Tea Time

Hi Everyone,
I couldn’t blog last week as a family member took ill and had to be admitted to hospital.  I spent all my time there making sure they were okay.  Thankfully they are out now and everything is fine.
With all this going on, I found sitting down with a cup of tea in between visits to the hospital and looking after family and home very calming.  I love tea.  My husband’s fascinated with tea.  In his twenties travelling around Europe he visited some tea houses, upon chatting with the owner asked if he could see how they made the different blends.  Consequently he was taken out the back and shown the process.
With this love of tea in mind, I was very excited to be sent a box of Nature’s Cuppa Organic Tea sometime ago to sample.  Nature’s Cuppa teas are organic, fairtrade and GM free.  It’s just natural tea packaged at the source.  They source their tea from their own carbon neutral tea plantations, the teabags are made with unbleached paper and are biodegradable.  Grown in Sri Lanka at high altitude their teas are naturally low in caffeine.  Friends have enjoyed choosing their preferred variety when presented with the box whilst visiting and my husband and I have been happy trying a different variety every night.
Apart from drinking tea I started thinking about what recipes I could make with tea and found this Spiced Chai Tea Cake from Donna Hay that uses Spiced Chai teabags in the recipe.
Whilst the cake was cooking it filled the house with the fragrance of cinnamon, cardamon and cloves (from the spiced chai teabag)..it smelt like Christmas here.  The cake has a tender crumb and is dotted with sultanas, perfect with a cup of tea.

Spiced Chai Tea Cake

1/2 cup (125ml) boiling water
4 chai spice tea bags
1 cup (160g) sultanas
185g butter, softened
1 1/4 cups (220g) brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 1/2 (225g) self raising flour, sifted
2 tsps mixed spice, sifted
1/4 cup (60ml) milk
sifted icing sugar to serve

Set oven to 160C.  Place teabags in a bowl and pour over water, steep for five minutes. Remove the teabags, add sultanas and let sit for ten minutes.

Place butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale (about five minutes).

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the flour, mixed spice and milk and beat until just combined.

Add the sultanas and tea and beat until just combined.

Pour into a greased 20 x 30cm tin lined with non stick baking paper or your tin of choice and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.  Cool in tin for five minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with sifted icing and serve.

I’m often asked where I get certain products from that people see on my blog or on my Farmhouse Home facebook page.  For this reason I’ve decided to start a ‘Product Love‘ page so I can post information on where to buy things I love that you may also be interested in.

Disclosure:  I was sent a kit of Nature’s Cuppa tea by Undertow Media. This in no way affected my opinion, all opinions are my own.

Catherine x


  1. Jane @ Shady Baker

    What a beautiful looking cake Catherine!I can almost smell it from here, tea is amazing. I was just having this conversation with my mum…I find at different times it provides different things; wakes me up in the morning, refreshes or quenches in the afternoon, calms in the evening. I have not tried Nature's Cuppa, might have to track it down :)

  2. mel

    Hi Catherine,

    Sorry to read that someone in your family took ill, those times are always such a worry and hopefully don't visit us very often.

    The cake looks lovely, I love tea cakes so this is a nice twist. I always remember drinking my first chai tea latte in Prahan on a visit to Melbourne. So delicious but I've never managed to find the same taste anywhere since.

  3. tina

    Better later than never:)

    Tea:) both our subjects this week. Love your photos and love your new 'product love' section.

    The cake looks fab and I'm waiting for an online section where people can order and buy your homemade cakes. Have a good weekend lovely x

  4. noreen

    i'm so happy your loved one is well! and a cup of tea is wonderful anytime. i'm drinking some chamomile tea right now, from a big coffee mug. i'll have to check out the teas you enjoyed. thanks for the recommendation!

  5. hanna

    This is touching, I hope your family members will get well soon. I'm also a fan of different kinds of tea and I hope we can meet in the near future since I'm just two towns away from your home. I will let you try my house specialty which is a tulsi tea almost similar with mercola's. BTW, thanks for the new

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