Friday, August 6, 2010

freddo fridays

If you're lucky enough to live near a Peet's Coffee and Tea house, don't forget that it's Freddo Friday!

Every Friday in July, Peet's was offering any medium Freddo for only $2 all day long! That includes their coffee, tea, and fruit Freddos, blended any way you like them. The good news? It has been extended for at least another two weeks!

Last Friday I enjoyed their Dark Chocoate Caramel Mocha Freddo {Luxurious Scharffen Berger cocoa, pure caramel and coffee, topped with whipped cream, Scharffen Berger chocolate shavings, and a caramel drizzle}. I don't even know what Scharffen Berger chocolate is and I'm surely mispronouncing it when I say it, but it was absolutely delicious.

Sadly, Peet's is limited mostly to California with a few other locations in Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, etc... If you're in the neighborhood, be sure to take advantage of their $2 Freddos today! {And hopefully it's warm enough where you are that a frozen beverage is refreshing as opposed to downright chillling!}

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

giveaway winner!

Congratulations to Jacqui for winning MRM's birthday giveaway! Make sure to stop in and let us know how much you love your teas!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

adopt a branch!

If you missed out on Adagio Tea's Earth Day tea tree planting, it's not too late!

I adopted a tree in the Fujian region of China because its province yields the country's finest White teas. My tree sprouted and has begun growing branches, 20 of which are available for you to adopt!

So head on over, adopt a branch and when my tree matures, both you and I will receive free tea from my tree courtesy of Adagio Teas. I was so excited to partake in the Earth Day tree planting and was even more excited to learn that I could share my tea with friends. Just a reminder that Earth Day should be celebrated year round!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

it's my birthday (month)!

I can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than to sponsor a giveaway hosted by my July birthday buddy, MRM. The winner will receive 4 ounces of an AdaptabiliTEA signature blend of their choice, an IngenuiTEA teapot, and a Guide to Teas. To enter, you must head over to Preppy Girl Meets World and wish MRM a very happy birthday!

{comments for this post have been turned off so that there is no confusion that you must enter at MRM's post}

Sunday, July 11, 2010

do you sweeten?

When it comes to tea, there are many different preferences on how to drink it. Milk, no milk; lemon, no lemon; and sweet, un-sweet. I personally prefer mine plain and slightly sweet. With so many sweet options, how do you choose?

My only rule in regards to sweetening tea is no white sugar. In my opinion, processed sugars can mask the natural flavors of delicate teas. Raw sugars, honey and other natural sweeteners all enhance the delicate teas while adding varying degrees of sweetness.

I actually keep a complete arsenal of all of the following products on hand and sweeten depending on my desired sweetness and current tea of choice.

{rock cane sugar}

Rock cane sugar is best used with hot tea, as the larger crystals take time to dissolve. One of the purer forms of sugar, unprocessed rock cane sugar adds the slightest touch of sweetness to your tea without changing its taste or complexity. 

{rock sugar stir sticks}

Much like rock candy, minus the artificial dyes and flavors, rock cane sugar can be found in many forms. These rock sugar stir sticks make a lovely presentation when paired with afternoon tea or espresso. 

{sugar in the raw}

Turbinado sugar, commonly known as Sugar in the Raw although available from many manufacturers, is an unbleached crystalized sugar. These crystals retain their natural molasses and bring extra flavor and richness similar to brown sugar. This is usually my preferred sweetener, as it's rich flavor is sweeter than most sugars and requires much less to achieve one's desired sweetness. 

{stevia in the raw}

From the makers of Sugar in the Raw, a new raw form of Stevia is available. From their website:

Stevia Extract In The Raw gets its delicious, natural sweetness from Rebiana (aka Reb-A) — an extract from the Stevia plant. This extract is the sweetest part of the plant and has recently been isolated to provide pure sweetening power without the licorice-like aftertaste that many of our predecessors exhibited. All you get is the sweet flavor without any calories.

Unlike some of our competitors, Stevia Extract In The Raw does not use additional sweeteners such as erythritol (Truvia™) and isomaltulose and erythritol (PureVia™) to mask the natural sweetness of Reb-A Stevia Extract. The high purity level of our product eliminates any of the licorice-like aftertaste associated with less pure Stevia products currently in the market.

I was recently introduced to Stevia through our naturopathic doctor at work. This is the first "artificial" sweetener (although there's nothing artificial about it) that I actually like. There is no false aftertaste, 0 calories is always a plus, and the finer consistency enables it to easily dissolve in iced teas as well.


Honey is an excellent sweetener if you're looking to get more sweet with fewer calories. This highly potent sweetener allows you to use far less than you would if sweetening with sugar alone. It will, however, add a very distinct flavor to your tea - a flavor I absolutely don't mind when enjoying bolder teas. If choosing honey, I highly recommend picking up local honey from either the Farmer's Market or organic foods store. Local honey helps build immunity to local allergens, thus helping to lessen sensitivity to seasonal allergies. 

There is absolutely no right or wrong way to sweeten tea as it is merely a matter of preference. As I mentioned, I keep all of these sweeteners on hand in order to produce the perfect cup of tea to suit any mood. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

tea-infused chocolates

While browsing the lovely images of Tastespotting, I came across tea-infused chocolates. I can't decide if I'm bitter that they only ship to the UK and I cannot try them or grateful that they only ship to the UK and my backside isn't growing as we speak. It's a semi-sweet situation for sure!

I'd like to introduce you to Matcha Chocolat - tea infused, handmade chocolates.
All fresh Tea Chocolates are made entirely by hand, from start to finish by Katie, the creator of Matcha Chocolat. The making of each batch of Tea Chocolates begins by infusing fresh, organic cream with a select white, green, or black tea. The resulting fragrant cream is combined with chocolate to create a ganache that is ready to be enrobed in chocolate, specially chosen to compliment each tea infusion. The finishing steps involve lovingly decorating each Tea Chocolate with crystallised flower petals, dried fruits, or colourful motifs.

The seasonal a little bit of everything selection is currently their Jade Selection.
The Jade Selection contains a total of 16 chocolates in the following 5 varieties: Sencha, China Rose, Liquid Jade, Strawberry Summer, and Masala Chai.

But you can't have delicious tea-infused chocolates without a fine tea to go along with them. The all-inclusive Jade Gift Set includes the above chocolates along with:
2 Chocolate Parasols - Kashmiri Chai and Bergamot.
50g English Black tea in decorative tea caddy.

What are chocolate parasols you ask? Well, I'm so glad you asked!
Solid white chocolate disks infused with Kashmiri Chai spices and Solid milk chocolate disks flavoured with bergamot oil.
Yes, Please!

If you're looking for a smaller all inclusive set, I think the Chai Tea Gift Set looks absolutely divine. Chai  does happen to be one of my favorite blends of tea!
Giant Tea Chocolate box containing four Masala Chai chocolates.
Kashmiri Chai Chocolate Parasols.
50g Masala Chai in decorative tea caddy.

As I mentioned, Matcha Chocolat does not currently ship to the US, but if you're within the UK I'd recommend finding out if they're as delicious as they appear. Seriously, take a moment and check out their Chocolate Selections and see the details of these sweet creations. Grab a napkin, you'll be drooling on your keyboard before you reach the bottom of the page.

I am just dying to give these gorgeous confections a try myself. Any UK bloggers want to work out a deal? =) Or if you're out there Matcha Chcocolat, could you bend the rules just once for this American with a serious sweet tooth?

**all images are original images from the Matcha Chocolat site**

Monday, June 21, 2010

non-paper cups

While browsing World Market this past weekend, I came across their new "non-paper cups." I'm a big fan of reusable to-go cups as part of my efforts to go green - I also firmly believe that everything tastes better in porcelain or ceramic. I don't know about you, but a paper or plastic aftertaste just isn't how I choose to flavor my tea!

I absolutely fell in love with these ceramic mugs. They are heavy-weight and their silicone sleeve insulates them so that you can comfortably hold them, even with your hottest beverages. I absolutely love the feel of drinking out of a porcelain mug, even while on the go! I was slightly skeptical of the silicone lid, but decided to go ahead and purchase one anyway. After several uses, I'm excited to share that there was absolutely no leaking around the edges of the tight fitting silicone lid.

These mugs are dishwasher safe and come in a large variety of colors and patterns {many more than what is pictured on the website}. They are available as a set of two online, but are sold individually in stores. If you're looking for a fashionable way to go-green, I highly recommend these non-paper cups!

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