T is for . . .
Tea – it’s our national pastime. Time to relax? Make some tea. Feeling upset? Make some tea. Having a natter with some friends? Oh, I’ll jut pop the kettle on for some tea. It’s got many of us through some tough times, so today is a celebration of all things tea.
Afternoon tea withdrawal?
If you’re missing going out for good old-fashioned afternoon tea, never fear! There are plenty of lovely local businesses across Devon that are delivering! Take a look at some of our top picks for afternoon tea delivered to your door…
Devon Heaven – based in Chudleigh, these guys are the bee’s knees when it comes to hampers brimming with locally sourced deliciousness. With a selection of different types of hampers to choose from, their cream tea hampers look particularly scrumptious.
The Hidden Treasure Tea Room – this delightful vintage themed tearoom located on Fore Street, Exeter, makes incredible home-made sweet and savoury treats. Book now for their special Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea!
Louise’s Larder – creating a range of uniquely flavoured multi award-winning jams, chutney and cream teas, Louise’s Larder is based in Crediton and (due to restrictions caused by covid-19) are currently shipping deliveries every Tuesday.
Delimann – based in Newton Abbot, Delimann have a fantastic range of cream and afternoon tea hampers, including ones with fizz if you’re celebrating!
Virtual Cuppas for Carers
Pop the kettle on, select your tea of choice - milk, sugar, bag in or out? - it’s time for a virtual cuppa.
Join MobiliseOnline.co.uk to find other carers for a virtual cuppa and regular, free supportive chats. If you are looking after someone, they're here to listen, laugh and sometimes let off steam!
Hosted by amazing Carer Coaches Suzanne and Claire, these free regular video meetings happen most weekdays, bringing together carers for a chance to swap stories, air problems and have a laugh in a supportive, non-judgmental environment.
If you’re a carer who’d benefit from one of these virtual cuppas, you can sign up for your first one here.
A podcast for tea lovers
If you love tea, then you’ll LOVE this podcast. Pod of Tea is hosted by Emma, a proper tea enthusiast. Her passion and excitement for tea are positively contagious and each episode features a review of a different tea. As Emma puts it, she’s on a ‘tea adventure’ – so pop the kettle on and join her!
Baking with Tea
Baking is a brilliant wellbeing exercise – it can be creative, calming and not to mention delicious (who doesn’t enjoy trying all their tasty bakes once they’re done?!). Baking with tea can add an amazing aromatic kick to your bakes and take a normal cupcake to the next level. But how do you bake with tea? Great British Bake Off’s Ruby Tandoh has some good advice:
Want to try baking with tea at home? Try Ruby’s chamomile vanilla cupcake recipe as an easy intro to baking with tea.
Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes):
· 225g unsalted butter
· 160ml milk
· 6 chamomile teabags
· 160g caster sugar
· 3 large eggs
· 1½ tsp vanilla extract
· 210g plain flour
· 1½ tsp baking powder
· 120-160g icing sugar
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cupcake cases.
2) Place the butter, milk and teabags in a small saucepan and set over a low heat. Once the butter has completely melted let the mixture simmer for a couple of minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes then strain out the tea, collecting the melted, chamomile-infused mixture in a bowl. Some of the liquid will have evaporated and some will get lost in the teabags, but you should still have 220-250g of the butter and milk mixture left.
3) Beat together 160g of the butter and milk with the sugar, leaving the remaining infused mixture for the buttercream. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl then fold this mixture into the wet ingredients until combined.
4) Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and bake for 17-22 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
5) For the buttercream, beat 60-80g of the remaining chamomile-infused butter/milk mixture until smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar until the buttercream is thick and smooth.
6) Once the cupcakes have baked and cooled, top each with a slick of buttercream.
Tea for your wellbeing
From calming you down, to waking you up, teas can have many different properties and health benefits. Take a look at our tea guide below for our top tips on tea for wellbeing:
· Relieve stress: White tea - Light and refined, white tea is the least oxidised tea. It relieves stress, helps slow down the natural ageing process and has anti-bacterial benefits.
· Boost immune system: Green tea - Green tea is slightly more oxidised than white. It ranges from mellow and floral to astringent. Benefits include boosting immune systems, mental alertness and removing toxins.
· Regulate blood sugar: Black tea - Black tea is fully oxidised and can range from light and fruity to rich and robust. It boosts the immune system and helps regulate blood sugars.
· Aid digestion or soothe coughs/colds: Mint - Both peppermint and fresh mint teas have antispasmodic effects, which help if you suffer from IBS or cramps. Menthol also supports healthy and clear breathing.
· Boost energy: Yerba Mate - This grassy herbal brew made with a South American plant, assists in weight loss, boosts energy and eases body and mind.
· Calm down: Chamomile - This is an oldie but a goodie, especially when it comes to our high-octane, modern-day lifestyles. Renowned for its calming properties, chamomile can help induce a restful night's sleep and has a general soothing effect on the nervous system.
· Improve alertness: Sencha Wakame - A unique blend of green tea, green Yerba Mate, Wakame (seaweed) and lemongrass, this is the perfect energy boost packed with antioxidants and iodine – and overall a great way to start the day!
· Reduce nausea or bloating: Fennel - These aniseed-flavoured seeds are ideal for easing an upset stomach and flushing out your system.
· Calm stress and balance hormones: Liquorice – Liquorice is referred to as an adaptogenic herb, which means it helps to moderate stress in the body and is traditionally used to soothe digestion. It also contains phytoestrogen, which mimic the effects of oestrogen and can help support PMS.