Saturday, May 11, 2013

TEA STORAGE

How do I store my tea?


I have showed you the great tea caddy that my dad made me for my bagged tea. * Note- you can order the tea caddy's that my dad makes.  He makes them for $60, plus shipping.  But where do I store my loose leaf tins???  In my thirty one rectangular storage  bins! And I do store my loose leaf in tins.  Air tight tins will hold keep the tea good for around a year. 

This bins are great for storing my tea tins in. And they are great to stack as well.  Since I don't have a walk in pantry, my tea is out to see.  It is nice to have access to all the tea.  I find that since it is right there I am a lot more likely to drink it.  I love my teas!!!!! 


What to do with the empty tea tins.... I use them as a decoration around my kitchen.



If you want to give me your old teas tins, I would be happy to add them to my collection. 

Tea Mugs at Audrey's Attic!!!!

 
Looking for a great tea mug?  I like old tea cups, but they don't hold a lot of tea.  While shopping in Orrville, OH at my favorite store, Audrey's Attic I ran across these adorable mugs.  Then I was stoked to find out that in the month of May, all mugs were 30% off!!!!!  WOO HOO!!!!
 


 

These mugs were $11.99 and with 30% off, it made them around $9.00!  I admit I picked one up for my Aunt for her birthday- I plan on adding my favorite teas to the mug.  I also one for sister for Mothers Day.  I normally don't give my sisters Mother's Day gifts, but she is making Mother's Day dinner for everyone tomorrow.  I will give it to her as a "hostess/Mother's Day" gift. And I used my ishotpstark gift card ( http://ishopstark.com/gift-certificate-central) and got an even better deal.  A few months ago I got a $20.00 gift card for $3.00.   How great are deals like that?!  Today you can go on this website you can get a $30.00 Audrey's Attic gift certificate for $15.00!  This gift cards do not expire, but you do have to use the gift card all at one time. You will have NO trouble spending $30 there...the trouble will be stopping at $30.00 :)  I love Audrey's Attic!!!!!! 



Never been to Audrey's Attic??  You are missing out!!!!!  It has wonderful gifts, flowers, candles, antiques, bird houses, cards, rugs, Americana, etc.  Audrey is on Main Street in Orrville.  Check her out, and maybe get yourself a mug this month!!  Be sure to say hi to Audrey Merkle, the owner, and her 5 cats...Daisy, Bella, Blaze, Ash, and Henry.

NORPO GLASS FORTH MASTER vs FROTHER IKEA

I wanted to be able to froth my chai tea, but I did not want to buy an expensive frother if I did not have to.  I went to Amazon to see what was available.  I was pleased with what I found.
 
 
 
 
$9.08 new + shipping

 http://www.amazon.com/IKEA-Produkt-Milk-Frother/dp/B002Y6FBU2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368294912&sr=8-1&keywords=frother+ikea

       .69 plus $4.95 shipping from Amazon, with shipping it is still less then I was seeing in tea stores.

 
SO WHAT DID I THINK IF THE TWO FROTHERS.....




 
I usually don't read instructions, but I did want to get this right...especially if I was blogging about the results.  So, I poured the cold milk into the beaker (I poured to the line that said Max), then I pumped for 10-20 seconds and was shocked that the milk more than doubled in size.




I pulled up the pump and there was LOTS of froth.  I made this with cold milk, you can also make it with warm milk.


 
I made my Chai with the Teavana Oolong Maharajia Chai (Mahajia is rich spices wafting together create the intoxicating taste of India. Alluring chai intensely mixes with royal splendor oolong tea creating taste bursts of cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutty cardamom. The famed 'Spice Route' is conjured up in every rich cup of this robust and most favored chai). 
Teavana has lots of great Chai tea, one of my other favorites is Samurai Chai Mate.
 
 




I steeped the Chai tea, poured the cold frothed milk into the cup, and then added the chai to the milk



 
Even after I poured the frothed milk into the cup, I still had lots of froth left.  I tasted it and it was great!  I don't like really hot tea, so I think that the cold milk helped cool it down.  I felt like I had paid high dollar for the Chai Latte.  The nice thing was that I did not have any sugar too it like they do in the stores... I don't like sugar in my tea.  I would give this frother 5 stars out of 5!!!
 
Now to try the IKEA Frother.....



This time I warmed the milk in the microwave first.  This is the way my sister, Christy, makes her Chai Latte.  I put the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds.



 Then I frothed it for about 10-20 seconds, and again I got a great froth!



 I steeped the tea and then added it to the milk that was in the cup.  And now for the taste....Again it was great!!!!  So, for less than $6.00 I got a battery operated frother that is wonderful!!!!  I would recommend this one as well   5 out of 5!!!!

 Look at both mugs, they both look great!!


 both have great froth...did not seem to matter if it was cold milk or warm milk, or a hand pump or battery operated frother.

even after 5 minutes there is lots of froth left.  Also the black base comes off the beaker so you could put the beaker into the microwave to warm up your milk.

Both are great options!!!!  Both easy to clean, both make great froth.

Friday, May 10, 2013

ESP EMPORIUM, Sencha-Kombucha/Plum

My friend, Carrie, turned me on to ESP Emporium this past year.  She saw on line a half price deal for their tea and passed the deal on to me knowing I loved tea.  I could not pass up the great deal, so I ordered the tea.  I tried it and I really liked it. 
I have been unsure of Kombucha tea, I have seen it in different tea shops, markets, and health stores.  I thought it would have a weird taste, but I did want to try it. I had tasted it cold and turned into a "soda" in Washington and I loved it.  It had a unique flavor, but unique in a good way. I wanted to try it warm, so I tuned to ESP to find Kombucha tea.
 


Kombucha Teas: is technically a symbiotic colony of yeast and bacteria (or "SCOBY"). Kombucha is a fermented beverage prepared from a mushroom (Fungus japonicus).  It is assumed that Kombucha originally came from China and was already consumed by the emperors of the Quin dynasty. It is also called Manchurian mushroom tea, Manchurian fungus tea, Kwassan, combucha tea, and champagne of life.
The Kombucha fungus is a symbiosis of different microorganisms and is said to have many positive and beneficial characteristics from improving digestion to detoxifying the body to giving you energy with its significant amounts of the B complex vitamins, as well as vitamin C and minerals. Many stores refer to the tea as "bucha".

 The extract they, at ESP, are using in this blend immediately dissolves when brewed. The fine, elegant taste of plums is heavenly. The very fruity scent is a pleasure, especially in spring and summer time

50 Grams (1.76oz) Price: $5.95 

Ingredients: green tea (93%), Kombucha powder (malt dextrin (wheat starch), spring water, cane sugar, green tea, herbal blend (blackberry-, raspberry- and strawberry leaves, lemon grass, sweet calmus root)), flavoring, mallow blossoms. Serving Size: 1 level tsp./6oz serving, Brew Temp: 176 to 194 degree F, Brew Time: 2 to 3 Minutes



                                                     Time for a little taste testing at work!

Melanie and I tasted the Komucha at work today.  We were thinking it might have some odd flavor, but it didn't.  It tasted kind of plain, pretty ordinary. I was almost disappointed that it did not have some wonderful, exotic flavor.  It was not bad, but it was not the best tea either.  It was just okay.  I liked the fruity flavor that was evident.  I prefer tea with a bit of a stronger taste.I would drink it again, but maybe next time mix it with another tea.  ***I hope you do that.  I have found that sometimes mixing teas together create all kinds of amazing flavors.** There have been times I did not think I liked a tea, but then I mixed it with another tea and discovered I loved it.  Don't toss a tea away thinking you don't like until you at least try to mix it with another tea.
 
 
Jared said the tea tasted like, "green water"

 I have tried about 6 different loose leaf teas from ESP in the past year (Turish Apple w/Vitamin C, Apple Strudel Fruit Tea, Lemon Basil Oolong,  Fruity Mary Fruit, Palais Royal Fruit Tea, and Grandma's Garden Fruit Tea) and I like them all..a lot!  Plus they have really nice tea tins to store the tea in that you can purchase for $3.95.  The teas all have great flavors and aromas.  And their prices are VERY reasonable compared to other loose leaf tea I have purchased.  This is from their website:

"So Who Are The People Behind ESP Emporium?

We’re a family of tea enthusiasts from around the world who are committed to bringing you the most extensive assortment of premium loose teas and tea related accessories possible.  We pride ourselves on our enormous selection, distinct varieties of taste and impeccable quality of product.
With over 300 superb types of tea we’ve got you covered from black tea, green tea, half fermented tea, flavored teas, fruit blends, Rooibos and herbal teas, all these are just among a few included in our exquisite collection.

From Humble Beginnings …

So how did it all start?  ESP Emporium was founded by Steven Popec and his Russian wife Elena.  It wasn’t until Steven met Elena that he discovered the world of teas and tisanes for himself.

Russia is one of the countries where tea still plays a major role in culture, it’s more of a lifestyle than just hot beverage for most.  It’s through Elena’s first hand cultural experience combined with her university education that Steve was introduced to the art of tea.
During the years that followed Steven experienced a mental shift, from tea being just a ‘hot beverage’ to launching himself alongside Elena in discovering Teaism, tea cultures and traditions, which is reflected in our principle that every tea we sell isn’t just another flavor, but just a small part of a unique and diverse culture.

In many ways tea is a lost art, people often forget that tea has been used for thousands of years all over the globe in varying forms of teaism, traditions, and spiritual ceremonies.  After discovering so much about tea Steven and Elena decided to launch ESP Emporium, a brand dedicated to acquainting people with the lost art of tea.

We don’t just offer you high quality tea products, because our main goal is to educate.  Which is exactly the kind of information you’ll find on our blog, which explores not only the health benefits of tea but it dwells further into eastern ideology, the history of tea, tea processes, classic traditions and of course cultural aspects and nuances associated with the art of tea."



Tea Forte Mothers Day 2013


What is my mom getting for Mother's Day this year???  Something I got on sale in January. :)  A Tea Forte gift set.  A fun mug with delicious teas!!!!  Check out Tea Forte's special page on their website, they often have really good deals.  I recommend their bagged tea. they have a Harvest Apple Spice herbal  I really enjoy.  It appears that most herbal teas can be bought as tea loose in a canister for about $15.00 (35-50 servings) or but the loose leaf pouch for $7.00 (20-25 servings)  Mine came in the pryamid infusers- but maybe that was a special deal.
Tea Forte carries black teas, green teas, herbal teas, rooibos tea, white tea, oolong tea, iced tea, rare teas, organic teas, and MORE!

Next time I order from them I want to try the peppermint basil herbal tea.


nicely gift wrapped

The lid has a whole in it, so the leaf can stick out.  Tea Forte has a unique leaf at the top that attaches to the silken tea infuser/bag.  The leaf bends as well, so you can "hang" it on the side of the cup or mug.  I find it VERY clever.

- Peter Hewitt, Founder & CEO says this, "Our unique Silken-Tea-Infusers are individually hand crafted, and provide the world's finest method to brew a cup of tea. The open weave of the fabric allows the water to flow freely around the teas, allowing the tea leaves to unfurl and the flavors to mingle in the large open form of the infuser. We use only exquisite whole-leaf teas and rough cut herbs and our unique design allows the subtle flavors of these fine teas to infuse into the water. It's like brewing a pot of tea in your cup!
Unwrap the protective cover and stand the infuser in your cup. Pour boiling water in and exquisite tea starts to brew, the infuser maintains its elegant form, and the upward lifted leaf and cotton stem creates a handle. A feast for all the senses, Tea Forté is quite possibly the finest, most elegant cup of tea of all time."

mom is getting these fun flavors!!!!  I bought myself these teas and I am really enjoying them!

 

*Note- I purchased some loose leaf tea from Amazon.com for Christmas.  It was a Tea Forte sample pack and it was really awful.  I am not sure if it was old or what, but I would not recommend purchasing the Tea Forte tea from Amazon. What I have gotten from Tea Forte directly has been GREAT though!!  I highly recommend ordering from them directly!

PURE LEAF continued.....

I walked into the kitchen at lunch today and what did I see?  My friend drinking Pure Leaf Peach tea.  I was excited to think that she read my blog yesterday and went and purchased the tea.  Sadly, it was not because of my blog she bought it.  Happily though, she says it is her favorite and she loves it!! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

PURE LEAF Peach Tea

Pure Leaf Peach Tea
 
 
Today I enjoyed Pure Leaf Peach Tea with my salad.  It was on sale at Buelhers in Orrville. You can get 4 Pure Teas for $5.00.  I liked the tea, it was not too sweet.  My favorite bottled tea is Snapple.  I would give Peach Snapple a 10 out of 10.  Pure Leaf Peach Tea would be about an 8.  The peach taste was not as strong as Snapple.  Still a good refreshment.  I also like that the entire bottle is one serving and only 100 calories!!!!  It comes in other flavors like lemon, unsweetened, and extra sweet.


 
 

Composting Tea Leaves for your garden!!!


Save your leaves and help your garden!!

This is a 3 days worth of loose leaf teas. I also added bagged tea to the leaves. The bagged leaves in paper bags I leave in the bag and compost in the paper. If they are in the the nylon bags I open them and take out the leaves, since the nylon will not compost.
I read on line that a good place to store the leaves is a card board ice cream container, stored under the sink. I will plan on storing for a week and then adding to my garden.



I am working the tea into the raised beds I have in the back yard

 
I am not overly green. So, I looked up on line the benefits of composting on line. They say once you've started your compost pile, the microorganisms that are naturally present in the environment will begin to consume and break down the organic materials until they become a rich, moist soil suitable for any home vegetable or flower garden. You will no longer need to buy commercially produced fertilizers and topsoil trucked in from distant points when you have your own supply in your backyard.


Tea leaves add Nitrogen to the ground
 
 
Here is a week of loose leaf tea from work.  I am adding the tea to my plant at work for compost....

 
 
6/19/2013... here is an update.  I have found a plastic frozen yogurt container that I store my used tea leaves in.  I also took a cool whip container to work to store those leaves in.  I have read that if you have an odor in your refrigerator, you can put loose leaves in there to absorb the odor.  I figure I can store this container in the frig if I need to....
 
 

putting the used tea leaves in my garden.  So great for my garden!!!!!!