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 14: Sugar Plum Forest

Hello Readers!

Happy Sunday! Today we were in the Christmas spirit and decorated sugar cookies with our friends Desirée and Jason and went to Brooke’s Aunt Tracey’s house for a lovely dinner. With all of this excitement, we know we are a little late in our post, but we had a nice morning and are sharing it now. Enjoy!

Brooke: Ooooh! Sugar Plum Forest!
Stacey: Oh good, I need some liquid.
Brooke: Um?
Stacey: I mean I need to be hydrated before yoga!
Brooke: Right.

Tea: Sugar Plum Forest

 

Description: Whether you’re out sledding or just doing some holiday shopping, there’s no better way to stay warm and cozy than a piping hot mug of tea. And this tartly fruity, lightly spiced blend is the perfect winter companion. Just one sip and you’ll have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head. Not to mention apple, hibiscus, ginger and warm winter spices. It’s the perfect shot of warmth on a chilly winter day.

Ingredients: Apple, hibiscus, rooibos, ginger, licorice root, raisins, cinnamon, rose hip peel, plum, cardamom, star anise, bruised pepper, cloves, chili pieces, artificial flavouring.

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

Brooke: Pink tea #4! I’m getting initial hints of the cloves upon first sniff.
Stacey: Oh yeah, agreed.
André: I want to sip it but I think I’ll taste hot again.

*sip*

Stacey makes a face.
Brooke: I wish I could take a picture of your face and have that as how you describe it. It’s beautiful.
André: I can’t describe this one. It’s like another one I’ve had but I can’t place it. Forever nuts, maybe? Roughly the same weight but the difference is Forever Nuts is like, “hey, I’m a toasty cake.”
Brooke: Wow, it tastes nothing like it smells! It smells like cinnamon hearts but tastes…oh. There’s so much fruit in there… but it doesn’t taste sweet. It tastes like olives again!
Stacey: What? No, I think it’s a bit tart.
Brooke: It’s weird, I don’t hate it but I would never have it again.
Stacey: I think there’s too many things going on.
Brooke: It’s almost like a subtle soup broth, you could put some carrots in there and eat it. How.. strange.
Stacey:  Yeah, there are too many flavours that didn’t mesh well and it was overwhelming. They should be complimentary but this was too much!

Tea vibes:

As we like to do, we spoke our final thoughts on the tea at Stacey’s phone, which thought we were saying this:

André: Affinity is very late and free. Yeah, it’s  a tasty river dance.  More fruit and veg. 4 of 10.

Brooke: I don’t like this T. I don’t like its levers. I don’t like the density. Big foot artificial flavours are ever ok, diner. Fun have a 10.

Stacey: I wish I like this T. It has its name, um, but it’s better than others we had so as I am 5 on time hello.

We seem to be getting angry about all these flavours being mixed together without our consent! Maybe we’re getting to be grumpy tea connoisseurs who need a bit more simplicity in our brews. Who knows? What do you think about all these extra and artificial flavours? Yay or nay? We didn’t feel like dancing to this one!

Maybe tomorrow will be different?

Until next tea,
Brooke and Stacey

 

Day 22: Sleigh Ride

Hello wonderful tea drinkers!

Can you believe we are at Day 22? With Stacey and I at our respective homes, we are still putting in all our effort to taste, test, and review our 24 Days of Tea for you (and for us!). Today my Mom is out running errands so I sat down with my Dad to review the brew. Stacey and her Mom took a little tea break from baking and de-icing their driveway to sit down and have a mug. And we’re off!

Tea: Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride from DAVIDsTEA

Description: Giddy-up

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, candied pineapple, candied papaya, beetroot, cinnamon, raisins, coconut, roasted almonds, popped rice, artificial flavouring.

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

In Bolton, Stacey and Lorie seemed impressed:

Lorie: It’s so red! Like a cranberry!
Stacey: Mmm, it smells really good!

Back in Halifax, there was a disagreement:

Brooke: Oh no, Sleigh ride!
Stewart: I remember this one from last year! I liked it.
Brooke: Well that makes one of us..

As I remembered my last experience drinking this with my sister Andrea, I recalled the bitter and tart tastes of beetroot and rice and how much I disliked its potency. This time, I steeped Dad’s with the regular instructions and then used the dredges of his cup to steep mine for only three minutes in the hopes that my tea would be a bit more dull than the last one. Mom pouted on the way out the door, saying she would probably have like this one very much.

*Sip* (Sip sip sip sip sip from Dad)

Brooke: How do you like it?
Stewart: Hmm..  It’s acidic, and I like acid in a tea.  You should test the pH. Acidic and astringent, is what I’m getting here. Is there cinnamon?
Brooke: Yes! Cinnamon, apple, hibiscus, papaya, pineapple- a whole assortment of flavours!
Stewart: Well, it’s a very expert blend because none of them overwhelms the other. There’s a slight predominance of cinnamon but it is very satisfying.  This would go well with fruit cake!

Dad prompty ran downstairs to grab a homemade slice from the fridge.

Brooke: WELL. You just put me out of a blog. That was such a delicate review. I find this dulled down version is just what I wanted! The acidity is probably what threw me off last year and it’s not as intense this way. Oh.. right. There are apples in here. I should probably only have a few sips any way. Oops!

Back in Bolton, Lorie was having NONE of it:

Stacey: I’m glad I didn’t steep mine as long, it’s so sweet still!
Lorie: …It tastes like cough medicine!  It smells really nice but the taste is just awful! I won’t be able to drink that one. Yuck!
Stacey: It tastes similar to apple cider or a sweeter version of Forever Nuts.
Lorie: Nope!
Stacey: I like it better than last time. Not sure how much of the sweetness I can take but it’s growing on me.
Lorie: Ick!
Stacey: What imagery does it make you think of Mom?
Lorie: Being in bed with a cold and being forced to drink cough syrup!
Stacey: Oh… well I think that’s enough of this one then.

Back in Halifax, we got distracted…

Stewart: Did you know cows don’t burp?
Brooke: Christmas at the Camerons!

Tea Vibes:

Stacey: It’s not my usual cup of tea but I think steeping it for a shorter amount of time helped tone it down a bit. There’s a lot of flavours that can make this tea quite intense. It’s funny that this is a holiday tea but it would make a good iced tea or juice. Still not something that I would recommend if you don’t like sweet teas. 2/5

Lorie: I didn’t care for this tea at all! 1/5

Brooke: I’m sorry DAVIDsTEA, but this one will never win me over. Its acidity and mix of flavours doesn’t suit my palette and I cringe after each sip unless I’ve dulled and diluted it down. Add in the fact that its main ingredient is an allergen of mine, and I’m spent. Will not drink again (even if it’s in next year’s set!). 1/5

Stewart: I like it a lot. It’s quite full bodied and satisfying. It’s a good herbal tea. You guys are tough critics! It’s well balanced and acidic- an expert blend! 3/5

This is how you know we aren’t biased and love everything, right? Whew! Some people just don’t like going on that sleigh ride, amirite? Oh boy. You know what IS tasty? Bridge Brewing Co. Beer. Thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for that brew. I WILL have another cup of that.

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey (and Stewart and Lorie)


*Not reflective of the tea’s actual taste. Which is gross. 

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” 

Sleigh Ride

Hello tea enthusiasts!

Well after days of anticipation the snow has finally arrived! And with the majority of Canada covered with the white stuff or gearing up for another winter storm, Brooke and I thought there was no better way to celebrate “snowpocolpyse” than to enjoy a nice, hot cup of tea. So after I arrived home rosy-cheeked from walking my dogs and Brooke was in the midst of a visit with her sister, Andrea, we decided it was time for a little Sleigh Ride.

sleigh ride

Tea: Sleigh Ride

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

DAVIDsTEA 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.

After boiling the water to a peak 98°C and letting 2 tsp of tea steep in our designated mugs for 6 minutes we were off. And let me tell you, the aroma of the tea was taking us places.

Brooke: It smells like apple cider.
Andrea: I could go on a sleigh ride with this.
Brooke: Oh you could, could you? With how many horses?
Andrea: Two.
Brooke: Not a one horse opened sleigh?
Andrea: No.
Stacey: Mmm, well hello apple indeed.

*Sip*

Andrea: Mmm, this tea is nice and sweet. It tastes like cranberry.
Brooke: It reminds me of Goji Pop, uh oh. I almost wish it had more cinnamon.
Stacey: You could put in a cinnamon stick!
Andrea: Ooo, I have those!!
Brooke: Mmm, yes, much better! The tea tastes more like apple pie now.
Stacey: It definitely has an apple cider vibe and I get the tart taste, too. I better let Mom try it.


Lorie: Ooo it looks like a red sleigh…*sip*…oh… but doesn’t taste very nice at all! Ick! Nope. Not for me! Phew.


Brooke: To be honest I don’t like this tea either. It has a bitter taste at the end that I don’t like.
Stacey: Aw, really? But it’s so festive! It’s warming me up after being outside! The sweetness is starting to get to me, though.
Andrea: I’m glad I got to use up my cinnamon sticks, at least!
Brooke: Yeah… I’m not finishing this one. I will, however, gnaw on the cinnamon!
Andrea: Brooke!!

Tea Vibes

Brooke: Sleigh Ride is full of flavor and the ingredients really complement each other but it’s just not for me. Like Goji Pop, it has that bitterness and tartness that overwhelmed my senses.  I definitely like my teas less fruity, a bit heartier. Unfortunately Sleigh Ride doesn’t really do it for me. Ho ho no. 4.5/10

Andrea: The tea reminds me of another cranberry tea I’ve had before. The tea is really sweet, probably to cover up the tartness, if it was less sweet it would probably be too bitter. With that being said, I will finish off the cup… though I’m glad I don’t have a big box to finish. 5.5/10

Stacey: I know what DAVIDsTEA is going for but I think Sleigh Ride would definitely be better as an iced tea. I’m not a fan of sweet hot teas, so I don’t recommend this one for those with a similar palate. I think adding a cinnamon stick helped, but it still has an odd combination of sweet and tart. This tea doesn’t make me cringe when I drink it but it doesn’t make me smile either. 6/10

Well folks, I think it’s safe to say that this Sleigh Ride was a little too wild for our liking. But hey, if you have a sweet tooth and want to take a break from all of those holiday desserts, then this tea may be for you.

Once again, we would like to thank you, our loyal readers, for joining on this tea-tasting journey. We really appreciate all the love and support, you are all awesome! This post will be our last one for 2012…but don’t worry, we’ll be back in 2013 to finish off our version of “24 Days of Tea” and get started on our 800g Nourish Tea gift package (can anyone say “Tea Party?”). We hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and we’ll see you in the New Year!

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke

“Anyone want another cup?” “Neigh thank you!”

[I have to give Brooke credit for that one…]