Tuesday 14 July 2009

Great Taste Awards!

Kingfisher Tea is very proud to have received Great Taste Award Gold Stars from the Guild of Fine Food for two of our teas...Ceylon Ratnapura and Rooibos Orange Eucalyptus!
Check out http://www.finefoodworld.co.uk/content/GreatTasteAwards/86.html for more info on this year's awards. We look forward to bringing you more award winning flavours in the future!

Tuesday 12 May 2009

Kinsale Ceramics Teapots

Oh, my! It has been a very long time since I posted. I'd like to say that I have been too busy, but really, let's put it down to writer's block.
So my new idea is that I'd like to highlight some tea related artists and craftspeople.

Last year at the RDS Craft Show, we met Adrian Wistreich of Kinsale Pottery and Arts Centre in Co. Cork. Adrian did what many people only dream of doing - he left the corporate rat race behind for a life of art, learning, teaching and beauty. Adrian makes very imaginative and innovative teapots, as well as other ceramic art. He also teaches ceramics and host a variety of other creative courses at the centre.

We think that his teapots are amazing and hope that you take a few minutes to look at his work on the Kinsale Pottery and Arts Centre website:


I'd like to think that I will follow in his footsteps one of these days and, now that I have left the corporate rat race, will begin to realise my own creative reality!

Tuesday 10 March 2009

Tea Bath Bomb Recipe

Another way to enjoy your favourite scented tea! Make your own Bath Bomb!
It is quick and easy and you will know there aren't any harsh chemicals in a bath bomb you make at home.
Make sure to do a little skin test first to make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. We wouldn't want you to immerse yourself in a soothing bath and end up all itchy!

Tea Bath Bomb

1 heaped tsp aromatic tea (we suggest: Earl Grey, Lemon Sencha Green Tea, Rooibos Orange Eucalyptus, China Jasmine Green Tea, China Rose Black Tea)
1 tbsp citric acid powder (from a health shop or chemist)
3 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
10 drops essential oil (we suggest: lavender, rosemary, lemon, rose) (from a health shop)
1 tsp plant-based oil (vegetable or almond oil)

Make sure that the bowl you are using, and your hands, are completely dry - otherwise the bomb will start fizzing. In a glass bowl, mix the citric acid and bicarbonate of soda together.

Add a few drops of essential oil and 1 tsp dry aromatic tea, along with the vegetable or almond oil. Mix everything together with a metal spoon. (If you just want a fizzy bath salt, only use half the almond oil and don't follow the next step below - simply pour your mixture into a clean, dry jar)

Place the biscuit cutter on top of a sheet of baking paper. Put the mixture into the biscuit cutter and press down with the back of the spoon.

The oil now needs to evaporate so the bomb can set as a dry, hard block - leave for a minimum of 30 minutes and preferably overnight.

STORAGE: Store in tin foil to keep out moisture.

Rooibos is a great skin tonic – relieves dry and irritated skin, sooths acne and eczema, is gentle and refreshing. Our other tea suggestions have soothing aromatics and the natural anti-septic properties of tea.

This is adapted from a recipe from “Grow your own Drugs” on BBC2

Saturday 14 February 2009

Special Offer! Mico's Favourite Tea!

Often, at the farmer's market, people ask me what my favourite tea is. Well, I drink Earl Grey most every morning, but my real favourite tea isn't a best seller at the tea stand. And I think it should be!

Gen Mai Cha is a Japanese Sencha Green Tea with toasted rice (sometimes they will add popcorn, but I think this isn't as good - I am a Gen Mai Cha purist).

You get the clean grassy flavour of the Sencha and a roasty, toasty flavour from the rice. It is my first choice for a late morning / early afternoon cup. Warming, soothing and always leaves me happy.

I think most people just aren't sure if they want to try it - the flavour is hard to describe - but lots of people love it. Especially if you are looking for a green tea that is a little different, but not fruity, this is a great one!

So, in the spirit of shameless self promotion, if you want to try Gen Mai Cha, just order anything from www.kingfishertea.com and then in the comments section when you order, just write Free Sample of Gen Mai Cha, and I'll send you a 50g bag to try for yourself.

I am trying to convert others to the joy of Gen Mai Cha! So be adventurous, try something new, and if you don't like it, pass it on to someone else who might. Either way, write to me about what you think of the flavour.

Enjoy your cuppa!

Tuesday 3 February 2009

Springtime and Nettles!

We have about 6 inches (15cm) of snow on the ground here in Southeast Ireland (and in most of the country), but spring is starting to arrive in small steps. The tulips are inches above the ground and one has a flower bud nestled in the cocoon of leaves. Birds are singing, courting and looking for a good nest spot. The grass is starting to get long in the garden and the weeds are waking up. Early Spring (late winter) is a great time for a cup of hot tea while looking out at the rain (or snow), as well as a great time to thing about spring cleaning - of house and body!
So, to that end, I am going to share some information on a hated weed that springs up in the damp and exposed areas - The Stinging Nettle!
While you can use them fresh to good effect, it does take some time and care to avoid those stinging hairs. Very young nettles can be quite nice in a soup or even fried in a light tempura batter. But here I'll mostly talk about dried nettles, since that is how we sell them.

Dried Stinging Nettle looses its sting and instead brings great health benefits and amazing versatility. The flavour is similar to spinach, so I like a fairly light infusion. I also prefer it at room temperature (maybe that is strange, let me know how you like it best). You may find it nice with a little lemon and honey.

Nettle is very rich in iron, protein, potassium, and vitamins A, C, D & K. Nettles purify and nourish blood, build liver, kidney and adrenal functions.

They can also help with allergies, although it contains histamines, so best to check on your particular allergy before using it to relieve this ailment.

For women, Nettle can be effective in PMS relief and functions as a diuretic. It also is beneficial for pregnant women and increases milk supply in nursing mothers.

Nettle stimulates circulation, also good on these chilly early spring days. In addition, it relieves aches caused by arthritis, rheumatism and gout.

Nettle has antiseptic properties which help fight infections, so it can be helpful in fighting coughs, colds and congestion.

In addition to all of these wonderful health properties, Nettle tea can also be used in the garden. A strong nettle infusion can be sprayed on plants as an effective aphid deterrent, while being safe to the plants and animals in your garden.

So enjoy your spring and enjoy your nettles!

Thursday 8 January 2009

New Year, new flavours!

Hi All!
It has been nearly a month since I last wrote and I am sure that you have been as busy as I have been over the holidays. And we have some new treats to bring you this year...

We are introducing Sampler Sets - a range of teas in smaller packets (25-50g) all wrapped up together. These are a great way to try out a few new flavours or to give an interesting gift. I have the descriptions up on the website today, but will have photos up next week.

Another addition to the website this month will be a Special Offers section. This will include teas and tisanes which we are discontinuing or of which we have ordered too much. Some are also teas that we feel are too similar to other teas in the assortment. Prices are up to 50% off and we offer 100g and 250g bags for most types of tea. There are some good flavours here, so get them while you can!

We will also be adding new accessories, so keep an eye out for these, too!

Kingfisher Tea wishes you a Happy New Year!

Friday 12 December 2008

Happy Christmas!

Tis the season for warmth and merriment! And lots of hard work before we all get a well deserved break with our family and friends.
We just finished the RDS Craft Fair in Dublin last Sunday and overall, it was a good show. We sold out of nearly all of our teapots and only have a few of our lovely cups with strainers left. We also sold out of all but two of our special Christmas teas, so get some Winter Apple (cinnamon and spiced apple) or Rooibos Chai (warm spices and mellow rooibos) to enjoy in from of a roaring fire!
So a good Craft show - lots of work and long hours, but we get to see returning customers, meet new tea lovers and share our love of tea with the crowd. We also enjoy seeing all of the lovely artists and food artisans again and see their new work over the past year.
I picked up some beautiful gifts this year, though I think the selection is a bit more careful this year (and we are making a few gifts - Colm also makes furniture and he is whipping up some lovely solid wood cutting boards for friends and family - take a look at his portfolio at www.hassettdesign.ie), spending our money wisely is key!
Best quote overheard from a customer at a jewelry stand, "I just got tired of all of the rude shop girls and decided to do all my shopping here at the craft fair this year instead!" Customer service is always better when you are dealing with the creative force behind a small business. In these difficult economic times, it pays to be good to your customers! We certainly appreciate ours!
We wish you a very happy Christmas, Channukah, Solstice or Holiday this winter season!
All the best to you and yours,
Mico and Colm