c September 2015 | Garden, Tea, Cakes and Me

Win a copy of How to Make Tea: The Science Behind the Leaf - Giveaway

Ivy Press are offering one of my blog readers the chance to win a copy of the brand new book How to Make Tea: The Science Behind the Leaf by Brian R Keating and Kim Long. To find out more about the book read my review



How to enter
To be in with a chance of winning this lovely prize confirm your entry using the Rafflecopter widget, for extra entries complete the additional tasks. If you can not see the Rafflecopter widget below, you may need to refresh your page using F5. For more information on how to enter you can watch this Rafflecopter video or visit fellow blogger Super Lucky for a simple guide on using Rafflecopter. 

Remember if you enter the competition by tweeting be sure to include the link to your tweet. If any of the links are not working on the widget leave me a comment or tweet me.

Closes 18 October 2015. Winner must respond within ten days of being notified, after which time a new winner will be selected. UK entrants only. For Terms and Conditions click the link on the Rafflecopter widget.

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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How to make Tea : The Science Behind the Leaf - Book Review

It is not often I get the chance to share a book review with you here on my blog, those I have reviewed are either baking or gardening related. So it makes a nice change to have the chance to read a book all about Tea. It also gives me the opportunity to include this book towards this year's reading challenge I am completing.

Book review How to Make Tea


How to Make Tea :The Science Behind the Leaf by Brian R Keating and Kim Long is published by Ivy Press.   Reading through the book you will discover the history of tea, its location it is grown, how it is produced, health benefits and the different types of tea.

There are so many interesting facts within this book, information around the geographical distribution of tea and the types of tea consumed by different countries is truly fascinating. I most enjoyed the chapters of Buying and Storing Tea, The Basic Necessities and How to Make Tea. I did titter to myself whilst reading the Tea in Great Britain section, it made us sound like a nation that constantly drinks tea, accompanied by food or a sweet treat - I think it is fair to say that the author nailed it, pretty much sums up my days. Tea, cake, tea, biscuit, tea, chocolate etc.  

The book starts with a little history around the growing areas in the world including how Britain influence its growing outside of China.  Tea is produced from the Camellia plant, yet we manage to create three main different teas  from the same plant. Black, White and Green which are all the same tea variety but created by completing some all of the processes of tea production. Something I had never realised.

For example White Tea is created when the leaves are steamed, then allowed to wither and then rolled and packaged. Whereas Black Tea excludes the steaming process but includes a rolling and full oxidation and firing process before being packaged.
Extract from How to Make Tea : The Science Behind the Leaf
A very pleasant and informative book to read, and do not be put of by the title 'science behind the tea' the content at the beginning of the book is informative from a science perspective but not overly complicated or confusing. The author certainly delivers when he promised "lays out the facts for the tea-loving non scientist". 

Much has been made in the press about this book, an American telling the world how to make tea? From having read the book and having read some of the articles it is clear that they have never read the book themselves. As the saying goes 'Do not judge a book by it's cover'.

I have certainly learnt a number of new facts about tea from reading this book, some of which will influence my buying, brewing and drinking of tea in the future.
  • Seriously consider buying organic tea - the tea plant can absorb heavy metals from the soil, many established tea growing nations are now also the home to major industry such as China and India. Organic teas are not only checked for levels of pesticides but also heavy metal. I always considered buying organic, but had never consider how heavy metals could play a part in tea before.
  • Water - as the book says Water is the mother to tea. Never brew tea using tap water containing chlorine. Use filtered water or run your cold water for a few minutes then fill a jug and allow it to sit overnight, apparently almost all of the chlorine will have dissipated naturally.
  • Storing Loose Tea -  tea can last between 1 to 3 years but must be kept in the right conditions to preserve it. In an airtight tin, away from moisture, heat and strong odours. Never store tea near coffee.
  • Pyramid shaped tea bags may look gimmicky but actually allow the tea to swell and agitate in the water, something standard tea bags do less well. 
This book is clear that there really is no right or wrong way to make and enjoy a cup of tea, everyone has their own unique methods of brewing that perfect cup. 

Book Review- Ivy Press How to Make Tea

Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose to review. Post contains affiliate link.
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Simple Sewing by Hand - Mollie Makes Kits

Sometimes you just want a quick sewing project, for those times you want to be creative and achieve instant results. With that in mind I turned to a sewing kit.  I have a few of these, I acquired them from a friend who was having a crafting clear out. The kits from Mollie Makes magazine were just missing their instructions, which were easily found online to download.


Mollie Makes Coin purse sewing kit
Making a Coin Purse 
I chose a kit to make a coin purse. I decorated the fabrics included in the kit with a little impromptu contrast cross stitching and some decorative ribbon. A little hand sewing, a blob or two of glue to secure the fabric to the purse clasp and I was all finished.

I now have myself a personalised purse.


Mollie Makes Coin purse sewing kit



www.mrscraftyb.co.uk
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An Autumn Display for the Home - Dried Apple Slices Tutorial

I have created a simple guide to making dried apple slices that can be used to create an Autumn themed Interiors display. Or alternatively dried apple rings also make a great healthy snack. You can get creative by adding your own twist and using some pretty ribbon, you can follow my full guide as a featured blogger at Wayfair




An Autumn Inspired Craft Display

Have you got creative for Autumn? There are lots of wonderful items from nature that can be used inside the home, such as fir cones and leaves

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Chickens in the Kitchen

Not strictly true that there are chickens in my kitchen. However, I do have a fabulous chicken print fabric, which you may recall I used previously to create a funky but practical fabric pin board for the kitchen. It is such a lovely print and my pin board is now rather well covered with reminders and lists. It is a shame not to see the chickens. So with some fabric remaining and an upcycled kitchen chair crying out for a cushion, I spend a little time in my sewing room. The result being this functional chicken print cushion, which looks rather fetching next to the kitchen dresser. Do not look too closely, with limited fabric I was not able to pattern match!






Want to create your own fabric pin board?  Follow my simple Fabric Pin Board tutorial. 



www.mrscraftyb.co.uk
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1930's Vintage Style Interior with a Pink Champagne theme

By now it must be obvious that I have a love of history and heritage. I have shared with you many of my visits to country houses and gardens, including Sunnycroft an Edwardian Villa in Shropshire. Previously they hosted a Gladrags and Handbags event allowing visitors to see up close the vintage clothes within their collection.

Vintage Style Bedroom Pink Champagne
Vintage Style Bedroom Pink Champagne by gardenteacakesandme 



Inspired by this visit along with a challenge from House of Fraser, I have put together my own 1930's Pink Champagne themed mood board using items you can buy today but with a period vintage style. It makes me think of an Agatha Christie play with the lead lady eating chocolates with one hand and a champagne glass in the other. Whilst wearing the wonderful fashions of the period along with a little intrigue too.  

This post is in partnership with House of Fraser.





www.mrscraftyb.co.uk
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