Review: Twinings Earl Grey Tea

  Overall Rating:

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!

Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: @ 212, boiling
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Twinings Earl Grey is a great bagged tea to keep as a stand-by in the tea cabinet. As with other Twinings teas, the earl grey bagged is always consistent. With every step you will get the classic earl grey experience – strong black tea with hint of bergamot citrus flavor.  Typically with bagged tea, compared to loose-leaf-tea, the flavor is muted. But, with Twinings bagged tea this is less so. This earl grey still has good flavor. This tea has nutty black tea taste with bergamot adding a brightness.

Pro tip: This tea is great for making Almond Earl, a super easy tea cocktail! Check it out here.

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

 

   

Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: @ 212, boiling
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: With milk & honey 

 As Abby said, this is a great standby. I use a BIG mug and like my tea STRONG sonic you’re like me I recommend 2 teabags or the loose leaf version of this tea. Nice flavor, very traditional early grey in every way. They would have been around for 300 years if this wasn’t a good tea! 

Check out the history of the company, it’s a very interesting read.

http://www.twinings.co.uk/about-twinings/history-of-twinings

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

Tea Cocktail: Almond Earl @ Sonny’s in Portland Maine

Sonny's Almond Earl

You all know how much Katie and I love tea and you may have heard us mention how much as also like cocktails – put the two together and we’re in adult-beverage heaven! I’ve got a new HOT cocktail recipe to share with all of our like-minded readers.

First, let me give credit where credit is due. I did not think this up on my own, but how I didn’t is beyond me. The other day I  went to brunch at Sonny’s in Portland, Maine.  Delicious brunch, BTW. Sonny’s is known for their amazing cocktails and during brunch service they have additional drinks available.  One of them is the Almond Earl, Earl Grey tea with Disaronno. It’s divine. A hot blend of black tea, citrus and almond. Perfect.

It is the easiest cocktail to make. Simply make a hot cuppa of your favorite Earl Grey tea and add a splash… or more of Disaronno, almond liqueur. Done. Enjoy!

Here are some Earl Grey teas that we think will work well:

David’s Tea – Cream of Earl Grey

Tea Forte – Earl Grey

Stash Tea – Organic Earl Grey Black and Green

And a decaf option too thought it’s not our favorite tea:

Spice and Tea Exchange Decaf Earl Grey

 

Review: Republic of Tea Downton Abbey Butler’s Pantry

  Overall Rating

Taste: 3.75 of 5 leaves: A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Do you have your tea ready? Grab this canister with Carson & Mrs. Hughes and settle in for some good tea & TV.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: About Boiling
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Is everyone enjoying the new season of Downton Abbey as much as we are?! Just LOVE it.  Katie and I have talked about how sad we’ll be when the series is over, but for now we are totally into the new episodes! And what better way to take in each new episode than with a nice hot cuppa of Downton Abbey tea from Republic of Tea?! We’ve reviewed Republic of Tea Downton Abbey English Rose Tea, check it out here.

This time we’re tasting Republic of Tea Butler’s Pantry, a black tea blended with blackberry leaves and honey. This blend is more my style than the English rose tea. I like the strong black tea flavor. For me the stronger the better! The fruity notes from the blackberry leaves are a bit too floral and perfumey for me, but it doesn’t overwhelm the tea. The honey provides a hint to sweetness, and although I don’t typically add sweetener to my tea, its a nice change for me. Mostly it’s just nice to settle in on Sunday night with a hot cuppa inspired by the show, it adds to the experience of Downton night for sure!

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves: A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: About Boiling
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: With milk & honey 

 Yum yum I love this tasty tea. It’s a decently strong tea. I usually have it for my 2nd morning cup after I’ve had some Tazo Awake or Yorkshire Gold (my two favorite and strongest teas). This is still fairly strong but I the tastes of  vanilla and honey mallow it out a but. It’s delicious with a splash of milk and touch of honey. Plus, I’m a total sucker for the downton branding! Excuse me while I go make some for the show!

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

Review: Stash Decaf Premium Green Tea

Overall rating:

Taste: 4.5 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 2 of 5 leaves — this tea is high maintenance but worth the effort.:

Katie says:

Tea Type: Individually packaged bagged tea
Temperature: @180 (below boiling point)
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: With a touch of honey

I LOVE this tea. I love that it’s organic and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that it’s decaf but still has flavor. This tea has the nice earthy/grassy taste you expect from green tea but in decaf form! This tea is delicious both hot and cold and is a great choice for someone like me who hates drinking plain water but loves tea. My recommendation is to make a hot cup in the morning and then immediately resteep (3-4 minutes for the 2nd time in little water, 1/2-1 cup). Let the 2nd steep cool and pour over ice for an afternoon drink. This will be a staple in my tea cabinet for sure!

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding, a must try!
Steepability: 2 of 5 leaves — this tea is high maintenance but worth the effort.

Stash Premium Green Tea Decaf

Abby says:

Tea Type: Individually packaged bagged tea
Temperature: @180 (below boiling point)
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: nothing added

On dreary winter evenings, a fire in the wood stove, Downton Abbey on the TV and a steaming hot cuppa tea can’t be beat! The problem is, there aren’t many decaf teas that I enjoy drinking. I had high hopes about Stash Premium Green Tea Decaf and I wasn’t disappointed. It has a bright, grassy green flavor as if it were caffeinated tea.  Though, bagged, the tea still has a bold flavor. A tasty, quick option for a satisfying cuppa!

Note: Be careful not to oversteep! And.. don’t forget to resteep, you can get two cups from this tea bag.

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 2 of 5 leaves — this tea is high maintenance but worth the effort.

DIY beautiful tea box –Tazo Tea #teahack 

  
No need to buy fancy tea holders! Did you know that the inside of the tazo tea box is beautiful? Simply pull it open at the top and bottom ends and long at crease at the side. Then tape back together inside out and presto-chango you have a beautiful tea box to sit on your counter or your desk at work. It’s that easy! Enjoy! Do you have any of your own #teahacks? Share them with us!

  

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,700 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Book Review: The Art and Craft of Tea by Joseph Wesley Uhl

There is still time to get this amazing book under the tree for Christmas! Order on Amazon today!

 Abby says:

In my house you will find a whole stack a various tea books that I’ve acquired over the years. Some of them were given to me and others I picked up along my travels. Most of them have been skimmed, not fully read. There are a few that have been mostly-read. That trend has changed. Upon receiving a copy of “The Art and Craft of Tea” by Joseph Wesley Uhl, I started skimming it to look at the beautiful photos and see if there might be an interesting chapter or anecdote. The first things that interested me were the two sections at the end of chapter one: Tea’s Chemistry and Change to Chemical Composition.  something you don’t typically see in a book about tea. So I started reading and didn’t stop until I got to the end of chapter two!


Then it hit me – I need to read this book! Actually read it. So I went back to the beginning. I certainly wont call myself a tea expert, but definitely a tea enthusiast, so there was a lot of content I already know of have seen before, but there was a lot of new stuff too! I learned a few new things and gained a new or different appreciation for somethings too. I found this book to be both interesting and entertaining. It doesn’t get bogged down with dates and facts, and moved quickly and easily from one subject to the next. I found the last chapter to be particularly fun because it brings tea to current trends, including pairing and recipes.

This book would make a great gift for any tea-lover on your list. The content is worth reading and the book had a good weight and feel to it. Its beautiful whether it is sitting on the shelf or being read from cover to cover.

IMG_0517-0

Katie says:

Like Abby I was excited for a new coffee table book! This is much more and the perfect gift for any tea lover. Just look at the beautiful photography! I enjoyed learning about tea but my favorite part is the the last chapter of tea cocktails. Tea has become quite trendy as have craft cocktails. What to impress your friends at the next gathering? Whip up one of these tea cocktails and you’ll look like a professional mixologist! (Your secret is safe with us)

 Review: Stash Organic Pinhead Gunpowder Green Tea

 

 

Overall Rating:

Taste: 4.25 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @200 (below boiling)
Steeped: 2 minutes for the first steap and one extra minute for each use after.
Served: with a touch of honey

What a nice, strong, green tea! It has a very classic and pure green tea taste: mostly grassy, a bit earthy. This tea does get bitter quickly, but when done right it has a very clean taste and can be reused again & again! I also love that if this tea gets cold just toss in some ice because this makes a delicious iced green tea! For the 1st steep I’d recommend morning but you could reuse all day since after the first steep most of the caffeine is gone. Yum. I’ll keep this in my pantry for sure!

Taste: 4.5 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!

Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

 

 Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @200 (below boiling)
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Organic? Check. Fair trade? Check. Beautiful gunpowder tea? Check! What more could you ask for? Stash’s rolled greed tea has tons of strong, earthy tea flavor. It gets bitter quickly, because it’s a delicate tea, so don’t over steep. For the first steep 1-2 minutes should be enough. For resteeps add another 15-30 seconds each time. You will get a beautiful golden yellow cuppa full of grassy flavors and antioxidants!

This tea resteeps for days! I resteeped it fours times and still got good, albeit, light, flavor! If you enjoy potent green tea, give this one a try.

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

Get yourself some of this tea here:

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 9.15.25 AM

 

Apple Cider Reduction Sauce Recipe

Cider Sauce

Doesn’t that look delicious? Homemade apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream and apple cider sauce. It’s pretty much fall in a bowl. The apple cider reduction sauce is definitely the star of the dish. Here is the super-easy recipe to make it…

Ingredients:

1/2 gallon apple cider

Directions:

  1. Pour cider into a large pot and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, bring it down to a simmer and let reduce. Let it reduce to desired thickness. Typically when the sauce has reduced enough to just coat a spoon when stirred it is done.  Stir occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat and pour into storage container such as a mason jar
  3. Let cool somewhat before serving

The sauce will reduce by more and two-thirds. Here is it cold, just added to the pot. Plan to let it simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If you have a finicky stove like me to make sure the stays at a simmer the whole time.

Cider Sauce

Here it is almost done, just starting to coat the wooden spoon. This is after about 1.5 hours on the stove. Looking at the sides you can see how much it has reduced.

Cider Sauce

Finished product! It turns to a beautiful root-beer brown when finished.

Cider Sauce

This sauce makes a great homemade gift. Just tie a festive bow around the mason jar and add a gift tag and you’re done! It is easy to double or even triple this recipe if you want to make multiple jars of the sauce, just add more cider and add a lot more time.

Cider Sauce

Review: Stash Organic Earl Grey Black and Green Tea

 Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability:5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Abby Says:

Tea type: Bagged
Temperature: @200 (about boiling)
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Here we are again, reviewing another Stash Tea. We’ve enjoyed reviewing Stash tea in the past and jumped at the chance to do it again! This time we’re talking about Stash Organic Earl Grey Black and Green Tea. It is as it sounds, a blend of black and green tea with a hint of bergamot to give it the classic Earl Grey flavor.

For me this tea is decidedly black, but lighter… I can clearly taste the nutty black tea flavors, but I don’t taste the typical green tea flavors of earth and vegetation. But, somehow, I can still tell that the green tea is there. Maybe it comes through in the mouth feel or the aroma? The citrus bergamot flavor is also light, presumably to allow you to taste the blend of the two tea types. In terms of Earl Grey tea alone, this is not my favorite. I usually like a strong black tea with a lot of bergamot when I drink Earl Grey. But, this tea is able to stand out because it’s a unique take on Earl Grey and I can appreciate that for sure!

I love to see tea companies embrace the organic food movement. I’ll admit that I don’t always eat organic food, but when given the choice because and non-organic option and one the is organic, usually I choose organic. Giving people choices about what the put in their bodies is so important and I love that Stash gives people that choice.

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

Katie says:

Tea type: Bagged
Temperature: @200 (about boiling)
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: with a touch of honey

For Halloween Abby and I certainly got treats and not tricks with a box full of stash tea! I really enjoyed this black and green blend. This is still a black tea, but a lighter version. In a string black tea I like a splash of milk and honey. However, this tea is really nice with just a touch of sweet. I like to bring my own tea when I travel and I’d consider traveling with this so I can have a tasty miring cuppa without needing to find milk.

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