“Would you care to sit with me
For a cup of English tea
Very twee, very me
Any sunny morning
What a pleasure it would be
Chatting so delightfully
Nanny bakes fairy cakes
Every Sunday morning”
– English Tea by Paul McCartney
I began my search for a magnetic tea timer in the shape of a teapot. Even though I knew there were tea timers available, I could not fine one in a shape of a teapot. So I have been using my iPhone. Teavana has a cool app that contains a tea timers as well as steeping times, temperatures, and suggested blends. I just downloaded it today, but I wanted my timer to go off with something that would que my head, “It’s tea time!” I looked for the usual ringtones, classical music, Tea for Two, etc; I even found a Princess Tea Party CD from Disney, but nothing was what I wanted. Until I heard this song! First of all, English tea is what I like best. I do enjoy a cup of tea by itself, but I would prefer to sit down with a friend with a huge pot of tea, “fairy cakes”, scones, and the whole afternoon to talk. So this was the song/ringtone I selected. I do love it!
Today I wanted to share my small collection of tea books, though it is nothing compared to my mother. I have already reviewed Tea with Jane Austen, but others I have not share with you. Actually only two I bought for myself, others have been gifts.
Tea Time Entertaining by Dolores Snyder: (206 pages) I hate to admit this, but I forgot about this book until now. And I am actually kicking myself for it because there are TONS of recipes. She has her recipes divided in different tea party menus with a few other recipes in the back. There are not a ton of photos, and the few are of the table instead of the particular dishes. However the book would have been huge if she included photos. I highly recommend it if you want more ideas on tea parties and different themes.
The Tea Lover’s Compainion by James Norwood Pratt with Diana Rosen: (173 pages) I received this book from a girl I went to school. It was such a blessing to receive it from her just because she thought of me when she saw it. The book is an excellent reference book for tea. It has a detailed history of tea, the origins of all the teas, and the different blends. In the back it also has a huge list of the best places to buy tea and where to take tea. I will be reading this again! To anyone who wants to know everything about tea the drink, this is the book for you.
Celebrating Tea from Tea Time Magazine: (96 pages) This book is one of my favorites. It contains mostly recipes, with a few introductory notes on being a hostess of a tea party. The pictures are beautiful, and the recipes are rather easy to make. Because it was published by the Tea Time Magazine, it has a very similar feel. The recipes are also divided by the different tea parties. For anyone old or new to tea, this is a book to have!
Book of Afternoon Tea by Lesley Mackley: (117 pages) A friend gave me this book for Christmas, and I love it. The recipes have detailed photos of each recipe, step by step. It has older recipes (like from the Victorian and Edwardian eras) than my other books, and seem to have a more “English” feel to it, though I do not know much about the author. She had to have studied tea in England. I have only cooked a few recipes from it but am excited to try the others. Definitely a true find!!
If Teacups Could Talk by Emilie Barnes: (72 pages) My very first tea book. It was a gift from my mother when we started taking tea. And I cannot describe how wonderful it is (though I will try). Emilie Barnes does a wonderful job to describing the importance, tradition, and relationship of tea. She has different chapters talking about different tea “parties”: Tea for One, Tea for Two, Birthday Tea, etc. Several of the chapters do have recipes, and they are delicious, but the recipes are not entirety of the book. If anyone were new to tea, I would suggest this book. But those of us who have been having tea for years would benefit from it as well. It brings the reader back to the heart of tea.
All of these books I love! And am sitting here thinking about how much I need to read them all again. So lovely! And each one has a memory, or recipe linked to a memory. I would not part with any of them, and I look forward to new ones to add to my collection!! What about you? Do you have a favorite tea book?