Day 4: Sweet Almond Green

Salut steepers,

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

Tea: Sweet Almond Green

Sweet Almond Green

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

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

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

*sip*

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

Final thoughts:

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

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

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

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

 

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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 18: Buddha’s Blend

Hi readers!

Well it’s a stormy one out there in Halifax. My flight was turbulent as I made my way home for the holidays, so a good warm tea after picking up our Christmas tree was JUST what the momma and daughter duo ordered. Mugs up and zen out to Buddha’s Blend, friends!

Tea: Buddha’s Blend

Buddha's Blend from DAVIDsTEA

Description: Heaven Can’t Wait

We don’t like to brag, but we’re pretty sure we just found the key to achieving nirvana. It’s easier than you might think – you’re actually just a cup away. You start with a fresh, delicate mix of white and green tea. Then you sprinkle in a few jasmine pearls for their sweet, floral perfume. Next, you add the unexpected fruity aroma of some beautiful white hibiscus blossoms. Finally? You sit back, relax and take a sip. Heavenly…

Ingredients: White tea, green tea, jasmine pearls, white hibiscus blossoms, articifial flavouring.

Instructions: 1 tsp, 82°C, 3-4 min

Mom was worried she wouldn’t make a good substitute for Stace.

Cathy: Okay, I’m not Stacey. I’m not Stacey, I’m not a tea maaker… dee dee deeee!

Brooke: Did you just sing that last part?

CathyI’m prone to siiinging… unexpected tea songs! Deee dum dum.

Brooke: It’s good to be home.

Cathy: You said this has jasmine in it like that green tea? Doesn’t smell nearly as grassy. Smells good!

*sip*

Brooke: Did you just take a sip?

Cathy: I did.

Brooke: And?

Cathy: … I didn’t have a thought!

Brooke: Hm.

Cathy: Okay, let’s see. It’s more about the smell, I think. It’s pleasant, it’s not sour. I don’t know the real difference between white and green tea, I just like herbals, that’s what this reminds me of. I don’t particularly like black teas, you see. I want to know what you think now!

Brooke: I really taste the base leaves more than the extra flavours… I taste the green tea leaves and not so much the jasmine. It seems… just a bit dull!

Cathy:  You are so refined! I like it and I will drink it. It isn’t a crazy tea. Although, I do like that you can smell it and taste it and get lots from it at the same time.

Brooke: Yeah, and the dullness is kind of good- you don’t want the flavours to overpower you with a ‘zen’ tea after all.

Cathy: Yeah, it’s relaxing!

Brooke: White teas are steeped for less time, too, compared to black due to the leaves being so delicate. That may be it.

Cathy: Wow, Superstore is selling lobster for $5.88/lb!

Brooke: Soo pleased to be home. Seriously.

Tea vibes:

Cathy: I don’t know Brookie, I like this tea! It tastes just as good as it cools. 3.5/5

Brooke: This as an odd fruity hint from the hibiscus that I really enjoy, though I do think for a ‘flashy’ DAVIDsTEA, it’s not my favourite. It certainly zen’d me out as I watched little birdies dancing on the snow covered trees outside (oh, so poetic). It was nice, but since white teas are expensive and it didn’t thrill me, I wouldn’t need to buy it. Loved sharing it my ma, though! : ) 3.5/5

No Stace in this one, but she’ll be back tomorrow for a google chat. For now, we will continue to zen out (but might switch to rum and eggnog…)

Until next tea,

Brooke (and Cathy)

“He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.”

Day 11: Mother’s Little Helper

Hi readers!

Happy Day #11 of 24 Days of Tea! My mother was visiting recently and when we decided to review a tea together; when we pulled this one out- it was perfect! We had just made an asparagus and potato salad and I was a little helper in the kitchen while she did all the hard stuff. Heeeere we go! : )

Tea: Mother’s Little Helper

Mother's Little Helper (organic) from DAVIDsTEA

Description: The Great Escape

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

Tea ingredients: Organic: peppermint, lemongrass, rosehips, Fair Trade Certified hibiscus, chamomile flowers, valerian root, cornflowers. With natural peppermint flavouring.

Tea Instructions: 1.5 tsp, 98°C, 4-7 min.

Stacey: Oh no! There’s chamomile? I shouldn’t drink it. I will sniff it.

Brooke: This smell reminds me a lot of their Detox tea, the hibiscus and lemongrass scents especially.

Stacey: *sniff* It has a VERY big floral scent, because of the ragweed, I mean…chamomile.

Brooke: Mom, what do you think it smells like?

Cathy: …Socks?

Brooke: Oh!

Cathy: It’s not like Jingle Bells with all that other stuff..

Brooke: She means White Chocolate Frost

Cathy: Why do I come for a visit just to be teased?

Brooke: Don’t worry Mom, we’re just laughing AT you!

Cathy: Oh, good.

Stacey: It’s kind of like a weird pink… yellowy.. Am I allowed to say pukey colour?

Brooke: This is boding well…

*sip*

Cathy: Oh, you know, it tastes much better than it smells! I like the peppermint. It’s not bad- I don’t feel the need to sweeten it.

Brooke: Oh wow, yes, this IS good! Not as harsh as Detox.

Cathy: It still SMELLS like socks, though. Maybe lemongrass to me smells like socks?

Brooke: I like the lemon and mint mix, it’s so soft.

Cathy: Is that white thing on the floor a skull?

Brooke: We’re still transitioning from Halloween!

Cathy: So that’s why the scarecrow has a Santa hat on?

Stacey: It’s a work in progress.

Tea vibes:

Cathy: I like a tea that I don’t have to add anything extra to prepare it. I will definitely drink it again- the peppermint is fun! I’m going to lay down for a nap… 4/5

Brooke: The peppermint is so nice and airy! The chamomile is soothing and the flavours didn’t assault my senses. Don’t be turned off by the smell (of socks?), just dip in and enjoy! 4/5

Stacey: *Achoo!*

Cathy: Zzzzzz.

Shhh! Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey (and Cathy)

Sleeping after steeping.

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