Congrats Grads - It’s Been Oolong Time Coming
Finding the perfect graduation gift can be difficult, so we’ve created this gift guide filled with tea-themed gifts that will delight any grad!
Our Mothers’ Day Gift Guide
Someone once said, “A mother is your first friend, your best friend, your forever friend.” A friend that dear and special deserves to be remembered. Sunday, May 14th is Mothers’ Day, and we have gifts to show your love and appreciation for your forever friend.
Books to Inspire Mom
My Cup of Tea is a tea shop, not a bookstore, but we can’t think of anything better than curling up with a soothing cup of tea and a book that inspires. We offer a carefully curated list of books meant to enhance your spiritual life and bring joy to everyday living. Here is a short list of books we recommend for moms.
One Minute Prayers for Women – Gift Edition. This delightful collection
of one-minute talks with God will help Mom share her heart’s desire to walk with Jesus, grow spiritually strong, reach out to others, and find comfort.
Garden Maker – If your mom loves to garden or wants to learn more about it, this is the book for her. Much more than a how-to flower
gardening book (though you will learn how to), Garden Maker is for those who want to grow beautiful things that reflect the glory and majesty of the Creator and bring a little bit of heaven down to earth.
- Celebrate with Sprinkles – Does your mom love a great party? Far beyond birthdays, certified celebrator Brittany Young will show you how to make every day a special occasion and bring fun and joy into your home. Whether you’re looking for entire themes or that one amazing, icing-on-the-cake idea to push your next get-together over the top, you’ll find it here.
- Growing Strong – This one is for mothers who enjoy physical fitness or who want to become healthier. For years, Cambria Joy struggled with self-image and how to make her dual pursuits of faith and fitness fit together. Maybe you can relate. Everything changed one day when she decided she was tired of looking in the mirror and started looking solely toward God.
- Teatime Discipleship – If your mom enjoys sharing her faith with others, Sally Clarkson tells how a shared cup of tea can impact a heart. These simple moments of hospitality become poignant opportunities for women to support each other in faith while drawing nearer to God.
If your mother is a tea lover or just wants to experiment, we have all the accessories she will need to steep that perfect cup of tea for herself or to share when you visit. Try these gifts to bring a smile to her face and a brightness in her eyes.
Tealyra PLUTO Teapots - The pot is made of high-quality porcelain, which is ideal for brewing the most aromatic and tasty pot of tea. Each pot comes with an easy-to-use, removable, stainless steel infuser. These pots are perfect for a tea-for-two and come in five vibrant colors.
- Signature Mug -- Our signature ceramic mug designed by our friends at Belltower Coffeehouse & Studio is comfortable to hold and keeps your beverage hot longer. It is microwave and dishwasher safe. Buy the mug only or the gift set. The gift set comes wrapped with 10 multi-steep teabags and honey spoons. Our mugs come in ten colors and varieties.
- Hummingbird Mug and Infuser – Make steeping a great cup of tea simple from anywhere with this unique mug and infuser. This hummingbird mug comes with a stainless steel infuser and lid that can be used as a coaster for the infuser. The delicate design in classic black and white depicts a hummingbird enjoying her morning pick-me-up while you enjoy yours.
Teas to Delight Mom
If your mom is an avid tea drinker or if she just wants to experiment, we offer more than 70 teas including, black tea, green tea, oolong tea, rooibos tea, and a wide variety of herbal and fruit teas. Our teas are imported from expert blenders from around the world and are highly rated by our customers. We have teas that are organic, caffeine-free, gluten-free, and in many different flavor combinations. Here are a few of our best tea suggestions.
- I Do Wedding Tea – The name may say weddings, but this tea is perfect anytime of day and in any season. This premium rooibos from South Africa is blended with almond, cinnamon, and amaretto flavoring to create that classic wedding cake flavor. It is caffeine-free and gluten-free.
- Spring Tea Sampler Jar – If you’re not sure what kind of tea your mother will like, try our Spring Tea Sampler Jar. It is packed with 10 varieties of our customers' favorite teas. The teas come in a decorated, glass mason jar that is aesthetically pleasing and practical for storage. These are the perfect gifts for both tea lovers and novices alike.
My Box of Tea – The My Box of Tea subscription is a way to keep showing the love for months at a time. Each month, we’ll fill Mom’s box with two different Teas for Two (4 cups of tea) of our favorite flavors. In
addition to the tea, each box contains four tasty, perfectly paired honey spoons. Subscribe for 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year. Pay in full at the time of purchase or let us bill your credit or debit card monthly. Before your subscription expires, we will contact you or your recipient to ask if you want to extend or renew it.
Sweet Treats Mom will Love
Maybe you want to buy a book, some tea, or a mug for mom. Elevate your gift with one of our gourmet sweet treats. We have a selection of shortbread cookies and delectable confections sure to satisfy any mother’s sweet tooth.
- Honey Spoons – One of our newest items, these honey spoons are made by the Melville Candy Company and come in ten flavors. Use these to sweeten your tea or other hot beverage or enjoy them like a lollipop. Either was mom will love this whimsical and satisfying treat.
- Maddy’s Sweet Shop Shortbreads – These melt-in-your-mouth gourmet cookies come in lemon, peppermint, butterscotch, Key lime, cinnamon, raspberry, and traditional shortbread flavors. These dainty but flavor-filled cookies are blanketed in powdered sugar and infused with Maddy’s signature candy crunch.
Birdhouse Chocolate Covered Pretzels – If mom is a chocolate lover then this gift is for her. Sweet and salty, chocolate-enveloped pretzels come in whimsical birdhouse packaging. These mini pretzel twists dipped
in dark or white chocolate are made from scratch by the folks at Too Good Gourmet.
Looking for something else? Visit our online store at www.shopmycupoftea.com or in the Memphis area at 3028 Carnes Avenue. You can also call us at 901-614-9769, tell us all about your mom, and let us help you find the perfect gift.
Whether you buy from us or not, remember your mother or the like-a-mother figure in your life on Sunday, May 14th.
Combat Allergies With These Teas
Spring has sprung, and so have the sniffles, sneezes, and sore throats. As plants begin to bloom and release pollen into the air, allergic reactions are triggered in those with seasonal allergies. While allergy medicine is available over-the-counter, sufferers still deal with uncomfortable symptoms that they just have to wait out. Luckily, tea contains certain compounds that may help alleviate allergy symptoms. In this blog, we will discuss a few ways the compounds in tea can combat allergies.
- Histamine-blocking Properties
The antioxidants in tea can help alleviate inflammation, which is the body’s natural response to allergens. Specific antioxidants, such as catechins and flavonoids, can help reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals that damage cells. By attacking inflammation at the source, allergy sufferers can alleviate symptoms like runny noses, congestion, and itchy eyes.
Green teas are one of the most antioxidant-rich teas, containing high levels of both catechins and epicatechins. In fact, many people swear by green tea when they are feeling under the weather. Black teas are also a great source of antioxidants, specifically theaflavins, and thearubigins. These compounds form during the fermentation process. On the other hand, white teas are less processed than other types, allowing them to retain more of their natural antioxidants.
Try: Riverboat Queen Strawberry Green, Come On In Salted Caramel
Quercetin is a specific flavonoid that is found in many types of teas, including green teas, black teas, and rooibos teas. This flavonoid has both anti-inflammatory and histamine-blocking properties that can work to reduce allergy symptoms. In fact, Quercetin has been shown to inhibit the release of histamine, decrease proinflammatory cytokines, and support a balanced Th1 and Th2 immune response. Together, this combination can help reduce itchy, watery eyes and sinus congestion.
Try: Memphis Meadow Lemon Cream Rooibos, Gunpowder Mint
Histamine is a chemical that is released by your immune system in response to an allergen. In the case of seasonal allergies, this allergen is typically pollen, dust mites, or mold. Antihistamines do exactly what the name suggests, block the effects of histamine. Many teas offer histamine-blocking properties, but rooibos teas, peppermint teas, and chamomile teas have been known to be the most helpful for allergy symptoms.
Try: Raspberry Vanilla Cream Rooibos Blend, Organic Peppermint
While stress-relieving teas aren’t going to stop allergy symptoms, they can help with their severity. Stress can heighten allergy symptoms by causing the body to release additional histamine. It can also weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off allergies. Chamomile tea in particular contains compounds that can help promote relaxation, making it a great choice for people experiencing allergy symptoms.
Try: Organic Chamomile
Shop My Cup of Tea
Are allergy symptoms getting to be too much for you? Try using our delicious teas to help alleviate your symptoms! Our robust selection of green teas, black teas, and rooibos teas are perfect for enjoying when you’re suffering from congestion and a sore throat. On a special episode of She Steeps, Cheryl is joined by a guest and shows us how to make a My Cup of Tea version of the popular Starbucks Medicine Ball tea.
My Cup of Tea is a non-profit in Memphis, TN that serves as an office, packing hub, retail store, and place of refuge for the women of Orange Mound. Our mission is to provide women in our community with the tools they need to thrive. We import the highest quality tea from tea estates and gardens in the Far East where they are weighed, re-formatted, and packaged for sale by the women who work here. Your purchase of our teas or other products opens a pathway for positive change and upward mobility for the courageous women who create them. Learn more about our story here.
The Relationship Between Tea and Your Skin
How to Plan a Simple Easter Tea Party
Who should I invite to my Easter tea party?
Obviously, who you invite is completely up to you, but you should think carefully about your guest list. Who you choose to invite affects many of the other decisions you will make. With any party of any kind, there are issues of etiquette as well as considerations to avoid offending family, friends, or associates. These are important issues, but not the primary purpose of this piece. The main decisions about your guest list are:
- Do you want to limit the party to close family and friends or extend it to a broader audience?
- Is this an adults-only party or will you include the kiddos?
- How many people can your home or chosen venue comfortably accommodate?
- What is the “vibe” you’re hoping for at this party? Laid-back and comfortable? Comfortable, but not too relaxed? More formal and business-like?
Once you know, who you’re inviting, you need to decide how to invite them. While tea parties are often seen as formal affairs, modern day sensibilities allow for evites to a casual party. With the wide variety of templates, you can quickly design an invitation that is festive and memorable and receive notifications when guests RSVP. Before you send an email invitation, give some consideration to the age of your guests. Older guests and guests in high school or college tend to check email less often than Gen Xers and late Boomers.
If you’re a little more “old school,” (no judgment here) then you may prefer a hard copy invitation. If so, here are a few ideas:
- If you want to involve kids, let them hand-make the invitations. You ensure the details are correct but let them decorate in spring colors with an Easter theme. This is fun for the kids, and it sets the tone for the party as well as assuring guests that children welcome.
- If you prefer a printed invitation, this is of course more time consuming and expensive, but there are numerous reputable online printerswho will ship your invites within 24 hours.
- Another way to involve kids, whether the invitations are homemade or printed, is to let them hand-deliver a few to grandparents, aunts and uncles, or neighborhood friends. They will feel like they are playing an important part, and it helps to build their excitement for the party.
Because we’re emphasizing simple, easy, and comfortable in this post, “smart casual to “sporty casual” are our broad recommendations. American Stationery has a fun, easy-to-follow party attire guide. Of course, attire is influenced by the whether or not the event is indoors or outdoors and the expected forecast. Also, the time of day is a factor and what types of activities in which guest will participate.
If your party is in the late morning (brunch) or around the noon hour, encourage guests to come directly from their worship service in their Easter outfits, but to bring a change of clothes suitable for a casual tea party. This sets the stage for beautiful, seasonal pictures and allows everyone to be more relaxed following the photos. For children, give them a break. Encourage them wear khaki-style shorts, jumpers, rompers, or comfortable sun dresses. They will be happier, which means you will be happier.
One final note on attire: Be sure to communicate specifically on the invitation what the expectations are. Vague language creates anxiety for guests and awkwardness if they misinterpret your wishes.
What food should I serve at an Easter tea party?
Serve food you like. It is difficult to impossible to know what your guests will and won’t eat. Being sensitive to the possibility of common allergies like nuts or to growing vegetarian/vegan proclivities is important, but there is no need to go overboard. At the risk of overemphasizing the point, this party is intended to be simple and easy, so your menu should be as well.
At My Cup of Tea, we host tea parties approximately once per month for customers who want to celebrate a special occasion. Our menus feature four categories, Tea Sandwiches, Savory Bites, Dessert, and Teas. You can use these broad categories to plan your simple but delicious menu.
For the Tea Sandwiches, we serve the classics: cucumber, chicken salad, and pimento cheese. What about the kids? Our princess tea parties include a PBJ, mini corndogs, and a pinwheel with either ham or turkey. Short of hiring a caterer, the simple approach to these sandwiches is to purchase the ingredients pre-made. Costco, Whole Foods, Chicken Salad Chick and others have delicious chicken salad and pimento cheese. Mini corndogs and pinwheels can be purchased at most grocery stores. And if you prefer not to assemble the PBJs, consider buying Smuckers’ Uncrustables and cutting them into bite-sized triangles.
For the savory bites, the possibilities are almost endless, but as the name says, they should be bite-sized. At My Cup of Tea, we serve mini quiche, sausage balls, and herbed scones. For children, pizza bites and macaroni and cheese cups are very popular. Spinach artichoke cup and brie-stuffed mushrooms are a couple of other suggestions that are easy-to-find or easy-to-make. In keeping with the Easter theme, whipped deviled eggs with dill or any kind of deviled egg you like is another option.
In the dessert category, we love the traditional petit fours for two reasons. One, they are delicious, cake bites that feel special and fancy. Two, almost every town has a place where you can buy them. Along with the petit fours, we offer mini-fudge brownies, Earl Grey cookies, and palmiers. For the kiddos, we serve pudding cups, sugar cookies, and donut holes.
Something to try with the children is making an Easter “carrot” patch.
- Make chocolate pudding and spoon it into you serving cups.
- Crumble Oreo cookies on top of each pudding cup. This is your “soil.”
- Then, melt some orange candy melts in the microwave or on the stove top according to the directions.
- Dip strawberries up to the stems in the melted orange candy. Let them harden and place your “carrots” in the “soil.”
What teas should I serve at an Easter tea party?
Like good wines, high-quality teas have a complex flavor profile. In the same way you would pair wines with food, you should also pair your teas with the items on your menu. Because you can’t have a different tea for every food item, choose teas that are flexible and pair with many different types of foods. And choose teas that are right for the season.
For the Easter season, our Memphis Meadow Lemon Cream is a fine choice. It is rooibos tea bursting with tangy lemon flavor tempered slightly with the taste of fresh cream. This would make wonderful pairing with the spinach artichoke cups and the herbed scones. A perfect green tea for this time of year, is our Japanese Cherry to coincide with the blooming of cherry trees. The aroma alone is worth brewing this favorite, but the cherry flavor complements both spicy and chocolate foods. If you’re serving a number of items that are creamy in flavor and texture, consider a tea that is often served with milk like an Early Grey or English Breakfast. And while all of these teas are thought to be enjoyed best served hot, of the weather is too warm, consider serving them as iced teas too.
How should I decorate for an Easter tea party?
We don’t need to offer too many suggestions. During the spring, flowers are blooming, flowering trees are budding, and the options for using what you see around you are many. Arrange the spring vegetation with dyed Easter eggs or vintage bunnies for a whimsical table decoration. There is no need to spend a lot of time or money. Additionally, beautifully plated food is a decoration itself, so spend as much effort making the food look appealing as decorating.
Don’t stress. Have fun.
Parties of any kind are mostly about spending time with people you enjoy, delighting in good food and beverages, and making memories together. This is especially true for family-focused holidays like Easter. Your guests won’t care if you only have one flower arrangement instead of two, or if you emailed the invitation versus sending in through the mail. What they will remember are the smiles, the laughs, if they felt warmly welcomed. Get your party planning started, involve your kids or grandkids, and have a great time this Easter.
How to Pair Tea and Chocolate
Are you a chocolate and tea lover? Discover how to combine your two favorite indulgences with our ultimate guide to pairing cocoa-infused candy with hot tea. Whether you're in the mood for an afternoon pick-me-up or hosting a party with guests, our tips will help you create a delightful tasting experience that reveals new and exciting flavor notes.
If you love them both, then you’re in luck! This guide will provide the basics for pairing your favorite cocoa-infused candy with your favorite hot beverage whether it’s for a movie night alone at home or an afternoon party with guests.
Just like wine, teas have a variety of flavor profiles that can complement or balance the flavor notes in chocolate. Also, like pairing wine with food, pairing tea with chocolate requires a bit of strategy. You can choose a tea that complements the flavor notes in the chocolate, or you can pair to balance or enhance a particular characteristic. Indulge in your favorite guilty pleasures and elevate your tasting experience with our guide to pairing chocolate and tea.
What is Cacao?
Before we dive into the best chocolate and tea pairings, let's take a moment to learn more about the origin of cacao. Cacao is cocoa that is raw and minimally processed. It comes from pods harvested from cacao trees found in South America, West Africa, and some parts of Asia. These pods go through a multi-step process that includes fermenting, drying, roasting, extracting, and grinding to create the best decadent chocolate treat. After the process of fermenting, drying, roasting, extracting, and grinding, a non-alcoholic liquor is produced. Cocoa butter, the primary ingredient in a candy bar or box of Russel Stover's, is extracted from the liquor. What’s left is dried and ground into cocoa powder. The amount of cacao liquor used determines how dark the chocolate is and the percentage of cacao in the product. The kind we are most familiar with becomes your favorite candy bar through the addition of cocoa butter, sugar, cacao liquor, and powdered or condensed milk.
Pairing Tea with Milk Chocolate
For those who love milk chocolate, it's important to choose a tea that complements its creamy taste. Since milk chocolate has a lower cacao content (usually between 10% and 40%), black teas that go well with milk are great choices. Popular options include Earl Grey, English Breakfast, or Chai. Fruit, nut, and spice blends can also work well, such as those that include raspberries, strawberries, oranges, or almonds. Think of combinations like raspberries, strawberries, oranges, and almonds. If you prefer green teas, try a Japanese sencha, which is a stronger green tea, but only slightly astringent. Remember to be careful when adding milk to your tea when tasting milk chocolate, as it can alter the flavor pairing.
Pairing Tea with White Chocolate
White chocolate is characterized by its sweetness and low cacao percentage. High-quality versions are not only sweet, but smooth and creamy. When pairing teas with white chocolate, avoid adding sweeteners to your cup and consider flavors traditionally found in a white chocolate bar or truffle. Nutty and fruity tasting notes, coconut, and lemon are likely good selections. For example, our Nutty Green loose leaf, 901-of-A-Kind Coconut Almond (black tea), or Memphis Meadow Lemon Cream (rooibos) would pair well with white chocolate.
Pairing Tea With Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains over 40% cacao and has a rich, bitter taste with fruity flavor notes. For example, we have recently introduced two Ritual chocolate bars each boasting 70% cacao - The Fleur De Sel with French sea salt and the Mid Mountain, which is a blend of cacao from a variety of origins. These bars, like other high-quality ones, are rich, bitter, and full of fruity flavor notes. Suggestions for pairing include a full-bodied Indian Assam, a Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling with its hints of cocoa and fruity muscatel, or the Raspberry Vanilla rooibos.
Most Important Part
Have fun! The flavor combinations are almost endless. Make a mistake? Simply try again. After all you’re tasting chocolate and tea, so how bad could it really be? To get an idea for the variety of options, visit our website, read the descriptions of our teas and easily purchase them in our online store.