Tea Love: Instilling a Love of Tea, One Sip At A Time

Archive for January, 2014

Tea Love Talk Today!

I'll Write About My Talk Next Week!

I’ll Write About My Talk Next Week!

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Serving You Some Meow With Your Tea

I own two cats, Celeste and “Fat Cat” Freedom.   They have been with my family since about 2001 and have been a fun part of my family ever since.   Celeste is a feisty cat, always wanting to play and running around like crazy.   Touch her tail, and she will “attack”.   Freedom, on the other hand, is more docile, cuddling up next to you and demanding that you pet her.

Fat Cat Freedom Being Cuddly

Fat Cat Freedom Being Cuddly

Celeste, Fast Asleep

Celeste, Fast Asleep

Now, would you pay to pet these cats while you sip on a hot chai?   Or how about a nice, relaxing herbal?   Maybe some green tea?

People around the world are picking up on the trend of cat cafes, where patrons come and either pay by the hour or pay for their meal and as they dine, play with cats.

The trend started in Taiwan where the first Cat Cafe opened in Taipei in 1998, where many apartment buildings ban having pets.   As a result, people do not get the joys of having cuddly companionship while they sip their tea.

However, the Cat Cafe changed this, hosting cats and tea for paying patrons.   The idea became a fast hit, including for those visiting from Japan.   Who doesn’t like a cuddly cat with them while they sip their tea?

One of the more popular cat cafes in Japan, the Calico Cafe in Tokyo, soon opened in March 2007.   Their cafe hosts about 20 cats with over 17 different breeds.   Patrons take off their shoes, sanitize their hands, place personal items in a locker, and rub their faces in the soft fur of their purring friends.   Toys are strewn about the cafe so that you can play and try to lure the cats into your laps in order to pet them while you drink your tea.   The cafes advertise themselves as a great place for friends, dates, and just a nice place to swing by.   After all, in an area where you cannot have cats in your apartment, why not take a sweetheart to have a cuppa and a cat?

Cat cafes in Japan are very strict, however.   Of course, there is the concern for health regulations.   Having an animal in a cafe while you eat can be an issue.   Then there is also the safety of the animal.   Often, there is a long list of rules and regulations when entering one of these cafes, ranging from not being able to pet the cat at all unless the cat initiates contact to not bringing in outside food and catnip.

The trend started growing, spreading to Vienna, Paris, St. Petersburg, and Seoul.   In Canada, you can even adopt one of these cuddly creatures at their Small Things cafe.

Many of the cafes will use cats from shelters or cats that were once homeless or abandoned, serving a humanitarian effort as well as a good cuppa with a unique atmosphere.

So, if you are traveling abroad and miss your feline friend, make sure that you Google “cat cafes” and see if you could grab a cup of tea and a cute kitty as well.

Downton Abbey = Tea Time!

So, my mom is absolutely giddy – Downton Abbey, the popular television show on PBS about a British aristocratic family going about their drama-filled lives starting with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, is starting back up tonight.   From what I’ve seen of the show, all I know is that Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall in Harry Potter) is in the show,which is enough for me to say it must be excellent.

Obviously, being proper Brits, this family MUST have their tea.   Whether it’s the afternoon tea imbibed between  4pm and 6pm or the high tea sipped between 5pm and 7pm, sure as rain, you can find this elite family sitting down and having their tea to discuss the issues of the time and the drama of their lives.

Violet Crawley, played by Maggie Smith, sitting with her silver teaware for an afternoon tea.

Violet Crawley, played by Maggie Smith, sitting with her silver teaware for an afternoon tea.

Tea companies apparently watch the show too, as they are coming out with numerous Downton Abbey merchandise.   Here’s a small sampling:

Downton Abbey Tea, The Republic of Tea:

Two of the three Downton Abbey teas from The Republic of Tea.

Two of the three Downton Abbey teas from The Republic of Tea.

The Republic of Tea was founded not too long ago, 1992, and has strived to spark a tea revolution in order to get people to sip most tea.   For Downton Abbey, The Republic of Tea has come out with a line of teas, including an herbal English Rose filled with raspberries, roses, and hibiscus flowers, an Estate blend consisting of earl grey,  and a spicy Grantham Breakfast blend flavored with ginger root and Assam tea.

So why not buy some tea and sip away while watching the Crawley family fall apart?

Keep Calm And Ring Carson to Bring Tea, Signals.com:

Keep Calm and Ring Carson To Bring Tea Shirt

Keep Calm and Ring Carson To Bring Tea Shirt

Signals.com’s slogan is to offer “Gifts that Inform, Enlighten, and Entertain”.   They specialize in public television that invoke thought and discussion while inspiring continued learning.

Apparently, the thought here is to get a butler to bring you tea.   I don’t know about you, but I think I can get behind that thinking.

The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook: From Lady Mary’s Crab Canapes to Mrs. Patmore’s Christmas Pudding –

More Than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs by Emily Ansara Baines, Barnes and Noble:

The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook: From Lady Mary's Crab Canapes to Mrs. Patmore's Christmas Pudding -  More Than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs by Emily Ansara Baines

The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook: From Lady Mary’s Crab Canapes to Mrs. Patmore’s Christmas Pudding – More Than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs by Emily Ansara Baines

Wouldn’t you love to serve some smoked salmon mousse with your tea?   How about some crunchy fig and bleu cheese tarts?   Wouldn’t some dark chocolate truffles go so well with the Grantham Breakfast blend from The Republic of Tea?   Emily Ansara Baines gathered recipes that your favorite characters supped on and is offering for you to dine like British aristocrats.    Available in both hardcover and for the Nook, you can have your high tea with a little bit of clotted cream and some scones like The Dower.

What are you drinking in order to prepare for the season premier tonight?

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