Day 23: Gingerbread Cookie

Howdy folks!

I’m writing to you from the beautiful town of Penticton, BC, where André and I will be spending our holidays. Snowflakes are delicately falling from the sky, the fields are blanketed in white and the Christmas tree is sparkling in the corner of the living room. No better way to start this festive day than to have a nice tea by the fire. Here we go!

Tea: Gingerbread Cookie

Gingerbread Cookie

Description: Happiness is…the smell of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven. Warming up with a perfect cup of tea. And sharing something sweet with your family and friends. And with this sweet and toasty tea, you can have all three at once. We started with a smooth base of rooibos, then added a sweet hint of maple and molasses. Then we warmed it up with spicy cinnamon and crystallized ginger. Finally, we added a dash of yerba maté for an energizing kick. With this in your tea cupboard, happiness is just a steep away…

Ingredients: Rooibos, green rooibos, honeybush, cinnamon bark, currants, candied pineapple (pineapples, cane sugar, citric acid), crystallized ginger (ginger, sugar), maple sugar, white chocolate (sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, whey, milk, mono and dig)

Stacey is a busy researcher with meetings and appointments and a Star Wars viewing, so André‘s mum Cheryl is stepping in and joining the blog today. Our bestie, MK, is also back from her adventures in India and England and her voice is helping out, too.

André: Is this my mug?  The one with the holly on it?
Cheryl: Have a holly, jolly, Christmas!
André: Oh! It smells so good it made me hiccup!
Cheryl: That’s different.
André: It smells very spicy- I can feel the rooibos but I’m trying to pick out all of the spices in this. Cinnamon? Ginger?
Brooke: This smells delicious.
André: Ooh, I just put my nose in it. Now it smells like hot.

*sip*

André: Wow, that’s an awesome tea. Like, this is great. It tastes just like gingerbread with a mild hint of rooibos.
Brooke: Oh yes, this is yummy! Normally rooibos teas are a bit hollow for me, it just tastes like rooibos bark with spices. This one, though, is heavier thanks to the maté. I really enjoy it!
André: Yeah, much thicker than a usual rooibos.
Cheryl: I like it better than a green tea- those taste like grass floating in water.
André: Mm. It’s like having a liquid gingerbread cookie inside my mouth.
Brooke: Where else would it be?
André: In a bath.
Brooke: Of  course.
André: I really enjoy this one.
Brooke: Me too. I love it, even with the awful chemical taste still in my mouth from my bummer of a root canal the other day. MK says that the tea reminds her of a cross between an Indian Chai and a cinnamon bun. And that since the taste isn’t right for me, she will give us some in Kelowna when we visit. What a Christmas miracle!

Final thoughts:

AndréI find this tea is remarkably well balanced. The flavours of the gingerbread and its spices compliment the rich tastes of rooibos. It’s Christmas in a cup.

Brooke: I really, really enjoyed this one. Something about it made it creamy and thick which, as André mentioned, rounded out the rooibos bark quite well. I’m looking forward to having another cup post-Christmas with MK. 

Twitter was also pleased with Day 23:

Today in – Gingerbread cookie rooibos tea – tastes like ginger&cinnamon were added to the Cabane à sucre tea.
, a walk in the woods, and playing with a deer in the back lot.
Day 23 gingerbread cookie!!! Rooibos, ginger, maple and mate!! We’re heating up the eggnog for a latte right now!

We hope you and yours are enjoying your Christmas eve eve just as much as we are and that you have snow (if you want it, otherwise, good riddance!) for snowball fights and fort-building purposes.
One tea left!
Until then,
Brooke, Andre, and Cheryl
b222471176

Bathing in Christmas.

Day 19: Read My Lips

Hello readers!

Day #19! You’re still with us! Today Stacey had to review the tea on the bus on her way to work, so Mom and I incorporated her thoughts in with ours and had a laugh as we drank a hot cup of this chocolatey brew- Read My Lips. Will it be as good the second time around?

Tea: Read My Lips

Read My Lips from DAVIDsTEA

Description: Kiss me, kiss me

Okay, this is probably the world’s best chocolate tea. Honestly. Better than dessert. More reliable than sex. It’s a totally decadent combination of China black tea, vanilla, peppermint, chocolate bits and spicy red peppercorns. Plus it contains little red candy lips for a kiss of sweetness. In other words, it’s a completely satisfying spring experience with no guilt or strings attached.

Ingredients: Chinese black tea, peppermint, dark chocolate, red lip sprinkles, pink peppercorns, natural and artificial flavouring.

Steeping Prep: 1.25 tsp, 96°C, 4-5 min

Stacey (on the bus, alone): This tea smells fan-freaking-tactic! I think it’s the chocolate and peppermint combo that makes it smell so delicious!.
Cathy: Oh she’s right, you can really smell that, it’s great!
*sip*
Cathy: Oooh it’s sweet- I like the chocolate, yummy!
Stacey:This tea is too hot! Yep. Just burnt my tongue.
Brooke: Oooh the mint comes out strong in mine!
Cathy: That’s funny, I didn’t even think of mint… I’m going to go sniff for it. Oh yes, there is it! I like it.
Stacey: Mmm, this is a lot smoother than I remember.
Brooke: So many different flavours to pick out in this one.
Stacey:  Each sip gets creamer and smoother. This is lovely! Especially heading to work.
Stacey: This is so weird typing to my self on the bus without any response… 
Stacey:  Also, Christmas Shoes (the song) is playing on the bus. I now have a mental image  of Brooke singing in the movie.
Cathy: Awwww, haha, gawd. Haven’t seen THAT in a long time.
Brooke: Moooom!
Cathy: You were so young!
Brooke: You know, I’m still having trouble finding that peppercorn I want. Bah!
Cathy: Brooke, help me with the tree!
Brooke: But the tea!
Cathy: It’s Christmas!
Tea vibes:
Brooke: Well, I’ve ordered my birthday cake for tomorrow, helped mom put on Christmas lights, written more on my microRNA paper, and now I”m off to my sisters. Oh, tea vibe? Too sweet and not spicy enough! Prooobably won’t have it again. 2/5
Cathy: Gee, I haven’t gotten into this one because I’ve been putting the lights on our tree!  I didn’t taste the peppercorns, but they make me think of steak so I’m glad I couldn’t taste that in the tea. I would have this again but I wouldn’t go and buy more. I like all of the extra stuff in it, so that raises it above my normal opinion of black teas. Mm! 3/5
Stacey:  I’ve said it all–this tea is creamy and smooth and just plain tasty. Last year I made fun of the DAVIDsTEA description but I’m changing my tune this year. If every cup tastes like this one, I’d say it was quite reliable. 4/5
Oops- gotta run readers. Happy day #19!
Until next tea,
Brooke and Stacey (and Cathy)
Christmas classic shot in Halifax back in 2002! 

Day 7: Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait

Hey-ho readers!

Well, here we are again and after a non-stop day of physical activity research, seminars, and improv we are both exhausted and ready to call it a night. But wait, it’s day 7 and the show must go on! Good thing it’s a herbal!

Tea: Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait

Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait from DAVIDsTEA

Description: Picture Parfait

The ancient Chinese used it in medicine. The medieval Europeans traded for it along the Silk Road. And today we love it in pies, sauces, muffins or just plain, dipped in a little sugar. But the best way to eat rhubarb is with sweet, ripe strawberries. Like in this refreshingly fruity, deep red tisane. It tastes as bright and juicy as a fresh-picked berry, with a tart rhubarb punch and a subtle hint of yogurt creaminess. We love it hot or iced, or as the base for sweet, zippy sangria. Now that’s a beautiful thing. Caffeine-free.

Ingredients: Apple, hibiscus, raisins, carrot, yogurt bits, beetroot, strawberry, rhubarb, artificial flavouring.

Steeping instructions: Place 1.5 tsp into a cup and steep for 5-7 min at a cool 98°C

Stacey: Ow, that’s hot! I hate this infuser! There’s no good place to hold it. Oooh, that’s a deep purple colour isn’t it?
Brooke:  Mhmm. It smells florally and sour, but the colour is making me edgy. There are no apples in here are there?
Stacey: *Laughs*…Apples are the first ingredient.
Brooke: You know what, apple is in friggin’ Alpine Punch so I’m drinking it but I’ll only have a third of a cup. DAVIDsTEA really wants to kills me! It does smell very nice though.
Stacey: Yeah, like a strawberry rhubarb pie.

While we waited for our teas to cool Brooke and I chatted about our respective days annnnnd…Brooke managed to spill hot tea on her leg.

Brooke: BLARGH!
Stacey
: Oh no, are you okay? This tea wants to hurt us!
Brooke: You really over poured this, but what I mean is both of us together. Ah! This is awful, it’s still spilling. AH!

*Sip*

Stacey: Oooh. Yeah, that’s sweet. And sour.
Brooke: Yeah, I knew it would be sour. Gasp! Oh I like it! It’s creamy, it’s so soft. I don’t taste the sweetness that you mentioned.
Stacey: Maybe I just meant the sour…I’m not sure now! I think it cuts out the tartness quite nicely before it gets too much.
Brooke: It’s not bitter, but it’s got a very soft beginning and sharp end. Again, this would be a treat after dinner. It would not be something that I’d sip on as I work or something.
Stacey: I agree. Would it be weird to say that you could pair this with ice cream?
Brooke: Nope.
Stacey: I think what I meant about the sweetness is that it was a flavour wasn’t something I wasn’t expecting, it just kind of hits you.
Brooke: I don’t taste apple at all. I don’t know why they put apple in everything, gosh darnit! Hmm, the smell doesn’t equal the taste. The smell is quite big but the taste is nice and soft. Mmm.
Stacey: I really want ice cream now.
Brooke: We have it.
Stacey: Do we? Nice!

Tea vibes:

Brooke: Don’t let your nose fool you, this tea is smooth and sweet. Even half a cup could fill you up. Though the fruity tones are mild, the rhubarb shines through nicely. I like it! 3.5/5.

Stacey: Just the perfect amount of tart and sourness. It’s great as a hot tea with some dessert, but I’d say you could probably enjoy this as a cold tea too. This would be the perfect holiday potluck tea, hot or cold! 3.5/5

Mmm what a tasty, delicious treat! Just be careful when you enjoy–it’s hot!

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke

“I’ll warm you right up” 

Forever Nuts

Hello tea lovers!

I’m writing to you from my quaint little hometown just northwest of Toronto. As Brooke mentioned in our last post, the next few entries are going to be a little different since we’ll be kilometers apart. Of course, that just means we get to have fun guest bloggers! Today we are joined by my Mom, Lorie, and Brooke’s friend, MK as we investigate Forever Nuts!

forever nuts

Tea: Forever Nuts

Ingredients: Apple, almond, cinnamon, beetroot.

DAVIDsTEA Description: It looks all normal when it’s loose. But steep it and you’ll see that it’s nuts. Within seconds, this tempting jumble of almond slices and chunks, apple bits and cinnamon bark starts turning a crazy shade of pink. Why? Because it contains a hint of beetroot. That’s what gives this rich almond tea its earthy depth and its all-natural signature colour. Deliciously nutty, decidedly addictive.

At home, Mom and I mixed 3 tsp of tea into a pot of 98°C water and let it steep for five minutes.

While waiting for the tea to brew, Mom swore she could smell the cinnamon. After I read the ingredients out to her she noted that she was right on the cinnamon being a prime ingredient (looks like making meaningless bets runs in the family Brooke).

In Ottawa…

Brooke and MK had their cups of tea whilst discussing Master’s degrees in biology, boys, and Brooke’s next gig as a beaver in the upcoming comedy festival, Cracking-Up the Capital.

MK: Oooh it smells like pecan pie!! And I can smell the apple! Oh, and the colour is pink!
Brooke:  Jolly Rancher pink!
MK: I wasn’t expecting that.

Back in the GTA…

*sip*

Lorie: It’s very mellow and earthy, but there’s not much of an almond taste.  [Mom steeped it longer because she said it was a bit weak]. Oh yes, now the almond flavour comes out a bit more.

[I waited until the tea wasn’t still steaming before I took my first sip]

Stacey: Mmm, I always like this one, it’s just so nice.
Lorie: Yes, it’s very relaxing after the stress of Christmas. It’s like an almond cookie!
Stacey: The flavour doesn’t match what you see but it totally works.
Lorie: Yes, it reminds me of another tea, Pink Flamingo, but only the look. I thought it was going to be sweet and tart but it’s not. I don’t taste the beet root, though.

Meanwhile, in Ottawa…

MK: Mmm, this tea is really pleasant. I wonder why they put beetroot? Must be for the colour.
Brooke: I love this one. It’s totally a favourite of mine.
MK: Really nice aftertaste; you can taste the nutty-ness.
Brooke: Yes! And the cinnamon is so nice and subtle; it doesn’t hit you too hard at all.
MK: As it cools, the apple gets more fragrant. When I go in for a sip, it’s just like “aah” then it transfers to the nut taste after. It’s really interesting.
Brooke: Yes! This tea is so soothing. Its flavours don’t over power you; it just sits nicely in your mouth and you don’t even need to think about it.
MK: It’s one of those teas you can drink with no sugar, no milk. That’s always nice. …Is this Mariah Carey?
Brooke: …Yes.
MK: I always find that when things start to cool down, you can start to taste things better. The tea definitely gets more flavourful as you drink it.
Brooke: What scene does it make you think of?
MK: In a cabin, outdoors. Then again, you could say cabin about almost any tea.
Brooke: This reminds me of a classy carnival. People selling fudge, apple pies, and home baking.
MK: Mm, thanksgiving tea.
Brooke: It’s like liquid fudge, but without the chocolate. Or the high calories.

Tea Vibes

Lorie: I would definitely buy this one! It’s relaxing, something you want to drink after a big meal to sooth your stomach. And I like the almond flavour, because it’s just like baked cookies. It is a nice holiday tea; it is getting me in the Christmas spirit! I’d say Forever Nuts is a very good to tea to enjoy after a long day of hustle and bustle or while curling up with a good book. The smell is staying with me; I really like this one. Now I just want to bake! 7.5/10

Stacey: This tea has been one of my favourites from the start. The combination of  the ingredients definitely works. The almonds give you this full flavour and the apple gives you a touch of sweetness that lingers in the mouth. The colour of the beetroot is just the cherry on top of a great tea. This tea has been a staple in our tea shelf for a long time now so I recommend this tea to anyone and everyone. 9/10 hands down.

MK: I first thought it smelled like a pie, then when it was really hot it tasted mostly nuts. Now as it cools I get more of the cinnamon and apple and it reminds me of a nutty apple cider. The pink colour makes it very appealing. It’s fun. And soothing and happy. Happiness in a cup. : ) 8/10

Brooke: As I said, Stacey and I do have this in our cupboards and I can never turn this one down. It’s one of my favourites, I love it. It’s… the best. So good. Mm. Yes. I will be forever nuts about this tea. Ohoho. 9.5/10.

There you have it! Forever Nuts will have you going nutty no matter what end of Ontario you’re on. Those in others parts of Canada (or the world!) should enjoy it too!

Until next tea,
Stacey (and her Mom) and Brooke (and MK)


“Oh Jerald, don’t be such a nut-tea rabbit! Pour me another cup, will you?”

Hot Lips

Hello friends!

Well, after a hard morning of spinning down serum and dissecting fish gonads, Brooke came home wanting tea. I already drank a cup this morning but as I’m not one to turn down tea, I’m living on the edge and having another (I know, I’m pretty wild).

We opened door number #8 to discover that it was a black tea. Opting to save that one for a day where caffeine was needed, we opened door #9 to find our first green tea: Organic Hot Lips!

hot lips

Tea: Organic Hot Lips

Ingredients: Green tea, cinnamon, safflower, pink peppercorn, chilli pepper.

DAVIDsTEA description: Some like it hot….and some like it REALLY hot. If you’re the kind of person who keeps a bottle of hot sauce on them at all times, this little number will be right up your alley. It’s a fiery green tea blend with a big hit of cinnamon, spiked with hot chilli peppers and pink peppercorns. Think of your favourite cinnamon candy, only all grown up. Mama mia – that’s-a spicy tea ball!

After giving the tea a whiff, we knew we were in for a doozy. The smell of cinnamon hit us like a ton of bricks:

Stacey: This tea just looks like a scary mash-up of hot things…just look at the colours, so much red!
Brooke: You haven’t even poured in the tea yet silly.
Stacey: But the tea leaves, Brooke! Look at them!

The water for green tea is not meant to be too hot because it will burn the delicate tea leaves, so we boiled our water and let it settle for down to a ripe 82 °C. We steeped 1.25tsp of tea into each of our mugs for 4 minutes.

Brooke: It doesn’t look that scary…does it?
Stacey: It just looks so red and angry!
Brooke: I’m nervous…
Stacey: I don’t think I want to drink it…
Brooke: Stacey!

*sip*

Brooke: Hmm, cool. I think I was expecting a smack in the face of cinnamon hearts but what I get is a simple green tea base with a bit of a kick.
Stacey: The first sip I got was quite spicy, but I think it was because the description made me a bit scared.
Brooke: I haven’t had a green tea in a while, and wow I forgot how nice the taste is! DAVIDsTEA’s description is a bit over the top though. They might be scaring away a few customers who don’t want to have a crazy tea.
Stacey:  The tea is a nice green tea that has that hint of spice when it hits the back of your throat. Actually, it’s like it kisses the back of your throat. Get it?
Brooke: Yes.

With the introduction of a new kind of tea, now is a good time to pause and provide more information about the leaves from the famous Camellia sinensis plant (you know, because we want you to be educated, as well as entertained). Green tea is primarily from the Asian countries of China and Japan and can be prepared in a variety of different ways, even powdered (say what?!). Traditionally green tea is less oxidized than black tea, contains less caffeine (wahoo!), and is packed with antioxidants. Green tea has also been found to help prevent cancer, boosts brain cells, and help prevent glucose spikes (and there are even more benefits found here). No wonder we love green tea!

Tea Vibes

Stacey: It’s hard to write something that we haven’t already said. Honestly, it’s just nice to have a green tea; I was beginning to forget what they tasted like. Hot Lips is a pretty solid tea; I like the little bit of heat if gives you at the end. I probably wouldn’t have it every day because it does have a lot of cinnamon but if I’m in the mood for a kick won’t be afraid to give it another go. I give it 7/10.

Brooke:  The very day we bought the 24 Days of Tea box set, I had Mango Diablo, and THAT was a hot tea, phew. I don’t know if I steeped the mango tea for too long but wow, it smacked my mouth at each sip. With Hot Lips, you taste the green tea part first and then zing- a nice little kick.  I’d steep this tea for longer next time to get a bit more of the spicy because what I got, I liked. If you’re a green tea fan and you want to switch it up a bit, this tea is for you. 7.5/10.

Well, there you have it ladies and gents, another tea in the books. Phew, we’re a third of the way in now, and we’re  excited to see where our tea journey will whisk us off to next. Hope you continue to join us, because we love the company.

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke