Advent Tea 5: Banana Nut Bread

Banana Muffin and Banana Nut Bread Tea.

Banana Muffin and Banana Nut Bread Tea.

Today’s tea was Banana Nut Bread and is designed to taste like banana bread in a mug.  The dry tea smells overwhelmingly like banana. The tea also contains dates, almonds, currants, and artificial flavouring. So despite the tea name it actually doesn’t contain any true tea and is more of a hot beverage infusion than anything. Once steeped it continued to smell very much like banana.

I read a bit about this tea prior to steeping it and a few people suggested using an easy clean infuser as there’s a good chance you’re going to be left with a sticky mess.  I used a silicone infuser and seemed to wash out okay. I steeping guidelines suggest 4-7 minutes.  However after 5 minutes the tea was still fairly weak.  I let it steep longer and it improved the tea.  It’s kind of like desert in a cup.  Tasty but definitely not a tea in the traditional sense.  It paired really well with the banana muffins I picked up a local bake sale.

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Advent Tea 4: Organic Sweet Almond Green

On the four day of tea, advent tea brought to me an organic sweet almond green tea. I blame CBC for the Christmas style introduction – their radio programming was very holiday centric this morning.

I find flavoured green teas often miss the mark.  The flavour tends to be overpowering and the tea ends up being more like a herbal tea than a green.  The sweet almond green seems to have struck a good balance of added sweetness and green tea goodness.

The tea had a sweet smell and tastes of almonds with green tea.  So the name is pretty accurate.  Good without any additives…though I’m probably a poor judge considering I drink all of my tea plain.

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Advent Tea 3: Orange Pekoe

After two days of flavoured fruity teas I was actually pretty overjoyed this morning to discover that today’s tea is a simple loose leaf orange pekoe.  Being a black tea this selection actually has caffeine which is also a nice change to the previous two days.

When I think of curling up with a book and some tea I tend to think of black tea.  This particular tea is a fairly standard orange pekoe, nothing fancy but tasty. I’ve had better (think loose leaf tea bought in England) but I thoroughly enjoyed this morning’s cup of tea.

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Advent Tea 2: Mango Madness

Mango

Day 2: Mango Madness

Mango Madness.  A nice alliterative name.  The name also reminds me of a descriptive crayon name for shade of yellow.

Today’s tea surprise was mango madness, a white tea with low caffeine.  The smell is overwhelmingly mango but the taste is a more subtle fruit blend.  It’s apparently a mixture of mango, orange, and pineapple.

The tea is a bit on the sweet side and  might be good as a mid afternoon break.  I found the sweetness a bit much first thing in the morning.

 

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Advent Tea 1: Sleigh Ride

First Day of #24daysoftea

First Day of #24daysoftea

December = the month of ALL the tea.  This December I’m partaking in the #24daysoftea advent calendar from Davids Tea.  Today’s tea was a Christmas themed tea called “Sleigh Ride.”

The tea was bright red and smelled of slightly of cinnamon mixed with cranberries.  I’m not a huge herbal tea drinker — and tend to dislike anything with ‘berry’ in the name or description.  Sleigh Ride was subtle enough that I didn’t mind it.  It wouldn’t be my go to choice of tea but it wasn’t bad for the first selection.  Looking forward to 23 more days of tea ahead!

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Brasserie des Quatre Lunes Pumpkin Saison

New beer of the month shipment! This month’s selections seem promising and are already better than last month’s less than tasty beer.

The first beer I tried this month was the Brasserie des Quatre Lunes’ Pumpkin Saison.  The brewery is an offshoot of Trafalger Ales and Meads. I love mead so I’ve actually tried some of their mead products previously.

I like pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice tea.  Pumpkin falvoured beer seems like it would be a good thing.  Yet it rarely lives up to the hype.  This particular beer didn’t really taste like pumpkin but was alright.

The most noticeable part of this beer was it’s aroma – it was very spicy smelling, lots of cloves nutmeg, and cardamom.  You could see some of the spices in the bottom of the glass when it was poured.  The spice mixture was decent and made me think of fall – but not quite pumpkin pie spice.  It was a unique tasting beer, I didn’t mind it but I’m not sure I could sit down and drink more than one.

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New Knitting Project

I recently settled on a new knitting project.  I’m going to try to learn how to knit in the round.  I’m doing this with hopes of knitting a cowl.  The inspiration for this particular project came from the desire to knit something other than a scarf, blanket, or square and the beautiful knitted cowls that are featured on Outlander.

Here’s hoping this project doesn’t take as long as my most recent two-year blanket knitting project.

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Tea Time

TeaA few years ago I heard about DAVIDsTEA 24-days of tea advent calendar.  Basically it’s a advent calendar that is filled with tea and each day is a different blend of loose leave tea.

Previously I always forgot when the calendars went on sale and missed the small window of opportunity to get my hands one.  Apparently I’m not alone in thinking this a fantastic idea for anyone who loves tea.  It has to be healthier than a chocolate calendar.

This year a co-worker reminded me about the 24-days of tea — and last week a wonderful calendar filled with tea arrived in the mail.  The only downside, I now have to wait until December to try any of the tea.

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The Tamarack

A Stand of Tamarack Trees.  Public Domain Image.

A Stand of Tamarack Trees. Public Domain Image.

It’s the time of the year where fall feels like it’s coming to a close and that winter is nipping at our doorway.  There have been a few light snowfalls that have quickly melted. Frost is no longer a surprise in the morning. And most of the beautiful fall leaves have fallen.

I love fall – the colours, temperature, food, and so much more.  The conclusion of fall is often kind of grey and has a dull feeling to it.  But it is also the time of year that the tamarack trees start to change colour.  Prior to moving up to Northern Ontario I didn’t know a whole lot about tamaracks.  But they are kind of a neat tree.

Tamaracks are deciduous conifers – which I didn’t even know existed.  They have needles and cones but their needles change colour and they shed them in the fall.  Their needles are amazingly soft and delicate to the touch in the spring and summer.  Tamaracks tend to be on the smaller side growing to be around 15 meters tall.  They are apparently part of the larch family — which just makes me think of the Monty Python Flying Circus episode that repeatedly features the larch tree.

At this time of year the tamaracks have changed to a vibrant yellow and provide appreciated pop of colour amongst the grey landscape.

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Music Finds: Sarah MacDougall

One of my favourite things is when you discover a new band or musician.  It’s often like you’ve just learned this amazing secret or unearthed a whole world of possibilities. I also have a soft spot for lesser known Canadian artists.

Recently while listening to Vinyl Cafe I was treated to the music of Sarah MacDougall.  I immediately made a note to learn more and find more of her music to listen to.  Born in Sweden she now calls Canada home and her music is a great mixture of folk and roots.  Take a listen:

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