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.

A Magical Night

Can you believe that we’re already halfway through the month of January?! Have you been enjoying lots of hot tea, preferably varying varieties thereof? I must admit that it’s been somewhat of a challenge to carve out time each evening to make posts, but it’s also been nice to have an excuse to make a pot, or in tonight’s case a cup, of tea with the objective of it being different than the day before. You see, for all the varieties I have at my disposal, I tend to be a bit of a predictable drinker, drinking the same varieties over and over again. Not necessarily because they’re the best of the lot, but more because they’re comfortable. I know what to expect from a specific selection with no surprises, and no adjustments are required to the expectations of my taste buds.

Tonight I decided to try not only a new tea but a new-to-me tea brand whose tea I bought for the tin design alone. I mentioned my weakness for tins in previous posts I’m sure, and it kicked in full force when I ran across this tin. I’d never heard of the brand and had it not been for the unusually shaped tin I might not have bought it. The tin is, in my opinion, beautiful. I wouldn’t mind finding the tin’s design printed on fabric. It’d be one of those WOW! pieces that we quilters tend to buy just because they scream our names and force us to take them home with us. Those pieces tend to end up being for petting purposes only. They never actually get used in a quilt. Needless to say, I have a lot of those as well.

The brand is Basilur. The blend is Magic Nights. The packaging is impressive, and I’m not just 347ECFAA-A8CA-4814-B661-F1F6F6FE5E79talking about the tin now. My tin contains the Pyramid Collection. The teabags are pyramid shaped and contained in a sealed foil pouch which is resealable. E71D6CD5-0EF0-4DA5-9726-05FF955E3E55The lid has a plastic flange around the edge to help seal in freshness. My pyramid teabags have a string and paper tab which makes brewing up a cup quick and easy. This is a pure WP-MAGIC NIGHTSCeylon black tea with natural cranberry fruits, natural cornflower and blue malva, and flavours strawberry, pineapple, papaya, and apricot. The option in their online store is for loose leaf tea.

I’m very familiar with all of the flavours in this blend except one, blue malva. After looking it up, I was delighted to see that it helps with inflammation, which is a large part of why I’m trying to eat a Ketogenic diet. It’s also been used in traditional Austrian medicine internally in the form of tea or externally as baths for treatment of disorders of the skin. Other benefits are to the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, and heart. But the most intriguing use of blue malva was as a blue rinse for gray hair before chemical dyes came along. I think I might have to find some of this and give it a try.

I can honestly say that even though this tea was way past its “best by” date, by almost two years to be more precise, I greatly enjoyed my cup of tea this evening. The aroma that came from the tin even before I opened the sealed bag was lovely. The aroma of the opened bag was even better. It has a very sweet fragrance, and although I could have had my tea without sweetener I went ahead and added honey. It tasted even better with the addition of honey. I will definitely have to buy more of this blend once my supply runs out. That shouldn’t take long because the sealed bag is pretty light, so I think there’s probably only 20 teabags, definitely not more than 40, in this large, beautiful tin. I’ve purchased other blends by Basilur in the past couple of months which I’ve not had a chance to try yet. Once I do, I’ll let you know what I think about those. I can already tell you that one of the purchases was because of the tin that the teas came in. It looks like a book! In addition to making a wonderful blend in Magic Nights, these folks have presentation down pat.

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

Photo credit: Basilur Teas

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