who am I

I have told you about Kerrie's Cup of Tea...but who is Kerrie?

*First and most importantly I am a child of God, that makes me a daughter of the Risen King. God is first and foremost in my life.

*Next I am a daughter, sister, and aunt. I have two amazing parents, two wonderful sisters, two great brother-in-laws, one terrific niece and three incredible nephews.

*I am a friend

*I've been a ESL teacher to some amazing students.

*I am a Sunday School Teacher to an INCREDIBLE group of Jr. and Sr. High students

*And to support myself and my cat, Earl Grey, I've worked for a local insurance company for over 16 years. Some day my dream job is to own a tea shop and use it as a ministry.

*I have recently lost over 50 pounds-okay, that was back in 2011/2012. In 2013-2015 I have put 40 of that back on...but I will be working at trying to take that off again - I need to drink more green tea!!!

*In my free time I drink tea, make jewelry, write (I have four published books), knit, attend rodeos, do paint by numbers, play card/board games, watch NASCAR, cheer for the Buckeyes, watch HGTV, take photos, go on mission trips (Over seas I've been to Africa twice, Spain twice, France, Thailand, and Malaysia). I also love geocaching with my nephews, working around my 100 year old house, going on adventures, entertaining, and hanging with family & friends.... and basically embracing my singleness- it's a gift right now.

*God has blessed me with an amazing life- I want to give Him all the glory!!!!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Kung Fu Tea, Coconut Milk Tea

From the Website, 

"Kung Fu, in its purest essence, is the desire for self-improvement and to expand one's capabilities beyond all limitations.

Here at Kung Fu Tea, we believe that it’s our mission to not only continuously improve our brand and beverages and the lives of our customers through providing only the most delicious, high-quality flavors but also to inspire the community to dream big and live fearlessly.

Founded in Queens, NY on April 30, 2010, we’re America’s largest bubble tea brand with over 250+ locations across the U.S. As one of the OGs of bubble tea, we maintain uncompromisingly high standards. Let’s be real. Making tea that looks good isn’t the hard part. The actual challenge is making tea that tastes good and presenting it in an innovative way. Made with the art of ‘3T’ Kung Fu, every cup of tea is freshly brewed at the perfect temperature using premium tea leaves. The beverages we bring to the table are strong inside-out — perfect for your taste buds and your Instagram stories..."

While in Cincy we went to the mall.  I was excited to see that there were some tea places to explore.  Kung Fu is chain tea store.  I was very pleased with the variety of drinks.  The prices were a bit high, but the flavors were very good.

I went for the Coconut Milk Tea with no bubbles.

Below is the machine that shakes the drink.

This is the machine that puts the lid on the cups.

I found the drink to be really great.  I love the coconut flavor.  It was milky but that was not over powering in any way.  The flavor is definitely coconut.  I highly recommend it.

For me this is almost a 4 and half tea cups.  The price is what keeps me from giving it 5 cups.  I just hate to pay over $4 for a medium tea.  But, I will say the flavors are on point.

Monday, October 19, 2020

BibiBop Asian Grill, Black Currant Iced Tea

I love this Black Currant Iced Tea.  It is nice to go to a restaurant and find a fun flavored iced tea that is sugar free and something other than a plain black tea.

It was no nice to spend time with these special friends.

While in Cincy visiting some friends I was able to try a new place to eat.  I love it!!!  It is BibiBop Asian Grill.  It is like the Subway for sandwiches, Mod for pizza, Chipotle for Mexican- you build your own Asian bowl.

We got to pick so many fun options...my base was purple rice and some noodles.

I had 2 hot toppings and 8 cold toppings with Yum Yum sauce.
I went meatless and it was less than $6!  What a deal.

A year or so ago someone had done a "pop" up restaurant in my town for a a few months.  It was called Rice Bowl and it was incredible.  It reminded me a lot of this place.  There is just something about all these flavors that I can't get enough of.

I did notice that there is one of these in Strongsville Ohio- that is the closet one to me.

It was delicious!!  I could eat this once a week.  I then enjoyed some black currant iced tea which was nice and refreshing.  I appreciate a good non-sweet tea at a restaurant.  

The tea gets 4 out of 5 tea cups

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Homeschool Class - Teaching Kombucha

I have a really good friend in Mansfield that wanted to learn how to make Kombucha. So, on my Wednesday off, I drove to her house to teach her the basics of making Kombucha.

I packed up everything she would need to get started- tea, jars, scoby, etc.

My friend did a great job of taking notes...

I also have been in touch with her and she said that her batches have come out great and she likes them better than store bought Kombucha.

Makes about 1 gallon

What You Need

3 1/2 quarts water

1 Gallon jar
1 cup sugar (regular granulated sugar works best- cane sugar works too, just no honey at this stage)
8 bags black tea, black tea is what is needed to grow but  you can add flavored with it (like 6 tea bags with or 2 tablespoons loose tea-put into bags)
1 cups starter tea from last batch of kombucha

1 scoby per fermentation gallon jar 
4-5 flavored teas- if you want a specific flavor of Kombucha and your black tea was just plain

For second fermentation- to make the fizz/carbonation:
 1 to 2 cups chopped/puréed fruit (you want it to come out of the bottle again :)), or 2 to 3 cups fruit juice, or 1 to 2 tablespoons flavored tea, or 1/4 cup honey, or 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh herbs or spices 
****For me I just use apple juice***

Stainless steel pot, not metal
1-gallon glass jar or two 2-quart glass jars
Tightly woven cloth (like clean napkins or tea towels), coffee filters, or paper towels, to cover the jar, rubber band to hold it on- keep gnats and dust out
Bottles: Six 16-oz glass bottles with plastic lids- great for regular fermentation, 6 swing-top bottle-best for 2nd fermentation/fizzy stage, or clean soda bottles
Small funnel 

Make the tea base: 
Bring the water to a boil- add a cup of sugar to dissolve, 8 black tea bags.  Let boil around 15 minutes, then remove from heat.  I then remove the 8 black tea bags and add 4-5 fruit tea bags to give it the flavor I want.  Now let it cool. Depending on the size of your pot, this will take a few hours. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the pot in an ice bath. (I usually let it sit overnight).

Once the tea is cool, remove the herbal/flavored tea bags. Transfer to the gallon jar and add 1C of starter and the scoby: Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon glass jar and gently slide the scoby into the jar with clean hands. Cover jar with coffee filters, dishcloth, or paper towels secure it with a rubber band.  (For me after over 3 years of making Kombucha I don't add a scoby to my fermentation, I just add a C of the starter)

Keep the jar at room temperature, a dark place is best, and where it won't be moved around. Ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the kombucha and the scoby periodically.  *NOTE* Since I keep my house around 62 degrees, my batch might take longer in the winter.  The warmer the temp, the faster it is ready.  You can put masking tape on the jar with the date to help remind yourself when you started it.

It's not unusual for the scoby to move around during fermentation. A new cream-colored layer of scoby should start forming on the surface of the kombucha within a few days. It usually attaches to the old scoby, but it's ok if they separate. You may also see brown stringy bits floating beneath the scoby, sediment collecting at the bottom, and bubbles collecting around the scoby. This is all normal and signs of healthy fermentation.

After 7 days, begin tasting the kombucha daily by pouring a little out of the jar and into a cup. When it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness that is pleasant to you, the kombucha is ready to bottle.

Remove the scoby: Before proceeding, prepare and cool another pot of strong tea for your next batch of kombucha, as outlined above. With clean hands, gently lift the scoby out of the kombucha and set aside a cup of tea and put the Scoby in that. As you do, check it over and remove the bottom layer if the scoby is getting very thick- you can add to your garden or just toss.    You can finish it here, put the kombucha in bottles and put in the fridge.

Only if you want the fizz or carbonation then you pour the fermented kombucha (straining, if desired) into bottles using the small stainless steel funnel, along with any juice, herbs, or fruit you may want to use as flavoring. Leave about a half inch of head room in each bottle.  
Store the bottled kombucha at room temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 5-7 days for the kombucha to carbonate. Until you get a feel for how quickly your kombucha carbonates, it's helpful to keep it in glass jars with ceramic bottle stoppers. Can you "burp" the bottles along the way- opening the lid to release some pressure so they do not explode during the week.  Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and then consume your kombucha within a month.

10/12/2020 Updated KEK

 They say Kombucha has lots of anti-microbial powers and is full antioxidants, it helps sooth ulcers and improves the function of your pancreas.   Helps with your digestion and arthritis. It supports your liver.  It improves your mood. it helps you loose weight.  It helps you detoxify ... This one I can say is true!  I have one friend who calls it her "poop juice".  I can say  I've never been so regular myself!!! It also reduces the risk of heart disease and they say prevents cancer.  also lots of nutrition. Helps with your good cholesterol. Boosts immunity.  Treats type 2 diabetes too. I can't say that you will have all these changes or experience any of these benefits.... I'm just listing some of the things they say about Kombucha.  I can say I love it and drink a lot of it :)

I also did a Science class and showed her home schoolers how to make purple Butterfly Pea Tea.  It was a super fun day of teaching Kombucha and why Butterfly tea changes from blue to purple when lemonade is added.


Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Cove, Peach/Mango Nitro Tea, Ontario OH

I was in the area of visiting friends and as always I looked around for teas I could try.  I give coffee shops that carry tea props, I appreciate that they think of us tea drinkers.  Nine times out ten coffee shops have bagged teas or a chai latte.  Some with also do a London Fog and for that I say thank you.  But, then there are those coffee shops that also offer a few other great tea options.  This is one of those places.

The Cove seemed like the place to be.  It is near a school and there were lots of kids there and they were doing a great business.  While I waited to be served I checked out the menu and was curious about the Nitro Tea.

From the website, 
"Nitro Tea's
Looking for something you have never had before?  Our Nitro Tea is the hottest thing around, well actually coldest.  (First in the world!)  We take pure maple sap and do some special processes to it and infuse our organic teas into a refreshing tea that has a silky texture.    It comes in Strawberry, Raspberry, Peach, Mango or Plain.   We also sell growlers of our Nitro Tea for you to take home or to a party.   Come try what we have been developing for over 15 years and what everyone is talking about."

I asked the server about the Nitro Tea and she let me try a small cup of it.  I fell in love with it!

The had four flavors of Nitro Tea on tap.  I love the idea of having tea on tap.  I really want to do a kombucha on tap.

I ordered the Mango Nitro Tea on Tap.  It was delicious!!!  It was sweet but not overly sweet.  The flavor was unique and really great.  The only way to describe it is like Iced Tea with a sweet twist.

I see you can get it in a 5 gallon keg- maybe I will have to get it for my next party.

This is my first 5 out of 5 tea cups!!!  And it is well deserved.  The price was good, it is a unique idea and the taste was great!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Glacier Park Wild Huckleberry Chai Tea Mix

While my friends were out west they picked my up some Huckleberry Chai Tea in Montana.  I loved it.  My favorite animal is the moose, so to have that on the label was extra fun.

The tea was creamy and had a nice huckleberry flavor.  I liked the sweet fruit taste with the mix of chai spices.  Okay, if I am being completely honest here, I had no idea what huckleberries tasted like before drinking this chai, but after drinking this chai, I feel I do.  I would say it was maybe like a tart blueberry.  It was something unique and different and I liked it.

From the website, "Enjoy our Wild Huckleberry Chai Tea mix, on those chilly mornings!
A perfect 2 serving size pouch, Just add hot water and enjoy!
HOT: Add 8oz Hot (Not Boiling) Water to 2-3 Tablespoons of Mix. Stir & ENJOY! Add a dollop of Whipped Cream...YUM!
Creamy Mocha Add 1- 2 Tablespoons of Mix to your cup of coffee or espresso, Stir & ENJOY!
Ingredients: Sugar, non-dairy creamer (canola or coconut oil, corn syrup solids),whey (milk), natural & artificial Huckleberry flavors, tea, tri calcium phosphate.
Allergen Alert: Contains Milk & Coconut.
Processed in a facility that also uses wheat, peanuts, tree nuts."

This was really good and deserves 4 out o5 tea tea cups! Now I just need to go to Montana and get the Montana Starbucks mug, lol. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Ohio Tea Fall Selection

If you have followed my blog at all you know I love Ohio Tea Company.  To me Ohio Tea Company, in Canton Ohio, is the best place to buy loose leaf tea.  They have it all there!  And they are some of the friendlies people most helpful tea people you will find.

They did this fantastic Fall Variety Pack of loose leaf tea.  I think it was a genius idea.

They include 12 of their most popular teas for $15.  And they have free shipping.  It is a great way to try their teas.

So far my favorite is Salty Carmel Pumpkin and Maple Roasted Almond.

This would make a great gift for yourself or for someone else who loves tea.  Once you try these loose leaf teas you will realize what quality tea is.  

One of my friends from work said that I ruined all other teas for him.  Now that he has had quality loose leaf tea he can't go back to other teas.  I love that!  And it is so true.   The flavor of these teas can not be beat.

And note, you can not click below for more information.  You will need to go to the website for more information.  

Let me know what tea you discovered loving in this sample pack.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Tea House Sembo Block

I love playing with Lego blocks.  It reminds me of when I was a kid and my sisters and I would soend hours building things.  There are so many fun Tea Lego blocks out there right now.  Sembo was created in 2010 in China.  Sembo has come out with city street buildings in China, Japan and other Asian places, they are so creative and fun looking.

This is a tea house.

There tea house are so fun!!

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