Advent Tea 7: North African Mint

Yesterday’s tea was my favourite calendar tea to date so this morning’s tea had a bit of work to do to impress me.  The organic North African Mint has a slight minty smell and I had hopes that it would be green tea tasting with a hint of mint.  The flavour I associate with green tea is very subtle in this brew and is overpowered by mint, reminding me more of an herbal mint tea than anything.

This green tea has mint, cardamom, ginger and licorice.  There is also fennel, clove, and black pepper in the tea but it’s hard to make out those bits in the dry tea and I didn’t really get a taste of any of those ingredients.  Even the ginger and licorice taste are fairly muted with the mint overpowering everything. It’s a good mint tea – but I think as mint tea’s go I still prefer the St. Joseph Island Coffee Roasters T Line peppermint tea if I’m looking for a soothing, stomach calming tea.

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Advent Tea 6: Glitter and Gold

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.” – Tolkien

The name of today’s tea, Glitter and Gold, reminded me of one of my favourite Tolkien passages.  Not all those who wander are lost.  And not all tea that has glitter in it’s name is actually made of gold.  Though there are gold coloured stars in the loose leaf tea, which apparently sparkle when steeping.  Mine might have sparkled — but I wasn’t paying close enough attention to notice.  Brewing it in a glass or white coloured mug or pot might bring out the sparkle a bit more.

The tea smells like cloves, cinnamon and a hint of ginger.  This black tea is slightly sweet and the cinnamon really comes through as the dominant spice. I think this would pair well with some homemade gingerbread cookies or a snowy day.  This tea is probably my favourite so far from the #24daysoftea.

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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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