Sunday, December 31, 2017

Festive Tea: December 30

TEA DATE: Saturday, December 30. 2017
TEA OF THE DAY: Awake English Breakfast by Tazo

Our new family holiday tradition is about to come to a conclusion.  Our First Annual Family Festive Tea Time has one more day then it's over until December 1st, 2018 when the excitement of opening our envelope to reveal a tea of the day alongside some words of wisdom (also known as our TEAMAIL) .


With all the Christmas decorating, and baking and celebrating... and lets not forget the reason for the season.... I just love this time of year don't you!

It's not like our family never had any holiday traditions, we have plenty; decorating a tree, getting together with Mom on Christmas Eve, having a big family dinner on Christmas day, hanging out in Dad's kitchen on Boxing Day, the need for marshmallow treats, home baked cinnamon raisin bread and fruitcake!!!  Now we have festive tea time !

All in all, festive tea time went pretty well for our first year.  Our goal for 2018 is that we have a great year, more happiness, more joy, more laughter, less tears unless they're happy tears and plenty of good health and prosperity... then when the end of  2018 rolls around we can open our first teamail on December 1st and enjoy a warm hug in a festive mug as we head into another Christmas season.

Now without further adieu, Shirley is our first festive tea reviewer for today's festive tea time.  Here is what Shirley had to say about today's festive tea: "Wow we are at day 30. Where did the time go.  I had my tea today with my supper and Brad...yep Brad" πŸ˜€
Oh I see, she had a 'dinner date' with Brad Paisley.  I hope he didn't steal your tea!!  

Shirley went on: "I was glad to see that it was a regular black tea "Tazo Awake English Breakfast "  black tea.   It went well with my supper of left overs, yummy."
Mmm... nothing like warmed over left overs.  I'm not sure which is best, the left overs or the not having to cook something new when you're so hungry!  

Shirley concluded: "What are we going to do without our tea time each day...!!!  And this Tazo tea tasted just like Tetley tea.  Today's card was so right  "Keep warm and snuggle up"  because baby it's cold outside" ❄❄🌊   

I know, I'm sad to see it come to an end too but it's only temporary, we eagerly await next winter and then... wait, no that didn't sound quite right.  Let's enjoy spring thaw then a not too hot and zero humidity summer then a beautiful autumn season THEN back into the frozen tundra of winter AND FESTIVE TEA TIME IN DECEMBER! 

Next up in our festive tea reviews is Sandy.  Here is what Sandy had to say about today's festive tea time: "Day 30 with only 1 more mystery tea remaining  πŸ˜–  The time went way toooo fast!!"

I know, I didn't realize we would have so much fun participating in this! 

Sandy continued: "Today's tea is Tazo's Awake English Breakfast black tea.  This tea is what I call a good-old-fashioned-cuppa.  It was very "tea" tasting, in that there was no tanginess, fruitiness, perfuminess or other "intruders".  This is most definitely an everyday do-again tea!"
I'm glad you liked it.  If you're looking for more of it, you can find it at Pharmaprix for about $5 or less a box of 20 individually wrapped bags.  It may be available at grocery stores too but I seem to see the Tazo brand big in the Pharmaprix.  

Sandy concluded: "I enjoyed today's tea with dinner after freezing my old bones coming home from work this evening.  It warmed me up lickity split, from the inside out.  And being as it was sooooo cold, all of our little snowmen jumped of the tree and came to warm themselves near the warm tea cups. πŸ˜Š  I can't wait to see which tea will round out 2017!! Any thoughts??!!  Hmmmmm... patience Sandy, patience..."
Yes Sandy, have patience!  And be careful those little snowpeople don't melt!!!

I've got dibs on the next review.  I also enjoyed my festive tea time in the evening.  I waited until around 10 pm to have it.  Since I was snug and warm in my home, I used my festive mug with a winter village scene on it (the mugs were a gift from my boss when I worked at that pantyhose place).  
The tea did taste sort of like regular breakfast tea but I found there was a bit of a malty taste to it.  Not a huge fan of the malt flavour.  When the tea cooled down, that's when that annoying after taste appeared.  It was a nice relaxing tea to have hot, but I'm not a huge fan of it when it starts cooling off.  This is a tea I wouldn't buy again unless I really had no other choice.

Believe me, I had no idea it would be this cold outside when I packaged these cards in with the teas! ☺

Next up for our festive tea review is Pamela.  Here is what Pamela had to say about today's festive tea time: "Well we are almost at the end of our drinking journey. Maybe it was because I drank my tea at the end of the day but this tea didn't wake me up. Or maybe it was the hibernation temperatures."
Yup, hibernation is exactly where I'm at!

Pamela continued: "At least Julie is warm"
Well happy new year to you too Juliebean!  And don't sit too close to the fire, wouldn't want you to melt.  

Last but not least is our favourite reviewer who gifted us this month with so many enlightening festive reviews.  Our John.  Here is what John had to say about today's festive tea time: "Today, we have the Tazo edition of the English Breakfast tea. Ah, I am happy. Another tea-flavoured tea. Very nice, I had mine black, after supper and with general sweets. Nice, solid taste, robust, no fuss, no frou-frou pretensions."

See, John's reviews are awesome!
And look there he is with his little friends!! 

John continued: "The words of wisdom are especially appropriate on this minus-thirty-some-odd day. One more to go before 2018. I can't believe it's gonna be 2018. I still think in the 1900s sometimes. Well, here's hoping baby new year doesn't get frostbite on his little tush! Even the snowmen came in when Sandy called, they found it so cold."
Well, look on the bright side of things. Even though our festive tea time is about to come to an end, we have all these lovely photos taken daily that we can enjoy.  Or if you're looking to relive a moment, the blog will be here to pop in and write a comment when you have an emotional breakdown because you went to the kitchen and there was no teamail to open!  Ok, that'll probably be me in February, and again maybe in April then maybe once more in September.  sigh.  





Saturday, December 30, 2017

Festive Tea: December 29

TEA DATE: Friday December 29, 2017
TEA OF THE DAY: Santa's Secret by David's Tea

Down to the wire on our festive tea time.  In a couple of days we will open the last envelope and find our last tea surprise.  So rather than dwell on that, lets talk about how cold it is out there!  

So.... is it cold enough for you?

Feel free to answer that question in the comments section!  In the meantime, lets get on with today's reviews.

Our first festive review comes from John.  Here is what John had to say about today's festive tea: "Hi Bonnie. Love the post for the 28th. Good job.  I see you put a pic of my alter-ego, Professor Rick. Love that guy, can't wait for them to come out with affordable action figures!"

Ah yes, John, yesterday we were all confused about who we were and what day it was but after some much needed rest and a little less food we're good to go today.

John continued: "David's Santa's Secret. Nice smell, nice taste, but I can't seem to quite place it. Sweet, chocolatey, but with something else there. I think my tastebuds are getting confused by all the different flavours I've been enjoying lately. Or maybe they are just getting old and worn out."
And here is Joh with his dual festive mug (The Nightmare Before Christmas aka Halloween & Christmas).   Great to see you got more than one festive mug now John. Welcome to the multiple mug club!

By the way John, the taste buds are not old and worn out... we did have a lot of flavours this month considering we are ordinarily just plain tea drinkers without the hoopla.  They're just sad that it's about to come to an end until December 2018 (God willing).

John went on to say: "As tasty as it was, and as cute as those little candy canes were, it's not a repeat. I found it left a furry feeling on my tongue ... THAT'S IT!! Reindeer fur! Santa's secret ingredient is magical reindeer fur!"
Wow John, I guess Santa's secret was instead of coal this year you get reindeer fur in your tea.  Better try harder to get on the nice list in 2018.  Just saying.

Yes, our tea today was Santa's Secret by David's tea.  A loose tea that had to be pre bagged for our festive tea participants and rewrapped in festive individual wrappers.  Who knows, maybe next year I'll wrap all the tea bags just to drive you all nuts!  ha!  Now there's an idea.  Let me write that down.  

Our next review comes from Sandy.  Here is what Sandy had to say about today's festive tea time: "Day 29 and all is well as we quickly close in to the end of the year!"
Yup, time flies when you're having fun!

Sandy went on to say"Today's tea is Santas Secret (by David's Tea).  Well, I think I know what Santas secret is.....it's that he plagiarized the tea flavour from day 21 (which was Snowy day, also by David's Tea)....hmmmm."  πŸ€”

You think so?  You really think they taste the same?  

Sandy continued: "I found the taste of today's tea to be quite reminiscent of both day 1's white chocolate mocha and day 21's snow day tea.  It had a chocolatety taste and smell, and that was the power of the punch for this tea.  The flavour remained uniform from hot to cool.  I had it with a bit of milk, and after having finished it, I felt compelled to brush my teeth as I found it left a bit of a pasty film on my tongue" πŸ˜΅


Oh my, first she calls the tea a thief, then she criticizes it... yikes!!!  That's not a good end to our festive tea time... good thing we have a couple more teas to go.  phew.  

Sandy concluded: "Being as this was an "ok" tea, I probably would have it again, just not too often (unless my toothbrush is close by)."

Ok, so she didn't REALLY dislike it.  That's good to know because it'll be included in next year's festive tea time.  I kid. I kid.  Next year we will have 31 teas that were NOT included in this year's festive tea time.  So there, now you have something to look forward to.

Our next festive tea time reviewer is Pamela.  Here is what Pamela had to say about today's festive tea: "December 29, SANTA'S SECRET.  Well done Santa! I wonder was SANTA'S secret that there would be so many days where our temperatures would be colder than those of the North Pole? "

Yup, he's probably upset that we had a mild winter thus far so he turned down the thermostat and made us colder than the North Pole.

Pamela concluded: "He is probably wearing shorts and a flower shirt right now.  Yummy tea but not loving the temperature "❄⛄

Pamela did not provide a photo with today's review.  I'm guessing either Juliebean has run off with her phone again, or Pamela's face was blue from the cold and she was embarrassed to share a photo or her phone was frozen. 
So we will move things along with our next review from Shirley.  This is what Shirley had to say about today's festive tea: "Day 29.  After an afternoon of cleaning and tidying things up and AMANDA coming up stairs to EYE SPY πŸ˜‰ (curious George heard me doing a lot if walking)"

Yesterday was a good laugh, we need one once in a while.  Our funny confusing names from yesteterday had us all in stitches but now we're back to what can be perceived as 'normal'.   
Shirley continued: "I had my tea feative tea "Santas Secret" with my supper at 6:15 pm.   I smelled the package and it smelled like chocolate.  When the hot water hit the bag it gave off an even stronger chocolate aroma.  When I tasted it, it had the flavour of chocolate.  But that of an Aero chocolate bar.  I enjoyed this tea. I actually had it with a tad bit of milk as the chocolate flavour made the milk taste like a chocolate cocoa taste. Enjoyable."  πŸ˜˜  
And I see Shirley is having her Bingo Winnings as dessert after her dinner.  That jumbo flavored candy cane... did you get the cherry one?  I'm going to bite into my butterscotch one later too!

Shirley concluded: "I would have this tea again. Wow 2 more days of festive tea and then what will we do. huh!!!!!!!!!!!"😒

Yes, I'm sad to see our festive tea time about to come to an end too.  We had such a good time.  Don't worry, our last and final blog on New Year's Eve will be a special one.  

And now for my review.  Santa's Secret by David's Tea.  Again, this is one of David's Tea's holiday teas that only shows up at Christmas time.  
I had my festive tea first thing in the morning.  I had on my favorite tee sequined tee shirt and my new star pyjamma bottoms (thanks Mom for the PJs).   
I had it with milk as a lattΓ© and put a bit of cinnamon on the froth while making breakfast.  I found the dry teabag smelled like .... sour caramel.  Yes, my gag reflexes kicked in but I had to tell myself that it may taste better. It did taste a bit better.   It did not taste sour but it did taste like a handful of caramels.  I didn't taste any chocolate taste, more caramel and mint.  I think someone should tell David's Tea that it's ok to make a holiday tea WITHOUT mint.  The mint flavor battles with the caramel flavor and it just makes it seem like something is missing... so I added more cinnamon...

**** ******* ******* * * ******** * **** * ************ * * *
Santa's Secret by David's Tea
Ingredients: Black tea, peppermint, sprinkles (sugar, rice flour, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, corn starch, natural and artificial flavours, cellulose gum, red 40 Lake, mono and diglycerides, carrageenan, titanium dioxide (colour), polysorbate 60.

I guess the chocolate taste and the caramel taste we found in the tea was amungst the artificial flavours.  ο€”

Friday, December 29, 2017

Festive Tea: December 28

TEA DATE: Thursday, December 28, 2017
TEA OF THE DAY: Cinnamon Vanilla by Stash

Less than a handful of days remain in our First Annual Family Festive Tea Time.  Less than a handful of mystery teas remain hidden within their manila envelope waiting to be eagerly opened and joyfully consumed.

We are at the point of our Christmas holidays when we have:
no clue what day it is, 
no clue what time it is,
no clue what our names are 

Having said that, lets move on with today's festive tea reviews.  

Our first festive tea review comes from Maryanne.  Here is what Maryanne had to say about today's festive tea; "Festive tea day 28...so today was a relaxing day.  I went out for about an hour to do pick ups and boy is it ever cold out there. I had my tea this afternoon with lunch."
And look there, we have a photo of Maryanne's festive mug along with our words of wisdom for today "Keep Your Christmas Heart Open All The Year Round".  Yes, let us keep the joy that we find at Christmas time with us all year.  Easier said than done sometimes but we must give it a try.

Maryanne went on to say: "So tea was Cinnamon Vanilla Herbal Tea.  The word 'vanilla'  sort of turned me off from the tea at first because vanilla makes my stomach curdle."

Yikes, look out she's gonna vom! 

Maryanne went on: "The cinnamon smell of the bag made me feel that maybe this tea would have a strong taste of cinnamon.  I was right!  It tasted like cinnamon and I did not taste any vanilla.  Since it was a herbal tea I had it natural.  It was a nice tea. The name did not do it justice.
And there we have Maryanne showing us her festive mug of tea!  

Maryanne concluded: "I would have this one again. The word 'vanilla' should not be part of this tea...just saying"😲

Thank you Maryanne for your input on today's festive tea.  Our next review comes from Amanda.  Here is what Amanda had to say about today's festive tea: "Day 28 with only 3 more days remaining for this years Tea.  Wow....this month rolled along at top speed!"

I know right!  Wow, I'm not sure I'll be able to come into my kitchen without having something to unwrap.  I might just have to open some boxes of Kraft Dinner or packages of gravy mix and pretend I'm opening a festive tea surprise!   I may need therapy after all this too you know. 


Today's tea is Cinnamon Vanilla Herbal Tea (by Stash).  I am not too keen on vanilla teas, coffees or creams (except ice cream πŸ˜‰but was pleased to see that this tea tasted mostly of cinnamon and NOT the vanilla.  The cinnamon seemed to have pushed the vanilla aside altogether."
And here we have Amanda sipping her cinnamon NOT vanilla tea by her Christmas tree.  

Amanda went on to say: "The aroma of the hot tea, which I enjoyed with a bit of milk in it, was reminiscent of a warmed up cinnamon danish.  It really smelled and tasted super yummy πŸ˜‹.  This is a tea I most definitely would have again."

You would!!!  Great!  I'm soooo happy to hear that BECAUSE I GOT TWO BOXES OF IT!! You are welcomed to have a few bags, and some which I shall also give to Maryanne since she liked it too.  If you like, I can take a sharpee and draw a line through the word 'vanilla' on the package.

Amanda went on: "After freezing 90% of my body running errands outside in the -34 degree weather, the tea worked wonders at warming me up when I got back to my home-full-of-sweets-home."

Ha ha!  I see what you did there Amanda!
Amanda concluded: "Oh, and on my journeys today, a little Angel ornament followed me home!  Isn't she precious!  Stay warm everyone (stay inside if you don't really HAVE to go out).  The freezing weather is here for a week!!"

Yup, it's definitely going to be a cold one out there these next few days but some of us do have to venture out in it.  Layers!  Lots of warm layers... and an ugly linty sweater if you have one because the lint acts as a warming mechanism to keep the body warm.   

Yes I said that last part with a straight face!  

Moving right along in our festive tea time reviews....   Our next festive tea review comes from Huguette.   Here is what Huguette had to say about today's festive tea time: "December 28.  Help! My phone has been kidnapped by a Julie Bean!"

Ah, the phone burglar strikes again!  I guess it's safe to say that Julie doesn't own a phone yet.. Good because she's too young!!!!   So yup, Mom has to share in order to keep tabs on little Juliebean.
Huguette went on to say: "So I did not like this tea so much. I found the flavor weak. So when I finished my cup I had another cup of Christmas in Paris! So delicious. Hope you are all safe and warm.  Still lonely at work. "

Oh that's right, I'd forgotten I gave Huguette some extra bags of Christmas in Paris.  I know eh, that one wasn't half bad.   Try not to be lonely at work Huguette, I'll be there soon.  Just think, this time next week I'll be there.  No, no that's not right.... I'm not back until January 8th.  My bad! 

I'm not sure I'm doing so well with these reviews today.  I'm a bit lost.  You know, that space between Christmas and New year when you don't know what's going on?  Well, that's pretty much where we are right now!  I keep reading and re-reading this post to see if I'm making mistakes but..... no... no mistakes.  I'm sure everything is just as it should be; the reviews, the photos, THE NAMES of our festive tea participants.  ο€”  hmm.... looks good to me, so let's continue.

Our next festive review come from Victor Von-K.  

Ouch!  That one sounds like a comic book villain.  
Ok, maybe not so much!  Here is what Victor had to say about today's festive tea time: "Hi Bonnie! Hope you stayed warm today! I went grocery shopping! And I am texting loud so you can read me over the chattering of my teeth!"

See, that photo up there shows how Victor looked when he was texting me loud!  And that's just how I pictured it in my head!  Wow... imagine that!  

Victor continued: "Day 28, and it is Stash's Cinnamon Vanilla tea. With chamomile. Goodnight Amanda while watching the 6 oclock news, never mind the 11 pm edition. AND with sarsparilla. I feel like the dandy in a western movie."
Ummm... ok... ???  

Victor went on to say: "However... I like the taste of this one. Mid-range cinnamon intensity, no real taste of vanilla, still tastes nice when it cools; that is, when you can taste the tea, and not just boiled tongue. Because the tea is so hot, it boils your tongue and you can't taste it."

Well, we all know that the water should not be boiled to boiling... but boiled to almost boiling, to get the most flavor out of tea.  Ya, I read that somewhere on the internets.  

Victor continued: "I would have it again, but mainly for the SMELL! That aroma made today's traumatic cold snap and high stupid people presence all disappear in a big warm cinnamon hug. I originally said to Amanda that it was like sticking your face in a cinnamon bun, but she said SHE was using cinnamon danish, so I tried for something else."
And look, there is Victor Von-K without his villain costume on because he's still on Christmas vacation with the rest of us clueless individuals.

Victor concluded:  "Yes, I broke down and picked up a new festive mug, as pictured. It actually covers TWO holidays, and was, thankfully, really discounted."
Ah, yes, lookie here, The Nightmare Before Christmas mug.  Nice to see Victor will have a new festive mug for when he participates (God willing) in next year's festive tea time!  

Now for our last festive tea time review.  It's been a trip trying to compose this blog post since I have no clue who is who anymore.  I think I'll feel better once I eat more junk food    I know right! Doesn't make sense at all.

I enjoyed today's tea after arriving home from doing groceries. That was really the only time we had to leave home today.  As you can see, I was happy to have a hot cup of tea to warm my old achy bones.  
I must admit though, I love that it's hat and coat season because #1  I didn't have to comb my hair today and #2  I didn't have to put on a bra either!  ha!  

And there you have another installment of our First Annual Family Festive Tea Time.  

Stay warm people.... stay warm. 

This is Bonnie go braless signing off...

This blog post was brought to you today by laughs, giggles, chuckles and snorts.