Lillian Vernon Blog

A Treasury of Fine Gifts Since 1951

Warm Your Heart with Tea

It’s the beginning of a whole new year and a brand new decade! The hustle and bustle of the holidays is past, and it’s time to get back to life as usual. January is National Hot Tea Month, and we have some great ideas to help you celebrate your favorite tea. After water, tea is the second most consumed beverage the world over, and for good reason. There are so many delicious varieties, with some teas that come from sources other than the tea plant, that the possibilities for enjoying a cup of hot tea are almost endless. The perfect cup of tea starts with choosing a top quality tea product and brewing it properly. True teas should be brewed with boiling water, while herbal teas – also known as tisanes – are brewed with simmering water. Follow this handy brewing chart to guarantee success the next time you brew a cup. Storing your tea in an elegant bamboo tea box is a great way to keep things organized, fresh, and easy to access.

Tea isn’t just for drinking, either; it can be used to supplement your spice cabinet, as a flavorful addition to marinades, sauces, dry rubs, and dressings, as a broth for soups, as poaching liquid, as a substitute for water when cooking rice and other grains, and as a fun addition to cookies, scones, pastries, and cakes for those who love to bake. You can even infuse tea leaves directly into milk for panna cotta, custard, or pudding, or into homemade ice cream. Here are some of our favorite ways to recover from the busyness of the holidays and celebrate Hot Tea Month:

If you love Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks, you’re in luck! We found a copycat recipe from Snacks and Sips that delivers all the flavor of this iconic coffeehouse drink at a fraction of the price. Try this recipe at home the next time you crave this latte.

Starbucks Copycat Chai Tea Latte

2 chai tea bags

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons honey

Cinnamon and nutmeg (for garnish)

Brew tea in a small pan on the stove according to this brewing chart. Add in the milk and honey, reducing the heat to medium and warming the milk. Using a frother or immersion blender, blend until frothy (optional but highly recommended). Transfer to your favorite novelty ceramic mug or cup and serve topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.

For a fun brunch idea, this recipe for green tea cookies is sure to please. Light and delicate but packed with flavor and healthy goodness, these little treats will put a smile on your face when you pair them with your favorite hot tea.

Green Tea Cookies

1 cup room temperature butter

1/3 cup green tea simple syrup

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

In a large bowl, mix together the softened butter and syrup. Mix until smooth. Stir in the egg yolk and lemon juice. Blend in the flour and baking powder. Mix until well blended and dough is created. Wrap dough in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a floured surface, roll out half dollar size balls of dough. Press dough balls onto ungreased baking sheets spaced one inch apart and flatten tops slightly with fork. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven until the tops are dry and the edges begin to brown slightly. Store in an airtight container at room temperature after cooling.

What would a Sunday brunch or ladies’ tea be without those cute little cucumber sandwiches? Here’s our choice for an easy to execute recipe for cucumber tea sandwiches to serve at your next soiree.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

1/2 seedless cucumber

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature or mayonnaise

1/2 cup coarsely chopped watercress leaves

16 slices of high-quality white bread

1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts or radishes

Salt

Peel the cucumber and slice extremely thin. Place the cucumber slices between two paper towels to remove any excess moisture while you move on to the next step. Combine butter or mayonnaise and watercress in a small bowl. Blend as smoothly as possible and then spread a thin layer of the mixture on each slice of bread. Butter only one side of each piece of bread.

On each of the buttered slices, place four cucumber slices. Arrange the slices with one in each corner to make cutting easier. Sprinkle each piece of bread with salt and place one tablespoon of alfalfa sprouts onto each piece.

Use a long sharp knife to cut away the crusts on each of the sandwiches and cut the large sandwiches into petite triangles or squares. Finally, arrange the sandwiches on an attractive platter or tiered serving tray. You can garnish the serving tray with grapes or parsley for added flair, or simply serve the sandwiches as they are positioned.

After all the heavy foods you may have consumed in the last few months between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, why not warm your heart with tea during National Hot Tea Month in January? Invite a few friends over to enjoy a light brunch or lunch with tea and sandwiches, finishing with delicate tea cookies for dessert. We can’t think of a better way to start the new year off right.

You Might Also Like

5 Budget Friendly Ideas for a Romantic Evening

FALL in Love with Your Home: Five Personalized Ways to Spruce Things Up for Autumn

Get Spooky with Lillian Vernon…Your Halloween Headquarters for Gifts, Ghouls & Goblins

Dog Trainer to the Stars, Tamar Geller, Will Teach You How to Coach Your Best Friend

All is Merry and Bright: Introducing Our Personalized, Keepsake Ornaments for the Holidays

FIVE PET SAFETY TIPS TO FOLLOW ON HOWL-EEN

Show Off Your Style With Our Personalized Napkins for All Occasions

Lillian Vernon Debuts Exclusive Design Partnership with Anders Ruff

Impress for Less: TWENTY Lillian Vernon Exclusive & Personalized Gifts Under $10!

Set Your Thanksgiving Table in Style with Lillian Vernon

Set a Spooky Stage for Your Halloween Party with Lillian Vernon

Oh Man, Why Didn’t I Think of That? The Quintessential Gift Guide for All of the Men in Your Life

Deck the Halls with Personalized Christmas Stockings! New, Classic, and Fun Designs for the Whole Family, Even Your Pet

Making a List, Checking it Twice: Lillian Vernon’s New and Personalized Gifts for Children

Design and Shine with Five of our NEW and Versatile Gifts for Your Home

Here Comes Santa Claus! Our Top New Stocking Stuffers for Kids

Make it Personal: 13 Great Gifts For Her Starting at $6.99!

Good Things Come to Those Who Bake! Tips and Kitchen Essentials for Baking up a Storm during the Holidays

Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader: The Best Personalized Books for Kids

Let the Games Begin! New and Classic Family Games for the Holidays

Keep it Simple! Entertaining Tips and Gifts to Breeze Through the Holidays

May Your Holidays Be Sweet: Introducing our Personalized Collection from Dylan’s Candy Bar

Tips for Throwing a Holiday Cocktail Party on a Budget

Hitting the Road for the Holidays? Check Out Our Top Tips for Traveling with Kids

Top Tips on How To Nurture Your Budding Artists

Christmas is Coming! New Ideas to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays

Everyone Loves a Sale! Shop our Top Sale Items Under $20 (Many are Under $10!)

Get Santa’s Little Helpers Organized with our Top Five Tips to Staying Tidy

Ladies Who Brunch: Our Exclusive Quick and Easy Quiche Recipe for the Holidays

Make Plans for the New Year: Stylish Photo Calendars for Friends and Family

Ring in 2017 with a Sweet and Chic Cakes & Cocktails Party!

Nesting into the Near Year: Foolproof Tips for Starting the Perfect Fire

Share the Luck ‘O the Irish and Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Lillian Vernon

Take a Break! Packing Tips and Essentials for Your Spring Getaway

Some Bunny Loves You! Tips for Easter Baking With Your Little Ones

Here Comes Peter Cottontail…Our Top 10 Tips for an Egg-cellent Easter Egg Hunt

7 Tips for Fun & Safe Trick-or-Treating This Halloween

10 Fall Activities for Your Fall Bucket List

20 Things to be Thankful For This Thanksgiving

15 Christmas Home Decor Ideas

10 Tips to Help You Stay Productive At Work (Even Though It’s The Holidays)

9 Christmas Desserts You Can Leave For Santa

How To Make New Year’s Resolutions (And Not Break Them)

4 Fun DIY Calendar Ideas

10 Creative Ways to Say “I Love You” On Valentine’s

How to Organize Your Closet

6 Meaningful Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Staycation vs Vacation | Which one is right for you?

It’s Time to Get Spooky!

Show-Stopping Fall Tablescapes

Post-Holiday Organizing Tips

Top Wedding Gift Ideas for 2019

Make Easter Special for Every Child

Gifts to Suit Any Mom

Family Fun Month – Make the Most of the Last Days of Summer

Trick or Treat – Spooky or Sweet?

It’s Entertaining Time!

Stuff the Perfect Stocking

Timeless Christmas Décor for Every Taste