Cotton Candy Rooibos from DavidsTea

I generally consider myself level-headed when it comes to finances…except when it comes to tea. Then I am guilty of being impulsive. I’m supposed to be on a tea buying ban, remember? Except I indulged in the DavidsTea semi-annual sale. And…can I let you in on a secret? I only shared half my haul. (Don’t judge me!)

It’s not like I needed any of the tea. Nor had I been eying any of the teas in the collection for any amount of time (except Forever Nuts!). I just picked out teas to try haphazardly, which I’m sure is why the Cotton Candy blend ended up in my cart.

I mean, Cotton Candy flavored tea? That’s ridiculous. How do I go from sipping a tie guan yin to a cotton candy flavored Rooibos? I never claimed to be a connoisseur, but common’!

DavidsTea Cotton candy tea

Except…the Cotton Candy Rooibos from DavidsTea is really, really good. It is a blend of Green rooibos, purple sprinkles, mango, hazelnut brittle, and natural and artificial flavoring. It’s really does taste like cotton candy, but in the best way possible. It’s sweet, ambiguously fruity, and creamy.

DavidsTea Cotton Candy Tea Latte

The drink does have a natural (“natural”) sweetness already from the Rooibos, the sprinkles, the brittle, and the mango pieces, but if you’re looking for decadence, add some milk and your favorite sweetener for liquid dessert! Or sip it iced for a fun summertime treat fit for the county fair!

Have you ever tried Cotton Candy Rooibos from DavidsTea? Or what is the most frivolous tea you ever tried?

If you like Cotton Candy from DavidsTea, check out these other sweet dessert teas:

Tea Review: Rooibos Pecan Turtle from Adagio Teas (plus 4 tasTEA recommendations!)

 

I haven’t always appreciated rooibos tea. I’ve struggled to put into words exactly what I sense when I’ve sip this type of tea, and the best I’ve been able to come up with to describe my experience is something between imitation vanilla extract and tobacco– not always the most appealing of flavors. However, Adagio Teas has changed my mind about Rooibos teas, and lately I have not been able to drink enough of it! Their Rooibos Pecan Turtle is quickly becoming a new favorite, just like their Vanilla Rooibos.

Adagio’s Rooibos Pecan Turtle is a blend of rooibos tea, apple pieces, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, dark chocolate chips, chicory, golden pecan flavor, natural caramel flavor, natural chocolate flavor, and marigold flowers. A bit of sugar, turns this caffeine-free tea into a perfect after dinner dessert.

Have you tried the Rooibos Pecan Turtle from Adagio Teas? What did you think of it? If you’re looking for more dessert teas, check out these tasTEA recommendations:

 

Five March Favorites

 

Don’t mind me. I’m just trying to play catch-up!

I’ve never had to balance blogging with a YouTube channel before. Aside from both being time-consuming (but like, in a good way), there is the challenge of creating content for the two without being redundant. I want to share my videos on my blog, but I also don’t want to basically transcribe the videos on my website either. Do you run a YouTube channel and a blog? How do you ensure you’re producing unique (yet related) content for both mediums?

March Empties: Adagio Teas, DavidsTea, T2 Teas, and more!

I’m nearly a month into my tea buying ban, and I’m still staying strong despite the temptations broadcasted on YouTube and in my Instagram feed. I sipped my way through 22 teas this month, although that hardly made a dent in my collection. You can watch the YouTube video to learn about everything I tasted in March, or you can just check out these favorites from the month:

Earl Grey Lavender from Adagio Teas: This twist on Earl Grey is no stranger to my site, and three and a half years later, I’m still a fan of this blend of black tea, bergamot, vanilla, and lavender.

Berry Creme Compote from Adagio Teas: Okay, I know I’ve raved about this tea plenty already, but this fruit and cream blend is seasonal and only available for a short time. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to taste this one!

French Early Grey from T2 Teas: This is another floral twist on a classic, this time with rose instead of lavender.

Nut Crunch Rooibos from Tea Sparrow: This tea was reminiscent of apple pie and tasted amazing both plain and as a latte. It appears it was a seasonal blend, but if the quality and flavor of this tea is representative of their product, I bet anything on their site is dreamy. Tea Sparrow is a monthly subscription service, but you are able to purchase the current month’s featured teas.

Carribbean Crush from DavidsTea: I can’t get this herbal blend of apple, pineapple, papaya, hibiscus, and cranberry out of my head! It tasted tropical and sweet, and I can’t wait until my tea buying ban is over, so I can buy more!

What were your favorite teas from March?

Tea Vlog: What I Drink in a Day

We ran out of Bubly (which is just flavored seltzer water, like La Croix, but I feel less like a hipster drinking it), which means in attempt to avoid drinking plain water, I decided to drink a cup or two more tea than I usually do.

Teas tasted in this vlog:

Twinings Earl Grey – I might write a lot about loose leaf teas, but most mornings, I tuck in to a cup of Twinings Earl Grey tea. It’s a quick, easy, and consistent cup of caffeine to get me going in the morning. Plus, it’s inexpensive and I can pick it up at my grocery store whenever I’m running low

Mint Verbena from Harney and Sons – This tea is a blend of mint and lemon verbena. I personally did not pick up the lemony aroma from the verbena, but the mint was bold and refreshing. It was a great caffeine-free tea to drink to improve alertness.

Rooibos Mango from Adagio – This tea is a blend of rooibos tea, natural mango flavor, apple pieces, mango pieces, and marigold flowers. This particular rooibos blend from Adagio did not work for me, and I was unable to pick up the mango notes. That’s not to say this tea is bad, but there are just other rooibos blends by Adagio that I’m over the moon about.

Caribbean Crush from DavidsTea – This tea is a blend of apple, pineapple, papaya, hibiscus, cranberry, and artificial flavoring. I cold brewed this tea, and even though my sample size was not the ideal amount of tea for a cold brew, I still thought this fruit, herbal blend tasted amazing. When I’m finally done with my tea buying ban, I definitely want to get more of the Caribbean Crush.

Just Chamomile from T2 – This chamomile night-cap was absolutely dreamy. The flavor was very honey-like, and overall it was a very soothing tea for the evening.

What teas do you drink in a day?

2018 Tea Advent Calendar from Adagio Teas

Tis the season! Well, almost. And Adagio Teas has something to make your holiday season more jolly– their 2018 tea advent calendar.

Their advent calendar has 24 doors hiding individually wrapped, loose leaf quality tea bags. Some of the teas are Adagio’s most popular blends, and some are their cozy, holiday favorites. All are 100% delicious, and I can hardly keep myself from poking through all of the doors in one sitting. I’ll give you a sneak peek behind door #1, at least.

Gingerbread tea

Adagio’s Gingerbread tea is a blend of black tea, natural gingerbread flavor, cinnamon bark, orange peels, and ginger root. When served with sugar, this tea is as delicious as a Christmastime dessert, but it doesn’t taste as spicy and gingery as the tea’s namesake suggests. The blend of spices seems muted, so the flavor doesn’t overpower the tongue, but it’s still perfect for a morning baking cookies or decorating the tree.  The addition of the sugar draws out an unexpected warmth and creaminess that transforms this cup of tea into a truly cozy experience. This holiday tea can’t be missed.

If you’re looking for a fun and cozy advent calendar for this Christmas, be sure to head over to Adagio Teas to snag one!

This advent calendar was received for free in exchange for a review.

Goodbye October

If I thought life moved fast before, adding a child into the mix makes life move in hyper speed. I can’t believe Oliver turns one month in just a few days. Parenthood is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I haven’t even gotten to the challenging part yet (which I assume is adolescence). I mean, look at him. He’s giving me so much side-eye. It’s like he knows I’m incompetent at this parenthood thing.

What I’ve learned so far:

  1. I knew nothing of anxiety before. Those times when I had to talk myself up just to take the laundry down to the laundry unit at the apartment or those times when I had to write out a script before making a phone call seem laughable to me now. That’s nothing compared to the time Oliver spit up so much that milk cake out his nose, and he started choking. Or the first time I had to drive him to a doctor’s appointment by myself. Or you know, bringing him home for the first time.
  2. Similarly, I don’t think I’ve been so aware of human mortality. I can’t keep track of how many times I check him just to make sure he’s still breathing.
  3. The advice “sleep when baby sleeps” is good advice assuming baby sleeps anywhere other than your arms. That being said, the stars have aligned these last two days, and I was able to take THREE three-hour naps. I’m handling the exhaustion better (and with almost no caffeine aside from a fun sized candy bar or two). That being said, in the throes of sleep deprivation, I became really frustrated while changing his diaper because he wouldn’t stop wailing, so I said to him, “I’m really mad at you”. I still feel guilty about it even though I know he didn’t hear me on account of his screams were as loud as a space shuttle launching into space.
  4. Speaking of diapers, I thought I’d be more grossed out by the various bodily fluids my son expels. On to me. Now it’s just mostly annoying because I have to do so much laundry.
  5. I remember during the first week, I cried during one of Oliver’s five-hour cluster feeding sessions because I had gone from full-time accountant to full-time food bag. Now I realize how hard returning to work will be. I planned to return after six weeks, but I pushed my return date back two weeks. Even that doesn’t seem like a sufficient amount of time, and I can’t help but dwell on how purposeless accounting seems now compared to being a food bag.

#currentlyreading

The one perk that comes with sleep deprivation (aside from bonding with baby) is I’m spending a lot more time reading. The books that are keeping me company right now are:

Fascism: a Warning by Madeleine Albright: This book isn’t easy to read in the wee hours of the morning, so I wait until my eyelids aren’t drooping to dive in to this non-fiction novel. Albright explores fascism in the early 20th century and draws parallels with contemporary world leaders.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: I bought this book probably two years ago, and I just sat down to start reading it the other night. I wish I would have read this book sooner. So far, I’m loving the blend of fantasy and historical fiction. It reminds me of Skyrim’s Dark Brotherhood if it existed in the high court of Brittany instead.

October Teaviews

I’ve also started to work my way through my extensive tea collection hoard. Seriously, I have over 100 different types of tea in my cupboards/pantry/just sitting on my kitchen floor.

Faerie Garden tea from Dryad Tea: Spearmint, Peppermint, Lavender, Heather, Cornflower Petals, Cinnamon (all organic). You can read my review here, but this interesting blend of mint and cinnamon is worth mentioning again

Teaster Marshmallow Tea from Adagio: green rooibos tea, apple pieces, candy sprinkles, vanilla creme flavor, marigold flowers, and apricots. My greatest impulse purchase (this year) occurred around Easter. I had a promotional email from Adagio that prompted me to go on a scavenger hunt on their website for a chance to win a free bag of their Teaster Marshmallow tea. Not only do I not usually drink rooibos tea, but I also did not need any of the other teas I purchased that day (because you know…free shipping). But, OMG this tea! From it’s colorful Easter sprinkles to its vanilla creme flavor— I might be obsessed. A spoonful of sugar takes it to a whole new level. It really is like a marshmallow peep, except there is less self-loathing after finishing a bag of the Teaster Marshmallow tea.

Dawn Tea from Turmeric Tea: Assam Black Tea, Cinnamon, Ginger, Turmeric Root, Cardamom, Black and Pink Pepper Corns. I had high hopes for this tea. Just look at that beautiful blend! I expected it to be spicy and for flavors of cinnamon and ginger to explode on my tongue, but it ended up being a rather mild spiced chai. The dominant flavor was cinnamon, which I can’t complain about though.

Books on my Radar

There is just one book I added to my TBR list this month, which is the Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton. I’ve seen this book on just about everyone’s instagram feed lately.

From Goodreads: In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.

Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker’s Daughter is a story of murder, mystery, and thievery, of art, love and loss. And flowing through its pages like a river, is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history, but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.

 

How was your October? What are you currently reading, and what books did you add to your wishlist this month?

Teaview: Spiced Apple Cider Rooibos– as Cozy as it Sounds

Spiced Apple Cider Rooibos Tea
Spiced Apple Cider Rooibos Tea

Last month, I tried Teavana’s Pumpkin Spice Brulee Oolong Tea, and I was not impressed. This month, I tried Teavana’s Spiced Apple Cider Rooibos Tea, and I kind of love it. This tea has cinnamon, red rooibos, chicory root, plum pieces, apple slices, carob pieces, hibiscus flowers, artificial flavoring (I know, I know), and orange peels.  The Spiced Apple Cider Rooibos tea is a perfect after-dinner dessert tea when tummies are stuffed with hearty meals that are so common during the chilly and overcast weather that settles in this time of year. Especially in Michigan– I hear it’s supposed to start snowing at 3PM today!

The number one ingredient in this tea is cinnamon, and it certainly packs a punch. It’s unapologetically spicy, and that’s what I love most about this tea. If the physical temperature of the tea doesn’t warm you up, the cinnamon will melt the icicles right off of ya’. Although it is subtle, the next flavor to surface is apple, which is sweet with a slightly tart aftertaste. The Spiced Apple Cider Rooibos tea is already sweetened, so make sure you don’t add a single drop of honey or sugar to your cup. Compared to the Pumpkin Spice Brulee Oolong, which was too sweet for my taste, I do not feel overwhelmed by the sweetness in this tea. Perhaps the spice and the tartness balance this out. Admittedly, I’m not certain what’s lending to the sweetness. My mom seemed to think it was German Rock sugar, although I did not find that anywhere in the ingredients. Any ideas? As for the rooibos…well, I’ve not drank this type of tea enough to be able to comment on it. My experience with flavored Teavana teas though is that the rooibos is masked by all the other ingredients, but don’t let that discourage you from trying this out.

Overall, the Spiced Apple Cider Rooibos tea is aptly named. It’s spicy and sweet and tart, just like fresh apple cider from the mill. I would recommend this tea, which seems to warm the soul during these chilly months leading up to winter.