Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Halloween Tea Fun Finds At Davids Tea

Karen here and today I am talking about the fun Halloween Themed Teas that Davids Tea has this year.  Davids does a good job of making each holiday so much fun and brings the flavors of the season in with each event. I loved the Davids book of Spells! This is  a six tea sampler that includes such fun named teas as Witches Brew, Pumpkin Chai and Stormy night. This sampler is priced at $20 and can be viewed by clicking here.

For those with a slightly higher Halloween Tea budget I loved this Haunted Castle set. Mug and tea included for $38 Click here for the site listing.
Stormy Night Haunted Mug changes color as the tea steeps! 

I would love to have you over for tea daily at 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Tea Quiz Answers

So, how did you do on the little tea quiz I posted last week? Was it easy? Difficult? Here are the answers.

1. Black tea is called red tea in China.

2. Black, green, and white teas are all created from the Camellia Sinensis plant.
TRUE. The differences come in the processing of the leaves, and in the case of matcha the growing as well. 

3. White teas have no oxidation.
FALSE White teas do have minimal oxidation while green teas generally have none.

4. Lapsang Souchong was first created in India.
FALSE Lapsang Souchong was created accidentally in China.

5. Laura Childs writes the Tea Shop Mystery series.
TRUE. Death by Darjeeling, the first book in the Tea Shop Mystery series was published in 2001. Devonshire Scream, the 17th book was released earlier this year.

6. In matcha the tea leaves are ground into a fine powder so you actually ingest the whole leaf.
TRUE You actually consume the whole leaf as opposed to steeping it and drinking the resulting liquid.

7. Gong Fu Cha means preparing tea with great effort and skill.
TRUE It's a wonderful meditative process.

8. Orange Pekoe is flavored with oranges.
FALSE No oranges are involved with producing Orange Pekoe. The name comes from the Dutch royals from the House of Orange who received the Bai Hao type of tea when it was first brought to Europe.

9. All teas should be steeped in boiling water.
FALSE The temperature of the water depends on the type of tea being steeped. Black teas use boiling water.

10. Tea contains antioxidants.
TRUE. Unadulterated teas are a most healthy drink!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Murchie's Vanilla Black Tea

This past Saturday I treated myself to 2 ounces of Murchie's Vanilla Black tea. I love a creamy black tea and part of what I find makes a creamy tea best is the flavor of vanilla. I do not add cream or sugar to my tea and prefer to enjoy it on it's own. I was very pleased with this full and well rounded Ceylon tea. This tea did not feel like a dessert tea as some vanilla teas do this tea was like a warm hug in a cup! Paired great with my strawberry rhubarb pie as well!
I am thrilled to have found a tea I can add to my list of favorites and one that I can find locally too! Murchie's is a tea company I have come to trust over the years and I love to go into the store. If you can not make it in store you can find Murchie's on line by clicking here. 
I would love to have you over for a cup of tea daily at

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Tea Quiz

Just for grins, I thought I'd post a little tea test to see if you've been reading our posts as well as checking some tea knowledge.

True or False

1. Black tea is called red tea in China.

2. Black, green, and white teas are all created from the Camellia Sinensis plant.

3. White teas have no oxidation.

4. Lapsang Souchong was first created in India.

5. Laura Childs writes the Tea Shop Mystery series.

6. In matcha the tea leaves are ground into a fine powder so you actually ingest the whole leaf.

7. Gong Fu Cha means preparing tea with great effort and skill.

8. Orange Pekoe is flavored with oranges.

9. All teas should be steeped in boiling water.

10. Tea contains antioxidants.

How did you do? I hope you had fun with this little tea test. I'll post the answers in an upcoming post.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Afternoon Tea At The Secret Garden Tea Room

Karen here. Yesterday my friend Daniela took me for high tea at The Secret Garden Tea Room in Vancouver, B.C's,  Kerrisdale neighborhood. I have never been to this tea room and it was a complete treat.
We had the most delicious savories and sweets as well as two types of tea.

I loved my Paragon Tea Cup, it was a lovely shade of blue and my friend's cup was a Royal Albert that is a favorite.
Both teas we chose were black teas, their Avalon blend was a very floral black tea with rose, bergmot and vanilla. The other was a peach black tea that was very good.
The sandwiches we enjoyed were a croissant with tuna, avocado and black olive tapenade, very different flavors but the sandwich we enjoyed the most. The small bite sized chicken and pea sandwiches on baking powder biscuts were also very good. In the middle of the sandwich plate was fancy rolled grainy dijion mustard egg sandwich.
Layer two had scones with clotted cream and jam along with the most moist chocolate zucchini bread with a hint of espresso, this was a lovely course! Our top tear held a lemon tart, a cream brule and a chocolate pumpkin pie. I was very impressed with this tea room. My friend who had been to The Secret Garden before said that the previous tea room had been located a few blocks away but it was much smaller and more cozy. This tea room has very high ceilings and was very loud, it was also very busy.  I would say that this high tea has a particularly great menu and is priced very competitively to other tea rooms in Vancouver. While it is not a cozy spot, it was a delightful place to spend time with a wonderful friend. If you are ever in Vancouver BC, I hope you will consider trying this or one of our other fine tearooms.
I would love to have you over for tea daily at 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Crazy Rumors

I don't know about you, but I love lip balm. I wear lipstick and lip gloss, but I always keep a lip balm in my pocket and refresh my lips with it through out my work day. I don't know how or why, but these balms always seem to disappear, so I'm always on the lookout for more.

I saw a Facebook advertisement for Crazy Rumors, a company that makes 100% natural lip balms that are also cruelty free as well as vegan. They have all sorts of flavors from seasonal candy corn to ginger ale, in all sorts of categories such as ice cream flavors and bubble gum flavors. They also have tea flavors! That's what got me to try them.

In their tea category they offer:

Spiced Chai - "an exotic blend of savory cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla & ginger"
P-Mint Lemongrass - "refreshing citrus and cooling peppermint"
Apple Spice - "sweet apple and savory cinnamon"
Orange Bergamot - "just like a cuppa Earl Grey tea!"

These lip balms are wonderful! Reasonably priced, they go on smoothly, are not sticky, make my lips soft, and taste delicious! Of the tea flavors, I'm currently using the Orange Bergamot and I love it! Portable tea in a balm! If you use lip balms you owe it to yourself to try Crazy Rumors. Check out their website and you can order right online! Be sure to let me know which flavors you try (I know you won't be able to choose just one flavor!).

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Walkers Shortbread Cookies My Favorite Tea Time Treat!

Karen here and this week the young royal family came to visit the West Coast of Canada where I live. The Royal's arrived here in Vancouver on Sunday and were only about 15 minutes from my home. Such a treat to have them visit, I am a very large fan of the Royal Family and in honor of their visit I am going to talk about some of my favorite tea time cookies.

On my table this week thanks to a friend of my mother in law, were the Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread cookies embossed with the Union Jack. These are my most favorite tea time cookie!
Call them a shortbread, biscuit or sable it really doesn't matter but the all butter shortbread Walkers cookies truly enhance the flavor of my Earl Gray Tea's. Don't believe me? I challenge everyone of you to try! These are the best cookies for dunking in your tea, they don't fall apart and the butter cookies dipped in tea take on the most wonderful black tea and floral notes.  You can find Walkers Shortbread Cookies almost everywhere here in Canada but I swear the ones that are brought back to me directly from England always taste better!
You can order on line directly from Walkers and learn more about their delightful cookies by clicking here.
You can also order them on Amazon by clicking here.
I would love to have you over for tea daily at 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tea Cup Creations

I recently saw this picture on Pinterest and repinned it. Sadly, it was just a picture, no link with credit or how to instructions. But isn't this a great idea? Wouldn't this light fixture be so cute? I know I'd live to have it!
I also saw this cute idea for a candle holder. Nice for pillar candles. This picture is from

Architecture Art Designs gives 40 ways to reuse tea cups artistically.
Above is one of my favorites!

Have you ever tried getting crafty with teacups?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

For Tea's Sake Teas

Karen here and this weekend I was in my local Halmark Card Store and found a display of loose leaf teas called For Teas Sake. This line of loose leaf teas was priced around $10 Canadian and had quite a large selection. I was very pleased when I was given a sample to take home and try from their line. I chose the Classic Black Shades of Earl Grey.
I was very excited to not only see the teas with their eye catching tins but to smell the testers as well.
I loved the names and two of my favorites were the afternoon escape which was a black tea with hints of black berrry. The let's get cozy tea is also on my list! This black tea contains cinnamon, orange, lemon balm, lime leaves, star anise and cardamom.
Getting back to the Shades of Earl Grey Black tea I sampled, this was a very clean tasting and not a citrus flavored Earl Grey. It was a full flavored black tea with out a strong bergmot after taste. I think this tea is priced competitively and I like that I can find it locally at my Halmark Store, you can also find it on line by clicking here.
I would love to have you over for tea daily at

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Southerners are Pretty Religious, "Our Tea is sweet, our words are long, days are warm and our Faith is strong".

In a recent Gallop poll
About 40 percent of Americans said they were "very religious," meaning religion is an important part of their daily life and that they attend religious services every week or nearly every week. Some 31 percent indicated they were nonreligious, or that religion wasn't an important part of their daily life and they seldom or never attend such services.

Top 10 most religious states

Mississippi: 58 percent report being very religious
Utah: 56 percent
Alabama: 56 percent
Louisiana: 53 percent
Arkansas: 52 percent
South Carolina: 52 percent
Tennessee: 50 percent
North Carolina: 50 percent
Georgia: 48 percent
Oklahoma: 48 percent

In the poll. , based on over 350,000 interviews, Mississippians were found to be the most religious state.
85% of Mississippians answered “yes” when asked: “Is religion an important part of your daily life?” Joining the Magnolia State in the “most religious” states were other “Bible Belt” states : Alabama (82%), South Carolina (80%), Tennessee ( 79%), Louisiana (78%) and Arkansas (78%)
Vermont, with less than half of those interviewed (42%) answering the same question in the affirmative was noted as the “least religious.”
Overall, Gallup researchers found that 65% of all Americans said religion is important in their everyday lives.

Other than God and church services , if you weren't already aware, Southerners are pretty religious about a few other other things...mainly Manners,
(College) Football and Sweet Tea !

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems   
" a celebration of the south and things southern"
"Meet Mississippi Through Poetry, Prose and The Written Word"

Thursday, September 15, 2016

New Tea Exploration with Davids Teas

Now that I'm more "into" teas, I love looking at new tea types and eagerly buy more and different varieties. While I buy a lot of fine tea, pure camellia sinensis from tea estates, I also enjoy fun flavoured teas and tisanes. I truly believe you can love it all!

While looking through my timeline on Facebook I saw an ad for Davids Teas. Yes, Big Brother knows I'm a tea lover. If you read this blog, you know that Karen is a huge fan of Davids Teas, which is local to her, and has written several reviews. So I clicked on the link and was brought to their Honeycrisp Apple tea. The temperatures here are just starting to cool and I'm so looking forward to autumn, my favorite time of year.

From their website:

"Is there any activity more whole heartedly autumnal than apple picking? Not that we can think of. And when it comes to apples, the Honeycrisp is king. Juicy, sweet and full of flavour, it’s a fall treat we look forward to every year. And this refreshing, fruit-packed tea is just like biting into a fresh Honeycrisp straight off the tree. Whether you drink it straight up or spike it with a splash of bourbon, it’s the perfect way to bring the orchard home. Oh honey!"

OK, they had me at "spike it with a splash of bourbon"!

While Davids is a Canadian tea company, they do ship to all of North America, so I'm in luck. And, to get free shipping I plan on ordering more than just the Honeycrisp Apple. Perhaps some Pom Cider, keeping with that fall apple theme. I love grapes...and it is harvest time, so maybe some Grape Freeze. Or perhaps English Toffee...made with Pu'eh? That will probably make it in the basket. A more traditional tea, for me at any rate is the Wild Black Yunnan, no funky flavours here. And how could I possibly not try their Lapsang Souchong Star?

Do you order teas online? Have you tried Davids Teas? Are you adventurous when it comes to teas, or are you a purist?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Thay Tea A Beautiful Tea Lovers Oaisis In Ucluete BC, Canada

This past weekend I found myself several hours and miles from home on Vancouver Island and staying in a tiny oasis on the West Coast of Canada called Ucluelet (You-Q-Let) or Ukee (You-Key) to the locals. We went for an amazing family surfing weekend in near by Tofino, put on by SUPA (Surfs Up  For Autism) and Rip Curl   we had a blast. While we were staying in and exploring Ucluelet I came across a wonderful tea shop called Thay Tea. 

This small but impressive tea shop carries pure, organic and ethically sourced loose leaf teas as well as tea wares and hosts a small tea bar area. As black tea and creamy Earl Grey Teas are amoung my current teas of choice I brought home 50 grams of their  Organic Double Cream Earl Grey. This tea has a very smooth and has a subtle bergamot flavor. It is a full, rich creamy vanilla black tea that I truly have enjoyed.  I drink my tea black and this tea has a lovely balance and perfect for afternoon tea.

While visiting the store I asked about ordering and was pleased to know they have a wonderful website and that they even split the shipping costs on their tea for their customers. So even if you can not get to the Vancouver Island Oasis known as Ukee, you can bring some of Ukee home for your afternoon teas. Learn more about Thay Tea by clicking here to visit their website.
If you happen to find yourself on Vancouver Island or are planing a trip to visit Tofino or Ucluete make sure you stop at Thay Tea. 
I would love to have you over for tea daily at 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tea Ramblings

While it's rainy on the west coast for Karen, it's still scorching hot on the east coast for me. I'm beyond ready for autumn and the cooler temperatures that it brings.

I have been drinking a variety of tea. Yesterday I enjoyed some hot tea at the soft opening of my friend Niraj's new Tea Bar, Leaf: Himalayan Imperial Second Flush. When I returned home I had some of the iced tea I had made the other day: Raspberry Rendezvous by London Fruit & Herb Company. It's actually a tisane of hibiscus, apple pomace, blackberry leaves, raspberry juice, raspberries, rosehips and more. Today I went for dinner with a friend and had the house made iced tea. I'm not sure what it was other than unsweetened black tea, but it was cold and tasty. And now I think I'm going to have a tea popsicle. I got another variety of the Brewla tea popsicles. This time I found The Hero: cherry pomegranate and red tea. This is another tisane and tastes more of cherry than anything else, but tasty and only 45 calories, so a nice snack, especially on a hot day.

What about you? Do you mix up your teas, or tend to stick with one type for a period of time? What have you been drinking lately?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Afternoon Pick Me Up With Pukka Gorgeous Earl Grey

September is a week old and the rain has returned here to the wet west coast making for perfect tea and reading weather for me. My neighbor and her son stopped over and brought me tea on September 2nd and today I am sharing my review of Pukka Gorgeous Earl Grey Tea.
This fairtrade tea is new to me and it was such a delight to dive into!
The packaging and the name of this tea do it justice. First few sips I was impressed with the clean and almost velvety taste of Earl Grey. It is delicate and only a hint of equally balanced flavors of the Dunsandle and Darjelling black teas.

Cup after cup of this delicious tea was a delight and the perfect lift in my afternoon spirits. Learn more about the Pukka Brand and their Gorgeous Earl Grey by clicking here. I will be tucking a few bags of this tea in to my tea wallet and taking them with me where ever I go, that way I am never with out a truly perfect tea.
I would love to have you over for tea daily at 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Tea Quote - C.E. Murphy, Urban Shaman

“In Ireland, you go to someone's house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you're really just fine. She asks if you're sure. You say of course you're sure, really, you don't need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don't need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn't mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it's no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting.

In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don't get any damned tea.

I liked the Irish way better.”

 C.E. Murphy, Urban Shaman 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Life By The Cup, A Book Review

Karen here and my friend Lisa sent me Zhena Muzyka's Insperational book Life By The Cup. Zhena is the founder of the Zhena's Gypsy Tea line.  This book is part memoir, part inspirational and motivational self-help book. I was beyond thrilled with the book. The messages and the struggles that Zhena received and went through made this book a truly fascinating read.  As a tea lover, woman and mother this book truly spoke to me. It was the type of book you could pick up and read a chapter at a time or one you could truly dive into and read cover to cover. I believe that this book should be on every tea lover's shelf and is a great guide to life.
"[Zhena] Muzyka's charisma leaps off the pages of this unconventional, touching, and personal guide to success" ("Publishers Weekly"), featuring seventeen soulful lessons and simple rituals for finding your life's purpose, improving your relationships, and becoming healthier--all in the time it takes to drink a cup of tea. Drawing on lessons she's learned throughout her amazing and sometimes difficult life journey, the social entrepreneur and founder of Zhena's Gypsy Tea shares seventeen soulful lessons to help you overcome obstacles, clarify your purpose, and bring awareness to each moment of your life. An inspiring roadmap for discovering the secrets of happiness and success for yourself at any stage in life, "Life By the Cup"'s message is that, no matter where you are, you can change your circumstances and live your dreams. As a twenty-four-year-old single mom, Zhena had an infant in need of life-saving surgery and only six dollars in her wallet. She also had two other powerful motivators: hope and a passion to share her unique tea blends with the world. Combining her kitchen hobby of blending tea, her knowledge of herbs and aromatherapy, and her gypsy grandmother's wisdom, Zhena started selling custom teas from a cart on California street corners. Now, over a decade later, her son is healthy and Zhena's Gypsy Tea is a multimillion-dollar brand. Zhena's insights and gentle guidance will inspire you to increase your compassion toward others as well as yourself. You'll also gain wisdom on how to hone your intuition, ask for help, and live out your true purpose without drastically changing the way you live. Discover your calling, bolster your courage, develop your own flavor of success, and you'll see your own passion make a meaningful difference in the world.

Last fall I went to camp with one of my sons and the camp mess hall offered guests this wonderful line of teas. I was thrilled to be able to find it here in Canada at Whole Foods, and when I was traveling in the USA I found it at World Market. You can also find it on line by clicking here. My favorite was the Raspberry Earl and one I highly recommend. These are organic and ethically sourced teas. You can learn more about these teas by visiting Zhena's website by clicking here.
If you are in Canada you can order a copy of her book Life By The Cup with free shipping from The Book Depository by clicking here
In the USA you can order it on Amazon by clicking here. 
I would love to have you over for tea daily at 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Cooking with Tea

I first heard about cooking with tea from Chef Ming Tsai. I remember being intrigued by the recipes, although I never made them. Now cooking with tea is all the rage from using matcha in smoothies and ice cream to tea brining your fried chicken!

I guess 7 is a lucky number. The Bon Appetit Test Kitchen offers an article on how to cook with tea in its article 7 Unexpected Ways to Cook With Tea from Pasta to Pudding. Meanwhile Serious Eats offers 7 Ways to Cook With Tea Leaves. Doing some searching I may have found that long ago tea recipe from Ming Tsai: Tea Braised Hanger Steak with Root Vegetables.

Personally I'd like to try the Smoked Tea Duck recipe from Sunset Magazine.

What about you? Have you ever cooked with tea? Feel free to share your recipes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Visit To The Stash Tea Store In Oregon

Karen here. This passed week I have been in the state of Oregon. My husband and I took a week away and indulged in the many amazing and wonderful book stores, record stores and tea offerings in and around the Portland Area. I was thrilled to be able to stop at the Stash Tea retail store and pick up some teas I can not get at home.
Stash has two stores in Oregon, we stopped at the store on Durham, it was on the smaller side of what I expected having been at the Celestial Seasonings Store last year, but this store has so much to offer. I tasted three of the teas they were offering that day and filled my basket with some delightful new to me flavors I can not wait to try when I get home. Some I bought loose leaf while others I bought in the pre packaged sachets.
I am anxious to try each of these teas and share the review with you. I am on a lavender kick right now and found that each of the three boxed teas have lavender in them and I have already had a few bags of each. I feel that the Breakfast in Paris tea is my favorite so far. A very calming yet strong black tea is perfect for morning tea and reads!
The staff at the Stash tea store were helpful and very knowledgeable it was a delight to be in the store in person and you can order on line in loose leaf or boxed teas at very reasonable prices. Click here to learn more about Stash Tea's on line Store and the store fronts here in Oregon. 
If you find yourself in Oregon, this is a store you will want to go out of your way to visit!
I would love to have you join me for tea daily over at