It's always nice
To take your tea with cake...
...So sings my baby's gorgeous toy teapot! It's a catchy little tune permanently stuck in my head on a never-ending loop. (The official term for a song you can't shake is Earworm I learned recently.)
I never used to be much of a tea drinker myself; not until I started taking High Teas at various stunning venues that is. (You can visit some previous posts for the equally fabulous Cristina Re, Chateau Yering and The Langham Hotel Melbourne by clicking on the links.)
There's something about the ceremony of tea drinking that is so relaxing, soul-soothing and down-right enjoyable. Maybe it's Motherhood and all its pressures that have finally forced me to sit down and enjoy the 15 minutes of peace a good cup of tea provides. It is essential to have that respite a cherished cup of tea offers these days. I even appreciate the fact that the kids know not to come near my hot cup, and so they too avoid bothering me while I drink - priceless!
While I have previously reviewed several subscription parcel services for children here on the blog, (See Funky Elephant and Babble Box), sadly, there have not been any for us grown-ups until now.
Did you know there is a subscription service for adult tea lovers called Mr Earl?
I was sent a box of stunning teas to road test here on the blog and I was so excited to test out these fabulous flavours (and scents) sourced from around the world. Receiving this parcel was a little bit of paradise in the post!
Inside my box were three exquisite loose-leaf tea samples: Deitea's No.7 French Earl Grey, the Informal Tea Co's Fresh Mint and Kenko Tea's Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder. (Kenko's brew boasts an impressive antioxidant level 137 times greater than regular green tea!)
All the teas arrived sealed in thick foil packages to preserve maximum freshness and the rich golden appearance of the packaging is just as delightful to experience as the flavours inside.
The blends are an impressive international mix with petals, flowers and leaves sourced from as far and wide as NZ, Egypt, France, the United States and Japan.
Each monthly delivery arrives with a comprehensive sheet detailing the origins, ingredients and specific brewing instructions for each boutique label. There are also details on the cost per gram of your favourite blend which you can then purchase a stock of, from the Mr Earl website.
Tea subscriptions start at $20 for the Tea-Ser package (a one month trial) and a three month subscription is $15 per month (the Tea-Me-Up package). A six month subscription comes in at $13 per month and is appropriately named The Tea Addict. Orders are shipped at the end of each month and shipping is entirely free.
Tea enthusiasts are invited to review their favourite brews on Mr Earl's website. It's an entire tea universe for the dedicated tea drinker!
I am really impressed with the quality and variety of the teas available through Mr Earl, and the presentation and idea of the service in general. The flavours and aromas are simply delicious!
This is a truly fun way to reward yourself every month and I have attached the perfect giveaway at the end of this post for three lucky readers...woo hoo!
No tea drinking moment should be without the perfect cake to accompany the pause. (Ah, those high teas have permanently changed the way I do things these days.)
An ideal tea cake should be perfectly moist, sweet and add to the pleasure of the tea-drinking experience. Here's a recipe that is so simple and basic and ticks all those boxes for the best way to compliment your tea break. I promise you that you will already have all of the ingredients too. (For a hallmark of these treats is that they must be quick to create for unexpected visitor drop-ins.)
A tea cake should be simple, pretty and flavoursome and this one does not disappoint.
1/3 of a cup of caster sugar
1 cup of self raising flour
60 ml (1/4 cup) of milk or soy milk
2 Granny Smith apples (any apples are fine but Granny Smith are renown as the best for cooking.)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon each of caster sugar and cinnamon (or cinnamon to taste.)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin and dust with flour. Spring-form is best for this cake but use a regular tin if you haven't one available.
In a mixer, cream sugar and margarine or butter together and when pale add the egg, flour and milk.
Spoon this mixture into the cake pan.
Peel and thinly slice the apples and arrange on the top of the batter in a decorative pinwheel pattern.
Pour the lemon juice over the apples and sprinkle the extra caster sugar and cinnamon over the top of the cake's surface.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until visible edges of the cake appear lightly raised and browned and the apples look moist and cooked.
Baby Celeste loved making this blog post with Mummy. There were lots of freshly cut apple slices sent her way during the baking process.
Little Missy even learned to say the word 'Apple' for the very first time - clear as day!
(P.S. She loved the cake too - saying "Mmm!" many times over.)
Like to win a one month 'Tea-Ser' subscription to Mr Earl?
Thanks to the generosity of Mr Earl, three lucky Six Little Hearts readers have the chance to win a one month Tea-Ser box subscription to Mr Earl to try for themselves valued at $20 each!
(Total prize pool $60.)
Please share the love! If you know someone who would love to win this prize, please let them know about this giveaway by spreading the word using the social media buttons below. (Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, email and Pinterest - too easy!)
Entry is easy. Just follow the prompts using the Rafflecopter App below. (App may take a few seconds to load.) Please note: Two of the entry requirements are mandatory so be sure to follow the easy steps to ensure all of your entries count. Please play fair as others do take the time to complete all of their entries.
All winning entries drawn are screened to ensure they conform to these requirements and those that do not will be disqualified.
Entry is open to residents of Australia only.
The winners will be notified by email and given 48 hours to respond.
If no response in this time, a new winner will be drawn.
Individual prizes are valued at $20 each and are for a one month Tea-Ser subscription to Mr Earl. (Winners will receive the June box.)
Total prize pool valued at $60.
Prize cannot be transferred, exchanged or redeemed for cash.
The winners' details will be forwarded to Mr Earl for prize distribution.
Six Little Hearts is not liable or responsible in any way or form for prizes that are subsequently not delivered by a third party or arrive damaged or late.
Judge's decision is final.
Are you an avid tea drinker?
What flavour was the best tea you have ever tasted?
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