Day 22: Sleigh Ride

Hello Readers!

We were a bit disappointed to discover what tea was behind door # 22, because it’s a tea that we’ve had twice before (here and here) and is one that we don’t particularly like very much (sorry!). And don’t get us wrong, we want to like it (we really do!). In fact, we’ve tried numerous things to make it fit our tastes: not steeping it for long, adding cinnamon sticks, using the dredges of someone else’s brew, eating fruitcake with it, etc. But every time, we end up throwing it down the drain. So this year, we thought it best to not to even try (*spoiler alert*or so we thought…).

Tea: Sleigh Ride

Description: Falling snow, popping chestnuts, cold hands and noses…yep, winter has arrived. But don’t worry, we have the perfect tea to warm you up all December long. Cinnamon, apples, raisins, almonds, and hibiscus combine for a tea that is sweet, tart, and earthy. And beet pieces make it as nice and rosy as a caroler’s cheeks. So hop in your sleigh, snuggle up, and pass a thermos around. It’s lovely weather for a Sleigh Ride together.

Ingredients: Apple, hibiscus blossoms, pineapple, papaya, beetroot, cinnamon, raisins, coconut, roasted almonds, popped rice, artificial flavouring.

Steeping Instructions: 2 tsp, 98°C, 5-7 minutes

Stacey: Did you see what the tea is today?
Brooke: Yep. No way!
Stacey: Agreed!

*A little later that morning, Stacey receives a surprising text from Brooke.*

Brooke: Hold the phone! Game-changer…Mom and I made an iced version. Whoa.
Stacey: Ohhhh! Much better???
Brooke: Yes!!

Well this is indeed a game changer! After creating a cooler version, Brooke and her Mom, Cathy sat down to review this brew:

*sip*

Brooke: It still comes out strong, but it just makes more sense as a cool tea. Even the cinnamon found a place to fit in!
Cathy: Do you get any other flavours from it, now that it’s chilled?
Brooke: It kind of makes me think of a fancy vitamin water.
Cathy: The cinnamon is odd, isn’t it? I continue with my theory that these teas can be better cooled. You can still steep it hot, of course! Can you cool teas quickly?
Brooke: The pouring the water into another cup method!
Cathy: I often feel like I want to add sugar to my teas but I find the sweetness comes out when it’s cooler. All teas are better this way!
Brooke: At least herbals are, they’re just fruits and flowers after all! This poor tea deserves better!

Tea Vibes:

Stacey:  Make sure you have no idea. Didn’t have it, it’s gone gross. Sorry.

Well there you have it folks, Sleigh Ride seems to be a bit better when it’s over ice. What you all think? Do you like Sleigh Ride hot or cold, or not at all? Either way, we’ll see you all tomorrow for the second last tea (oh my!).

Until next tea,
Brooke and Stacey

Smashed: The Santa is helped from the wreckage of his sleigh after his wild ride through Ustrzykach Dolnych

The carnage of one bad sleigh ride

 

Day 16: Main Squeeze

Hi readers!

Stacey and I are apart again this morning but we still managed to have an eventful day together via text. I caused some trouble when I took the tin last night and got a confused text from Stacey early in the morning.

Stacey: The box was on the floor and I thought the tin had rolled away, I had no idea why it was gone! Then I thought I wouldn’t be able to have it… until I clued in.
Brooke: Morning adventures for Stacey!

I had taken the tea tin with me to Andre’s place knowing full well that we had a large stash of this one from Christmas past (thanks, Mom!). Stacey was able to have her brew on the way to work without any trouble.

Tea: Main Squeeze

Description: We all know the classic morning ritual: a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice. But what if you could get your energy boost and fresh-squeezed fruity taste all in one cup? We’re serious. Shake up your old routine with this fruity maté blend, and you may never go back. It’s got the juicy flavour of orange, papaya and pineapple, plus the high-energy punch of green yerba maté. Just one sip and you’ll feel alert, refreshed and ready for anything. Say hello to your new main squeeze.

Ingredients: Green yerba maté, papaya, pineapple, safflower, natural flavouring

Instructions: 1.25 tsp, 80°C, 4-7 minutes

Over here, André and I were chatting about the lack of new teas in this year’s 24DaysofTea while he made us some pancakes (I am spoiled).

Brooke: There haven’t been many new teas so far in this year’s box, it’s kinda sad.
André: Yeah, but in a normal advent calendar, all you get is the same kind of boring chocolate!
Brooke: Oooh so true. This is much better!

*sip*

André: Hm. I’m not usually a fan of fruity teas but this one’s nice!
Brooke: Yeah, I liked this one so much last year that I asked for it for Christmas and so did my Dad! MmMmm.
André: It’s not as fruity as I was expecting it to be… You can taste the maté in it quite distinctly.
Brooke: Yeah, one reviewer on steepster said she tried to brew it cold but all she tasted was the maté so she had to throw it out.
André: That’s really unfortunate.
Brooke: Maté has quite a strong taste!
André: Uh oh, mine’s getting on the not-warm side. Wait, what’s in this again? Papaya? Mango?
Brooke: Papaya and pineapple!
André: Okay, I got one right. It just tastes tropical, like a vacation from winter!
Brooke: But not sour or too sweet, like other fruity teas we’ve had.
André: Nor tart like a lemon! This is smooth.

After settling into thesis writing, I thought I would check in with Stace to get her thoughts:

Brooke: How do you like the tea?
Stacey: Good, oddly tastes like warm orange juice though.
Brooke: I think it tastes like a pineapple.
Stacey: Yes, but a less sweet version. Like pineapple candy!
Brooke: PINEAPPLE CANDY! YES!

Stacey’s colleague Amélie also gave it a try and our friend MK wanted to provide her thoughts as well. Here’s what they had to say:

Amélie: It still tastes like thick water to me, but it’s one of the better tasting teas I’ve had. It kind of smells a bit gross though.
MK: Today’s tea is an orange covered in dirt. (We don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.)

Tea Vibes:

Stacey spoke some final thoughts for the two of us on her phone, and this is what it typed for us:

Brooke and Stacey: Too busy for tea bags today. Candy, but make some changes to pets in the advent calendar. Elan 10.

We hope you can make it to your own tropical paradise to escape the oncoming winter. If not, why not have some Main Squeeze to tide you over until you do?

Until next tea,
Brooke and Stacey

 

Day 12: Kokomo Green

Hello readers!

Brooke and I are doing another quick review today because of course we are running around to our various activities. Phew, putting out a review a day is tough! Not to mention this is my third caffeinated tea today. Weeee!

Tea: Kokomo Green

Kokomo Green from DAVIDsTEA

Description: Ooh We Wanna Take Ya

Want to get away from it all? Somewhere exotic, perhaps? Try heading for a little place called Kokomo, where the sun is always hot and the drinks are always ice cold. Where fresh green tea mingles with the fruity, tropical flavours of pineapple, mango and papaya. A place where every aroma is intoxicating and every sip ends in a smile. Yes, this magical place really exists…and we’ve got your first class ticket right here. Down in Kokomo, you’ll be falling in love.

Ingredients: Green tea, papaya, mango, pineapple, rose petals, marigold petals, cornflower petals.

Steeping Instructions: 1.25 tsp, 93°C, 5-7 min

Stacey: Ooo, this smells fruity and nice.
Brooke: Yes, there’s papaya and mango. Real AND artificial! It kind of smells weird when it’s steeped though.
Stacey: Oh…yeah…kind of smells like…throw up.
Brooke: It’s a weird mixture of green tea leaves and fruit.

*sip*

Brooke: Oh. It’s not bad.
Stacey: That didn’t sound too exciting.
Brooke: Nope. (goes back to typing)
Stacey: It’s kind of…bland.
Brooke: I mean it’s not bad. You get a really nice rush of citrus, but nothing too sour. It’s just a bit of an odd mix, when you throw in the green tea leaves with their signature taste.
Stacey: I don’t really taste the citrus though or anything really.
Brooke: Green tea often has a soft taste.
Stacey: But it doesn’t even taste like green tea to me.
Brooke: I think you’re being a little harsh. It’s no coffee cake.
Stacey: No. *sigh*
Brooke: I don’t know. It would make a fantastic iced tea in my opinion.
Stacey: I agree. As an iced tea you could add some honey if you wanted to add a bit more flavour. It would probably quite refreshing on a summer rollerblade or something.
Brooke: Yeah, I think it shouldn’t really be in the 24 days of tea though. It’s a little inappropriate if we are going to stick with the theme of winter and holiday teas. You need a couple of ice cubes and straw if you are drinking this. I don’t dislike it, I just think it’s not the right season for it.

Tea Vibes:

With all this talk of Kokomo Green being a good iced tea, Brooke and I decided to try it out.

Brooke: Hmm. I would be nice on a hot summer day but not now. 2.5/5 from me.
Stacey: Better, but it would still need some honey or something. 2.75/5 But only if it’s iced.

Well everyone, this may not be the right tea to drink today (given that it is -22°C (feels like -27°C)), but hey, at least we’re halfway through the countdown! Christmas is almost here–hooray!

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke


Bundle up out there! Brr!

Green & Fruity

Tea lovers!

Welcome back to our regular programming. Stacey and I are sitting at our dining room table grinning at each other over our steaming mugs after a lovely evening together. Ohh it feels good. We’re back!

green and fruity.jpg

Tea: Green & Fruity

DAVIDsTEA description: Now that’s fresh.

When it comes to rooibos, some say green is the new red. Because while red rooibos tastes great, some say the new wave of unoxidized green rooibos is even better. What’s so special? The production process, which is similar to that of green tea, gives it a smooth, fresh taste. Here we’ve topped it up with the tropical flavours of papaya, apple, mango and peach.

Ingredients: South African green and red rooibos, apple, mango, papaya.

We steeped our mugs for 7 minutes at 98C with 1.25tsp of loose leaf per mug before taking out our infusers and BAM- what a smell and what a beautiful colour. We were dazzled!

Brooke: Ooooh it smells wonderful! Wait. I’m nervous.
Stacey: Why?
Brooke: It might be TOO fruity! It smells like fruit punch. I’m scared.
Stacey: Oooh but I love the colour, it’s a beautiful orange! Kind of like a sunset. Let’s go!

*sip*

Brooke: Oooh! Lovely!
Stacey: Hmm… It’s not sweet at all. It’s like a dull dirty tea.
Brooke: DULL DIRTY?
Stacey: NO, Brooke. FRUITY. Dull fruity! I said it tastes fruity but without the sweetness. I don’t know. It doesn’t punch you in the face with sweetness like Goji Pop.
Brooke: Oh, okay. Well, I love it. I really appreciate how soft the flavour is, it’s almost floral. No bitterness, no tartness. Yum.
Stacey: I agree! I like this one.
Brooke: Is there green tea in this or just green rooibos? I definitely TASTE green tea.
Stacey: Hopefully just rooibos, it’s 9PM and we know what caffeine does to me.
Brooke: Hehe, yes. Well wow, the green rooibos is definitely a neat addition- not your regular rooibos tisane! Whew!

Did you know that only brews made with the plant  Camellia sinensis are considered teas? Green, black, white, oolong- they’re all from the same plant, just prepared and processed differently. Any herbals like rooibos or chamomile are called tisanes and are made with different herbs. The more you drink…!

Stacey: You know what, I’m going to go back to my dull statement… I’m slightly bored now. It does have that hint of sweetness at the end but I’m kind of over it at this point. Now it seems to lack flavour.
Brooke: What?? YOU lack flavour! Don’t let the tea hear you. I like it!

Tea Vibes:

Stacey: Hm, I feel bad, but I think I’m kind of disappointed with this one. This tea started off exciting with the colour and smell, but it pittered off at the end. I wanted more out of this one. It’s a different kind of fruity, it lacks what the others had with tartness and sweetness. I think overall I could do without it. It’s not my kind of tea. Smelled good… but in the end, it didn’t hold my attention and I got bored. 6/10

Brooke: No no no, I disagree completely! It reminds me of peaches. More like the candy but without the sour sugar, Mmm. That’s what I smelled at the beginning, not fruit punch. I really like how subtle it is, I like how soft the flavour is and how with every sip you get a little wave of fruit while still being weighted with the taste of green rooibos. I like it. Stacey, YOU’RE dull dirty. This tea is fabulous. 8/10

Oh my. I think this may be the first time we’ve differed so much on our tea preferences. Have you tried this one yet? What did you think?

I think Stacey’s a nut. :- )

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

C. sinensis, lookin’ good.