Friday, January 25, 2019

Panera Chai, making my mom a believer....



A couple of days after Christmas, my mom, sisters and niece went shopping.  I introduced my mom to Panera chai.  She is now a fan too!!!

I let her know that it was the only store chai around that I really like.  In our town we have Heartland and Sure House and neither have great chai.  There are Starbucks all over, but their chai's are not good either.  Dunkin Donuts have chai too, but I am not a fan of theirs either.
Yes, I am a tea snob and an even bigger chai tea snob.  Especially when you go to a shop and they think that charging $3.25 or even more for chai is okay.   I think that those drinks are over priced, so if I am going to buy their chai they better be better darn good.




The pastries here are so good looking too.


I was good and did not buy a pastry. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Starbucks Passion Iced Tea and Tazo Iced Tea


The only drink I buy and enjoy at Starbucks is the Passion Iced tea- half the sugar.  I am able to make it at home too.



I found this tea for the best price at Walmart.  This tea is a wonderful hibiscus tea!!  It is tart but sweet.
One bag of tea makes one gallon of iced tea.  It is perfect way to have your favorite tea at home....and for less money.




Monday, January 21, 2019

Story of my tea- blind tea tasting









I did my first kick starter.  Blind tea tasting.  I was super excited about the concept!!
I am a taste tester in my hometown, for Smuckers.  (yes- THAT Smuckers!)  This was not as easy.  I thought I would be a lot better at figuring out the flavors than it was.  But, the memories and laughter were worth ever penny!!!




I received 4 bags of unlabeled tea.  All the bags told you was how to prepare the tea.  (That was a small hint on the kind of tea. Knowing the heat and steep time can narrow things down)  There was also a number on the bag- but that was it!  There was no information on kind of tea, nothing...you had to guess it!  How fun is that?!!
  There was a seperate envelope with the "answer cards" in it that had a corresponding number to the bag of tea.  The card in the envelope gave you the information on your specific tea.  You don't look at the card until you have fully discussed and tried the tea.


This was nice tea!!


Here is your tea bag.  This was all the information you are given.


There was also a taste testing card- to help you talk about the tasting notes and flavors.  We had a blast with this!!!!



When I signed up for the tea, I put down that Oolong was my favorite tea and I loved the flavors of Coconut, Jasmine, and Hibiscus and that I didn't like Chamomile and Rooibos teas.  I hope that means that they will not send me chamomile and Rooibos teas!!  And in what they sent this time, 3 of them were Oolong- which was so fun.



Christmas evening my 3 nephews, my niece, my 2 sisters, my mom, and my aunt and I did the taste testing. I have to say it as a highlight for me for the day.  It was a blast.
My nephews keep asking, even 3 weeks later, when the next envelopes of tea will come.



We smelled the tea prior to steeping, trying to guess the flavor. Then after steeping I poured the tea and we all tied the tea and talked about it some more.





This was not one of our favorite.  We did not pick up on any of the flavors or tasting notes.  It cracked me up how many different things we guessed.  We guessed fruity to floral to earthy.



My older sister had my younger sister laughing and she almost spit her tea out.  We had so much fun, it was a time for great memories.



This might have been our favorite.  I think we all picked up a coconut scent.  Although we did not guess banana, we thought it was a tropical scent.




Ryan is trying to guess the scents.



Reading the directions for steeping.





This was another tea we enjoyed.  Not sure we guessed orange, it was harder than we thought to figure out the flavors.  Someone would suggest a scent and then we would send the bag around the room and all see if we thought they were right.  SO MUCH FUN!!





I am writing this a month after the tasting - but if I recall this was not a huge favorite.  I believe we guessed floral notes, not fruity.
I don't remember much about the tea, I remember the fun we had.  I can not stress enough that when you tea taste grab friends!!  Make the most of the experience. 



I told my niece and nephew that they could take labels off tea and send it to me and we could play our own tea game!!!



Not so sure about the smell of this tea!!  We were hoping that none of teas had mold in them.  We cracking up that "mold" was listed on the tasting wheel.



This was my first blind taste testing shipment and I can not wait for the next shipment!!  The nephews that live in my home town will definitely be involved- they listed several other people/friends of mine that they thought should come to the tasting.

This is something ever tea lover should try!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tea of Life, Winter Wonderland





Enjoying Christmas with my family and some tea.  A friend from work gave me these Christmas teas.  I drank the Winter Wonderland during my Christmas break. My mom and sisters enjoyed it as well.

I would recommend that you steep a little longer than normal to get the full flavor.  I found the flavor a bit weak, but the others did enjoy it. But, if you steep a little longer the flavors come through more.