Teaching Children About Tea

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Do you love children as much as Kat does? Any time she has the change to babysit her little niece Camille, she gets so excited! She’s always planning on games to play with her. On Camille’s last visit, she was curious about Kat’s tea. She had a sip and decided she liked it. Kat decided it was time to cultivate Camille’s love for tea! I’ve been watching Kat teach Camille, and I took a few notes. Here are a few tips on teaching kids about the joys of tea:

-Offer them sips of your tea when they take an interest: Kat always always offers Camille a taste of her tea. If her niece wants her own cup, she’ll take out a rooibos, herbal, or decaffeinated tea for her. She always puts it in a fancy cup with a saucer to make her feel extra special.

-Talk to them about the growing regions all around the world: After their sip of your tea, tell them where the tea was grown! You can also find books about the regions, or find information online to share. Make sure you have lots of pictures.

-Teach them how tea grows, how it’s picked, processed, and shipped all around the world. Again you can find books, and print out information about the teas they are interested in. This would be a great ‘how to’ project for a child in 2nd or 3rd grade.

-One of my favorite ideas is to have a party for all the senses- let the children see the leaves of different types of tea, smell the leaves before and after steeping, and have them take a few sips. Have them try and describe what they smell and taste. You’ll be amazed and surprised at what they’ll say! Children of all ages will enjoy tea, treats, and lovely decorations.

To create your party, cupcakes, scones, and tea sandwiches are sure to catch their attention. I also  found this recipe for tea gummies! You could make them in any shape you’d like. I just love the idea!

Serve a tea that’s caffeine free, so they can enjoy as much as they like. Kat reserves some of her Hy-Vee Honey Orange Chamomile for her niece when she visits. Her niece loves the sweet orange flavor. It’s tangy, and the smooth honey is also quite soothing. Don’t tell, but Kat sometimes lets her niece add an extra dollop of honey to make the brew even sweeter. Dearies this also makes a wonderfully refreshing iced tea.
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Teaching children about the wonderful world of tea will open their minds to different flavors, and they’ll learn about places all over the world.

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Red Teas for Valentine’s Day!

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Dearies, Kat is getting ready for Valentine’s day by drinking endless cups of teas with a vibrant red color. She loves the festive hue and delicious flavors. She went to the store and looked for teas with berries, pomegranate, and hibiscus in the ingredients. She knew these would help to create the color she was looking for and have a lovely flavor.

Kat was successful at her local HyVee store. She found just what she was looking for in the tea aisle! She found two teas in particular that fit her criteria:

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Hy-Vee Acai Pomegranate Blueberry: The pomegranate in this tea gives the brew a beautiful red hue. The blueberry darkens it a bit, and it’s a lovely shade for Valentine’s day. The berries and fruit are mellowed by the green tea giving it a subtle grassy flavor. It’s uplifting and calming at the same time. Kat’s going to have a citrus theme to start her meal, and pairing the berry sweetness in the tea with a tart blood orange salad appetizer should work quite nicely. I just love citrus during the cold winter months. It not only keeps the sniffles away, but it’s refreshing and light amongst all of the heavy winter foods we usually have.

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Hy-Vee Raspberry Hibiscus: Kat loves hibiscus teas for the flavor and color. She first noticed this tea because of the cheerful bright box. Then she saw it had the perfect Valentines’ day ingredients!  Hibiscus and dried raspberries add a juicy, tart flavor to this tea. Chicory, orange and lemongrass round out the flavor, giving it a note of earthiness and citrus. Kat is planning on pairing this tea with a caramelized grapefruit dessert, the perfect way to end her Valentines’ day meal. This is an herbal tea, so it’s a good choice to round out an evening.

She’s serving her tea from glass cups, so everyone can enjoy the rich red color.  Other ‘red’ teas you can serve to your valentines are rooibos teas. Rooibos on its own isn’t a red color, but it’s referred to as ‘African red tea’. You can find rooibos blends with berries, and other ingredients that will impart that beautiful red color. Since rooibos isn’t from the camellia sinensis tea leaf, it has no caffeine and can be enjoyed any time of day. It’s also perfect for valentine tea parties with your little ones.

Dearies, I hope you have a fun Valentine ’s Day filled with sweetness and love!

DIY Tea Ice Cream!

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Dearies, it may be cold and grey outside, but Kat and I have a trick to make it feel like the middle of the summer. We make ice cream, sorbets, and granitas! When the weather is at its worst, we fire up a little creativity to warm our souls. What’s the best way to obliterate the winter blues? Have an ice cream party! We like to add tea to our frozen treats, of course!

To create just the right atmosphere, Kat likes to serve the ice cream in vintage tea cups! I think serving the iced treats this way makes the tea flavor taste even stronger. If you have little vintage teaspoons, all the better!

Kat’s loves going out for sushi not just for the fresh fish, but because of the green tea ice cream she orders at the end. She looks forward to it during the entire meal. When her mom gave her an ice-cream maker for a birthday present, the first recipe she tried was this one for green tea ice cream. It turned out so well that she served it at her next dinner party to rave reviews. No reason to only have green tea ice cream in a restaurant!

If you’re interested in giving a sorbet a try, Kat loves making this one that has both Jasmine and earl grey tea for a refreshing combination. The coconut juice gives it an added extra summery feel. One bit and you’ll feel that summer sun and hear the wind rustling through the palm trees.

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To really conjure up images of summer, try your hand at a tea granita. These are easier to make since they do not require an ice-cream maker. It’s super simple to make with just a few simple ingredients and a bit of time. This recipe is a good one to use as a guide. You can use any tea you’d like, and Kat loves to experiment with different flavors. Granitas as super refreshing and perfect for anyone that can’t have dairy. Kat has recently been using HyVee Honey Orange Chamomile tea in her granitas. This tea has refreshing orange citrus flavor that is sweetened with honey and rounded out by the gentle floral chamomile flavor. It’s a sweet and juicy reminder that summer is just around the corner. The citrus flavor enhances that warm-weather feeling. Kat first tried this tea while traveling for work. She was staying in a hotel and decided to visit the grocery store around the corner. She was looking for a caffeine free tea to enjoy after a long day, and this tea grabbed her interest. She liked the idea of an orange flavored tea. She enjoyed sipping this tea as she relaxed after a long day of meetings and networking. She brought this tea home with her and drinks it all year round.

For something a little different, try a tea affogato. An affogato is an Italian dessert usually made with coffee. Last week Kat was enjoying a cozy Italian dinner with a friend that ordered an affogato for dessert. When Kat noticed it was simply espresso poured over ice cream, she knew she had to try it with tea. She recreated the dish at home by brewing up an Earl Grey tea extra strong and pouring it over vanilla ice cream. The citrusy black tea with sweet vanilla ice cream was such a delicious combination! I have to say I was skeptical at first dearies, but I was amazed at how tasty just a few simple ingredients can be.

What do you think, dearies? As the weather starts to get even colder, think about cheering yourself up with tea-flavored ice creams. You’ll be amazed at how well they create the feeling of summer even when the snow is falling outside. If you create any unique tea recipes, I’d love to hear about them!