I envy the British for their afternoon tea time with mini cakes and finger sandwiches. I think it's such a great way to break up the day and take a few minutes to self reflect or loathe or listen to other peoples drama. Is that too much?
Queen Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese women who went from a European way of life to the British way is the historical figure noted for starting the tea trend in England. She is the one who grew fond of tea through her own culture and quickly made it come to life in England. Harney and Sons Queen Catherine Tea is a combination of three Chinese black teas: Keemun, Yunnan, and Panyang; Keemun being light, smokey, and fruity, Yunnan as sweet and Panyang as toasty. It's a great sipping (iced) tea for a hot day. The flavor is slightly bold and tannic so it may not be the chugging ice tea of your thirst quenching dreams, but something to cool you off as you float in the pool or eat lunch on the patio. Or perhaps a perfect Afternoon Tea picnic drink with a slice of peach pie?
Juicy August peaches are most definitely in our thoughts this month. Not that you have to hand make anything with peaches, but I recommend buying a treat featuring them at the farmers market! Sometimes a local farm stand will sell their produce in a thoughtfully baked way and you can find comfort in knowing it will be more likely of good quality than not. My family caught the end of day sale at the Rhinebeck market so we hit up the half priced peach pies and could not wait to cut a piece before dinner! I bridged the flavor of Harney and Sons Queen Catherine tea into the whipped cream ontop of the peach pie, which offered a very subtle hint of earthiness. I won't dare eat any pie without whipped cream! Just a teaspoon of crushed tea leaves turned powder will be enough for a cup of whipped cream. Plus the tiny black specks are beautiful against the white cream; the cream is a bit too bright in the picture above, but believe me they are there. You cannot go wrong with this type of tea, it's actually good for moderate, unadventurous tea drinkers who are looking for something simple in flavor. Plus the name takes you into a fantasy world of 17th Century princesses drinking afternoon tea!