Monday, August 22, 2016

FA is opening a retail location in Seattle!

You read that correctly, friends. Our small tea shop has been growing and evolving steadily for six years now, and we have outgrown our manufacturing space! We will not be able to sustain our level of operation, nor expand enough to meet growing demand, without moving into a new space. Rather than sell the company, we are trying to raise funding to move into a brick-and-mortar shop in Seattle's Phinney Ridge neighborhood.

Taste all 200+ Friday Afternoon teas in our store!
With your help, Friday Afternoon Tea can continue to grow and spread our weird, nerdy tea love to the community. Our new space will host free tastings any time, local geeky art on our walls, craft nights for adults and regular art hours for children. We'll do custom blends on the spot and run weekly game nights. Our goal is to create the ultimate living room for you and your friends. How can you support us in making this happen?

We recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds necessary to move into our new home. We're getting a lot of pledges already, but nowhere near what we need to make this happen. Please contribute what you can, keep an eye on our campaign updates and encourage your friends to support us however they can as well! Without these funds, we cannot continue to spread our love of all things nerdy and tea-related to you and our other lovely friends.

Click me to find out more!

Thank you for loving us all these years. We can't wait to see you at our grand opening.

Happy sipping,


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tea cocktails with special guest Beca of The Shrubbery!

Summer is such a good excuse for shaking, stirring, and otherwise mixing up tasty cocktails to cool you down. While I'm generally an "Irish whiskey, neat" kinda gal, the sunshine tends to make me super feisty. During the hot months I find myself craving salsa (both the food and the music), grilling with friends, hanging outside with my kiddo, and DEFINITELY a parade of fun cocktails.

The lovely Beca, owner and creator behind The Shrubbery, was way into the idea of coming over for a cocktail tutorial afternoon. Mixed drinks are not my area of expertise, so I was really amped to get some education on the subject. I infused the booze, picked up some assorted citrus at the store and eagerly awaited the arrival of my dear friend.

Ok, at this point I'm going to hit pause on the story of a delightful afternoon for those of you who don't know how to infuse spirits with tea. It's seriously easy, instantly makes cocktail hour more interesting and will absolutely make you seem way fancier than you maybe actually are. All you need to do is take any spirit, find a tea or tea blend with a complementing palate and infuse away! I use one tablespoon of any given leaf in a pint of whatever spirit I've paired it with, let it sit for about 12 hours and then strain the leaves out. Now we can make some fancypants tea cocktails!

So Beca showed up to my place with this amazing weird fur suitcase that strongly reminded me of the Monster Book of Monsters in Harry Potter. It turned out to be a fun little portable bar setup with a jogger and shaker and strainer and some bitters and some of her fabulous shrub. As previously stated, I don't really know a lot about inventing fun cocktails. Fortunately, Beca is a friggin pro and whipped up some super tasty concoctions like it was NBD. 

Ready? Let's drink.

#1: The Pemberly (a sophisticated twist on a classic Gin and Tonic)

In a glass with ice, just go ahead and throw in 2 oz. of gin infused with Darcy's Delight.
Stir a touch, then top with 3-4 oz. tonic water and garnish with lemon.

#2: The Bowler Hat (Gin. Earl Grey. Cold.)

Shake 1.5 oz. Earl Grey-infused gin, 1/2-3/4 oz. Lemon Lavender shrub and 3-4 dashes of Orleans bitters until well chilled.
Strain into a glass with one ice cube, garnish with orange peel.

#3: Captain Hammered (the weird stuff)

Smash the bajeebus out of 1/2 cup pineapple tidbits, 1/2 lime, 2 oz. Moroccan Mint white rum, 3-6 dashes of Firewater bitters (depending on spice tolerance/enjoyment).
Strain over ice, top with 3-4 oz. club soda.
Garnish with lime slice and booze-soaked pineapple.

#4: L'Amour Fou (straight up sinful)

In a shaker with ice, combine 3/4 oz. Apricot Cardamom shrub, 2 oz. Infatuation Blend-infused white rum, 3-4 dashes of orange bitters.
Shake until hella chill, then strain into a glass.

So there you have it! Any ideas for other tea-based cocktails you'd like to see? Any you've made that you'd like to share? Any of these you're planning to try yourself? Let us know!

Much Love,



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How does it taste? (Love)

As you probably know, I perceive the world with my taste buds. My dominant form of synesthesia is Lexical-Gustatory. This means I literally taste words, ideas, feelings, personalities, etc. The overwhelming majority of my blends are direct translations to leaf of the flavors my brain-mouth is experiencing. Today, I wanted to share with you the way I experience one particular flavor profile: Love.

To be specific, I'm talking totally bonkers, swept-up, overwhelming, skin-tingling passion. The kind of Love you feel when you find yourself clicking over and over and over with someone. The kind of Love that makes all the garbage and difficulty of the dating world worth it. The love you feel for family, close friends and pets is a different (though still yummy) flavor.

I'm particularly fixated on this tasty, tingly sensation because I'm right in the middle of it these days. For the last two months, I've been in the midst of a crazy whirlwind romance. It's been so good, and it just gets more delicious every day. This person has brought out of me of a whole range of flavors that I hadn't remembered how to taste for a long time. I love this Love and the gift of all these accompanying taste-bursts. 

So let me share them with you.

The thrill of making eye contact with your Love mainly occurs on the sides of the tongue and is bright and gingery with peppery notes. It only lasts for a moment, but is sharp and shivery.

The butterflies in the stomach when your Love smiles and their eyes light up fills the whole mouth and lingers for a long time. It's malty and spicy and reminiscent of bourbon and chai.

The sound of your Love laughing brings a texture as well as a taste. It pops across the molars and tastes like sour candies. Or sometimes like toasted almonds. It depends on the particular laugh.

The feel of your Love's mouth on yours is a deep, dark chocolate. It's rich and silky and undeniably addiction-inspiring. You know the kind of chocolate that makes your bones twinge with pleasure? That is the taste of your Love's kisses.

A true Love inspires all these flavors and more. I've approximated the spicy, musky, dark and deep flavor of this kind of passionate Love as closely as I can in my Infatuation Blend. Black tea, coconut, chocolate and spices. Of course, spices.

 Taste the Love

This is really just a shadow of the complex collection of feelings this person inspires (and I hope you all have a Person or People who makes you feel like this). This is the frustration of the synnie reality. At least, that's been my experience. I experience everything so vividly. Everything. There is nothing I feel, see, hear or think that doesn't elicit an intense flavor/texture perception. I wish so deeply that I could accurately share that with you all. I promise I'll keep doing my best to let you in on my world via words and flavors.

All my love,


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Making time for tea

Let's talk stress.

I don't know how many times a day I think or say or just blind-panic over the seemingly inescapable reality that I don't have enough time to stay on top of my life. Especially as an adult, and ESPECIALLY in the city, where everything feels so pricey and so fast-paced. I often let myself think I need to keep moving to survive. This shark/hummingbird mentality prevents me from enjoying my life more than I would care to admit. I recognize the importance of slowing down and recharging my batteries. I am an intelligent, capable woman with a firm grasp on the concept of self-care. In theory, anyway. In actual practice, here is what happens:

"Oh look, my to-do list is approaching Epic. Let's prioritize and go item-by-item until it is finished and I feel accomplished and totally in control of my life."
"Ok, first task is taking longer than I anticipated. No big deal, it's still early."
"Crap, I only have (insert time countdown here) and I'm not even halfway through my list."
*Focus and motivation begin to fluster-frazzle-fizzle*
"Shit. Allyn will be home from school in (insert time countdown here) and I still have so much to do."
"Ok, refocus. What can be pushed off until tomorrow? Yoga? Going for a run? Weekly healthy food prep? Taking a break to play with the dog? Painting? EVERY KIND OF SELF-CARE?" 

Absolutely. These are low priority compared to Getting Work Done. Every time. So pushing off the necessary slowing down becomes a daily habit, and before I know it I haven't gone for a run in months. Yoga? Forget it. My paints? Where even are they right now? All these things take up time and focus that I "can't" spare, so I end up burning out and not getting anything done anyway.

Is this familiar? I can't be the only one who gets locked into the frazzled, busy, high-octane life trap. 

I have, over the years, managed to find one act of self-care that is always there for me. One that I can always make time for. One that grounds and centers and resets me. My most efficient method for taking care of myself and getting back on track. Any guesses? I'll give you exactly one.

Surprising no one, the answer always comes back to tea. The simple, profoundly important act of brewing and drinking a cup of tea is my no-fail solution to overwhelm. Cranky tween? Crazy puppy? Internet has been down for a GODDAMN WEEK and Centurylink tech support is once again being totally useless? Yeah. Pardon me for ten minutes while I shrink my entire universe down to the exquisitely mundane ritual of drinking tea. I'll deal with all you suckers in a few.

By the way, this post took me three months to actually sit down and write. THREE MONTHS. I gotta go have a cup of tea now. I suggest you do the same.

Much love,


Friday, May 20, 2016

Chai-ce Cream!

Well, we took a vote. You guys all really REALLY needed to know how to make delicious chai ice cream at home, so Allyn and I made you a video! It turns out homemade ice cream is totally NBD. We don't even own an ice cream maker, and it still came out great!

Ready? Let's go!

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons loose leaf Masala Chai
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Combine milk, cream, tea and vanilla extract and bring slowly to a boil over low heat (be sure to stir frequently to prevent the dairy from scorching!
  2. When your liquids are at a boil, remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Mix sugar and egg yolks in a metal mixing bowl.
  4. Strain the warm milk/tea mixture directly into the bowl of sugar and egg, but just a bit at a time. Be sure to thoroughly whisk between additions!
  5. Rinse your saucepan, then return the custard to the saucepan over low heat again.
  6.  Heat until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Be SURE to stir constantly, or your custard will absolutely curdle and scorch at this step.
  7. When thickened, strain custard back into the metal mixing bowl and set in the fridge to cool to room temperature.
  8. IF YOU OWN AN ICE CREAM MAKER: Churn the custard for 20 minutes, then put it in the freezer.
    IF YOU DO NOT OWN AN ICE CREAM MAKER: Transfer your custard to a freezer safe 4-cup container and cover with parchment or plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Take out every 30 minutes to stir until the ice cream reaches the desired consistency.
  9. Tea-licious!

Enjoy! <3,

Monday, March 7, 2016

It's Spring...ish!

Here in the PNW, early Spring has most definitely arrived. I'm constantly craving high mountain (high caffeine) black teas and walks outside with the fragrant flowers, the sunshine and my maniac dog and child. Erik is craving steamed green teas, quiet afternoons in coffee shops and art museum exploration. Let's take a look at our favorites for the season!

Friday wants...

Darjeelings are known as "the champagne of tea" for a reason. These are floral and delicate, but with complex flavor profile. Be careful, though. Helluva caffeine kick on these! Personally, I can have only a couple demitasse cups of this Makaibari Estate First Flush before I start to see through space and time. Dangerous, but so. Worth. It.
First Flush Darjeeling

Serendipi-Tea is a silly little blend we stumbled upon accidentally a number of years ago. It's simple, light, and ideal for a long afternoon of conversation and/or art projects with loud children (in my case). Ceylon black tea is light-bodied and classic, whereas a lightly steamed oolong, such as this Ti Kwan Yin, is slightly floral, slightly malty, and only gets better the more time it's steeped! If you haven't tried this one, give it a shot.

Audrey's Spring Tea is the ideal tisane for this time of year. It's cheerful and bright, full of vitamin C and is delicious hot OR iced. If you like tart, fruity flavors and the color electric pink, try it out!

Bonus trivia: this was TeaBoy's first blend ever! He invented this one at age 6 and it's been our favorite this time of year ever since.

Audrey's Spring Tea

Erik wants...

Sencha is a classic, lightly vegetal Japanese green tea. Erik is all about the steamed greens this time of year. This is a complex, yet clean green. Light on the palate, grassy and reminiscent of Spring afternoons!


Queen of Hearts may be the ideal garden party tea. A light-bodied Ceylon black tea with warm floral rose notes and the woody bite of black peppercorn. We're all big fans of the floral/spicy combination!

Queen of Hearts

Allyn wants...

Wonderland Blend is basically a fruit snack. Seriously. We put together blueberries, apple chunks and hibiscus petals for a bright purple infusion that smells and tastes amazing. It's a favorite for making iced tea and we occasionally even snack on it, trail mix style! This is definitely a winner for kids' tea parties, tisane popsicles and iced tea garden parties.
Wonderland Blend

So there ya go. Six very different, very tasty, very versatile teas to try out this Spring! What's your favorite?

Happy sipping,



Thursday, January 14, 2016

How will you be remembered?

2016 has barely gotten its sea legs, and already we find ourselves in seemingly perpetual mourning over great artists, inspirational figures and beautiful friends both personal and widely shared. I can barely look at social media this month without seeing people collectively weeping over the loss of those who have touched our lives and transformed us.

Recently, a friend told me he lost three people close to him in one week. The depth to which it shook him shifted my day's outlook as well. I've never met these people, but I feel them through his grief. They left a mark on me by leaving a mark on him.

A few days ago, we lost David Bowie. I don't know a single person who hasn't been in some way or another struck by this man with an inspiration to create, to express, to embrace their own inner Weird.

This morning I woke to news of Alan Rickman's passing. I cried like everyone else, stunned by the unexpected ache left in my nostalgia centers. My Professor Snape, my Mr. Spurrier, my Richis, Alexander Dane, Tooth never occurred to me he meant so much to me personally until I heard. But he did. Having never met the man once, he somehow managed to be a very real person in my life.

Never settle for life less extraordinary than this.

This all has me thinking this morning. To have such a profound impact on so many has to mean something. A person doesn't leave a wake of souls permanently altered for the better by living a plebian life. How will people remember me when I'm gone? How do I want them to? What choices can I make to positively alter my person in such a way that I change people for the better and leave them saying "Wow. It was such a privilege to have known her." "She inspired me to shamelessly be myself." "She showed me the kind of person I wanted to be."

That's what I want. I know that I already exist as That Person for my son, my partner, my immediate family and a handful of friends. In light of our losses, I'm making a commitment to myself right now. I plan to daily strive to make choices that allow me to be That Person for every life I touch. No more wasting time and energy on anything that doesn't move the world. If I die and my life has been lived in shapes, flavors, textures and colors that ring true for people and serve to better them, I will have done pretty ok, I think.

Why would I live anything but an inspiring life for these guys?