Product Review: ingenuiTEA Teapot

Ok, so I realize that this post isn’t directly related to veganism, but as a huge coffee and tea fan, it all goes hand in hand with the food — at least in my opinion.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend invited me to a Tea 101 class at the Louisville Tea Co., a new spot in town to buy loose-leaf teas and to have a cup or two. I was excited to go, but already being a tea drinker, I didn’t think I’d learn much. Boy, was I wrong. The two-hour course was super-informative and I learned lots of interesting things about how different types of teas are processed. If you live in or around Louisville, I highly recommend the class. It’s a lot of fun.

While there, I was introduced to the ingenuiTEA teapot. I’m always looking for an easier way to brew my tea and after just a few uses, I’m already in love. Just add your tea leaves and pour in the water. The leaves have plenty of room to expand so that you get the most flavor and benefits from the tea. After the appropriate brewing time, just set the teapot on top of your cup and the water comes out of the bottom to leave the leaves and any tea dust behind.

And, of course, be sure to serve your tea with vegan scones, biscotti or shortbread (see what I did there?).

Food and a Feature: Shortbread and ‘Downton Abbey’

What goes better with a rainy, cold day than back-to-back episodes of “Downton Abbey,” shortbread cookies and tea? That’s how I spent my Saturday and it was awesome.

The shortbread recipe I got from “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar,” which, sadly, isn’t posted on the site. I’ve found sites that have the recipe posted on them, but I encourage you to buy the book if you haven’t already; you won’t regret it.

The recipe was super easy to follow and came together very quickly. The wedges of shortbread were buttery and dense without being too rich or too sweet. Next time I make it, per the book’s suggestion, I’d like to add rose water or lavender to the recipe. A cup of warm black tea with a touch of almond milk was the perfect finishing touch.

As far as the feature, I had heard wonderful things about the Masterpiece Classic series “Downton Abbey,” but never got around to watching it — that is, until yesterday. Netflix has the first season on Watch Instantly. I’ve gotten through the first three episodes and I’m hooked.

The series is set in the early part of the 20th century, right before World War I. It tells the story of the Crawley family and their servants, who all live the Edwardian country house of Downton Abbey. It’s primarily a drama, but there’s humor and suspense woven in with the characters and storyline. I can’t recommend it enough.