Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Tea Collection (Jan 2014)

Hello! I honestly don’t know if you’re interested in seeing how much teas I own, and which teas, but I thought it would be interesting, and I would be interested to read other people’s collections, so I thought I’d share. I love tea, and I have a lot. So here it is.

I figure I’ll separate it into two sections: bagged tea and loose leaf tea to make it a little tidier. So let’s get to it…!

Bagged Teas:

1. Stash Jasmine Blossom green tea:

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This is definitely one of my favourite kinds of tea, and this particular one is delicious. It just smells and tastes fantastic, floraly, and sweet even without sugar. So good and warming, but also great made cold in the summer! I’m running low on this tea, and only have a few bags left. I should really pick some more up!

2. Stash Cinnamon Vanilla rooibos tea:

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I got this tea for Christmas not this last Christmas but the year before. I think I drank maybe 2 or 3 cups of it, but I don’t really like it. I’ve pretty much decided that I don’t like rooibos teas, which is unfortunate, since vanilla and cinnamon are two flavours I greatly appreciate, so this tea should be perfect. Disappointing. I’ll probably try to pawn this stuff off on my sister or something.

3. Stash Pumpkin Spice decaf tea:

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This and the next tea has been a favourite for years, since my mom bought them one year as Christmas gifts. Each year I ration these slowly throughout the year so I never have to do without, since they are only available during the holiday season. This is your basic cinnamon-y pumpkin spice flavours. The decaf tea makes it a great before-bed drink, though it also seems to have a weaker tea flavour than regular black tea. Still good, though!

4. Stash Holiday Chai black tea:

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I love this one even more than the Pumpkin Spice one. This one isn’t decaf, so it’s more of a morning/during the day tea. But it is sooo good, and a really interesting take on regular chai tea. Along with the regular flavours you expect from a chai tea, this has the added flavours of rum and eggnog. So warming and delicious!

5. Stash Chamomile herbal tea:

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Classic bedtime tea! I personally feel like chamomile tea can help me go to sleep if I’m just not feeling tired, or feeling a bit restless before bed. However, I don’t like the flavour as much as I used to when I was younger, so I like to add a little milk and just a touch of sugar. I know it’s terrible for my teeth to have sugar right before falling asleep, but I swear it’s just a little to bring out the flavours in the tea. Plus hot milk is also good for sleeping, right? I’m not too attached to this particular brand of chamomile, but I do like Stash, so that’s probably why I chose this one.

6. Twinings Lady Grey tea:

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This is absolutely one of my favourite teas. As you may have guessed from the name, this is a bit of a take on regular Earl Grey tea, which is usually just a black tea scented with bergamot (and sometimes lavender?). This is a bergamot black tea as well, with the addition of lemon and orange flavours as well. It’s really fruity and delicious, and with cream and sugar it is almost like dessert, but it’s also bloody delicious black! Also, as a fun fact, the reason I was first drawn to this tea was when my mom got it one time years ago, and it just smelled strongly of Fruit Loops; I don’t know why it smells so much like Fruit Loops, but I love it… and I assure you, it does not taste like Fruit Loops!

7. Yama Moto Yama Genmai Cha (green tea with roasted brown rice):

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I got this tea after slowly learning to love this odd flavour by drinking it at tons of different Japanese restaurants. It’s a  bit of an acquired taste, I think, but it is really unique and tasty! It has a sweet, roasted flavour, and tastes great with all kinds of Asian food, or on its own.

8. Four O’Clock Peppermint organic herbal tea:

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I love peppermint tea, and I have several reasons. First, it’s really good for your stomach and digestion. Peppermint is also great for headaches, to which I am sometimes prone. Peppermint is also a nice, cooling, refreshing drink both hot and iced, especially when it’s hot outside, but it’s also comforting and warming when it’s cold. And finally, it’s a good caffeine-free drink for before bed. Nom.

9. Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane decaf green tea:

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This and the next tea I got just this past holiday season after seeing a display in a store. I am clearly susceptible to good marketing… and tea. Anways, this one is a delicious, naturally slightly sweet peppermint green tea blend, but without green tea’s usually caffine, which seems to be a bit of a thing for this brand. Still warming, comforting, and very Christmassy. Nom!

10. Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread Spice herbal tea:

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The Candy Cane Lane tea I actually got just because these were on a two-for-some-sale price, and this was the one that really intrigued me. And thus, it was also the one that disappointed me. It sounds great, right? Especially if you like Gingerbread Lattes, but the overarching flavour, at least in my opinion, is the odd chicory root in it. And it doesn’t have any tea flavour at all, which makes sense, considering it doesn’t contain tea. Even once I got over the shock, though, I find this tea hard to make taste really good. Plain, with sugar, with milk, with milk and sugar. I’m just not into it; someone else with probably end up drinking it.

11. Tetley Chai tea:

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Your regular every day chai; something I was craving this past Christmas, with all the holiday chai I was drinking. Nothing special, except that it’s super delicious without being anything more than the classic chai tea. Nom.

Loose Leaf Teas:

1. Soko Tea House Coconut Oolong tea:

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This is a delicious (have I said that word enough times in this post yet?), simple tea. It’s a green oolong tea flavoured with coconut, and it’s really comforting and light. It can be good with cream and/or sugar, but I prefer to drink it black, and these leaves are great even for multiple steepings, which is great! Also, this tea is so good that the leaves aren’t even bitter, so sometimes I put these loose right into my cup, and just keep pouring fresh hot water in! Yum!

2. DavidsTea The Earl’s Garden black tea:

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I believe this is the only loose leaf tea that I have so far repurchased. This was one of the first ones I tried when DavidsTea showed up in my mall, and I loooooove it! Its just like your basic Earl Grey, with black tea and bergamot, with cornflowers for colour (the blue pieces) and also strawberry bits, which gives this tea a sweet, fruity, delicious flavour, that tastes awesome any way you want to drink it! (Hot, iced, black, sweetned, with milk/cream, etc.) I definitely recommend it!

3. DavidsTea North African Mint green tea:

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This is a bit of an odd one, definitely not your average mint green tea, as it contains some regular ingredients of chai (cardamom, ginger, and cloves) as well as black pepper and liquorice root. The outcome is a spicy, unique mint tea. Addictive and warming, but I can get too much of this tea as well.

4. DavidsTea Forever Nuts “herbal” tea:

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This is a bit of a weird one. I first got it because it smelled fantastic, and the concept of making tea from pieces of nuts was intriguing. Also, the promise of pink tea was a big seller, to be honest. I only drink this tea with milk and sugar, it’s too fruity and herbal any other way, in my opinion. I’m also pretty sick of this tea, so I haven’t had it in a while. If I eventually finish it, I probably won’t bother repurchasing.

5. DavidsTea Salted Caramel black tea:

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I love salted caramel mochas and hot chocolate from Starbucks in the winter, so I was excited to find this at DavidsTea, and a tiny bit scared of the tea tasting too salty. But it isn’t overpowering at all. It’s just very satisfying; you probably couldn’t tell there was salt if you didn’t know, it just add something special to the flavour. It’s also not too sweet, but this is another tea that I prefer with milk and a bit of sugar.

6. Dragon Pearl Jasmine green tea (don’t remember where it’s from!):

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This is a delicious and expensive jasmine green tea that I got in Chinatown in Vancouver, but I can’t remember the name of the store. I really love the flavour, and that the leaves allow for at least two good steepings, but aside from that, I don’t think it’s worth the price. I love jasmine tea, but DavidsTea and Stash, among many others, sell perfectly good, and much more affordable options.

7. DavidsTea Matcha “Matsu” green tea:

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For the longest time I was resistant to stuff like green tea lattes and green tea frappucinos, but after trying Matcha KitKats (Japanese, hard to find in Vancouver, and expensive when you find them) I had to try matcha! It’s a little tricky mixing this finely milled powdered tea into water at first, but once you get the hang of it, this is fantastic! Just on its own in hot water, it gives a rich green tea flavour (and full of antioxidants, since you’re drinking the whole leaf!), but my favourite way to drink it is mixed into milk or made very strong in hot water and then mixing it with vanilla steamed milk for a latte. My Vanilla Matcha latte also tastes almost exactly like a green tea KitKat! Mmm…

8. DavidsTea Green & Fruity rooibos tea:

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This tea was part of the DavidsTea starter kit my boyfriend bought me when the store had first opened, and this is probably my least favourite thing from the kit. I don’t really like the flavour of rooibos teas, and since it’s a grass and not technically a tea, the tiny stick-like leaves always escape the tea ball and find their way into your mouth. Gross.

9. DavidsTea Red Velvet Cake black tea:

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Since taking these pictures, I actually gave the rest of this tea to my sister, but I thought I’d review it anyways, since I have the pictures ready.  You might notice that this tea has sprinkles and bits of chocolate and white chocolate in it. It’s not a bad tea, but I don’t love my tea this sweet, and I don’t like the texture that the melted chocolate and sprinkles gave the tea. It almost feels rough to me. Weird. I won’t be repurchasing.

10. DavidsTea Buttered Rum organic black tea:

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I really loved this tea when I first bought it, but I’m kinda over it now, so I’ve been working through the rest of it slowly. It smells very rum-y, but the actual flavour seems to me to just be sweet and a little weird. I have found, however, that if you make this milky and sugary, and add just a little real rum it can be quite good.

11. Teavana Strawberry Lemonade herbal tea:

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The people at Teavana are pretty pushy, so I won’t buy from them any more, but I do really love this and the next tea together. I bought them at the same time, as it was one of the combinations they had to sample in store one day I went in. After trying really hard to sell me on tins for these which I had to say no to several times, as well as trying to sell me way more of each tea than I wanted (which I also declined), I was not impressed with the service. That said, these two teas mixed into cold water with some plain syrup (I make my own with hot water and sugar) and left to sit overnight make a fantastic, sweet, almost juice flavoured tea which is fantastic in the summer! This one on it’s own is exactly what the name suggests.

12. Teavana Blueberry Bliss rooibos tea:

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This one is another rooibos, so I don’t love it much on it’s own, but the blueberries add a yummy sweetness to the strawberry lemonade when the two are mixed together.

13. DavidsTea Glitter & Gold black tea:

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This is probably my most recent addition to my collection, and it was actually my best friend who tried it first, and it was because of her that I fell in love with it. Not only does this have a yummy, sweet vanilla-y cinnamon flavour (somewhat like a vanilla chai), but the gold sugar balls actually melt in the hot water to make your tea SHIMMER! And who doesn’t want their tea to be beautiful and glittery? I know I do. Even using milk in this tea doesn’t cover up the shimmeriness, which is great, because this makes a delicious, comforting tea latte!

2 comments:

  1. Yes, the Teavana thing, they really need to calm down! I have all of one tea from them but I won't go back, it is not a "fun" experience, I feel like a walking wallet in that store. Also,a) teas make really pretty pictures and b) you make me really want to like matcha! :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really like matcha, but I can see how some people wouldn't. It did grow on me, though, so there's that.

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