Monday, July 13, 2020

Summer Teas: Blends off the beaten track

When your pandemic stress can only be assuaged by teas from Canadian companies, you order some interesting blends!

Mojito Mint Black Tea (Blair Elements)
I've never had a real mojito. So I can't tell if Blair Elements' Mojito Mint black tea tasted like the cocktail. But I enjoyed this tea version!

Lemongrass Milk Pudding Green Tea (Dessert by Deb)
I almost passed on Dessert by Deb's Lemongrass Milk Pudding green tea because I'm not a lemongrass fan.  I'm glad that I gave it a chance because it tasted delicious, with the coconut and ginger being the dominant flavours.

Sticky Rice Oolong (Davids Tea)
I was intrigued by Davids Tea's Sticky Rice Oolong. It was more savoury than I expected. I'm glad I tried this blend before it was discontinued, but it won't be a staple in my tea cupboard.

Some disappointing news for Davids Tea fans: The Canadian tea business will be closing 82 stores in Canada and all 42 stores in the U.S. Davids Tea sales have declined over the years so I'm not surprised that they're moving their operations online. I've always preferred their stores over online (shipping is $$$) because I can smell and buy teas in smaller quantities.

EDITED TO ADD: Davids Tea official release and FAQ on the restructuring plan

Monday, July 6, 2020

The last of my tea hauls (I hope!)

We're in the midst of a heat wave and my A/C is broken, but I'm still drinking hot tea!

Sipping delicious maple teas from handmade in Canada mugs on Canada Day:
1) Morning: Sipping Geek+Tea's Dark Side oolong from a teacup by Scott Barnim.
2) Afternoon: Sipping Dessert by Deb's Butter Toffee Cream black and rooibos tea from a mug by Greg Voisin. The raspberry matcha chocolate almonds were by a Toronto chocolatier.

June empties
Oldest sipdown (Sept 2018): Chinese black tea with the cream packaging.

Newest sipdowns (May 2020): Monarch Tea Co.'s Love is Love herbal tea and Stay Young, Go Dancing (a peach black tea).

I regret to report that I also ordered more teas in June. I wanted to support the small Canadian tea companies!

Blair Elements (free shipping): two black teas and one green tea

Blue Mountain Tea Co. (free shipping): Two of the teas were gifted to other people. I kept four teas for me (three black teas and one Pu-erh).

Tea Amo (free local delivery): After months of online stalking, I finally bought this cute 3-cup turquoise teacup and teabag holder. I also purchased one green tea and one Pu-erh.

Me on my June 15th post: I also received a Davids Tea gift card, but I'm going to try to wait a while to use it.

Eleven days later, this was delivered to my door: Jasmine Creme Brulee green tea is one of my favourite DT blends and I had been wanting to try the Sticky Rice Oolong and Organic Black Thai teas. This was my "last chance" to stock up on these discontinued teas. 

I added the "Fan Faves" and metal strainer to get the free shipping. The tin was a free gift with purchase of 100g of tea.

My last June order: one fruity herbal and two black teas from Tealise.

Once again, the number of new teas exceed the number of sipdowns. My poor wallet! There are several more tea companies on my wish list. But I'll try my best to use up some of my stash before buying new teas.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Cold brewed infusions and cards

The first half of 2020 is almost over!

Cold brewed herbal infusions enjoyed during National Iced Tea Month: 
1) Monarch Tea Co.'s delicious Love is Love herbal tea had a strong pina colada game.
2) Totalitea's Exotic Fruit Mate was a refreshing tropical drink.

My second pot of violets bloomed in June!

A crafty online friend sent me this beautiful handmade card. 
Look at that attention to detail!

Another friend sent me this Canuck-themed card. Inside it said:
"We're all in this together!"

Happy Canada Day to my True North friends!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Martha's Vineyard by Clearview Tea

We made it to summer!

I welcomed the first official day of hot weather season with Martha's Vineyard by Clearview Tea.

Martha's Vineyard is a black tea blend of strawberries and peach--two of my favourite summer fruits!

This delicious fruity tea transported me back to 2009 when my friend and I took a road trip to New England...

....and visited Martha's Vineyard's Cottage Park!
Alas, our budgets wouldn't allow us to stay at one of these adorable but pricey cottages!

My dream home.
Can you imagine enjoying tea time on the front porch?

Monday, June 15, 2020

Belated birthday gifts

A few weeks ago, I received belated birthday gifts from some friends.

This mug is perfect for quarantine.

I love mangoes so I was delighted to receive this Mango & Lychee Souffle green tea.

How cute are these Tea Time socks?

I also received a Davids Tea gift card, but I'm going to try to wait a while to use it (famous last words...)!

Monday, June 8, 2020

You've got tea mail!

Oops! ... I did it again.
I bought more teas to support my favourite small businesses!
That is just so tea-pically me.

Late April purchase
When I found out that Geek+Tea was relocating this month, I felt compelled to stock up on my favourite fall teas (pumpkin juice chai and chocolate cauldron), and try some of the teas that I had been eyeing for a while. My order qualified for free delivery so Alyson dropped off the teas on my front door, rang my doorbell, and ran!

Mid-May purchase
Last month, Dessert by Deb celebrated its 1-year anniversary and I took advantage of the great promos to try out the teas that were on my wish list. Thank you, Deb, for the sweet handwritten note and including 2 free samples to my delightful package!

Late May purchase
At the end of May, Monarch Tea Co. launched a beautiful new website. When I e-mailed Katie to inquire when the summer teas--Summer Fling (a watermelon oolong) and Love is Love herbal tea--would go on sale, she let me buy the teas in advance and hand delivered them to my front door. She also included a sample of a peach ginger tea! Thank you, Katie, for the superb customer service!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Hello, June

I don't know what to say about the recent horrific events so I'm sharing Masai Ujiri's opinion piece on racism. It's also worth checking out these links on ways you can take action and be a better ally:
This was one of my quarantine reads. It was eye-opening and disturbing to learn about tea's early dark history. For example: labourers could be bought and sold like slaves at the British tea plantations in India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and Africa.

May sipdowns
To end this post on a lighter note: the teas that I finished in May!
Oldest tea: The Naked Leaf's Pineapple green tea (May 2018)
Newest tea: Laura Secord's Earl Grey black tea (May 2020)

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