Saturday, September 21, 2019

Bird and Blend, Banana Bread Chai Latte




Okay, Bird and Blend has done it again!!  This chai is a home run!!!  This Banana Bread chai is like a great muffin in your mug.  You can totally taste the banana, it is incredible.  It gives a warm and cozy homey feeling as you drink this tea.


I steeped the tea for 3-4 minutes and then let it pour into my mug.  Then I frothed my mil with a little maple syrup.


I poured the milk and froth into my mug...and the aroma is like I just baked banana bread!!


I used 2% milk and I got great froth!!


I made a cuppa for myself and one to take to work for a co-worker.


I tried the crystal sugar on top with one of those cut out shapes and it was a fail.  But, I will try again with a more powder like substance like turmeric or Cinnamon. 


Regardless of the look of the sugar sprinkles the taste was great.  I was even surprised how much I enjoyed it since it was a Rooibos tea.


Getting in with the theme of tea is my cat- enjoying her new tea cup catnip toy :) 

9/19- update

I made this tea for my niece and she did not like it.  So, not everyone likes the same tea.  We all have different taste buds....and that is okay.  If you your friend likes a tea, you may not and vice versa.  Try things, try tea and keep trying until you find what you like.  But, don't stop there, keep trying teas.  Variety is the spice of life. It's good to like lots of things.

Starbucks Iced Blueberry Black Tea Lemonade



I was in Wadsworth (Ohio) Target the other day and I decided to try a new Starbucks drink.   If you follow me you know my drink of choice is the Passion Iced Tea, half the syrup, lol.

It is dangerous to shop these days- Walmart has Aunite Anne's Pretzels and Target has Starbucks.  It takes great willpower to avoid these places.  To be honest, I hardly ever visit Target so that is not a problem and at Walmart I usually just walk by and smell the pretzels and I am satisfied. 

I thought I would try this one, it was good.  Uber sweet, so again, if I ever try it again, or if you go to order it I would go half the syrup.  It did have a nice blueberry flavor which I enjoy as one of my favorite fruits, so that was nice. 


From the website, "This boldly flavored and refreshing iced tea is made with a combination of our blueberry-flavored fruit juice blend, Teavana™ iced black tea and lemonade, then sweetened with liquid cane sugar and hand-shaken with ice"


Friday, September 20, 2019

Making Chai Lattes at Work


I took 9-10 chai teas into work and was making lattes for my co-workers.

I was having lots of fun making chai lattes according to what people liked.  i then frothed milk with maple syrup in it.  I have to say these chai's were delicious.... and I got people to try new things.  I am all about getting my office turned on to tea.


You can make latte's at home and save lots of money.  You don't need to go to a store to buy your drinks.  Find something in a store you like and learn to make it.  I have done that with Chai, I have several that I love to make at home, better than most I find in the store.  I also have learned to make a London Fog that I love and a Golden Milk Latte.

Get quality loose leaf tea and you may be surprised how great your teas at home will be!

Here are some of my favorite loose leaf chai teas....

Bird and Blend have one of my favorite chai's- Dark Choc Chilli Chai- https://birdandblendtea.com/uk_en/dark-choc-chilli-chai.html


Ohio Tea Company has a fantastic Vanilla Mint Chai- https://www.ohioteaco.com/Vanilla-Mint-Chai_p_748.html

Another good one is The Tao of Tea- 500 Mile Chai, https://taooftea.com/product/500-mile-chai/

Another one I like is Teista Tea- Chai Love https://tiestatea.com/collections/black-tea/products/chai-love



Thursday, September 19, 2019

Tiesta tea immunity-Maui Mango Cold Brew


Ingredients: 
  • + pineapple pieces
  • + orange slices
  • + mango bits
  • + natural flavors
  • + safflowers
  • + strawberry fruit granules
  • + white hibiscus
  • + marigold petals

I love this fresh citrus tasting cold brew tea.  Cold brew is a great way to drink tea.  By not heating it, you are not releasing the tannins and you can add cold water over and over again. Also you retain more antioxidants than hot brew and also it releases only have the caffeine.  I usually can add water 2-3 more times to my glass or in this case pitcher of water.    This pitcher is great, because it has the mesh holder inside and your leaves don't escape.

If I have bagged tea I do one bag per 8 oz of water.  When I do the loose leaf in a pitcher, I generally eye ball it, but if you want something more specific go with 4Tsp per 1 quart.


This tea smells so good and taste better!! I feel like it is a fruit salad in a cup.




I actually got the set listed above.  It was a great deal!!  It was like getting the steeper for free.  I gave the steeper to my mom, who never had one.  They sell this as a set 2 teas and the steeper for $38 on Amazon, but watch for the deal- I got it for $19.95 from Tiesta!!  The steeper alone sells for $14.  They were selling it on Facebook, follow them and watch for deals.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Tao of Tea, 500 Mile Chai



I made this 500 Mile Chai with just this Unsweetened Silk Soy Milk.  It was okay, but not great.   I am a fan of this chai and when I was in Portland my sister and I visited their store.  We ate there and they made it with soy milk and I am trying to recreate the wonderful flavor.  I need to work on the recipe. 

I am not sure if I need to just do a plain soy milk, this one was unsweetened.   I heated the milk and then steeped the tea in it. I also added a little sugar, but it was not nearly as good as I had at the Tao Store.


UPDATE:
Looking at the receipt I see that  I had almond milk, my sister had the soy milk.  Also I had Indian Jaggery- which is an unrefined sugar- in it.  That could be why it tastes different.  I will need to keep working on it.


This is at The Tao of Tea Restaurant in Portland OR.



Making homemade Blueberry Kombucha

Making my homemade Kombucha with fresh blueberries!!!


The blueberries adhere to the scoby.  Once I use this scoby I throw it into the garden.  I do not re-use it with the blueberries attached.  I get a "clean scoby" from my SCOBY hotel.

 MAKING KOMBUCHA

Makes about 1 gallon, double or triple depending on how much you want.

What You Need:

Ingredients
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
Cup of fresh blueberries
1 cups starter tea from last batch of kombucha

1 scoby per fermentation gallon jar 

For second fermentation- to make the fizz/carbonation: 2 to 3 cups apple juice and then 
added 4-5 blueberries per bottle too
 
Supplies
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 sugar to dissolve. Add the tea until the water has cooled. Depending on the size of your pot, this will take a few hours.  I usually let it sit overnight. 

Once the tea is cool, remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea. Stir in the 1 Cup starter tea. (The starter tea makes the liquid acidic, which prevents unfriendly bacteria from taking up residence in the first few days of fermentation.)
    Transfer to jars and add 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.
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 it takes longer. The warmer the temp, the faster it is ready.

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.

 BOTTLING for carbonation- Remove the scoby. 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.  For the fizz or carbonation then you pour the fermented kombucha (straining, if desired) into bottles using the small funnel, along with apple juice ( I don't measure, I just pour a small amount into the bottle) and blueberries. 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. Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and then consume your kombucha within a month.   Sometimes you may need to burp the bottles, so they do not explode.  To do this, on a bout day 3 or 4, unscrew the lids to release some of the pressure that has built up.

Make a fresh batch of kombucha: Clean the jar being used for kombucha fermentation- with hot water and vinegar, not soap!. Combine the starter tea from your last batch of kombucha with the fresh batch of sugary tea, and pour it into the fermentation jar. Slide the scoby on top, cover, and ferment for 7 to 10 days...and so it beings again

you can also get SCOBY on line, I decided to try that way too....  But, I also keep a SCOBY hotel in the house to share with others who want to make kombucha.  I always have a scoby on hand.

 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 made my blueberry kombucha with black tea base and then added fresh blueberries to the f1 and then again to the f2 process.


It turned out great and was very fizzy and carbonated.  I loved the fresh blueberry taste.  If you like to mix flavors, you could due a black base with peach tea and fresh blueberries....use you imagination!!



Fall is coming....I am enjoying my sunflowers and the cooler weather.


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Republic of Tea, Sip and Be Merry



My friend gave me one of her favorite teas to try- Sip and Be Merry.  It is from The Republic of Tea.  I love when people share tea with me.

Black tea, sweet blackberry leaves, natural caramel and vanilla flavors and cardamom seeds- they say if you add milk to this tea it is like a creme brulee.

I tried it and thought it was a very good tea. The caramel and vanilla mix very well together. 



Enjoying my tea as I celebrate 15 years at my office.  One of my favorite things is snow angels.  I love the snow!!!


Tea Drops, Humble Tea LLC



I bought these at a half price sale.  So instead of $12, they were $6.  I had lots of fun trying them out.




It's like a game, cause you never know what tea you will get when you drop it in the water.  Some people may not like that- I do.  It adds to the adventure of the tea.


I say if you want something fun and different, go for it!!!  I have had the Citrus Ginger and Sweet Peppermint and I have enjoyed them both.  I look forward to discovering all the flavors.  If you get a change pick up a box for yourself or as a gift for the tea lover you know.


From the website:
"Tea Drops are organic pressed teas that dissolve in your cup. Comprised of USDA organic tea, spices, and lightly sweetened with raw sugar, Tea Drops can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere, just by adding hot water.

With every online purchase you make, we will donate a year's supply of clean water to someone in need.

Tea Drops are delicious, organic shaped tea comprised of finely sourced organic tea, organic aromatic spices, and lightly sweetened with organic raw sugar creating a blissful tea blend that can be enjoyed any time, any place, with just boiling water. No special tools, no steeping time, no tea expertise necessary. Produced in small batches in our commercial kitchen, these little tea morsels are crafted with the highest ingredients and are proudly Made in America. Sample and enjoy an assortment of our most popular Tea Drops with our staff curated Variety Box.
 Each box includes two (2) of each of the following selections: Vanilla White Tea, Rose Earl Grey, Citrus Ginger, Sweet Peppermint.

Two Box Packaging Options, Same Great Tea Drops:
  • Classic Wood Box $12: (8 Drops/Box) Our Classic Wood Boxes are composed of high quality paulownia wood that feature a classy sliding top for easy access to your favorite individually wrapped Tea Drops. These boxes are a perfect gift option too.
  • Compostable Box $10: (8 Drops/Box) Compostable boxes are eco-friendly and biodegradable paper box that is simple and durable. This is a perfect option to refill on your favorite Tea Drops. You’ll notice this box also features an outside slider sleeve for easy access. Each Tea Drop is individually wrapped."









The tea does dissolve in the hot water, the more your kind swish your cup or stir, the better the dissolving process.