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!’

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Checkmate

Hello again readers,

Well, after a delicious meal of maple salmon and roasted potatoes (we promise we’re not a couple… even though technically we *are* common-law), Stacey and I were feeling like a tasty tea to finish off our day. We popped open tea #16 and after retrieving it from the floor (they’re slippery!), we were both thrilled with what we picked up. Checkmate! Stacey had been eyeing this once since we bought the set over two months ago, so she was pretty excited. Oh boy.

Checkmate from DAVIDsTEA

Tea: Checkmate

DAVIDsTEA Tea Description: Game on!

This tea isn’t like a chess game of black versus white, it’s black and white working together. When you mix white Bai Mu Dan with black tea, coconut and chamomile flowers, it creates a rich, satisfying, chocolate flavour. You’ll swear you’re drinking a cup of hot cocoa, even though there’s no chocolate in the blend. It’s so delicious it’ll hold any king or queen in check – now that’s a winning move any way you look at it.

Ingredients: White tea, black tea, coconut, Roman chamomile flowers.

This tea… smelled delicious. We steeped 1.25tsp for 4 minutes in 98°C water and then let our teas cool. By the time they were drinkable, though, I realized I was going to be late for my improvised comedy practice so we improvised (HAH!) and poured our brews into our trusty thermoses for later.

When I got back, it was after 10PM and Stacey was a little hesitant to do the review.

Stacey: No we can’t, the caffeine!

Brooke: *Sip*. Oooh. Oh but it’s SOO good, Stacey.

Stacey: I.. I just.. *sip*

She seemed confused.

Brooke: No? You disagree? You don’t like it?

Stacey: I don’t know, I’ve just never had a tea like this before. I’m trying to figure out what it is.

Brooke: Ah but it’s got such a light nice coconut vibe. I’m digging it.

Stacey: Are there figgs in this? It just reminds me of DAVIDsTEA Apres Ski.

Brooke: I always wondered why white teas were way more expensive than blacks and greens…

Stacey: They do something different with the leaf!

Educational break! White teas are actually made with the bud of Camellia sinensis along with the leaves. The plant withers in natural light, then gets plucked and lightly processed. This stops any further oxidation of the plants tissues. Since there’s such a small amount of processing, white tea contains many more nutrients than its black or green counterparts. It’s all very special. Hence the price.

Stacey: You know, I wouldn’t say there is a hot chocolate taste, nor even a cocoa taste, but there’s a hint of SOMETHING chocolatey. Hmm.. I like it!

Brooke: I just get the balmy feeling of coconut and I love it.

Stacey: I just don’t GET it!

At this point it was late and Stacey was nervous to continue for fear of sleeplessness in the night [Stacey: Hey, it’s a thing, Brooke!]. Unfortunately, our busy lives prevented us from enjoying our brews together the following day  so instead, following a trip to Toronto for me and a weekend of skating on the canal for Stacey, we sat down to have one last cup each to finish it all up. We always make time for tea. And each other. Aw.

Tea Vibes:

Stacey: You know, I would describe this tea as yin yang:  two completely opposite flavours that work well together. On Friday, I brought my thermos to work and was very sad when it was empty. I’m happy we got to have another. : ) I totally get the image of a chess board too. That’s what they were going for with the black and white tea, I bet. I really like it- what a neat mix! I want to buy this one next. 9/10

Brooke: You seem to have really taken liken for it, haven’t you? The coconut flavour is delicious but it’s the only aspect that I really do taste. It’s not too wild- I get how you could fall in love with it. The flavour of chocolate is very faint but the chamomile flowers are an excellent touch. This is most definitely a nice dessert tea to have after a big meal. Yum! 7.5/10

We’ll have to see if this winds up in our cabinet, especially with all our new Nourish Tea loot we recently aquired. In any case, it was well received all around. Maybe you should try it?

[Stacey: my vote is yes! MmmMmm]

Until next tea,

Brooke and Stacey

Knight to E5, baby Ron.

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