Day 24: Santa’s Secret

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!

Well folks- we made it. For the fourth time, we made it through all 24 days of tea. Now, since we already talked about this three times already (2012, 2013, 2014) we’re not doing it again! Instead, we’re going to talk about our opinions of this year’s #24daysoftea!! Since it’s our fourth in a row, we figured we can discuss how this one compares to those of the past. So, without further ado, here is the information for secret santa, which we then promptly ignore!

Tea: Santa’s Secret

Santa’s Secret

Description: Ever wonder how Santa manages to deliver all those presents in just one night? Well here’s the hush-hush formula. He uses a special combination of Chinese black tea, peppermint leaves and spices – all sprinkled with real little candy canes. It’s both energizing and remarkably soothing. All Santa needs is one cup and his motto changes from “ho ho ho” to “go go go”.”

Ingredients: Black tea, peppermint, sprinkles (sugar, rice flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, corn starch, natural and artificial flavours, cellulose gum, red 40 Lake, mono and diglycerides, carrageenan, titanium dioxide (colour), polysorbate 60)

Brooke: So, what did you think of this year’s “24 days of tea”?
Stacey: I’m quite impressed with the variety of teas this year. Many of these ones were brand new for us.
Brooke: Yeah, and even the teas that we had before have changed in their ingredients. Mom, for example, didn’t like the Gingerbread tea last year but this year she raved about it!
Stacey: Yeah, they added chocolate chips I think, which made it nice and  creamy!
Brooke: Exactly- they improved the ones we didn’t enjoy and I was impressed.
Stacey: Yeah generally speaking, the ones that we had had years before were also ones that we liked. And they had a few we didn’t enjoy, like Sleigh Ride, out of the way pretty quickly.
Eric: Did you talk about how cool Snow Day was?
Stacey: The snowflakes went up and down like it was snowing in the cup!
Brooke: Neat! But I gotta say, I mourned Glitter and Gold’s shimmer this year.
André: They’re going to have to re-name it. Gold, No Glitter. Gold Sans Glitter. Just Gold Tea.
Brooke: I’ve also gotta say, I was very unimpressed with the amount of tea in each tin this year. Years past our tins were filled to the brim but this year they were barely two thirds full. We paid more for the calendar this year ($40) but we got way less tea in our tins.
Stacey: Well, they were GOLD tins, Brooke!
Eric: I heard that they had someone testing to make sure each tea tin was twistable.
Stacey: Maybe they were taking tea from yours, Brooke!
Eric: Skimming 25% off the top!
André: Tea heist!
Brooke: Those scoundrels!
Stacey: You know what I liked? The drawers instead of doors. Hey, that kind of rhymed! Quit playing with the bells on my hat!
Eric: I can’t help it!
Brooke: I also LOVED the drawers. Clean, simple, so reusable.
Stacey: Yeah, and I liked how you could turn the drawers around to see what each tea was after, so you don’t have to go searching for the tins when you wanted a specific kind after the calendar was over. For example, we’re going to have Cardamom French Toast tomorrow, I think. Mmm! Wait, what if we have French toast for breakfast? Is that too much?
André: Never too much French toast.

Final thoughts: Are we doing this again next year?

Brooke: I’m feeling like I don’t want to do this next year because of the cost and the difficulty of trying to Skype with the ridiculous time difference and schedule conflicts.
Stacey: I want this advent calendar again, I think. I really liked it. But boy, the time change made this really hard to do. Every day, it was tough.
Eric: What if next year you just did highlights on the weekend? Once a week!
Stacey: And we can always text about it…
Brooke: Maybe this blog is finally ready for a rest.
Stacey; Well… I’m not done with #24daysoftea just yet.
Brooke:Oh, alright!

Here’s what the people of Twitter said:
Thanks to @DAVIDsTEA for the amazing #24daysoftea advent calendar. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
 Jour24! C’est la fin mais, Chut, c’est le Secret du Père Noël! #JoyeuxNoel à tous! 🎄🎅
Last day of my #24daysoftea ! So sad for it to be over but so excited that #christmaseve is here.…

So the question remains, will we continue our blog next year? Only time will tell…stay tuned to find out! One thing is for sure though, we certainly enjoyed skyping and texting with each other daily since we don’t live with each other any more. It was a nice way to catch up with each other and make it feel like old times.

Well, if you excuse us, we have a Christmas Eve evening to enjoy. We hoped you enjoyed following along this year!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Until next tea,
Brooke, Andre, Stacey, and Eric

Caught you red handed, you tea stealing Elf!

 

Day 21: Cardamom French Toast

Hi Tea Drinkers,

Happy Monday! Today Brooke and I were able to skype for a few minutes before I had to go back to work and she had to get ready for a trip to the dentist. We probably could have just talked about the smell of this tea, my goodness! Does it ever smell good! We decided to steep it though and give it the ol’ taste test. Here we go!

Tea: Cardamom French Toast

Cardamom French Toast

Description: Something about cardamom just puts us in a festive frame of mind. We love its rich, fragrant taste any way we can get it. One of our faves? The buttery, cardamom-scented Christmas breads popular in Sweden and Finland. And cardamom toast is great, it only stands to reason that cardamom French toast would be out of this world. With black tea, cardamom, cane sugar and cinnamon, this rich, sweet blend tastes just like the decadent breakfast of our dreams. Only this is one brunch item you’ll be wanting all day long.

Ingredients: Black tea, cinnamon, lemon peel, coriander seeds, cardamom, coconut sugar, cane sugar, natural and artificial flavouring.

Stacey: This tea smells amazing!
Brooke: Yeah, it does. It’s all caramel-ly smelling.
Stacey: Caramel?
Brooke: Yeah, almost like a butter smell.
Stacey: Maybe that’s the cane sugar, that’s melted?

*sip*

Brooke: Is there vanilla in here?
Stacey: Nope, no vanilla.
Brooke: Mmm, this is such a Christmas tea. It might even be our Christmas morning tea! I love it!
Stacey: Yeah and it’s not sweet at all, which I love!
Brooke: I would say it’s sweet, but not the fruit sweet we usually taste. The only sweetness is the butter-yness I described.
Stacey: I’m just glad I can drink it, usually if they add sugar I don’t want it.
Brooke: I like that they put sugar in it and not Stevia.
Stacey: Yep, Only coconut sugar and cane sugar in here.
Brooke: Give it to me!
Stacey: It does taste a lot like french toast.
Brooke: Makes me not want to have french toast because I feel like I am already having it.
Stacey: This is seriously very delicious.
Brooke: Uh oh, I am starting to taste a bit too much sugar now.
Stacey: Oh not me, are you further down the cup.
Brooke: Yeah, maybe halfway through.
Stacey: Nope, no sugar for me. Mmm.

Here’s what the Twitter-verse had to say:

Final Thoughts: 

Stacey: I left the drippings out on my desk for the rest of the day and I am so glad I did…it made my office smell delicious! And it tasted just as good! As my Mom said, this is one for the cupboards!

Unfortunately Brooke had to go for a root canal today so she wasn’t able to share her final thoughts. Remember how I said to wish her a happy birthday yesterday? Well today, you should send her some love for her sore tooth. I know she would appreciate it.

Another one for the books! Wish we could have ended it on a happier note, but there’s nothing happy about a root canal. 😦

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke

image

Day 19: Dark Chocolate Delight

Hi steepers!

Day 19 brought friends and dental work- what a day! While Stacey and Eric had our friends Des, Kathryn, and Steve over, I had just gotten back from a poke and a prod from my dentist when we settled down to discuss today’s tea. Lots of catching up, chatting, and tangents occurred, but we did talk tea enough for a blog post. Here we go!

Tea: Dark Chocolate Delight

Dark Chocolate Delight

Description: What is it about dark chocolate? Its taste is sinfully decadent, but studies say it might actually be good for you. But wait – it gets better. Now you don’t even have to wait until dessert to get your fix. With this black tea blend, you can treat yourself anytime, anywhere. With cocoa shells, blueberries and big chunks of luscious dark chocolate, it’s a deliciously rich taste of our favourite indulgence. Welcome to the dark side…

Ingredients: Black tea, spiced dark chocolate (cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, ancho chili, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, allspice, clove, chipotle chili, ground vanilla), blueberries, cocoa shells, natural chocolate flavouring.

Kathryn: It smells like mild chocolate.
Steve: How can it be mild? It either is chocolate or it isn’t!
Brooke: Well, some advent calendars have “chocolate-y treats” in them that aren’t even real chocolate, maybe it smells like that? Either way, it smells delicious and I’m excited.

*Sip*

Brooke: Hm. Chocolate water!
Stacey: It’s supposed to have spice in it. Peppers and stuff…
Desiree: I think there is supposed to be cumin in it.
Brooke: I just steeped mine for 5 mins, but maybe it should have been there longer? I don’t taste any spices.
Stacey: I thought we’d be able taste some sort of spice.
Brooke: Didn’t we have chocolate chili chai once before? Did you know, root canals are expensive?!

A tangent ensues- then we’re back on track.

Stacey: Hm, we only had a few teaspoons for the whole pot I made, I think ours might have been too weak, too.
Brooke: Yeah we need to steep it with more tea and for longer, I say. There are flavors in there that I want to taste!
Desiree: Yep, nothing too special about this one. I can taste the spice a little bit, though. I can tell there is something there but I want more.
Stacey: Yeah, I don’t really taste cloves, cinnamon or any spice.
Kathryn: Yeah, it’s is *okay*
Brooke: Aw man, you’re going to Upper Canada Village- so envious!

Second tangent on time difference, friends, and co-ordinating tea reviews, before final thoughts occurred.

Final thoughts:

Everyone agreed that while this tea had a neat chocolate flavour to it, we all were left wanting more spice. Our next cups of this will be steeped longer and with more loose leaf in hopes of hitting the spot.

Twitter reacted with mixed responses:

Missed yesterday’s so I combined it with today’s. Forever Nuts and Dark Chocolate, it tastes freaking AMAZING!

  DAY 19: Dark Chocolate Delight: not as delightful or chocolately as Hot Chocolate.  Olivia is enjoying her dark chocolate delight tea today 🎅🏼🎄🎁

Well, we may not have steeped our tea long enough today but we certainly had a great time chatting it over with friends. Tangents and all!
Until next tea,
Brooke and Stacey (and Kathryn, Steve, Desiree, Eric, and Andre)

Nothing like a hot tea while enjoying some Christmas lights!

Day 11: Hot Chocolate

Hello friends!

Brooke is off at a full-day conference today, so it will be just me reviewing the tea. Who knew time change would be so difficult for two roomies who want to enjoy a cup of tea together? In any case, I’ll try to bring some excitement by adding thoughts from my co-worker Poppy, and Eric to round out the post. Let’s see how hot chocolate tastes in tea form!

Tea: Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

Description: We take hot chocolate pretty seriously around here. It’s gotta be rich, decadent and mega-creamy. And after searching high and low for the ultimate hot chocolate tea, we finally found the perfect blend. We took a flavourful base of pu’erh and black tea, then we added real cocoa nibs and fudgy chocolate chips. The result? An uber-chocolately blend worthy of the name Hot Chocolate. Dark, sweet and totally satisfying, it’s the perfect winter treat.

Ingredients: Pu’erh tea, black tea, cocoa nibs, chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla), chocolate curls (sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, chocolate liquor, whey powder, lactose, soy lecithin, vanilla), stevia extract

Since Brooke wasn’t able to have the tea with me today, that meant that I was able to have it right in the morning. It was quite the change!

*sip*

Stacey: Well this is definitely a pur’eh.
Poppy: It’s kind of got a smokey taste to it.
Stacey: Yeah, not as sweet as I was expecting.
Poppy: I don’t hate it but I don’t know if I love it. It kind of tastes like watered down hot chocolate.
Stacey: Almost tastes like one of those chocolate calcium chews…not sure if that’s a good thing though. Any final thoughts?
Poppy: I probably wouldn’t buy it myself, but I would drink it if someone offered it to me.
Stacey: And that’s exactly what happened!

Later this morning Eric also provided his two cents: 

Eric: It’s a sweet tea that hit its mark in terms of the flavor. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite live up to what a hot chocolate is, especially like the one we had on the canal. I’m sure a foamy late version of it would make it much more enjoyable.
Stacey: Agreed, earlier Poppy and I were saying it was almost like a watered down hot chocolate. I almost prefer this though, mostly because hot chocolate is often too sweet for me.
Eric: Good point, I almost never drink hot chocolate because the sweetness is overpowering. So the watered down might not be a failure but rather a way to make it more enjoyable for us.
Stacey: I would be interested to try this is in a latte format though.

Final Thoughts: 

Stacey: As usually, as the tea cooled down the more flavour notes were present. This tea has a nice smooth creamy factor to it that bring out different layers of chocolate. I really enjoyed drinking this one but probably wouldn’t make it one of my regulars. Glad I got to try it though with 24 days of tea!

 Here’s what the Twitterverse had to say:

@lol_laurabHot Chocolate Pu’erh was the warm hug I needed to wake up on this sluggish Friday. Thanks to @DAVIDsTEA #24daysoftea ☕️

@jfeliciao: today’s @DAVIDsTEA #24DaysOfTea selection is one of my FAVES!!!! #HotChocolate

@megj95: When you start the day with hot chocolate tea it can only be a good day! Thank you @DAVIDsTEA #24daysoftea #heaven

Well, that’s another one for the books folks. What did you all think of this one? See you tomorrow for another round!

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

Here’s hoping that this will be open soon!

Day 10: Nepal Black

Hi tea lovers!

Today was a whirlwind day for me and I actually didn’t get to drink the tea. 😦 I know, what a heartbreak! Seeing as though it is so late in the day and knowing how much caffeine affects me, I thought it best to sit this one out. Good thing André, Brooke, and my Mom all got a taste. Read below to see what they thought!

Tea: Nepal Black

Description: There are good things brewing in the Highlands of Nepal. Like this hand-made black tea, from a small family-owned tea garden named Jun Chiyabari. From the first sip you’ll notice its rich, sweet, honey-like flavour. What doesn’t come through in the cup is how much good this little tea garden does. They’ve set up a ton of amazing community programs to benefit local schools, underprivileged families, and the elderly. This particular tea is a DAVIDsTEA exclusive – now that’s a good thing.

Ingredients: Black tea from Nepal

Lorie: The tea smells like chocolate today! It’s a nice “wake up and start the day” tea. Or if you want to relax it would be a great tea to enjoy while reading a book. I loved that it didn’t have a bitter aftertaste!

Over in Victoria…

André: Mmmm, that’s good tea.
Brooke: Tell me more.
André: Well, Nepal Black is one of the top 5 DAVIDsTEA brews for me, along with North African Mint, Alpine Punch, Saigon Chai, and Darjeeling. It’s like a 5-way tie for the best teas in my books. I don’t know how to describe it; I find it earthier than the Darjeeling, which has a little bit more of a forest-y, sunny, mossy kind of flavour. Nepal Black, though, makes me think of the deep alpine forests. While both are earthy, the Darjeeling is a light and Nepal Black is deep and rich- delicious.
Brooke: Beautifully said. I find it’s also got a caramel-like sweetness to it. Ah yes, the description mentions a honey characteristic, I really get that when I take my first sips. Also, as a black tea, it’s surprisingly free from bitterness.
André: That’s just it- it’s very smooth.
Brooke: But still heavy and full on the palate, what a wonderful weight.
André: Absolutely. I find it a very rich and well rounded tea.
Brooke: Yes, this is just splendid. It’s not hiding anything, it’s not trying to be anything else. It’s rugged but it doesn’t need to prove anything.
André : For anyone who likes black teas, this is the one I recommend.
Brooke: I’m not sure though, it is very sweet for a black tea, no doubt about that. So if someone likes the bitter punch of a smokey black tea, this one wouldn’t be something they would want to reach for. I personally really like this.
André: Well, it’s not like orange pekoe, but I find you get everything you want out of a black tea, with the bitterness removed. Without that bitterness, you get to taste the complexity of the tea more. I kind of wish we had a bag of this… (hint hint).
Brooke: Mmm.. let’s finish this tin off, yummy!
Final thoughts:

André: Often I actually can’t taste how delicious this tea is because I get so excited that I sip it while it’s too hot and burn my tongue. I can’t control myself sometimes! This one’s a keeper.

Brooke: I really enjoy the sweetness of this, it’s subtle and is a good balance to the harshness of black tea leaves. Well done, DAVID!

Back in Ottawa…

Oh man!! Looks like a missed a good one! Hopefully tomorrow will be a herbal tea so I can have this one in the morning…

Until next tea,
Stacey and mostly Brooke and André

Day 3: Orange Pekoe

Hello Tea Drinkers!

Welcome to Day 3 of 24 days of tea! With an herbal and a white tea already under our santa belts, what might be in drawer #3? Why it’s good ol’ fashioned Orange Pekoe. Time to divulge in a classic!

Tea: Orange Pekoe

Description: We’ve polled the entire country and this is, in fact, the perfect pekoe. The classic of all classics. The ultimate pick-me-up. The blend to turn to when you crave a good, honest cup of tea. Some say it evokes thoughts of warm comfort and familiar friends, others go off on tangents about doughnuts and red roses. Either way, everyone falls hard for this all-organic tea from top estates in Sri Lanka and Assam.

Ingredients: Fine black teas from Ceylon, Sri Lanka

Brooke: I should warn you, my sister thinks that she couldn’t tell the difference between this and a name brand! What do you think? Will we be able to tell?
Stacey:  I don’t know! I’m excited to see if it tastes like DAVIDsTEA base blend…My mom said she really likes this tea because she felt like she was sitting at her Nana’s while sipping it. I’m going to try it!

*sip*

Stacey: Oh my! I can taste the DAVIDsTEA! I can tell it’s not Tetley, the generic brand, like your sister mentioned. This tea doesn’t taste as strong, it’s a bit more delicate.
Brooke: But maybe that comes down to steeping. How long did you steep yours?
Stacey: 5 minutes?
Brooke: Me too. Hey, where are you Skyping from today?
Stacey: I’m Skyping in the cafeteria at work! Now I’m one of those people who Skype is public.
Brooke: Neat. Aw man, my tea’s still way too hot to taste.
Stacey: *cough* *sputter* My tea is very drinkable.
Brooke: But you just sputtered!
Stacey: Because I’m laughing at you! I can still see the steam coming off of your tea.
Brooke: Stacey!!
Stacey: Either way, this tastes better than a name brand. What did you smell first when you smelled the tea out of the tin?
Brooke: *sniffs the tin* Licorice?
Stacey: Oh, Eric and I smelled lemon!
Brooke: I think we’re both wrong.
Stacey: Hey, you sipped it! What did you think?
Brooke: No, I  just blew on it. Here let me try now.

*sip* (#2)

Brooke: Oooh!! I don’t have a bitter after taste with this one!
Stacey: The generic brand totally does!
Stacey: One person on twitter used eggnog to make a latte (re:)
Brooke: I WANT THAT.
Stacey: You can do it!!
Brooke: It’s playing with me- it’s saying “I’m a black tea, but you can barely tell!” It doesn’t have that smokey taste.
Stacey: Yeah, it juts cuts off at some point.
Brooke: We really should do a blind taste test.We’ll have to make sure they’re steeped the same amount of time. Must be a scientific inquiry. You know what, I don’t want egg nog with mine right now. I’m feelin’ this vibe.
Stacey: I wonder if she tried it first then added eggnog.
Brooke: We should tweet her! So innovative.

Final thoughts

Stacey: I feel pleasantly surprised that DAVIDsTEA created something so simple and nice. Usually it’s ridiculous and colourful but this one doesn’t need anything. No eggnog needed.
Brooke: But you don’t like eggnog!
Stacey: Well…
Brooke: I really enjoy this one. I’d buy it except it’s probably stupid expensive and I could probably buy an orange pekoe at the grocery store for literally a quarter of the price.
Stacey: Ya, fur shur.

Here’s what the twitterverse had to say about today’s tea:

: Enjoying an orange pekoe eggnog latte this morning #24daysoftea from @DAVIDsTEA

Day 3 is a classic orange pekoe, and I love it. #24daysoftea #davidstea #adventcalendar #orangepekoe
@DAVIDsTEA My very first cup of tea was orange pekoe. I was 9. #childhoodmemories#24daysoftea
So what did you think? Better than the generic or will you stick with your trusted brand?
Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke

“Does this have licorice in it?”

 

Day 24: Santa’s Secret

Merry Christmas Everyone!

It’s Christmas Eve and thus we get to sip on Santa’s Secret! This tea isn’t much of a secret anymore since we’ve had it on the 24th of December for three years in a row now (see here and here). But as much as we’ve been harping on DAVIDsTEA for using repeats in their 24 days, this is one tea that we were were glad to see return again this year. MmmMmm!

Tea: Santa’s Secret

Description: Ever wonder how Santa manages to deliver all those presents in just one night? Well here’s the hush-hush formula. He uses a special combination of black tea, peppermint and spices – all sprinkled with real little candy canes. It’s both energizing and remarkably soothing. All Santa needs is one cup and his motto changes from “ho ho ho” to “go go go”

Ingredients: Black tea, peppermint, sprinkles, natural and artificial flavouring (vanilla maybe?)

Steeping Instructions: 1.5 tsp, 96°C, 4-6 minutes

Before heading off to visit Brooke’s sister, Lisa, Brooke and her parents were able to sit down with Stacey for a little Skype session to review the tea:

Stacey: It’s supposed to be spiced black tea this year…that’s new.
Brooke: I can smell the peppermint, mmm!

*sip*

Stacey: I love this tea!
Brooke: Mom, what do you think?
Cathy: It’s too hot to drink!
Stewart: The first note is a hint of butterscotch.
Brooke: Hmm, but there’s no butterscotch in here. There is vanilla though…
Stewart: Yes, it must be the vanilla that I’m tasting.
Brooke: I really love that this tea has a black tea base because usually peppermint teas are quite strong. The black tea mellows this brew out though so that the candy cane doesn’t hit you in the face.
Stacey: Ha ha, candy cane hitting you in the face.
Stewart: *Bonk*
Brooke: “Santa, his abuse is no secret.”
Stacey: Do you get any of the spice?
Brooke: Not really, but the sprinkles are adorable!
Stacey: I could drink this all year round! So minty!
Brooke: That’s the beauty of this tea, the peppermint is in the background acting as a supporting character.
Stacey: Agreed!

With that, Brooke and her family were off to the airport, ready to spend a Christmas in North Carolina. A little later in the day, Stacey’s parents came home from work and were in the mood for a cup of something hot:

Ken and Lorie (simultaneously): We’re ready for tea!
Stacey: I’ve got just the one! And we can add it to the blog!
Ken: So as you know, I don’t usually don’t read your tea blogs but I did read one this year. I wanted to tell you there were so many spelling mistakes!
Lorie: They are supposed to be like that, it’s the voice type feature. It’s supposed to be funny!
Ken: Oh!

*sip*

Lorie: It’s very smooth tasting…like eggnog.
Stacey: But that was yesterday’s tea!
Ken: It tastes chocolate-y to me.
Lorie: It’s very relaxing for Christmas Eve, I’m glad I get to have it after a day at work.
Ken: I like it but it smells better than it tastes. It tastes like one tea that we’ve had before, maybe Read My Lips?
Lorie: Yes, this tea is making me feel very mellow.
Stacey: But now you’re supposed to be all “go-go-go”.
Lorie: No-no-no.

Tea Vibes:

Using the voice-type feature on our respective devices, we were able to provide our thoughts on today’s tea:

Stacey: I absolutely love this city! It’s so christmas to me and I love doing it every year. It’s just perfect! So tell me, I know that’s a lot but seriously can I test.

Brooke: This, he’s pretty good. I’m probably a favorite of the whole box! So we’re happy to have them overall. I think that the government gets to stay on the bench in this. To you and I think that’s great. Merry Christmas! No I don’t, N.

Well folks, that’s a wrap! Thank you so much for joining us on this wonderful tea tradition of ours. This year may very well have been the last 24 days of tea that we were able to spend in the same apartment, so it’s been extra special for us. Thanks again for following along and keep your eyes peeled for a few more special tea reviews in the New Year.  Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke

Sorry Santa, I think your secret’s out!

 

Day 19: Cream of Earl Grey

Hello friends and family!

Welcome back to another day of 24 days of tea. Today is the last Friday before Christmas, which means there are lot of parties underway all of the city. But before we were allowed to get into the Christmas spirit, we sat down this morning to have a pot of tea together, as promised.

Brooke: Oooh, Cream of Earl Grey!
Stacey: Oh yay!
Brooke: I’m going to add eggnog to mine to be cute.
Stacey: Ick! Eggnog!

Tea: Cream of Earl Grey

Description: Lovers of Earl Grey adore this creamy alternative to the original blend. You’ll recognize the same high-quality black tea, the same citrus burst of bergamot oil, the same beautiful grey-blue petals. However this version adds a touch of vanilla, and the result is an unexpectedly rich, creamy taste experience.

Ingredients: Black tea, cornflowers, marigolds. With natural flavouring (Guess that’s the vanilla)

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

—-

Brooke: The smell is so nice! It is obviously not your typical Earl Grey, it has a little something extra.
Stacey: It’s got to be the cream!

*sip*

Stacey: Mmm it is creamy!
Brooke: What do you think of the tea André?
André: I’ve had it before (Ah yes, check out our blog post from last year, here. Oh and what I surprise, we also had it the year before that), but it’s one of there better ones. It’s not as in your face as a regular Earl Grey.
Stacey: Did you say invasive?
André:  “In-your-face”. The regular Earl Grey really hits you in the face.
Stacey: Ah, that makes more sense.
Brooke and André take a few minutes to discuss the possibility of Earl Grey tea invading something.

Later in the day, our friend MK texted Brooke to provide her and her brother’s opinions:

MK: What do you think of the tea Doug?
Doug: It tastes creamy but I dunno. I normally get steeped teas from Tim Hortons–2 cream 2 sugar..
MK: It’s wonderful!
Brooke: What makes it wonderful?
MK: It’s fragrant. Simple, vanilla-y and creamy. I could drink this everyday!

Tea vibes:

We used our favourite feature on Stacey’s phone to describe our thoughts, and here is what the voice-type feature provided:

Brooke: Evening with creamy rendition of a classic. Rather than having a better x or black g h s. Sale through your sips, lake huron. Ocean cruise but like a wintry, iran, air house, london.

Stacey: I’m really clingy (Stacey: I swear this voice-type feature has it out for me). Really tasty just so smooth and delicate adults. If you have a great way less harsh am. Eon 10.

And so ends another tea. We hope you all have a wonderful Friday evening, full of laughter and cheer. If you’ll excuse us, we have to go get ready for our parties!

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke

It’s hit you like a pink balloon!

 

Day 7: English Breakfast

Goood morning!

We’re waking up to a beautiful day here in Ottawa and it’s time for some tasty tea to get things started. We popped open the door to Day #7 and were content with what we found: a classic that we had reviewed last year. Get your kettle going and join us for a cup!

Tea: English Breakfast

Description: There’s nothing better than waking up to a genuinely fabulous cup of English Breakfast tea. Which is why we took great care in choosing our signature blend. We were looking for the perfect balance. Something with body and a satisfyingly full flavour, without being overpowering. The winner? A flowery pekoe from Sri Lanka. You’ll find yourself drinking it all day long.

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

Since our previous post just last year, DAVIDsTEA apparently changed the way they want us to experience the brew. Down from 1.5 tsp per cup, they now recommend 1.25tsp and rather than having it at a piping hot 98°C, they suggest a slight decrease to 96°C. Will this difference drastically change our opinion on this “coal-miner” tea? Let’s find out…

*sip*

Stacey: Hmph.
Brooke: Was that a hmph?
Stacey: Yeah. It’s nothing special.
Brooke: It doesn’t claim to be!
Stacey: I guess that’s a good thing?
Brooke: I dunno, at least this one doesn’t have any added flavours just for the heck of it. Sometimes DAVIDsTEA does get a little flavour happy.
Stacey: Yeah. It’s just that… it tastes like it’s from Tim Horton’s or Second Cup… it’s just an English Breakfast. I guess when you think DAVIDsTEA, you think of something you couldn’t get anywhere else. I don’t mean to harp on this one, it’s just not radically different.
Brooke: I’m thinking of the woman who runs her Take Charge Tea booth in the Farmer’s Market at Lansdowne Park. Her ingredients were added to provide health benefits for the drinker and were all completely natural.  DAVIDsTEA isn’t like that, they’re only really focused on the taste and aesthetics of their tea.
Stacey: Yeah, sometimes even with artificial flavours!
Brooke: English Breakfast is one of their only “pure” teas with no added flavours, so I at least appreciate that. *Sip*. Oh man, though, definitely still needs almond milk. That is bitter. [Brooke contemplates pouring some of her cereal milk into her tea, then bails and gets some from the fridge]. Ahh much better. What does this tea make you think of, Stace?
Stacey: Uh.. *sip*, going for tea with my colleagues at work before starting my day? Yeah, just a standard morning at work.
Brooke: *snore* Yep. Not doing much for me, either. Even with the strange change in brewing instructions!

Tea Vibes:

Using Stacey’s “voice-type” feature on her phone, we let it decide we said with fabulous results: 

Brooke: You didn’t impress me and I have many other English Breakfast that I prefer. Sorry, David. To Navan special: 700.

Stacey: Hard for me to give it a ride back and forth, so I give it a nice day. English Breakfast. Oh, I give it an Eon 10.

(We really hope you are enjoying these voice-type translations as much as we are.)

All in all, this tea sparked our thoughts about what really makes a good tea. Its simplicity? Natural ingredients? Health benefits? Caffeine? What do you think? To each their own cup, I suppose!

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

A tea you can ride back and forth.

Day 17: Cream of Earl Grey

Good morning readers!

It’s a cold one out there yet again! I don’t know about you, but I would have loved to spend the day to curled up indoors with a good book and a cup of cream of earl grey tea. Instead I had to take ice off my eye lashes…we can dream right?

Tea: Cream of Earl Grey

Cream of Earl Grey (organic) from DAVIDsTEA

Description: A Creamy Twist

Lovers of Earl Grey adore this creamy alternative to the original blend. You’ll recognize the same high-quality black tea, the same citrus burst of bergamot oil, the same beautiful grey-blue petals. However this version adds a touch of vanilla, and the result is an unexpectedly rich, creamy taste experience.

Ingredients: Organic: Black tea, cornflowers. With natural vanilla and bergamot flavouring.

Steeping Prep: 1.25 tsp, 98°C, 3-5 min

André joined us again for another three-way review. We all held onto our mugs for dear life as they warmed up our hands.

André: Mmm, smells great! I love Earl Grey, but I’ve never tried Cream of Earl Grey.
Stacey: Based on the ingredients I think the only difference is that they add vanilla.
André: So it will be like a London Fog?
Stacey: That’s what I thought too last time we tried it.
Brooke: GAH why isn’t there a proper tune to this song?! “No Woman No Cry…”
Stacey and André:

*sip*

Stacey: Mmm, it tastes creamier than I remember.
Brooke: Yep, putting milk into it.
André: I love it already! I like that it’s like their Earl Grey but a little less intense.
Brooke: Oh, much better.
André: Oh boy! I like it. I really like it!
Brooke: The milk just got rid of the bitterness. I wasn’t in the mood for the bitterness today, I’m already bitter.
Stacey and André: …
Brooke: If you could think of a location that this tea reminds you of, what would it be?
André: Late nights working at cafés. Also Picard. “Tea, Earl Grey. Hot.”
Stacey: My Nana’s apartment. She had a lot of cool old furniture and trinkets. And my Mom always talked about how they would always drink tea together. I just feel like she would have really enjoyed this tea.
Brooke: Aw, that’s nice. I think of a fancy hotel, like Lord Elgin. Sitting on cream coloured cushions listening to a piano player.
André: What would the piano player be playing?
Brooke: Hmm, a nice waltz.
Stacey: That sounds like a lovely image.
Brooke: Nooo woman no cry.. 

Tea Vibes:

Stacey: This tea is light and airy and doesn’t bog you down like a regular Earl Grey might. The hint of vanilla is quite lovely and comforting. Not quite a London Fog but a lot less sugar too. 4/5.

Brooke: This is not your usual Earl Grey; the vanilla tones make it a much more sophisticated drink. It’s sweet but not sugary. It’s flavourful but not overpowering. The milk did help mute the bitterness of the black tea though, so I would suggest adding it to your cup. I wouldn’t drink it every day but it did make me feel fancy, and everyone needs to feel fancy every once in a while. 3/5

André: I find that it’s a lot sweeter when I smell it than when I drink it. And it’s lighter than a regular Earl Grey, which is perfect when you are looking for an alternative to the heaviness of a black tea. It would be a nice well balanced afternoon tea. 3.5/5

Another tea down, only a few more to go! With Brooke heading home tomorrow and me leaving on Friday we will try out best to get out our daily tea blogs.  With the help of skype, google chats, and our families, we’ll do it (just for you)! Wish us luck!

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke


 This one’s mostly for Brooke.