Tea, Cocktails and Plants? .. Oh, go on then…

At the start of 2016, Plants and especially easy to maintain succulents, have been the talk on lips of everyone in the interior world. Plant bloggers like Happy Interior Blog, have been gaining a huge amount of followers, 18.5K last time I looked and with plants being the buzz word for 2016, when I saw a Tea Cocktails and Teacup Terrarium workshop available in my home town I jumped at the chance to get my fingers green.
Organised by Emma from Moss and Clover, and Becky from The Birdhouse Tea Company, in the gorgeous little suburb of Nether Edge, Sheffield. I arrived on a spring evening to enjoy this Mother’s day treat. Becky who is one of only a small number of tea champions in the UK invites everyone in, and starts the first part of the workshop, giving us detailed information about how tea is an ingredient that should be used to be paired more with lots of other ingredients.

Becky goes through all the cocktails and explains all the teas that can be bought at the shop and online, and paired with alcohol. It seems different tea’s compliment different types of alcohol. Becky who runs the tea shop with her mum, worked really hard all night giving us a wonderful mix of different cocktails.

We had these wonderful cocktails below, very easy to make at home, so if you like the look of them, and don’t live local to Sheffield you can order online at birdhouseteacompany.com

  • Rhubarb Bellini made using Yorkshire rhubarb tea, mixed with sugar syrup and heated in a pan, then left to cool. Once cooled Prosecco is added, but you can also add champagne.
  • Earl Grey G&T made by adding 2 spoonfuls of Earl Grey to regular gin and leaving it to infuse the flavours together, for at least 2 hours. Then add your tonic, and if you want a twist, add elderflower tonic, which you can buy from most supermarkets now.
  • Jasmine Pearl Cocktail made using Jasmine Pearls which is a combination of Jasmine, Green Tea, and White Tea. By adding the pearls to cold water, and leaving to infuse, it is then mixed with gin and elderflower cordial and for us, it was served in champagne flutes with some ice, which looked very pretty, but you could use collins glasses as well.
  • Chai Tea Rum and Coke made using loose chai tea to infuse with the rum, leave it some time to infuse together, then add your coke for a lovely twist on a classic.
  • Lapsang Whiskey made using lapsang tea, which is a very powerful smokey tea, added to any kind of whisky. adding to the glass a sugar cube, with orange bitters at the bottom, and a piece of orange sliced.
  • Strawberry Lace Lemonade made using The Birdhouse Strawberry Lace. Brewed up in a teapot, and then left to stew for a while. Then used with lemonade and ice as a fruity, and came across as a very summery drink.

I talked to Becky after the event and asked her a few questions. Becky said that she loved offering Sheffield events with tea and that Emma was the only florist in Sheffield offering so much knowledge with succulents. Emma’s passion for plants come across in her workshops, and will do future events with Becky again.. Becky has gained so much knowledge on tea, and become one of a very few tea champions in the country. When asked she said she would love to write a book on tea cocktails, and how to add tea as a pairing with cheese and beer. Becky said we should think more about tea outside the teacup.

When asked about the future for tea, and what was Becky’s new discovery in the tea world, Becky said that rooibos tea, was a new exciting trend, because of its adaptability, and amazing health benefits. Becky feels there will be more blending of rooibos tea, and pairing it up with other flavours, as people become more conscious on cutting down on caffeine.

There seems to be a new wave of excitement in the tea world and Becky sees lots more tea shops opening, as people want to experiment with this amazing plant, and want more than a coffee shop.

After all this excitement we got to meet Emma, who owns the florist in Nether Edge called Moss and Clover. Emma has amazing talents when it comes to putting flowers together and her display skills are magical, which makes her one of the top florists we are lucky to have in Sheffield. Emma talked us through the different types of succulents, and how best to take care of them. There were lots of little plants all with different kinds of leaves. Lots of different containers and Emma used some gems in some of her displays which I absolutely loved. It seems that succulents are gaining such popularity again because they look fabulous and are so easy to look after. Succulents look so good in various pots and can make a visual statement in your home when grouped together. I especially love them grouped as a visual statement and thought if I could understand more on how to look after them, I could start my plant journey at home.

The first thing Emma taught us was that succulents don’t like getting their leaves wet at all. Water only once a month, and just water the soil under the leaves. you only need to replant this plant in March. They like warm and sunny climates, so if the plant is in a dark area try to give it a windowsill once a week, and let the sun help to keep it happy. That seems to be all you need to do to keep succulents happy!

We made our little teacups, by adding charcoal at the bottom of the teacup, then adding cactus compost. We then planted our little plants and added decoration by adding a few stones and some moss for interest. This is when you can add gems if you like. I love the ideas that Emma had for containers for succulents, and she had on trend copper pots. I am sure the latest craze of concrete planters would look fab too, alongside your terrarium type planters.

I came home and ended up buying more plants, and love the focus they give to my home. If you want ideas on how to style your plants well, the Happy Interior Blog has a new book out now only just hit the shelves on Friday 9th September called the Urban Jungle Book priced at £25.00 on Amazon.

You can get tonnes of visual plant styling ideas from Pinterest, as everyone seems to be plant crazy at the moment. Emma has been restyling her little florist shop, and I cant wait to venture in and take a look. Emma has been collaborating with a company in Sheffield to produce some amazing plant stands, made in Sheffield and unique to Emma’s shop.

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