Rainy Days Get Me Down

Today was a very wet, cloudy, and windy day. The weather was absolutely awful until late afternoon when it turned to just yucky and uninspiring. I’ve decided that the reason why gray has never been a colour I liked is because of days like this.

Between thunderstorms, tornado watches and warnings, and an excess of rain, which 998F330D-0EF9-4B99-82D7-95489BCF9508caused flooding in many low-lying areas, my nerves were a bit on the frayed side. Thankfully, I had the perfect tea blend from Plum Deluxe in my stash – Rainy Day Puerh. What better way to correct the gloomies than with a hot cup of tea that was made for, or at least named after, a rainy day?

This organic, fair-trade tea blend lets you know the moment you open the pouch that you’re in for a treat as the aroma is wonderful – very spicy, very warming, very reassuring. Once you read the ingredients list you’ll better understand why. Puerh 82C2725B-2D7C-49BE-ABF2-31935FF0DD7Cis used as the base to which cinnamon bark, orange peel, ginger root, anise, safflower, and sweet cinnamon extract are added. The resulting tea is one that gives you a lift and almost makes you glad it’s raining outside so that this lovely tea can be enjoyed inside all snug and warm. Even though it is a sweet tea, I still add honey to my cup. It may just be me, but I think the addition of honey just helps to smooth everything out so that no one spice sticks out above the rest nor does the earthiness of the Puerh dominate the whole. While I’ve not tried it, the notes on their website say this tea blend, “Whips up into a beautiful chai latte or even a cocktail.”

Since I’m almost out of this tea I think I just might take advantage of their special offer. Between now and January 31 you can enjoy 12% off of three or more of the same tea, no coupon needed. If you still feel the need to de-stress after all the holiday festivities, they’re offering Coconut Ginger Soother for $5 this month. And you can’t beat the free sample that you get with every order. I love these little freebies because they’re the perfect size to include in a card to a friend or someone who needs a bit of a boost, assuming I don’t keep it for myself in the event that it’s a blend I’ve not purchased before.

When you go to the Plum Deluxe website, be sure to sign up for their newsletter. They’re pretty short and sweet, and there’s almost always a recipe or two that sounds tempting. Besides, you wouldn’t want to miss word of their new offerings or specials.

Speaking of specials, I’m going to have to try their Chinese New Year Herbal blend since it’s the year of the rat and I’m a rat according to the Chinese Zodiac. I’ll have to get on the stick and get my order in though because this blend is a limited edition only for the month of January. I feel a shopping spree coming on for tomorrow!

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

Happy National Hot Tea Month!

Happy New Year and Happy National Hot Tea Month! It’s hard to believe that it’s 2020 already. Not only did 2019 zip past, but the last 20 years have zipped past as well. It seems like only yesterday that everyone was worried our computers would crash the minute midnight struck and we were propelled into not only a new year but also a new century. Everyone prepared for the worst, but thankfully it never happened. Life went on, didn’t even skip a beat, at least not in my little world.

Lots of changes though have happened in both your life and mine over the past twenty years. For my part, our children have grown up and flown the coop with the youngest having graduated college back in 2015. My hair has gotten whiter and my joints ache more now than then, that’s kind of the bad news. The good news is that I have developed a taste for hot tea. Still don’t care for sweet tea, and yes, I’m as southern as they come, but I have branched out where hot tea is concerned from that first taste of PG Tips gifted to me by a friend of a friend. If she only knew what a tea monster she created with her generosity. It’s because of this that I’m sure I’ll be able to share a different tea with you each day for the month of January. Some will be varieties that are always available, others may be limited editions or seasonal offerings. I’ll try not to include very many of those though since it might be impossible for you to purchase and indulge in them yourself should my description of them peak your interest.

So, without further ado, we’ll kick the New Year off with a green tea because green teas are very good for you as they are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. If you’d like to learn more about green tea you can read this very thorough article by Dr. Jockers. While you’re there, check out the rest of his website. He’s a proponent of the Ketogenic (Keto) lifestyle and has a lot of information that will help you get your New Year off to a healthy start.
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This variety, Green Tea Pomegranate, is from English Tea Shop and is a fairtrade and organic tea. I purchased my tin of loose leaf tea from HomeGoods. It contains organic green tea (85%), organic rose petals (5%), organic pomegranate pieces (5%), and natural flavourings (5%). You know you’re in for a treat the minute you open the foil bag. The fragrance is most appealing and kind of reminds me for some reason of the bubble gum portion of the suckers I had as a kid. I think they were called Blow Pops. Loved those suckers!

This tea can stand on its own, but I add a bit of local honey and it’s even more delicious. It’s recommended to drink 2-3 cups of green tea per day. If you’re following Keto you won’t want to use honey though. Try monk fruit instead. I enjoy this flavour of green tea because it doesn’t set my teeth on edge as some green teas that I’ve had in the past have done. Some might label it a dessert tea, and it could definitely be used for that, but I tend to have it in the morning around 10:30 a.m. to tied me over until lunch time.

1D34675B-B58A-4574-89E9-F97D58264848If getting healthy in 2020 was one of your resolutions, then you need to add tea to your day in general and this variety in particular. If you don’t find it at HomeGoods be sure to check in one of their affiliate stores, TJMaxx or Marshall’s. Of course, once you look in any of these stores you’re probably going to find other teas that you can’t live without (which is a big part of why I have such a large selection). When you do, be sure to share with the rest of us. After all, what are friends for…

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

Holiday Spice from English Tea Store

You’ve probably noticed that I missed posting a final holiday tea blend on the 25th. That’s because we were out of town from the 22nd until late the 25th. After getting a late start back home and driving for several hours, the last thing I wanted to do was to sit at the computer and try to gather my thoughts about anything. Not to despair though because we celebrate Christmas for 12 days, so I’m still within the Christmas timeframe, at least from our point of view. If you want to read about our 12 Days of Christmas celebration you can go here and amuse yourself. It’s kind of a long read because I’m a very thorough explainer of anything and everything that I feel the need to explain. So, before you go there, grab yourself a cup of tea and a cookie or two. And please, ignore any shift in tenses that you might find. This is not English 101.

The selection of tea I’d like to share with you now was one I purchased for the last holiday season from English Tea Store. Thankfully, this selection is available year round so if this review tweaks your interest you can easily purchase some for yourself. If you’re not sure you’ll like this selection then start with their five bag sampler that is currently being offered for just $1.11. I think though that you will be going back for more.
Pic-ETS Tea-Holiday Spice
I purchased the 25 bag tin as we live in a humid climate and tins of tea are better than boxes of tea for that reason. As you can see, it’s just a plain silver tin with printed labels attached. The label on my tin says “New Improved Flavor!” but since this was my first time to try this tea I had nothing with which to compare it. The teabags are round and said to be in the English style with no strings or tags. That was a new bit of information for me as I didn’t realize that English teabags and teabags of other origins differed in these details. They also claimed to be 50% larger, containing 0.1 ounce of tea. With that claim in mind, I used just one bag for my two-cup teapot. Both cups of tea were lovely and neither was weakened by the additional amount of water used with only one teabag. I only point this out because I tend to put two teabags in my little teapot, pour out one into my cup after it’s steeped, and then refill the pot. This gives me three cups of tea with which to start, or end, my day.

According to the label on the top of the tin, this blend is a “fine quality black tea with cinnamon and orange natural flavors and spices.” The only other spice noted on the English Tea Store’s website is cloves. The tea has a very nice spicy aroma but is not overbearing, nor is the flavour. Each flavour is a nice mix, not too strong, not too weak. By that I mean you can taste each one but no one flavour overpowers the other. I sweetened my tea with a teaspoon of local honey which added to the richness and enhanced the flavour. I’ve learned the hard way though to keep stirring my tea from time to time when using honey, otherwise it sinks to the bottom of the cup and the last couple of sips are way too sweet, even for me.

Forgive me for stating the obvious here, but this is the last holiday tea post for the 2019 year. Tomorrow starts both a New Year as well as National Hot Tea Month. It will also begin a new endeavour on my part which is to review a different tea every day both here and on a new blog site, Hooked on Tea, that I’m setting up. I will double post to both sites for a while and then split them up again so that those interested only in quilting won’t have to endure information about tea things and vice versa. This new site might not be visible for a few days, but I will definitely let you know when it is. I’m not completely sure what direction the new blog will take or what all I will include, but I hope to make it one for sharing both my love of tea and the accoutrements that go along with it, of which I have collected a lot over the years. Until tomorrow…Happy New Year!

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

Photo Credit: English Tea Store

Happy New Year!

The New Year has arrived! For us it arrived quietly – no bells, no whistles. Yep, we were asleep when the clock struck twelve. Victoria stayed up though. Ahhhh, youth…

The New Year finds us with internet service again after being down since the 17th, the guy who came out to fix it didn’t fix it correctly. I can now get to the internet and can receive e-mails, but for some reason I can’t send e-mails. I’m hoping that I can get that problem resolved tomorrow. Speaking of resolutions, have you made any? I’m toying with the idea of resolving to lose weight because I need to in a bad sort of way, but I know me well enough to know that saying I’m going to do it and doing it are two totally different things. However, the day after Christmas we had occasion to do a lot of walking and stair climbing. It was obvious that I was very much out of shape based on how very much out of breath I was most of the time. Any ideas on what kind of diet or program might work for me? Feel free to tell me what’s worked for you. We have a 25th anniversary coming up in June and Rick wants to go to the Caribbean. He’s lost weight, but I’ve not. I need to get with the program before the date gets any closer.

How have you spent your first day of the New Year? I’ve spent most of mine working on our guild’s newsletter. Somehow, I got roped into being the secretary for the coming year which means I have to do the newsletter every month. It should be interesting to see what the membership thinks of this first one given that it’s ten pages long. They tend to like it short and sweet, but I’m not a short and sweet kind of person sooo…I might just get fired before I get started. Then again, finding officers isn’t always easy so they might decide to grin and bear me for the next 12 months.

About the only other thing I did, besides take a nap, was follow the New Year Mystery Quilt at Quilting Tizzy. I didn’t get to do any of the steps as they were revealed, but I’ve saved all the clues so that I can give it a try later on. It looks like it will be a really neat quilt once it’s done. Visit Sheryl’s blog and try her mystery for yourself. She gave some pre-cutting instructions on December 18 so you might want to back up and start there. Be sure to send her photos of what you get done.

Let the New Year begin!

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