Posts Tagged ‘pembrokeshire tea company’

The ghosts of memories past float by as the warm fire crackles in the grate. There is an enduring nostalgia to the end of each year that almost demands reflection. As the light fades, Tea with Mary Kate would love to share her best Tea moments from this quite wonderful year.

Best Afternoon Tea

Although a very tough choice, it has to be the vintage afternoon tea, with flower filled tea cups & enticing menu’s on white linen table cloths, quite splendid indeed.

Vintage Afternoon Tea

Best Tea Discovery

That Two British Tea growing estates are now in existence – I adore Pembrokeshire Tea Company’s Rose Tea – it is aromatic & fragrant while retaining s lovely strength & depth of flavour. Cornish Estate Tregothnan has a rather splendid classic blend too that evokes the quintessional Britishness of tea drinking.

Best Leaf Tea

Henrietta Lovell’s Royal Airforce Tea

While the kettle is brewing, I always shake the eye catching tea caddie, so when I open the lid, I am bathed in the full aroma of this amazing Tea. Each smell transports me back instantly to my very first memory of leaf tea. Nostalgic, and evoking wonderful memories of tea times past, her tea also commemorates the valor shown in the Blitz, a unique and critical moment in British history.


Tea in the underground during World War II

Best Tea Knowledge Sharing Experience

Without a shadow of a doubt, Mary Kate’s amazing visit to the enthusiastic Northern Tea Merchant’s owner James Pogson. James generously shared his knowledge & passion for tea, including Top Tips on how to assess the quality of Tea.

Northern Teas James Pogson tea tasting

Best Vintage Tea Cup

Tea is an experience. It is full of warmth, fantastic flavours, and is made rather special by dusting off your favorite tea cups. Now, I will admit a weakness for vintage china, and I just had to have this gorgeous cup, with it’s acid yellow and gold decoration with a beautiful rose decoration. Absolutely contentment in a tea cup.

Beautiful Vintage Tea Cup - Perfect for afternoon tea

The eve of a new year beckons. Has it been a good one? What did you promise yourself you would do? Whatever the situation in which you may find yourself, each new year offers the prospect of a new start and fresh beginnings. Tea with Mary Kate’s wish for this blog post is that you seize each new and precious opportunity. What are your Best Tea Moments of the Year?

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We all know a perfect cup of tea when we experience it – The challenge is how to recreate it!

You are holding your favourite tea cup, your hands are being gently warmed as you encounter the gorgeous aroma of freshly brewed tea. Imagine that first warming, flavoursome sip, and the connection of sharing in the ceremony of making the tea. Taking time for tea is such a delight!

How to Brew the perfect cup of tea – and drink it from a Vintage Tea Cup

Top Tips on Brewing the Perfect Cup of Tea

Good Quality Tea that is Stored well

You may be thinking this is a very obvious statement, but how often do you think of purchasing a quality tea rather than the cheapest? Do you always buy tea bags? While there are some very good brands of tea in bags, the fact is that tea in bags is designed to brew more quickly, missing out on that slow ceremony. You could perhaps be forgiven for using a tea bag for brewing your morning cup of tea as you are rushing out of the door.

However, I would maintain though that you can never quite achieve the all-encompassing intimacy of the perfect tea experience without taking time to brew proper tea, necessitating an investment in leaf tea. Tea leaves allow you to connect with the ceremony of tea, the steeping of leaves allows for the full brewing alchemy to take place, and consistently delivers a rich, gorgeous flavoursome cup of tea. All important though once you have purchased and invested in your tea leaves is that you store them well, in an air tight container, to keep the tea as fresh as possible, and avoid the tea taking on other odours.

A few of my current tea favourites:

Tippy Assam from James Pogsons Northern Tea merchants – A full bodied and malty tea, liquid biscuit in a cup, gorgeous first thing in the morning!

Rose Tea from Pembrokeshire Tea company – A beautifully aromatic, flavoursome tea, and wonderful as an accompaniment to afternoon tea.

Battle of Britain tea from Henrietta Lovells Rare Tea company – An old fashioned blend that takes you back to yesteryear.

Tea Tin from Pembrokeshire Tea Compnay to store thier Rose Tea

Just the right Quantity of Tea

At this point, you may be right in thinking that making a cup of tea is turning out to be far from as simple as you has imagined. What we are exploring here though is not just any old cup of tea, it is the experience of sipping a calming, connecting, warming, flavoursome mouthful of gorgeous tea. Tea with Mary Kate can promise you it is well worth the investment!

The size of the tea pot is all important, as this dictates the volume of liquid (water) added. Measure out one teaspoon of tea leaves for every cup (here is where you may need to experiment with how many cups your tea pot can hold), and one teaspoon of leaves for the pot. It is rather a lovely fact that the teapot has a teaspoon of tea too.

Freshly boiled Water

Air in the water is critical, so avoid reboiling as this drives out that all important air. Just off the boil is fine, but too cool, and the tea will simply not infuse properly.

Yorkshire Tea Lady Pouring boiling water

The Right Tea Brewing Equipment at the right temperature

Heaven forbid, you may be actually be thinking of dunking a tea bag in a tea cup but quite honestly, the only way of properly brewing tea is in a tea pot. Do remember to warm the tea pot too, as this avoids the water cooling too much.

The all essential tea pot! Crucial for making the perfect cup of tea

The patience to leave it to brew

But just for the right amount of time! Not too short, as the infusion will result in insufficient flavour being imparted to the water, too long, and well, we all know what over stewed tea tastes like! This is alchemy at its perfect best, and it needs care and attention. You could even think about employing a timer. I love this old fashioned timer tha James Pogson of Northern Tea Merchants employs. Leave your tea for 4 – 5 minutes for black, slightly less for green.

Take Time to Brew the perfect cup of Tea – Mary Kate is enchanted by Northern Tea Merchant

A Beautiful Vintage China Tea cup to drink your tea from

I confess, I am unable to provide any definitive proof for the reason why, but trust me, you will not fail to be impressed by how wonderful tea is sipped from a china cup. You may have your own favourite drinking receptacle but I will confess my bias is for beautiful Vintage china cups. The tea just tastes better! I match my cups to the blend of tea for that perfect cup of tea.

Beautiful Vintage Tea Cups completes the perfect cup of Tea

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Well, I cannot contain my excitement & have had to immediately write at the discovery of  tea being grown in the really beautiful, & as it turns out, really perfect tea growing climate of Pembrokeshire, West Wales. The Pembrokeshire Tea Company describe their inspiring plans to establish Welsh tea production over the next 4 -5 years. It looks like a growing trend for tea plantations re establishing in the UK again (see Tregothnan Cornish Tea plantation also).

I am enchanted by the mystery of their tea secret ingredient & tea secret location in the Preseli Hills – I suspect they’ll need to carefully guard this hidden treasure to keep it safe from the more curious  – I for one would wish to discover the secret!

The Cake Department is a perfect addition to complement the tea & of course include the perennial favourites – Welsh Cakes & Bara Brith.

This Welsh girl is rushing of to order some loose leaves (of course!). They look to have a lovely range, with several launching in 2010, including one named after local heroine Jemina Nicholas who apparently led the men & women of Fishguard into Battle with the French. I am equally fired up about my first sip of Welsh Tea!

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