From Hugh Jackman to the Beatles to “the Oprah,” famous faces are popping up related to tea. All this to get you to go ga-ga (or should I say “go Lady Gaga”?) over their tea and rush out to buy some (and inspire various tea accessories like these Beatles-themed ones). Good or bad, it seems to work, at least for awhile…until the next celebrity tea endorsement comes along. So here I present my good and bad reasons for these endorsements (and why you might want to ignore these endorsements).

Celebrity endorsements are common worldwide. (Screen capture from site)

Celebrity endorsements are common worldwide. (Screen capture from site)

3 Good Reasons

There must be something good in this marketing practice, because companies keep doing it over and over. So I put on my thinking cap and also did some online searching. Here are the results:

  1. Gets a big splash of attention from customers.
  2. That big splash very often results in a spike in sales.
  3. The association of the brand with the celebrity continues in people’s minds for awhile past that initial big splash.

3 Bad Reasons

After awhile, I tend to go “ho-hum” when the latest celebrity tea endorsement is announced, such as the one a large coffee shop chain (that is now getting into tea big time) recently ballyhooed. But there are other bad reasons besides customer ennui. Here are the ones I came up with:

  1. Implies that we should all drink the tea the celebrity is endorsing, with little or no information given about the actual quality and value of the tea product.
  2. Encourages “celebrity worship” where we base our life choices on what these famous people like instead of on what we like.
  3. The association of the brand with the celebrity continues in people’s minds for awhile past that initial big splash. (Yeah, this one can be both good and bad. If a celebrity like Lindsey Lohan is pictured with a bottle of ready-made tea in hand and has clearly been partying all night, that image will be linked with the tea.)

Feel free to add your own good or bad reasons for celebrity tea endorsements. Love ’em or hate ’em, I’m pretty sure they’re not going away any time soon.

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Striking fear in the hearts of many this is a dish that is often left for restaurants to prepare. There is no need to fear this dish has been unfairly accused. This simple recipe with its easy tips will make what seems to be a daunting dish quite manageable.

Recipe for Tea Eggs Benedict (photo by Janet Sanchez, all rights reserved)

Recipe for Tea Eggs Benedict (photo by Janet Sanchez, all rights reserved)

4 cups water
1 tbsp Dragonwell green tea (choose a mild green tea with a light colored liquid)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
8 eggs
4 eggs yolks
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup melted butter
2-4 tsp green tea
4 English muffins split and toasted (8 crumpets toasted)
12 sliced of bacon cut in half and cooked through

Heat the water to 170° then steep the tea for about 4 minutes, remove tea leaves. Once tea is ready reserve 2 tablespoons in a separate dish and bring the rest to a simmer. In a bowl that fits on top of the pot used for the tea, place the egg yolks and ¼ cup lemon juice. Blend vigorously with a whisk or an electric mixer until the mixture is emulsified and light in color. Bring the tea water back to a simmer and place the bowl with the egg emulsion on top. Make sure no part of the bowl is actually touching the tea water.

Whisk over the heat for about 1-2 minutes then slowly drizzle in the melted butter. Think of adding the butter the same way you would add oil to vinaigrette, simply pour and whisk at the same time. Keep whisking until the mixture is a consistency similar to pudding, remove from heat.

Bring the tea water to a boil; add in the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Poach the eggs in the tea water for 1-2 minutes or until the whites are cooked and the yolks are runny or desired doneness. [Tip for poaching: crack the egg into a measuring cup; bring the cup tilted on one side into the water and roll the egg white over itself as you finish pouring it in.] At first it will look very disjointed and messy, but give it a minute and you will see it come together.

Once all the eggs are poached, the muffins are toasted, bacon is crispy, and the hollandaise sauce is ready, you can assemble. Place both halves on the English muffin on a plate. On each half place 3 half slices of bacon and then a poached egg.

By now the hollandaise sauce will be a bit thick, so to thin it you will use the reserved tea. whisk in enough to get the desired consistency. Using a spoon pour the sauce over the top of each egg. Garnish with chopped herbs.

Recipe serves 4 people.

See more of Janet Sanchez’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tea time has gone nuts around here. The usual tea time treats such as scones with clotted cream and raspberry preserves have been replaced, at least temporarily, with nuts! Maybe it’s that whiff of Spring in the air. Maybe it’s those cute little stuffed bunnies next to the pink and white mug. Or maybe that Scottish Breakfast tea has just decided for a change of pace. Whatever the reason, tea time will never be the same (until we run out of nuts, that is).

Nutty tea party! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Nutty tea party! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

The nuts in question are from that Victoriana nut lady previously mentioned on this blog. The mix is called “Sweet Hickory” and consists of almonds, cashews, and pecans that have been steamed (not roasted) and then coated with sugar and smoky hickory flavoring. Very reminiscent of those nut vendors I encountered in Germany years ago. The coating was a great balance, not too sweet and not too smoky. And the nut flavors were coming through loud and clear. The question was which tea to serve with them. Not all teas are sufficiently robust in their flavor profile nor as able to “play nice” with other tea flavors as some teas are. After trying some oolongs, green teas, Darjeelings, and even some black teas, the clear winner was one that we have come to regard as a staple in our tea pantry: Scottish Breakfast.

For us, the best way to serve this tea is what many refer to as “British style.” We steep it strong for at least 5 minutes (we have been known to let it steep longer) and add milk and sweetener (sugar is the tradition here, but we switched years ago due to health concerns since we drink so much tea every day). One of the great things about this tea is how the flavors of both the Assam and Keemun black teas blend their unique flavor profiles in the cup. That made us sure this tea would also coordinate well with the flavors in this nut mix. One mouthful and we were sure we’d made a good choice. Two mouthfuls had us oohing and aahing with sheer delight. By the end of the nuts (no, we didn’t eat the whole 8-ounce bagful) and the pot of tea, we were completely content and ready to tackle whatever challenges the rest of the day might hold.

Mix it up at your next tea time with some nuts, fruits, veggies, or other non-traditional tea time treats. You’ll have an experience to remember for sure, good or bad. Enjoy!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

It’s been a while since I’ve been a student, so I don’t know what the curricula is like these days. But there was a time when anyone who had passed from the hallowed halls of elementary school had a fairly thorough grounding in that famous incident in American history – the Boston Tea Party. You know the story, of course. Colonists dress as what we used to call Indians and storm ships in Boston Harbor, dumping tea into the drink as a protest against unfair taxation and whatnot.

Black teas too good to throw overboard! (ETS image)

Black teas too good to throw overboard! (ETS image)

Or so the story goes. Of course, the popular and commonly accepted versions of history are not always one and the same (George Washington and the cherry tree, anyone?) and apparently that’s the case with the Boston Tea Party. Here are a few of the alleged myths that might need some debunking.

Author Ray Raphael has written a book that claims to debunk various myths about the founding of the United States. He takes on some Boston Tea Party myths here. For starters, he asserts that not all colonists celebrated the event and many actually viewed the dumping of the tea as an unsavory act of vandalism that might hurt their cause. No thoughts on what was made of the wastefulness of 340 chests of tea being dumped into the harbor, but speaking as a modern-day tea drinker I always find that aspect a bit unsettling.

Another myth that most people probably aren’t aware of is that tea taxes had actually been reduced around this time. So the rebellion was not about high taxes but rather the fact that colonists didn’t have any say in taxes that were levied on them. As the author notes, land taxes as well as those on the likes of sugar, molasses, and wine were much more significant. Taxes on tea were comparatively modest, and even if they hadn’t been, there was a brisk smuggling trade for anyone who was out for a bargain.

Some time ago I wrote about the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Which is pretty much what the name suggests. But since this site is devoted to tea I wanted to reiterate, as I mentioned in that article, which types of tea were tossed in the harbor on that fateful day a few centuries ago, “the three tea ships contained 240 chests of Bohea, 15 of Congou, 10 of Souchong (all black teas), 60 of Singlo, and 15 of Hyson (both green teas).”

At the attraction’s very own web site they take on some Boston Tea Party myths as well. Look here for a video in which “noted Revolutionary War scholar” Professor Benjamin L. Carp attempts to straighten a few misconceptions.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Easter is a time of rebirth and renewal, when we know that the dormant world around us is reviving and once again budding. Reflecting that at tea time is easy to do with a few key ingredients.

An outdoor setting is best, if possible. (From Yahoo! Images)

An outdoor setting is best, if possible. (From Yahoo! Images)

Here’s how to set the perfect Easter tea table:

Pastel Colors

Just about any color is appropriate here, but it should be in a pastel shade. The lighter color conveys the more bright and sunny days of Spring after the gray days of Winter. You can pick 2 or 3 colors for a scheme here. Pink and green are one option. Blue and yellow are another. Lilac goes with a variety of colors: green, yellow, and orange. Or you can go all out and have all of these colors together, just like the flowers blooming around you.

Traditional Symbols

Symbols of the season reflect that sense of rebirth. Bunnies, chicks, lambs, lilies, daffodils, tulips, and eggs are the common ones. Having plenty of these in ample supply on your tea table will be an assurance of the occasion being celebrated. They can be in the form of statues, pictures, the real thing, or (my personal favorite) made of chocolate!

Location, Location, Location

Just as in real estate, when it comes to tea time, location matters. Weather permitting, try to set up your tea time outdoors. If the forecast shows that this would not be a good idea, be sure the location indoors is well-lit and near windows if possible. Even a rainy day (as long as it’s not too wild and woolly out there) will add a nice air to your Easter tea time since there will be more greenery and floral colors outside this time of year than in Winter (assuming you live in an area where all four seasons are evident).

Setting the Table

Tablecloths and napkins set a tone that says the occasion is a bit extra special. Matching seat cushions or chair covers will enhance that feeling. A centerpiece using some of those traditional symbols above will also set a tone, either more adult or more geared toward younger guests (for example, realistic bunnies versus more cartoon-like bunnies). A plate, teacup, saucer, and water glass at each guest place will be very welcoming. Don’t forget forks, spoons, and knives (depending on what foods you’re serving).

Don’t forget the most important ingredient: a sunny disposition!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

In places like the United Kingdom and to a lesser extent here in the United States green tea is still something of a newcomer, although it’s gained a great deal of popularity in recent years. In Japan, the equation is flipped. While black tea and other varieties are not completely unknown there, the Japanese are best known for growing and consuming one kind of tea – and that would be green.

Japanese teas (ETS image)

Japanese teas (ETS image)

So perhaps it’s not surprising that The World Green Tea Association makes its headquarters in Japan. At their home in virtual space, which thankfully has an English version, they describe themselves, in part, as, “an organization established by the government of Shizuoka Prefecture to further the development of green tea production, culture, and understanding through the spread of green tea’s traditions and knowledge of its healthful and commercial properties.” The Shizuoka Prefecture region, as they remark, is Japan’s top producer and distributor of green tea.

One of the events the group sponsors is the World O-CHA (Tea) Festival. The spring festival was held in May 2013 and the fall festival in November and was the fifth such event. Presumably there will be more. Among the events that made up the festival were a green tea contest, a trade fair, and tea industry and culture exchange tours to various points throughout the region. Find out more about past and future events here.

While trade organizations often tend to be geared more toward members of the industry they serve, The World Green Tea Association’s web site is worth a look even if you’re a more casual observer. I made a quick skim through the site and found a variety of articles on various aspects of tea. Some are rather basic, such as cooking with tea or making desserts using tea. Others are kind of off the wall, including brief primers on using tea trees to make a fence, doing bonsai with tea trees and cooking with tea leaves that have already been used to make tea. All that and much more is located right here.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When Johnny Carson was host of the Tonight Show (yes, I’m that old), he would do a countdown of 10 top this or that. I am now shamelessly “borrowing” that routine here (as others have done before me) with my top 10 ways those print version tea books are much better than those e-book versions.

Image viewing this photo on a tiny e-reader screen. Ugh! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Image viewing this photo on a tiny e-reader screen. Ugh! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

10 Taking your time – Gee, maybe it’s just me, but that printed book, especially one about such a topic of interest as tea, makes me want to slow down and take my time, leisurely absorbing the color photos, page layout, and general ambience that the e-book version doesn’t have. Call me nostalgic, old-fashioned, or just downright dinosauric – I will answer “Yes, yes, and yes, and proud to be” and then leisurely turn another page.

9 Larger size – We’re not talking about font size here. One area where e-books shine is being able to decide how large you want the print to be. Here, though, I mean the overall size where you can see that entire tea garden photo in all its large-sized and brilliantly colored glory, sometimes in a “spread” that goes across two pages. You can see lovely setups of teapots and tea leaves and all things tea without having to either reduce the size or view a small chunk at a time.

8 View of pages – Sure, in an e-book version you can jump from one page to another and do searches, but if you’re taking your time (as stated in #10 above), you may want to look back at an image or section in chapter one but not lose your place in chapter 17 and even be able to look at each back and forth quickly to see and compare things. Tea books are often meant as reference, not straight reading, but you will also find yourself referring back to something.

7 Less jumping around – Not to contradict myself, but printed books, even those about tea, are less distracting (no hyperlinks tempting you to jump to some other point in the book before you’ve fully read the part you’re currently looking at). But if you do need to find something, you can reference the index. Yes, the index – a vanishing art (creating an index can often take longer than writing the book did).

6 Static layout – Those e-books change depending on the device, so you miss half of the experience in a tea book (at least, one that is well-laid out and meant to have this visual appeal). In the printed book you see a beautifully thought out arrangement of text and images that doesn’t change. This is especially good for keeping photos with their relevant text (not just the photo captions).

5 Availability – Due to digital rights management, you could find yourself unable to even download the book, let alone read it. The printed book can usually be ordered online and shipped just about anywhere.

4 True ownership – That tea book is yours – all yours – assuming you bought it. With an e-book, you just have an e-file on a device that can go “poof!” if things go wrong (yes, they can be downloaded again, but what good does that do you at midnight while you’re reading in bed in your PJs?).

3 Lendable and resellable – You can lend the book to someone. Why on earth you would want to is another matter. An e-book covered by digital rights management cannot be lent to anyone outside of your own account. Printed books can also be resold were the e-books cannot since, per #4, you don’t fully own them.

2 Sensory elements – There is just something about the smell of a book that you can’t get from that e-reader. It’s the paper and the ink and any odors absorbed from where the book was made plus where you bought it from and from in your own home. Think of that new car smell or when you walk into a spice or perfume or candle shop. Plus there is the feel of that book – the cover, the pages, the very motion of turning them. Aaahhh!!

1 No batteries – Your printed book will never have the batteries run down and need a recharging.

While e-books are fine for some topics, I’ll stick with printed versions for my tea books!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I never gave much thought to the concept of wild tea until recently. When I ran across Wild Tea Hunter, a book about wild tea. Which I haven’t actually read yet. But one of the interesting claims the author makes for the book is this one, “Discover how wild and ancient tea trees contain a multiple of the nutrients of standard farmed tea and be introduced to the unique energetic qualities found only in the tea trees in the wild.”

Which is an interesting notion and not one that I’ve given much thought to before. I’m not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to the finer points of tea cultivation, but I’d gather that, if tea plants grew wild prior to the time that they began to be cultivated, then they must still be growing in the wild in some places today.

If you go to the Internet to search for wild tea, you’re likely to find something that’s not Camellia sinensis, the plant that produces “real” tea. There are plenty of other plant-based beverages that are given this designation, largely due to the fact that they’re made from various plants collected in the wild. I’d venture to say that “real” wild tea is a relatively rare commodity. Which makes sense, give that tea plants that are grown in the wild and accessible must surely be vastly outnumbered by the domesticated ones.

Some research on the matter turned up a few examples of retailers selling what is apparently “real” tea from plants growing in the wild. One of these is described as a Wild Mountain Black Tea, from Taiwan, a place that’s much better known for its output of oolong than black tea. Another merchant offers three wild varieties, of different types, all of which seem to hail from China.

As for this notion that wild tea has a more pronounced effect on the body’s chi or qi, it’s a concept that turns up in more than one place. Which doesn’t necessarily make it true, of course, but makes it worth considering. Here’s a rather in-depth article from a few years back that tackles this exact topic. It’s worth a look, but to summarize very briefly, wild tea is thought to grow more “in harmony” with nature and thus absorbs more “natural energy.”

It’s a concept that’s also mentioned in this brief article from the International Tea Masters Association. Which also notes that numerous wild tea trees, some of them quite old and large, are still found growing in remote regions of China’s Yunnan province. One of these was analyzed some time ago by Chinese scientists and was found to be 112 feet tall and more than 1,800 years old.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Awhile back I wrote about if your teapot could talk, what kind of things it would say (actually, having several teapots, it turned into quite a chatter session). Since then, I expanded my wonderings into the imaginary “minds” of teapots and what commentaries they would make on their lives as teapots. So, here goes.

Trying to keep those teapots from coming to blows! (Kyusu on left via Yahoo! Images, Little Yellow Teapot on right by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Trying to keep those teapots from coming to blows! (Kyusu on left via Yahoo! Images, Little Yellow Teapot on right by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

First of all, not all teapots speak English. Some don’t even speak any language known to us humans. They are conversant in “teapot speak” (borrowing a term from George Orwell’s 1984 here – “new speak” was what was left of the language after government officials kept declaring certain words to be non-existent). Some examples of this special form of communicating is “Tooooot TOOOOOT tootle!” (my “teapot speak” is a little rusty, but I think it means “The water’s too hot – you’re cooking, not steeping, those tea leaves!”).

Many teapots are very linguistically talented and, due to spending time around us humans, tend to pick up whatever language we are speaking. In our house, it’s English, French, and a bit of German, with a Spanish phrase or two thrown in for good measure. For our purposes here, I’ll stick to English.

What Teapots Say About Your Choice of Tea

  • “About time you steeped something good in me. That cheap stuff was giving me a migraine.”
  • “A teabag? Really? Why are you even bothering to use me? Just dunk that thing in the tea mug over there. He has no sense of pride, so you can treat him in whatever disrespectful manner you choose.”
  • “What’s all that stuff mixed in with the tea leaves? Looks more like a dehydrated stew mix than something to be steeped in me.”
  • “Whoa, that Earl Grey is really strong. You’d better scrub me out really good after this.”

What Teapots Say About Your Steeping Methodology

  • “Ow, ow, ow, and OUCH!!! That water is too hot!”
  • “Watch those fingernails or you’ll scratch off my gold trim.”
  • “Don’t let those tea leaves stay in me after the steeping is done or the tea liquid will get too strong and bitter and that will make my cranky – and you don’t want to see me when I’m cranky!”
  • “That tea ball infuser is too large and will never fit. And the tea leaves won’t infuse properly. Just dump them in loose.”
  • “Oooooo… hee hee hee… the blooming tea tickles!”

What Teapots Argue About

  • “Handles are supposed to be on the side opposite the spout – not on top or at a 90° angle like many kyusu.” “No way! My handle is at 90° and works just great.” “Oh yeah?” “Yeah!” (They tend not to be the greatest thespians in the world.)
  • “That spout shape is not drip proof. You’re dribbling everywhere.” “A good dribble is fine now and then.” “Only in basketball!” “Oh, droll, so very droll!”

Next time you’re steeping tea, lend an ear to your teapot. It could be trying to tell you something!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday morning is the day you must indulge and treat your self. With only a few precious hours before you must say goodnight to your weekend, live it up. Take a few extra minutes to really enjoy your breakfast and start your day right. Tea waffles with a wonderful cup of tea to accompany you on this the last day of freedom before the impending work week begins again. Get the restaurant experience in the comfort of your own home. What could be better?

Tea Waffles (photo by Janet Sanchez, all rights reserved)

Tea Waffles (photo by Janet Sanchez, all rights reserved)

3 cups flour (cake flour, 00 flour, AP flour)
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Combine all dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

3 cups milk
1 tbsp Black or Oolong tea (substitute white tea to make a lighter colored batter)
¼ cup melted butter
6 eggs separated
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium sauce pot heat milk to the proper temperature for the tea being used, steep for 3-5 minutes. Melt ¼ cup of butter in the microwave then combine it and the vanilla with the milk. Using an electric mixer, blend the egg yolks and sugar together until they become a lighter color of yellow.

On low speed slowly pour the tea milk into the egg yolks. One everything is combined; on low speed slowly add in your dry mixture until smooth. With an electric mixer on high beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold in the egg whites to the rest of your batter. This will look like a lot of batter but it does not spread out as some can so you will need to fill the waffle maker almost to the edge for each waffle.

This recipe makes 6-8 waffles.

See more of Janet Sanchez’s articles here.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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