Here We Go Again…

I’m not as good about going thru my shop e-mails as I was when we were open every day.  I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing it’s because I don’t go downstairs every day to piddle around in the shop.  I haven’t decided whether that’s because I’ve gotten lazy in my old age, or because I have the distraction of Rick still working from home.  It’s probably more of the latter since I tend to stay upstairs where he is and actually stop to eat lunch when he’s here, neither of which I used to do.  Don’t get me wrong now, it’s been quite nice having him here every day to have tea with.  That alone has gone a long way in getting rid of my huge stash of tea.  But I digress…

What I really wanted to tell you about are the e-mails I’ve been getting from various vendors over the past couple of months.  Each of them contain pretty much the same information which boils down to price increases on both fabric and other items we quilters purchase to facilitate our need for creating and the ability to display our creations in a fitting manner.  While it’s never fun to be told that you’re going to have to pay more for the pleasure of using something you love, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us given the events of the past year.  How any independent business, i.e. non big box retailer, survived is not only amazing but a testimony to their ability to problem solve and to the loyalty of their customers.  The fact that any “non-essential” company survived is nothing short of a good-sized miracle.  Personally, I thought all along that quilt shops and similar venues were just as essential as the big box stores.  While we might not have offered food, we did offer our own form of comfort to those who would have soaked it up had they been allowed to get out and about whenever they wanted.  I actually wrote a blog post on how quilt shops were essential but never posted it as Rick feared it might ruffle some feathers.  Again, I digress…

It seems like I blogged about price increases only yesterday, but when I looked back it was actually in December 2010 that I brought it to your attention.  Talk about flying time!  At that time, I had been told by a sales rep that fabric would be going up to $10 per yard.  Right now it’s coming in at $12 per yard, although last year, or maybe it was the year before, I heard through the grapevine that some shops were already up to $14 per yard.  WOW!   

So, what can you expect this time around?  Well, here’s a little sample for you.  In future, you can expect the price of precuts to be 10% higher.  That means that the 5” charm squares you like working with will now be $11 a pack instead of $10 as they have been for the past few years.  The 2-1/2” mini-charm packs will go from $4 to $4.50.  The wire ware vendor that we’ve used ever since I bought the shop back in 2004 will have a 12% increase according to one source from which I received an e-mail, although I have not verified that directly with the vendor.   This doesn’t bode well and isn’t news that I like passing on to you.  Looks like we just might have to cut out another latte at our favourite coffee shop in order to feed our fabric habits.  Since fabric doesn’t add to the waist line, I think it’s a pretty good trade off.  What do you think?


101 Itty Bitty Celebrations – A Review

Happy New Year! Yes, I know I’m a month and a half late and Valentine’s Day has come and gone which means that we’re already halfway through the month of February, but my writing muse seems to have taken a bigger hit last year than I’d realized. For some reason I just could not get “in the zone” or whatever writers call their place of creativity. I’m going to try and correct that though and have actually written a bit of a story for a contest that I ran across last week. I figure if I can write for a contest I can surely write for my beloved ladies, and gentlemen, who have connected with me through this medium of blog postings.

Bk-MG-B1565-101 Itty Bitty Celebrations-Front CvrSo, without further ado, I’d like to share with you my thoughts on a new book by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings fame. This book actually came out last month, but I was supposed to have been at the beach all of last month so had cancelled my standing order with Martingale for new books during the month of January. After all, I didn’t want them to be delivered and have to sit on the front porch for three weeks before I got back home. Even with a wide front porch we still get rain blown in underneath, sometimes all the way to the front door even. That’s just not a good environment for books.

Lisa’s new book, as indicated by the title, contains 101 2″ stitcheries that cover just about any and every occasion you can think of, and then some. They are grouped together by season and theme.  Hers were done in wool, but I will make mine using our great selection of wool felts. Thankfully, I have a good set of scraps from where Miss Martha did her stitching over the years. The pieces in these little projects are so tiny that I’m sure I’ll be able to find what I need among those scraps. I’ve already told one of my ladies that I think we’re going to need some tweezers to pick up and hang on to these tiny bits. Thankfully, we both have the wonderful Wonder Clips by Clover to help us keep things together while we stitch.

Some of the samples in the book have been clipped to a wooden board, as you can see on the cover, and could be changed out weekly, monthly, quarterly, or with 101 of them, almost daily.  One of my first thoughts when I looked through this book was how perfect these would be for those folks living in a tiny house.  Even after clipping them to the wooden stand they’re not going to take up very much room, which is a good thing since tiny houses aren’t blessed with a lot of room as a general rule.

FINAL Cover_B1565.inddOne of the other display options that was shown in the book was a group of these little designs placed in a drawer of what appeared to be a small case that had three vertical drawers.  I’m going to have to find one of these now because it was beyond cute.  These itty bitties could also be worn as a pin, used as a bookmark or scissors fob with the addition of a bit of ribbon, sent to a friend who’s in need of a little day brightener, or mailed to a special someone who is having a birthday.  Stitch up several of the ones with a birthday cake and you’ll be set for every birthday boy and girl on your calendar this year.  These little designs are right up my alley being that I’m a miniature everything fan.  I think I’ll have to stitch them two at a time though when I intend to gift one, maybe one in my colours and one in colours that would better appeal to the recipient.  While I know it’s hard to imagine, not everyone likes the colour purple (gasp!).

Needless to say, I love this little book.  If I were to give any unsolicited advice to Martingale on a future book of this type it would be to include an index that gives both the design name, i.e. birthday cake, schoolhouse, strawberries, and the page where it could be found.  An alphabetical index as well as an index by theme or season would be most helpful.  That would save both time and lessen the opportunity for distractions.  Knowing me as I do, I’ll look for one design and get sidetracked by all the others.  I sure do hope none of you have this same problem;-).

There are no affiliate links in this post.  All links are given for ease of reference only.

Handwork Happiness – A Review

Given that it’s still too cold in most places to get out and do outdoor things, sitting inside with a project that can be done indoors, either at home or elsewhere, is the perfect solution to keeping yourself busy while possibly multitasking by listening to podcasts, audio books, or that movie you just love and have seen 100+ times to the point of not needing to actually look at the screen because your memory takes over and plays it in your head without ever having to look up. You know the ones…

On a particularly cold wet day last week, along came a copy of Better Home & Gardens Handwork Happiness as a thank you for participating on a Quilting Research Panel. After opening the envelope and seeing what a treat I was in for, I made myself a pot of hot tea. I think it was Harney & Sons Serengetea as it needed to be caffeine free since it was late evening by the time I had settled myself in my favorite chair, put my legs up on my footstool, and covered my legs with a warm throw. Once I’d stirred honey into my tea I was ready to begin my perusal of this unexpected gift.
Mag-BHG-Handwork Happiness 2020
As the cover states, there are 20 projects from which to choose. Choosing which one to do first will be a much more difficult task than the actual execution of the project. I did notice that some of these projects have been printed in past publications. In fact, the first project presented is one such reprint. Why am I sure this is the same project? Two reasons: 1) Because there’s a photo of it on page 11 showing an alternate color scheme which was the one originally given in that long-ago publication, and 2) because I loved it so much when I saw it the first time that I bought the paper templates from Paper Pieces needed to make the hexies. Alas, that’s as far as I got though. I’ve thought about starting it several times over the years but have long since misplaced the magazine in which it was published. That’s why having it republished might mean you pay for the same real estate twice, but it also means it’s much easier, and quicker, to find the instructions without having to go through tons of saved publications.

Techniques for the projects in this publication cover hand embroidery, hand piecing, big stitch quilting, English paper piecing, wool appliqué, and even cross-stitch which seems to be making somewhat of a comeback. If you already know how to do all of these techniques you can jump on any one of them in a heartbeat. If not, here’s a perfect opportunity to learn something new. You may find a technique that you absolutely fall in love with or one you try and realize just isn’t for you. That’s the lovely thing about our quilting/sewing/crafty world. Not everyone will love every technique, and that’s perfectly all right. Thankfully, there are so many options from which to choose it means there’s something for everyone who is truly interested in learning and in working with their hands.

The cost of this publication is $12.99 in the U.S. That’s only $.65 per project! Even if you only liked half of them you’re still coming out way ahead when compared to some of the quilting books that are available and especially individual patterns. I don’t mean to sell either of these formats short, but I sometimes think, and I’m speaking from personal experience here because I’m guilty of this too, we look at the price of special publications, in the form of magazines, or bookazines as some are labeled, and think they’re too expensive. Oftentimes it’s because we feel we’re just paying for a lot of advertisements. This particular publication, however, only has three ads and two of them, the one on the inside front cover and the one on the inside back cover, are by All People Quilt (APQ), the very folks that put together the magazine. The third is on the back cover and by Riley Blake Designs who was a 2019 sponsor for APQ’s 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. So, from page 4 to 95 it’s all the information you need in order to execute these projects.

I’ve not been in either of my favourite bookstores lately, but this publication should be on their shelves. According to the APQ website, it was supposed to be on newsstands starting January 31. There appears to be a corresponding podcast, #456, but I’ve not had a chance to listen to it yet. See…when one is involved with needle and thread there’s never a reason to be bored nor is there any validity to the statement, “I can’t find a thing to do (sigh).”

NOTE: There are no affiliate links in this post. All links are given for reference and ease of use only.

Hot Tea Month in the Rear View Mirror

As has been said many times before this, all good things must come to an end, and so ends our National Hot Tea Month. I’m trying to wrap my mind around that realization actually. How could a whole month come and go, while I feel as if I’ve been left somewhere back at the end of December (actually more like May, but I kinda hate to admit that)? I truly do not like this winged time that I seem to be experiencing in the latter half my life.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about, and discovering, new teas to try. I have definitely enjoyed sharing with you and having a valid reason, for a change, to buy a few new teas to share. I’d hoped to share more of my teacup collection as well, but time this month was a bit more limited than I thought it would be. Once I get the Hooked on Tea site up and running it might free up some time to plan and photograph more of my tea stash as well as my teacups, teapots, and other miscellaneous items that I’ve collected over the years to go along with the obsession. Because, as they also say, if a thing’s worth doing it’s worth doing well. I think I can honestly say I’ve done the collecting of tea and tea paraphernalia quite well. Just ask my husband…

The last tea that I’ll review for you this month is Angel’s Dream from English Tea Store. I gave this tea to our eldest daughter, Julia, for her birthday. Of course, I had to buy one for myself as well, you know how you do. She sent me a note the other night saying she’d tried the tea and it “…was so good. It tastes like maple syrup.” Since I hadn’t tried it I decided to let it be the last one to review for the month. I really wish I could honestly say it was an awesome way to end this awesome month, but I cannot.

Angel’s Dream contains both black (Assam) and (a mystery) green tea along with cornflower petals, mallow blossoms, and the natural flavours of maple and wild 36168002-DA56-4B50-9C4D-FABF321B5D13blackberry. The teas used in its making come from Sri Lanka, Formosa and Assam (India) with 98% or more coming from estates that are part of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP). Upon opening the bag, the aroma was sweet and familiar but one I couldn’t quite place. Once steeped it smelled much like one of Victoria’s flavoured coffees, but it kind of tasted like one of the Simmer Snap wax melts I’ve bought in the past from Colonial Candle. I just can’t figure out which one and didn’t feel up to going downstairs where they are stored to satisfy my curiosity, especially since I wasn’t really curious enough to figure it out.

I kept trying to taste the maple flavour as well as the blackberry flavour but was never quite able to distinguish or separate the two. Then again, I only made one cup as it was later in the evening than I like to drink caffeinated tea. I also only steeped it for three minutes while the package says you can go up to five minutes. I did warm my teacup before adding my T-Sac containing the loose leaf tea, and I did add a teaspoon of honey. Perhaps if I make it again one day in my little teapot and have my usual three cups, which means the second and third cups will have had a longer time to steep, I’ll have more luck in distinguishing/separating the flavours.

All in all it was a nice enough tea but not a knock-my-socks off tea as some of the others reviewed this month have been. At this point, it’s not one that I will reorder unless my next experiment, as mentioned above, gives me better results. Not to worry though. I have plenty other still-to-be-tried teas in my stash, so I’m confident that I’ll find others that I like well enough that the future absence of this blend will not be noticed.

Until next month…

NOTE: There are no affiliate links in this post. All links are given for reference and ease of use only.

A Tea That’s My Favourite Colour!

When looking for something new to try back before Christmas that was caffeine free, I ran across Indigo Punch from Harney & Sons. The photo on their website was as appealing as the description of the blend. Put a purple tea in front of me and it’s quite doubtful that I’ll resist it.
Pic-HS-Indigo Punch Loose
This tea is a blend of butterfly pea flower, fragrant apple pieces and rosehips, bright lemongrass, lemon peel, and vivid raspberry. A natural honey flavour has also been included in the blend, but that didn’t stop me from adding more honey to my cup of tea. While I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d like the butterfly pea flower flavour, as I’d never had it before, I shouldn’t have been concerned. This blend is absolutely wonderful! I greatly enjoyed this tea on many levels. Visually it was appealing with its purple colour, the aroma that wafts upwards when you take the lid off the tin is wonderful, and the flavour is perfect.

Curiosity got the better of me, so I had to look up information on the butterfly pea flower. Seems it has been used to treat several ailments down through the years that include, but are probably not limited to, general pain, the reduction of inflammation, common eye issues such as conjunctivitis, to fight against certain types of cancers, and stimulate brain health. Because it contains a lot of antioxidants, it helps the body fight free radicals that can cause premature aging and are toxic to our system. That means that this tea could be used as an aid to detox the body.

The other thing I learned about this flower is that it has the ability to change colours depending on the pH. It will also change colour depending on how it’s prepared. If you add lemon juice to tea made from blue butterfly pea flowers it will change the colour from blue to purple. Since this blend has lemon peel I’m guessing that’s why it turned out to be such a lovely purple colour.

Pic-HS-Indigo Punch-TinIf I were to offer any criticism at all it would be with regards to packaging. While the label graphics are interesting, I must admit to having a bit of a shock when I opened the tin. It was only half full! What happened?! I’m used to ordering Harney’s 4 oz. tins and they’re always full, but this 4 oz. tin only contains 2 oz. of tea, which is exactly what I ordered and what’s stated on the label. It seems that enough time had elapsed between the time I ordered the tea and the time I actually opened it that I’d forgotten it was less than the usual 4 oz. So, if you order this tea don’t think you’ve been gypped when you find your tin isn’t full. Given how popular this blend appears to be based on the comments on Harney’s website, I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t ditch the 2 oz. tin and replace it with a 4 oz. Of course, the most economical thing to do as the consumer would be to buy the one pound bag. That might be just what I do once this tin runs out. I can then refill the tin from the one pound bag and take it downstairs to enjoy while the remainder of the pound bag stays upstairs to enjoy. Once my girls try it though I get the feeling that some of that pound bag will have to go home with them as well. Might ought to just order two one pound bags to be on the safe side.

NOTE: There are no affiliate links in this post. All links are given for reference and ease of use only.

Photo Credit: Harney & Sons

Lovely Friends, Lovely Tea

Aren’t friends wonderful?! I think so, and I’m very grateful to have some lovely friends who understand and indulge, some even facilitate, my passion for tea. Case in point – the tea I’m going to share with you today was a gift from a very dear friend, Beverly, who was actually my matron of honour when Rick and I married back in 1988.

Beverly has family in Florida and while on vacation picked up a couple of teas for me to try. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least. Knowing someone is thinking of you while on vacation, and visiting with family no less, gives one a warm and cozy feeling inside. I am so blessed.
This tea came from The Spice & Tea Exchange of Mount Dora. It’s kind of odd actually that I picked today out of the whole month of January to review one of the teas that she gifted me with from here because this shop was closed today for remodeling, according to their Facebook page. If you live in the vicinity, you might want to drop in and look over their newly remodeled tea bar. Wish I could do that, but it’s a bit of a drive from here to there, and I’m still babysitting.

Cinnamon Plum Herbal Tea is the blend that I’d like to tell you about now. The aroma that wafts out of the bag is amazing, absolutely amazing. It smells like a really good spice cake, or something along those lines. In other words, it’d be good enough to eat as is if it weren’t just tea leaves. Once steeped it still 3BBDC51A-9135-4274-9F69-702D3B294567smells spicy, but the colour of this tea is what will grab your attention. Red Velvet Cake was the first thing that I thought of when I saw the colour. It’s a very rich red colour that’s just lovely. What else is in this tea? The packet says it’s rich in currants, hibiscus, and has notes of cinnamon and licorice root, all of which are organic. It also includes natural plum flavouring. The resulting tea is warming and definitely qualifies as a dessert tea. Thankfully, it’s caffeine free so having it later in the afternoon isn’t a problem. The flexibility of this blend is a plus. If you like mulled cider or wine, you can use this blend for that purpose as well.

I greatly enjoyed this tea and will hate to run out of it. Part of me would like to just put it in a nice little bowl so I can smell it all the time. That would be a waste of good tea though, so I’ll just satisfy myself with a sniff every now and then when making a cup isn’t convenient. It’s a good thing that sniffing tea isn’t illegal in the privacy of your own home. Otherwise…

NOTE: There are no affiliate links in this post. All links are given for reference and ease of use only.

A Coconut Nut Here…

I’ve not been drinking enough green tea lately. I used to have a cup first thing every morning, but once I started babysitting I stopped. Mainly, because I barely function at 5:30 a.m., so making and drinking tea at that too-early-for-me time just doesn’t happen. Only occasionally have I made green tea on a weekend morning because weekend mornings are for relaxing and having a good pot of breakfast tea.
Pic-HH-Green w Coconut
Sunday morning though found me trying a new-to-me green tea that I’d picked up at HomeGoods last week. While I’ve purchased other Heath & Heather flavours over the past several years, mainly from teadog, I’d not tried this one. Seeing that it had coconut I definitely wanted to give it a try. One, because I love coconut, and two, because coconut is often rather sweet on its own. I can gladly say that I was not disappointed with this tea.

I tried it first without sweetener and liked it well enough that had I more willpower I could have skipped adding honey, but I didn’t so in went the honey, but not as much as usual so give me a gold star for that. The addition of honey made this nice cup of tea a definite must-buy-more-when-I-run-out tea. The flavour of the green tea was delicate, not at all grassy, and the coconut made for a palate-pleasing addition. I only made one cup, as that’s all the time I had for indulging, but I wish I’d been able to make a whole pot and had my usual three cups. You can bank on the fact that the next time I have this tea that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

This tea contains 97% organic green tea plus natural flavouring. While it doesn’t contain the meat of the coconut, I can’t help but think that it will still provide many of the benefits of coconut. Coconuts are high in MCTs and MCT oil is often recommended in Keto recipes. The fat in coconuts is a medium-chain fatty acid, which is better absorbed as compared to animal saturated fat, and is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Reducing inflammation is a big part of why a person changes to Keto. Coconuts are also high in manganese. Manganese is essential for bone health as well as the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and cholesterol. Another plus is their richness in copper and iron. These elements help form red blood cells as well as selenium which is an important antioxidant that provides protection for your cells.

Heath & Heather has been around since 1920. They work alongside the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) to promote the safe use of medicinal herbs. Having 100 years of creating “herbal remedies” under your belt is a pretty good claim to fame. Their other tea that I try to keep in my stash is their Echinacea tea for those times when I catch a cold. All in all though I’d say I have at least eight different tea blends, probably more if I were to take an actual count. Each of these blends has its own health benefits. Some might sound odd, like Aloe Vera or Nettle for example, but those plants were put here for a reason. Why shouldn’t their healing properties be used for just that purpose? Waste not, want not…

NOTE: There are no affiliate links in this post. All links are given for reference and ease of use only.

Photo Credit: Heath & Heather

A Bit of Luxury

If I were a betting kinda person, I’d bet that everyone likes a bit of luxury. Of Pic-MS Luxury Gold Frtcourse, while luxury is viewed differently by each individual, it usually makes one think of something that’s a cut above the normal – something that isn’t run of the mill – something that makes any given point in time feel more special than usual. With those parameters in mind, I can safely say that Marks & Spencer’s Luxury Gold tea definitely lives up to its name.

Sealed in a gold foil bag, the round teabags contain fairtrade Pic-MS Luxury Gold Pktstea picked from the best tea gardens in the world. According to their box, the tea that is chosen for this blend is vacuum packed on the estate from whence it came in order to preserve its special flavour. Only the top two leaves and a bud are hand picked for this blend at just the right stage of maturity. This makes M&S Luxury Gold like no other tea as it has a “true” tea flavour which is full yet smooth and sweet.

Rather than rehash what I’ve already said about this tea, I took the liberty of copying and pasting my review on teadog from three years ago, almost to the day even. How odd is that?!

Teadog Review:
C. M. Anderson 01/20/2017
Love it!
“I cannot say enough good things about this tea. I tried it with a little honey and no milk and it was great. I added a little milk and it was even better. It’s has a lovely, smooth flavor with no astringency that I could detect, even after leaving the bags in the pot for a while. It gives some of the other gold blends that I have enjoyed a run for their money. I will definitely buy more in the future.”

My opinion of this blend hasn’t changed a bit since then. I still love it and would recommend it to anyone who wishes to experience a great cup of tea. As for buying more in the future, I need to do that as I only have a couple more servings worth of this tea left.

NOTE: There are no affiliate links in this post. All links are given for reference and ease of use only.

Photo Credit: teadog

Not Mint for Me

In keeping with last year’s monthly review of Christmas teas on the 25th of the month, I would like to present Christmas in Paris by Stash Tea Co. This herbal tea contains cocoa shells, peppermint, lavender, natural chocolate flavour, and vanilla extract. While I don’t like the taste of mint, the promise of chocolate was enough to tempt me into trying this blend. I was very thankful that it only contains trace amounts of caffeine since I ended up drinking it at almost 8:00 p.m.

The teabags are individually wrapped, a plus in my opinion as I like to share tea 3F4EC034-D756-4D00-A493-0278A622F8CBwith others and find that it’s much easier if they’re each in a nice little sealed packet. I didn’t have to tear the top off of the packet very far before smelling mint. In fact, the aroma that wafted out of the packet instantly reminded me of those round peppermint patties that I used to win for perfect attendance in Sunday School but never got to eat because I didn’t like them. Odd how some aromas bring back age-old memories. Once steeped the tea had that same familiar smell, so I had no doubt that I’d be tasting the mint, like it or not.

I tried the tea without sweetener first and knew immediately that I needed to add honey in order to drink this tea. The addition of honey did indeed help. I could definitely taste the mint and the chocolate but not so much the lavender. Overall it was a nice tea for a cold evening. I can’t say that I didn’t like it, but the verdict is still out as to whether or not I’ll drink more of this blend. The remaining 17 teabags might just find their way to a friend who I know does enjoy mint infused teas. Now if you enjoy mint teas, or those round peppermint patties, then you’ll no doubt enjoy this tea. It is a smooth warming tea that I’d easily classify it as a dessert tea.

Since the tea had chocolate in it, I decided to also try a new Keto friendly cookie that I’d picked up at HomeGoods. I bought the Chocolate Fudge Cookies complete with chocolate chips. My hope was that the chocolate chip cookie would intensify the chocolate flavour of the tea while downplaying the mint flavour. It didn’t. If anything, the tea had a more chocolate taste than the cookies. The cookies are made by Too Good Gourmet. While the front of the package says they’re under 2 grams of net carbs, I cannot figure out how they’re making their calculations. According to the nutritional facts on the side of the box, one cookie has 7 grams of total carbs. Some folks subtract from that dietary fiber which in this case is only 1 gram. So as I understand it, one cookie, which is the stated serving size, would end up having 6 grams of carbs. The cookies are nice and soft, about 2” across, and made with almond flour. The chocolate flavour was pretty mild. At $4.99 per box, and that was HomeGoods price, for only 8 cookies they’re a bit pricey. I enjoy having cookies with my tea but I’m also trying to follow Keto guidelines. Having a box of these on hand would help keep me from feeling deprived of my cookies, but at the same time I could only have one since it appears that the carbs in each cookie is about a third of my daily allotment. I think I’d rather make the chocolate cookies in Maria Emmerich’s Comfort Foods book that I mentioned before. At least with those I can have two per serving, they taste better, and I get 25 cookies out of one batch. I’ve not calculated the cost, but I’m pretty sure they’re less expensive than these store bought cookies.

NOTE: There are no affiliate links in this post. All links are given for reference and ease of use only.

Here We Go Again…

When I decide which tea I’m going to review I look to see if the site from which I ordered it still stocks it. That way it will be easy for you to purchase the tea brand/blend and try it for yourself. The tea I reviewed yesterday, Ringtons Kenyan Gold, wasn’t to be found on the site from which I had purchased it several times. It seems that I’m in the same boat with today’s tea choice, Yata Watte by Dilmah.

I purchased this tea at least twice that I can recall from teadog. It was another of those adventurous days on that first order which means that the description of this tea is what caught my attention and made me decide to give it a try. What was it about the description that was so intriguing? Well, this tea was compared to a Cabernet WP-Yata WatteSauvignon. While I’m not a wine drinker, I have heard that this particular variety of wine is a good choice when you aren’t sure what to get. Seriously, I have no idea or insight into the world of wine, but to have a tea compared to that just sounded like something I needed to try.

Verdict: If Cabernet Sauvignon is as good as this tea then I can understand why folks would indulge. I fell in love with this tea from the first sip. It has everything I like in a tea – rich, full-bodied, robust if you will but not astringent or bitter at any stage. It just wrapped around me as I sat in my comfortable chair, listening to classical music, and enjoying a moment of complete relaxation. It’s another of the teas that I tend to save for Sunday afternoon or maybe a Saturday when I’ve been more productive than usual and need a bit of time to recoup my energy to finish out the day. Of course, I do add honey and a little milk to my cup of tea. I’m beginning to think that’s more out of habit than anything. Since we’ve been trying to switch to a more Ketogenic diet I’ve found that I can use less honey which is a good thing. However, I would never use erythritol (Swerve) or monk fruit in this tea. I think I’d do without all together before altering the flavour of this wonderful tea. Yes, I know honey alters it somewhat, but it alters it in a positive direction. I’ve had enough foods with the all natural sweeteners to know that this tea will only ever have honey added to it as needed.

In addition to the wonderful taste of Yata Watte, Dilmah has nailed it with packaging. The tin has an interesting shape as well as classic graphics. When you open the hinged lid there’s a fitted inner lid that tightly seals in freshness. Even still, I leave my tea in the foil package that it comes in just as added protection since it does get humid here in the south, even in air conditioned spaces.

One interesting thing I discovered on Dilmah’s website was a list of dishes with which to pair Yata Watte. The fact that pasta, cheese cakes, and creamy sauces were three of the four items listed perfectly matches my preferences when it comes to food. If I can have any of those three, and especially if all three are had in the same meal, I’m on cloud nine. Maybe I’m going to have to take my own tea to the Italian restaurant next time and have that with my Fettuccine Alfredo and cheese cake instead of plain water. Think they’d mind?

WP-Ran WatteDilmah has three other varieties of single origin teas in their Watte lineup, but of the other three I’ve only tried the Ran Watte. This tea is compared to fine champagne. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t as impressed with this variety as with the Yata Watte. I did try champagne once and was absolutely unimpressed with it. Might have been the variety of champagne, I don’t know. I just didn’t like it and never drank it again. So, when tea time rolls around the Ran Watte has been passed over for the Yata Watte nine out of ten times. If getting more Yata Watte is going to prove problematic though I guess I’m going to have to go ahead and use the Ran Watte in order to stretch the Yata Watte a bit further.

I know there are a ton of really good teas on the market these days. As I said before, I have a generous tea stash, and I’m always adding to it. But there are just some teas that you find that become favourites over others. When the others run out they aren’t replaced with more of the same but are replaced with something different because they just weren’t enjoyable enough to buy more of the same. However, when a tea becomes a favourite it is always replaced by more of the same when you run out. It might not be one that you drink every day, but knowing it’s there for you when you need it is, in my opinion, just as comforting as the tea itself. Here’s hoping that Dilmah will once again be among the teas that teadog offers in the future. They already have a very good selection, but I was really Dlimah Teapotsurprised when I discovered that Dilmah was no longer among the tea brands that they offer. I even won a little Dilmah teapot several years ago that I use almost every time I make tea for myself. I love that little teapot. Crossing my fingers now that replacing my Yata Watte when I run out will be possible in the near future.

NOTE: There are no affiliate links in this post. Links are given for reference and ease of use only.

Photo Credit: Dilmah

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