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It’s tea time… again…

Mar 6, 2012 // by admin // Blog, tea // No Comments

I realized that I have been stuck in a rut with my tea choices lately. I have the same ones all the time and honestly that can only last for so long before I get bored. So a couple weekends ago, while I was in Whole Foods picking up a few things that I needed, I ventured into the tea aisle and picked up a few things the I didn’t exactly need. This tea time features some of those items… Tazo Honeybush, Numi Golden Chai, and Tazo Lotus.

Tazo Honeybush – a creamy brew of African Honeybush with subtle fruit and floral notes – Honeybush with natural flavours.

I bought this tea and wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting. The name sounded pretty, but I had never heard of Honeybush before. So while I was in the store, I looked up what Honeybush is and learned it is a cousin of rooibos with a sweeter flavor and blossoms that smell like honey. This herbal tisane was right up my alley. I enjoyed it at work in the midst of a rather busy day when I was looking for a dose of tranquility. It brought me into a different space and helped me to find that bit of relaxation I craved. As the box describes, there are fruity undertones. With a tiny bit of stevia in the raw (one packet got me through 3 cups), the tea felt perfectly balanced. I really enjoyed it. I’m happy I chose this tea, even if it was because the name sounded pretty. It added a nice bit of variety to what had become a routine dose of herbal tisanes.

Numi Golden Chai – fair trade certified organic Asam Black Tea, organic cinnamon, organic ginger, organic anise, and organic cardamom.

I bought this tea because it contains a lot of the flavors that I have come to love over the last couple years. And given my recent revelation that I do like chai, I couldn’t pass up a variety that I hadn’t tried by Numi. This tea was delicious. Unlike some chai teas that can have a very strong flavor, this one is nice and subtle. The spices are definitely present, but they don’t hit you over the head. And the Asam isn’t too strong. This tea was a nice change of pace from the stronger chais that I’ve been drinking lately. On a side note, the spices were so well-balanced, I didn’t feel like I needed to add a lot of sugar to it in order to enjoy it. A tiny bit of stevia for a hint of sweetness was all I needed. This tea was a nice complement to my breakfast smoothie and very likely a new staple in my tea cabinet.

Tazo Lotus – a decaffeinated tea with subtle essence of lotus blossoms – decaffeinated green tea, natural lotus flower flavour and other natural flavours.

I have to admit that I only bought this tea, since it came in a box of assorted Tazo teas. That being said I’m so happy that I discovered it. I poured the hot water over the tea bag and immediately was greeted with a wonderful floral aroma. It’s not surprising that I would be attracted to this, I love flowery teas. I’m not sure how they make it decaffeinated, but that is a nice benefit, since I try to keep my caffeine intake low during the day. It still drives up my anxiety and even a lot of deep breathing during the day, sometimes can’t create a good off-setting relaxation response. The green tea isn’t as dominant a flavor as it could be, it’s well-balanced with the lotus flower. I can definitely see myself acquiring a box of this for my tea cabinet. For now, I savored the cup that I drank today and will savor the cup that the second teabag will make.

It has been a wonderful week of tea time and loving exploring these new tea varieties. When was the last time that you had tea time? Have you been stuck in a tea rut and picked up any new varieties that you would to break out of it?

It’s tea time… again…

Feb 27, 2012 // by admin // Blog, tea // No Comments

I drink both loose-leaf tea and teas that come in tea bags. And those tea bags have a variety of different styles of tea tags. Some just include the name of the brand and maybe even the name of the tea. One brand, Yogi, actually includes inspirational phrases. Lately, I’ve been finding some great inspiration and I decided to save my tea tags. I created a fun card with some of them, that I have put up in my office, at the last art journaling workshop I attended. But before I did that, I had fun capturing them with Instagram and sharing them. Normally tea time features teas that I have recently experienced. This edition of tea time will feature my ever-growing collection of tea tags.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

this is how i've been displaying them at work (plus that one from a fortune cookie)

yes, these aren't exactly tea tags, they are candy wrappers from DOVE and also filled with inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you found some inspiration or a gentle reminder in these the way I have.

Do you ever find inspiration in your tea tags? Any tea tags that you’d like to share?

It’s tea time… again…

Feb 20, 2012 // by admin // Blog, tea // No Comments

My last tea time post featured 3 (Shooting Star, Sunset Oolong, & Golden Jasmine) of the 6 flowering teas that I received as part of a lovely flowering tea set for Christmas. I definitely enjoyed drinking and looking at those teas. This is the second flowering tea edition featuring Numi’s… Dragon Lily, Jasmine Lovers, and Lavender Dream.

Dragon Lily

Dragon Lily – white tea with orange lily petals has a velvety, apricot flavor.

When this tea “bloomed”, I was in awe. It was so pretty – a gorgeous orange flower, and a really full bloom. I was more than a little surprised. I actually resisted drinking the first pot for a little while because I wanted to stare at it and admire it. This is another tea that feels indulgent. It’s rich and silky. I’m definitely enjoying it and finding that I can get at least two pots of tea out of each bloom.

Jasmine Lovers

Jasmine Lovers – white tea leaves and string of Jasmine flower releases a honey nectar taste.

I probably let this tea steep a little too long, but it was definitely okay. This tea was beautiful to look at. The flowers bloomed big and fast. This tea has a smooth flavor and I could taste hints of the honey and nectar. It was very enjoyable to look at and to drink. I can say with certainty that I’ll be investing in more of this kind. It’s the type of tea that would definitely give me a pick me up during the day in more ways than just the caffeine boost.

Lavender Dream

Lavender Dream – white tea with crisp, aromatic Lavender flowers compliments a tangy Hibiscus flower.

I drink fruity, flowery teas a lot, as they are by far my favorites and this one does not disappoint. Short of it being one of the prettiest of the flowering teas I’ve enjoyed, it is flowery and tangy as the description promises. The afternoon I enjoyed it, it was right after lunch and it was definitely a great one to have after my meal. And it was really pretty to look at (took about an hour for it to fully bloom). It’s pretty to look at, has a nice tang to it, and doesn’t require any sugar to make it enjoyable, plus without over steeping, it has a light flavor. (When you over steep it, it gets a bit bitter, but most teas do.) I almost definitely want to invest in a bit of this. It was a very nice treat on a cool afternoon.

After enjoying all this flowering tea, I am definitely going to need to invest in some more to have when I would like more than just a pick-me-up from my afternoon tea time.

When was the last time you had tea time? Any recommendations for other flowering or blooming tea varieties and brands?

It’s tea time… again…

Feb 2, 2012 // by admin // Blog, tea // No Comments

I got a few different varieties of tea for Christmas this year. Among them was a wonderful set of flowering teas by Numi from one of my friends. The set came with this adorable glass tea pot (can’t boil water in the pot, so just add hot water – perfect for use in the office) and 6 flowering teas. So this tea time post is the first of a two part series featuring these flowering teas. This post will feature… Shooting Star, Sunset Oolong, and Golden Jasmine.

Shooting Star

Shooting Star – green tea and pink Amaranth bulbs have a buttery fragrance with fruity notes.

I decided that I would try to enjoy these in the order that they appear on the side of the tea box, since on the inside of the box none of the teas are individually labeled, just individually packaged. It’s definitely fun watching the tea ball “blossom” and the tea in the glass pot is beautiful to look at. (I’m looking forward to making the second Flower Craft from In Pursuit of Tea in this tea pot and seeing how pretty it will look.) The tea has a really nice flavor too. It has the caffeine kick that I want from a green tea with a little bit of a flowery, fruity undertone from the Amaranth. This tea tastes good and the pot is a natural strainer, so no tea leaves in the cup that I was drinking. I’m excited to use it for some of my other loose-leaf teas once I finish the flowering teas. This Shooting Star lived up to its name and gave me a nice bit of entertainment as I started the work day. (And as the package suggests, I was able to steep these tea leaves 2 more times before changing to the next variety.)

Sunset Oolong

Sunset Oolong – oolong tea leaves and Lily flower have a nutty richness highlighted by peach.

After enjoying the Shooting Star, I decided that I’d try the Sunset Oolong. The bloom was really beautiful, although I was a little bummed that it didn’t rest at the bottom of the little tea pot on the initial bloom – oh well. The tea was quite good. I don’t drink Oolong all the time, so it was a nice bit of variety. As the description mentions, this tea has a certain richness to it. I don’t know that I taste the nuttiness or even the peach, but there’s a decadence about it. Teas like this are good when you want to feel like you are indulging, but don’t want the calories or “guilt” that can come with indulging. It’s quite enjoyable.

Golden Jasmine – Golden-tipped black tea scented with delicate Jasmine imparts hints of chocolate.

Flower Craft

This black tea had a subtle flavor. I could definitely taste the jasmine, but didn’t really taste those hints of chocolate. It was light and refreshing though, which is not my regular experience with black teas. It took a while for this one to bloom, but once it did, it was pretty to look at. And this was a nice variation on the green tea with jasmine that I would usually drink. It was definitely a pleasure and something that I could see myself enjoying when I need a pick-me-up in the middle of a long workday.

And after I enjoyed these teas, I did enjoy the rest of the Flower Craft that I had left. Doesn’t it look even prettier in the glass tea pot?

It’s tea time… again…

Jan 24, 2012 // by admin // Blog, tea // No Comments

My aunt (okay, not really my aunt, but my mother’s best friend for 50+ years, who I call my aunt) and her husband are both avid tea drinkers. For months, they have been trying to get me to try their favorite tea brand – In Pursuit of Tea. I hadn’t gotten around to ordering tea from there, but they took care of that problem by giving me some In Pursuit of Tea for Christmas. I’ve really been enjoying the teas that they gave me and thought that I would share. So, this edition of tea time features In Pursuit of Tea… Flower Craft, White Peony (Shou Mei), and Elder Flower.

Flower craft - beautiful blooming tea

Flower Craft – green tea, various Chinese flowers.

Flower craft - before it expands

I got an entire set of flowering teas for Christmas with a beautiful glass tea pot to watch the flowers bloom. I wish I had that tea pot the morning I decided to give Flower Craft a try. The tea comes in this tightly wound up ball and I didn’t really know what I was expecting. So I added hot water and as the tea pouch said, I watched the show. It was incredible. This tiny little compact bud came to life. It was gorgeous to watch, but I couldn’t watch it forever, so I finally removed the bud and took a sip of the tea. It had a great flavor and I’m happy to say that even with enjoying the show, I didn’t over steep the tea. This is a very delicate green tea, with subtle notes of the flowers that were in the package of tea leaves. It was a nice accompaniment to my breakfast the day I tried this. With only one bud left to steep though, I’ve decided I’ll save it for when I can observe it bloom in the glass tea pot. This was a very enjoyable green tea and the little caffeine kick that I needed the morning I enjoyed it.

White Peony

White Peony (Shou Mei) – white tea

As you’ve probably read before, I prefer lighter teas (not that I don’t like black teas, but white teas are almost always my preference). And this tea is a nice light and slightly flowery white tea. The package describes it as having a lingering taste of bean sprouts and hints of chocolate. I do taste those elements, the chocolate being only a very tiny hint. It’s refreshing and was definitely the caffeine kick that I needed this morning. It’s interesting to me, how this tea is so similar and yet so different from the other white peony teas that I have in my cabinet. It’s amazing to me that where a tea variety is grown has so much of an impact on the flavor. I may have to do a study all about this sometime. For now though, this tea is light, bright, and a good variation on the other white peony varieties that I have.

Elder Flower tea

Elder Flower – tiny yellow blossoms of Elderflower

Elder Flower tea

I’ve heard of elderberries before, but never of elderflowers. Elderberries are in some of my favorite natural remedies. And now that I’ve done a little reading, I’ve learned that elderflowers carry many of the same benefits. It’s suggested that these are ideal for coughs, colds, and flu, even sinusitis. And may be useful in fighting a fever. This was then probably one of the better varieties of tea to get in the winter when I’m commonly fighting off coughs, colds, and sinusitis (thank you allergies). The flowers are so tiny. If you didn’t know better, you would think that it was potpourri since the flowers are so pretty. The tea definitely doesn’t have a medicinal taste, but it also doesn’t have the same flowery taste that I get with hibiscus or rose teas. It’s harder to explain. Also, there’s no underlying natural sweetness that many of the other flowery teas tend to have. It’s a nice caffeine free herbal and as I drink it, I can feel how it can help clear my nasal passages. I’m not sure that this will be an everyday tea for me, but I definitely expect to enjoy it when I’m experiencing a cold, cough, or sinus troubles.

I’m very happy that I received these teas as a gift, sparking me to give In Pursuit of Tea a try. I look forward to searching their website to find more teas that I might enjoy to give a try. And maybe more flowering teas that are pretty to look at. In the upcoming weeks, I am excited to be able to feature the flowering teas that I received as a Christmas gift from another friend.

Have you had tea time recently? Do you have a favorite flowering tea? What tea should I try next?