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Recent Tasting Notes
I found a straggler from my Etsy tea advent calendar! and brewed it up last night. I love doing tea advent calendars.
This one was good. Certainly drinkable, but the flavor was muted. It is supposed to have cinnamon, cloves, orange, lemon and lime, which sounds delicious. I couldn’t detect any particular flavor. Mildly spicy. Got no citrus. That could be the result of my faulty nose. Anyway, I enjoyed the cup enough to drink the whole thing .
The Etsy Tea Advent Calendar was worth the money I spent, which was around $29.99US. The presentation was lovely. Each bag was wrapped in high quality paper and attached to a foam snowflake. The teas were all from higher end grocery store type companies like
Ahmad and Eastern Shore. I did not find any tea that I fell in love with and had to order. The cost of the 24 tea bags did not come even close to the $30 price, but what you pay for with a tea calendar is the presentation and the fun of opening each surprise. The Etsy shop I ordered from is below:
Etsy Tea Advent Calendar Day 22—I am playing catch up after being away for a few days in Minneapolis with my brother. I drove home today, and the first 130 miles were perfectly clear roads. The next 110 miles were awful. shudder I could see some pavement through the compacted snow on one lane of the interstate at times. And once in a while the snow would clear enough that I could see at least a quarter mile ahead. Fun times, I tell ya. After I eased my car into the garage it took me a few minutes to convince my hands to unclench from the steering wheel! But I’m home and enjoying a hot tea.
This one is not bad at all. I was afraid it would have a ‘cough syrup’ fake cherry flavor flavor. It didn’t. I also thought the tea base was sturdy enough to not be overwhelmed by the flavor. Either this is the best tea of the calendar (so far) or I am too relieved to be home to care :)
Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate!
Etsy Tea Advent Calendar Day 19:
I enjoy Pear teas. Cranberry Pear from Davids is a fave. This one does not come close to that one. But it is not bad. The flavor is very mild. I don’t get the pear, and the ginger is only a hint. But the tea is warm and not bitter or astringent. No weird lingering after taste. I finished the cup with no trouble. So this is one of the teas that I would not order, but would have no trouble drinking again. That’s kind of damning it with faint praise. But honestly, it is better than most of the teas I’ve had this month.
Etsy Tea Advent Calendar Day 18:
Ah, an herbal mint tea. Delightful. I enjoy herbal mint teas. Hard to screw up a plain peppermint tea. I checked the website for an ingredient list. Oh. Redbush (rooibos). And spearmint. That might be a nice change from peppermint. And vanilla. Okay, I could see that adding a touch of creaminess to the tea. And hibiscus. HIBISCUS??? I do not like hibiscus.
I brewed up the cup. The liquor was very dark. Common with rooibos . I sipped. Nothing. I didn’t detect any mint. Or any hibiscus. What the heck. I let it cool a bit and tried again. A hint of cool mint. Still no hibiscus. Some woodiness from the rooibos. Still no real flavor. I drank half the cup and then gave up and made a cup of plain peppermint tea.
I have to say, this tea advent calendar has been a bit of a disappointment to me. On the one hand, it is beautifully presented with each tea bag wrapped in heavy blue paper with Christmas/winter designs and tried to the Snowflake wall hanging. And it is nice to try teas I have never seen before. I am a tea snob, but there are several bagged teas I enjoy like Good Earth Sweet & Spicy, Twinings Prince of Wales, Scottish Breakfast by Taylor’s of Harrowgate, and more. I just don’t care for most of the teas by Eastern Shore Tea Company. But we do still have a few days left, so maybe I will strike gold in one of those. :)
Etsy Tea Advent Calendar Day ?
I am completely off on my days. This week through me for a loop. On Monday I had quarterly my MRI and CT scan. I couldn’t eat or drink anything from Midnight on Sunday until after the scans were done, which wasn’t until 1:30 Monday afternoon. Then I went to work. And after that I went to bed. Those scans are not painful. I just find them very tiring. Tuesday I met with the oncologist and learned that -praise God- the cancer has not returned. The pain I’ve been experiencing is from the start of a hernia, which is common with ostomies. So I have a special belly wrap to wear to support me, and I am not to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for at least two weeks.
That was a long and lame excuse for why I haven’t been drinking my tea this week. :9
This tea may have been my favorite of the month. The spices are mild, but I can detect them. It feels cinnamon heavy, because I get that slightly mouth drying sensation I often get with cinnamon. I wouldn’t rush out to buy a box of this one, but I could easily drink another cup.
I promise to be more faithful with my teas for the next week. Hard to believe Christmas is only a week away! I am driving to my brother in Minneapolis for the holiday, so I might be iffy with the 23rd-25th teas. But they will certainly wait until untilI come home onthe 26th.
Etsy Advent Calendar Day 12
I was pleased that today was an herbal tea. I was busy busy busy all day and didn’t get a chance to open the package until tonight. I didn’t want a caffeinated tea tonight. Tomorrow I have an appointment so I need to go into work at 6:00 am.
AS usual the tea pack packet didn’t have an ingredient list so i went to the website. It has no base (being herbal, it doesn’t need one, but I thought maybe rooibos or honeybush). The ingredients are things that have the colors of the rainbow like rose hips, orange peel, lemon peel, parsley, cornflowers, and lavender flowers. That’s a lot of floral, which I m not fond of, but on the other hand the citrus peel might balance those out. On the third hand, there is no hibiscus, so that is a plus.
I brewed it for 5 minutes. The liquor is pale gold. The flavor… is mild. I kinda get the citrus, but it is a citrus overlaid with a soapy taste. AS it cooled the citrus came out more and the soapy receded. This is an interesting tea with lots of ingredients that might not go together very well. I think maybe they do. I can say that I was able to finish the cup. I’m not sure if I liked it, but then again, I finished it. There were no ratings for this tea. IN fact, I didn’t see this tea on Steepster, so I added it myself. I would love to know what others think of it. I am waffling on whether or not to recommend it.
Etsy Advent Calendar Day 6
A Minty/Rooibos herbal tea. It’s not a favorite, but it’s not bad. On a cold night like this (it is 1 above, or -18C at 5:00 pm) a hot tea is welcome. It is not bitter. I do get a faint mint flavor. And I like that it is caffeine free. I’ll have no trouble finishing the cup and may even re-steep.
I think I am envious of everyone else’s advent calendars. I told myself I was not going to order an expensive advent calendar this year. And I didn’t. This one was very inexpensive. And I do like to try different things. Maybe I’m just a tea snob. The quality of most of these teas is just not there. But I am probably jumping the gun. There are several bagged teas I enjoy, and there are still 18 days to go!
And the more I have of this one the better I like it.
Etsy Advent Calendar Day 4
Finally, we have a hit! Again, nothing is listed on the wrapper as to ingredients, but I found them on the website. Fruit, and black tea. This is nothing special, but a pleasant tea to enjoy with shortbread and jam. After the first three teas I was beginning to despair of finding one i like. Mind you, I wouldnt’ rush out to stock up on this one, but if I saw it in a hotel tea caddy I would happily brew and drink a cup.
We are expecting our first real snow of the winter tonight and tomorrow. Not a lot in my area, maybe 3 inches. But with 25-30 mile an hour winds, 3 inches is more than enough to cause white out conditions. I may not make it to church tomorrow. We’ll see. A perfect to lounge around writing out Christmas cards while sipping tea.
Day 1 of my Etsy Tea Advent Calendar from Blue Moonstone.
I did not order a tea advent calendar from any of the usual places. I looked on /Etsy because I have found some good tea there. Specifically, A Quarter to Tea, which i dearly miss. I found this seller and thought I;d try it out. The advent calendar is a sturdy foam snowflake about 15 inches in diameter, and there are 24 packages individually wrapped in heavy paper tied to the snowflake.
So, Day One was a teabag of Gingerman. The first thing I noticed was that there was no ingredient list. Then I saw there were no leaves in the bag. The contents looked like they had been ground into grains. I thought maybe it was a rooibos based tea. I went out to the website and saw the ingredients were black tea, vanilla, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. That sounded appealing.
It was… warm water. Now, I can’t smell, so i don’t always taste much. But cardamom? Cinnamon? Ginger? I should get something, So I don’t think i can recommend this one. Although if someone with a working nasal appendage tries it and enjoys, it I am wiling to chalk it up to very subtle flavors and let it go. At least it was not bitter or astringent. I mean, if a friend had me over for tea and served i could drink it.
I had this tonight to sit down and relax after a long day – I’d been in the mood for Chai tea for hours – I was excited to play with my new tea :)
On my way home from a long road trip, I found this amazing tea store with over 1,000 teas – I stopped myself at 13 boxes of tea….
This was my choice tonight, and my friend and I both loved it! I still am experiencing the after taste of one of the spices, I can’t figure out what it is, but it’s pleasant. There is thankfully no stevia to ruin the flavor of the tea :)
I love apple teas, and I’m really glad I bought this – it still has a ton of flavor, even though I added half and half to it!
I knew this morning that this was the tea I wanted and was pretty excited to try it, at least until I opened the wrapper and caught a tart and acidic aroma. NOOOO. Is there hibiscus in this?? I checked Steepster, checked the website, checked the tea bag – no ingredient list to be found. I only know it’s a black tea (or I hope it is) because it’s listed that way on Steepster. It’s not steeping up red, but it is very light. Could this be an herbal? Adding a bit of milk anyway – I need to know. No curdling, it’s not watery – perhaps it’s a black tea after all. Sans hibiscus, thank goodness.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t taste like much. It doesn’t have a strong base, there isn’t a plum flavor or any of the cinnamon and clove mentioned in the short description. It’s a real bummer because I love black teas with stone fruit notes. Thank you, Devon Bartholomew for sending. I just wish I’d liked it better.
2020 Advent Swap – Day 17
A stronger black tea than I expected – a pleasant surprise. Less overkill fruit flavor, more a hint of fruit with almost straight black tea. Great hot
I split this one with James since he loves lemon-flavored teas, and he did love it. Surprisingly though, he tasted blueberry instead of lemon. I tasted no blueberry and only lemon. It was very much the flavor of an iced tea with lemon, except I drank it hot. My cup wasn’t as strong as Devon Bartholomew’s, so maybe I should have steeped it a bit longer. I wish I had tasted some of the blueberry flavor, but she was right about this being more of a straight black tea with a hint of fruit.
2020 Advent Swap – Day 15
My first floral tea I ever tried. :•) Enjoy!
I love floral teas so much. They are some of my very favorites. This had a light rose scent coming from the package once I opened it. Not strong, but noticeably floral. I happened to read some previous notes on this tea that mentioned curdling with milk, so I looked up the ingredients and saw that it has hibiscus. Also rose hips, not sure if those would have the same effect. No problem, I really couldn’t taste the hibiscus. The rose was just present enough to be noticed without overwhelming the base, which was also really nice. I did really want it creamy though, hibiscus be damned, so I added just a bit of cream to my cup and it turned out just fine! Maybe a little cloudier than usual, but still a delicious cup. Thank you, Devon Bartholomew – great pick for me!
Flavors: Floral, Rose
2020 Advent Swap – Day 11
A great wind down with a book and a fireplace (which I wish I had!)
Growing up, my grandmother always kept spice drops in a glass candy dish next to her chair. My favorites were the purple ones. When I opened this bag of tea, that all-too-familiar scent hit me right in the face. The purple spice drops! What a blast of nostalgia this is. Devon Bartholomew says that this would be great to drink while reading a book in front of the fireplace, and I agree. I wish I had a working fireplace right about now!
Flavors: Anise, Cloves
2020 Advent Swap – Day 9
Vanilla, Peppermint, and Spearmint – mmm.
This reminds me of Teavana’s White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos but without the artificial aftertaste of the licorice root. The primary aroma from the teabag is rooibos, but the flavor after steeping is a nice vanilla mint. I enjoyed this one! I added a little cream, and it was a wonderfully warm tea for a frosty morning. Thanks, Devon Bartholomew!
Flavors: Rooibos, Spearmint, Vanilla
I don’t like this one nearly as much this time around as I did when I had it before. I’m not getting the cherry/almond/amaretto flavor. It’s more like a muted chocolate. I’m not even sure there’s chocolate in this, to be honest. Dropping my rating substantially, as much for its unreliability as for its flavor.
2020 Advent Swap – Day 5
I found this on vacation and had to buy it based on the description. A great tea for dessert on a cold night!
I’m not sure if there is chocolate in this blend, but that was my first thought as I opened the package and caught the aroma. It would make sense – when I think of Cupid, I think of Valentine’s Day, and then chocolate, strawberries, rose, raspberries, etc. I thought one of these flavors might be in the mix, but this is a blend of cherry, almond, and vanilla. And I can certainly taste the cherry/almond. It’s hard sometimes for me to distinguish between the two flavors. It isn’t fresh cherry, more like almond extract or amaretto. So even though there isn’t chocolate in this as far as I can tell, it tastes to me like a warm amaretto chocolate milk. Not so chocolaty as to be a hot chocolate or hot cocoa, but enough that the flavor stands out. It brings back memories of Christmas Eve dinner at my grandmother’s house – the women would clean the dishes together (while the men watched football on TV), and they would sit around the dinner table drinking coffee with amaretto. I remember feeling like such a grown-up when I was finally allowed to have a coffee and sit with the others. A great dessert tea, as Devon Bartholomew says, and a perfect tea for the holiday season.
Flavors: Almond, Cherry, Chocolate
Bought at a the Roasting Company recommended by a helpful clerk. This is fantastic blend of the rooibos and minty flavors. I enjoyed it at night to wind down but might also be nice during the day.
Red Bush tea (Rooibos) is legendary in Africa for its healing properties – for a relaxing sleep, to control appetite, to ease a hangover, to clean the blood, to reduce fatigue, and to provide energy. Studies in Japan have shown it to mimic the superoxide dismutase (S.O.D.) enzyme, a powerful antioxidant that limits the damaging effects of free radicals. Even higher in antioxidants then green tea, Red Bush is also high in flavanoids and low in alkaloids. It is also low in tannins and it is caffeine-free. Red Bush has no calories, however is wealthy in its mineral content, including Calcium, Potassium, Zinc, and Magnesium. With a rich red color, a robust body, a pleasant aroma, and non-bitter taste Red Bush is appealing by itself or as the base for fruit drinks. Serve it with milk or lemon and sweeten to taste. Jack Frost is soothing hot or refreshing iced. Redbush tea with Vanilla, Peppermint, and Spearmint. Caffeine-Free herbal tea. 20 Count foil wrapped tea bags in our classic white ribbon bag. 1.4 oz. (40g.)
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