Camping With Tea

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Here’s the scene: Waking up in the lush green forest listening to birdsong and the smoky comforting smell of a campfire. Summertime is Kat’s favorite time of year to go camping. She loves being out in the forest so close to nature. Hiking, fishing, cooking over a fire, she just loves it all! She even likes sleeping in a tent. There is however one comfort she can’t live without: tea!

Over the years Kat has perfected a way to have tea while camping. It involves a little bit of gear, but can also be done with less. She does have a bit of tea camping gear, she just love collecting tea ware no matter what the occasion! Those enamelware cups are just so cute, Kat has a large vintage collection!

So there are only a few things you really need to enjoy tea while camping: First a heat source (campfire or camping stove), and vessel to boil water (we just use a cooking pot). Then you pick and choose: thermos, enamelware teapot, and enamelware teacups, empty teabags to fill, or just regular teabags. If you are trying to pack light, all you really need is the boiled water and a cup to put your tea in. If you need to pack even lighter, you can put the tea directly in your cup and sip it grandpa style (sipping with the leaves directly in the water). Or you could put the tea in a fillable teabag, steep and remove. Or of course, you can bring along your favorite teabags, and steep those. That’s what Kat often does.

 

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A tea she likes to bring camping is Private Selection Orange Spice black tea. This tea has orange cinnamon and clove flavors that hold up well to that smoky camp fire. Perfect with a hearty breakfast, lunch, or dinner by the campfire. It would also pair nicely with sweet, chocolatey s’mores, which are a must if you are going camping! Kat drinks this tea all year round. It’s soothing in the chilly months and quite refreshing when it’s warmer outside. She even serves it iced! I guess you could say it’s one of her staples. She always has it in the cupboard.

Dearies, will you try my tips for your next camping trip? Do you have any other ideas for taking tea in the great outdoors?

How To: Have Fresh Tea on an Airplane

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Dearies I’m a jet-setting teacup! Traveling by plane is such a fun adventure, I love the feeling of excitement and anticipation as we fly towards our destination. But it also has a few annoyances. Kat is always complaining about one thing in particular- Finding a way to have a good cup of tea on the airplane. Both Char and now Kat have gone through countless ideas and different ways to get around a paper cup with lukewarm liquid and a stale teabag handed over by the flight attendant.

Char often just asked for hot water and used her own tea bags, but it can be difficult to get water refills, and the water often tasted quite strange. These days Kat has come up with a foolproof method, after much trial and error. She has one important trick that makes a world of difference! The trick for fresh tea on her flight is to bring an empty thermos in her carry-on. Why does she do this? Well, you can’t bring a full thermos through airport security, and you don’t want to risk having your thermos taken away!

Once through security, it’s time to fill up. But not with tea! Just hot water. Just about any of the airport cafes will be happy to fill you up with hot water while you are waiting for your flight. Kat brings a few tea bags in her purse which are ready to use as soon as she gets a cup from the flight attendant. This way she’ll have tea for the entire flight. The hot water on the airplane doesn’t make great tea, it’s not as hot as it should be, and you’d need to charm a flight attendant to fill up your thermos anyway. You are much better off trying to get hot water before you board.

Kat likes to take a variety of teabags with her on the flight. She takes a couple of caffeinated teas to perk her up when close to her destination. But for the most part she uses decaf and herbal teas throughout the flight. It’s important to stay well hydrated while in the air. The air in those planes is so dehydrating! She simply puts a teabag in her cup, and pours water from her thermos. Problem solved.

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One of her current favorite teas to travel with is Cinnamon Hibiscus Herbal Tea by Private Selection. This tea is naturally sweet, comforting, and quite soothing. Kat first encountered this tea while shopping for a girls’ tea party she was preparing for her little niece Camille. She was looking for herbal teas, and something a little bit sweet. She found this tea in Kroger, and knew it would be a great choice. Camille loves cinnamon, as it reminds her of Christmas. The addition of hibiscus, chamomile, and orange peel sealed the deal. Both Kat and Camille instantly loved this tasty cinnamon blend. It is strong on cinnamon, but the hibiscus, chamomile and citrus flavors tame the spice and give it a mellow finish. Camille requests this tea every time she comes to visit! It’s a warming cup, perfect for relaxing on a long flight. If you can get a bit of honey during your flight, it will further enhance the comfort factor in this tea. Kat always looks forward to relaxing in her seat with this soothing cup.

So my tea-loving friends, what do you think of our little trick? When you are getting ready for your next flight, remember your thermos and tea bags! You’ll be so happy you did. Bon Voyage!

Iced Teani – Shaken, Not Stirred

“The name’s Bond. James Bond.”

Kat and I agree that few icons are better than 007. In fact, Kat and her friends have been having a James Bond view-a-thon over the past several weeks. Each week, one friend hosts a viewing party of a James Bond film complete with food and beverage. One thing we’ve all noticed is that over the decades, the martini gets a lot of press from the Bond series. After all, when one asks for a martini, who can resist saying, “Shaken, not stirred.”

As we prep to host this week’s Bond night, Kat and I have come up with a fun twist on the martini. We’ve developed a couple of Iced Teani recipes that are sure to be crowd pleasers!

Mint Tea-Ni

Boiling water – enough to fill large tea pot
3 mint tea bags (Kat used Private Selection Peppermint Herbal Tea)
3 black tea bags (Private Selection English Breakfast Tea)
16 mint leaves
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄2 cup sugar
3 shots vodka, very cold (We used Belvedere)

Mint Teani with Vodka

  1. Brew a 6-cup pot of tea, with boiling water and the tea bags. Allow to steep for 5 minutes, then pull out the tea bags. Allow to cool for several minutes and then refrigerate until very cold.
  2. Make the mint syrup by putting 16 mint leaves, lightly chopped, into a sauce pan with 1⁄4 cup water and 1⁄2 cup sugar. Heat on medium-high until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is translucent. Set aside to cool, and then strain.
  3. Add the cooled, strained mint syrup and the vodka to the chilled tea pot. Give it all a good stir and pour into martini glass, garnished with fresh mint leaves. If not quite cold enough, shake in martini shaker with ice until chilled.

Mint Teani Final

Very Berry-Tea-Ni

Boiling water – enough to fill large tea pot
5 berry blend tea bags (Kat loves the Private Selection Acai, Pomegranate & Blueberry Green Tea)
1/3 cup blueberries, plus handful for garnish
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄2 cup sugar
3 shots vodka, very cold

Very Berry Teani Vodka

  1. Brew a 6-cup pot of tea, with boiling water and the 5 tea bags. Allow to steep for 5 minutes, then remove tea bags. Allow to cool for several minutes and then refrigerate until very cold.
  2. Make the blueberry syrup by putting 1/3 cup blueberries into a sauce pot with 1⁄4 cup water and 1⁄2 cup sugar. Heat on medium-high, crush berries and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is a deep purple Set aside to cool, and then strain.
  3. Add the cooled, strained syrup and the vodka to the chilled tea pot. Give it all a good stir and pour into martini glass, garnished with several blueberries skewered on a toothpick. If not quite cold enough, shake in martini shaker with ice until chilled.

Very Berry Teani

Just as each actor gives James Bond his own distinct flair, our twist on the martini will be sure to make our viewing party the most memorable!