The Emerald Path

Hello patient readers!

With the warm weather comes busy bees and Stacey and I have been working non-stop here in Ottawa. Luckily last weekend we were able to sit down with our good friend Alana and finally open one of our teas from nourishtea. Boy, were we ever in love. Enjoy!

Nourish Tea: The Emerald Path
Description: Certified Organic Maojian Green Tea

mao jian is one of china’s ten most famous teas and is a classic Chinese style of green tea with two thousand years of history.  It’s also one of nourishtea’s sixteen most famous teas. This open leaf style tea is hand-picked and pan-fired, creating an exquisite & complex hand-crafted brew, with an incredibly sweet smell. It’s a wonderful introduction to green tea, as it is light and vaguely sweet. Of course, like all green teas, rest assured that you’ll be immersed in its anti-oxidants. This is far and away a favorite in the nourishtea pantry.

Tea preparation: 1 tsp per cup, 80C water for 2-3 minutes! Very important that the water is warm and the steep is light on green teas such as this.

Brooke:  It’s Kosher, people.
Alana: I feel like I had a dream about Jewish people.
Stacey: I think I’m going to want sushi after this.
Alana: What does that smell remind me of?
Stacey: Sushi.

*sip*

Alana: That’s green tea alright. That’s nice. It’s just light.
Stacey: I think it’s nice to come off of the DavidsTea base.
Brooke:  I can definitely taste the difference from this and the Japanese Sencha. It’s soft and airy like a wafer.
Stacey: We need those. The strawberry kind.
Alana: A norweigan stroopwafel!
Brooke: I would drink this a lot more than the other heavier sencha. This is so nice.
Alana: I find that you have to have a light green more often than dark.
Stacey: I can definitely have this on a regular basis.
Alana: Yeah, like when you wake up in the morning.
Stacey: Yeah, it’s like “I’m gonna wake you up”. Oooh I think nourishtea is going to be fun!

/rant about blueberry pancakes, murder mystery parties, and work/

Alana: I’m getting a very pleasantly warm feeling in my sinuses.
Stacey: Oh! It’s medicinal! I do feel healthier with every sip.
Brooke: Alright, no.
Stacey: A little too far?
Alana: But it’s so fun!

Tea Vibes:

Stacey: I really like this one, it doesn’t make me want to have sushi, which is actually nice. It’s one of those teas I would enjoy on a regular basis. It’s a good fresh spring tea, too. There are no strong flavours that overpower anything, it’s very balanced. Overall, this tea is very nice and makes me content. 8.5/10

Alana: It’s a nice clean, simple tea. I don’t think it’s an everyday tea because it’s too light, but every time I take a sip I see myself sitting somewhere enjoying wherever I am. I wish I could tell you where that is, but I don’t even know. 7.5/10

Brooke: Congratulations to nourishtea for impressing us right off the bat. What a delightful, light tea that does have that hint of sweetness that the other green teas either lacked or pushed too far. I’m really excited that we have so much of this so that we can continue to enjoy it on a regular basis. 8/10

Final thoughts:

 Alana: Stroopwafels for all!

Thank you nourishtea for such a delicious treat. We’ve already offered pots of this tea to our visitors and have received rave reviews back. Look for our next post soon on their tasty Darjeeling!

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey (and Alana)

“Well we can’t both wear this hat to the party.”

Organic Breakfast

Hi readers,

Happy New Year!! Hope you all had a great time with friends and are looking forward to the new year ahead. Let’s celebrate with tea!

I got a text from Stacey the other day saying that she and her mum were going to try Organic Breakfast. When I suggested it to my mom, she answered with “oh sure! We just got those sausages from the market and our eggs are local, too, so …” I had to interrupt with “oh, sorry! It’s a tea, Mom! Just the name of the next tea”. Pause. “Pah! Well then. Get the kettle!” It’s going to be a good post, people. I can feel it.

David's Organic Breakfast from DAVIDsTEA

Tea: Organic Breakfast

 DAVIDsTEA description: It’ll change your life

This is the kind of tea that puts you in a great mood, inspires harmonious relationships and makes you outrageously productive. How did we do it? First we selected our favourite organic and biodynamic black teas from Yunnan, Assam and Darjeeling. And then we sipped different variations until we’d created the ultimate balance. Could there be a better way to start your day?

 Ingredients: Organic black tea from India (Darjeeling), China (Yunnan) and Sri Lanka (Ceylon).

Mom and I each made a big mug and poured steaming hot water onto about 1.5tsp of loose leaf. We let it steep for 6 minutes before removing the infusers.

In Bolton, Stacey and Lorie did the same and basked in the memories of teas past.

Lorie: It reminds me of Twinings English Breakfast Tea. I should have had this in a tea cup rather than a mug!
Stacey: Oh yes, it’s the type of tea you would have at a tea party.
Lorie: Or one you would drink at a bridal shower. I picture little tea cups with saucers, finger sandwiches, and petits fours.
Stacey: Petits fours?
Lorie: Yes and we’d have something like this at my Granny’s house.
Stacey: Mmm, yes sipping on this tea reminds me of an afternoon with Grandma.
Lorie: The tea is mellow, it has a nice aroma. It’s a nice blend of all three—it’s a not overpowering. Yum!

Back in Halifax, Mom and I were surprised with how “normal” the tea turned out to be.

Cathy: Hmm… I don’t know if it’s going to do all those things it claims…
Brooke: Why not?
Cathy: Because it’s just a black tea. It is what it is! What do you think about it?
Brooke: I find it heavier than Glitter and Gold and because of that I like it more. Nice and strong.
Cathy: It doesn’t have the bitter aftertaste that black teas do, though, no need for milk and sugar.
Brooke: Sorry mum, I wanted to do a fun flavour with you but this is kind of … simple!
Cathy: Well wow, I just love it anyway! Mm!
Stewart: Hmm… are you going to finish that mug, Cathy?

Tea vibes:

Stewart: That’s a right tasty tea! My Cape Breton roots fully approve. I don’t know about the claims for exuberant productivity but I could drink this any time. It’s certainly more refined that Red Rose but no less tasty. This suits those people who do not enjoy the perfumed and flavoured teas but want a genuine black tea experience. This brew certainly delivers. 8/10

Lorie: I would definitely buy this tea, because its flavour is very mild and enjoyable. The tea brings back happy memories of my Granny and Nana. The teas they would offer me were often too strong for me with almost an iron taste but this tea is not like that at all! I feel like I’m energized for the day now—time to do some cleaning! 9/10.

Cathy: I frequently find that teas smell better than they taste but this one tastes just like it smells. I don’t want to say it’s not as exciting as the others, there’s not much to explore with it, but I like it. If someone served it to me I’d say “thank you very much!”  7.5/10

Brooke: What a wonderful change of pace. I feel like I’m at home. Not physically, (though I am, heh) but just… this fits. Suits me very nicely, yes! I don’t even have to think about it, it doesn’t stress me out, I like it. 8.5/10

 Stacey: It’s a good staple tea to have; I would give this tea to our guests. I can’t quite pick out the three teas, but I feel very worldly for having sipped on tea from China, India, and Sri Lanka. It’s a very nice blend. Well done, David! 9/10.

Well, this tea sure was a hit with both parties- Dad even got some in his stocking because of how much he enjoyed it!

Only one more tea until Stacey and I reunite back in Ottawa. Up next- Detox!

Cathy: And may I just say thank you for inviting me into tea land and thanks to Stacey and her mum, too. How fun!

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

image

 

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

Cream of Earl Grey

Hello fellow tea drinkers!

After a weekend of dancing and formal events we’re back for another tea time. Let’s jump right in!

Since we skipped two black teas (see our: Crème Brûlée post) and we both had a long day of master’s work ahead of us, we decided to go back for a caffeine-induced black tea.

Brooke: So you push from the bottom and I’ll pull it out from the top. *Pop* Well that was eas– [mid sentence, the tea container flies out of her hand and rolls under the radiator]-y.
Stacey: Ohh…
Brooke: Well… it’s a feisty one, at least…oooh, Organic Cream of Earl Grey!

Cream of Earl Grey
Tea: Organic Cream of Earl Grey

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

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.”

This tea was listed as a medium-caffeine black tea, so given our last experience with Salted Caramel, we opted to have one cup each instead of a pot. We steeped 1.5tsp of tea in 98 degree water for approximately 4 minutes.  Then we just let the aroma take over…

Stacey: Oh, it smells like a London Fog.
Brooke: I’m going to love this.

*sip*

 Stacey: You know for smelling like London Fog, I’m not really getting the London Fog taste. But that’s not a bad thing; I was thinking it would be much like the London Fog you get at a Second Cup. I like this better, because it doesn’t have the extra sugar.
Brooke: Makes me think of my aunt Tracey! : ) She often offers me tea when I come for a visit and it’s always a type of Earl Grey (Lady Grey, I think?). This one is DEVINE. No need to throw any milk or sugar into this baby!

[We paused to watch a video of Brooke’s baby niece talking to a star, a moon, and a sheep. Aaaadorable.]

Brooke: The vanilla is wonderful; it really softens the blow of such a strong tea. Also, babies.
Stacey: I am really enjoying this brew; this is definitely a sip-able, drinkable tea.  Yes, babies.
Brooke: Hopefully the caffeine doesn’t make you go too crazy. We can’t have that again.

Tea Vibes

Stacey: This is certainly not your typical cup of Earl Grey but it’s not too wacky either. DAVIDsTEA doesn’t throw intense flavours at you; just subtle hints of vanilla; that changes it up a bit. If you’re a fan of London Fogs, this is the tea for you (with less of a sugary base, of course). Mmm! A solid tea and a good staple to have in our cupboards. I give it 8/10 because it’s the best Earl Grey I think I’ve ever tasted.

Brooke:  This is a good morning tea; it starts you off on the right foot, creamy and smooth. No milk needed, no sugar needed. Reminds me of my Aunt-tea (get it?). Yep, I’m okay with us buying a batch of this for the cupboard [Stacey: I’m okay with that too, we need some regulars in here]. I know I keep giving this out, but another solid 8.5/10.

What’s a better way to start a morning than babies and tea? Hmm? Exactly.

Well, a bit of a shorter post today, but honestly this tea needs no lavish description to promote itself; it’s a solid brew. Definitely a must-try for Earl Grey lovers everywhere.

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke


Here, have this baby in a teacup. 

Crème Brûlée

Hi readers,

Brooke here. It’s late and Stacey and I are winding down in our cozy apartment. It’s been a long day for both of us. Stacey was taking minutes at a six hour physical literacy meeting and then attended night class for another three. I had various lab meetings, UPLC-Q-TOF metabolite data analysis, project discussions, and proposals. What could make two exhausted Master students feel satisfied? A nice warm caffeine-free tea. To the box-set!

The 24 Days of Tea pack has all kinds of teas in it: black, rooibos, mate, green, oolong, etc. We hoped that we could open a door at random and find one that would suit our needs.

Tea door number five…Black tea. Erm… We can’t be up all night and we know how Stacey got with the last one. Let’s skip it.
Tea door number six …No! That’s black too… One more try?
Tea door number seven… Oooh, Organic Crème Brûlée, a rooibos! Kettle on, mugs ready. Let’s do this.

Creme Brulee tea

Tea: Organic Crème Brûlée

Ingredients: Green and red rooibos, safflowers, calendula marigold.

DAVIDsTEA Description:  Sweet seduction

No one can resist this organic green rooibos tea. Seriously. The aroma is just too outrageously tempting. Creamy, caramel, decadent, rich. And the taste! How can something so sweet be so light and fresh? Plus, some experts are saying that the special antioxidants and alpha hydroxy acids in green rooibos will fight aging and improve your health. Could life be more wonderful?

Rooibos tea, you know the drill. Poured our hot 98°C water over 1.5tsp of the loose leaf, let them steep for 5 minutes and then cool to a sip-able temperature. The colour was a warm orange after removing our infusers and, again, the odour was heavenly.

Stacey: It smells sweet, if that’s even a thing.
Brooke: I taste it.

*sip*

Stacey: It’s definitely sweet. I’m trying to taste the crème brûlée we had at the Fish Market the other night, but I’m struggling.

[Yeah, so? Two roomies can go on three course meal dates now and then!]

Brooke: That’s because ours was burnt. Now that cheesecake, Mmm…
Stacey:  What do you think of the tea so far?
Brooke: It’s good. Simplistic. Simple ingredient list and that works. Sometimes simple is better. DAVIDsTEA didn’t need to pump it up with lavish language. It’s a simple, nice, sweet, soft tea.
Stacey: You don’t need to pump up crème brûlée. Everybody loves crème brûlée. It’s crème brûlée.
Brooke: Nice French.
Stacey: I don’t get the creamy. It’s just. Sweet. But not too sweet. Just a nice “hm, there it is!” The picture on their site is perfect. THAT is what you think of when you take a sip.

Ta Da:

Organic Crème Brulée

Tea Vibes:

Stacey: Well, after a really long day, it’s really nice to have this cup of tea. I agree, it would be a nice dessert tea. I know I’ve said that before, but this one is a dessert. You don’t really get a lot of the rooibos, it’s more of a herbal feel. It’s nice. I feel satisfied. I give a 7/10. [Brooke: Why only a 7, then?] It’s not blowing me a way, it’s just comforting and giving me a little something. The taste isn’t in my face. I guess I could bump it to 8/10. A little bit of a different experience than the salted caramel. I feel like I’m winding down instead of being wound up.

Brooke: You know you’re at a wine tasting [Stacey: uh, sure] and to smell the wine, you have to dip the entirety of your nose into the glass? You give it a swirl and immediately throw your face into the drink in order to soak up the smell? Well… I’ve been doing that this whole time to this tea. It smells… wonderful. I do smell the cream, I do smell the rooibos, I do smell the dessert. Wow, just. And the taste? Mm. I drank it to the very last, lukewarm drop and it was delicious. 8.5/10

Ahh, lovely. Lights out, teeth brushed, and ready for bed. These two grad students are satisfied. Highly suggested tea for anyone who wants a nice topper to a busy day. Parfait.

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

Stacey’s dog Titan doesn’t need a tea to sleep easy…