Sunday, December 23, 2018

Holiday Treats and Teas

I've really leaned into the holiday flavours this month.

Candy cane-inspired treats!

The cold temperatures didn't deter me from enjoying some eggnog ice cream (right) and gingerbread ice cream (left)...and when the ice cream makes me cold, I drink tea to warm up!

Some of the holiday teas that I've been drinking are Tea at the White House's eggnog black tea (left) and the now defunct Polar Tea Co.'s White Christmas black tea (right).

My Tea Advent Calendar: Days 13-21

My Tea Advent Tea Calendar: Day 22

Wishing you a Safe and Joyful Holiday Season!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Early Tea-Themed Christmas Gifts

"Thou shalt not steal." But this commandment doesn't apply when you're playing Secret Santa (Yankee Swap) at work...

Of course, I had to "steal" this beautiful pair of tea cups from the co-worker who selected this gift.

But my co-worker bore no ill will towards me as my "theft" gave her the opportunity to pick another present that she actually wanted!

Last Friday, another work colleague surprised me with this gorgeous tea set ornament. She had been saving this ornament for 20 years (!) for someone special.

We had bonded over our love of tea and she gave me the tea ornament because she knew how much I would love it. I was so humbled and touch by this generous gesture. I will always treasure this tea ornament.

It's hard to believe that we're more than halfway through Advent now!

Tea Advent Calendar: Days 1-6

Tea Advent Calendar: Days 7-12

Note: My regular posting schedule will shift to Sundays for the next 2 weeks due to the holidays.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Mad Hatter Tea Co.'s New Shop

Last month, I visited the Mad Hatter Tea Co.'s new location. To see my previous visit to the old shop, click here.

The new shop is still in the same neighbourhood, but now has space to accommodate larger parties. I was happy to see that it retained its purple decor.

The entrance and one of the seatings available.

The whimsical wall decor.

I wished that I could take this purple china cabinet home with me!

I purchased a few house blends which I'll share in the new year.

A cozy place for tea.
Love the purple tree and the stack of books sidetable.

Here's my own little purple fiber optic tree decorated with handmade ornaments from my crafty friends!

Monday, December 3, 2018

2018 Tea-Themed Tree

My tea-themed tree went up a few weeks ago.

I started collecting tea-themed ornaments in 2011.

It's amazing how much my collection has grown in just 7 years!

Some ornaments are elegant like these miniature Wedgwood and Royal Albert teacups and teapots from my mom.

Others are whimsical like these Santa teapots!

 I've also used pretty teabag holders to decorate my tree.

Below are the newest additions to this year's tree.

From Hallmark: Season's Treatings, 10th Anniversary" (limited edition)
The Santa teapot was so cute that I'll overlook the hot chocolate in the mugs!

From a local garden gallery: canines in cups!

 From a church rummage sale: Red Rose miniature teapots

Mrs. Potts and Chip actually came from a toy set.

This charming ornament was from a friend.

The tea-themed ornaments make me smile every time I see them.

Have you put up your tree?

Monday, November 26, 2018

Tea Advent Calendars

Back in 2015, tea Advent calendars were a rarity. But now most tea shops sell their own versions online or at their stores.

Spotted at Winners/HomeSense: The English Tea Shop Advent Calendar was only $12.99 CDN for 24 teas ($0.54 CDN/cup). I was thisclose to buying it until I realized that the calendar only contained 12 unique flavours. So I passed.

Spotted at Denningers: Twinings "Tea for Two" Advent Calendar was $29.99 CDN and offered two teabags per day ($0.62 CDN/cup). London Drugs currently has it on sale for only $19.99 CDN.

Screenshot from Davids Tea website
The 24 Days of Tea by Davids Tea was one of the first Advent Calendars that I've seen ($49 CDN). According to the packaging, each day contains 2 cups worth of (loose leaf) tea ($1.02 CDN/cup).

Citizen Tea's 25 Day Tea Journey is $55 CDN, but makes up to 100 cups of tea ($0.55 CDN/cup). So it's actually reasonably priced for sampling loose leaf teas.

For the last 3 years, I've been making my own tea Advent calendar by filling this huge stocking (a HomeSense find) with teabags.

Do you have an Advent calendar?

Monday, November 19, 2018

What I bought at the RBG Tea Festival

I had so much fun sampling the teas and chatting with the vendors at the RBG Tea Festival. I wanted to support everyone, but I had to limit my purchases.

How cute is this teapot keychain from The Art of Tea and Tasseomancy?

Left: White Gingered Apricot by The Travelling Tea Room
Right: Poached Pear Brulee Black Tea by the Blue Mountain Tea Company

Love The Sugared Teacup's beautifully decorated teaboxes! 
It contains a curated selection of 5 tea pouches from local Toronto tea shops. This box includes green teas.

This box includes fruity herbal teas. 
I almost don't want to open the tea box because it'll destroy Deb's handiwork! I'm happy that I was able to try out these tea boxes before they're phased out at the end of the year.

Freebies (Ceylon tea) from the Sri Lankan Consulate

I couldn't leave the festival without a purchase from one of my favourite tea vendors: The Monarch Tea Co.!

The tasty Biscotti Spice Rooibos Tea was a hit at the pop-up tea at the office!

Monday, November 12, 2018

3rd Annual RBG Tea Festival

At the beginning of November, I went to the 3rd Annual Tea Festival at the Royal Botanical Gardens. 

Some of the teapot trivia
These teapot trivias led us to the 29 vendors, 10 presentations, 5 tea tasting competitions and 4 tea ceremonies! Once again, I spent my time visiting and sampling teas from the local vendors.

 An exhibit of the classic versus contemporary tea vessels.

Pretty tea china were also presented by Tea and Toasts (top) and Lifestyles for Life (bottom).

The Travelling Tea Room always has such an elegant display.

Samples from beTeas: Choco Spice Rooibos, Milky Oolong, Purple Rain Green Tea, Wuyi Oolong. 

The Tea Stylist (not pictured: my white tea sample)

Sample from one of my favourite tea companies, Monarch Tea Co.: Biscotti Spice Rooibos. 

Samples from Tumeric Teas: Tumeric Latte (my favourite), Warming Ginger, Calming Lemongrass, Cooling Peppermint, Energizing Chai.

Left: Sample of Quince Herbal Tea from Tea-ara
Right: Sample of Lemon Sencha from My Tea Brew.

 Samples from Blue Mountain Tea Company: Coconut Milk Oolong (voted as the favourite oolong at the festival; left) and Nepali Breakfast Organic (right).

Left: Organic Black, Chai and Organic Green Tea Samples from Relaxing Rocco, a new tea company named after the proprietor's cat!
Right: Infusion Organic Tea (I can't recall what I sampled).

I had a nice chat with the delightful Deb from The Sugared Teacup. Her charming tea sampler boxes are being phased out at the end of the year so that Deb can focus on her new business venture--tea postcards and art prints.

An interesting display of teacups by The Art of Tea and Tasseomancy.

Samples from the Sri Lankan Consulate: Ceylon tea brewed at different elevations (high to low).

The set-up for the Chinese tea ceremony demonstration.

Next week, I'll share what I brought home with me!