Celebratory Teas!

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During this festive time of year, I’m sure you have your go-to festive party drinks. Kat certainly does, and she even has a few tea cocktails she likes to serve for her friends.

But what about teas? Tea can be as festive as your favorite cocktail. There are teas of all sorts of flavors and colors that are perfect for this time of year. Not convinced? Here are a few of my recommendations. Try them and see for yourself!

Peppermint- I do love a good peppermint tea for the holidays. It reminds me of brisk weather, snow, and candy canes! Pair a nice peppermint tea with a chocolate dessert and I assure you everyone will be happy! Who can resist the combination of chocolate and peppermint? It’s an instant party. This combination will feel like you’ve come in from skiing with tingly cheeks and a warming brew.

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Cranberry- there are many blends that include dried cranberries. This gives the tea a sweet and tart flavor. Everyone loves cranberry sauce, and a cup of cranberry tea before or after a meal will bring you right to the holiday table. In fact, Kat has found a bagged cranberry tea she loves to serve this time of year, HEB Cranberry Blood Orange tea. There are so many festive flavors going on in this tea! tart cranberries and hibiscus, a little zing of ginger and refreshing citrus. A hint of sweetness rounds it out. It’s truly a perfect wintertime tea. The flavors are so festive! The pyramid shaped teabags are nice and large, allowing for the tea leaves to unfurl and infuse your brew with flavor.

Rooibos- this caffeine free tisane has an earthy and subtly sweet flavor that’s perfect to pair with sweets. It’s also a great base for flavors such as cinnamon, vanilla, and ginger. You can even create your own rooibos blends and give them as gifts. Children and adults can all enjoy rooibos, any time of day.

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Cinnamon- one of my favorite flavors for the holidays is cinnamon. It’s just so warming and comforting. You’ll find it in everything from pumpkin pie to eggnog. I like to add cinnamon to my black tea. There are lots of cinnamon blends out there, so try as many as you can.

So my lovely tea friends, when you are planning your celebratory beverages, don’t forget about tea! Everyone loves a warming cup, and with these festive flavors you just can’t go wrong. Happy Holidays!

Festive Holiday Tea Cocktails

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Dearies, it’s time to start decking the halls, and lighting up trees and menorahs! My favorite thing about this time of year is the parties. I love to watch Kat throw festive gatherings with lots of colorful, sparkly decorations. Everyone dresses up, and the house feels warm and inviting. My cup feels all tingly just thinking about it.

For this year’s holiday party, I’ve been collaborating with Kat on a few fun, colorful cocktails. Pomegranate juice is delicious and has that beautiful festive red holiday hue. For a twist on a sweet tea and pomegranate, Kat loves this recipe.

Continuing on the pomegranate theme, add a bit of bubbly to your festive holiday gathering. Kat and I have created the perfect champagne tea cocktail. We decided to make the drink with HEB pomegranate green tea. Kat didn’t think she could find a pomegranate tea in the grocery store but she was happily surprised when she found it sitting on the shelf. When she saw it, she knew she had to have it- she loves the flavor and color of pomegranates. This tea is delicately grassy with juicy, tart pomegranate, and hibiscus flavor. There is a touch of citrus as well. The beautiful bright color is perfect for this cocktail.

  • 8 ounces water (boiling)
  • one bag of HEB Pomegranate Green Tea
  • 8 ounces of Champagne or sparkling wine
  • fresh pomegranate seeds (about 1/4 cup)

Steep the teabag in boiling water for 5 minutes, and discard bag. You can do this in a mug to make things easy. Once the tea is completely cooled, add to a festive glass and top with champagne. We like to use old fashioned coupe glasses but any lovely glass will do. Garnish with lots of fresh pomegranate seeds. Be careful getting those seeds out! It can be a very messy task. Kat likes to cut the pomegranate in half, and then turn one end over a bowl and give it a few good whacks with a wooden spoon. The seeds come raining down into the bowl. You can easily make this cocktail non-alcoholic by adding sparkling cider instead of the Champagne. The kids will love feeling all grown up with their fancy mocktail!

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For something with a bit of holiday warmth, we love this whiskey tea hot toddy recipe. This sweet, spicy, and warm drink will melt the chill and get you ready for an evening of revelry.  Kat’s friends have been a little obsessed with hot toddies lately. They’ve been making them on the weekends before dinner, and after chilly hikes outside. Kat said she’s even seen a few pop up at her favorite restaurant bar menus.

The appearance of your drinks is almost as important as the taste (As a beautiful teacup, I should know!). Get creative with your glasses and stirrers. One of my favorite additions is to sprinkle some edible gold stars in and around your cocktails! They can be found in baking stores and many places online. Little touches such as these make everything feel more special.

So tell me dearies, are you going have a holiday gathering? What cocktails are you planning on serving? I hope you add tea to your holiday gatherings for a little extra cheer.

Tea Themed Holiday Gifts

vsco-photo-2.jpgIt’s starting to look a lot like Christmas in our house! Kat has started pulling out garlands, poinsettia plants, and there is silver and gold everywhere you look. The house looks so festive! She is also starting to create her holiday gift-giving list. Of course she’s adding tea themed items to as many gifts as possible. Here are a few tea themed gift ideas for the various people in your life!

For a significant other: If you have a significant other that enjoys tea, a special oolong tea is a wonderful choice. I love gift sets from Eco-Cha tea.These are high quality oolong teas personally sourced by the founders. The teas are produced by small farmers that ensures a high quality artisanal oolong tea.

For college students: Matcha is a trendy and delicious way to boost energy and concentration, two things that any college student can use! Fuel late night study sessions and early morning classes with the delicious green stuff. A matcha starter kit is a perfect gift to give the matcha newbie all of the essentials to making a great bowl.

For the little ones: Any child would be excited to get a little tea set and tea of their very own to put in it. Kat loves to comb the antique stores for vintage tea sets for her nieces and nephews. She also found the most wonderful tea to add to the gift, so they have everything they need for a tea party! Her local Sprouts market is selling a Candy Cane flavored herbal tea, that is perfect for this time of year! This tea is Christmas in a cup!  Kat went to the store to do some grocery shopping and noticed the festive candy canes on the box. She couldn’t resist such a fun Christmasy tea! When she brewed a cup at home, she was instantly hit with the peppermint aroma. It was as if she was sitting next to a tree decked out with candy canes. This festive tea is minty, with a kick of licorice root and cinnamon. Perfect flavors for gathering around the fireplace after a big holiday dinner. This is an herbal tea, so it can be enjoyed any time of day!

For friends: A lovely teacup of their very own, and a flight of teas would make an elegant holiday gift. You can choose different types of tea (Green, black, white, oolong) or pick different varieties of one type of tea (different flushes of Darjeeling tea, different types of green teas, various oolong teas, etc). For the teacup, Kat likes the visit antique stores and flea markets. A hand selected vintage cup has an extra special feel to it. Plus, us vintage cups have a great deal of wisdom and lots of stories to tell!

For co-workers: A DIY kit to enjoy tea in the office. A small teapot that fits about 16-18 ounces is the perfect size to enjoy at a desk. Various teabags in a beautiful box, a small jar of honey, and a teaspoon would round out the perfect gift for an officemate. I also like to include a small tin of loose leaf tea.

For parents and grandparents: A useful but beautiful teapot and cups. You can do a delicate vintage set, or a sturdier modern stoneware set. Kat is eyeing a beautiful glass teapot and cup set for her parents. They enjoy tea every afternoon, and a glass set would let them observe the colors of their tea while sipping and relaxing.

For teachers: Kat likes to select tumblers for iced and hot tea. These are easily portable items that can be taken to and from the classroom. An insulated tumbler keeps tea hot for an entire school day and is perfect to keep on a desk for a much needed reinvigorating sip. Or a tumbler for iced tea is the right choice for teachers that prefer sips of cool, refreshing tea.

Get creative and be sure to include tea with your holiday gifts! Be sure to visit my pinterest page for many other holiday gift ideas!