Anyone who reads this blog knows we are tea drinkers. More specifically, we are tea party throwers and afternoon tea takers. I’ve found there aren’t many quarreling sisters and discouraged little mathematicians whose days can’t be brightened a bit by some quiet time with Mama and a warm cup of tea in a fancy china cup. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see if this mood lifting method continues to work in our house once this baby boy grows up a bit. I might just have to change the afternoon tea time up a little, but for now, we are all lace and honey and tea parties. SO, I was absolutely delighted when I heard of a tea business started up by a working stay at home mom who lives in my neck of the woods. She blends her own tea, steeps her own candles with local beeswax, AND she just opened up her etsy shop and launched her website. Stay at home mothering combined with creativity and working is usually enough to get my attention, but combine it with tea and candles (I mentioned on a previous post that I have a daughter who focuses better with a scented candle in the schoolroom…), and I’m really listening. I browsed her etsy shop, since I am an etsy lover, and made a mental note to purchase some of her wares at some point, and then went on about my usual routine, UNTIL Deborah of this wonderful tea business, Carys Organics, happened to gift me with a couple of her tea blends to try out, and now that I’ve tried them, I’m hooked.
These teas were beautiful. I mean, they looked like potpourri that I would be totally happy to set out in a Mason Jar in my home for decoration (of course I can’t do that seeing that my baby or a kid even would probably just eat the leaves….sigh….).
While I am a tea drinker, I am in no way a tea expert. I don’t time how long my tea steeps. I know this is what you should do, and I don’t measure it, either. I know this totally takes away my credibility to many, but I have to keep this real. So, when I make tea, I do what I do while cooking: I just do it, and when it is over, I generally don’t recall exactly how I did it or what I did. Please accept my humble apologies if you are a serious tea brewer. I know that was probably painful to read. BUT, with that said, the tea smelled rich and tasted wonderful.
The first blend we tried was called Autumn in a Cup, which was spicy and warm and everything I want in a seasonal drink. The kids said the tea was “applesaucey”, “and cinnamon-y”. We have a family tradition of making lots of applesauce in the fall, and so I was so glad to hear the tea made them think of that. I added local honey to their tea, and they just loved it.It made me think of all the good fall things, including spices and apples. We used it as a homeschooling opportunity, to discuss fall. The tea leaves even look like fall with their rich colors.This is the kind of thing I look for as a homeschooling Mama: creative ways to teach my kids something. We crack a lot of books around here, but seeing things hands on, talking about real things so we can learn more about other real things…now that is one homeschooling perk. Having the freedom to learn about a season over a cup of tea named for that season, well that is just fun. And now my teacher mind is running away with other seasonal activities and ideas for treats…have I mentioned that I love fall?
The second tea I tried was Deborah’s chai blend. It was dark, rich, and different from other chai’s I have tasted, darker and fuller. I hope that makes sense. It was like other chai teas, but grown up and sophisticated a little more. Chai is my favorite tea, and this blend was spicy, and very, very rich. Perfect for a cool day. When I poured in a cup of steamed milk, it became a serious treat. I’m not sure about the caffeine content here, but since chai generally has a higher caffeine content, I felt no shame in announcing this tea was just for Mama, and since the kids had thoroughly enjoyed their Autumn in a Cup with honey, they didn’t mind in the least. Moms want to have their own treats sometimes, right?
When I sat down to write this blog, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to say other than “I love homeschooling. I love tea. And I love homeschooling with tea.” But now, I think that the main message I’d like to put down here is this: I love being a mother who connects with other mothers who are trying to do the same thing I want to do: Love my children and create something I love while doing that. I’m so glad we spent a morning with Carys Organics tea blends in our little school. My kids finished the tea party by discussing what fall is all about to them, and I really feel like we all got to know each other better. Not one tea cup was chipped in the process, which was pretty cool, since we are often chipping cups and plates and everything else around here. It’s so easy for me to get in Crazy Mama mode during our days at home, and to try to work our way through school work and house work quickly, and to fail to enjoy quiet, sweet moments together. I’m so glad we had tea time together this morning. My laundry is piled up to a ridiculous height, but it was well worth it. Goodness knows, there will always, always be laundry around here, but I keep trying to remind myself that there won’t always be cute little kids holding on to tea cups with big smiles on their faces.
Sorry if this post was all too warm and fuzzy, BUT it’s tea and Autumn and sharing with family. The warm fuzzies have just taken over.
And in the spirit of sharing and encouraging, what are your favorite small, local, or stay at home mom businesses/products? Please do share in a comment!