Tag Archives: tea

3 ways with…Chamomile

3 ways with… is a series exploring different ways of brewing and sipping our favourite drink. I’ll be picking out some of my favourite Cosy flavours and showing you a few different ways to enjoy them. Click here to see previous posts from the series.

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Chamomile is by far one of the most popular herbal infusions around. With a list of associated health benefits as long as your arm, it’s not hard to see why. Not only that, Chamomile tea has certainly stood the test of time – it was one of the drinks of choice in Ancient Egypt and may have been enjoyed even earlier than that. The name Chamomile comes from an Ancient Greek word for ‘ground apple’. If you’re wondering why our ancient pals named a dainty little flower after a fruit, it’s thought it is probably because the Chamomile flower has a similar scent to apple blossom.

You know those health benefits I mentioned? I really wasn’t joking. Over the years Chamomile has been associated with a whole host of perks and uses. Egyptians used it to cure fevers, the Romans burnt it as incense, and closer to home English brewers even used the flowers as an ingredient in beer in the Middle Ages. These days many people drink Chamomile tea at bedtime as it is reported to help calm the nervous system and promote healthy sleep. It is also reported to soothe stomach cramps, skin inflammation, treat hair and nails, and even fend off coughs and colds.
0439 Cosy Chamomile Box OUTLINED_FIR_AWOur delicious organic Cosy Chamomile infusion is  subtly flavoured with liquorice for a hint of sweetness, and it’s so good that to be honest, I’d probably drink it even if it wasn’t supposedly good for me. It’s lovely just as it is with a trickle of honey to sweeten the deal, but add some extra bits and pieces and you can transform your regular cup o’ Chamomile into so much more. Let’s get cracking with 3 ways to drink Cosy Chamomile…

 

In a hot toddy…

There is nothing better on a chilly winter evening than a comforting hot drink, all the better when it includes warming spices and a drop of brandy like this one does. Plus, if you’re feeling under the weather this is the ultimate pick-me-up. Simply brew your tea (you’ll want it nice and strong for this recipe so leave it for a good 5 minutes), squeeze in a wedge of lemon, a dash of brandy (I’ll leave it to you to decide how much) and sweeten to taste with honey. Serve with a cinnamon stick and enjoy it while it’s still hot. You can leave out the brandy if you prefer, it’ll still be delicious.

As an iced tea…

Picture by Drizzle and Drip

Picture by Drizzle and Drip

If the hot toddy was the perfect winter brew, then this is its summer cousin. The best part about this Chamomile iced tea with apple and passionfruit recipe? It is just so simple. Keep the ingredients on hand and you’ll never have to wait too long for a wonderful refreshing alternative to hot tea.

In a cocktail…

Picture from Bon Appetit

Picture from Bon Appetit

It wouldn’t be a ‘3 ways with…’ post if we didn’t feature at least one tea based cocktail. If you haven’t thought of pairing the unique taste of Chamomile with gin, lemon, and honey, then you’ve been missing out. This Bon Appetit recipe for a Chamomile Gin cocktail is the perfect zesty and refreshing happy hour treat. We’re sold!

Unlucky for some..

This morning I managed to forget my umbrella during a rain shower, trip up the stairs, and get an ink stain on my favourite shirt. All within the space of an hour. It wasn’t until I’d dried myself off, rubbed my bruised shin and dabbed the ink out my top before I realised the date. Friday 13th. Now I’m not superstitious I swear *cough* but given my morning of misfortune, I thought it couldn’t hurt to arm myself with a few lucky charms. Y’know, just in case.

Whether you’re superstitious or not, maybe these will stop you from facing the same fate as me (and my favourite shirt). Extra lucky for you is that I’ve already tracked down the best charms around, so you’ll be sorted for Friday 13th May 2016. If a black cat crosses your path then you’re on your own.

Four-Leaf Clovers

Pattern by Crochet Spot

Pattern by Crochet Spot

The four-leaf clover is probably the most universal sign of luck around thanks to its association with St Patrick’s Day. Druids traditionally carried a three-leaf clover, or shamrock, to help them see evil spirits. Four-leaf clovers were extra special as they offered magical protection. Don’t worry about them being tricky to find though – because I’ve tracked down this handy crochet pattern for you folks to knit your own. Phew! It’s super simple and easy to make, so whip one up and pop it in your bag, your pocket, or pin it to your coat and you’ll be lucky all day long.

Horseshoes

Horseshoes have long been considered a lucky charm and used to ward of evil spirits. There’s a legend which tells the tale of the Devil and St Dunstan, a blacksmith. The Devil asked for Dunstan to shoe his horse, but the crafty saint nailed the shoe to the Devil’s foot instead, which was understandably fairly painful. Dunstan only agreed to remove the shoe if the Devil agreed he would never enter a house with one nailed outside.

Horse jumper by Marks & Spencer

Horse jumper by Marks & Spencer

If you don’t fancy sourcing an actual horseshoe and nailing it to your front door, then this horse jumper is a good alternative. It’ll also ward off those evil spirits when you leave your house, a handy bonus.

Mint Cosy Peppermint Box OUTLINED_FIR_AW

This one may be lesser known than some of its mainstream cousins, but mint is no less of a lucky charm. Traditionally used to attract good spirits and bring good fortune to the person carrying it, folks of yesteryear would attach a sprig to their coat for luck. For a less pungent (and more refreshing) alternative, why not relax with a nice cup of Cosy Peppermint instead? Let’s face it, you’ll need it after the day you’ve had.

For the love of tea

Recently we’ve had a lot of posts about the ways you can use tea to be more than just a drink. I’d like to think it’s been interesting, and you’ve all enjoyed thinking about your favourite cuppa in a slightly different way, but I think it’s time we slow it down a bit, take a step back, and take the opportunity to show tea itself a little bit of love.

Care to join me?

Good.

There’s something truly magical about a good cup of tea. No matter what mood you are in, no matter what’s going on around you, tea will always make it better. Sometimes it has to be a classic cup of English Breakfast because, as we all know, it’s the beverage equivalent of a hug from your mum (best way to start the day). But what about all the other kinds of tea out there? Here’s my suggestions for just when and where each tea will enrich your life and lighten up your day.

I want to go on a health kick, but I’m not quite ready for kale…

Green tea. Green tea all the way and back again! This little beauty of a drink has all kinds of health benefits attributed to it but without a whole lot of evidence to back it up, let’s just stick to this simple fact: Green tea is yummy, it’s a genius way to drink more water and in Cosy Tea’s Lemon and Jasmine blends it’s something a little bit different. Ease yourself into that healthy lifestyle with buckets and buckets of Green tea.

I’m exhausted, but my mind just won’t stop whizzing!

First things first, I’ve been there. I feel your pain. It’s like your body is made of lead, but your brain is an excited puppy that heard ‘walkies’ out of nowhere. There are lots of tricks you can try here. Switch off the tele at least 20 minutes before you go to sleep. Read a book for a while. Picture yourself in the most calming location you can imagine. These aren’t exactly scientific, but they’ve worked for me in the past, and all of them can be even more effective with a good mug of Chamomile tea. It’s very floral and light, so you won’t feel bloated in bed and it’s got all kinds of herbal goodness too. James Wong, the ethnobotanist, waxes lyrical about the antihistamine properties to Chamomile in his book Homegrown Revolution – just inhale the steam from your cup as you drink. Two for one goodness there!

I want to reduce my caffeine but I don’t like fruity teas.

We are just going to ignore the disdain for fruit teas there, because woah. But fair enough, some people aren’t a fan. In which case get your chops around Rooibos. This South African tea is naturally low in caffeine but it has a real flavour of its own. I personally think it tastes like cake, but most people look at me as though I’m bonkers when I say that, so I might be on my on there. Either way, it is unequivocally less caffeinated than the ol’ English Breakfast, so sup away merrily dear drinker.

When I’ve eaten a big meal, I don’t really fancy coffee. 

You and me both sister! Or brother. Or whatever. The last thing I want to chug after a fancy pants dinner is something as strong and rich as coffee. In these cases it’s all about the mint tea. Supposedly, there’s something about mint that helps us digest food, so it’s actually a very sensible postprandial beverage choice. It’s also a lovely fresh drink that will clear your palette, and reduce the risk of garlic repeats later in the night. Because nobody wants that.

What’s your favourite tea?

Oh I thought you’d never ask! When it comes to quantity, thirst quenching and mood lifting it has to be English Breakfast – I’m a classic bird with simply ways. But, for a bit of a treat, a mid-afternoon bit of luxury, I’m always going to go for Earl Grey. It’s light and refreshing with slight floral tones that make it feel much more fancy pants (it is named for an Earl, after all) and extravagant, but it’s still just tea! You can’t tell me that’s not genius, now can you?

So anyway, there’s a bit of tea love for all of you fans. What’s your favourite cuppa?

We wuv you!

Happy Friday, lovely people! I hope you’ve had a wonderful week, and managed to stay warm in this chilly February weather. Speaking of February, guess what day tomorrow is? That’s right, it’s Valentine’s Day! Whether you are a fan of this celebration or not, you can’t seem to get away from the pink and red lovehearts at the moment. But it’s always good to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us and in honour of that sentiment, we’ve found you a romantic rose-bedecked tea cosy, because after all, sharing a pot of tea is a such a sweet way to say ‘I love you’.

bouquet1

This beautiful design by Louise Fitzpatrick incorporates a simple knitted body with a bevy of gorgeous crocheted flowers sewn to the top. Knitted in classic stocking stitch, the main part of the cosy is very simple, with the first sections worked flat and then joined into the round for the top shaping, leaving gaps for the handle and spout.

bouquet2

The really fun part is making the flowers for the top. Based on a pattern from www.funfreecraftlimited.com, this is great for newbie crocheters. As long as you can chain, slip stitch and double crochet, you can make these roses. And if you use a fun colourful yarn, like Louise did, they come out with the subtle variegations that real flowers have. Genius!

bouquet3

There’s a fair amount of sewing involved with this design, but it’s so worth it – aren’t those buttons delightful? Make sure to give yourself a full afternoon to dedicate to the construction and take your time when you position the flowers. A little bit of effort goes a long way and after all, you want this cosy to show just how much you care about your people.

Happy Valentine’s Day tea fans, we love you all!

How do you like it?

We always like to hear novel ways of enjoying Cosy…

Lucy discovered Cosy Chamomile Tea in a bar when looking for a non-alcoholic beverage whilst planning her friend’s hen do. (Probably sensible we think.) It helped that it was served by a ‘cutesy’ barman!

Adventurous Edgaras from Lithuania likes his Early Grey with brown sugar and fresh lime accompanied by a hot cheese sandwich after stuntriding on his motorbike.  Not sure about this one, but we’ll give anything a go….!

Jenny likes to put her feet up after work with Earl Grey and a big slice of cake, whilst Kate prefers hers in a mismatched cup and saucer with a fresh magazine and some Joni Mitchell in the background. That sounds more like our cup of tea!

Tell us how you like your tea and we’ll send the best entry each month a sample of Cosy Organic Tea and a lovely little limited edition Cosy badge!

Cosy’s in fashion

Cosy Blueberry Tea

The original hand-crafted tea cosy collection that features on our packaging was whisked from its closely-guarded wardrobe here at Cosy Tea HQ and treated to a mini makeover recently. 

The cosies starred in a glamorous photoshoot for the Autumn / Winter season.  Complete with new accessories and styling, they really looked the part! Our models (porcelain-pale English beauties) did a great job of showing off the designs and we think you’ll agree, they’re bang on trend for next season.  

Cosy on display at Caffe Culture

Cosy Decaf (third from left) makes its debut appearance as part of 'Cosy Corner' at the Caffe Culture tradeshow, May 2011

The latest addition to the Cosy wardrobe – the Decaf – was also revealed in full, after a sneak catwalk preview at London’s glittering Caffe Culture exhibition back in May.

The new Decaf design features a flattering ‘wave lattice’ knit, made by Nicola Haisley. 

Rumour has it that fashionista daahlings are already fawning over the new look, and top industry experts are predicting copycat versions appearing on the high street soon….

 Fancy knitting your own tea cosy? Check out our free patterns!

Happy Customers

Though we’re quite a modest bunch really, we do feel that Cosy Tea deserves to sing its praises without embarrassment. That’s why we get quite excited when lovely fans say lovely things about it! Here’s a few of the latest comments we have received.

Name: Anneli
Fave Cosy Tea: Rooibos
“The vanilla explodes in your mouth! I could drink this all day…”

 Name: Molly (food blogger)
Fave Cosy Tea: Lemon Green
“The delicate straw colour looked pure and inviting and the balance of green tea and lemon was perfect. The taste was clean and fresh and endowed me with a sense of calm at the end of a long day.” 

Name: Kate
Fave Cosy Tea: Earl Grey
“I want to give your branding a hug! Lovely stuff.” 

Name: Lucy
Fave Cosy Tea: Chamomile
“I didn’t fancy an alcoholic beverage, but with such a funky display of teas on offer I wasn’t the least bit embarrassed to order a nice cup of chamomile tea. It was such a lovely cuppa, I took the little paper tab off the tea bag string and vowed to look you guys up online straight away!”

 Thanks for all your feedback. Flattery will get you…well, a nice cup of tea!