I have had the privilege of living in many states across America. Every time we move to a new location, I take pleasure in learning about the history of the area and trying the foods of that region. Which is why I developed a taste for sun tea with hummus on rice cakes in California, sweet tea and pecan pie in the south, ice-tea and crab cakes in Maryland, and hot tea served with scones in Virginia.
It makes sense to me that Bigelow's nickname is America's Tea. I have used it in every brewing method I have learned in my travels and the rich full bodied flavor is delicious no matter how it is prepared. While the tea I drink has remained the same, the tea “moments” have changed drastically from state to state.
Our biggest change came when we moved from Virginia to Nevada. I fell in love with “high teas” while living in Virginia. We regularly attended formal teas and hosted a weekly tea in our home. After we settled into our house in rural Nevada, we held a tea for our new friends. I had tea pots filled with some of our favorite Bigelow Teas: Cinnamon Stick, Raspberry Royale, and Plantation Mint. When I asked each of our guests what tea they would like I was met with the same answer: “No thank you, I don't like tea”. I began to panic, but then I realized that our guests had probably only had plain black tea and had never tried flavored teas before. So I added French Vanilla Creamer to the Cinnamon Stick tea and offered samples. Many of our guests decided that they liked tea after all.
While I would love to think that I am having an impact on Nevada, I have to admit that Nevada is having an influence on us and it is reflected in our tea moments. My kids still enjoy pulling out the china for a tea party, but we rarely host formal teas; if anyone is wearing a hat when we do host a tea, it is most likely a cowboy hat.
While I used to look forward to my weekly tea party, now I look forward to my daily cup of tea. I sit at the kitchen table, where I can watch our horses play in the back pasture.
My scones have changed since moving to Nevada too. We need something a little hardier to sustain us after working outside on a cold winter day, so I add oat flour and almond meal to our scones and biscuits. Instead of “frou-frou” scones, I now make scones that will “stick to your ribs”.
I like adding tea to my recipes in place of dairy products because my oldest son is lactose intolerant. Some non-dairy milk alternatives have a strong flavor that detracts from the recipe. Water doesn't have a distracting flavor, but it doesn't bring anything either. By matching a flavored tea to the other ingredients in the recipe, I can use a liquid that is complementary and results in a delicious dairy-free dessert.
For my Cinnamon Almond & Oat Scones, I make an extra-strong tea by steeping 6 bags of Bigelow Cinnamon Stick Tea in 3/4 cup of water. I squeeze all of the liquid from the tea bags to get every bit of the rich flavor.
When my son saw me rolling out the dough for scones, he excitedly asked if he could pull out the china. I couldn't say no to an impromptu tea party with my little guy.
We enjoyed our scones and tried the new varieties of Bigelow tea that we bought at Walmart. I enjoyed both the Pomegranate and the Wild Blueberry with Acai. Both had a rich fruity flavor and a mild sweetness, which meant I didn't need to add any sugar to my cup of pomegranate tea and my son only needed a drop of honey to make his Wild Blueberry with Acai tea perfectly sweet.
- ¾ cup water
- 6 Bigelow Cinnamon Stick tea bags
- 1¼ cups oat flour (How to make oat flour)
- 1 cup of almond meal (How to make almond meal)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (How to make pumpkin pie spice)
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons shortening or coconut oil
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup cinnamon chips (optional)
- the remainder of the extra strong brewed Cinnamon Stick Tea
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Bring the water to a boil. Add tea bags and steep for 5 minutes. Squeeze all of the liquid out of the tea bags.
- In a large bowl, mix the oat flour, almond meal, all-purpose flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda.
- Cut the shortening into the flour.
- Stir in ½ cup of the strong brewed tea.
- Add the eggs and mix well.
- Form the dough into a ball and place on greased baking sheet or pizza pan.
- Roll out the dough into a 9 inch circle. Use a pizza cutter to to divide the circle into 8 pieces.
- Place in the oven and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Place baking sheet on a cooling rack. Use a knife to slightly separate the scones.
- While the scones cool, mix together the remaining tea with the powdered sugar. Use a whisk and beat until all of the sugar has dissolved and is lump free.
- Top the scones with glaze by either pouring or drizzling the glaze over the scones.
One of the fun things about having a tea party with a 5 year old boy, is you never know when it will turn into a science experiment! After checking the temperature on every cup of tea and sipping tea at different temperatures, Andrew decided that the perfect temperature for tea is 100 degrees. And that is one of the wonderful things about our laid back Nevada tea moments: Mom's tea can be transformed into a tea party and just as quickly dissolve into a science experiment.