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Friday's Holiday Gift Guide!

'Tis the season for thoughtful gifts and quality time spent with friends and family! We at Friday Afternoon are firm believers in the uniting powers of tea. What better way to show love than with one of the world's oldest social beverages? Cozy, flavorful and dripping with personality! I have taken a bit of time as we move into the holiday season to personally curate for you a list of delicious gifts. Treat the myriad characters that doubtless surround you this season, and don't forget to pick up something tasty for yourself! Happy sipping!


Ok, potty mouth. This one's for you. Clean it up with this rich and creamy dessert tea. White tea with toffee and fudge will chill your vulgar tongue and convert your "What the F*ck" to a more socially-acceptable "WTF!" No more side-eye from Grandma. You're welcome.


Got a wild one in your life? This spicy-sweet black tea bites back and is sure to delight the daring gourmands. The warming combination of chocola…

Website Upgrades Galore!

We've been busy bees behind the scenes for some months now, improving our website for your perusing and purchasing pleasure. New features include:
1 oz. option now available for all productsBrewing suggestions now included on all product pagesDecaf options now available for many productsALL RETIRED TEAS ARE BACK. Every. Single. One. (seasonal teas remain seasonal.)Products are now sorted by fandom on our updated themed collections pageTotally new selections (Colombian-sourced single origin leaf, new Alice in Wonderland teas...)Winter teas are in! Peppermint Stick and Snow Day have returned, soon to be joined by the brand new Hot Buttered Yum!
What other changes and upgrades would you like to see? We always love hearing your input.  In the meantime, go enjoy all these fun new upgrades with free domestic shipping! Use coupon code "UpgradesGalore" for US shipping on us.

Feliz Día de Muertos, amores!

Hola, mi gente!

En este año, mantenernos ocupado en forjar un centro de comunidad para todos. En nuestro salón de té, eres siempre bienvenido. Eres siempre querido. Eres siempre seguro aqui. En el espíritu de amistad, amor y comunidad, nos tu deseamos un muy muy feliz Día de Muertos! Que tu familia viajar bien y tu ofrenda brilla!

Mucho amor,
Friday y el #TeaSquad


Hello, neighbors!

We've been keeping busy this year building a center for all of our community. In our tea house, you are always welcome. You are always wanted. You are always safe here. In the spirit of friendship, love and community, we wish you a very very happy Día de Muertos. May your family travel safely and your altars shine!

Much love,
Friday and the #TeaSquad


It's that time of year!

It's time, friends. Summer is rapidly drawing to a close and Fall is making itself known in the cool mornings and subtle bite in the air. Seattle is starting to grow its clouds a little darker and a little more gloomy, and like most Northwesterners, we love it. Seattleites have a tradition of jumping the gun when it comes to Fall. The second any color shows on the edges of our maple leaves, out come the scarves, boots and seasonal beverages. We love it! Our crew here at the tea room are just as shameless in our love of Fall as the rest of our region. Along that vein, I'm so excited to share with you our Fall seasonal blends! 

 Available from September through December, please join us in a cup of: Punkin Pie RooibosMaple HoujichaRebecca's Orange SpiceCaramel AppleHarvest Spice These tasty blends will be replacing their Summer counterparts, which will be leaving our selection for the year after Monday, September 3rd. Be sure to stock up on the following, as they won't be…

Big Move for Friday Afternoon Tea

Hello, friends!

For the past several months I have been secretly (Well, not so secretly. I'm terrible at keeping my own secrets.) working on a huge project. Very happy to announce the great news that we have split-branded! This sub-brand means moving our medicinal teas to a new line: New Apothecary. This will serve to focus our main line (Friday Afternoon) on our unusual single origin and fandom blends, while allowing me to pursue a personal and abiding passion: developing a specialized collection of high-end, ethically-sourced medicinal teas. New Apothecary will be available on its own website, which will feature both this new collection and an herbal medicine blog. I hope you enjoy our new collection as much as I've enjoyed creating it!



Health and Happiness,
Friday

5 Ridiculously Tasty Summer Sips

Here in Seattle, we just hit full-on summer. June-uary is over and we are facing days hovering around 80°F for the next few months. Seattlites are renowned whiners when it comes to weather over 70° (Don't make that face, Lauren. You know it's true.), so we've got you covered with some fantastic summer bevvie ideas.

#1: Shaken Iced Tea
Really want to elevate your iced tea game? It's as simple as playing Cocktail and shaking that sucker up. Brew a strong pot of your favorite white, green or black tea (or tisane, if caffeine isn't your game) and throw a hefty pour into a cocktail shaker with a handful of those yummy berries you scored at the farmer's market and a handful of ice. Shake it up for a solid 30 seconds, then pour into your favorite iced tea glass. A whole new level to the simple classic iced tea.

#2: Tea-Infused Sangria
My personal favorite part of hot weather season: an excuse to drink sangria! Next time you make a batch at home, try infusing your simple…

What exactly IS caffeine?

We love our caffeine. In the US alone, we consume upward of 970 tons of caffeine annually. Caffeine is just a fact in our day-to-day. Sodas, coffee, tea, even caffeinated soap is now a thing. Ok, so we love the stuff. But what exactly is it?

In layman's terms, caffeine is a psychoactive drug, classified as a stimulant which effects the central nervous system. When ingested, it reduces fatigue and boosts mental acuity. Caffeine delays muscle exhaustion and increases metabolic rate. Sounds great, yeah? Let's not forget the other side of this. You know the caffeine crash? The headache, crankiness and exhaustion? That's withdrawal. It's the body catching up with being tired and sore all at once. Unpleasant. Caffeine is also super addictive and it doesn't take long to build up a tolerance. Make a daily habit of three cups of coffee and you'll find that after a while you're dragging and want a fourth. We've discussed the side effects of too much caffeine in a…

BTB: Bioluminescence

On today's episode of Behind the Blend, I'm going to take you through the synesthetic taste experience of one of our prettiest blends: Bioluminescence.

Those of you that are familiar with my blending process already know, but for the folks just joining us, let me tell you a little bit about my work. I have a rare neurological oddity known as Lexical-Gustatory Synesthesia. Now, synesthesia itself is actually relatively common. The brain cross-wires sensory input and the results cause folks to see music as colors, experience sound as tactile sensation (I have this one too. Sometimes fun, sometimes not so much), associate personalities with colors/words/sounds or, like me, literally taste language and concepts as complex flavor profiles. For me, thinking about a character, a personality or a word is no different from eating a tasty (or nasty) snack. So let me introduce you to one of my favorites: Bioluminescence!

My friend Jill commissioned two blends from me for a writer's w…

Some Categories of Medicinal Herbs

Medicinal Herb Exploration
Herbal remedies are categorized by application. Here are a few of the most common categories and some examples of herbs that fit them!



Anti-Inflammatory This group is comprised of plants that release soothing compounds into the body to reduce inflammation. Examples include circumen (found in turmeric), zingerone (ginger), flavonoids (tea, chili peppers), cinnamaldehyde (cinnamon), eugenol (clove) and so on. While some compounds reduce inflammation by breaking down free radicals (which cause tiny-scale inflammation in the body that can accumulate to a big problem), others inhibit enzymes that cause inflammatory response in the body. More examples of anti-inflammatory plants are peppercorn, sage, rosemary, and spirulina.
Expectorant Expectorants loosen congestion and cause all that gnarly mucus to work its way out of the body. We most frequently see expectorant properties in roots and resins, though many seeds also help with congestion! Some examples of expectora…

Guest Post: Chamomile Lemon Shortbread

Today's guest post comes to us from Ben, who we hope will share more of his fabulous recipes in future! -Friday


I’m a bit of a tea obsessive. What started as an (unhealthy) addiction to coffee, has now seen me
change lanes to tea. And with this change, I’ve always tried to get creative with my tea use. From 
putting together therapeutic cups of turmeric tea, to using tea bags as a way to battle my shoe odors, 
I’ve found a plethora of ways to adapt it for everyday use.

Enter these chamomile tea and lemon shortbread biscuits.




Using tea for baking isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when I think of interesting ways to  incorporate it, but these shortbread biscuits are too good not to try.
Chamomile is the perfect ingredient for these shortbread biscuits. Its delicate flavors and relaxing  properties match beautifully with the lemon zest, bringing together a subtle taste to an already  comforting food in the form of shortbread. Also unsurprisingly they pair wonderfully with a cup …

How much caffeine is too much?

Espresso, matcha, yerba mate, hot cocoa...even some soaps and lotions contain caffeine! We encounter the stuff every day, and as a society, we love it. But how much caffeine is too much?
For starters, why do we even need to moderate caffeine? What's the big deal?
Caffeine is a highly addictive substance, like sugar or cocaine, according to studies by many institutions. It doesn't take a lot to develop a dependence. How many folks do you know who "can't function" without their morning cup of coffee? The science behind the hook is simple. Caffeine can disguise itself as adenosine, the molecule in our bodies that makes us feel tires, and take its place. This not only delays our feeling of tiredness, but also spikes our adrenaline and dopamine production, making us feel rad and happy and ready for action. When the caffeine wears off, our exhaustion catches up with us hard. We get cranky, tired, sore and headachey. Know what the easiest fix for this bad feeling is? That…

Cold Brew Season!

It's that time of year, friends! All the coffee shops here in Seattle are bragging about their cold brews again, and we refuse to sit out on the fun. Did you know you can cold brew your tea for the same smooth, delicious, lightly sweet results that have people obsessing over their summer coffees? Totally true and totally easy.

Cold brewing is fab. Just throw 2-3 tablespoons of loose leaf (or a few teabags) and cool water into a pitcher/teapot/fancy carafe/whatever, and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, strain the liquid off the spent leaves (or just remove your teabags) and enjoy your tea.

There's a super cool trend circulating the tea industry the last year or two that takes cold brewing to a whole new level. Have you heard of ice steeping? This is my new obsession for Japanese green teas in particular. Sencha, Genmaicha, even the delicate and beautiful Gyokuro can turn on you and develop bitter edges in a snap if you don't brew them just so. Personally, fin…

Our new tea tasting series!

Hello!

This month we are pleased to announce our first educational tasting series here at the tea room. Join us Thursday evenings at 5:30pm for a guided journey through the world of tea! I will personally be serving teas from various categories and regions and leading a discussion on the science, history and culture behind different teas. These are free events, though of course we encourage you to pick up some loose leaf to take home while you're here!

Our first educational tasting session is scheduled for Thursday, May 17th at 5:30pm and will focus on green teas. We'll experience toasted and steamed, high and low altitude green teas, side-by-side for an enriching look into what it means to be green.

Mark your calendars,
Friday


Mental Health Awareness Month

Hello, friends.

I'd like to take a moment to remind you that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We generally keep things pretty light and fun here at Friday Afternoon Tea, but today I'd like to chat on a more serious note. Just about everyone I know struggles with their mental health to some degree. I've lost my best friend to suicide and seen others I love battle Bipolar Disorder, depression, dysmorphias galore and stress burnout. I personally have struggled with eating disorders, PTSD and OCD my entire adult life. This is everyday stuff. It's not glamorous, it's not fun, it's just the reality of being a Person in this world.

I don't have anything particularly profound to say on the subject, so maybe even posting this is silly. I just wanted you to know that you are Seen and Cared For and that it is OK to be your lovely, struggling, patchwork self. If you need to take a breather from it all and gift yourself a break from carrying this around with you, I…

Top Ten Uses For Your French Press

Oh french press, how we love thee. These handy dandy suckers are great for more than just brewing up yummy loose leaf tea and coffee! Read our top ten ways to get the most out of your french press around the house.

10. Squeeze excess water out of veggies. Thawing out frozen spinach for a lasagna recipe? Just put it in your french press and let the plunger wring out all that extra water! All you have to do is press down and pour out.

9. Rehydrate dried foods. Whether it's plumping raisins for a cake or making that instant soup, simply put the dried goodies into the press and cover with water. When your food is rehydrated to the desired level, pour off the extra water and you're good to go!

8. Juice berries. Berries are the easiest fruits to juice with the most intense flavor packed into them. The only problem is those tiny dang seeds! Try throwing a handful of berries into your press and the fine mesh of the plunger will hold all the seeds back while letting the super tasty jui…

BTB: Raise the Dead

Today's episode of Behind the Blend may feel a bit out of season, but it's a particularly chill and blustery April morning and I've been thinking a lot about death and seasonal shifts lately. So, for today's foray into synesthetic perception, I would like to introduce you to an old Friday Afternoon fave: Raise the Dead. 



The inspiration: This blend was originally commissioned by our lovely friend Tara (aka The Geeky Hostess) to celebrate the release of the movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Tara wrote me before the movie launched, asking if I'd like to collaborate on a collection themed around the movie. We had way too much fun with the project! I used my Synesthetic Superpowers to taste up three blends: Darcy's Delight, Mrs. Bennet's Nerve Tonic, and Raise the Dead. Tara paired each tea with her super fun naturally-colored sprinkles (sadly no longer available) and the teas got picked up by Espionage Cosmetics as part of a subscription box for their fans…