Posted in Kafevend Blog

Opening the door on tea

You might have been trying your best to avoid the fuss, but Thursday will be the 1st December. It's time to work on that festive spirit and get cracking with all the present buying, card sending and endless lists and preparation. Children will be looking forward to opening the first door on their advent calendar, but you don't have to be a child to own an advent calendar. Frankly, if you find the run up to Christmas a stressful business, why not take advantage in the recent trend for alternative edible advent calendars? The world of tea has been getting in on the act and the result could be a relaxing start to each December day, coupled with the opportunity to try out some delicious new tea blends.

The advent options

From PostTea comes twenty four decorated and numbered packets of tea, along with twine and mini wooden pegs so that you can create your own line of tea to hang up in the kitchen near the kettle. Each packet of tea is enough to make two to three cups and the packets are resealable if you don't want to use it all at once. The daily selection covers everything from old favourites such as Assam and Chamomile to more rarefied teas like Orange Blossom Oolong and Pai Mu Tan White.

English Tea Shop offers an advent selection of pyramid shaped teabags, housed in numbered boxes that together form a traditional Christmas scene. English Tea Shop source their tea from Sri Lanka and are committed to organic, sustainable and Fairtrade practices. Based in London, their products are available through outlets like TK Maxx and Debenhams and online through Amazon.

Looking for a traditional advent calendar format where you have to search for the right number each morning? Try French tea specialist, Palais Des Thés- a new tea to try every day up to Christmas, either a top quality single estate tea or a herbal variety. True to form, the teas have some great names; how about Grand Yunnan Impérial or Thé des Lords?

The hand crafted option

The hand crafted and vintage oriented online selling and buying community Etsy has a great range of beautifully made tea themed advent calendars. Produced by individual sellers and small companies, you can be sure of an aesthetically pleasing calendar to hang up on your wall as well as some interesting teas to taste.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, it was hand-made advent calendars that first kicked off the tradition of the formalised Christmas countdown. They were certainly around by the mid 1800s and then in the early 1900s the first printed versions began to appear in Germany. The two world wars, with their associated scarcity of resources and rationing, were a time when life's luxuries had to be forsaken and advent calendars were no exception; even tea didn't escape the pinch.

Nevertheless, since then advent calendars have become more and more popular across the world and the recent interest in alternative formats has given us options as diverse as Lego, licorice and pork scratchings; perhaps we'll stick with the ones containing tea!

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