Commemorative Tin for the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment

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August marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and a chance to celebrate the courageous generations of women who led an almost 100 year struggle to secure their rights. To honor that milestone in American History, we decided to create a limited-edition commemorative tin and to honor the women who changed the world back then, continue to change the world today today and will change the world tomorrow!    We came up with the idea for this project as we put together this custom label for the Women’s Rights National Historical Parkin Seneca Falls NY, which tells the story of the first Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, NY on July 19-20,1848. During the course of our partnership with the Historical...

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History Unplugged: Coffee, Tea, Chocolate and Revolution

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  This past week I had the privilege of 'sitting down' for a Facebook live event on History Unplugged with Middleton Place's Director of Engagement, Carin Bloom, and the George Washington Foundation's Mara Kaktins, who is their Archaeology Lab Supervisor.   The George Washington Foundation owns and Operates, Historic Kenmore and George Washington’s Ferry Farm.  The mission of The George Washington Foundation is to enhance the public understanding and appreciation of the lives, values, and legacies of George Washington, Fielding and Betty Washington Lewis, and their families. The George Washington Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, headquartered in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Foundation relies on support from its generous donors and volunteers for its ongoing programs.    History Unplugged is hosted by Middleton Place...

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Environmentally Friendly Teabags

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Recently, I was asked if the teabags we use are safe for individuals and the environment. I am happy to let you know our Teabags are all natural, non GMO and fully biodegradable and are perfectly safe for you and for nature. Teabags have been around for over 100 years. The most common story about their invention relates how the tea and coffee shop merchant, Thomas Sullivan from New York, shipped samples of his tea in small silk bags. He intended the customer to remove the loose tea from the sample bags when they steeped it, but the customers found it easier to brew the tea still enclosed in the porous bags. Sullivan’s accidental discover or any of the other potential invention stories,...

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August Transitions and New Beginnings

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I have always enjoyed August. To me it is a month for transitions and new beginnings. I grew up in Maine and every year at the start of this month, the temperature seemed to change ‘overnight’ and I had to wear jeans and put away my shorts. Combined with the start of the school year, August is also a transition away from summer and into fall. August transitions extend beyond the weather and into new schools, new friends, new jobs and settling into new routines. For this August, to help you with whatever transition you are going through, I am introducing a new herbal blend, two new tea blends and a new coffee blend to help you settle into a...

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Bohea Barbecued Brisket Recipe

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A dear friend (and great photographer) shared the following recipe for using Colonial Bohea Tea as a dry rub for Brisket. I thought I would share, Hope you enjoy! ~Oliver Dinner last night was TOO good and TOO easy not to share!  My mom got us an instant pot for Christmas, and it has been one of the greatest kitchen appliances I have ever owned. I have been so grateful. And I am striving to use the extra time that it provides for me with wisdom and care. One of the phrases that has been going through my head the last few weeks is “don’t waste the minutes”. I used Oliver Pluff’s (I’m going to sound like an advertisement here,...

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Of Flags, Stories, and Iced Tea

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Today is Flag day. On June 14th, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Flag of the United States. The story we all know says Betsey Ross sewed the original flag, improving on the design the Continental Flag Committee handed to her. Yet, historians are quick to point out they can't prove she actually did so. There is just strong circumstantial evidence to support it. And the story fits with the other myths we create around the founding of our country. So everyone enjoys it. Similarly, we enjoy the stories around the creation of inventions and new ideas. On a hot summer day, laying on your hammock enjoying a tall glass of iced tea, have you ever wanted to thank the...

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Colonial Tea Prices

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The price of tea in England declined during the 18th century. Now able to afford this commodity, English laborers included tea in their budgets for the first time. A study of such budgets published by Sir Frederick Eden and David Davies discovered that 9% of one’s average earnings was spent on tea, most notably the popular Bohea tea, between 1740 and 1822.[1]In 1774, the average household income in the American South among the rich was $705, per free household, and $461, per household with slaves. This income was not based on the wage earner’s occupation, but rather a combination of the value of their property and occupation.[2] Converted to the Pound Sterling (£), the currency of the English during the 18th...

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Memorial Day

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"If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us." * In 1868, as the tradition of Memorial Day (or Decoration Day) was just beginning, a group of former Union Soldiers gathered to remember their fallen comrades of the Civil War. The quote above comes from the leader of their group, Major General John Logan.  He issued the challenge to honor the memories of those left behind. I have spent the majority of my life serving our country and there are two holidays that have special meaning to me; Veteran's day, where we honor Veterans still among...

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To Boil or Not To Boil

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If you order tea from Oliver Pluff, you know our labels come with a guide for how long and at what temperature water to use to brew your tea. We have had several people ask if they need to boil the water or just get it to the minimum temperature recommend? When it comes to traditional tea, the answer is: yes, you always boil; whether you are making a delicate steamed green tea or a hearty herbal concoction; boil then cool to the desired temperature. While boiling water helps the flavor of tea this process also helps eliminate harmful bacteria and germs in the water. Never use pre-heated water from the tap or double boiled water, this will add an...

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Cider Spices Wassail Brewing

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Wassail (Middle English 'wæs hæl' - ‘be you healthy’) refers both to the salute 'Waes Hail' and to the drink of wassail, a hot mulled cider drunk as part of wassailing, an English ritual intended to ensure a good apple harvest the following year. Historically, the drink is a mulled cider, mulled beer, or mead, made with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and topped with toast. A group then sings: “Old Apple tree, old apple tree, we've come to wassail thee, To bear and to bow apples enow, Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full, Barn floors full and a little heap under the stairs.” Check out our brewing tips for Cider Spices Wassail here.    

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