Victoria Tea Pleasures 2018

In a frantic and hurried world, Victoria offers a respite from the chaos of everyday life. The pages are dedicated to living beautifully when entertaining, cooking, and decorating and even in artistic pursuits - and now you can enjoy every single page on your tablet! With a distinct personality all its own, Victoria personifies feminity, passion, and an enterprising spirit. Each issue features decorating and entertaining ideas, recipes, travel stories, essays from inspiring women, and much more.

United States
Hoffman Media
7 Issues

in this issue

1 min
dear friends

Hosting a tea gives us a chance to sit down with those who are near and dear to us and share conversation, camaraderie, and delicious food. Getting together and enjoying each other’s company is at the heart of these memorable gatherings, and in making the preparations, we infuse our creativity in the cuisine and décor. The beauty of hosting a tea is that it can be as casual or as formal as you choose to make it. I hope the table settings in the pages that follow will provide fresh ideas for your events. So, get ready to bring out the monogrammed linens, the fresh flowers, and the carefully designed place cards. After all, it is the little details that add those thoughtful touches, letting guests know this is something that…

5 min
the origins of tea

During the Han dynasty (206 B.C. to A.D. 220), the Chinese character cha was first used to refer to both the plant and the drink, and the first study of the plant in Europe appeared in 1678 when Dutch physician and botanist Wilhelm ten Rhyne published his text on tea (in Latin) in an appendix to Jacob Breyn’s Exoticum plantarum centuria prima (First Century of Exotic Plants). In 1712, German botanist and physician Englebert Kaempfer published his study of tea in Japan, referring to the plant as Theae Japonensis in his Amoenitates Exoticae (Exotic Pleasures). He wrote, “Tea, called Tsjaa by the Japanese and Theh by the Chinese, still has no character of its own accepted and approved by the universities.” In 1753, following Kaempfer’s lead, Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus…

12 min
categories of tea

WHITE TEA White tea is the least processed of all tea categories. It is very gently handled so that leaf cells are not ruptured or bruised, and the buds in the finished tea are usually still covered with a silky layer of tiny silver-white hairs. These hairs (in Chinese, the Bai Hao or Pekoe) protect the new bud from the harmful effects of insect attacks, cold winds, bright sun, heavy rain, and so on. The bud also contains a high level of caffeine, which acts as an insecticide to protect the new shoots as they develop. White teas, originally from China’s Fujian Province, can be made from single buds or young shoots consisting of one new bud and one or two young open leaves. Once these have been carefully picked, they are…

7 min
all about brewing

Tea is prepared in many different ways around the world, but the majority is prepared by steeping teabags or loose tea in water, in a teapot, gaiwan, or glass. Here are a few guidelines to ensure that this style of brewing achieves the best possible results: ✢ Choose quality tea that has been carefully stored in an airtight container. ✢ Choose water that has been filtered to remove impurities and contains plenty of oxygen. (Japanese green teas do not require high levels of oxygen.) ✢ Heat the water to the appropriate temperature for the type of tea. ✢ Use a brewing vessel that allows the tea plenty of room to infuse. ✢ Use an appropriate quantity of tea for the volume of water used. ✢ Time the brew according to tea type, water temperature, and required…

1 min
the storage of tea

As soon as tea has been processed in the factory, it must be carefully stored to protect it from contamination by humidity, light, and other smells. Tea is very hygroscopic and easily absorbs moisture from the air and other odours from its surroundings, for example, smoke, industrial oil, spices, herbs, essential oils, fruit flavours, or the perfume of flower blossoms. To maintain tea’s quality, it must be stored in foil or foil-lined bags or in tin, porcelain, or pottery containers with airtight lids. Glass jars are not suitable as they allow sunlight to filter through and damage the tea’s quality; wooden boxes are not acceptable unless the tea is stored in a foil or cellophane bag inside the box; and cardboard does not provide an adequate barrier. Any materials used…

9 min
a valentine tea

Watercress Bisque with Crème Fraîche Makes approximately 3 cups 2 tablespoons olive oil1 large onion, chopped2 cloves garlic, minced2 bunches watercress, stems removed and chopped1½ cups chicken broth1 cup heavy whipping cream½ cup Crème Fraîche* (recipe follows)½ cup grated Parmesan cheese¾ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon ground black pepperGarnish: Crème Fraîche, watercress 1. In a heavy saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add watercress; sauté for 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 2. Purée using an immersion blender, or process in batches in the container of a blender. 3. Return to heat, and add cream, Crème Fraîche, cheese, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until thoroughly heated. Garnish with Crème Fraîche and watercress, if desired. *Sour…