Enjoy a cup of Downton Tea and watch the TV series

Published on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 23:48 - Written by Christine Gardner, food@tylerpaper.com

Not everyone will be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday night, and if football and burgers is not your cup of tea then curling up on the couch to watch Downton Abbey with a real cup of tea might sound like fine idea.

This hit series on PBS has entranced millions of viewers and become a modern sensation. Every episode is an explosion of drama, relationships and intrigue that chronicle the upstairs and downstairs events in Downton Ab-bey ­­— home to the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants.

The first two seasons follow their lives from the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 through the First World War, while the later seasons follows them into the early 1920s. Downton Abbey has become the most watched drama ever on PBS.

Currently in season four, times are evolving as the roaring 20s bring sweeping changes to the family members and staff. They’re aristocratic Victorian lifestyle must come to terms with modern times as things, such as electric mixers, refrigerators and sewing machines, are brought into the household.

Not to mention the new fashion, hairstyles and forward-thinking of the Crawley women, as they take on more assertive roles in the family. Meanwhile, Lord Grantham – the father of the household – and his staunch butler, Carson, are often resistant and befuddled when it comes to the occurrences in the household and the insistent nature of the female family members and staff. But Grantham still reminds Carson, “We must have a care for feminine sensibilities. They are finer and more fragile than our own”

All the more reason heat the water, get the teapot, cups and saucers ready and pour a cup of tea. Many of the scenes from the show feature the Crawley family ejoying tea while their staff scurries around to serve the tea. All the while exchanging witty banter and solving the problems of the day.

It is no surprise that The Republic of Tea has licensed two Downton Abbey teas that are only available through their official vendors.

Sweet Gourmet, located in the Tyler French Quarter on S. Broadway across from the mall, sells a full line of Republic of Tea products and began carrying the Downton Abbey teas earlier this month.

They have not been able to keep the teas in stock. As soon as word got out that the Downton Abbey teas were available, they were sold out. A new shipment just arrived and they hope to be able to keep them in stock.

One of the teas is called Downton Abbey English Rose and is a vibrant, ruby-red infusion of rose, raspberry and hibiscus with fruity, floral notes and a touch of sweetness. Inspired by the Crawley daughters and traditional British desserts, this caffeine-free, luscious tea is perfect as an afternoon treat. Enjoy hot or cooled over a tall glass of ice.

The other is the Downton Abbey Grantham Breakfast Blend. This tea is a full-bodied, malty, organic Assam black tea that is infused with the spicy flavor of organic ginger root. Try it with a splash of warm milk and sweetener for a flavor reminiscent of sticky ginger pudding. This energizing tea is perfect for an early morning foxhunt or preparing for the dramas of the day.

On Thursday, Sweet Gourmet will be holding a tea seminar with a representative from Republic of Tea. You can learn all about the Republic of Tea products, especially the Be Well series of teas created to combat colds, arthritis, heart problems, digestive issues, mood swings, sleeplessness and aging.

Reservations are required and costs $10 for registration. That money can be used as a credit on a tea related purchase. For more information call 903-534-0840.