Take your Valentine to Afternoon Tea

One of the best gifts we can give another is our time. When that time is spent enjoying afternoon tea together, it is a joy to be with people you care about.

Afternoon tea provides little bites of savories and sweets, delicious hot tea and even champagne or a cocktail. Something for everyone.

I took my Valentine, my husband, to Tyme for Tea in Fremont, CA to enjoy a royal afternoon tea this Valentine’s Day. Tyme for Tea, as well as many tea rooms in the Bay Area had special Valentine’s Day teas over the weekend. I wanted to celebrate on Valentine’s Day proper.

The mouthwatering aroma of baking scones greeted us. Having been to Tyme for Tea before, we selected the Royal Afternoon Tea. Mark selected the Assam tea; I selected the decaf blackberry sage tea. The Royal tea came with 4 choices of champagne; I picked the plain, Mark the mimosa. I tried to get a photo of us toasting, but did not have enough hands, so Mark took a photo of me with our two champagne glasses in a toast.

For me, the amount of food served at tea is too much. I usually eat half of everything and am still full when I get done. This day, I ate the entire apricot white chocolate, freshly baked scone with the delicious lemon curd, cream and preserves. So satisfying! I ate the three hot savories and tasted the two sandwiches. There was a mushroom pastry, I’ve had before that is ‘meaty’ and has an intense mushroom flavor. There was a cheese and artichoke crostini, so fresh tasting and crunchy, and there was a new chees-ie pastry roll up savory I enjoyed. Then I had to forgo the desserts because I was too full.

My husband took them with him to work, the desserts were heart shaped shortbread cookies, heart shaped petit fours and large chocolate and peanut truffles dipped in chocolate.  I had tasted these not long ago when my mother, daughter and I visited Tyme for Tea together. I knew how good they were so I did not feel I was missing anything.

There were fresh Gerber daisies on each table. Around the water jar for the flowers were hard candy hearts so traditional for Valentine’s Day. The pink, yellow, green and purple candies that say ‘love you’ or ‘too sweet’. I never did find out if we were supposed to or not, but Mark and I ate, and had a good time with those candy hearts.

Sharing afternoon tea with your spouse or significant other at Valentine’s Day or other holiday is special. Tea rooms usually have special events or menus at the holidays. My girlfriends and I visit tea rooms often to celebrate our birthdays or just because.

The women in my family enjoy afternoon tea regularly, no matter where we are visiting. In March, for my mother’s birthday, it is her turn to find a tearoom when we visit her in Houston, TX.

And then about the gifts….. I don’t give my husband greeting cards anymore. After I picked up off the floor the last card I bought him, we talked about it. He does not really care about receiving cards. I love to receive cards. He bought me a card. I bought him a Chicago Cubs championship baseball cap. I thought I was being clever putting it in a Victoria Secret bag, but he did not flinch one bit. He did, though, love the hat. I scored!

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Tea Journey magazine reaches Kickstarter goal

Tea Journey is a specialized digital magazine aiming to connect tea growers, experts and enthusiasts via a rich multimedia platform including articles, photos and videos. This collaborative magazine launched by tea industry veteran Dan Bolton reached its funding goal on Kickstarter – Tea Journey recently.

If you have not yet heard of this opportunity and are interested in timely, in depth tea industry news, check it out. Dan Bolton is a seasoned professional. The contributor list reads like a Who’s Who of the tea world. The magazine itself is a work of art.

Great gift idea for yourself or a curious tea drinker on your gift list.

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Ooh La La Sharing a Cup of Friendship tea gift basket, French style

The perfect tea gift idea to celebrate the friends in your life – the oh-so-sweet one, the special one, the faithful one, and even the newly found one – with Partager une coupe de l’amitié or Sharing a Cup of Friendship, French style. $61.99.

Sharing a Cup of Friendship Tea Lover Gift Baskets

Remember her birthday, cheer a job well done, commiserate feeling low, or celebrate the holiday season with this unique, hand crafted tea lover gift basket.

This original, made in the US,  tea gift basket design includes:

o   Beautifully illustrated, hardcover book entitled Sharing a Cup of Friendship. Five (5) different friend themed afternoon tea ideas complete with recipes and tea pairings. Special Friend afternoon tea has a French theme. We will handwrite your sentiments on the presentation page.

o   The’ De Mes Revesor Tea of My Dreams green tea. Organic Chinese, sencha style, green tea blended with hibiscus, osmanthus and calendula petals. An ounce, enough for 8-12 cups hot or 2 quarts, or more, iced.

o   The’ Amour or Tea Lover black tea. Black tea, apple bits, orange peels, cinnamon, currants, almond flakes, cloves and safflowers. An ounce, enough for 8-12 cups hot or 2 quarts, or more, iced.

o   Je Vis D’Amour et The’roasted herbal tea. A ‘french roast’ flavor. Roasted dandelion and chicory root, crystal and chocolate barley malt. An ounce, enough for 8-12 cups hot or 2 quarts iced.

o   Honey. Small jar of locally grown light honey.

o   Honey dipper. Traditionally styled wooden honey dipper.

o   Cookies. Package of 3 French Galette butter and French sea salt tea cookies.

o   French TeaTime greeting card, of exceptional quality. Hand crafted in the US on linen paper, this 5” by 7” raised edge card, on which we handwrite your sentiments, silhouettes a French woman enjoying a pot of tea in her boudoir.

o   Tea Infusion guidelinesprofessionally printed for repeated use.

o   Craft/Memory cardboard boxbeautiful, coordinating and oh so practical.

o   Romantic vintagelace ribbon & coordinating handpicked embellishments.

Available now at Tea Lover Gift Baskets while supplies last. Thank you.

 

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Find discounted gift cards for national tea purveyors

ImageI don’t know where I’ve been all this time! I was reading an article about how to save money eating out. One of the suggestions was to buy a discounted gift card for the restaurant you’d like to visit. Gift Card Granny.com  and ABC Gift Card.com were listed as two places to go to find discounted gift cards.

What a concept. Those of us with gift cards we will not use can sell or swap gift cards. The person who gifted us the unwanted card will never know. Or we can just go and buy a discounted gift card to any of many businesses we already shop with.

Testimonials shared on the Gift Card Granny site were remarkable. Folks doing remodeling projects bought discounted gift cards from home improvement stores like Home Depot for percentages off the card’s face value. They turned around and made home remodeling purchases saving hundreds of dollars. Amazing.

While searching around, I found four other discount gift card sites: Raise, Monster Gift Card, Gift Card Bin and JunkCard.  I liked Raise because it was easy to see the conditions under which I am buying the card. I liked JunkCard because it had more of the stores I frequent. There are even discounted gift cards for airfare and drugstores. I am not endorsing any of these sites, I have not tried them out yet.

Of course, I had to check out the tea offerings. This blog is about tea gift ideas after all. I found discounted gift cards for Peet’s, Teavana, Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Not bad. Too bad there is not a national tea gift basket chain or tea room chain to offer discounted gift cards similar to Spa Finder and BedandBreakfast.com. Yes, find discounted gift cards for those.

I did notice the smaller the denomination of the gift card, the less percentage discount usually applied.  Frontier Airlines percentage off was just over one percent but I saw others offering up to 26% off.  I’ll take that. I believe all the sites offered free shipping. JunkCard states all their cards have free shipping and no expire dates. Discounted gift cards can be real, plastic cards or e-cards. They can be sent to you or someone else.

afternoon teatime tea lover gift baskets If you do not know what to get for the tea drinker on your gift list think about these ideas. First, shop at your favorite local tea shop or tea room, have them put together a gift basket for you, many will do that  and ship it too. Or bring the goodies home and create the gift yourself and ship it to your special tea drinker.  Support local, small businesses.  If you don’t have the time or creativity,  buy them a gift  certificate from their favorite local tea shop or tea room. If all you know is that your tea drinker loves tea and orders it when they go out, go ahead and take advantage of a discounted gift card from a national  coffee/tea chain. Save money, enjoy the convenience and know your tea drinker will be delighted. If they are not delighted, now you know they can swap it or sell it. You can’t go wrong.

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SF Chocolate Salon and 10% off 2014 Chocolate and Tea Collection

TasteTV is a food channel and food network with Food Video, Fashion Video, Recipe Video, Restaurant Video, Wine Video, Chocolate Video and an Online Community.

We had so much fun last November, at the Fall Chocolate Festival, when we were invited back for this Spring show, we jumped at the opportunity!

Talk about a great tea gift idea for a tea AND chocolate lover……. tickets are still available, click on the banner to get more information. Attendees get to sample lots and lots of chocolate as well as the  gourmet delectables.

While you are visiting, please come by the table Tea Lover Gift Baskets and Tea Lover Teas are sharing with Tipsy Tea. Complete our popular one question survey and be entered into one of the 17 drawings we will be holding each 30 minutes throughout the Show.

Winners will be gifted with a sample of each of the teas in our 2014 Chocolate and Tea Collection. Of course, you can shop for them now directly at our website Tea Lover Teas.com.

Using code SCS10off on the checkout page will give you 10% off your purchases at TeaLoverGiftBaskets.com and TeaLoverTeas.com through the end of March, 2014.

A couple of other Chocolate and Tea pairing gift basket ideas;

Premium Tea and Gourmet Pairing tea gift basket $58.99
ImageA sampler of three premium teas; a green, black and white tea paired with award winning The Tea Room tea-infused chocolate bars. Impressively presented.

and Pink Passion $75.99.
Image For someone special, a hand crafted silk bag, single estate Darjeeling green and black teas from the different harvest seasons, or flushes, in convenient tea bags, all of this paired with The Tea Room tea-infused chocolate bars.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

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A unique DIY tea gift idea for children

A unique tea gift idea for children.  Author Laura Bartolucci recently introduced me to her new children’s book A Cozy House for Miss Mouse.  

Though Tea Lover Gift Baskets caters mostly to ‘grown up’ tea drinkers and those that care about them, I do have two granddaughters and a grandson who love tea and tea parties.  I’ll show you photos sometime….

She describes her book as a ‘charming tale set in the English cottage of Miss Ellie, a widow who finds a surprise visitor in her favorite teacup.  And because “a mouse in a teacup simply won’t do”, she must find the little creature a ‘cozy’ house of its own, which ends up being a mouse-sized tea cozy she knits herself.  Enchanting Illustrations  created by award-winning water colorist, Maris Shepherd.

Imagemouse puppet folkmanis

I found the book available in the usual book buying venues Amazon  and Books A Million.  You can buy the book from Ms.Bartolucci directly.  Her email address is  tealovernm@gmail.com.

The St. James Tearooms’ Gift Shoppe has been selling a tea gift set featuring A Cozy House for Miss Mouse.  They paired the book with the teacup from the story (from Heirloom China, contact the author for more    information). A mouse finger puppet from Folkmanis peeks out from the teacup for an adorable presentation.

If you are in Albuquerque, NM, please stop at The St. James Tearoom, enjoy afternoon tea and take home A Cozy House for Miss Mouse tea gift set.  Then send me an email telling me all about  it.  Otherwise, like me, order the items separately and create your own gift set(s).  Personalize the ‘basket’ to whom  you will be giving the gift using a colorful box or cloth basket, something that can be used again.

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Cynthia and I enjoyed Afternoon Tea on a

Cynthia and I enjoyed Afternoon Tea on a beautiful SF day at the Tea Stop Cafe, a mini me of the Crown & Crumpet, in San Francisco recently. http://ow.ly/obtHQ http://ow.ly/i/2WZpl http://ow.ly/i/2WZrb http://ow.ly/i/2WZrW

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