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 6: Glitter and Gold

Hello tea lovers!

Stacey here to bring you day 6 of the 24 days of tea. Today’s tea is one that Brooke and I enjoyed before exactly 3 years ago when, if you remember, Brooke’s toe had an unfortunate accident with our apartment wall. This year thankfully Brooke’s toe went unscathed but there has been a change to the ingredients list. Let’s see if this brew will still have our toes a-tingling!

Tea: Glitter and Gold

Glitter & Gold

Description: Looking for a little star power? This sweet, spiced black tea is filled with pretty little gold star-shaped sprinkles. Take a sip and the slow suggestion of cinnamon will warm your body. Your toes will tingle and your mind will turn to fireworks, falling stars, late-night seduction. It’s basically magic.

Ingredients: Chinese black tea, lemon peel, sugar sprinkles (sugar, rice flour, partly hydrogenated canola oil , shellac, titanium oxide, iron oxide, potato starch), sugar, cloves, natural and artificial flavouring.

Stacey: Okay, so, my parents say the cinnamon is strong with this one, and they kind of think it reminds them of chai. What do we think?
Brooke: The tea isn’t glittering and my heart is broken! What…what happened? There aren’t any glimmering sugar crystals in this one like there were before. The glitter stars have no shimmering effect!

(Brooke: People, this is big. Glitter and Gold was gorgeous- it made your tea look like liquid gold, but this just looks like a regular black tea- I am so sad). 

Stacey: I’m Googling it, apparently there’s a petition (signed by 48 individuals) to bring back the old Glitter and Gold. Wow, people are angry! (Side note: If you are angry too, you can sign the petition here)

*sip*

Brooke: Mmmm at least they didn’t change the flavour!
Stacey: Uh oh, I think I might have over steeped mine. It’s a bit too strong right now.
Brooke: Wow, yeah, not me.  The cinnamon’s nice, the cloves are nice, everything about this tea is nice.
Stacey: Actually, no I didn’t over steep at all. This tea is great! Maybe it doesn’t need to glimmer! It still shimmers taste-wise.
Brooke: What a weird thing to say.
Stacey: My brain’s not working properly yet, Brooke.
Brooke: I bet my Dad’s going to like this one.
Stacey: Yeah, it’s sophisticated like him. It’s not a chai, but it’s got a lot of the same flavours.
Brooke: I think so far out of the calendar, this is my favourite taste and smell wise.
Stacey: I did like the smell, too. The cinnamon and cloves were hitting me in the face. But in a nice way, you know?
Brooke: Of course, I do that all the time!

We then took a little break from the tea review to chat about Christmas shopping, stockings, and stocking fillers. (Brooke: It’s Christmas! It’s December! How exciting! I want to sing carols!)

Brooke: Mm, I am really enjoying this tea! The cloves just make me feel so Christmas-y.
Stacey: Eric said it tasted like fruit cake to him, so that makes sense!

Final thoughts:

Stacey: This tea is toasty and has some really nice flavours. I like it, even without the shimmer!
Brooke: Me too. I find this one to bring back some great memories of DAVIDsTEA Christmases of past, and I’m happy they’re including some good ones this year. I think this tin won’t last long!
Stacey: Ours is already gone…

Here is what the people of Twitter had to say:

: It’s a mild spicy cinnamon flavor & has a pretty,lustrous shimmer to it. Gltr&gold is the Elizabeth Taylor of tea!
Jour6! avec un thé favori le Briller de Mille Feux. Une combinaison parfaite!
Well, even without the shimmer  DavidsTea has us hooked on this one. What are your thoughts? Does the lack of sparkle get to you or are you in it for the flavour? We’d love to hear from you!
Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke

A refined tea for those with a sophisticated palate.

 

 

 

Day 14: Sugar Plum Forest

Hello Readers!

Happy Sunday! Today we were in the Christmas spirit and decorated sugar cookies with our friends Desirée and Jason and went to Brooke’s Aunt Tracey’s house for a lovely dinner. With all of this excitement, we know we are a little late in our post, but we had a nice morning and are sharing it now. Enjoy!

Brooke: Ooooh! Sugar Plum Forest!
Stacey: Oh good, I need some liquid.
Brooke: Um?
Stacey: I mean I need to be hydrated before yoga!
Brooke: Right.

Tea: Sugar Plum Forest

 

Description: Whether you’re out sledding or just doing some holiday shopping, there’s no better way to stay warm and cozy than a piping hot mug of tea. And this tartly fruity, lightly spiced blend is the perfect winter companion. Just one sip and you’ll have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head. Not to mention apple, hibiscus, ginger and warm winter spices. It’s the perfect shot of warmth on a chilly winter day.

Ingredients: Apple, hibiscus, rooibos, ginger, licorice root, raisins, cinnamon, rose hip peel, plum, cardamom, star anise, bruised pepper, cloves, chili pieces, artificial flavouring.

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

Brooke: Pink tea #4! I’m getting initial hints of the cloves upon first sniff.
Stacey: Oh yeah, agreed.
André: I want to sip it but I think I’ll taste hot again.

*sip*

Stacey makes a face.
Brooke: I wish I could take a picture of your face and have that as how you describe it. It’s beautiful.
André: I can’t describe this one. It’s like another one I’ve had but I can’t place it. Forever nuts, maybe? Roughly the same weight but the difference is Forever Nuts is like, “hey, I’m a toasty cake.”
Brooke: Wow, it tastes nothing like it smells! It smells like cinnamon hearts but tastes…oh. There’s so much fruit in there… but it doesn’t taste sweet. It tastes like olives again!
Stacey: What? No, I think it’s a bit tart.
Brooke: It’s weird, I don’t hate it but I would never have it again.
Stacey: I think there’s too many things going on.
Brooke: It’s almost like a subtle soup broth, you could put some carrots in there and eat it. How.. strange.
Stacey:  Yeah, there are too many flavours that didn’t mesh well and it was overwhelming. They should be complimentary but this was too much!

Tea vibes:

As we like to do, we spoke our final thoughts on the tea at Stacey’s phone, which thought we were saying this:

André: Affinity is very late and free. Yeah, it’s  a tasty river dance.  More fruit and veg. 4 of 10.

Brooke: I don’t like this T. I don’t like its levers. I don’t like the density. Big foot artificial flavours are ever ok, diner. Fun have a 10.

Stacey: I wish I like this T. It has its name, um, but it’s better than others we had so as I am 5 on time hello.

We seem to be getting angry about all these flavours being mixed together without our consent! Maybe we’re getting to be grumpy tea connoisseurs who need a bit more simplicity in our brews. Who knows? What do you think about all these extra and artificial flavours? Yay or nay? We didn’t feel like dancing to this one!

Maybe tomorrow will be different?

Until next tea,
Brooke and Stacey

 

Day 14: Cinnamon Rooibos Chai

Hi readers!

Stacey is bustling away in the kitchen making snowcap cookies for yet another potluck and I’m writing up a paper on microRNA, but we know the drill! Today, we bring you a spicy yet sweet Cinnamon Rooibos Chai!

Tea: Cinnamon Rooibos Chai

Cinnamon Rooibos Chai (organic) from DAVIDsTEA

Description: Stay Focused

Cinnamon is so much more than just the tastiest spice around. According to aromatherapy principles, it supposedly enhances your ability to concentrate. Plus it has a clean and refreshing taste your breath will thank you for. Your new favourite beverage also contains South African rooibos, Zanzibar cloves and citrus oil. Delicious.

Ingredients: Red Rooibos, orange peel, cinnamon, cloves, natural honey and cinnamon flavouring.

Instructions: 1.5 tsp, 98°C, 4-7 min

 Stacey: Hmm.. This cinnamon smell is scary!
Brooke: What if it tastes like hot lips?

*Sip*
Stacey: Noope! Oh, no! Too sweet!
Brooke: It’s not that bad!
Stacey: I dont’t want anymore!
Brooke: You have to try, Stace!
Stacey: Too sweet!
Brooke: You already SAID that!
Stacey: I dare someone who needs to put sugar in their tea every time to put sugar in this. Oh God.
Brooke: Oh my.
Stacey: Once you get over that, though, it’s a nice hit of cinnamon! It just tickles the tip of my tongue!
Brooke: You’re right, though. This sweet isn’t fruity sweet- it’s just so.. sugary! Like they dumped a few tablespoons into my cup!
Stacey: Yeah, wow. I can’t even really get the orange and clove because of it. I don’t want to discount it as a bad tea… because it isn’t. I just don’t particularly like sweet teas.
Brooke: Yeah, you were never a fan of adding milk or sugar to your teas. I don’t think I the like sweetness  either. Mom, though, would love it, I bet.
Stacey: My Dad would also love it. He would probably add more sugar. Guaranteed.

Brooke: You should dare him.

Tea vibes:

Brooke: Normally rooibos teas are earthy but this is the first time I’ve had a sweet one. If you try to ignore the slap of sweet- this tea has some great hints of cinammon and clove that are deliciously spicy. Unfortunately they do get masked by the overwheling feeling of drinking a latte or something similar.  I don’t think I’ll have it again! 2.5/5

Stacey: This tea doesn’t taste artificially sweet- it feels more natural. I wish there was more cinnamon. It’s not really a tea for me but I do know a lot of people who LOVE this tea so if you like sweet sugary teas- give it a try. 2/5

Oops! Apparently we prefer spicy to sweet and this one had too much sugar for our tastebuds. But don’t be discouraged by our numbers, folks. We’re just two roomies having a tea, after all! ; )

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

Just a little bit…

Day 13: Glitter and Gold

Hey tea lovers!

It’s Day 13 and Brooke and I are pooped! Luckily, Glitter and Gold is a tea that we both enjoyed last 24 days of tea… so we had a lazy plan to put into action.  Interestingly, DAVIDsTEA changed the tea description (see below) since the last time we reviewed it. Maybe this time it won’t cause toes to tingle…

Tea: Glitter and Gold

Glitter & Gold from DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description: Twinkle, twinkle

This deep dark Chinese tea is like a gorgeous starry night, glimmering with gold and silver sugar crystals that shimmer as they steep. Take a sip and the slow suggestion of cinnamon will warm your body. Your toes will tingle and your mind will turn to fireworks, falling stars, late-night seduction. It’s basically magic. (Is it getting hot in here, or is it just the tea?)

Ingredients: Chinese black tea, sugar crystals, gold sugar balls, vanilla, orange peel, cloves, natural and artificial flavouring.

Prep: 1.25 tsp, 98°C, 4-7 min

Hey, look, a blog post from last year that was hilaaarious: https://teaconnoisseurs.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/glitter-and-gold/. Click that, pour your tea, and have a laugh.

One thing Brooke and I DO want to note, though, is that clear mugs are a must when enjoying this delectable tea. It’s the only way to see the tea in its full glory. Also, Brooke would like me to remind you to keep your toes safe this Christmas and to bundle them up in warm cozy socks to keep them safe from pesky doorways.

Enjoy everyone! We will be back with more tea tomorrow. : )

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke


Everyone deserves a break.

North African Mint

Hello all!

Stacey here to bring you another round of tea reviews. This time we have two special guests: my mom, Lorie, and my brother, Kyle. Mom decided to visit me in Ottawa for a few days to take in the sights (which included Parliament, The National Art GalleryThe Currency Museum, The Royal Canadian Mint, The Rideau Canal Skateway, among many others) while Kyle was here to take a break from his training for work. It was a fun filled weekend which would not have been complete without some tea. Cue North African Mint!

North African Mint (organic) from DAVIDsTEA

Tea: North African Mint

DAVIDsTEA Description:  An exotic journey
Explore Northern Africa, from its souks to its deserts, with this intense combination of spices and mint. It combines organic, fairly-traded 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: Cardamom, peppermint, ginger, Japanese-style Hojicha green tea, licorice root, fennel, clove, black pepper.

Brooke combined 84°C water with 10 g of the tea into a pot, steeped the tea for 4 minutes and we were ready to go. WOW, what a smell. The cloves and licorice were really hitting our senses, making us all a little uneasy.

*Sip*

Lorie: I’m not sure if I like this one. It leaves an aftertaste…

Mom made a sour face, scrunching her nose.

Stacey: It does have a funky smell to it.

Lorie: Maybe it’s the fennel seed or the licorice that smells like that, it’s very strong.

Brooke: Unlike Sweet Dreams, where the fennel was very subtle.

Lorie: I guess the flavour gets better as it goes. You can taste the cloves, but no mint.

Stacey: I taste the mint!

Lorie: I taste more clover, er, cloves. I’m not a lover of this one.

Brooke: Oh…no I definitely taste the mint! Yummy!

Kyle: It… just tastes like warm water.

Brooke: KYLE! No, no, it’s a nice strong mint flavour that I am getting.  I am really getting the taste of pepper, too.

Stacey: It’s definitely a different mint tea, wow.

Brooke: Yeah, it’s not your normal peppermint taste. I really like how the cloves compliment the mint. I am diggin’ it!

Stacey: It’s good, but I’m not blown away.

Brooke: But a tea doesn’t need to do that. Hmm…this tea makes me think of White Point resort in Nova Scotia. I went there with my family when I was younger and they had an activity where you punctured an orange with cloves for a decoration. Whenever I smell cloves I get brought back there. : )

Tea Vibes:

Stacey: Hmm. Well, I don’t like the smell but I like the taste. Actually it’s interesting because it seems like the opposite of most teas; usually it smells better than it tastes. I’m liking the mint and the cloves are an interesting twist. I was told recently that honey goes well with mint tea so that would have been fun to try with this one. Next time! 7.5/10

Lorie: I didn’t like the smell and the cloves taste was too overpowering. It tasted more like a roobios than a green tea. Like I said, I wasn’t a huge fan of this one.  5/10

Brooke: I was nervous when I gave it a sniff but was pleasantly surprised with my first sip. The cloves and licorice do a good job to compliment the mint, bringing it from a regular mint tea to a new level. With pepper-y undertones it would not be a tea I would have every day but I enjoyed none the less. 7.5/10

Final thoughts:

Brooke: I could go for some sorbet right about now. Hm.

Well there you have it folks, have some mint tea and you will crave sorbet. And thanks Mom for coming down for a visit, it was a blast! Kyle… isn’t a tea drinker, apparently. Ah, can’t win ’em all!

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke

A beautiful sunset in the nation's capital.

One of the many beautiful sights to see in Ottawa, the National Art Gallery

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.