Day 4: Sweet Almond Green

Salut steepers,

Day 4, happy Friday! The rain continues as December trudges on, and we pull open drawer number 4 and find… our first green tea of the month! The leaves smell like play-doh to me… but maybe I’ve been cooped in the basement too long working on unit plans and have gone a bit off. Ah well- Here we go!

Tea: Sweet Almond Green

Sweet Almond Green

Description: Our favourite part of the holiday season? The treats, of course. And those little almond-scented cookies have an extra-special place in our hearts. Buttery and sweet, with the nutty crunch of an almond on top, they’re a dangerously delicious part of any festive cookie spread. But with a nutty kiss of almond and an organic base of green tea, this sweet and subtle tea is our guilt-free version of the classic treat. Because indulging yourself should have no strings attached.

Ingredients:  Green tea, almonds, marigold flowers, cornflower petals. With natural almond flavouring.

Stacey: I’ve been dying to drink this tea all morning while you were asleep on the other side of the country, you know. This has been a test of my willpower. The tea calls to me but I’m not supposed to drink it until we Skype. It’s such a tease.
Brooke: I’m sorry!! This smells like play-doh.
Stacey: What the- I smell almond, with a little bit of fruit. Can I have it now?

*sip*

Brooke: Hm.
Stacey: …Fruity Almond- just like it smelled! Yum!
Brooke: Hm. It just… kind of tastes like a green tea to me. I don’t taste much almond at all!
Stacey: I find you get it afterwords. You get the marzipan flavouring as it lingers. My Mom said it tasted like an almond cookie, she and my Dad liked this one!
Brooke: Hmm… not me! It’s like.. green tea play-doh. Andre agrees but also says it tastes a little medicinal.
Stacey: I don’t get that at ALL! What?!
Brooke: I thought there were fruit pieces in this, but it’s just almond! I’m so confused this morning.
Stacey: Oh, let’s do some hypothetical questions. When would you drink this tea?
Brooke: I wouldn’t. I don’t really like it.
Stacey: Well that answers that.
Brooke: What about you?
Stacey: This one would also be a good iced tea, with a bit of honey in it or something. I’d have this with a marzipan croissant.
Brooke: I would LOVE a croissant right now. Like with cream in it.
Stacey: Sigh.

Final thoughts:

Stacey: You know, I think we need to take what our friend Spencer said a few years ago and really run with it- we need to let these teas cool down before we really can taste all the fantastic flavours. I found that certain sips have more almond flavour than others- it switched between tasting more green, then more almond, then both. I don’t think I’ll have it again, because it’s not that special to me, but I am enjoying it.

Brooke: It kind of makes me feel nauseous. I don’t think I will have any more. I am a grump today.

WHAT A WILD RIDE- two totally different takes on Day 4. Twitter was less divided:

Day 4 of @DAVIDsTEA#24daysoftea is Sweet Almond Green. One of my favourites so…Yay!! 🙂
#24daysoftea oh my god, today’s sweet almond green tastes like marzipan! I’m in love!
Looks like I need to get my taste buds checked, as I’m the only one who really thought this was like play-doh. Don’t mind me, folks.
What did you think?
Until next tea!
Brooke and Stacey
maxresdefault

This is what my mouth feels like. It is weird.

 

Advertisements

Day 1: Sleigh Ride

Happy December 1st, tea lovers!

That’s right, the roomies are back with another round of DavidsTea’s #24DaysofTea and we are SO excited! Are you?! Sure, maybe we’re on the opposite sides of the country now, but we still love each other and tea just as much and we are making it work. Starting with me getting up at 6:45am in order to be able to message with Stacey and skype with my Mom before heading off to campus. The things we do for tea! Door #1: *Gasp* SLEIGH RIDE! Giddyup!

Tea: Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride

DAVIDsTEA Description: Falling snow, popping chestnuts, cold hands and noses…yep, winter has arrived. But don’t worry, we have the perfect tea to warm you up all December long. Cinnamon, apples, raisins, almonds, and hibiscus combine for a tea that is sweet, tart, and earthy. And beet pieces make it as nice and rosy as a caroler’s cheeks. So hop in your sleigh, snuggle up, and pass a thermos around. It’s lovely weather for a Sleigh Ride together.

Ingredients: Apple, hibiscus blossoms, pineapple (pineapple, sugar), papaya (papaya, sugar), beetroot, cinnamon, raisins, coconut, roasted almonds (almonds, sugar, glucose syrup, vegetable fat, caramelized sugar syrup), popped rice, natural and artificial flavouring.

Brooke: Mom, are you excited?!
Cathy: Oh no, this is the one you really don’t care for! What don’t you like about it? It’s all very cinnamon-y and good! Apple slices!
Brooke: Hmm… It’s too sour for my taste, but we’ll see what we think of it this time!

We’ve had this tea each year of  DAVIDsTEA’s 24 Days of Tea set (see 2012, 2013, and 2014) … and we’ve never liked it. What would happen this time?!

Stacey, via Google hangouts: I was so disappointed with finding out it was sleigh ride! My Mom and I are both hoping our taste buds have changed.
(Stacey’s mom was texting her: “The aroma smells like cinnamon and peppermint”)

*Sip*

Cathy: Hmm, it’s too insipid [adj. “lacking flavor”]. There’s no oomph! Brooke, how do you hip hop dance?
Brooke: W-what?

Stacey: Whoa, whoa, WAIT! Guys, when it’s lukewarm… it’s so much better! WOW! For once I am happy for the time difference between us so I could let the tea cool off before starting to drink. It was difficult to wait, but it was well worth it. My mom agrees! Says she’s drinking it cooler, too. Apparently at the beginning it tasted like cough medicine, but as she drank it, it  got her in the mood for decorating!
Brooke: Odd combo, I like it!
Cathy: Hmmm… It makes me think of an apple cider, like a mulled cider thing.
Brooke: I dunno… Still tastes like warm juice to me, ick!

Stacey: But what about the flavours? They are so nice this year!

Brooke: When I start drinking it, it reminds me of Forever Nuts (yay) but then I get this sour and bitter finish (boo).
Cathy: Oh, well I like it.
Stacey: I think that it tastes exactly like warm apple cider. Wait, Brooke, where’s Andre?
Brooke: Probably awake in bed, since I’m being loud and beat boxing with mom.  Hey…wait! The tea is getting better!
Stacey: Told you! Let it cool a bit!
Following our final dissections of the tea itself, we expressed how excited we were for the next 23 days of tea and blogging. While this tea didn’t light us up, it didn’t rile us up either, which was a pleasant surprise. We all agreed that this tea should be had at a cooler temperature rather than piping hot. This seemed to help with the bitterness and sourness that it sometimes tasted. And, hey! With that, we completed day one! HOW EXCITING!
 Psst!! Wait- there’s more!

 

We also hit up instagram and twitter to see what other tea fans were saying, and found that they were just as pleased!

@ O.V.E.R.E.X.C.I.T.E.D. ❄️ #24daysoftea

@ Started off my morning right! THERE’S A CINNASTICK!! #butnofire #24daysoftea

@DarlingLilRed On the first day of gave to me Sleigh Ride. Appley, tart and sweet. #24daysoftea

What did YOU think, reader? To let cool, or drink hot?

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey (and our moms)

 

horse-sleigh-rides

Stacey: Hey Brooke.. Let’s “sleigh ride” into December together… Brooke: *Sigh*

Mulberry Magic (DAVIDsTEA)

Good evening, tea enthusiasts!

Last week, MK treated me to a free tea at DAVIDsTEA thanks to their “TeaFF” promotion, so we took the opportunity to grab a brew we’ve never tried before and discuss its flavours for your pleasure. Amidst thesis writing, face masks and licorice allsorts, we were able to review this neat herbal “spinach” tea. Enjoy!

Tea: Mulberry magic

Description: People have been buzzing about mulberry leaves for all sorts of reasons lately, but we just can’t stop talking about how good they taste. Combined with macadamia nuts, they make for a tea that is sweet, complex, and slightly earthy. Do they really have tons of other benefits, as the health freaks claim? We’re too happy to care.

Ingredients: Mulberry leaf, organic macadamia nuts, natural flavouring

Instructions: 1.25tsp, 4-7min 96C

MK: Wow, the water is so DARK! Like, a dark deep green. Can I taste it yet? *Sip* Oh. Oh… It is so weird.
Brooke: They put a lot of leaves in here… I would put that much in a whole teapot. Wait, MK, are you dissecting your tea bag?
MK: I want to see the macadamia nuts, I can’t taste them! Hey!! THERE ARE NONE HERE.  Oh, wait, this little itty bitty thing? Aw man!
Brooke: The wet leaves kind of looks like spinach. And it TASTES like it, too! Sweet spinach tea.
MK: Brooke!! WHY are you eating licorice allsorts? That’s going to ruin your tea taste!
Brooke: I do what I want.
MK: Well, I’m taking a picture of my dissection.

At this point, Stacey and Eric arrived from a yoga session and we forced the tea on them to get their opinions on its flavours.

Eric: Oh, yum! It’s sweet!
Brooke: And nutty! The mulberry is good for glucose regulation, says MK. It also has macadamia nuts in it!
Eric: THAT’s what I taste! Subway cookies! And what kind of berries?
MK: Mulberry! They’re prized because they’re all silkworm eat! Wait, am I lying? Lemme check! WAIT. Brooke. You have WAY more nuts in yours!! Try mine, I think ours taste different. Look, you have so many more than meeee! Clearly need the right ratio of nuts.
Brooke: Do you not like yours? Do you want to switch?
MK: It’s fine. I’ve already started licking the rim.
Brooke: What do you  think, Stace?
Stacey: That is very nice! It’s magical!
MK: Why does everyone like the spinach tea? Brooke’s is better. Maybe I’m just angry.
Brooke: Well, I like it! It kind of reminds me of a green tea, which mellows me out a bit. It doesn’t have any spicy or fruity notes which I really appreciate.
MK: You’re a purist, though, so I can totally see why this is Brooke tea. Maybe I’m an artificial flavour type of girl?

Tea Vibes

MK: What does this flavour remind you of? What imagery does it bring to mind? After all, we’ve got readers to think about!
Brooke: It reminds me of natural hot water springs that you would bathe in. Nature’s hot tub!
MK: MAN ! Let’s go. K, now rate it.
Brooke: 5/5
MK: WHAAAT. BROOKE. THE PHANTOM 100%. MAN. I give it a 4/10.  A macadamia-less 4/10.
Brooke: Different strokes for different folks, I guess!

And there you have it- another incredibly information tea review for the books. Hopefully we can squeeze in one more before MK heads off on her euro adventure at the end of this month. Can we do it?! Stay tuned to find out.

Until next next tea,

Brooke and MK (and Stacey and Eric)

MK's comparison of our macadamia nut count after her dissections. She was not impressed.

MK’s comparison of our macadamia nut count after her dissections. She was not impressed.

Brazillionaire (DAVIDsTEA)

Happy winter weekend, readers!

It’s a cold one in the capital of Canada today as MK and I sat down to review a brew and keep ourselves warm. Stacey joins us part way through and we all shared in the richness of this brazillionaire blend. Enjoy!

Tea: Brazillionaire

Description: Get Rich Quick. Have you heard tales of the wealthy Brazilian eccentric? According to local stories, he was completely obsessed with Brazil nuts, the source of his fortune. He insisted on having them in every meal – even his afternoon tea! Was it needless decadence, or a stroke of genius? You’ll have to taste it yourself to decide. This fabulously opulent blend combines black tea with whole Brazil nuts, raisins and coconut. Trust us – it tastes like a million bucks.

Ingredients: Black tea, Brazil nuts, raisins, coconut, natural and artificial flavouring

Instructions: 96C, 4-7 minutes, 1 tsp

MK: It smells like the looseleaf did, which is a good thing!
Brooke: Your face is in the tea again.
MK: Another facial! Mmmmm.
Brooke: It smells like a creamy dark chocolate. Is that a thing?
MK: That… would be milk chocolate.
Brooke: Oh. Right.

*Sip*

MK: Mmm.. It’s really rich! Like… sitting on a velvet bed kind of rich. With lions and gold chains. Cause you know… Brazil? Okay, I’m digging myself into a hole, your turn! I dunno, I’m just picturing this pimp in velvet drinking this tea. Cause.. yeah. Yeah. Oh this is good.
Brooke: It’s so creamy yet again, I swear they’re magicians.
MK: I almost think I need to buy this if only to be reminded of this conversation every time I drink it. “Creamy dark chocolate.”
Brooke: OH lay off! I don’t think I have ever had Brazil nuts before… Have you? You’re making a face.
MK: I’m thinking of my grandfather. Brazil nuts came in our Christmas nut bowls at my grandparents. They look like.. wait, I don’t know what they look like. They’re really rich, though. So, it really works well with this tea. I’m gettin’ that rich nutty flavour, creamy coconut, then slight sweetness from the raisins.
Brooke: MK, you’re really getting good at this tea review thing!
MK: Well Brooke, I’ve got a good teacher, as I spit into my spittoon. You know, like wine tasters. Hey, this is getting better as it cools even (shout out to Brooke’s mom).

Stacey arrives after a visit home, sits down and reviews the final sips before we head out to play boardgames at a local café.

Stacey: Ah yes, I just had this with my family just yesterday! I only let my mom have a taste so I felt guilty. It reminded me of toasted walnut. It smells like it, too.
Brooke: Have a sip!
Stacey: This is lukewarm. I’ll heat it up. OH GOD MY TONGUE. I CAN’T TASTE.
Brooke: Karma?
MK: What do you think of the tea now, Stacey?
Stacey: Um… Well, because of its name, it reminds me of going through a rainforest in Brazil, if they exist, and you’d be with a guide, and he’d be like “try this piece of bark, it’s fantastic” and it would be like a local treasure. And he’d be speaking through a translator.
Brooke:
MK: If anything, this tea evokes vivid imagery.

Tea vibes:

Since Stacey’s back, we spoke our final thoughts on this tea to her phone, which then typed up what it sounded like we said. Here are our final vibes on the brew:

Stacey: Mail fantastic. Also, taste pretty good. I would have it on a special occasion with whoever millionaire.

Brooke: Lifted and ride, so much joy to everybody sitting at the table because we got to explore our our creative minds! I hope that it inspires my creative mind to finish this god damn thing 2007 have I done.

MK: Ok. It was good. I like it. I want it and it was toasty in creamy and made me feel like a gazillion bucks. London, I’ll call you.

And there you go! Another wonderful tea time with your Ottawa friends. Or tea saints, says MK. I am apparently Tea Moses, since I “bring tea to my people”.

Any teas that you fancy we try? Let us know!

Until next tea,

Brooke, MK and Stacey

Brooke depicted as Tea Moses, by MK.

Brooke depicted as Tea Moses, by MK.

Rooibos de provence (DAVIDsTEA)

Happy new year, readers!

Christmas has now wrapped up, decorations have finally been put away and work has re-started (if it ever stopped). Luckily for us, Christmas provided everyone with some new teas to try, so today I sat down with our good friend MK and enjoyed some some “frou-frou rustic glamour”. Ooo la la, allons-y!

Tea: Rooibos de provence

Description: The scent of lavender never fails to evoke the south of France, with its fabulous mix of tiny villages and celebrity-filled beaches and yachts. So imagine yourself in Aix or St-Tropez, leisurely sipping on this smooth blend. It’s filled with sophistication.

Ingredients: Rooibos, blueberries, rosehips, rose petals, lavender, black currants, red currants, artificial blueberry flavouring

Instructions: 1.25tsp, 4-7 minutes, 96C water.

Brooke: So… I steep my teas for 5 minutes.
MK: What? Oh no, I keep mine in for longer. We’ll have to steep ours separately.

Each person may have their own preference for tea steeping time and that must be always respected! As the teas steeped, we debated on the brews’ smells and potential uses. 

Brooke: Mmmm blueberries… No. Wait…lavender?
MK:  THAT’s what that is.
Brooke: Um, MK… you’re putting your face IN your mug.
MK: BROOKE! I could turn this into a facial!
Brooke: What?!
MK: Yes. What’s in this?
Brooke: Blueberries, currants, lavender, rose petals… The title says “A little rustic glamour”.
MK: Oh. That is totally me.

*Sip*

MK: You know, in a past blog post your mom said she tastes the teas better when they’re cool. I am SO in her camp. All I taste right now is fruitiness. Hey, what do currants taste like?
Brooke: Like grapes… I think.
MK: Oh. Really?
Brooke: Well, when I was in the UK, we would have black currant juice. A campus bartender would put black currant syrup with beer and cider and call it a Snake Bite.
MK: In Calgary, we would put canned tomato juice in beer and call it the Calgary Red Eye.
Brooke: Oh my god I would barf.
MK: What do you think of the tea, Brooke?
Brooke: Hmm.. it’s like the decaffeinated version of Blueberry Jam, a black tea we had last year.
MK:I think.. I think… it’s pretty. Also, so was the smile you just had. Very pretty!
Brooke: How sweet of you to say!
MK: I think the long list of herbs and flowers bump it up to that pretty flavour. “The frou frou French”. Yep, I like this tea. It’s its own dessert.
Brooke: So, we don’t need dessert tonight?
MK: I never said that!!

Tea vibes:

(Without Stacey’s voice-to-text feature, we provide our final thoughts with articulation and accuracy)

MK: The ingredients wouldn’t normally be sought out in my favourite teas, but this tea was very pretty, frou frou, and French. I enjoyed it, it was something different. And you know, change is good. Want some life wisdom? Be spontaneous. Do new things. Drink new tea. I give it a good hearty 8/10.

Brooke: It reminds me a lot of blueberry jam, but this one has a nice “rustic goodness” about it that really brings it home. Reminds me of walks along the forest line meeting with the shore. The rooibos gets to come out in this one, too. It gets to be a player in the tea and gets to mingle with all the other flavours. I wouldn’t buy this for the apartment but would happily recommend it as a caffeine-free brew to my people. 7/10.

Well, with a final sip to finish things off, we felt satisfied with out visit to the South of France. And hey, we made it to 10,000 hits! Thanks to all who continue to read about our tea-steeped adventures. Stay tuned for our next post, where we try out DAVIDsTEA’s “Brazillionaire” with Stacey.

Until next tea,
Brooke and MK

P.S. Thanks to The Tea Sisters for the picture of the looseleaf tea. Reading their blog posts makes us want to meet them, because of their love for YouTube, tea and using capital letters for emphasis.

 

This tea review is dedicated to Dale Kohlman (1961-2012).

Day 23: Eggnog

Hello tea lovers!

Today I’m bringing you the blog post from Halifax where my Mom and I are having a sit down and skyping with family (who were also drinking tea). Stacey enjoyed her brew with a tea lover, too, so it was a tea-filled day across the country! Second last tea in the calendar, here we go!

Tea: Eggnog

Description: We’re pretty strict about certain holiday traditions. Especially the delicious ones. So it should come as no surprise that we insist on sipping eggnog at every festive occasion. All things considered, it’s almost crazy that it took us this long to find the perfect eggnog tea. But trust us, this rich and creamy rooibos blend was definitely worth the wait. With white chocolate, mini meringues and a hint of nutmeg, it’s a brand new tradition we can’t believe we ever went without.

Ingredients: Green rooibos, white chocolate chips, meringue powder, natural and artificial flavouring (that must be the nutmeg…).

Steeping Instructions: 1.25 tsp, 96°C, 4-7 minutes

As I busily worked away on my thesis, Mom came in and handed me the tea.

Cathy: You’ll have to have a look at the looseleaf tea at some point, dear!
Brooke: Why?
Cathy: It has eggnog buttons in it.
Brooke: WHAT?
Cathy: I can’t describe it any other way- there are eggnog buttons in it!
Brooke: Mom, those are the white chocolate chips.
Cathy: No, dear.
Brooke: Fine. What does the water look like in your glass mug, Mom?
Cathy: It’s murky! Kind of like the toad’s water, but I’m sure it tastes better!
Over in Ottawa, Stacey is joined by fellow tea lover, Eric.
Stacey: It looks very creamy in the cup….I’m not sure how I feel about that. It also smells…kind of like burnt.
Eric: Really?
Stacey: Yeah, you know when they burn meringue with a torch? Kind of like that.*sip*

Stacey: Oddly, I think I taste more of the nutmeg at the beginning.
Eric: Mhmm, I think it has quite the rooibos taste to it. The chocolate rounds out the taste.
Stacey: Very creamy, but in a good way.
Eric: I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It seems pretty regular to me.
Stacey: Yeah, almost like it would be a holiday blend at the grocery store.
Eric: Oh, it does get sweeter the more you drink it!
Stacey: Ah yes, there are drudges of chocolate at the bottom on my cup. Very interesting indeed!

Back in Halifax, we also took our first sips.

Cathy: I don’t care for it. Very bland. It was excitedly named, but it doesn’t give back!
Brooke: Doesn’t give back?
Cathy: I didn’t take the tea blogging course! I don’t know what to say! *achoo!*
Brooke: Ah! That went right into my tea!! (15 minutes and two skype calls later) Now that’s it’s cooled, what do you think?
Cathy: I like it better, I finally taste the sweetness, which is what I was looking forward to! Still a bit strange, though. Have mine, since I sneezed in yours!
Brooke: Thank you! Yeah, it tastes like watered-down eggnog, very very strange. It just.. doesn’t fit like a tea for me.

Tea Vibes:

Everyone used their voice-to-text feature on their devices to say their final thoughts on today’s brew:

Stacey: It’s very creamy and you. It’s very spicy to buy, also just his can. I buy a regular events but as you get through the end, forget. Sweetheart, I’m thinking before the early part. 7 and 10.

Eric: I was hoping for a dog with a delicious christmas tree. But that I found out you had more rc taken with darwen. And I was surprised when you get to the end with sweetness. I would give it a six out of ten, lenovo vista.

Cathy: It’s a novel PT and Christmas oriented which is nice. I did like the eggnog buttons. Give it a 6 on 10.

Brooke: This team is watered down version of the real thing. All of the guilty pleasures without the calories. I don’t think I want to cup but that’s okay. That’s why I haven’t yet. Sixty-two.

And there you have it- if you really crave eggnog but don’t want the calories, this strange blend is for you! Will Eric get his dog with a Christmas tree? Will Stacey think after the early part? Will Mom realize eggnog buttons don’t exist? As for me, I’m going to go and have a massive lunch with a friend, so calorie-counting is out.

One more tea left!

Until next tea,
Brooke (and Cathy) and Stacey (and Eric)

For Eric.

Day 18: Silk Dragon Jasmine

Good evening, tea drinkers!

With the bustle of December and our lives rarely overlapping these days, we reviewed today’s tea via text yet again. We promise tomorrow we will sit down in the morning and share our cups together again. Right, Stacey? Good. For now, enjoy our banter on a floral brew with a mythical name and an elegant taste!

Tea: Silk Dragon Jasmine

Description: Made from premium green tea, our Silk Dragon is a limited-edition treasure. To create it, night-blooming jasmine is gathered in the morning and kept cool all day. In the evening, when the flowers burst open and release their scent, they are placed with the tea until midnight. This is repeated with fresh flowers over the course of five nights, infusing the tea with a most magical flavour.

Ingredients: Organic Chinese green tea from Jianxi Province, naturally scented with jasmine flowers.

Steeping Instructions: 1.25 tsp, 80°C, 2-3 minutes

*Sip*

Stacey: Very earth today!
Brooke: Yeah? I just like that it has the word ‘dragon’ in it.
Stacey: Mhm, very majestic. You taste the green tea base and the jasmine hits you hard.
Brooke: Does it ever smell like grandma perfume! I mean, I would never wear it or want the scented lotion… but it’s quite comforting.
Stacey: We had this tea last year and you said almost the exact same thing.
Brooke: WELL. At least the tea and I are consistent.
Stacey: Oh. Well, yes.
Brooke: Last time I thought it was a little bitter but today I steeped it perfectly and it’s just right! Earthy is a great way to describe this base.
Stacey:  I think my water was too hot again.
Brooke: But what about the pour-it-into-another-cup-and-then-back-again-to-cool-it-down technique?
Stacey: I didn’t do it, last time I burnt myself. : (
Brooke: Aw, poor boo.
Stacey: You know, this tea makes me feel more exquisite somehow.
Brooke: I totally get you, gurl.

Tea vibes:

Brooke spoke the final texts into her tablet and they were translated as such:

Brooke: With the amount of flowers in this planned, it really hits you like a bouquet. It’s been an iced tea and I have it again if I was meeting someone coming with no spices and fruits.  Seven and a half on 10.

Stacey: The key is cozy and sweet potatoes but flowery. Really, its green tea base live in the up a simple flavour and brings it to something exquisit, he taunted.

With a few days left until the roomies split up for the holidays, hopefully we can get in a few more brews together (we taunted).

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

Day 16: Main Squeeze

Hi readers!

Stacey and I are apart again this morning but we still managed to have an eventful day together via text. I caused some trouble when I took the tin last night and got a confused text from Stacey early in the morning.

Stacey: The box was on the floor and I thought the tin had rolled away, I had no idea why it was gone! Then I thought I wouldn’t be able to have it… until I clued in.
Brooke: Morning adventures for Stacey!

I had taken the tea tin with me to Andre’s place knowing full well that we had a large stash of this one from Christmas past (thanks, Mom!). Stacey was able to have her brew on the way to work without any trouble.

Tea: Main Squeeze

Description: We all know the classic morning ritual: a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice. But what if you could get your energy boost and fresh-squeezed fruity taste all in one cup? We’re serious. Shake up your old routine with this fruity maté blend, and you may never go back. It’s got the juicy flavour of orange, papaya and pineapple, plus the high-energy punch of green yerba maté. Just one sip and you’ll feel alert, refreshed and ready for anything. Say hello to your new main squeeze.

Ingredients: Green yerba maté, papaya, pineapple, safflower, natural flavouring

Instructions: 1.25 tsp, 80°C, 4-7 minutes

Over here, André and I were chatting about the lack of new teas in this year’s 24DaysofTea while he made us some pancakes (I am spoiled).

Brooke: There haven’t been many new teas so far in this year’s box, it’s kinda sad.
André: Yeah, but in a normal advent calendar, all you get is the same kind of boring chocolate!
Brooke: Oooh so true. This is much better!

*sip*

André: Hm. I’m not usually a fan of fruity teas but this one’s nice!
Brooke: Yeah, I liked this one so much last year that I asked for it for Christmas and so did my Dad! MmMmm.
André: It’s not as fruity as I was expecting it to be… You can taste the maté in it quite distinctly.
Brooke: Yeah, one reviewer on steepster said she tried to brew it cold but all she tasted was the maté so she had to throw it out.
André: That’s really unfortunate.
Brooke: Maté has quite a strong taste!
André: Uh oh, mine’s getting on the not-warm side. Wait, what’s in this again? Papaya? Mango?
Brooke: Papaya and pineapple!
André: Okay, I got one right. It just tastes tropical, like a vacation from winter!
Brooke: But not sour or too sweet, like other fruity teas we’ve had.
André: Nor tart like a lemon! This is smooth.

After settling into thesis writing, I thought I would check in with Stace to get her thoughts:

Brooke: How do you like the tea?
Stacey: Good, oddly tastes like warm orange juice though.
Brooke: I think it tastes like a pineapple.
Stacey: Yes, but a less sweet version. Like pineapple candy!
Brooke: PINEAPPLE CANDY! YES!

Stacey’s colleague Amélie also gave it a try and our friend MK wanted to provide her thoughts as well. Here’s what they had to say:

Amélie: It still tastes like thick water to me, but it’s one of the better tasting teas I’ve had. It kind of smells a bit gross though.
MK: Today’s tea is an orange covered in dirt. (We don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.)

Tea Vibes:

Stacey spoke some final thoughts for the two of us on her phone, and this is what it typed for us:

Brooke and Stacey: Too busy for tea bags today. Candy, but make some changes to pets in the advent calendar. Elan 10.

We hope you can make it to your own tropical paradise to escape the oncoming winter. If not, why not have some Main Squeeze to tide you over until you do?

Until next tea,
Brooke and Stacey

 

Day 11: Mother’s Little Helper

While the rest of the city was blanketed in snow this morning, the tea connoisseurs sat in their overly-cozy apartment and excitedly started their day off right: with a hot cup of tea!

Brooke: I’m going to open door 11…no wait you should, I punched 10 out yesterday and that freaked you out. Your turn!
Stacey: And… it’s Mother’s Little Helper! Aw, unfortunately I can’t have this one because I’m allergic to ragweed and chamomile is part of that family.
Brooke: Aw, alright Andre, you’re up!
Andre:But this has chamomile! I’m going to fall asleep on the bus!
Brooke: Drink up, me hearty!

Tea: Mother’s Little Helper

Description:Need a little relaxation? Try running for the shelter of this mother’s little helper. It’s got organic valerian (aka “nature’s Valium”) to take the edge off your 24/7 reality. Plus there’s chamomile, peppermint and lemongrass for an added dose of tranquility. And pretty blue cornflowers just to make you happy. One sip and you’ll feel like you’ve spent the day at a spa.

Ingredients: peppermint, lemongrass, hibiscus, rosehips, chamomile, valerian root, cornflowers, peppermint flavouring

Steeping Instructions: 1.25tsp, 96C, 4-7 minutes

Brooke: Oooh it’s pink again! That’s the third tea this month that’s been a rosy colour!
Andre:Mmm, I smell mint.
Brooke: Smart man, that’s the main ingredient!
Andre:Oh, look at me!
Brooke: Yes, yes. Drink!

*Sip*

Andre: Ow, all I taste is hot!
Brooke: Oops.
Andre: Wait, yes, mmmm there’s the mint. The chamomile is there but the cooling effect of the mint is predominant in this one.

Stacey took a quick sip to add her two cents.

Stacey: Hm. Chamomile is weird to have in morning.
Brooke: The things we do for our readers, eh Stace?
Andre: You know, I actually feel less sleepy now!
Brooke: Ugh, all I smell is the lemongrass….. *Sip* oh, wait, yay, the mint protects me! What a great combination of flavours yet again!
Andre: Agreed. Very nice.
Brooke: The mint rounds out the lemongrass and the chamomile so well, it really makes for a perfect evening tea. Take another sip!
Andre: Hooray! I live sips!

Tea Vibes:

Brooke and Andre used Brooke’s voice-speech tool on her tablet, and their final thoughts were detected as:

Andre: I think this TV has a nice floral and sweet flavour due to the lemon grass fire. It has a nice minty finish. I give this to ten ten I see XX.

Brooke: This is the first lemongrass tea I’ve ever had that actually tastes decent and it’s because the mint properly mixes with the lemongrass and makes for a delicious finish! I don’t think I would have again, but it gets the 710.

I guess Brooke’s voice-type feature is a bit better than Stacey’s?

Ah well, another start to another beautiful day here in the capital. Get your work done and get your teas brewing, folks. It’s only 13 days until Christmas!

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey (and Andre)

https://i0.wp.com/www.pasadenanow.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/710.png

Give ‘er the ol’ 710, doc.

Day 9: Genmaicha

Good morning readers!

It is a SNOWY one out there today, with Ottawa expected to get 15-25cm tomorrow. When we do winter, we go all out. Today Stacey had to rush off to work uber early, so I sauntered into the kitchen with the tea kettle nice and warm, which was a perfect temperature for today’s tea….

Tea: Genmaicha

Description: Some people call Genmaicha popcorn tea because it contains whole roasted grains of brown rice, some of which have popped. Others call it the Rice Krispie of green teas. Either way, genmaicha was originally drunk by poor Japanese who used the rice as a filler because they couldn’t afford enough tea leaves. It soon became all the rage. Today, everyone is addicted to its sweet, toasted rice flavour.

Ingredients: Steamed green tea from Japan, roasted and popped rice.

Instructions: 1.25 tsp, 3-4 min, 85°C.

Stacey and I have reviewed this puppy last year, and yet again, the steeping instructions have drastically changed! An extra quarter of a teaspoon, an extra minute and 11 degrees hotter than last year. How strange!

After thoroughly enjoying our teas on their own during the day, Stacey and I discussed our feelings while making a tasty gnocci dinner together.

Brooke: Ugh, I really do love this one. I was so hesitant when I smelled the popcorn, I mean rice, but when you steep a tea for so few minutes, the tastes stay like small hints in the back of your mind and you get to really mellow out.
Stacey: Yes, it’s so toasty. Is that the right word? I’m using it. It’s very earthy and lovely.
Brooke: We use lovely too much!
Stacey: Fine, not lovely, it’s just that after I finished my morning work there was still some left in my thermos and it made me very happy.
Brooke: Ah, much more descriptive! I said it last year and I’ll say it again- this is an every day tea. It’s delicious.
Stacey: Oh yeah, you have this anywhere, Brooke! Writing your thesis, collecting data, going for a walk. Anywhere! 
Brooke:
 I think it would make a good staple for us. The popped rice may turn some people off, so if a guest asked for green I say we hide it from them and then give them the finished product and they’ll never know. Unless they’re our friend Desiree, because she may think there’s popcorn.

Tea Vibes:

The voice-type feature on Stacey’s phone has basically figured me out, and my tea vibe seemed well translated as I spoke:

Brooke: Despite its movie-like flavours, because of the popcorn, aids mellow tones. Brings you to a state of calmness that I would like to achieve daily. 9 and 10. (When I saw how well things were translated, I boasted:) I talked to wellman.

Stacey’s was NOT as well translated and got WAY off topic:

Stacey: I am a really good change up from regular green tea. Add crazy flavours, yeah! It’s warm. Inviting. You wanna have sex at 9 and 10? I do not speak welsh. (Stacey: Well that doesn’t paint the best picture of me does it. *Sigh*)

Who would have thought a tea blog could ever be this fun? We hope you’re enjoying it as much as we are making it! We’ll see you right back here tomorrow for another tasty blend.

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stace

Making dinner, drinking tea, and playing video games together since ’07.