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Tea Recipes

  • Tea for Health

    The medicinal powers of tea have been known for thousands of years. Early man is thought to have brewed certain leaves known for their curative properties and to have utilised these basic teas in the curing of various diseases and injuries.

    Tea as a medicine is something which is well accepted throughout the world and some teas are well known for their curative properties.

    White Tea:

    White tea is well known for its high antioxidant content; it is also believed to reduce the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular disorders as well as to improve oral health.

    On the beauty side of things, it is also known to protect skin from ageing by deflecting UV light. It has antibacterial properties meaning it’s a great tea to drink during flu season.

    Green Tea:

    Another tea well known for its antioxidant qualities; green tea is not only thought to have properties which fight cancer forming cells but also to improve brain function, kill bacteria and help you to lose weight.

    Spearmint Tea:

    An invigorating and tasty tea, Spearmint is also known to aid digestion, to relieve headaches and nausea as well as cold symptoms.

    Chamomile Tea

    Chamomile is recorded as being used for medicinal purposes right back to the Middle Ages in Europe and even earlier in Egypt.

    Back then it was used for asthma, colic, fevers, inflammations, nausea, nervous complaints, children's ailments, skin diseases and cancer.

    Today we know it as a tea which is full of antioxidants and also a useful aid to relaxation and sleep as well as a cure for eye infections and morning sickness.

    Recent scientific research has confirmed Chamomile’s properties and it is known to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as anti-allergenic and sedative effects.

    All of these marvellous teas may be purchased at Luponde where the quality of the teas on offer is extremely high.

     

     

  • The Perfect Afternoon Tea: The Tea

    lemon tea

    The most important part of the afternoon tea is, after all, the tea. It’s the glue that holds it all together (and washes it all down) – the perfect tea needs to work well with your sweet and savoury selection, without overwhelming the delicate flavours of your sponge or cucumber sandwiches.

    If you want to make sure all of your tea partiers have the perfect drink, it’s a good idea to offer a few options. You could even make some iced tea for arrival drinks and then offer earl grey, black tea, peppermint, or even lemon verbena tea when everybody’s ready to eat.

    Classic Choices

    Black tea is what people tend to expect with an afternoon tea. Our black tea is an English Breakfast style blend with a rich but crisp flavour.

    If you refer a dash of bergamot in your tea, we have an earl grey blend too. It’s entirely up to you!

    Iced Tea

    On a hot day, iced tea can really hit the spot. You can turn any of our blends into the perfect iced by brewing 4 teabags with 4 cups of water. All you need to do is stir 1 cup of water into 4 cups of cold water and then combine the two mixtures. Let it cool further and serve with ice.

    With a Twist

    Sometimes you want a little extra for your afternoon tea. Lemon tea is extremely refreshing (and has the added benefit of being good for you) while peppermint tea has a lovely aftertaste and helps with digestion. If you’d prefer to stick to black tea, you can add lemon instead of milk, or even raspberries to add another layer of flavour to your brew.

  • The Perfect Afternoon Tea: The Sandwiches

    afternoon tea cucumber sandwiches

    Finger sandwiches for your afternoon tea need to be small – only about 2-3 bites each – and crusts are definitely a no-no. I prefer long rectangles to triangles and bread needs to be thin to make sure the proportions work.

    According to afternoontea.co.uk, the top 10 afternoon tea sandwiches are:

    1. Smoked salmon and cream cheese
    2. Egg mayonnaise and cress
    3. Chicken and mayonnaise
    4. Cucumber and cream cheese
    5. Cheese and chutney
    6.  Ham and mustard
    7.  Prawn and mayonnaise
    8. Beef and horseradish
    9. Tuna and mayonnaise
    10. Roasted vegetables and cream cheese

    Cucumber Sandwiches

    Cucumber sandwiches are always associated with afternoon tea, and a lot of people can’t imagine why they’re so delicious. The key is in preparing them properly and enjoying the delicate taste. Sogginess is a sign of a bad cucumber sandwich and you may enjoy a bit of acidity (from vinegar or lemon juice) to give the sandwiches a kick.

    The Guardian has a great recipe for dainty finger sandwiches.

    Unusual Approaches

    afternoon tea with burgers

    As afternoon teas become ubiquitous, restaurants are looking for unusual approaches to the classic afternoon tea to stand out from the crowd. My favourites include mini hotdogs and burgers instead of sandwiches. They’re great for a winter afternoon tea or for a younger group.

    Palachinka’s blog has a fantastic recipe that involves booking the rolls and making the mini burgers yourself to get the perfect size. If you’re not quite up to that, you can always get the mini hamburger and roll selections from Waitrose.

  • The Perfect Afternoon Tea: The Sweets

    The sweet part of an afternoon tea has always been my favourite. It’s just not afternoon tea without some scones and cake. So here are some recipes and ideas to help you fill the top tiers of your cake stand with something delicious.

    Scones

    Scones for afternoon tea

    Scones are one of the easiest things you could bake, and there’s really nothing more wonderfully British than a warm scone, smothered in clotted cream and strawberry jam.

    Our favourite recipe comes from Mary Berry. You don’t need any special equipment for it and it only takes around half an hour. You can make them in advance and even freeze them if you want to make a large batch.

    Victoria Sponge

    victoria sponge cake

    Classic Victoria sponge is the perfect teatime cake. It’s incredibly simple to make with an exceptionally forgiving recipe. Unlike other cakes, you don’t need perfectly level layers or lots of icing for a beautiful slice.

    Jamie Oliver’s recipe is fantastic, and even shows you how to make your own strawberry filling instead of jam so every single element is homemade. Of course, you can replace that bit with jam if you prefer.

    There’s a bit of an ongoing argument about whether you should have cream or buttercream as your filling. My perfect Victoria sponge has sweet buttercream to offset the tartness of the strawberries  - it also means it won’t fall apart too easily if you’re transporting the cake or eating it outside on a hot day.

    Pastries

    Pastries can be a bit intimidating and look extremely fiddly, but a lot of them are surprisingly easy to make. A few lighter baked goods just mean that you can add even more variety to your top tier.

    Mini Apple Rose Pies

    apple rose cakes afternoon tea

    Apple rose pies look so impressive but they’re very easy to make. Martha Stewart’s recipe is lovely, but if you don’t have a heart cutter you can just cut out circles for the base.

    Microwaving the apple slices really helps you roll them up, but make sure that you spread them out once they’re out of the microwave or they’ll keep heating up and go too floppy. The little roses actually hold together really well, and the mini pies are a lot easier to handle than one big one.

    White Chocolate and Blueberry Mini Tarts

    blueberry pastry afternoon tea

    Sweet, fresh, and ever so dainty, these bite-sized tarts are one of my favourite things to serve with tea. The recipe from What Megan’s Making so easy to follow and if you don’t have a mini tart pan you can just use a cupcake tin (make sure that you have baking paper circles under the pastry though!).

    Now your sweets are sorted, it’s time to think about the savouries – good thing it’s coming up in our next blog post!

  • The Perfect Afternoon Tea

    afternoon tea

    Afternoon tea dates back to the 1800s, when the Duchess of Bedford decided to take tea and snacks in the afternoon to keep her sated until dinner time. At first she took it as a private meal but later decided to invite friends to share with her every afternoon, and afternoon tea was born.

    There are a huge number of options for afternoon tea in restaurants, cafes, and hotels around London. A lot are indistinguishable from another and can be quite expensive – that’s why we’re putting together the perfect afternoon tea for you to make at home. Prices range from £25-£55+ per person for an afternoon tea in London, so throwing your own at home certainly looks like an attractive option. Especially when you can put on your perfect spread for a fraction of the cost.

    One of the major things that makes the difference between ‘just tea and a snack’ and ‘afternoon tea’ is the theme. You can create a classic afternoon tea or add a twist of your own to make it a little more interesting.

    Classic

    Classic afternoon tea is a theme in itself. There are items that you always associated with it; tiered cake stands, pastel shades, bunting, and a beautiful tea set.  To stay ‘on theme’ you would need to make sure that your menu only serves standard afternoon tea foods.

    A fantastic menu for your classic tea would be:

    Freshly prepared finger sandwiches;

    cucumber, egg mayonnaise, smoked salmon, coronation chicken, ham and mustard

    Warm scones with clotted cream and jam

    ...

    Homemade cakes and pasties;

    chocolate gateau, éclairs, Battenberg cake, Victoria sponge, or even a crème brûlée

    .

    As part of our tea series of blog posts, we’ll be posting recipes and matching ideas for your tea party menu so make sure you come back to find out how to make the perfect cucumber sandwich!

    Vintage Tea Party

    vintage tea party

    Vintage tea party menus have similar menus to classic tea parties, but the styling is different. A lot of tea partiers like to dress up in vintage clothing or even add vintage accessories to their home. Fascinators, retro curls, and lots of doilies are a fantastic way to add a vintage touch to your afternoon tea.

    Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

    mad hatter's tea party

    Literary influences, like Lewis Carrol’s Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, have inspired a lot of afternoon tea establishments and even sparked a menu from Heston Blumenthal at the fat duck. While you may not have the time or patience to make pocket watch ‘tea’ or actual chocolate tea pots, you can live out your favourite tea party from literature or even combine your book club meeting with afternoon tea.

    Pocket watches, top hats, queens of hearts, and beautiful table linen are all must haves for a Mad Hatter’s tea.

    Picnic

    picnic tea party

    As it’s getting warmer, picnics are looking more and more attractive. A garden party or outdoor tea party is a fantastic way to spend a summer’s afternoon. You can dress it up with different blankets and cushions, and lay out your food and tea the same way you would on a table.

  • Gwyneth Paltrow's Pear and Lemon Verbena

    I was flicking through my copy of Gwyneth Paltrow’s book It’s All Good trying to find some healthy smoothie recipes for my last few weeks of pregnancy and came across another scrummy drink idea using some of our lemon verbena. I thought I would share it with you as another use for our herb!

    Pear and Lemon Verbena

    • 3 cups of water

    • ½ cup raw honey

    • 2 ½ pounds pears (about 6 pears), stemmed and seeded and cut into large pieces

    • 1 sprig of leafy lemon verbena

    • Juice of 2 lemons

    Combine the water, honey, pears and lemon verbena in a large pot set over a high heat. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, remove and discard the lemon verbena, and cover the pot. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Puree the mixture in a powerful blender in batches and pass the puree through a fine-mesh strainer or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Discard the contents of the strainer and whisk the lemon juice into the agua fresca. Serve immediately over ice.

    She also says you can add more honey if you would like it sweeter!

    Melissa, November 2014

  • Halloween Treats - Chocolate Bat Biscuits

    I was searching for some fun Halloween recipes and came across these fantastic chocolate bat biscuits on the BBC Good Food website which would look fab on the side of your mug of tea this Halloween!

    Quick and easy to make they are ideal to do with kids this half term!

    Ingredients:

    • 125g butter, softened

    • 85g icing sugar

    • 1 large egg yolk

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    • 1 tsp milk

    • 175g plain flour, plus extra for rolling

    • 1 tsp fine espresso-style powder coffee

    • 50g cocoa powder

    • ¼ tsp salt

    To decorate:

    • 100g bar dark or milk chocolate

    • Chocolate hundreds and thousands

    • Coloured writing icing (or make your own with 100g icing sugar, 2-4 tsp water and some colouring)

    Method:

    Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and pale, then beat in the yolk, the vanilla and milk. Sift the flour, coffee, cocoa and salt into the bowl, then mix together to make a soft dough. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap and chill for 15 mins.

    Dust the dough all over with a little flour, then roll it between two large sheets of baking parchment, to the thickness of a £1 coin. Remove the top layer of the paper, stamp shapes with an 8cm bat (or other) cutter, and carefully lift to the lined sheets using a palette knife. Re-roll the trimmings. Cut a 1.5cm x 5mm notch at the base of each bat’s body. This is about right to sit the bats on thick tumblers; if your glasses are finer-edged, make the notches thinner so that the bats stay put. Bake for 10 mins or until the biscuits feel sandy and smell rich and chocolatey. Cool on the sheets for 5 mins, then lift the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

    To decorate, melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. One biscuit at a time, brush chocolate over the bat ears and wings with a small paintbrush, then cover with chocolate sprinkles. Tap off the excess. Pipe faces and fangs onto your bats, then leave to dry. Keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

    HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

    (Image courtesy of BBC Good Food Recipes)

    Melissa, October, 2014

  • Wholemeal Honeyed Hazelnut & Apricot Loaf

    To get into the Great British Bake Off mood for this evening and because I was inspired by bread week last week I thought I would share with you the recipe Rob and I tried for the first time this weekend.  It is from the Great British Bake Off book and given that bread is not something I have ever tried before it turned out rather fine! I have to say though that Rob did most of the hard work and I am enjoying eating it!

    We didn’t have apricots or hazelnuts in the flat so we changed ours to raisins and pecans and it still seemed to work well.

    Wholemeal Honeyed Hazelnut and Apricot Loaf

    Ingredients:

    • 500g stoneground wholemeal flour
    • 7g dried yeast
    • 5g salt
    • 100g ready to eat dried apricots, chopped
    • 70g hazelnuts, toasted and halved
    • 300ml milk, lukewarm
    • 1 tbsp honey
    Method:

    Method:

    1. Mix the flour with the yeast, apricots, hazelnuts and 5 grams of salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre.
    I have to say is particularly delicious toasted with some butter and a mug of 
    1. Pour the milk and honey into the well, then gradually work the flour into the milk to make a soft but not sticky dough. If the dough is dry and difficult to work, add a little extra milk, if the dough feels sticky and won’t hold its shape, work in a little more flour.
    I have to say is particularly delicious toasted with some butter and a mug of 
    1. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead thoroughly for 10 minutes until it feels very elastic (the dough can also be mixed and kneaded in a large food mixer – use the dough hook, and low speed, knead for 5 minutes only).
    I have to say is particularly delicious toasted with some butter and a mug of 
    1. Return the dough to the bowl, cover tightly or slip the bowl into a large plastic bag.
    I have to say is particularly delicious toasted with some butter and a mug of 
    1. Leave in a warm spot until doubled in size – about an hour.
    I have to say is particularly delicious toasted with some butter and a mug of 
    1. Punch down the dough to deflate then divide into 3 equal portions. Roll each portion into a sausage shape about 40cm long. Plait the 3 strands together, tuck the ends under neatly then transfer the plait to a lightly greased baking tray. Slip the tray into a large plastic bag and leave to rise until almost doubled in size, about 40 to 60 minutes – do not let the loaf get too big as it will lose definition. Meanwhile heat the oven to 200C/fan180C/ gas 6.
    I have to say is particularly delicious toasted with some butter and a mug of 
    1. Bake the loaf for about 30 minutes, until an even golden brown, and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack. Store in a cool bread bin. Best eaten within 4 days or toasted.
    I have to say is particularly delicious toasted with some butter and a mug of

    I have to say is particularly delicious toasted with some butter and a mug of black tea!

    (As you can see I have eaten half the loaf already!)

    Melissa, August 2014

  • How To Make the Perfect Cup of Tea

    Making perfect tea falls between a moral obligation and a survival skill in the UK.  Water temperature and brew time are specific to tea types, so here's what you need to know...

  • Peppermint Tea Ice Cream

    The sun is shining and that is all the encouragement I need to crack open the ice cream tub! There is nothing more enjoyable than an ice cold treat on a sunny day. Over the Bank Holiday weekend I spent a beautiful day sitting outside having lunch with my family and my Dad was telling us about an unusual ice cream he had tried on a recent trip to the Far East. It was in fact a green tea Ice cream. Ideal for green tea fans out there; refreshing, light and good for you. This got me thinking which other teas would make good ice cream and then I remembered that I had devoured a delicious peppermint tea ice cream whilst on holiday a couple of years ago. After some research I have discovered the recipe and thought I would share it with you, especially as peppermint tea is my favourite. Enjoy!

    Peppermint tea ice cream

    1 1/4 cup heavy cream (if can't find whipping cream will work)
    1 1/4 cup cream
    1/2 cup honey
    2 peppermint tea bags

    • Over a low heat, warm the honey until it's smooth and runny

    • Add the cream to the honey and stir until mixture is smooth

    • Raise the heat to medium heat not boiling point just enough to see little bubbles. Place tea bags in mixture and cover

    • Reduce heat to simmer and steep for 20 minutes

    • Squeeze tea bags into mixture to get all those remaining juices out of those little bags. Discard tea bags

    • Whisk the heavy cream until it starts to form soft peaks

    • Fold the whipped cream through the peppermint mixture and place in a freezer proof container

    • Freeze for at least 4 hours

    Melissa, May 2014

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