Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beep Beep Beep *Tea's Ready*

If you have ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed and legitimately stewed anger towards your eye lids for deciding to open that morning and the moment your feet hit the floor you were actually plotting against how you could get back at them later on in the day.

No? That's just me you say? Well then... maybe this is just a gadget that I dream about at night.....either which way - you can count on this baby making it on my Christmas List this year along with a new born Albino Tiger and a pair of Christian Louboutin Esoteri 120 Ankle Boots.  

Have troubles waking like me in the AM.....get your Alarm Clock Tea Maker today!

Your Truly

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tea Tasting Notes: Organic Neem Nectar Tea

I got ANOTHER fabulous package in the mail, this time from the ever so fabulous company Teatulia. Boasting a whopping nine different Tea Bags for me to sample and review. Boy oh Boy, do I ever have my work cut out for me. My nose and lips are acting as a 5 year old child on Christmas Morning....sniffing, snorting and wet with excitement! Okay - that just sounds wrong. But you catch my drift right? 

A little about Teatulia:

Our approach to farming is truly revolutionary. In our garden, we have implemented "natural farming" practices that result in a "closed loop" eco and social system. No pesticides, machinery or unnatural irrigation are used in the cultivation. We let Mother Nature encourage out Tea and Herbs, which rejuvenates the land. Consequently, ten years since its inception, our "virgin" garden, developed and fallow land, in now a thriving ecosystem teeming with once endangered flora and fauna.

Our teas and herbal infusions come directly from the first USDA-Certified Organic garden in Bangladesh. There are no middlemen, No long term warehousing.

The Teatulia Cooperative creates sustainable prosperity for Bangladeshi women, men and children through education, entrepreneurship, health and cattle-lending programs.
Some examples of Teatulia's social programs include; Poverty alleviation through cattle rearing, farm sharing, distribution of herbal and medicinal plants, health and hygiene programs, adult literary education and recreation for the youth.

Tea Company: Teatulia

Tea Name: Organic Neem Nectar Tea
* Black Tea Inspired to Greatness by the Magical Neem Tree

I know most of your faces looked of mine after reading the Tea Name. Say What??!!? 

Neem Tree: Native to places such as Indian and Sir Lanka, The Neem Tree is deemed the Sacred Tree, The Heal-All Tree and even called Natures Drugstore. The entire Tree being used for medical purposes from the Seeds, Leaves, Flowers and its Bark is also used in Tea mostly for its medical purposes.

Want to read up more about the Neem Tree, here are a few sites I suggest visiting:

Discover Neem

Tea Type: Black

Tea Tasting Location: The Office - nothing like the TV Show, however I wouldn't doubt that us 10 ladies (ranging from our 20's to over 50) couldn't pull of a bad ass reality show!!! Any takers?

Tea Accompaniments: A Glug of Cream with a Dash of Sugar

Leave Rating: 4.0
5 being the best - 1 being the worst

Liquor Color: Golden. Very Silky looking with a deep inner liquor color of near black brown

Aroma: Light, Woodsy and Smooth. I found it a little tough to get colossal waft to give a better description. It gave very little to smell however I wouldn't say that was set back, I just felt more intrigued to sip.

Taste: Go Figure, after such a soft aroma, I got a Bold, Deep and Full Bodied first sip. Assuming the Neem Nectar is what stood out (as I would be lying if I said I knew exactly what the Neem Nectar tastes of) I got a Woodsy Flavor with after notes of Black Tea. a Very sneaky Tea I would say - soft smell, bold taste! 

Comments: All in all it was a fabulous sip. Very surprised by its magic abilities, smelling of an angel and tasting like the devil........Rawr! I'd say it is worth keeping on the top shelf, if not for myself to enjoy, then to surprise Tea Party Guests with a devilish delight.

Yours Truly

Steeping...desk side

TIMES UP......everyone out of the pool!

Sipping between orders :) yes, that's right - I'm multi-tasking! Not just a pretty face!

All good things have to end.... so they say. Until the next cup!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tea Tasting Notes: Vanilla Almond

Today, I had a free moment...or should I say I made a free moment to sip, savor, and review. 

As the Tea arrives at my Doorstep demanding my "john hancock", I get more and more ancy to get these reviews out to all my readers. I seriously can't boil water fast enough before the next shipment knocks on the door. Its such a Fabulous dilemma to have..... I live the life as a professional non-professional sipper!

Tea Name: Vanilla Almond
* a pleasantly sweet blend of Chinese Senchung Oolong Tea with Madagascar Island Vanilla and California Almonds

Tea Type: Oolong Tea

Tea Tasting Location: My Office Desk; that's right folks, I told you one of these days I would get paid to sip! What do you have to say about that?!? 2 months in, and already making the Donald Trump Dinaro

Tea Accompaniments: Cream and a small sprinkling of Sugar. The aroma of the Tea has already set me to a sugar coated dreamland, I didn't think it needed much more sweetening.

Leave Rating: 4.5
5 being the best - 1 being the worst

Liquor Color: Almond, who woulda thought! A beautiful light almond tone with the outer edges taking on a bright yellow. Sunshine in a cup! 

Aroma: A Sweet, Nutty Aroma, perfumed with Vanilla and a hint of Floral goodness.

Taste: At first sip the Vanilla stood at the forefront, with the Almond and Calendula Leaves showing up to play soon after. The perfect combination with perfect delivery making themselves feel at home on my tongue.

Comments: All in all, this Tea will be placed on the top shelf next to the rest of my favorites. Only those who I truly enjoy the company of, get to sip on a cup....and when I say "a cup" I really mean it. One cup only damn it, I mean, I like you, but unless you gave birth to me, married me or I call you only get one cup!   

Yours Truly

Vanilla Almond Oolong Tea in its Dry Form

It steeps.....we wait!

"It's getting steamy in here!"

And next...we sip and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Royal Tea...Are you Serious?

I have come to the realization that today isn't looking too promising for getting another Tea Review complete. I think the least that I could do, is humor you a little.


Now tell me....If I purchase these Tea Bags (and by bags I mean it literally) and steep a cup in my finest china - do you think I could mark off "Tea with the Queen" from my Bucket List?

Heck! By end of week, I will have had Tea with the whole royal family. Now that's an accomplishment!

These are available for purchase at Donkey Products - yet to find them in Canadian or American Dollars however... if anyone has any luck - I'd love to buy some without having to take a mortgage out for shipping.

Happy Wednesday!

Yours Truly

UPDATE: Clover Honey Tea Spoons

As promised earlier in the week, I was going to update my readers when the Clover Honey Spoons became available to the public, so here I am. Keeping my word!

Better yet - when I got to the Boston Tea Company site, I noticed they had many available flavors to purchase. This might just change the Tea world forever! With options such as Pomegranate which will flavor your Green Tea just beautifully and Peppermint Candy which will accompany any Black Tea during the Holidays - these are a sure hit for a Tea Lover or as a Gift. Heck if your anything like me they act as a Lollipop too! Mmmm Mmmmm

If I were you I'd get them now! And by now I mean yesterday... Go Go Go!

Yours Truly

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tea Tasting Notes: Earl Grey Citrus

As you are all very well aware, I am so lucky to have had Caitlyn with The Boston Tea Company discover my blog. Sending me a package-o-goodies in the mail last week - you will still find me sitting on cloud nine!

As I've been dying to get started on the reviews, I have set out the time to do just that (and by set out I mean booked it in my day timer, and written it out in PINK PEN on my "Evening To Do List").

After reading into the company and learning a little bit more about these generous folks....I am even more impressed with their Company and story:

From the fateful day in 1773 when the forefathers salvaged chests of undamaged tea from Boston Harbor, through America's struggle for independence to the present time, The Boston Tea Company has grown to become a leading purveyor of high quality teas.

Their prized teas originate in the lush plantations of Sri Lanka and the mountainous regions of India and China. Hand-picked at the peak of perfection, processed by artisans using traditional old world techniques and skillfully blended to assure the most flavorful cup.

The Boston Tea Company takes pride in their ability to service their customers, by communicating and reacting to all their individual needs. With tea being perceived as today's healthy beverage of choice, they will continue to follow their heritage and maintain a mission to develop the finest possible cup of tea that connoisseurs around the world can appreciate and afford.

I hope you enjoy reading my review on their Earl Grey Citrus as much as I enjoyed sipping it!

* an old favorite blend of Indian Assam Tea and Essence of Bergamot brought up to date with a dash of Citrus

Tea Type: Black Tea

Tea Tasting Location: From the comfort of my Couch, all while maliciously enjoying the axing of  Kasey "nasal talker" Magee, off the Bachelorette.

Tea Accompaniments: Cream and a Clover Honey Flavoring Spoon (soon to be available on the website - yes... that's right readers, I got it public debut. Trust me, its the inspiration for why  I wore my largest necklace I owned. I felt like the Royalty, like Queen Elizabeth. Its just too bad her necklace glistens with Rubys, Sapphires and Diamonds while mine with Plastic, Metal and Gloss)

Leave Rating: 4.6
5 being the best - 1 being the worst

Liquor Color: A rich amber center, spreading out to a lighter cornflower yellow. Beauty in a cup really! I'll take a Solitaire Cushion-Cut 1 Carat Earl Grey Citrus Gemstone set on White Gold, Please and Thank You!

Aroma: At first there was an awakening but soft citrus aroma that graced my nose...After awakening my mind, soul and senses I picked up a strong waft of Bergamot that pretty much coated my heart with flowery aromatic goodness. I spent a great deal of time stirring with my new love in life, the Clover Honey Spoon. Not because the Tea needed it, but because the heat from the Tea melted the honey to produced such sweet smells which was putting me in a sugary coma. If my husband wasn't "serenading me with music from his nose", for sure he would have taken the spoon away and "snapped" me out of it. *teehee* - lucky me he was alseep, my delicious honey tornado lasted a good 5 minutes.

Taste: In the first corner we have the beautiful, yet strong Bergamot Flower, weighing in at 0.03 grams. In the opposite corner, her competition, the striking yet smoothly refreshing Citrus Peel weighing in at 0.05 grams. This competition looks fierce folks! At first sip I was taken back. The comforting, soulful sip was more than I had expected. When I think of Citrus the first thing that comes to mind is awakening energy, however their perfect combination of Bergamot, Citrus and Indian Assam, put me in a comfort trance. I couldn't be more pleased with this Tea.   

Comments: I'll have another cup please....actually make that two - I don't plan on going to bed anytime soon, Last Comic Standing starts in 10 minutes!

Yours Truly

Dry Leaves of the Earl Grey Citrus

In goes the boiling water!

It steeps as I get ancy...then again whats new?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Boston Tea Company: Package Arrival

Good Morning Everyone!

Just a quick little post due to the unheard of excitement level at 9am on this Sunny Saturday Morning. My package arrived yesterday evening from The Boston Tea Company. I couldn't open the box fast enough... sorta like the voting out of Kate Gosselin on Dancing with the Star - let the torture be over!

After getting my hot little hands got into the box - I could smell the aromas teasing me taste buds from the box. Oh Boy!!!??!! When I got it open, I noticed that all packages were tightly sealed with reinforcement - I concluded it was just my wild imagination playing smelling games on me.

Adorned with a sweet note from the Company - addressed to me personally, I may add! I cannot wait to brew my first cup! Stay tuned for a week full of Tastings, Tasting, Tasting!

Yours Truly

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tea Tasting Notes: Maple Black Tea

Three weeks back, my sister-in-law told me of a place she wanted to take me to. A Teashop that served a long list of Tea's and a just as lengthy list of Desserts. As if she didn't already have me at "Tea" the Desserts were icing on the cake (seriously - no pun intended)! She went onto explain how it was like English Teashop meets City Goth - As abstractly awkward as that picture looked in my head - I just knew it would be Amazing!

Last night, I met Jennyfer at Sweet Revenge for 8:00pm. Our much anticipated Evening Tea Date had arrived. I had been overly excited all day, dreaming up what the shop might look of. Upon arrival I was completely taken back. It was quaint, cute and extremely inviting. Walked into a dimly lite and which what felt like a vintage living room - I was completely comforted by the elegantly laid back feeling the room gave. I walked to the front counter to request a table for two, and a lovely man, adorned with a red apron took me to a little metal, Paris inspired, table in the corner. Lite merely by a candle, I sat down, waiting for my company to arrive.

Jennyfer arrived and I had already went over the Menu a good four times... my heart screaming for Earl Grey, I knew better than to listen to its dying wish as its always my "go to" leaves. I chose the Maple Black Tea as I knew I wanted to review it on Lah Tea Dah. Jennyfer chose the Rooibos Bourbon Street Vanilla and we were both ecstatic with our choices. Having made the drive all the way out to Vancouver (its really not that far, twenty minutes maybe - I just like to think I had a good enough excuse to be eating such rich decadence with having not gone to the gym in three weeks) I felt as though I earned a piece of cake, and by piece of cake I mean two. Jennyfer and I both ordered one and shared - so really I only had half of both which in total is only one. Right??!!??  

Tea Name: Maple

Tea Type: Black Tea

Tea Tasting Location: Sweet Revenge; a quaint little Teashop on Main Street.

Sweet Revenge
4160 Main Street
Vancouver, British Columbia

Tea Accompaniments: A Sprinkle of Sugar and a Dollop of Cream 

Leave Rating: 4.6
5 being the best - 1 being the worst

Liquor Color: Soft but a Rich Bark Brown (yes - I do mean bark. As in off a tree, where you might get maple syrup from...catch my drift)

Aroma: Sweet Buttery Caramelized Maple. Sweet Baby Jesus, do not wake me from this Dream! (Thank You Talladega Nights!)

Taste: A Smooth, sense waking touch of Maple in every sip. Soft yet Bold, Creamy yet Rich. I vote for the Maple Black Tea to be staple leaves in any Canadian tea cupboard. Eh!

Comments: I accompanied this beverage with two slices of Cake.....I explained myself already damn it - its technically only one! Mine was the Zuccotto (a domed cake, featuring liqueur-soaked sponge cake and layers of fresh berry mousse and chocolate mousse, covered with dark chocolate ganache) and Jennyfers was the Chocolate Gateau (flourless chocolate cake with a hazelnut center and a hint of raspberry jam)......These delightful little gems were like complete bliss to my taste buds. Some what of a similar reaction that my body has when it hears that Gucci is having a sample sale - Sweet Baby Jesus help me not get violent (again, Thank You Will Farrell)!

Yours Truly

Our Table as it looked upon arrival

The list-o Tea's served at Sweet Revenge..oh yeah! and they have other beverages too, like coffee and stuff *teehee* blah blah blah!

Tea...served in a cute little french press, well isn't that so lah-tea-dah!

Jennyfer's Slice of Heaven (Chocolate Gateau) ...

and mine (Zuccotto)!

Thank you Jennyfer - for taking my picture!

The view from our table for two

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Teatulia for President!

This morning I stumbled across an Brilliant yet extremely eye-opening Article written by Jessica Howell writer of The Atlanta Motherhood Examiner. This Article is called "My Introduction to Tea" and it does a great deal of light shedding on just how amazing the Tea Company Teatulia really is.

The Article was written from information Jessica had gathered straight from a Farmer of Teatulia. As Jessica just learnt (and now me) Teatulia Farmer is a sales and demo representative for the company.

Besides learning that I am joined by many mothers in the South when mailing Invitations out for Birthday Tea Parties (only difference is I am mailing them out for my 27th and Mama South for their daughters 5th - damn it!) I learnt a great deal about the company that the world needs to know about.

Let me quote some of Jessica's Article:

Teatulia's all organic garden was started to empower the women in the region, Katie explains to me. "As a co-op, each family is given a cow and plots of land to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs. But more important than the tangible items provided, they learn organic farming skills. This means their products are healthier, are of higher quality, and can fetch more in the local market if they choose to sell outside the co-op. So far, over 1,200 people live there with only about half of the owned acres planted."

With a mission like that, it's hard for me to believe that Teatulia hasn't gotten more press or industry coverage.

"The garden is based in Bangladesh, which is a fairly new region for growing tea," explains Katie. "It's located in the region of “Tetulia” and is near Assam and Darjeerling, India, so the tea is more similar than that from China or Japan. Tea is like wine -- it varies based on climate, soil, and farming method. This tea is grown using the 'do nothing' farming method developed by Masanobu Fukuoka and results in an extremely clean, pure taste."

Jessica is absolutely right - its a shame that Teatulia has not been more widely covered in the press. Teatulia should be known for how they grow their product and just how many families in Bangladesh have enriched lives because of them. 

Please, spread the word! Let your next sip be one from Teatulia!

Yours Truly

Photo Courtesy of Katie Lewis; Teatulia Farmer

Photo Courtesy of Katie Lewis; Teatulia Farmer

Photo Courtesy of Katie Lewis; Teatulia Farmer

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gloomy Tuesday - Giggles Wanted!

On this gloomy Tuesday, I am struggling to stay awake...I need a giggle!
Therefore - I tried to find a picture online about Tea that made me burst out with smiles and loudness! In only a few minutes look what I found.... tell me this doesn't make you randomly smile?

Then I thought to myself, "oh man, what about those crazy Coffee drinkers out there that need a Giggle on this Gloomy Tuesday?"
I searched high and low, left and right, this site and that, is what I came up with, just as funny and extremely true.

Now just you remember....I taught you this valuable information you will take through life. You heard it here my friends!

PS: I am anticipating many packages in the mail at the moment and I should have some serious Tasting Reviews coming up very soon. So be back...I promise you won't wanna miss 'em!

Yours Truly

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Raspberry Pickin' Sunday

"Are you sure Tairalyn? I don't think these are good to eat? They don't look like the normal shape of a Raspberry! And feel them, they don't squish like a Raspberry! I don't think these are good Babe....Let's just leave them! You promise your not going to eat them and die?"

You know how they say opposites attract.........well lets just say I don't worry too much about anything! Ha Ha

Sammy and I spent a lot of time in our backyard this weekend - Sammy was tearing down the deck as I propped up a Lawn Chair and.......watched! I'm best as spectator. I take pictures, I get beverages when they are needed, I wipe faces with cold clothes when one is sweaty, and I even give advise on how to use tools I don't even know the names of. I'm a Class 1 Spectator and proud of it!

Once Sammy felt as he had done enough damage on the deck for the weekend, we took a much needed break. I was tired from all that shopping...Oh yeah! I forgot to mention, after 30 minutes of spectating, I decided to head out to the Fabric Store and see if I couldn't find some cute Summery Fabric to design with. I felt very artistic at that, not so much.

Sunday, we cleaned up after the deck demolition. After a good 20 loads back and forth from back to front where to trailer was parked - we sure were tired! Walking to and from, to and from, with so much repetition, I caught myself day dreaming with wandering eyes over the back fence. I could hear bunches of ruby red Raspberries, calling my name! Upon finishing our last load I made the great suggestion..... shall we pick some Raspberries? With his scrap Metal Pole in hand, off we went. I think he liked the idea of whacking the bushes out of our way more than the actual picking and consumption of the berries........

We are now back inside, cleaned up and relaxing from an extremely busy weekend......I sure am looking forwarding to savoring my Ruby Red's after dinner. And by "I am looking forward", I mean me, by my lonesome. Something tells me Sammy won't be joining me!

Yours Truly

He may look excited about Raspberry Pickin' but my guess is it only because he's whacking bushes left, right and center! 

1 for the Bucket....2 for me....1 for the Bucket....3 for me

Snoopy McSnoopsters checking out the Ruby Red's! 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tea Tasting Notes: Strawberry Kiwi Herbal Tea

I wake this morning, a little groggy. And by "a little groggy" I mean in complete disarray. Call my grand mama - but last night I was out until 1:30am and apparently my body is punishing me for such abuse and lack of z's it got.

"Sorry achy, sleepy, angry body, let me sweeten your soul with a warm sip of this morning wine"

Tea Name: Strawberry Kiwi Herbal Tea 
* purchased from The Secret Garden Tea Company in Kerrisdale

Tea Type: Fruit Herbal Tea

Tea Tasting Location: Tired!. says location not mood.... in my Kitchen much too early for a photo (as you will see). Late night out at the Movies, home at 1:30am, I'd have to say though "get him to the greek" was so worth the black beauty marks under my eyes!

Tea Accompaniments: smells sweet enough!

Leave Rating: 2.7
5 being the best - 1 being the worst

Dry Leaf Appearance: Deep Green and Black curled leaves, Pieces of dried Fruit peppered my Tea Bag, it looked good enough to sprinkle on Ice Cream.

Wet Leaf Appearance: Large Green Beautiful Leaves., After soaking up the Water they expanded and turned more a rich Olive Green and Chocolate Brown.

Liquor Color: Sunshine Yellow. a Beautiful Bright Cornflower Yellow.

Aroma:  Sweet, Smooth, Comforting, Fruity. I have chosen to stop there (as I could go on for hours) only because I want to take the biggest sip it smells so heavenly. 

Taste: Sweet, at first sip (probably because I got a good sniff at the same time) however quickly mellowing out to a herbally after taste (for lack of professional words). For me, the smell was more of a pleasure than the sip. 

Comments: I bet this would be fabulous as an Iced Tea on a Hot Summer Day. I'm not a huge Herbal Tea drinker, as you can see in my past reviews on strictly Blacks and Greens however I will not doubt be re-trying this again once our patio renovations are completed in cool water topped with Ice Cubes. Yum!!!!

Leaves, pre-bath!

In goes the water!

Soaking while I salivate over the Aroma! What a Tease this Herbal Tea is!

Yours Truly
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