspoon of salt.

Method

Heat oven to 180 C

Grease and flour a round sandwich tin or a loaf tin

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together, then cut the butter in to small pieces and rub the mixture through until it is like breadcrumbs.

Start to add the butter milk, just a small drop at a time, you don’t want a runny mixture but is should be a soft dough.

Knead the mixture lightly, then shape in to a round (if you are using a round sandwich tin) and place in your tin.

Cut a deep cross on top of the bread.

Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes.

I highly recommend you sit down and relax with your wheaten covered in butter and jam and a lovely cup of tea, if you like the vintage tea cup and vintage plate featured here, go on over and visit my etsy shop where you will find more lovely vintage tea cups and vintage tea cup trios.  Perfect for treating yourself!

 

Enjoy.
Elf x

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How Rituals Can Ground You

I don’t know about you but my life really does seem to have increased in speed. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.  Which is why I often remind myself of what Gandhi said “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

What can often allow me to slow down and re-connect is the rituals I have built up when making tea.  The ritual of starting with watching the water boil – yes I know strange but watching water boil is just fantastic.  Through to pouring the tea in the cup and sitting down and taking some time to concentrate on the taste and the aroma through to imagining if vintage items could talk what would they say!

So that is just one of my many rituals, feel free to use it or share your own.

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Feel good with Vintage

Today we are all leading crazy, busy lives which often results in us never having any time for ourselves.  We work harder to meet the challenges facing us from work life, home life and everything else.

It is so important to take some personal time or “me” time.  All you have to do is find a little 15-30 minutes each day.  This time allows you to de-stress, unwind and rejuvenate, ready to face what lies ahead.

Why not add something special to that “me” time?  For me the very ritual of sitting down with a cup of tea in my vintage china allows me to connect to the past.  It allows me to rekindle dreams and re-defines “me” time with the uniqueness and personal expression of vintage china.

I hope you too begin to enjoy the beauty and connection through vintage and take some time to relax, refocus and recharge.

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