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Celebrate National Hot Tea Day With Seven Sisters Scones


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Tea has a long standing tradition in the Americas, albeit, it wasn't in the form we think of today (black tea in tea bags). Rather, it was Green Tea, from China. This little known fact is related to rise and fall of tea in colonial America though, and paved the way forward to what we know as tea today. 

In the wee hours of the night/ morning on December 16, 1773 some 342 chests of tea, belonging to the British East India Company, were tossed into the Boston Harbor. The event, known as the Boston Tea Party, sparked defiance against the British King and control (plus taxation of items, such as Tea) coming into the Americas. This tea was mostly Chinese Green Tea, grown in China, transported to London, then exported to the Americas. At the time, tea plantations in India had yet to be developed. It wasn't until the 1800's that tea plantations were developed and tea leaves of assam, ceylon, and keemum were cultivated, grown, and produced into the creations known as tea today. 

In the 1800's, many tried to grow tea, rather unsuccessfully, on various plantations in the south and southeast using tea bushes from China. Today, the Charleston Tea Gardens exists on Wadmalaw Island (and it's worth a visit if you are ever in the area) and if, covid ever departs us, the Celestial Seasonings Factory in Colorado offers tours of their tea (with leaves shipped in from other locals). 

Gradually, tea took the shape that we know it to be. Processed, in tea bags, easily accessible and easily made. No more steeping, brewing, and cultivating the perfect cup of tea *unless one is serious about their tea, that is*. Although, there is a movement to revert back to using loose leaf tea rather than processed tea bags today. More and more brands are coming out with loose leaf tea that one can infuse at home. Home infusers are also more popular with smaller tea shops too, making it easier to brew a cup at home. 

As National Tea Day pounced upon us, I thought back to my history with tea. Growing up, coffee wasn't in our home. It was hot tea. Mom still makes a cup of hot tea using a Lipton tea bag every morning via microwave. I grew up with hot tea whenever I felt ill (and it's still my "feeling unwell/ unsettled" drink of choice). 

Fast forward to college graduation. I had the opportunity to serve a year doing missions work in England. Every day, we had a "cuppa". There wasn't formal tea, in the sense that we think of with Victorian times, but people did slow down, stop their work, and enjoyed an afternoon cup of tea with each other. I did experience formal tea time and have often looked for opportunities to do so here in the states. 

They are few and far between. The Biltmore Inn offers an exquisite high tea that used to be served with mini sandwiches, scones, and various types of pastries desserts. I haven't been in many years so I can't guarantee that all of this still accompanies it. The tea itself was loose leaf. Each participant received their own tea cup with an infuser so that participants could select their own teas and a hot teapot of water. The highlight of this event, besides the actual tea, was always the scones and curd/ clotted cream served with the items. Lemon Curd, Raspberry Curd, seasonal curd- and the cream. Yummy. Scones were always divine too! 

Locally, in the greater Wilmington area, I've found two places that offer tea. One is a French bakery and one is a family owned independent tea shop. Occasionally one of our historic homes offers holiday teas, but covid has ended those events momentarily. 

So, I'm forced to fix and create my tea at home. I have many different types, but mostly prefer Earl Grey and English Black. The Earl Grey that often comes into our homes is made with tea leaves that are suited for the addition of milk or cream, but originally, they were not. English breakfast tea is also the same- suited for milk. Both of these teas have a stronger taste to them that supposedly wakes one up in the morning. I love tea, but it's not the same as the caffeine jolt that coffee gives me in the morning. 

Personally, I don't often add cream or milk to my tea these days unless I need to cut the acid. But I do love adding a bit of sweetness with just a teaspoon of honey. 

Typically, hot tea is reserved in my life for extremely cold days, when my stomach is unwell, when I'm feeling anxious/ blue/ out of sorts, or when I just want to sit in a rocking chair and stare at the scenery. It's not my afternoon drink of choice, but I certainly do love a good cup of tea and love it even better with scones & jam/curd! 

One can make their own high tea- or just a regular cup of tea- at home! Of course, you have to find and select your teas. 

Over at Mommy's Block party, we have loved sharing many teas with you over the past year, including Amora, Plum Deluxe, and Simplicity tea. If you are looking in the grocery store for a good but simple black tea, then check out Twining's Teas and Celestial Seasonings.. and, not my favorite, but Bigelow has been around for a really long time. 

Then, its time for the accompaniment items. You could visit your local bakery for beautiful creations or you can purchase wonderful scones from Seven Sisters Scones. This Georgia based fabulous scone company will ship fresh scones, prepackaged, directly to your door! They are shipped via 2 day FedEX on Mondays- Wednesdays only unless an arrival date is specified. Scones are recommended to be refrigerated for freshness or frozen up to 6 months. 

With Seven Sisters Scones delivered directly to your door, you can create a fabulous tea setting. The Sconies, Jam, & Tea Sampler arrives with 8 sconies (miniature scones), a 9 oz jar of Georgia Jams, a 6 oz jar of clotted cream (yumm!- and hard to find!) and a 2 oz bag of Urban Tea. 

The Sconies, honey, jam, and tea sampler might be more your alley, if you love honey like I do. It arrives with 8 different sconies, a 3 oz jar of Savannah Bee Company honey, and a 2 oz bag of Urban tea.

Of course, regular scone samplers and sconie samplers do exist too, along with create your own boxes and subscription boxes for those special folks in your life (or maybe yourself) who would love to receive some wonderful scones to go beautifully with their cup of tea!

These scones are fabulous and delightful pastries! I warm mine up a bit in the microwave and dive into goodness with flavors like fig and goat cheese, strawberry champagne, and vanilla bean. Both savory and sweet scones and sconies do exist (and gluten free/ vegan options are available too!). 

Whether you are gathering the crew together for an afternoon tea party, or just want a calm whimsical day with hot tea and scones to yourself (I know- we all can dream), save 10% on scones and packages from Seven Sisters using the code word SISTER. 

Go ahead and celebrate National Hot Tea Day. Slow down, brew a cup, and enjoy! 

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