Author Archives: abby sedenka

Review: Adagio Chocolate Chai

 

Overall Rating:

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

Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: Nothing added to start, then milk and cinnamon honey

We’ve been on a bit of a chai kick lately, but can you blame us this time or year? Today we’re reviewing a spin on the traditional favorite, Chocolate Chai from Adagio Teas. In addition to all of the wonderful chai spices we’re used to, cocoa nibs are added to the blend. Like most chai teas, this teas is so pretty before steeping. As it steeps you can start to smell the chocolate blend with the chai spices and black tea. For me, the taste was just what I wanted it to be, spicy and strong with a hint of chocolate coming through. The only thing I didn’t love, was the texture – it was too thin. I added a touch of milk and some cinnamon infused honey. That did the trick and I ended up with the perfect cuppa!

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

Katie says:

Tea type: Loose leaf

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)

Steeped: 4 minutes

Served: With milk and honey

 I like my tea with milk and honey. Typically I like strong tea so I’m able to add lots of both. This tea would have gotten a 5 if it was a bit stronger. It was slightly weaker than I’d like but with a small splash of milk and a good squeeze of honey it was quite tasty. The honey enhanced the chocolate flavor for sure. If you like a strong tea add a little extra loose leaf then you would normally in the cup. Nice flavor, a bit like dessert for breakfast! This is a perfect fall and winter tea and I’ll be keeping some in my cabinet for the next few months.

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

Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

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Curried Chicken Salad with Apples and Carrots

One of my favorite things to make with leftover roasted chicken is chicken salad. It quick and easy to make and can be eaten on it’s own, in  a sandwich or on top of a salad. With our apple harvest in full swing, I’ve been adding apples to EVERYTHING. The apple and carrot give a nice satisfying crunch. This recipe is for a serving for one, but can easily be adjusted.

*** Note, this can also be made with leftover TURKEY. Keep in mind for after Thanksgiving ***

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup roasted chicken, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped (if you don’t like the skin of the apple, peel it before chopping. I like it, so I left it)
  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp mayonase
  • 1/4 – 1 tsp curry powder (to taste)
  • pinch of celery salt

Directions:

In a bowl combine all the ingredients, stir together. Then added mayo, curry powder or celery salt to taste.

That’s it! Enjoy

Review: Douglas Sweets The Full VermonTEA Black Breakfast by New England Tea Co

Abby says,

Tea type: Loose
Temperature: @200, boiling)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

What we have here is a lovely strong breakfast tea. The long curled tea leaves are perfectly black and crispy, beautiful to look at. Once steeped, the create a deep chocolate brown tea that gives off a warm nutty aroma. The taste is just what you would expect from a breakfast tea, strong. I found hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, making this tea a great fir for the fall and winter.

My husband found this tea on his recent travels in Vermont and New Hampshire. I assumed that because it was under the Douglas Sweets label, that it could be purchased online. However it was not found on the site. There are other teas for sale but not this one. So, I can provide you with my thoughts on this tea, but not how to get some for yourself. Keep your eyes out if you are traveling the the New England area, you might find it in stores.

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

These are the teas tat I keep seeing on all of the import sites! The sales clerk told me to pick-up some Bewley’s when I purchased my Irish tea pot. I should have listened! Well, until my next trip it’ll be off to the import store for me.

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

Easy and Elegant Custard Pear Pie

We have two fruitful pear trees.
We have lots of pears this time of year.

I’m always looking for quick and easy recipes to put all these pears to good use. this is one of my favorites. I wont go on and on about the recipe, because if you are like me and looking for quick and easy recipes, you are reading – you;re scrolling. All I will say about this recipe before I get on with it is: the batter is made in the blender! THE BLENDER! So fast. So easy. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized firm pears, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cups unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cinnamon sugar for topping
  • butter or cooking spray to coat pie plate

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees and coat pie plate with butter or cooking spray
  2. Place pear slices in pie plate
  3. Put melted & cooled butter, eggs, milk, salt, sugar, flour and vanilla in the blender, blend until smooth
  4. Gently pour batter from the blender over the pears. Bake for 50 minutes until the custard is firm, golden. Let cool the dust with cinnamon sugar.

Review: Adagio Rooibos Vanilla Chai

Overall Rating:

Taste: 4.25 of 5 — Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3.5 of 5 — This tea is a bit delicate (this rating was given because this is a loose tea and requires an infuser of some sort)

Abby says:

Temperature: @200 (boiling point)
Steeped: 4 minutes, loose in a teapot
Served: Nothing added

It’s getting to be that time of year again, when I’m switching back to hot tea from the iced tea of the summer. These past few days have been even colder than usual for the season and having hot tea has taken my mind away from thinking about when I’ll turn on the heat! That’s sure to be a few weeks away yet, but I’m a back on the hot tea train for sure. It’s also the time of year when everything turns to pumpkin spice and chai. Our first review of the fall will be no exception. We’re talking about Adagio Rooibos Vanilla Chai today. It’s a blend of rooibos tea, ginger root, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, orange peel and vanilla flavor. Everything you need for fall.

Rooibos isn’t my favorite tea, but I do love chai so I gave it a go. Overall the aroma is nice, but the rooibos adds a sweet scent that I don’t love. Thankfully, for me, the spices in the blend mellow it out quite a bit. Once steeped, the sweetness is completely incorporated into the spice blend and it smells wonderful. The taste is really nice too. Its sweeter than most chai blends, but not overwhelming. The chai spices blend to give you that warm, spicy taste. The only thing missing for me was the vanilla. After each sip I tried to find it and sometimes found hints of vanilla flavor, but not much. That being said, all the ingredients together make for a nice warming cuppa. Give this one a try if you are a chai connoisseur like me, or if you are looking for a tasty, caffeine-free chai.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves  – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 3.5 of 5 — This tea is a bit delicate (this rating was given because this is a loose tea and requires an infuser of some sort) – however I did not find over-steeping to be an issue when I went back for seconds.

Katie says:

Temperature: @200 (boiling point)
Steeped: 4 minutes, loose in a teapot
Served: with milk & honey 

This is one of those rare cases when I like a tea much better than Abby. Usually we agree! I looooved this tea. My suggestion is to brew an entire pot and add honey. Enjoy the first cup hot with milk. Later in the day put your tea over ice with a little almond milk. I think it tasted just like iced chai from a good barista. I find that chai is best with milk and sugar so if you’re not a big fan of sweet drinks this might not be your favorite. However, if you’re looking to brew your own and still get the nice flavor of the cartons of liquid chai give this tea a try. This tea mixes traditional chai spices that are well balanced with vanilla favor for an excellent tea! I usually prefer black to rooibos but in this case I love this “red” tea!

Taste: 5 of 5 a must try!
Steepability: 3.5 of 5 — This tea is a bit delicate (this rating was given because this is a loose tea and requires an infuser of some sort) 

 

Review: Teavana Mango Black *Iced Tea*

 

Abby says:

Tea type: Loose
Temperature: @200 (@ boiling) – then chilled for iced tea
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Isn’t this tea just beautiful to look at: a slurry of colors and textures?!? Teavana tea blends are always to pretty coming out of the tin, both dry and steeped. This one is a blend of primarily candied mango chunks and black tea, but also contains apple chunks, pieces of passion fruit and marigold petals.

As an iced tea, I tasted mostly mango and fruit flavors, but not much tea. For me, it’s just the right amount of sweet for an iced tea, but I did miss the balance of a strong tea taste that my iced tea usually offers. Overall I liked this tea and would make iced tea with it again, the fruit flavor is quite nice. It was a nice change of pace compared to the usual iced tea I make, even other fruit blends.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves  – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

 

Healthy One-Bowl Banana and Blueberry Mini-Muffins

I’m forever looking for a healthy, fast breakfast option. something that I can either make in a minute or two in the morning, or something I can make ahead and grab on my way out the door. Muffins work best for me, but often they aren’t as healthy as I’d like. Splurging on a big, sugary muffin every now and then is one thing, but for my weekday breakfast, that just doesn’t work. So, I’ve made these mini-muffins, so that I can grab a couple on my way out the door. You could easily make larger ones from this recipe, if that works better for you.  The BEST part of the recipe it that all you need is ONE bowl and a muffin tin – quick and easy preparation and clean-up. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large overripe banana
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of cardamom (or nutmeg, if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Instructions:

  • Preheat over to 350°F and line a mini-muffin pan with four liners (or grease), I used my reusable silicone liners that I LOVE
  • In a medium bowl, mash banana. Add sugar, egg white, and oil. Stir until just combined (mixture will still be lumpy).
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Stir until just combined, then gently fold in blueberries.
  • Divide mixture between 12 mini-muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 20 minutes, the tops of the muffins begin to turn golden. Test with toothpick, it should come out clean.
  • Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator.

Review: Harney & Sons Black Currant Fresh Brew *Iced Tea*

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged –  1 over-sized iced tea sized bag
Temperature: Iced
Served: Nothing added

Here we are again, smack in the middle of iced tea season! My favorite style of iced tea is unsweetened black tea with a hint for fruit. I like other styles as well, don’t get me wrong, but this is my favorite. Which is why I was so excited to try this Black Current iced tea from Harney & Sons. This tea is specifically packaged for making iced tea with an over-sized tea bag stuffed with tea.

When making it I followed the directions precisely, see below, and I ended up with a tasty iced tea ready to go. This tea has the strong flavors of black tea that I love and the slightly sweet fruit flavor of the black currants. The blend for me is spot-on, with the black tea as the star and the black currant just noticeable. This tea would be great for a crowd because its pretty mellow with a traditional blend. I enjoyed it a lot and expect to go through the 8 cups that this batch made pretty quickly.

Here’s how to make this tea properly: Boil 2 cups of water and pour over tea bag and let steep for 15 minutes. Then add 6 more cups of water and you’re done!

 

Taste: 4.5 of 5 tea leaves – quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

 

Review: Atlantic Spice Company China Black Tea BOP

Overall Rating:

Taste – 3 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability – 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Temperature: @ 200 (about boiling)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Looks like coffee. Kinda smells like coffee. Tastes like tea! Just the way I like it. Atlantic Spice Company China Black Tea BOP is one of those teas. Its a loose leaf tea, but the leaves are chopped up into tiny pieces that almost look like coffee grounds. When you smell this tea there are hints of coffee in the earthy aroma, but the flavor is all tea. Although not at rich as I like my black tea to taste this one has a nice hearty, toasty taste.

If you buy this tea in bulk it is quite inexpensive and who doesn’t  love a giant bag a loose leaf tea around to tempt you to make another cuppa? This tea is nothing fancy, but does make a nice everyday tea. Easy to drink and also makes great iced tea.

Taste – 3.5 of 5 leaves  – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability –  4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

 

Katie says:

Temperature: @ 200 (about boiling)

Steeped: 5 minutes

Served: With cream & sugar
I ordered this tea from Atlantic Spice Company, a wholesaler I like quite a bit. I hoped it would be a big hit for me like their BOP Assam that I LOVE (review coming soon) but I found this one wasn’t really my favorite. It’s an OK inexpensive tea but it wasn’t strong enough to hold up to adding cream & sugar the way I like my tea. So I gave it to Abby and luckily she likes it! 🙂

Taste – 2.5 of 5 leaves – This tea is just OK

Steepability – 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Review: Tea Forte Vanilla Pear – Loose Leaf White Tea

Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.25 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Abby says:

Temperature: @2oo (about boiling)
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: Nothing added

If you are looking for a bright, slightly fruity loose leaf tea for the summer, we’ve got you covered! I’ve only tried this tea hot so far, but I think it would like a lovely iced tea too! As a hot tea, it has a floral aroma with a blend of light white tea and fruit taste. There is no sweetness, so a bit of honey added would be nice. I’m going to try that next time, for sure.

 

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

Katie says:

Temperature: @2oo (about boiling)
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: A teaspoon of creamed honey (see below)

A pretty and yummy tea! I love the cornflowers that give this loose tea lovley blue specks. The lightly fruity taste is very good both hot and iced. I started with a hot cup but when I got busy and let it get cool I poured it over ice. I liked it iced a bit better. I almost always add a hint of sweetness and this tea way lovely with a little local creamed honey that I got at the Natick Farmers’ Market.

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