Always 1895

My winnings.
[image of a tea towel, umbrella infuser, tea and mug in a basket]

Only I would go to a Sherlock Holmes symposium and win tea. Yep that’s right…I threw in a handful (or less) of raffle tickets and won. I was pretty excited to dig into the tea for sure. Color me a little disappointed when I realized it was bagged tea and not loose leaf. But such is life right?

The nicer thing is I won a mug. Why you ask? Because I’m not allowed to buy more mugs…ever. So the only way I can get them is as gifts or winning them. Muahahaha! The game, as Sherlock would say, is on! Seriously, please send me mugs of the geeky variety. Please and thank you!

As for the tea, I’ve had it maybe twice now and it’s ok…but it’s also been super hot so I haven’t really been enjoying my teas. I’ll give it another run through when it cools off later this week. More posts coming soon as I just received a huge sample from Lochan Tea and a tea buddy sent me a LOT of puerh!

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Happy Early Christmas

Christmas turned up a little early in our house last night. Mostly because by Christmas I will be 39 weeks and uh 4 days pregnant. Which means momma isn’t leaving the house…unless the baby’s coming! So my folks and the niece came over last night for eats and to exchange gifts. So what did we get and was it tea-lated?

Yes and no. First off the mister and I received awesome mugs that fit us perfectly…

This is my new mug and yes I do in fact have O.H.D. Cameo by the Mister in the back there.

This is my new mug and yes I do in fact have O.H.D. Cameo by the Mister in the back there.

And this one is perfect for my husband…who isn’t a tea or coffee drinker (weird right?), but I’m sure he’ll break it out for hot chocolate or the like now and again.

He's now a glider pilot...so this mug rocks! And if he doesn't use it...I will!

He’s now a glider pilot…so this mug rocks! And if he doesn’t use it…I will!

So by now you must be sensing a theme to our gifts and maybe have an idea as to what the “big” gift was from my parents and niece. Or you saw it in my poorly cropped photo of my mug. Either way we were gifted with a Keurig 2.0 brewer. I know what you must be thinking…BUT you drink tea! Yep and I still do. However, I do love a cup of coffee now and again. I’m told with a little one on the way, well coffee will be my new morning friend. That being said there may be some random coffee reviews coming to the blog, because why not?

Plus I never have coffee on hand to offer people when they come over. Sure I have this one shot coffee maker, but it isn’t all that great and frankly I think a little dangerous at times. It also took FOREVER to make one 12oz cup of coffee. While the Keurig is pretty fast and actually allows for time to socialize with guests rather than be tied to the little machine.

Pretty fancy right?

Pretty fancy right?

Not to worry I won’t be making tea in this new gadget. I still have my awesome One-Touch I use ONLY for tea time. But I now have a lovely “caffeination station” in my kitchen and well I think it’s pretty awesome! Someone even suggested decking it out for all the holidays. Which is something I may consider for the next one.

Let’s be real I in no way have the time or creativity at this point in my pregnancy to even artfully throw around some garland or a few ornaments. But I like the idea and think it could be fun especially when entertaining guests around the holidays! I’m looking forward to taking the 2.0 on her maiden voyage a little later this morning. Seeing as I’ve been up since 4:40am I think I’m going to need a little caffeine boost in order to sty awake!

Only four sample pods came with my new Keurig which is a bit of a let down as you used to get closer to 20. But thankfully Keurig still offers the buy two boxes, get two boxes free deal when you register your new product. So yes I cashed in on that quickly as we probably won’t be going to the market before Christmas and I suspect (if we’re here) we’ll have guests wanting coffee in the form of my husbands folks. Hopefully the coffee arrives before St. Nick or well there might be a trip out to the store in my future.

Did you get any holiday beverage related gifts for Hanukkah or ahead of Santa’s arrival? Let me know in the comments!

Pssst want to try @mydwynter’s ACD @AdagioTeas blends?

If you answered yes, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t….you are in luck friend! Why you ask? Well, you can get six sample tins for $19 this weekend only. For said price you get close to 4 or 5 cups of tea per tin. The tea included in the sampler: Morocco Case, Turkish Slipper, 221Bee, Always 1895, Sussex Downs, and Three Continents Watson.  Check out the link above for detailed info on each tea.

So why are you still reading this? Go add this to your cart now!

It’s been an age – with added tea review!

Yes, I know I haven’t posted to the blog since Father’s Day…well, two days before actually. But I’ve been very busy. I work a full-time job, have TWO other things I’m also working on. My personal blog Gal In The Grey Hat which also hasn’t seen much posting in an age. Plus I just started a local Sherlock Holmes Society in the Albany NY area The Avenging Winters of Albany (join us won’t you?), so named for Kitty Winter in the ACD Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Illustrious Client. Look it up it’s a good one.

So I’ve been stretching myself a little thin. Plus it has been hot in these parts so hot that I don’t want hot tea. Nor do I wish to make hot tea to then turn into iced tea. It’s serious folks.

Which brings me to today. What’s today you ask? Well, besides the birthday of these United States…it also happens to be raining. If you know me well enough me, rain , and hot tea go together like peas and carrots. As luck would have it three new fandom blends arrived yesterday from Adagio Teas! I know I said I was on a tea buying ban. But my friend Bran makes some damn fine tea blends!

So three of his fandom blends just magically were *added* to my cart. These blends are based on the Doyle stories, while his other blends focused on the BBC Sherlock show. I purchased: 221Bee Tea, Turkish Slipper, and Wandering Bullet. Interesting names right? Like I said Bran is full of talent in the blending, art for the tea, and the naming.

A nice big mug to warm me up on a chilly July morning.

A nice big mug to warm me up on a chilly July morning.

This morning I dipped into Wandering Bullet. You might be wondering what the heck Wandering Bullet has to do with Sherlock Holmes stories. I’d have to tell you that you had seen but you did not observe. See in the stories/novels Watson’t war wound moves around a few times, first in the shoulder, then to the leg….basically even Doyle didn’t recall where he’d put it after A Study in Scarlet. Nice right? Anywho I think it’s a clever take and the tea, well the tea is in a word fantastic!

This tea blends together: Chocolate Chai, Pu erh Spice, and Lapsang Souchong for a very delightful cup of tea. Allow me to share the description from Adagio’s website:

Simmering Chocolate Chai and complex Spiced Pu Erh are tinted with the subtle gunsmoke of Lapsang Souchong, deepened with chocolate chips, and punctuated by both cinnamon and red peppercorns. It’s a dark blend with a rich, multilayered bite.

I’ll be honest at first I didn’t think all of these flavors would play nice with one another. Which is why I only purchased a sample tin (which I will add is a great way o try blends you aren’t sure of). The dry leaves smell strongly of the Lapsang with hints of chai spice and earth. So I was a little concerned that there wouldn’t be the advertised “multilayered bite”. Well, color me wrong tea lovers. Each sip comes with a bite of each flavor in the tin. I note them in the order I listed the ingredients above and they are brilliant! Side note I added some cream and vanilla sugar for a little extra kick and well it’s damn fine.

Too long, didn’t read? Add this one to your cart today!

Sunday (Monday) Sipdown

As I mentioned in an earlier post I had company up this weekend and I completely forgot to schedule the Sunday Sipdown post! So here it is a few hours late.

Posts you may have missed:

As always you can follow the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more photos and my tea/Sherlock ramblings. In other news I’ve started my own Sherlock Holmes Society here in the Capital Region (Albany NY area) called The Avenging Winters of Albany (in honor of Kitty Winter from The Illustrious Client). Check out the Facebook Group to join and follow the Twitter account – @AvengingWinters for more information/meeting info.

My sick survival “kit”

So if you read the last post you know I’m a but under the weather in the worst way for a tea drinker/reviewer…I have a cold. So besides feeding it with all the tea, cold water, and oj what else do I do to feel better fast?

A classic!

A classic!

I usually grab a favorite read and dig in. In this case that read is the Complete Sherlock Holmes. Are you really surprised. It is hands down my go to read (even if I have a huge tbr pile to get through). These stories are awesome, plus they keep my brain working when all I really want to do is snooze the hours after work away!

Now the bad news is I still recall how a great many of these end…so the trick is finding those stories that weren’t a favorite when I read through them in my first go around. These include The Adventure of the Yellow Face, The Adventure of Black Peter, and The Adventure of the Red Circle. Apologies if these rank among your top favorites, but they just weren’t for me. I wish I could tell you why, but I simple can’t. So I’ll dig into these as I like to stay off the computer as much as possible.

This man means serious business! (Source: internets)

This man means serious business! (Source: internets)

I also like to catch up on my Netflix watch list. Right now that involves working my way through their original series Daredevil! Let me tell you the movie of the same name was NOT my cup of tea at all. However, this show had me from episode one! I just haven’t been on a huge BINGE ALL THE EPISODES kick like I was when I was out of work. I truly must be ill! Also on the list is Sherlock Holmes and Dinos. Plus season 5 of Law and Order is on it’s way to me as I type this…hello Jack McCoy. Possibly my favorite ADA right there.

Of course I also resort to my favorite herbal soothers (in this case tisanes). So this week I’ll enjoy (as much as I can) tisanes that have brought me comfort when I’ve been ill over the years. Which means bagged tisanes. Yeah I know bagged = bad. But in this case I can’t really taste it so is it really that bad? These are mostly herbals from Bigelow and Celestial Seasonings. Why you ask? Well, it’s what my mom and grandma would give me when I didn’t feel well, so it’s like having them here to take care of me.

What’s in your “kit” when you find yourself under the weather? Let me know!