Welcome to Tea Time with Liv!

Come in and savor the flavor. Begin your experience or enhance your knowledge of tea. Share a cup with a friend, have an impromptu tea party with your children, or just sit back and relax.

Earl Grey Shortbread

Shortbread is a biscuit type cookie that is not meant to be served alone. As a cookie it is to be crumbly and delicate. Pair it with fruit or cream.

Try this shortbread with a tasty twist.

Earl Grey Shortbread

2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (not imitation)
1 tbsp fresh orange zest
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup corn starch
4 tsp Creme Earl Grey tea from Teaporia
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp raw sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat 2 more minutes. Add the vanilla extract and the orange zest.

Sift together flour and cornstarch. Combine the flour, corn starch, Earl Grey tea and salt. Gently stir the flour mixture(1 scoop at a time) into the butter and sugar until just incorporated.

Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a cylinder shape, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice cookies about 1/4 inch thick and dip each cookie into the raw sugar and bake for 9-12 minutes, or until they are lightly golden. Shortbread will keep in an airtight container for about a week.

Makes about 30 cookies.

Try these shortbread cookies with Raspberry Pecan Preserves from Teaporia and serve with a Creme Earl Grey tea from Teaporia

Olivia Vidal
© 2009
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

Serving Tea Properly

As a young child you probably reminisce about the time when you sat your favorite dolls and stuffed animals or even friends around a table for a tea party. As an adult you can still enjoy a lovely tea party. Today's adult tea party can be a casual gathering or a formal affair. No matter what the occasion you want to serve a proper tea.

If this is to be a casual gathering, buffet is the proper serving style. For your casual buffet you need to set a buffet table (or similar) with the tea service - cups, saucers, spoons, dessert plates, forks and the napkins. You will want to provide cookies, scones (can be found at Teaporia), tea sandwiches, cakes such as cupcakes (try a red velvet cupcake mix from Teaporia) or petit fours. Allow each guest to serve themselves.

On a buffet table or sideboard, lay out your tea. (You may also want to serve coffee or some other beverage as an alternative. You will need a full service of each type of beverage with a tray.) Beginning in the center of your table set your cookies, petit fours, scones, etc. Now going in both directions on the buffet table place the eating utensils, the napkins, a bowl of lemon wedges, sugar, creamer, and finally your tea or coffee service with cups and saucers on or next to it.

If you intend to have a formal affair, then your guests will be seated at a properly set table similar to a dinner party. A formal tea setting has a dessert fork, knife, and teaspoon must be set on the table. The dessert plate is set in the lead spot with the saucer and teacup on top. During a small intimate party, the hostess will serve the tea from her seat. During a large formal gathering, tea will be served by standing to the right of each person when pouring. When serving, ask guests how many "lumps" (sugar cubes or spoons of sugar) they would like. Place the sugar into the cup prior to pouring tea, using a spoon or serving tongs (never use your fingers to reach for sugar cubes). Next, pour the tea into the teacup using a strainer to catch loose leaves. The teapot can be kept warm using a "tea cozy," a padded covering for the pot or by setting it on a tea warmer, lit by a votive candle, for the duration of your tea party.

There is an order in which tea party foods are to be eaten. First, scones or muffins, then sandwiches, and lastly, sweets. These need to be served or arrange accordingly. If serving on a 3-tiered server, place the scones on the top tier, savories and sandwiches on the middle tier, and
desserts on the bottom.

When choosing a teapot, pay special attention to the spout. The top of the spout should come up to the same level as the top of the pot so the pot can be filled without tea spilling out of the spout. Also look at the spout opening. More elongated ones are less likely to drip. Round pots are the easiest to clean out. When selecting one, run your fingers up the inside of the pot. Avoid pots with a prominent ridge on the inside as the wet leaves will catch there when you try to scoop them out.

When making tea, boil water in a tea kettle and pour it into a ceramic or porcelain teapot. Tea should not be steeped in a tea kettle as this is only for boiling water. Also I caution against a metal teapot. This can affect the taste of tea, will cool the water more quickly, and lead to improper steeping of your tea. This is why a ceramic teapot is to be used. Use fresh, cold, non-distilled water in your teapot for optimal flavor. Swirl hot water around the teapot to warm up the the ceramic. This warms the pot prior to adding the tea leaves and water for the tea. Pour out the hot water used for warming the pot before adding tea leaves. Add one teaspoon of tea leaves per cup into the ceramic teapot, plus an additional teaspoon "for the pot". Remove the kettle from heat right after it comes to a boil, and pour six ounces per cup into teapot. Use a tea strainer such as an Empress Tea Strainer from Teaporia to catch tea leaves. All tea to steep per recommends for tea type. You can refer to Brewing Tips for recommended times and water temperature. If serving more than 1 tea flavor make sure to use a tea valet to identify the tea flavor for hostess or guests.

Casual or intimate tea parties require a invitation. This sets the tone for your gathering. Be sure to indicate the type of tea party you are hosting on your invitations. This way your guests are properly prepared to attend your special gathering. Have an RSVP date on the invitation and follow up with those who have not contacted you. Even with a proper RSVP plan to have unexpected guests. Our lives are busy and situations change. Because of this guests may forget to inform you of their change.

Whether this is your first or tenth party, planning ahead will make for a stress free and memorable party for everyone.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009 - 2010
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

Did you know?

... Tea is the most consumed beverage second only to water.

Did you know you can join Teaporia absolutely free? Free! No activation fees, no first purchase requirement, no kits to buy, no recruiting requirements. Absolutely FREE!

Teaporia is a great complimentary business for those who party for a living or those just wanting to start a new venture of their own. We offer fabulous loose teas, great mixes such as scones and brownies, and beautiful accessories.

Join my team and learn how to build a fabulous business sharing the most consumed beverage second only to water.

Sell our product how you choose - online, home parties, one on one, or any other creative ideas you have to starting that new business you always wanted.

As a little girl I had tea parties for fun. As an adult I still have tea parties for fun!

I have tea parties for a living. How about you?

Olivia Vidal
© 2009 - 2010
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

National Hot Tea Month

January is National Hot Tea Month and is also considered the height of the cold and flu season.

Ginger tea is said to help with the relief of congestion as well as Peppermint tea for sore throats, Raspberry Leaves for nausea, Chamomile to calm anxiety, and many others are reported to help with other health issues.

Theanine is an amino acid derivative commonly found in tea. On 21 April 2003 the Brigham and Women's Hospital released details of a research project which indicated that theanine may help the body's immune system response when fighting infection. The study included a four week trial that included 11 coffee drinkers and 10 tea drinkers. Each consumed 600ml of coffee or black tea during the four week trial. Analysis found that the production of antibacterial proteins was up to five times higher in the tea drinkers than the coffee drinkers.This was an indicator of a stronger immune response.

Did you know one cup of white tea contains the same amount of antioxidants as 10 cups of apple juice.

Next time you reach for a cup of tea try White Mischief from Teaporia. This is a white tea that will keep you coming back for more! Pomegranate and guava flavors jump out in every sip.

It takes only 3 minutes of brewing time for the antioxidants in tea to be released in your cup so have a cup today!

Order yourWhite Mischief tea from Teaporia and all your favorites!

Olivia Vidal
© 2009 - 2010
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

Apple Spice Shake

Next time you reach for a delicious shake, try an Apple Spice shake

2 cups vanilla ice cream
2 teaspoons Apple Spice tea from Teaporia
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp. cinnamon


Warm milk and steep tea as directed. Strain leaves. Combine ice cream, milk infusion and cinnamon in a blender. Mix ingredients until fully blended.

To Serve:

Pour in a glass and if desired, top with whipped cream

If preferred you can combine all ingredients including loose tea leaves.

Makes 1 16oz shake. Adjust accordingly to make multiple glasses to share.

Order your Apple Spice tea and all your favorites!

Olivia Vidal
© 2010
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

Chamomile Tea

Very aromatic with a fruity tending floral flavor. Chamomile is often sipped for relief of ailments ranging from toothache to insomnia.

Chamomile is a daisy like flower for which is made into a tea after it has been dried.

Because chamomile does not come from tea leaves, it is an herbal tea. As an herbal tea chamomile is naturally decaffeinated.

Chamomile is best served with a slice of fresh lemon and honey.

Chamomile has several benefits including:

Revitalize tired, achy, or puffy eyes. Soak two tea bags in warm water and place them over your closed eyes for 20 minutes. The tannins in the tea act to reduce puffiness and soothe tired eyes. Cold chamomile works well on puffy eyes too.

Chamomile tea is a natural sleep aid. Have a hot cup of chamomile tea 30 minutes before bedtime.

Let chamomile tea steep, then place in a facial steamer. Your skin will appreciate it.

Enjoy a cup of chamomile made from either loose tea or teabags from Teaporia

Order yours!

Olivia Vidal
© 2009
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

Tea Ball Infuser

A tea infuser performs the same function as a tea bag. Most tea infusers have spherical bags of tea in them when purchased. The infuser is generally a small mesh or perforated metal container or covered spoon that holds tea leaves, in varying sizes to brew single or multiple servings at once. Common shapes for infusers include spherical, conical and cylindrical. One style of infuser is a split sphere with tong-like handles to open its mesh container.

The infuser is placed in a cup or pot of hot or boiling water, allowing the tea to brew without loose tea leaves spilling into the pot or cup. A rod or chain is commonly attached to the container of the infuser to make retrieval from the pot or cup easier. Infusers with large holes may not catch all the leaves, requiring the use of a tea strainer to remove the remaining pieces.

Made of stainless steel, these 2" infusers are dishwasher safe. For best results, fill the infuser half full to allow the leaves to expand. Remove promptly when the tea has steeped to desired strength.

Purchase your tea ball infuser at Teaporia

Olivia Vidal
© 2009
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

Tea Grades

Did you know orange pekoe tea is not a flavor but a grade? This is your common black tea in tea bags on store shelves.

The word comes from the Chinese word pek-ho which refers to the down-like white "hairs" on the leaf and also to the youngest leaf buds.

'Orange' which is often mistaken for the flavor is used as a term because of Holland's House of Orange, the royal family of the first European country to import tea and a name connected with high quality tea. This is not a definitive definition but a common accepted definition. An alternative definition is in reference to the copper color of a high-quality, oxidized leaf before drying, or the final bright orange color of the dried pekoes in the finished tea

Grading is done to indicate the size of the leaf and does not indicate its quality (which is determined primarily by taste). While it is true that in general grading - quality, the size of the leaf can play a role in determining the characteristics of the resulting tea.

Leaves of irregular sizes come into contact with water, they are going to infuse their flavor at varying rates. This means your tea is going to taste different each time you brew it. The grading system is in place to achieve some level of consistency in taste and appearance.

Here is a
Grade terminology
  • Choppy - Tea that contains many leaves of various sizes.
  • Fannings - Small particles of tea leaves used almost exclusively in tea bags A grade higher than Dust.
  • Flowery - A large leaf, typically plucked in the second or third flush with an abundance of tips.
  • Golden Flowery - Tea that includes very young tips or buds (usually golden in colour) that were picked early in the season.
  • Tippy - Tea that includes an abundance of tips.

Whole leaf grades

The grades for whole leaf orthodox black tea (in ascending order) are:
  • OP - Orange Pekoe - Main grade in tea production. Can consist of long wiry leaf without tips.
  • OP sup - Orange Pekoe Superior - Primarily from Indonesia. Similar to OP.
  • F OP - Flowery Orange Pekoe - High-quality tea with a long leaf and few tips. Considered the second grade in Assam, Dooars, and Bangladesh teas, but the first grade in China
  • F OP1 - Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade Leaves - As above but with only the highest quality leaves in the F.O.P classification
  • GF OP1 - Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe First Grade Leaves- Higher proportion of tip than FOP Top grade in Milima and Marinyn regions; Uncommon in Assam and Darjeeling.
  • TGF OP - Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe - Tea with the highest proportion of tip; Main grade in Darjeeling and Assam.
  • TGF OP1 - Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe - As above, but with only the highest quality leave in the T.G.F.O.P classification
  • FTGF OP - Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe - Highest quality grade. Often hand processed and produced at only the best plantations. Roughly one quarter tips.
Broken leaf grades
  • BT - Broken Tea - Usually a black, open, fleshy leaf that is very bulky. Classification used in Sumatra, Sri Lanka, and some parts of Southern India.
  • BP - Broken Pekoe- Most common broken pekoe grade. From Indonesia, Ceylon, and Southern India.
  • BPS - Broken Pekoe Souchong - Term for broken pekoe in Assam and Darjeeling.
  • FP - Flowery Pekoe - High-quality pekoe. Usually coarser with a fleshier, broken leaf. Produced in Ceylon and Southern India, as well as in some parts of Kenya.
  • BOP - Broken Orange Pekoe - Main broken grade. Prevalent in Ceylon, Southern India, Java, and China.
  • F BOP - Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe - Coarser and broken with some tips. From Assam, Ceylon, Indonesia, China, and Bangladesh. In South America coarser, black broken.
  • F BOP F - Finest Broken Orange Pekoe Flowery - The finest broken orange pekoe. Higher proportion of tips. Mainly from Ceylon's "low districts".
  • G BOP - Golden Broken Orange Pekoe - Second grade tea with uneven leaves and few tips.
  • GF BOP1 - Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1 - As above, but with only the highest quality leaves in the GFBOP classification.
  • TGF BOP1 - Tippy Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1 - High-quality leaves with a high proportion of tips. Finest broken First Grade Leaves in Darjeeling and some parts of Assam.
Fannings grades
  • PF - Pekoe Fannings
  • OF - Orange Fannings - From Northern India and some parts of Africa and South America.
  • FOF - Flowery Orange Fannings - Common in Assam, Dooars, and Bangladesh. Some leaf sizes come close to the smaller broken grades.
  • GFOF - Golden Flowery Orange Fannings- Finest grade in Darjeeling for tea bag production.
  • TGFOF - Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Fannings.
  • BOPF - Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings - Main grade in Ceylon, Indonesia, Southern India, Kenya, Mozambique, Bangladesh, and China. Black-leaf tea with few added ingredients, uniform particle size, and no tips.
Dust grades
  • D1 - Dust 1 - From Sri Lanka, Indonesia, China, Africa, South America, and Southern India.
  • PD - Pekoe Dust
  • PD1 - Pekoe Dust 1 - Mainly produced in India.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

Teapot or Tea Kettle?

Did you know there is a difference?


A teapot is a vessel used for steeping tea leaves or a herbal mix in near boiling water. Teapots usually have an opening with a lid at their top, where the tea and water are added, a handle for holding by hand and a spout through which the tea is served. Some teapots have a strainer built-in on the inner edge of spout. A small hole in the lid is necessary for air access inside to stop the spout from dripping and splashing when tea is poured. A tea connoisseur will usually warm the teapot by rinsing it with boiling water and then draining it completely before making tea.

Tea Kettle:

A kettle is a small kitchen appliance used for boiling water in preparation for making tea or other beverages requiring hot water. Kettles usually have a handle on top, a spout, and a lid. Sometimes stove-mounted kettles also have a steam whistle that indicates when the water has reached boiling point. Kettles often resemble teapots, but are used to boil water, not to brew tea.

To properly serve tea with a teapot add warm water to the teapot, swirl around, and empty. This will warm the teapot and keep the water warm longer than not. It will also not stun the tea leaves which some believe can effect the taste.

A good teapot keeps brewing water hot for faster infusion, and it retains the heat so the steeped tea stays hot.

When choosing a teapot, pay special attention to the spout. The top of the spout should come up to the same level as the top of the pot so the pot can be filled without tea spilling out of the spout. Also look at the spout opening. More elongated ones are less likely to drip. Round pots are the easiest to clean out. When selecting one, run your fingers up the inside of the pot. Avoid pots with a prominent ridge on the inside as the wet leaves will catch there when you try to scoop them out.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

January Flavor of the Month

JANUARY is National Hot Tea Month

...and it is also considered the height of the cold and flu season. Since tea contains thiamine, drinking a few cups may help strengthen your body’s immune system and help fend off that cold.

The Specials for the month of January are:

25% off all Herbal and Fruit Teas!

Sip a cup of Chamomile with a Pure Clover Honey Stick and fresh lemon. Fabulous on a cold evening or when nursing a cold.

Visit Teaporia and order your favorites.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken

Make a fabulous Fried Chicken that will blow everyone away. Great for anytime of the year.


1 lemon
1 quart very strong tea (about 4 oz loose tea brewed to directions in 1 quart of water. Try Monk's Blend by Teaporia)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
8 chicken legs and 8 thighs (can substitute 2 whole chickens)
1 quart ice water


4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups masa harina
2 tablespoons crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
1 tablespoon chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 eggs
1 cup buttermilk

Vegetable oil, for frying (can substitute with other oil such as peanut if preferred)

Prep and cooking directions

Zest lemon fully. Quarter lemon and put the lemon zest and quarters in a saucepan. Add tea, sugar, and salt set aside for brine. Simmer mixture over medium-high heat until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add 1 quart of ice water and the chicken. Brine the chicken in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Drain the chicken and blot dry.

Combine 2 cups flour, masa harina, crab boil seasoning, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the 8 eggs with the buttermilk. Put the remaining 2 cups of flour in a third bowl. Place side by side starting with 1st flour, buttermilk mixture, and remaining flour mixture.

Roll the chicken in the flour, then the egg mixture, and then the crust then put the legs and thighs in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet.

Fill a large deep pan with enough oil to completely submerge the chicken. Heat oil over medium heat until it reaches 300 degrees F. Add the chicken and cook until it is golden and the juices run clear, 15 to 25 minutes. Drain the chicken on a rack.


Olivia Vidal
© 2009
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

Blueberry Pecan Preserves

Blueberry Pecan Preserves

Using the purest of fruit, San Saba adds only enough sugar in its preserves to bring out the tastiest award winning flavors that they are known for. With generous pieces of their large chunky fruit and their tasty pecans, these preserves are sure to win you over too!

Enjoy with a scone or on toast. Warm and pour over vanilla ice cream. Perfect anytime of day.

To order your Blueberry Pecan Preserves, visit Teaporia today!

Olivia Vidal
© 2009
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv

Happy New Year!

I wish you all a wonderful 2010!

Olivia Vidal
© 2009
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv