Friday, December 6, 2019

A Perfect Cup of Tea by Karen Rose Smith

by Karen Rose Smith

With the release of MURDER WITH CHERRY TARTS, the fourth book in my Daisy's Tea Garden cozy mystery series, my mind has been on all things tea-related.  I can remember as a child having a cup of tea meant boiling some water in a pan on the stove, pouring it into a mug and adding a tea bag.  Tea was often the choice warm beverage on days when I was home from school with a nasty head cold.

But when I embarked on the task of creating a tea-themed focus for a new cozy mystery series and began researching tea and tea rooms, I developed a new-found appreciation for tea.  I was amazed at all the varieties and blends available and the art involved in creating a perfect cup of tea.  There definitely is a tea to satisfy everybody's palette.  
As I began visiting area tea rooms, I was fascinated and curious how each owner was able to supply every guest at a table a different cup of perfectly brewed tea of their choice from an extensive menu.  I was delighted to find on the back of a business card from TranquilaTea Tea Room in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania tips for brewing a perfect cup of tea.  I would like to share those tips with my readers.

Brewing A Perfect Cup Of Tea

  • Bring cold water to a boil
  • Measure 1 tsp loose leaf tea per 6 oz of water
  • Place tea in an infuser or tea filter bag
  • Immerse infuser or tea bag filter into cup or pot filled with boiled water that has cooled slightly  
Water Temperature

205 degrees (F) for black, herbal and rooibos teas
180 degrees (F) for green and white teas

Steeping Times

Green and white teas -- 2 minutes
Black teas -- 3 minutes
Herbal and rooibos teas -- 3 to 5 minutes
For a stronger cup, add more tea leaves.  Do not steep for a longer period of time, as this can lead to a bitter cup!

Now available:

Keith Rebert is homeless with a sad story that includes the death of his wife and medical bills that decimated his finances. Daisy and her friend Jonas Groft meet him through one of Daisy’s employees and offer help. But soon Keith is caught up in a murder investigation. He was supplying the shop Pirated Treasures with antiques, including Gettysburg Battlefield memorabilia. The nephew of the shop’s owner, Barry Storm, was lowballing merchandise that Keith brought in. One day Keith and Barry vehemently argued. Soon after, Barry was found dead, killed with a marble rolling pin that held Keith’s fingerprints. Daisy’s special for the month, cherry tarts, was found spilled on the floor next to him. Keith is the number one suspect.

Keith finds a job on a farm where he can live in a cabin with his daughter Mandy. A friend of Barry’s lived and worked there before the murder, then suddenly moved out. As Daisy finds clues that give insight into Barry’s life and prepares for her daughter’s wedding, she faces danger, verbally battles with the detective on the case, and tries to figure out what part Jonas Groft plays in her life. When she finds the ultimate clue that tells her exactly what Barry Storm was involved in, she almost loses her life. 


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