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. 

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Brazillionaire (DAVIDsTEA)

Happy winter weekend, readers!

It’s a cold one in the capital of Canada today as MK and I sat down to review a brew and keep ourselves warm. Stacey joins us part way through and we all shared in the richness of this brazillionaire blend. Enjoy!

Tea: Brazillionaire

Description: Get Rich Quick. Have you heard tales of the wealthy Brazilian eccentric? According to local stories, he was completely obsessed with Brazil nuts, the source of his fortune. He insisted on having them in every meal – even his afternoon tea! Was it needless decadence, or a stroke of genius? You’ll have to taste it yourself to decide. This fabulously opulent blend combines black tea with whole Brazil nuts, raisins and coconut. Trust us – it tastes like a million bucks.

Ingredients: Black tea, Brazil nuts, raisins, coconut, natural and artificial flavouring

Instructions: 96C, 4-7 minutes, 1 tsp

MK: It smells like the looseleaf did, which is a good thing!
Brooke: Your face is in the tea again.
MK: Another facial! Mmmmm.
Brooke: It smells like a creamy dark chocolate. Is that a thing?
MK: That… would be milk chocolate.
Brooke: Oh. Right.

*Sip*

MK: Mmm.. It’s really rich! Like… sitting on a velvet bed kind of rich. With lions and gold chains. Cause you know… Brazil? Okay, I’m digging myself into a hole, your turn! I dunno, I’m just picturing this pimp in velvet drinking this tea. Cause.. yeah. Yeah. Oh this is good.
Brooke: It’s so creamy yet again, I swear they’re magicians.
MK: I almost think I need to buy this if only to be reminded of this conversation every time I drink it. “Creamy dark chocolate.”
Brooke: OH lay off! I don’t think I have ever had Brazil nuts before… Have you? You’re making a face.
MK: I’m thinking of my grandfather. Brazil nuts came in our Christmas nut bowls at my grandparents. They look like.. wait, I don’t know what they look like. They’re really rich, though. So, it really works well with this tea. I’m gettin’ that rich nutty flavour, creamy coconut, then slight sweetness from the raisins.
Brooke: MK, you’re really getting good at this tea review thing!
MK: Well Brooke, I’ve got a good teacher, as I spit into my spittoon. You know, like wine tasters. Hey, this is getting better as it cools even (shout out to Brooke’s mom).

Stacey arrives after a visit home, sits down and reviews the final sips before we head out to play boardgames at a local café.

Stacey: Ah yes, I just had this with my family just yesterday! I only let my mom have a taste so I felt guilty. It reminded me of toasted walnut. It smells like it, too.
Brooke: Have a sip!
Stacey: This is lukewarm. I’ll heat it up. OH GOD MY TONGUE. I CAN’T TASTE.
Brooke: Karma?
MK: What do you think of the tea now, Stacey?
Stacey: Um… Well, because of its name, it reminds me of going through a rainforest in Brazil, if they exist, and you’d be with a guide, and he’d be like “try this piece of bark, it’s fantastic” and it would be like a local treasure. And he’d be speaking through a translator.
Brooke:
MK: If anything, this tea evokes vivid imagery.

Tea vibes:

Since Stacey’s back, we spoke our final thoughts on this tea to her phone, which then typed up what it sounded like we said. Here are our final vibes on the brew:

Stacey: Mail fantastic. Also, taste pretty good. I would have it on a special occasion with whoever millionaire.

Brooke: Lifted and ride, so much joy to everybody sitting at the table because we got to explore our our creative minds! I hope that it inspires my creative mind to finish this god damn thing 2007 have I done.

MK: Ok. It was good. I like it. I want it and it was toasty in creamy and made me feel like a gazillion bucks. London, I’ll call you.

And there you go! Another wonderful tea time with your Ottawa friends. Or tea saints, says MK. I am apparently Tea Moses, since I “bring tea to my people”.

Any teas that you fancy we try? Let us know!

Until next tea,

Brooke, MK and Stacey

Brooke depicted as Tea Moses, by MK.

Brooke depicted as Tea Moses, by MK.

Day 8: Cocomint Cream

Hello tea lovers!

We started our days of in different parts of the city but we managed to meet up after work to chat about today’s tasty brew: Cocomint Cream! Oohohhhhh yummy. Here we go!

Tea: Cocomint Cream

Cocomint Cream from DAVIDsTEA

Description: Coconut and mint might not be a familiar combo, but trust us. It’s seriously addictive. As soon as you open your first tin and experience its fresh, sweet-mint aroma, you’ll understand. It’s the kind of tea you always want to have within arm’s reach. It makes a sweet little afternoon pick-me-up. Or a perfect finale to any meal. Or a midnight snack that won’t keep you up all night. Refreshing, creamy, sweet and comforting, it’s everything a tea ought to be.

Ingredients: Apple, coconut, sweet blackberry leaves, peppermint, spearmint, natural coconut flavouring (Stacey: But there is already COCONUT in the tea! Sometimes I don’t understand this “flavouring” business, hmph!).

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

Earlier in the morning, Stacey was able to take her tea in a thermos on her way to work and enjoyed the cup throughout her morning. Here are her thoughts:

Stacey: Oohhh yummy!! Minty, smooth and quite fresh. It has a lovely hint of sweetness at the very end. There’s a tropical taste to it, almost like a warm pina coloda. Yum, yum!

Brooke turned on the kettle after her busy day in the lab and fell in love the with smell of her steeping brew.

Brooke: Ohohoh, that creamy smell is incredible! *Sip* Ugh, wow, that is way too sweet!
(Stacey was home at this point)
Stacey: Really? I liked the little hint of sweetness at the end!
Brooke: No, maybe I steeped mine for longer, but its flavour is NOT subtle this time! Definitely taste the mint and the coconut… but kind of taste artificial sweetener, too.
Stacey: Oh, I found the apple brought the sweetness to it! There is “natural” flavouring that could be disguised!
Brooke: Apple? I don’t get the apple. Just feel like someone melted down a creamy mint bar and I am drinking it. It’s more like a dessert than a tea to sip on while you work.
Stacey: It *was* a little odd to have in the morning. But I still liked it!

Tea Vibes: 

Since Stacey was home, the voice-type feature on her phone let us say our final thoughts on the tea in its warped understanding of our spoken words: 

Stacey: It was a 40 and 90, yeah! Give me images of having pina coladas. I give  it a 9 and Hannah.

Brooke: This TV is way too sweet for my taste. I do with a 60 and tenor.

And with that, we’re already into our second week of December! Our friend MK was with Stacey on this one, she absolutely loved it. Brooke’s sister, on the other hand, was apprehensive about the sweet smell. What were your thoughts?

Keep those kettles going and join us tomorrow for Day 9!

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

Our mantra on busy days like today.

 

Day 7: English Breakfast

Goood morning!

We’re waking up to a beautiful day here in Ottawa and it’s time for some tasty tea to get things started. We popped open the door to Day #7 and were content with what we found: a classic that we had reviewed last year. Get your kettle going and join us for a cup!

Tea: English Breakfast

Description: There’s nothing better than waking up to a genuinely fabulous cup of English Breakfast tea. Which is why we took great care in choosing our signature blend. We were looking for the perfect balance. Something with body and a satisfyingly full flavour, without being overpowering. The winner? A flowery pekoe from Sri Lanka. You’ll find yourself drinking it all day long.

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

Since our previous post just last year, DAVIDsTEA apparently changed the way they want us to experience the brew. Down from 1.5 tsp per cup, they now recommend 1.25tsp and rather than having it at a piping hot 98°C, they suggest a slight decrease to 96°C. Will this difference drastically change our opinion on this “coal-miner” tea? Let’s find out…

*sip*

Stacey: Hmph.
Brooke: Was that a hmph?
Stacey: Yeah. It’s nothing special.
Brooke: It doesn’t claim to be!
Stacey: I guess that’s a good thing?
Brooke: I dunno, at least this one doesn’t have any added flavours just for the heck of it. Sometimes DAVIDsTEA does get a little flavour happy.
Stacey: Yeah. It’s just that… it tastes like it’s from Tim Horton’s or Second Cup… it’s just an English Breakfast. I guess when you think DAVIDsTEA, you think of something you couldn’t get anywhere else. I don’t mean to harp on this one, it’s just not radically different.
Brooke: I’m thinking of the woman who runs her Take Charge Tea booth in the Farmer’s Market at Lansdowne Park. Her ingredients were added to provide health benefits for the drinker and were all completely natural.  DAVIDsTEA isn’t like that, they’re only really focused on the taste and aesthetics of their tea.
Stacey: Yeah, sometimes even with artificial flavours!
Brooke: English Breakfast is one of their only “pure” teas with no added flavours, so I at least appreciate that. *Sip*. Oh man, though, definitely still needs almond milk. That is bitter. [Brooke contemplates pouring some of her cereal milk into her tea, then bails and gets some from the fridge]. Ahh much better. What does this tea make you think of, Stace?
Stacey: Uh.. *sip*, going for tea with my colleagues at work before starting my day? Yeah, just a standard morning at work.
Brooke: *snore* Yep. Not doing much for me, either. Even with the strange change in brewing instructions!

Tea Vibes:

Using Stacey’s “voice-type” feature on her phone, we let it decide we said with fabulous results: 

Brooke: You didn’t impress me and I have many other English Breakfast that I prefer. Sorry, David. To Navan special: 700.

Stacey: Hard for me to give it a ride back and forth, so I give it a nice day. English Breakfast. Oh, I give it an Eon 10.

(We really hope you are enjoying these voice-type translations as much as we are.)

All in all, this tea sparked our thoughts about what really makes a good tea. Its simplicity? Natural ingredients? Health benefits? Caffeine? What do you think? To each their own cup, I suppose!

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

A tea you can ride back and forth.

Day 20: Vanilla Orchid

Hello friends!

This blog post comes to you on the train from Ottawa to Toronto! I’m headed home for the holidays and Brooke is busy with birthday celebrations, so a solo post will have to do! I promise I’ll make it interesting. Here we go!

Tea: Vanilla Orchid

Vanilla Orchid from DAVIDsTEA

Description: A Sweet Romance

We’re still searching for the secret to eternal bliss, but we’re pretty sure one cup of this blend will get you at least five minutes’ worth. It all starts with the very best leaves: a premium oolong from China’s Fujian Province called Huang Jin Gui. A popular wedding gift in China, Huang Jin Gui is prized for its pretty yellow colour and romantic floral scent. Here we bring out this special leaf’s orchid aroma with a touch of vanilla. The result? A perfectly balanced, subtle cup that’s equal parts rich, creamy and floral. Feeling blissful yet?

Ingredients: Huang Jin Gui Oolong from Anxi in Fujian Province, natural vanilla flavouring.

Steeping Prep: 1 tsp, 92°C, 3-5 min (or hot water from a train station and a guesstimate on the amount of tea leaves)

Stacey: Well it smells like vanilla. And it also has a very stong earthy tone to it. Hmm I hope I can carry this thermos along with my luggage…

*sip*

Stacey: Oooh that’s some smooth vanilla. Very smooth indeed. And subtle too! The oolong really comes through and the two flavours work nicely together. My train ride is going to be quite pleasant sipping on this brew!

Stacey: Brooke would like this one a lot I think. Her mom and my dad would probably want to add some sugar though. It’s not very sweet at all. Just the way I like it!

Stacey: I feel like I’m talking to myself. Or I suppose I’m thinking to myself. That’s not weird right?

Stacey: Oh! Just read the DAVIDsTEA description. They were right on the money–I am feeling quite blissful! I had a busy day playing with, I mean testing kids all day (I know, I have a tough job), so I am quite tuckered out. But this tea is a perfect way to unwind. Oh I just love it! And I’m headed home for the holidays! What could be better? Hmm…there’s an empty seat beside me…maybe a handsome man will sit there at the next stop. Let’s wait and see!

*we arrive at next stop*

Stacey: Nope…an empty seat it remains. Oh well, at least I have this tea and Nelson Mandela’s autobiography ‘Long Walk To Freedom’ to keep me occupied. (A MUST read by the way)

Tea Vibes

Stacey: I’d put this in the category of ‘zen-out tea’. It would be the perfect drink for after yoga or unwinding after tough day at work. The subtleness of the vanilla makes me want to curl up and take a little ‘me-time’…or take a nap, but that could be because I was running around with 2-year-olds all day. If you want to treat yourself, I’d give this specialty tea a try. 4.25/5

Well readers I’m going to unplug and veg out on this relaxing train ride. I hope you have a lovely evening and if you have not done so already, wish Brooke a happy birthday.

Until next tea,
Stacey

image
Happy birthday Brooke!’

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.”

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

Japanese Sencha

Hello friends!

So usually when Brooke and I review teas, we do so in the warmth of our cozy apartment. Especially with -39C weather. Today… we made an exception. We ventured out on a freezing cold day in Ottawa to drink and review our tea elsewhere. Why? As soon as we smelled our Organic Japanese Sencha steeping, we could only think one thing. SUSHI.

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Tea: Organic Japanese Sencha

DAVIDsTEA Description: Light and Brisk

Japanese monks were writing about tea in the 9th century, but the world had to wait until 1740 for Sencha, when a tea merchant named Nagatani perfected a new process of steaming, rolling and heat-drying green tea. The result? An emerald-green tea that’s refreshing, smooth and high in antioxidants. No wonder it’s Japan’s most popular drink.

Ingredients: Fine organic steamed Japanese green tea from Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.

To get started we put 2 tsp of tea into a tea pot and let our leaves steep in 74°C for 3 minutes. With one whiff, our stomachs were in the mood for a full on sushi lunch, so we poured our tea into travel thermoses and were off!

Stacey: Want to have a quick sip before we head out?
Brooke: Yeah, let’s do it!

*Sip*

Stacey: Oh yes, definitely a sushi green tea.
Brooke: Sushi!!!

On our way to our favourite sushi joint, Sushi Zone in the Byward market, Brooke dropped her thermos (of course). Luckily she had a Contigo thermos from Costco and not a drop of tea was spilled. (Shout out to Brooke’s Mom for that wonderful buy!)

Our walk to the market was not a long one but we were very  happy to be sheltered from the elements after being exposed to wickedly cold wind. Once we began to thaw, we took our order and we were ready for an all-Japanese experience.

Adorable Woman Behind the Counter: Would you like a drink with that?
Brooke: Oh no, thank you. We’ve got that covered.

*omnomnom* …*sip*

Brooke: Mmm, this tea has a bit a more flavour than the tea you would typically get at a sushi place. I think they steep their tea for less time, so it’s usually a bit more watered down. With ours you can really taste the  difference in the sencha preparation.
Stacey: Yeah, I wish we had it in little cups like sushi places though, it would complete the experience.
Brooke: It’s a great strong flavour, perfect with our salmon and tuna rolls. Wow. Best tea review ever. I wish every tea made us have the urge to go eat out!
Stacey: The question is, would we be drink this without sushi?
Brooke: …I would. Totally. A small amount, though. Not a whole cup.
Stacey: I think it would depend on the day for me. I wouldn’t take it to work but I would enjoy this at home.
*pause to eat more sushi*
Stacey: This is way too big; I mean, how do they expect you to put ALL that in your mouth? Really?!
Brooke: LOL…. Hey, you know, it’s been 40 minutes since we steeped the teas and the flavour is still just as strong. I say we try putting our brews in a thermos for the next teas that we review. Spencer, an avid reader of ours, suggested we try this to maintain the flavour and temperature of the tea. After this experience, it seems like it does wonders for both!

Brooke went on to say how happy she was that we were out eating sushi together and she was grinning from ear to ear. While I was also pretty happy, I was less…uh…expressive with my emotions.

Stacey: Brooke, I don’t know how you do it, being so animated when you’re happy. I would get so exhausted.
Brooke: Well Stacey, I say if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!

Tea Vibes:

Brooke: Great green tea. It’s got a wonderful aroma that fits perfectly with you. I’d love to have some of this in our cupboard as long as we’re not constantly rushing out to get sushi. Bam. Also, shout out to Contigo thermoses, you kept my tea hot and safe when battling Ottawa weather. Win! 9/10

Stacey: I have to agree with Brooke on this one, this was one tasty green tea. It was the perfect match for sushi but don’t worry if you find yourself without this tasty dish; this tea stands on its own. Its toasty flavour will have you feeling good and ready to conquer the day (even if involves cold Ottawa weather). I would be interested in having more of this tea more often. 9/10

Mmm, looks like Brooke and I are back on track. Tune in next time, when we hopefully review another tea that prompts us to dine out. Yum! Yum!

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke

Snorlax
I’m turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese…I really think so!

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?”

Goji Pop

Hi readers!

It’s a beautiful snowy morning and Stacey and I are getting ready to sit down and watch Grey’s together. What to do while it loads? Grab another tea from the set, of course! Woohoo!

This time we got Goji pop… Taste buds, prepare yourselves for a sweet ride.

goji pop

Tea: Goji pop

Ingredients: Apple pieces, goji berries, hibiscus blossoms, rosehip peel, honeydew melon cubes, marigold petals.

DAVIDsTEA description: Spring eternal

Legend has it that Li Ching-Yun was born in China in 1677 and died 256 years later in New York. His secret? Goji berries. Your secret? This hot pink tea filled with sweet, sweet goji berries, vitamin-C-rich rosehip, citrusy lemon oil, apple, melon, marigold and hibiscus. It’s probably the most delicious longevity formula ever. Which is key, since you’ll be popping it for the next two centuries. Caffeine-free.

Note, this is the cover photo for the tea on their website. Take it as you will. We were mystified.

Goji Pop

We steeped our mugs with 1.5tsp of the loose leaf for 5 minutes with piping hot water then let them cool down. Whoa, the colour, guys. HOT PINK. HOT. PINK.  This made Stacey uneasy…

Stacey: It smells sweet. I’m worried. I tried their “Mamma Mia” and it was really sweet and tart and I didn’t like it…

*sip*

Stacey: Nah, not really sweet. Just.. a touch! It’s funny, I thought there’d be more apple flavour in there. I guess it tastes like goji. It gets a little sweeter as you go but it’s still not over powering. I’m okay drinking this.
Brooke: I…I…I don’t really like it! Whoa, I mean, I seriously dislike this one! …I think it would be better as an iced tea. Erm, ah! What does it make you think of?
Stacey: Stupid unicorn is in my head. Cotton candy, if that’s allowed. Pink and sugary!
Brooke: But it doesn’t TASTE like cotton candy.
Stacey: No, the taste reminds me of… a … like… berry pie, or something.
Brooke: I think of those kind of “real” fruitcicles you can get.
Stacey: Hmm, yeah, they don’t have them in goji. You could make them! DAVIDsTEA would pay you! Well, no, they’d just advertise you.

*sneeze*

Brooke: Don’t worry, Stace. You’re getting out of this dusty apartment soon enough!

–PAUSE—

Okay, so we didn’t really tell you this was coming… but Stacey and I are parting ways. But only for a month! Stacey just successfully defended her Master’s internship (yay!) and is heading home for Toronto to spend time with her family for the holidays. I jet off to Halifax for a couple of weeks in a few days, too. SO, we took a few teas, split them up, and promised to do some while we’re apart via skype/email/msn/icq/texting/snailmail/phone/shouting. We also agreed to have guest stars like our siblings, parents, and friends. Once we get back together in January we’ll finish off the box-set as a team.

–RESUME–

Stacey: I don’t mind this tea! It’s nice. To me, it’s not too sweet. I’m completely happy with this one.  Though I probably wouldn’t drink it every day. I will not be like that 2000 year old guy.
Brooke: 200.
Stacey: Right.
Brooke: Neither will I. I don’t know if I’m even going to finish this cup. Urp!
Stacey: Whoa, that’s a first! You really don’t like it, eh? Well, for the sweet teas, there has to be a specific balance. DAVIDsTEA usually does a good job with this. This one’s okay, for me.

Tea Vibes:

Brooke: Yep, it’s a first for tea time, but I do not like this one. It’s much too sweet and bitter for me. The berry flavour has never been a favourite of mine for a hot drink. It reminds me of candy… and warm candy is weird. I would be interested in trying this as an iced tea in the summer;  I can see myself enjoying the sweetness with a fresh chill to the glass… but I’m not going to live to be 200 drinking this brew. Whew! 4.5/10

Stacey:  First, I really like the loose leaf and fruit pieces in the tea–you could probably just munch on those. Second, I surprisingly like the flavour! I know I had a Tetley goji berry tea that I really didn’t like… but this is great! If I want something sweet and am in the mood, I’d go for this one. You don’t get the sweetness the whole time… just at the very end, and it’s just a hint. This gets 6.5/10; it’s nice, but it’s not like “whoa, this tea!” it’s more like “okay, this tea”. [what?]

Ah, and so ends our last Tea Time together for 2012. We watched our show, said our farewells, and Stacey was off to catch her train. As for the tea, if you’ve always dreamed of a sweet unicorn ride covered in rainbows and sunshine, this one’s for you. Unless you’re me. Then don’t drink it.

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey