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

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Day 14: Alpine Punch

Tea enthusiasts, hello!

It’s a sunny day in Victoria (a rare occurrence during winter months) and we’ve just had a lovely egg and toast breakfast, courtesy of Dr. Dré. While Stacey is busy today with meetings and anniversaries (congrats, you two!), André and I graciously took on the responsibilities of today’s tea: Alpine Punch. Come along and enjoy this favourite with us!

Tea: Alpine Punch

Alpine Punch

Description: This is the kind of tea we imagine they serve in fabulous ski chalets in the Swiss Alps. With apple, cinnamon, ginger and the heady scent of almonds, it’s warm, comforting and totally decadent. What better to sip after a long day of skiing, sledding and snowball fights? Just cozy up in front of the fire and warm up with this sweet, fortifying brew. And if a little splash of brandy makes it in there too, all the better.

Ingredients: Rooibos, coconut chips, coconut rasps, apple, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, rose blossoms, almonds, natural and artificial almond cream flavouring.

Brooke: They suggest putting brandy in this! Who owns brandy these days?
André: Brandy? Like the alcohol?
Brooke: Yes! Did you know that brandy is distilled wine?
André: I did. I took a wine class in college, way back in the day.
Brooke: Well then!
André: As for brandy, it’s not something I drink on a regular basis.
Brooke: Ah, but Alpine Punch IS! Why, you just had this last night when we went to climb!
André: You bet, I can’t get enough. As I said a few days ago, this is one of my top 5 favourites.
Brooke: Agreed. Something about almond, apple, and ginger that just fits.

*sip*

André: Mmm. I think half of what I love about it is the smell. I totally feel the Swiss chalet getting ready for a summit bid.
Brooke: A what?
André: A summit bid. A mountain climbing attempt.
Brooke: Oh.
André: It’s odd to drink this tea while it’s still so warm out (3°C). I always associate this tea with really cold weather. The hot tea in your mouth paired with the cold snowflakes on your lips.
Brooke: I imagine myself back in Ottawa in the heart of winter, my eyelashes freezing together and wind sneaking its way into my sleeves as I walk to campus. One sip of this in my thermos and all would be well again. What flavours really come out for you?
André: I taste the almond and rose each time. The rooibos bark is well chosen for this tea, it compliments the other flavours very well to deliver a well balanced brew.
Brooke: There’s a really good mix of spices, fruits and nuts and yet it still manages to be delicate and not overpowering. Forever Nuts is fruitier and sweeter, while this one is more of a complex mix of sweet and spice. Mmm Mmm, this one will never get old.


 

Twitter was equally pleased with today’s tea:

Day 14: Alpine Punch. Who wants to go to the mountain!?
. Day 14: alpine punch. A creamy, almond-scented rooibos perfect on a cold winter day.
Today’s is martianradio’s fave, . In a boot because Ich bin eine entzückende Deutsche. #liquidmarzipan #punchalpin

Final thoughts:

Brooke: There has been, and always will be, a tin of this in our cupboard. A perfect winter tea that warms you up, keeps your day sweet, and delivers a pleasant burst of almond and ginger.
André: A five star tea in my books. Alpine Punch is my go-to winter tea. Can we have another cup?

And there you go- an obvious choice for a stocking stuffer or Secret Santa gift. : )

Until next tea,

Brooke and André

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Our Chalet in Adelboden, Switzerland: a perfect place to a cuppa Alpine Punch. 

Day 12: The Spice is Right

Welcome to Day 12, folks!

Today Stacey was able to Skype with me and Andre and together we hummed, hawed, and slurped our way through today’s tea. Come on down and read along with The Spice is Right!

Tea: The Spice is Right

Description: Is there any flavour combo more comforting than orange and cinnamon? There’s something about it that’s instantly comforting – like warm spice cake or a glass of hot punch. But nostalgia isn’t the only thing giving you that warm fuzzy feeling. Cinnamon is said to have warming properties, and one sip of this spice-laden green tea is all it takes to get that cozy fireside feeling going. Add some sweet orange peel and a zingy hint of chili pepper, and you’ve got a zesty blend that warms you up from the inside out.

Ingredients: cinnamon, green tea, orange peel, cloves, chili pepper. With natural flavouring.

Brooke: My Dad said it “did not like this one at all” and opted to brew some Nepal Black instead. My mom, on the other hand said she quite fancied it. Smelling it now, all I really get is that blast of cinnamon hearts again, so I’m nervous about how strong the flavour will be.
Stacey: I smell apple!
Brooke: …There’s no apple in it, Stace. Your nose is wrong.
Stacey: What? I…Oh you’re right…Well. Weird.

*sip*

André: This tea is spicy like a chai, mm! It reminds me of a tea my mom used to have called Mandarin Spice. It’s a lot like a chai in the sense that it’s spicy, but you mostly taste the cinnamon and cloves. I like it even though I usually like heavy duty chai teas. This is a lot lighter than a normal chai.
Stacey: The cinnamon hits you pretty hard at the beginning, so the green tea is a bit of an odd combo.
Brooke: What makes a chai tea a chai tea? Hmm.. Apparently it needs to be a “black tea with Indian spice such as cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and clove”, often served with milk. I think I would still classify this as a chai because of the dance between the cinnamon and cloves that plays out on your palate. Although the green tea leaves and the shorter steep time make this one a little less intense. I am wondering maybe if my experience change if I add milk…
Stacey: But it’s a green tea, you don’t normally add milk to a green tea.
Brooke: The internet says that you can add milk to green tea, although apparently the health properties are negated when you add milk- who knew! Sorry antioxidants, not today.
Stacey:  Hmm, I’m tasting more of the orange flavour now. I think the green tea tones down the cinnamon flavour once you sip the tea a bit.
Brooke: I do feel the heat of the chili pepper and I like it!
Stacey: Really? Aw, I don’t taste it at all.

Final thoughts:

André: All my thoughts on this one are positive.
Brooke: Overall, I liked it too. I am still confused as to why they didn’t call it chai… but maybe it’s because it was a green tea. I would probably have it again, for sure.
Stacey: I think it has one of those cinnamon-y flavours that I don’t particularly enjoy. Although it definitely tones down with the green tea pairing, it’s not something I would choose to drink again I think.

Twitter seemed to enjoy this brew, overall:

@bailamefitness Day 12 of . Organic The Spice is Right is a sweet and spiced green tea, great addition to a good book or just reflection on this rainy morning. Happy Saturday! #MorningTea #TeaAddict #TeaADay #simplethings #CalmBeforeTheStorm

@loosy83 Der roch schon durchs Geschenkpapier so gut 😍 #adventskalender #12von12

The Spice Is Right! Tastes like liquid cinnamon hearts!  

What were your taste buds saying? Did they have a ballad playing out on your tongue?

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey (and André)

 

vadnhtq

Spice up your life!

 

Day 7: North African Mint

Hi fellow tea steepers!

Welcome to Day 7 of #24DaysofTea, where we somehow let a groggy and still-in-bed Andre one-up our review of this tasty blend. Take it away, generic description and ingredient list!

Tea: North African Mint

North African Mint

Description: Explore Northern Africa, from its souks to its deserts, with this intense combination of spices and mint. It combines organic green tea and peppermint with organic cardamom, ginger, licorice root, fennel clove and black pepper. Deliciously sweet, with all the romance of the Maghreb.

Ingredients: Green tea, ginger, peppermint, cardamom, licorice root, fennel, clove, black pepper

Stacey: My Mom said this tea doesn’t really taste like mint, which is odd because this is a mint tea…
Brooke: Guess we will see-  I remember liking this one. It’s one of Andre’s favourites, so it’s gotta be good!

*sip*

Brooke: Mmm..
Stacey:  Oh! Oh. Wow.
Brooke: I love this! Mmm! I mean, it’s not like an herbal peppermint, it’s got some caffeine to it because of the green tea leaves. And is that licorice? No, it can’t be.
Stacey:  Yes, ingredients say there is licorice and fennel in it!
Brooke:Well then, there you go.
Stacey:  I like that it has a nice earthy flavour to it.
Brooke: Mhmm, this is the type of tea that you can’t steep for too long, I bet. I think the flavours would be too strong if you did. This one has to be soft on the palate to be fully enjoyed.
Andre: (Groggily from bedroom, through the door): Are you ….drinking North African Mint? That’s my favourite…. It reminds me of chai tea because of the cloves. ..And I like the pepper in it. The …. added mint really lets you taste the spectrum of flavours, from cool to spicy, you know? Depending on how long you steep it… the spectrum will be hit somewhere different. Mmm.. (goes back to sleep)
Stacey: Wow, I feel like we don’t need to be review the tea any more, Brooke.
Brooke: We’re out of a gig!

Final thoughts:

Brooke: This tea is great because you taste the pepper, cloves, licorice, and ginger. It’s so complex and really comes together quite nicely.
Stacey: I am really digging the mix of flavours.Glad they didn’t change much about it from last time we tried it. I think it’s more than just mint tea, so don’t be fooled by the name!
(Sleepy Andre gives North African Mint 5/5)
Brooke: I like how he contributed most of this post but didn’t even sip the tea.

Twitter was equally impressed with today’s tea:

organic north African mint! Delicious and delicate flavour! This calendar was a great investment~
  – Day 7 – North African Mint – perfect for soothing my sore throat
 Day 7 N. African mint! A complex green tea w/peppermint, cardamom, fennel & cloves. Perfect to soothe a sore tummy!

And there you go! Another winner from DAVIDsTEA from the 24DaysofTea set.

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey (and sleepy Andre)

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Day 2: Alpine Punch

After a late night of bouldering (indoor rock climbing without the ropes- we’re wild!), we settled in for Day #2 of DAVIDsTEA’s 24 Days of Tea. Are you excited?

Stacey: ALPINE PUNCH!

Cheers ALL around on this one. André made some kind of a Sherpa comment, which confused me until Stacey confirmed that something similar to Sherpas were in this tea’s description. Here we go!

Tea: Alpine Punch

Alpine Punch from DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:  High altitude taste

Have you heard of the barbegazi? According to Swiss lore, they are a group of furry little men that live high in the Alps. They are known for their long, icy beards and enormous feet, which they use to ski down hills and surf on avalanches. But how do they stay warm up in the frozen mountains all year round? We like to think it’s with a fortifying brew like this almond-scented rooibos, with apple, cinnamon, and ginger. If you see some very big footprints next time you’re out hiking, follow them to the barbegazi’s cave and see if they offer you a cup. Limited edition.

Tea Ingredients: Rooibos, coconut chips and rasps, apple pieces, cinnamon pieces, ginger bits, cardamom, black pepper, rose blossoms, almond flakes, artificial flavouring.

Tea Instructions: 1.5tsp, 98 degrees, 4-7 minutes. Perfection.

Stacey opted to shower as the tea boiled. Drinking tea with pjs on is a good way to go to bed, she said.

Stacey: Can I skimp out on the loose leaf?

Brooke: NO YOU MAY NOT.

Stacey:  GOSH DARNIT BROOKE WHY DO YOU MAKE IT COMPLICATED. Oooh! There’s a just little bit left!

Brooke: André, what you remember about your previous Alpine Punch experiences?

André: Well, considering I had some last night, I remember it being delicious, wonderful, and tasting like winter.  I remember it has the happiest smell.

The kettle blew its whistle and André ran off to pour the water in to the teapot.

Oh man, Stacey and I are excited to be doing these reviews again. We missed having late night teas together and we missed our lovely readers.

André brought out our mugs just as Stacey was coming out in her pjs.

Stacey: TEA! But… I want to go to bed.

THEN Stacey nearly flashed us with a hole in her pjs. “Oh no, don’t write that! But seriously, do you see it? Is it okay if I still wear them right now? Cause… okay. Good.”

Brooke: Ooooh this tea smells delicious! Cinnamon, coconut, almond oh my!

Stace: I really need to get another container of this. We had TWO containers of this last year and we finished it.

André: Me too!

Stacey: Hands down…

André: …Best tea ever.

Stacey: Really sad it’s just a winter tea.

Brooke: Why are we even reviewing this tea if we all agree that we totally love it?

André: It’s like you said- it’s a gulper. Wait for it to cool down and gulp it.

Stacey: I’m trying to remember the first time I ever had this tea- honestly the description got me. It’s one of the only rooibos teas I enjoy. It’s jam packed full of amazing  flavours that just go so well together. The almond is delicious.

André: You know, the thing is,  I forget what I was gonna say.

Stacey: Welcome to our tea blog, André. 

André: It IS a very winter tea, couldn’t have it in warm weather, though it would make a very nice iced tea. But I really associate this tea with snow.

Stacey: It’s reminiscent of our last tea blog experience. Put in a thermos on any winter day and it would be golden.

André: I agree- it actually DOES make me want to be a Sherpa.

Tea vibes:

André: Put it in your mouth and enjoy.

Stacey: Buy this tea. What’s our rating system? 5/5, done.

André: Boom.

Stacey: Bow to the tea.

André: Touch down.

Stacey: I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

And there you have it! Alpine Punch- it’s a keeper! Those subtle hints of ginger and cardamom keep this tea from being too sweet while the coconut and almond rounds it out perfectly. Wait, there was apple in there? Ack! Get the Benadryl!

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey (and André)

Give me an S! Give me a Tea!

Coco Chai Rooibos

(New to our blog? Check out our first post- 24 Days of Tea)

Hello precious readers!

Welcome back to another episode of Tea Time. I’m Brooke, and I’ll be your host this afternoon. Today, Stacey and I dive into the world of spice with a zippy Coco Chai Rooibos. Will it pale in comparison to our rocket adventure or will it spice up our lives? Stay tuned to find out.

Tea: Coco Chai Rooibos

Ingredients: Rooibos, coconut, cinnamon, ginger root, cardamom, cloves, pink peppercorns.

DAVIDsTEA Description: If you’re into spice-based chais, this one is for you. It’s got a smooth base of caffeine-free, antioxidant-filled rooibos, and a satisfying kick of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and piquant red peppercorns. Plus there’s a strong hint of coconut, for a slightly exotic twist. Try it straight up or infused in hot milk for a truly fabulous chai latte. It’s the kind of thing you get addicted to.

To start things off, we used 1.5tsp of the loose leaf mix per cup and steeped our mugs for 6 minutes at 98°C. We could smell the spices right away but we had some initial concerns with the flavours…

Stacey: Ok, so… the goal of this tea test is to try and taste the coconut. But…man. The cinnamon is still freaking me out. Why is it there??

After removing the tea infusers, we had both noticed hoards of cinnamon debris floating in our cups.  Like… way too many for us to not feel a bit weirded out. How did they escape? What did they want with us?

*sip*

Stacey: you can definitely taste the rooibos, Mmm. I like that.
Brooke: I was worried about the ginger, but it’s really complimentary. Like a gingerbread cookie.
Stacey: But “Coco” Chai? Really? No. There is no coconut here.
Brooke: I might have burnt my mouth off from the Indian food I had last night… but I don’t taste any spicy either.
Stacey: Aw this is fun, Brooke.

We paused briefly to shout about Justin Bieber, as roommates often do. “How could he post that shirtless picture of himself on twitter?” “He met Stephen Harper wearing dirty overalls!”

Stacey: HOLD UP. I TASTE THE PEPPERCORN.
Brooke: I don’t know, this tea is kind of falling flat at the end. It’s just burning the back of my throat.
Stacey: …He got at MEDAL? HE WAS WEARING OVERALLS! There’s still cinnamon in my teeth.

Tea Vibes:

Stacey: Okay, so to be honest, this tea is spicy… but not a hot spicy, just flavourful. I could definitely taste the ginger but the cinnamon unnerved me. I’m always a fan of rooibos so it was nice to have a chai rooibos. Definitely NO coconut, though. Overall, I’d give this tea a 6/10. It would have been a 7 or 8 if the flavours lasted the whole time but they pittered out at the end. I would say enjoy this tea while it’s hot.

Brooke: Couldn’t agree more, Stace. There were delicious hints of gingerbread cookie and cloves at the beginning that unfortunately faded near the end. Unlike black tea based chais, this one was softer and easier to drink without milk. It filled you up nicely but be sure to drink it down before the tea cools, or else you’ll be left with spicy water. I’ll give it a 7/10, because it was certainly delicious at the beginning. Whew!

Overall, we both agreed that the two signature ingredients “coconut and peppercorn” were not accurate. We’d say they were ginger, cloves, and cardamom. It’s a nice tea to have when you’re in the mood for some zip- but drink it quickly! You don’t want to let it cool down as you discuss baby pop stars with your tea partner.

With that, another episode of Tea time comes to an end. Coco Chai Rooibos: a tea that makes you really, really, really wanna zigazig ah.

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

What is this I don’t even.