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

slide1

Our Chalet in Adelboden, Switzerland: a perfect place to a cuppa Alpine Punch. 

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Day 3: Quangzhou Milk Oolong

Hello fellow tea lovers!

Day 3 is wet and snowy in Ottawa, so what better way to warm up than to have a nice cuppa’ tea? Let’s get started!

*tea kettle whistles*

Brooke: The calling!
Stacey: Let’s see what we have for day 3!

Brooke and Stacey: Ooohhh.
Stacey: Kwanzoo…Kawnzoo, Kwan-zooooow!
Brooke: It’s probably not zooow, I’d say “zooo”.

(Correct pronunciation is gawn-szoh, so looks like we were both off. Good thing this is a blog and not a podcast, Quangzhou Milk Oolong it is!)

Tea: Quangzhou Milk Oolong


Ingredients: Chinese oolong tea from the Wuyi Mountains
Description: This ultra-rare oolong from the Wuyi Mountains of China is velvety smooth and lightly creamy, with a subtle hint of orchid. It’s said that it came about when the moon fell in love with a comet. The comet passed her by, as comets will do. The moon cried milky tears, which chilled the tea fields, withering the leaves and giving them a delicate creaminess. It’s been a rare luxury ever since.
Steeping Instructions: 1.25 tsp, 85°C, 4-7 minutes

Brooke: Why do they call it milk, are we supposed to have it with milk?
Stacey: Is there no milk in it?
Brooke: How could there be MILK in it? No way.
Stacey reads above description a-loud.
Brooke: It’s too early for this.

*sip*

Brooke: Hmm yes, this is nice. Very japanese-esque, almost like green tea style. It has a hint of lemon but not in a citrus-y way…in a soothing way.
André: Oh yes, I like that. I could have this climbing, no problem.
Brooke: It’s very rare André, you can just drink it whilly-nilly.
André: I guess I shouldn’t have taken such a big gulp then…
Stacey: I don’t know what you guys are talking about with the citrus-y taste!
Brooke: Not citrus-y, I meant soothing like a throat lozenge with a hint of lemon in it. Don’t take my words so literally, Stacey!
Stacey: Well it is quite lovely, very “all-natural”.
As we finish up sipping the tea, Brooke disposes of the tea leaves.
Brooke: WOW! Look at these leaves, they really bulked up! They were tiny balls and now they are full-on leaves! It’s like those gag boyfriends: “just add water! and grow your own boyfriend”. Don’t worry, I already have one!

Tea Vibes

We turn on the voice-type feature of phone again, and speak our final thoughts on the tea, keeping whatever the phone recorded as our final words:

Brooke: Very tucked up! Um, buttercup is smooth. I like a basket of kittens. I give it a tonton.

Stacey: As he has called, I’m enjoying it more and more! It’s very all natural and i like the snow vs well. It’s going down nicely. I give it a have content.

Brooke: …Our tea vibes aren’t really going to be a tea review anymore, are they?

Well friends, that’s a wrap for today. Day 3 was was quite lovely: soothing, earthy and best enjoyed as it cools down. Our friend MK said it reminded her of fettucini (Alfredo) sauce. So, there’s that! : )

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke

 

Lookin’ all cute with their allergens.

 

 

 

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 2: Alpine Punch

After a late night of bouldering (indoor rock climbing without the ropes- we’re wild!), we settled in for Day #2 of DAVIDsTEA’s 24 Days of Tea. Are you excited?

Stacey: ALPINE PUNCH!

Cheers ALL around on this one. André made some kind of a Sherpa comment, which confused me until Stacey confirmed that something similar to Sherpas were in this tea’s description. Here we go!

Tea: Alpine Punch

Alpine Punch from DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:  High altitude taste

Have you heard of the barbegazi? According to Swiss lore, they are a group of furry little men that live high in the Alps. They are known for their long, icy beards and enormous feet, which they use to ski down hills and surf on avalanches. But how do they stay warm up in the frozen mountains all year round? We like to think it’s with a fortifying brew like this almond-scented rooibos, with apple, cinnamon, and ginger. If you see some very big footprints next time you’re out hiking, follow them to the barbegazi’s cave and see if they offer you a cup. Limited edition.

Tea Ingredients: Rooibos, coconut chips and rasps, apple pieces, cinnamon pieces, ginger bits, cardamom, black pepper, rose blossoms, almond flakes, artificial flavouring.

Tea Instructions: 1.5tsp, 98 degrees, 4-7 minutes. Perfection.

Stacey opted to shower as the tea boiled. Drinking tea with pjs on is a good way to go to bed, she said.

Stacey: Can I skimp out on the loose leaf?

Brooke: NO YOU MAY NOT.

Stacey:  GOSH DARNIT BROOKE WHY DO YOU MAKE IT COMPLICATED. Oooh! There’s a just little bit left!

Brooke: André, what you remember about your previous Alpine Punch experiences?

André: Well, considering I had some last night, I remember it being delicious, wonderful, and tasting like winter.  I remember it has the happiest smell.

The kettle blew its whistle and André ran off to pour the water in to the teapot.

Oh man, Stacey and I are excited to be doing these reviews again. We missed having late night teas together and we missed our lovely readers.

André brought out our mugs just as Stacey was coming out in her pjs.

Stacey: TEA! But… I want to go to bed.

THEN Stacey nearly flashed us with a hole in her pjs. “Oh no, don’t write that! But seriously, do you see it? Is it okay if I still wear them right now? Cause… okay. Good.”

Brooke: Ooooh this tea smells delicious! Cinnamon, coconut, almond oh my!

Stace: I really need to get another container of this. We had TWO containers of this last year and we finished it.

André: Me too!

Stacey: Hands down…

André: …Best tea ever.

Stacey: Really sad it’s just a winter tea.

Brooke: Why are we even reviewing this tea if we all agree that we totally love it?

André: It’s like you said- it’s a gulper. Wait for it to cool down and gulp it.

Stacey: I’m trying to remember the first time I ever had this tea- honestly the description got me. It’s one of the only rooibos teas I enjoy. It’s jam packed full of amazing  flavours that just go so well together. The almond is delicious.

André: You know, the thing is,  I forget what I was gonna say.

Stacey: Welcome to our tea blog, André. 

André: It IS a very winter tea, couldn’t have it in warm weather, though it would make a very nice iced tea. But I really associate this tea with snow.

Stacey: It’s reminiscent of our last tea blog experience. Put in a thermos on any winter day and it would be golden.

André: I agree- it actually DOES make me want to be a Sherpa.

Tea vibes:

André: Put it in your mouth and enjoy.

Stacey: Buy this tea. What’s our rating system? 5/5, done.

André: Boom.

Stacey: Bow to the tea.

André: Touch down.

Stacey: I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

And there you have it! Alpine Punch- it’s a keeper! Those subtle hints of ginger and cardamom keep this tea from being too sweet while the coconut and almond rounds it out perfectly. Wait, there was apple in there? Ack! Get the Benadryl!

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey (and André)

Give me an S! Give me a Tea!

Day 1: White Chocolate Frost

Happy December 1st one and all! It is that time of year again: winter is in the air, Christmas music can be heard from every corner, and Brooke and I are back for another round of 24 Days of Tea!

Brooke: We’re doing it!
Stacey: But we don’t even know! (hugs the box)

We excitedly opened the box and took out tea #1.

Stacey: Oh my god!! I’m so excited! White Chocolate Frost!
Brooke: Ooo they are started off in luxury!

Tea: White Chocolate Frost

white chocolate frost

Tea Description: Warm up to Winter

Say what you will about winter, but it might just be our favourite season. We love getting good and chilly out in the snow. And warming back up with a comforting drink is even more fun. So we created a cool, creamy drink that brings together everything we love about the season. It has peppermint for a burst of freshness. White chocolate for comfort and warmth. And pretty peppercorns just to make you smile. Sweet, comforting and refreshing, it’s a warm hug and a cool winter’s day – all at once. Limited edition.

Ingredients: Peppermint, white chocolate, pink peppercorn, stevia leaf, natural sugar flavoring, natural and artificial white chocolate mousse flavoring.

Tea Instructions: 1.25 tsp of tea in 96 degree water and let it steep for 3-5 minutes.  *Stacey disclaimer: this tea is a herbal so feel free to enjoy as many cups as you like!

*Sip*

Stacey: Oo that is such a Christmas tea, why are they doing that to us so early? It really does make me think of winter. I just want to go outside and jump in the snow…
André (oops! He’s here, too!): Well, I like it!
Brooke: But…but…you want your peppermint teas to be refreshing! The creaminess knocks me off.
André: I kind of like that though, it’s like drinking silk.
Brooke: I like the idea of a creamy tea, but I just like my peppermint teas pure. And this tea is too sweet!
André: Yeah I would never want to put anything else in this. Imagine making this into a latte.
Brooke: Gag me with a spoon.
Stacey: Do you taste the peppercorns at the end? The flavour really stays in your throat.
Brooke: Hmm yeah. it starts with peppermint, then the creaminess, then ends wih the peppercorns.
André: I think the peppercorns on a winter day would be kick ass.
Brooke: Yeah, you know, I’m thinking if it was a winter day and I had a 20 minute walk ahead of me this would be nice in a thermos.
Stacey:  I thought it was going to taste like peppermint white hot chocolate… definitely not what I thought it would be. Wait…is there stevia in this?! No wonder it’s so sweet! Whew!

Tea Vibes:

Stacey: White chocolate frost makes me think of playing in the snow and coming inside to enjoy something warm. Unfortunately, I think the sugar is just too much for me and I would prefer something that was the basic ingredients of peppermint, white chocolate, and peppercorns. If you’re someone who likes their teas on the sweeter side, I’d give it a go—it’s just not for me. 1 star/5. (That’s right, we’ve moved to the star system this year, people!)

André: I agree that it’s an extremely sweet tea but with the right ambiance it could work. Walking outside in the snow with a thermos, for example, would pair nicely with this tea. I also think the ingredients are well balanced: you have the peppermint, the creamy chocolate, and the heat of the peppercorns. I like that progression of flavours, but I can see what Stacey means that she wants it to be simpler. I don’t think it’s one I would buy a tin of but if I was walking home and wanting a tea I might buy it. Maybe 2 stars.

Brooke: This tea would be great for someone who enjoys exploring new flavour combinations and wants to try something new. Starting refreshing and ending smoothly it’s a delight to anybody who enjoys the sweet side of tea. Sadly, that wasn’t us! 3 stars.

Well dear readers after our long hiatus it feels great to be back! We are going to try our best to review as many teas as we can this month and hopefully we won’t end up with Christmas in July!

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke (and André)


“Honey, have you heard? The Tea Connoisseurs are back!”

Kiwi’s Big Adventure

Good afternoon tea folks!

Spring is (kind of) in the air; the birds are chirping, the clocks are an hour ahead, the snow is melting (and then snowing again), and Brooke and I are almost done our “24” days of tea. Hurray! Today we bring you Kiwi’s Big Adventure.

kiwi2

Tea: Kiwi’s Big Adventure

Ingredients: Green tea, freeze-dried kiwi, apple, lemon peel, lemongrass.

DAVIDsTEA Description: Fasten your seatbelt

There’s something about a kiwi fruit that just makes us smile. It could be their cute round shape, or their fuzzy skin, or their bright green colour. But we think the best think about a kiwi is the taste – like a cross between a peach and a melon, only better. So it goes without saying that this kiwi-spiked green tea is a real treat. From the second the aroma hits you, you know you’re in for something special. Sweet, fruity, tart and lively, it’s an adventure you won’t soon forget.

Brooke and I warmed up 2 cups of water to 82°C and combined it with 2 tsp of tea leaves. We let the tea steep in a pot for 3 minutes before pouring into our  cups. Let the tea review begin!

Brooke: Yep, I can smell the kiwi, it’s nice.

*Sip*

Brooke: Hmm, very floral.
Stacey: It’s a nice warm tea… but I can also see it as an awesome iced tea.
Brooke: I really get the kiwi. It reminds me of Strawberry Long Island Tea from the Tea Store, both of which would be very good as iced teas.
Stacey: Yes, agree. Mmmm, this one tastes like a good one.
Brooke: It kind of comes in two steps, you really taste the green tea when you first take a sip and then after you’ve swallowed you get this perfume of kiwi.
Stacey: Very different to that last green tea we had. Toasted Walnut had more of a wooden flavour to it whereas this tea is much more fruity and floral like you mentioned.
Brooke: Yeah, it has a citrus taste to it.
Stacey: It reminds me of rollerblading along the canal, because I did that a lot last summer—rollerblade back from DAVIDsTEA, iced tea in hand. Makes me really want summer…Argh, WHY would this put this in a 24 days of tea pack?
Brooke: Not sure- I think it would be much, much tastier as an iced. We could get it, but I would only serve it in the summer. Most guests who would ask for green tea want something grittier, like Toasted Walnut.
Stacey: Yeah, I have to agree.
Brooke: Wait, is it snowing outside?
Stacey: *Sigh*

Tea Vibes

Brooke: The main thoughts that come to mind when I drink this tea is citrus and sour-ness. I picture someone sitting on a patio with a glass all covered in condensation… ice jiggling in the glass, a cool breeze floats by…a perfect summer day in Ottawa. [Brooke and I have a moment remembering summers in Ottawa…Sigh] Right now I don’t really think it suits our environment, though. I wouldn’t give it to someone as a warm tea to be honest. But I am going to rate it as if it’s an iced tea, and so it gets 8.5/10

Stacey: It’s the kind of tea that has almost a dull sweetness that isn’t too overpowering. I personally think it makes a pretty good warm tea on its own. It wouldn’t be a regular for me, but I don’t really have anything bad to say about it. This is the kind of tea that will make you think of fond memories of summer, though. Be warned! 8/10

Final Thoughts

After being blasted with more snow, this tea was a welcome taste of summer. Now if only mother nature would drink some…

Until next tea,
Stacey and Brooke



Not quite what the canal looks like yet but we can dream, right?

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…]