Tuesday Tea Time – Loose Leaf v. Sachet

Tea Time – June 21, 2016


4 years ago I discovered Harney & Son’s Hot Cinnamon Spice (purchased at Barnes & Noble café) and I have never been without it since. Living overseas it has been a bit of a challenge to find my favorite brew but I have Amazon.com to help me out.

The tea snob within me wants loose leaf tea only. I’ve tried the tea bags and the sachets but I only want the GOOD STUFF. Last month I couldn’t find loose leaf that would ship to me so I ordered a big bag of 50 sachets.

I have a touch of loose leaf left so I have conducted a little experiment to see if loose leaf is really better than sachets.

Here we go…


Same mug, same amount of cream, same amount of Truvia, same Culligan water boiled in the same kettle. The only difference – the tea.

Timer set for 4 minutes!


Add the cream and Truvia (ssshhh don’t tell my Doctor – I’m supposed to be avoiding artificial sweeteners)


They LOOK the same.


The taste:  He stole the sachet tea!! He guessed right away that the tea he liked was the sachet tea. I said, “Why do you think that?” and he (can’t get anything by this guy) said, “It’s fresher.” Good point!


Conclusion: The sachet tea is fresher. Must complete experiment again with tea of equal freshness. (good excuse to refill my future tea reserves)


Tuesday Tea Time

Tea Time – June 10, 2016


Today’s tea is English Westminster from Tee Gschwendner in Nürnberg.

The Buy

We stumbled upon this shop on a stroll back to the train station at Königstraße 45.

Luckily my family enjoys the occasional “cuppa” so they didn’t mind stopping to sniff a few blends and show me what they thought I should get. I was a little low on my black tea supply and knew that there were only a few grams of English Breakfast left. I decided to give English Westminster a try instead.

The store provides me a typical paper bag but the label is removable and came off very nicely. As you can see, I was able to easily transfer it to this Tea Purple jar I had leftover from South Korea. Of course, I realize that a clear glass jar isn’t the optimal storage solution for your tea investment but I don’t plan to have this in stock for long.


The store offered me a free sample of another chai tea I was interested in. I haven’t tried it yet but it was nice to have a small sampler to take home even though I was not making a huge purchase. The store owner spoke great English and offered me a free plastic teaspoon (in the photo) with my minuscule 50g tea purchase. It was a nice experience! I also tried one of their tea-infused candies and they were yummy!


The tea is basically English Breakfast. A little milder if anything. I drank it on the run and almost forgot I wasn’t drinking English Breakfast. Very smooth. Little to no bitterness (4 minute steep) and no after taste. I will be getting more.

The rating

Very nice quality tea. I give it an 8.2/10 because it is so similar to English Breakfast that I may as well have had the original.



FeBREWary Inspiration – Mug and teapot cozy

Noble Teapot Wrap
To me crochet is like walking. I just do it. Just because I know how to do it doesn’t mean I can teach someone else how. But a few ladies asked me to give them a little class so I picked a mug cozy pattern (Link Here) from the blog; Tutus and Tea Parties, and showed up with some hooks and stash yarn and a lot of anxiety.

At first it was a bit rough. One of the ladies began referring to the first row as the “Satan” row and I thought that was a perfect description. But after spending at least 75% of our time on that first row they soon got the hang of it. I told them that I had to make about three projects before I really knew where I was supposed to insert my hook to make a single crochet and to chain one after turning each row. I didn’t keep either the slanted “purse” or the entire blanket made by crocheting into the back loop only.

I soon realized that these ladies were also anxious. They wanted to succeed and make something they could be proud of. We all achieved those same goals. By the end of the day they each had a nice size swatch and if they weren’t quite finished, they posted pictures that night of their finished projects.

I was so inspired that I came home and made a matching wrap for my teapot with the leftover cotton. This free pattern was designed to fit a Noble Teapot from DavidsTea.com and can be used with any oversized teapot. It also makes a great first project if you are just getting started.

Nobel Teapot Wrap

Yarn: Sugar ‘n Cream Cotton
Hook: 4.5mm
Embellishments: 2 medium buttons, needle and thread


Ch 19
Row: 1 turn and ch1, SC across
Row 2-26: repeat Row 1
Row 27: turn, ch1, SC in next 5 SC, ch9, skip next 9 SC, SC in last 5 SC
Row 28-50: Repeat Row 1
Row 51: turn, ch1, SC in next 2 SC, ch 5, SC in next 11 SC, ch 11, SC in last 5 SC, fasten off.

Weave in ends
Position wrap on your teapot and estimate button locations. NOTE: better to make your wrap snug than too loose.
Sew on buttons
Brew a nice big pot of Earl Grey and ENJOY!