@52Teas Delivery!

A few months back I backed a Kickstarter to help out a fellow tea lover and her daughter take over 52 Teas. Let me back up a bit. As you might be wondering what the heck 52 Teas IS. Well, the short version is that 52 Teas blends a new tea a week. Simple right? Right and delicious!

I haven’t purchased any of their new blends since the online shop re-opened under new ownership. But I did back them in order to get two of my favorite re-blends: Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish Honeybush and Pancake Breakfast Black Tea.

That is the face of one happy tea loving lady.

That is the face of one happy tea loving lady.

I did try the honeybush tea yesterday, but it was at work so it wasn’t the best water temp or conditions. But I will say this people thought I had made raspberry cream cheese danish and were looking in the kitchen for said treat. Weren’t they surprised when I told them it was tea!

I will say a more formal review is coming once I can make myself a cup this weekend!

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Sunday Sipdown

Welcome to another edition of the Sunday Sipdown. Pull up your favorite cup of tea and get ready to catch up on what you might have missed this week on the blog!

This week in pictures:

Sips from this week at work

Sips from this week at work

Delivery day and childhood memories

Delivery day and childhood memories

Tea ware of the week.

Tea ware of the week.

Posts from this week on the blog:

As a reminder you can always follow my tea and geeky antics on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! As a reminder – if the Facebook page gets to 221 likes OR more…I’ll have my first giveaway. So share with your own followers and help a girl out!

Genmai Cha Green Tea from @Adagio {Tea Review}

Earlier this week I tried a genmaicha green tea from Steepster Select and it was good. You can read all about it here. I had no idea it was coming or perhaps I wouldn’t have ordered genmai cha from Adagio teas. Before you ask, yes it’s the same name, just broken up a little differently. I wish I could tell you more, but I honestly can’t.

Actually the only thing I can tell you is that genmaicha/genmai cha was/is known as the “people’s tea” because the recipe was born out of those living in poverty. Japanese peasants couldn’t afford much tea so they would mix it with the roasted/toasted rice (super cheap). This gave them more tea for their cup. Plus they could reuse the leaves for more steeps.

Mr. TEA's just hanging out in my mug...like you do.

Mr. TEA’s just hanging out in my mug…like you do.

So this morning I took some with me in my tea tumbler (after brewing it up in the one touch). Brewing it in the one touch wasn’t the bad idea. The bad idea was carrying it in the tea tumbler. When I got to work and poured my first cup it tasted burnt. This was not the way I wanted to start my Thursday.

I naturally did not want to review those two cups of tea. So instead I heated the water to 180 and opted to break in Mr. TEA to steep the leaves and toasted rice. You can see him doing his thing above. I will say this Adagio does use a lot of toasted rice in their version of genmai cha. I’m not against this (I for one love the taste) but I’d like to see some green tea in there too!

A word on Mr. TEA. He’s a pretty cool guy who hangs on your tea cup while he steeps your tea in his “pants”. Yeah, I thought of this one after I started sipping…but let it go in favor of enjoying my tea. He does a great job at steeping tea, the trouble comes when you need to clear out the tea leaves. It’s a little bit of a pain in the pants…pun intended! Thankfully I found that you CAN flip said pants inside out (do this carefully) and everything cleans up pretty well.

Right, back to the tea! Once again I get that really great taste of the toasted rice mixed with the vegetal taste of the green tea. But unlike the Shirakawa from earlier this week, I don’t get a specific veggie jumping out at me. Which makes me a little sad because spinach is my jam. There is the hint of a grassy flavor on the finish, but only a hint. I’m not saying it isn’t a good cup of tea. Just that the flavors were more pronounced in the genmaicha from Steepster.

I would probably buy this again when I run out because I know I can get it again from Adagio. Who knows if I could get the other one again? Plus like I said it isn’t bad, far from it. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go enjoy the rest of this cuppa before bed.

Have you ever had genmaicha? What did you think of it? Where did you get it from? Let me know in the comments.

Shirakawa Genmaicha #Steepster Select {Tea Review}

Remember how I said I didn’t care for green teas? Well, I lied. There are TWO (ok three) green teas I enjoy when prepared properly: Genmaicha, Sencha, and Gyokuro. When I say prepared properly I mean, not prepared by me. That us until the one touch came into my life. It’s made getting the right temp a BREEZE! This also means less chance of me to mess up too bad when making a cup of anything but black and pu-erh teas or tisanes.

I really tried to hold out on this one.

I really tried to hold out on this one.

As I mentioned my Steepster Select packaged arrived on Saturday and there were a lot of green teas. Frankly a scary amount. I did see two I knew I’d like IF I could manage not to muck them up too badly. One was the Shirakawa Genmaicha from Uji Japan. I was going to try to save it as the last tea I reviewed, but as you can see this did not last long.

Genmaicha’s are one of those green teas I love, even if some folks consider it a novel-tea. It is a bit weird for those drinking it for the first time.

Can you see the rice in there?

Can you see the rice in there?

Besides the green tea there’s a lot going on here….fire-toasted and popped rice…in tea? Yeah actually that’s exactly what you’ll find mixed in with the green tea! Spoiler alert it’s usually amazing.

When I opened the package I was hit instantly with the scent of vegetal goodness and toasted rice. As someone who loves both veggies and rice I was instantly excited to get to steeping this tea.

This time I chose to use the one touch’s water mode and customized my settings to match those suggested on the packaging. In this case 180 degrees – once ready I poured the water into the awaiting cast iron pot and set the timer for two minutes steep time. The minute the water hit the tea I got a great sniff of spinach and toasted rice. Honestly this tea smells good enough to eat (and I know people who have eaten their green teas before). I chose NOT to eat the steeped leaves…because the instructions say you get two steeps out of them. Also (personal opinion) it sounds a little gross to me.

Look at that green color!

Look at that green color!

The timer I set startled me as it’s set to some very load “Good morning” tune. I dashed into the kitchen to remove the basket in my tea pot and get down to sipping business! The smell is very vegetal with the added bonus of toasted rice. My husband the non-tea drinker thought it smelled “weird”. This is what I live with folks…please send help! (I kid)

The taste is really nice and there is a little hint of sweetness to the tea. I am also, as the tasting notes suggest on the package, getting a taste of grass on the finish. But it isn’t bitter, which is what also turns me off green teas rather quickly. Of course the taste of toasted rice also carries through in each sip. All the flavors play so nice with one another! This is one smooth cup of genmaicha tea. I would really suggest picking up some if you have the chance. I know I might if the funds allow it.

Now I have tried many a genmaicha and I can tell you, not all are created equal. In fact I happened to order some from Adagio Teas (that arrived Monday) as I noticed I didn’t have any in the cabinet. So look for that review later this week and we’ll see how it measures up. As this particular genmaicha was really really good.

Tea Delivery Day! #drinkmilitia #teamafia

Then again, let’s be honest, WHEN is it NOT tea delivery day at my house? I can tell you one thing…it won’t be delivery day again for quite some time after my most recent deliveries. I may have gone a little overboard.

I can quit when I want!

I can quit when I want!

You know you might have a problem when your husband say’s “they’re ALL for you, why are they all for you”. What can I say? I like my tea! Then again it isn’t all tea, some of it is tea ware fun for me and the lucky winner of prize number two on my everyday blog Gal In the Grey Hat. KJ won himself a cool tea infuser as well as some free teas!

As to what’s in the boxes? Two are from Adagio Teas (mostly iced teas now that warmer weather is here). That Amazon box has some spiffy tea infusers in it. I would show you right now, but that would spoil the surprise to the giveaway winner (but I’ll show mine off soon)! Finally, the top package is from Tealated…which I THINK contains samples. I say think because as you can see I ordered A LOT of stuff last week. *Couugh* I mean, someone ordered a lot of tea stuff for me, yeah that’s the ticket! Somehow I don’t think the mister would believe me. Do you?

Stay tuned this week to see what’s in those boxes. I promise to show off the items staying at my house. All I have to say is…I think I’m going to need a bigger tea cabinet!

Sunday Sipdown

I don’t know about you…but I drank a LOT of tea this week. Then again this was my first week back at work and tea was needed to survive. So here’s a look back at what I sipped on this week, posts you might have missed, and tea delivered/bought!

Big ups to Adagio teas for helping to get me through the workday. Here’s a smattering of the teas I took to work with me this week.

This week in pictures.

Clearly I forgot a day!

Clearly I forgot a day!

Posts from this week on the blog.

Tea delivery!

My first Steepster Select box!

My first Steepster Select box!

Steepster select is a tea of the month subscription program from Steepster.com. I’ve heard about the program, but never signed up. Thinking it might not be for me. However, I was able to get $10 off my first box so I thought I’d give it a go. So look for the review of these five teas very soon.

Obviously this post will improve as the weeks go on. I had little time this week to write all the posts I wanted to. Plus I really needed a nap a few of those days after work!

As a reminder you can always check out what I’ve been up to on the Facebook page and follow me on Twitter (@illbemother221b) too!

Take your tea with you! #drinkmilitia

As you can see I have quite the collection.

As you can see I have quite the collection.

If you are anything like me you like your tea. You also may have quite the tea and tea ware collection to boot. But I was thinking what if you’ve just gotten into drinking tea (and not the kind that comes in a bag)? Sure you can make yourself a cup at home to enjoy. Maybe you want to take it with you while you run errands or when you head off to the office.

What do you do then? Never fear, I have some suggestions that won’t require Macgyvering your loose leaf tea, a coffee filer and paperclip or somehow plugging in your electric kettle to your cars charger (unless you prefer to make your tea that way – who am I to judge?).

I’ve found the easiest way to make tea at home to take with you is to buy an insulated tumbler. You can get them ANYWHERE! I myself have one too many. So many that I’ve been banned from buying anymore for myself by the mister! Thankfully I’ve been gifted with several since the ban was put in place.

I love the funky pattern on this one.

(1) I love the funky pattern on this one. (Starbucks)

Hello honeycomb design for obvious Sherlockian reasons. (Starbucks)

(2) Hello honeycomb design for obvious Sherlockian reasons. (Starbucks)

 

With removable tea basket - steep your tea anywhere; and the double-walled, tumbler will keep your favorite blend hot or cold for up to six hours.!

(3) With removable tea basket – steep your tea anywhere; and the double-walled, tumbler will keep your favorite blend hot or cold for up to six hours! (Teavana)

I love each of these for various reasons. The first mug from Starbucks I use when I’ve just poured a cup of tea and for whatever reason we have to head out to run an errand. It keeps my tea hot for an hour or two. But it’s not great for being gone all day.

The tumbler in photo number two I will use when I’m headed off to work in the morning because again it will keep it hot long enough to get to work and forget I have the tea for an hour or two. But not much longer. To be honest I typically pour the tea I bring in it into a mug and add any milk/sugar to it that way.

Finally, my favorite and most expensive of the three is the purple contour tumbler from Teavana. Yeah it cost a pretty penny, close to $34, BUT it does in fact keep tea hot or cold (depending on how you brewed it) for 6 hours! I’ve taken this bad boy on long train rides (6-7 hours), car trips, you name it and my tea has always been super hot no matter if I was ten minutes or four hours into the trip. As I mentioned in the caption it does come with it’s own brew basket so it would be perfect to use to make tea at the office.

About the office. This is one of the worst places to try and make tea. Why? Well, how many offices do you know with an electric kettle? I don’t know any either. In fact all we have is a hot water dispenser. Which is great if all you want to make is black tea and herbals. Sorry but no, I like a little variety to my tea taking. Here again is where I LOVE the tumbler from Teavana because I can bring the right temperature water with me to work and it will stay that temp all day.

But let’s say you do like the black and herbals. How can you brew them at work? Never fear…I have you covered!

If you have a mug and I’m sure you do the simple idea is to pick up a little infuser like this Tuffy Steeper.

Handy and compact.

Handy and compact.

I’ve had this one for a while now and it’s great! Nice and compact (it folds in on itself for easy storage). Plus the “lid” doubles as a place to stand the steeper after the tea is ready to drink. It tends to live at work unless we head off on vacation.

Another favorite item is from FORLIFE. I picked up the Curve Asian Style Tea Cup a few years back when I won an amazon gift card from a tea magazine company! This one is great because it again comes with a brew basket which makes it super easy to make your tea and remove the basket (which again the lit doubles as a spot to hold it all).

Pretty slick and there's a brew basket included!

Pretty slick and there’s a brew basket included!

The only issue I’ve had with both of these is cleaning out the leaves from the baskets. Sometimes the leaves get into the holes and it is almost impossible to remove them. Otherwise I would highly suggest both as options for your at work tea making/drinking needs.

I don’t have any other suggestions right now. But when I do I’ll be sure to post them here. Do you have any products you use? Let me know in the comments.

 

*All items have been purchased by me. I was not offered any kind of compensation for speaking about these items.*