Monday, January 30, 2023

Pink Pepper Citron Black Tea from Biron Herbal Teas

On Saturday, Alex joined me for a trip to nearby Pine Mountain. This tourism hot spot is known to most as the home of Callaway Gardens, site of the state's most glorious azaleas in the spring, but this time, we were there to eat some barbecue and check out the antique shops. While we were there, I came across some new-to-me tea in a coffee shop. These tall, thin canisters of tea immediately caught my eye, and as a fan of pepper in just about anything, I decided to try the Pink Pepper Citron Black Tea.

This black tea is flavored with lemongrass and orange as well as pink pepper, ginger, and cardamom, and that's a combination I'd not seen before. The citrus flavors were subtle and paired nicely with the slightly peppery taste from the pink pepper and other spices, making this a fun new tea and one I'm glad I took home with me.

"Biron Herbal Teas," the tin said. That was a name I'd not heard of before, and a closer look revealed …

This tea is from right here in Georgia—Macon, Georgia, to be precise. I loved knowing this tea came from my home state, and that got me to wondering … have you ever sipped a tea made by a tea purveyor in *your* home state? And if so, do you recommend them? I'd love to know!


Friday, January 27, 2023

A fire screen design with teatime art

I am just fascinated by all of the public domain images that can be found online these days. You can use them for crafting, for design work, for projects both personal and professional. And it's free to use them, which is the best part! I was looking up images on and found this image for a fire screen. The artwork is credited to French painter Eugène-Louis Charpentier (1811-1890). What a pretty fire screen this must have been!

With roses, tea wares, books, and needlework, this image is right up my alley.

I'm hoping to enjoy a little creativity this weekend in the form of needlework and card-making. Do you have any creative pursuits planned for this weekend?


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Tea with a hint of cinnamon

Has your tea ever looked like this?

It would if you were steeping one of these Cinnamon Green Tea Cigars from Kaley Tea!

Late last year, I received some samples from Kaley Tea and was intrigued by their green tea cigars. This cinnamon one has "tea leaves and buds (that) are steamed, panfried, wrapped around a cinnamon leaf and rolled into a cigar." I usually drink cinnamon-flavored teas only in the fall, but I must admit that this tea's subtle cinnamon flavor made this a satisfying and particularly warming green tea on a chilly winter afternoon!

Monday, January 23, 2023

Fun finds and valentines

On Saturday, I had a bit of luck searching for vintage valentine goodies. At an antique mall in Carrollton, I found a red tin full of cookie cutters, a smiling-heart mug that I’m pretty sure I remember from my girlhood, some old cupcake picks, and my third …

Safety pin basket!

I find it so charming that some woman (surely!) took the time to fashion safety pins and beads into a basket.

When I got home, I had an Etsy package awaiting, and it contained the only vintage valentine tin I’ve ever come across, this one marked Mrs. Steven's Homemade Candies.

The doily design on the lid made this an item I had to have, especially since I’m starting to test recipes for that valentine’s cookbook I’ve been wanting to write.

I did buy something new that day, too, and it's something I think some of you might want to be on the lookout for as well. Now as a teetotaler—or "teatotaler," as I like to say—I’m pretty sure I’ve never written about shot glasses on this blog before, but when I saw these at T. J. Maxx in Carrollton, I had to have them!

I can already think of several teatime uses for them. They could serve cream, jam, or lemon curd. They could be vases for a tiny rose or violets. They could be used to make and serve tea-flavored Jell-O shooters or mini cheesecake bites. They could even be individual pitchers for sugar syrup during iced tea season. I’m sure I’ll think of more uses, and since it was just $4.99 for the set of six, I grabbed them. In fact, I looked around for a second box but didn’t find one, so I’ll have to check my own T. J. Maxx this week. So it was a successful shopping weekend for me. How about you? Any tea or valentine’s finds in your neck of the woods?

Friday, January 20, 2023

A Monarch Green Tea Tin

Almost every antique mall I've ever gone into has had some vintage tins, yet I rarely see old tea tins. I found this one last weekend at a local antique mall, Treasures Lost and Found, and it once contained Monarch Green Tea, a brand I'd not heard of before. It's got an interesting design, with a lion's head logo and a background featuring tea fields.

Above the lion's head, the logo reads, "Our Highest Quality."

I found it interesting that the design was copyrighted in 1923, one hundred years ago, and Reid, Murdoch & Co. was established 170 years ago. Isn't it just a little amazing that for $10, I can hold a piece of history that dates back a hundred years? And while I'd never heard of this company, it didn't take too much googling to find a little info about it here. This page also gives the story of a nearby shipwreck I'd never heard of, so if you like that sort of thing (history, not the tragedy!), please check it out!

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A new tea cozy for Valentine's Day

Earlier this month, I saw on Facebook that my friend Bernideen had added some valentine’s tea cozies to her Etsy shop, and I knew immediately that I had to have one! I received one of her lovely, well-made cozies as a gift from her several years ago, and the quality is outstanding. She obviously uses thick batting between the layers, and her stitching is beautiful, something I admire since I don’t machine stitch and only hand stitch, meaning I rarely finish anything new. When the cozy arrived, I of course had to try it out on a teapot, and it was a perfect fit. I love this fabric!

And here’s how it looked flat when it arrived (still pretty!).

I don’t know where she found this charming vintage valentine print, but I probably would have bought the yardage then been too afraid to cut it. It was so much more rewarding to get a finished cozy that’s ready to roll! If you’d like to see more of the cozies in Bernideen’s Etsy shop, which come in a variety of colors and sizes, click here. (And she didn’t ask me to write this. I’m just a very happy customer!)

Monday, January 16, 2023

And in honor of MLK Day …


This is a quote I just discovered (and confirmed), perfect for sharing on #MLKDay2023!

Talking tea with the ladies of Kiwanis

Last week, I was the guest speaker for the (all-female) Kiwanis Club of Coweta County as they launched their new membership campaign for the year with a "Tea for Two" theme. Here I am with the planning committee, all of whom dressed in hats or fascinators and their best tea party attire! I was told I needed to be brief, speaking for just 15 or 20 minutes, so to keep me on track, I brought seven items that represent why I'm such a fan of tea. They were: 1) The very first issue of Victoria magazine from 1987, which had a tea set on the cover (loveliness, femininity). 2) A tea sampler from David'sTeas (representing the camellia sinensis plant and the beverage itself). 3) The Harney and Sons Guide to Tea (my favorite book for tea education). 4) A vintage tea strainer (representing the fun I have shopping for tea and tea accessories). 5) A reproduction teacup purchased at Biltmore House (tea and travels). 6) A commemorative teacup from Queen Elizabeth's coronation (tea, the royals, and history). 7) That lovely Santa mug throw I received from Teresa W. at Christmas, which represented both the fun I've had collecting Santa Claus "tea mugs" and the friends I've made through blogging. So there you go—the CliffsNotes of my presentation!

Whenever I speak somewhere that I've been before, I try to take along copies of a different book than I took the last time, and this time, that was The Vintage Christmas Cookbook. They placed some of the copies on this pretty table featuring tea wares belonging to one of the members. When I asked for a show of hands, I learned that not very many of these dozens of ladies grew up drinking hot tea (neither did I), but the owner of the tea set did, and she remembers her grandmother pouring tea out of it. Isn't that lovely? (The paper magnolias on the tables were made by a Kiwanis member too. They were stunning!)

This tablecloth was hand appliquéd by the grandmother of one of the members. Isn't it beautiful? I so love it when family pieces are still treasured and used.

They even gave me a gift, and when I got home and opened the pretty bag, inside was a beautiful new china mug along with a delicious lemon raspberry cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes, which I thoroughly enjoyed! Are any of you in a civic club? I don't plan to join one until I retire from full-time work (still a few years down the road), but this is definitely the club I would be most interested in joining, because these ladies are worker bees and do tons of good in our community!

Friday, January 13, 2023

Are you a tea-loving cross-stitcher?

I enjoy Country Living magazine because of its many features on collectibles and vintage decor. Even though I don't consider my personal style to be "country" at all, I enjoy reading this magazine and am always happy when the latest issue arrives.

Over the last year (or maybe longer), they've been including a free cross-stitch pattern in each issue. I've often thought they were cute patterns, but this is one I will have to make. And guess what? Even if you don't subscribe, you can find the pattern here. Have a happy (and maybe stitchery-filled?) weekend, friends!

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Twinings Raspberry Heartea+

Thanks to a shopping alert from tea friend Susan B., I was in an Ollie’s the other day and looked for a new blend from Twinings, this Heartea+ tea, a raspberry-flavoured hibiscus herbal tea. All of these Twinings teas I’ve found at Ollie’s have been just $1.99, which makes them an easy little splurge. This box, I noticed, has a bit of a different design than the Twinings wellness teas I’ve been trying.

The tea bags are a little different, too, with a matte finish to the paper instead of the usual glossy tea bags.

But the main difference? I’ve finally found a lovely raspberry tea that isn’t mouth-puckeringly tart! This tea has a super smooth raspberry and hibiscus flavor, and since I drink it in the evenings, too, I’m glad it’s an herbal that’s caffeine-free. If you have an Ollie’s near you, I definitely recommend trying this tea designed to “support a healthy heart.”

Monday, January 9, 2023

Tea wares, light, and winter white

You know how some people choose a word of the year? I don’t guess I’ve ever done that before, but this year, it seems that a word has chosen me. Early in the new year, I started noticing "light" and the absence of light. Alex and I both greatly missed the bright white lights of our Christmas tree, so I purchased a floor lamp for the corner where the tree once stood, and that did the trick. Naturally, I had to add a teacup to the scene!

I use my cream-colored ceramic Christmas tree on into January by adding clear and frosty-blue vintage lights. The pretty new dough bowl candle was a Christmas gift from a friend.

Several times last week, I found myself noticing how pretty the sunlight was when shining on my tea wares, like this teapot and two teacup-shaped votive holders. 

Tea wares always end up in my decor simply because they’re so plentiful, like this winter white teapot on the mantel.

Near it is a porcelain votive cup that a dear friend gave me years ago. The candle glow really makes it come alive!

And yet another cozy candle, the Southern Sweet Tea one that was a gift from my friend Joy, is on my winter white tea trolley. I think I see a theme, and maybe it's that friends truly do help light up our lives!

Friday, January 6, 2023

An accoutrement that I just love…

One of my friends gave me a new tea infuser for Christmas, and I suspect it's vintage because of its weight and its looks, although I haven't found any markings on it.

I gave it a few swipes with Wright's Silver Cream, and it shined right up!

Filled with some peach-flavored black tea, it begins to infuse, and to my surprise, not much "debris" escapes!

Tea infusers are toys for tea-loving grown-ups, and I don't think I will ever have enough of them!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

A tea set that's ready for spring!


If I bought this on the last day of 2022 but didn't unwrap it until the first week of 2023, is this technically my last tea set of the old year or my first tea set of the new year? No matter. T.J. Maxx had these rattan tea sets on clearance over the weekend, and I had to have one.

"For age 3 & up," it says, so I'm good! This is apparently a child's tea set, but I looked at it and saw "planters for spring." Georgia has already had its (only?) freezing temperatures of the winter, so I'm ready for spring. I've been ordering garden catalogs and thinking about our landscape and pondering what I want to grow this year—more mint, for one thing—and pulling out my garden books. Reading them is a favorite task on a drizzly gray day.

I've seen this type of teapot before but not a teacup or teaspoon. With some mini clay pots inside, these would be great for mint or other herbs, and I imagine I can turn the teaspoon into some sort of plant marker. If you're into tea and gardens, too, you may want to check out the clearance "toys" at your local T.J. Maxx!

Monday, January 2, 2023