Holiday Gifts for Your Tea Lover

 

The DelecTEAble Gift Giving Guide 2014

Yes, yes it IS that time of year again – the holidays are fast approaching! If you have tea lovers on your list to shop for, look no further. We’ve got you covered, from small stocking stuffer ideas, hostess gifts and splurges too boot! Check out out gift giving guide to help you find the perfect gift for your favorite tea-freak :)

 

Stocking Stuffers (starting you off small)

AlmighTea Bag

The AlmighTea Bag – the reuseable tea bag found at Stashtea.com is both handy and cool, not to mention a time saver for busy tea drinkers

Tea Cozy Travel Mug

A funny travel mug tea cozy from Etsy.com. There are lots of options to chose from so you can find just the right thing to say to your tea lover!

Tea mug cozy

A charming tea mug cozy from Etsy.com for the at home or at work tea drinker. this is just the cutest thing!

 

Hostess Gifts

Rishi White Tea

Rishi White Tea Sampler - It’s organic, unique and so delicious. Make sure your hostess knows how much you appreciate his/her hospitality. White is much less common compared to green or black, giving this sampler something extra special.

Davids Tea Scented Candle

David’s Tea scented candle, need I say more? Nope!

 

Holiday Gifts

Stash Tea Sampler

Stash Tea year of tea sampler: So. Much. Tea. 500+ tea bags. Not the best for loose leaf tea drinkers, but great for people on the go or for folks preferring bagged tea.

Foxy Tea Cozy

The Foxy Tea Cozy from Etsy.com is so cute AND it helps keep tea warm! Totally adorbs, right?!

This KitchenAid Electric Kettle found at Amazon.com - it has temperature control and 1.7L capacity. Tea lovers like to steep tea precisely and they like a lot of it!

For hot water the old fashioned way.  A Le Creuset teakettle from Amazon.com makes great gift for the tea traditionalist. We LOVE this color, but keep in mind there are other lovely (though, less awesome) colors available.

And last bit certainly not least…

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Anything from Joseph Wesley Black Tea.  We suggest the 06 Bai Lin Congfu or the 07 Lapsang Souchon, but really, it is ALL fantastic tea.

 

Happy shopping tea friends!  Please leave us comments if you have great gift ideas too.

Review: Green Terrace Teas Eastern Beauty Oolong

Green Terrace Tea  - Easter Beauty

Abby says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

I love the way this tea smells, when it’s dry and as it steeps. It has a wonderful roasty-toasty aroma that reminds me of delicious foods like chocolate and roasted nuts. Eastern Beauty from Green Terrace fits the bill for a traditional oolong in taste, but has its own uniqueness too. There’s enjoyable depth of flavor, dry at the front and ending with an earthy, slightly sweet floral, honey finish. A good oolong tea is great for the cold weather because it has a full body, hearty taste and a warming quality to it – almost like drinking this tea gives you the feeling of warming up by a wood-stove or fireplace.

If you are looking for something to warm up with this winter and you think that “pumpkin spices” things have jumped the shark, give this tasty oolong a try!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

 

 

Save $5 on tea

Take this survey and save $5 on your next Republic of Tea order. :)

http://survey.republicoftea.com/projects/p23268_trot/display_question.asp?email_address=DAS2ms

Ice Wine Tea

Ice wine is a dessert wine made from frozen grapes. It’s the right time of year to talk about it because the grapes are harvested after they freeze on the vines with the first frost. Because the grapes stay on the vines so long they’re super sugary and make a thick almost syrup-like wine.

You can read more about an Ice wine made in the finger lakes here:

http://www.wagnervineyards.com/index.cfm?method=storeproducts.showdrilldown&productid=E567F772-FDC6-9992-F245-EC1944555121&isMarketingURL=1

Naturally, since I knew about ice wine I found the idea of ice wine tea intriguing. Which leads us to today’s review:

Overall rating: 

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves a decent tasty tea
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged tea
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: with honey

As you’ll see when you read on I liked this tea quite a bit more than Abby. I thought it had a nice, fairly strong black tea flavor with a light hint of grape. I usually drink black tea with milk & sugar but this was good just with the sweetness from honey. I like this as a different black tea to keep in the cupboard! The grape flavor is mild, but present, and almost takes on a hint of currant. If you like fruit teas try this one as a fall treat.

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves, quite a good cuppa.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged tea
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: Nothing added

As you all know, I’m not a huge fan of fruit or herbal teas, but when Katie introduced me to Canada True ice wine tea I was intrigued. Its black tea, which of course, I love , with ice wine flavors. Sounds good right!?

Overall, I wasn’t as impressed with the taste of this tea as I was by the concept of it. I steeped it for a good long time, but still found it weak with only mild fruit flavors. I was able to pull out the black tea from the blend and I certainly liked that. Though ice wine is certainly sweet, this tea wasn’t – another thing that I liked about it. However, those pluses were not enough to sway me into loving this tea. For me it is just Ok, but other who enjoy fruit tea more than I do are likely to have a different opinion.

Taste: 2 of 5 leaves – This tea is just ok.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — This tea is easy to make!

Simple Butter Pie Crust Recipe

Works every time, trust me…

Another use for a tea mug :)

Another use for a tea mug :)

Ingredients:

2 Cups  - All purpose flour

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoons. – Salt

2/3 Cups – Cold butter, salted

4-5 Tablespoons – Cold water

 

Directions:

1. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl, then cut in the butter using either two knives or a pastry cutter

2. Mix  in water, one tablespoon at a time until the flour/butter mixture is just moistened.

3. Shape the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2+ hours. Hint: if you are planning to use this dough for both a top and bottom crust, now is the time to split it in half.  Make two balls, wrap and chill individually.

4. Roll out onto lightly floured surface

 

Post photos of your beautiful pie if you decided you use this recipe – we’d love to see them!

 

Review: Allegro Fine Tea Organic Decaf Black

Allegro Fine Tea

Overall rating: 

Taste: 3.75 of 5 leaves — quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged tea
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: Nothing added

This is my first taste of Allegro tea and sometime I find it hard to judge a decaf tea when I haven’t first had the caffeinated version yet. I have to say, though, that I was pleasantly surprised by my experience!  No caffeinated version needed, obviously I need to check my tea-review self and be reminded that tea that tastes good, is tea that tastes good – end of story. This Organic Decaf Black steeped to a nice dark brown as any black tea should and the aroma was nice and lively. The flavor was good too!  This tea really does taste like a good strong black tea – and without the caffeine, how nice! There are dark chocolate and nutty hints along with a touch of sweetness.

As I always say when I review teas – I LOVE that it’s organic!  Tea you can feel good about drinking.

Try this tea if you are trying to lighten-up on the caffeine, but can’t part with the bold black tea flavors.

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves — quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Allegro black tea

Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged tea
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served with milk & honey

I like a good strong black tea! That being said, this is a pretty darn good substitute. I bought this, and drank it quite a bit while pregnant. As Abby said, if you are trying to cut back on caffeine this is a really good choice. Most decaf black tea tastes like dirty water but this one has some nice tea flavor. It’s certainly weaker than a regular black tea, but of the decaf I’ve tasted this is the only one I keep in my tea stash! Be sure to keep it on hand for whenever you want black tea taste without thee caffeine.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves — quite a good cuppa
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Review: The Tea Spot Organic Sencha

The Tea Spot Organic Sencha

Overall Rating:

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 180 degress
Steeped: 2 minutes first steep, 3 minutes second steep
Served: Nothing added

The Tea Spot Organic Sencha is a beautiful tea with its fir-tree green, long flattened leaves. It steeps to a bright and springy green. It has the classic grassy taste of quality green tea, but also has herbaceous and sweet flavors as well. There are hints of chives or young onions and also light floral/sweet touches. It is a light-ish tea with more subtle flavoring. It is interesting to drink because of all these mingling flavors and at the same time is cleansing and refreshing. Drinking this tea will make you feel relaxed.

After my first cup, I went back for another. This time steeping the tea one minute longer. It was just a flavorful as my first cup, but the aromatics were somewhat reduced, though still made for an enjoyable cup. The Tea Spot Organic Sencha is the perfect tea for green tea lovers and for those looking to branch out from black teas. It is a completely different experience, in a good way.  :)

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 180 degress
Steeped: 2.5 minutes
Served: With honey

Sometimes I think about having my review be “what Abby said” but then I think she might drive down from Maine just to roll her eyes at me. In this case, however, I really do agree. This was a light but unique green tea. The sign of a good tea is often it’s leaves and you could just tell that this was a quality tea. Nice green taste, I would keep this in my tea cabinet for sure. My only regret is that I didn’t try a second steep like miss Abby!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.:

Review: Green Terrace Tea Bi Luo Chun Green Tea

Green Terrace Teas was kind enough to send us tea samples for us to review.* Thank you!

Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

 

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @195 (below boiling point)
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: Nothing added

At our most recent tea party, Katie, her mother, and I sampled this tea. We all like green tea, but Katie’s mom prefers herbal teas most of the time and Katie and I typically steer more toward strong black teas, though really we love them all!  Our individual preferences made this tea tasting even more interesting. We all had our own perspective and picked up on different things.

I, for example, picked up on the slightly bitter earthiness right away. This tea has a nice vegetal flavor, a light grassy taste to it that I noticed and really enjoyed. For me the lingering taste was asparagus, but no one else got that. Maybe I just really like asparagus! If you like green tea, you will likely like the Bi Luo Chun from Green Terrace teas – we found it both light and flavorful.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

 

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @195 (below boiling point)
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: Nothing added

 

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

This green tea was very pale but had a nice light green tea flavor. I got a sort of grassy green taste. I could see this being that kind of tea you’d make up in a big batch and just sip (hot or iced) all day long. It’s mild enough to drink a lot of but has just enough flavor to not be boring.
 

*Please note that we are just as critical of free teas a we are of ones we purchase. If we receive a tea we can not rate at least 3 or better we sill simply not review it!

 

Katie’s Mom says: pretty good, more flavor than expected from the color.

Pumpkin Cornmeal Cake

Pumpkin Cornmeal Cake

Who’s ready to jump on the pumpkin bandwagon again this fall? I am! I love the flavor of pumpkin, and the wonderful spices that go so well with it. I’m always looking for new pumpkin recipes this time of year. For this post I wanted to share this Pumpkin Cornmeal Cake recipe that I’ve had for a while. The best part about it is that you can really taste the pumpkin itself, not just the spices that go with it. Also, although it’s a cake it really isn’t too sweet.  It’s more like jazzed up cornbread for the fall!

The recipe was adapted from Fresh magazine, a Hannaford production. So for those of you in the New England area may have already seen this recipe there.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
6 Tbsp. salted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9in. square baking pan with cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

2. Using an electric mixer on medium-high, cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs. Add pumpkin, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix until well blended. With mixer on low, add in flour mixture, mix until just blended. Scrape batter into 9in. square pan.

3. Bake until cake is golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Optional: dust with confectioners sugar.

Then eat it!  My favorite time to eat this cake is for breakfast with a chai or some strong black tea…

And what better to enjoy this cake with than a tasty chai latte that I didn’t have to make myself! Cheers.

Pumpkin Cornmeal Cake 2

Review: Yorkshire Gold

20140910-213200-77520621.jpgOverall Rating:

Taste: 4.75 of 5 leaves - Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — This tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged tea
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

With “Gold” in the name you might think this is fancy tea.  It isn’t, not from the outside anyway.  This tea comes in a box of 80 tea bags. Big, plain tea bags with no quotes or funny sayings on it.  In fact, once the large rectangular tea bag is separated from its home in the box you don’t know where it came from. It doesn’t look pretty in its plain tea bag and it isn’t blended with anything fancy. Those are the things that it isn’t. Here is one that it IS: good!  This tea is good and tastes great!

Yorkshire Gold is a blend of three different high quality black teas from around the world.  Or, as Yorkshire put it:

” 100% of the tea in Yorkshire Gold comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, meaning we pay good prices and help protect the local environment.”

Sounds pretty awesome, right? Yep.  This tea is the real deal. Because of that the packaging can be simple and plain and people will still love it. This tea is strong, has big earthy flavors with the classic black tea astringent mouth feel without being at all bitter. It is a great representation of black tea. If that’s what you love, then you will love Yorkshire Gold.

 

Taste: 4.5 of 5 leaves - Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — This tea is easy to make!

Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged tea
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: milk & sugar

My cousin-in-law, Adam, who is a true Brit, swears by this tea. When he isn’t at home he travels with it. The travel stash of tea is actually how I first sampled Yorkshire Gold. We were all at my aunt’s house and at breakfast I was without tea. Adam to the rescue! Ever since I have been buying this tea myself. This has become one of my absolute favorite black teas. I like a nice strong black tea so it can hold up to good amount of cream & sugar. I also love that this tea has a nice full flavor without any bitterness. I always keep some in my tea cabinet!

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves - A MUST try!Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — This tea is easy to make!