Two Pumpkin Teas - DAVID's Tea and Adagio

Ok, after doing my tea post last minute last week I made up my mind to make my tea post early this week.

And here I am writing this at 10:30 on Thursday.

I blame classes.

Adagio Pumpkin spice

I was going to review the teas I got from Adagio but still I have not had time to properly review them all... But I have a half-done review on Adagio's Pumpkin Spice tea.

Here is my Steepster review:

Tastes more flowers and spices than actually like pumpkin. A little disappointing. But not too bad a tea by itself.

Adagio Pumpkin Spice
I thought I could improve it by using brown sugar instead of white... but it still does not taste much like pumpkin, just pumpkin pie spice. Very inferior to David's Tea Pumpkin chai.

Yeah, I'm afraid I did not like the Adagio Pumpkin tea very much. It stained my teacup really bad too.

But I have had some good pumpkin tea this week. I got a little of DAVID's Tea pumpkin chai. It's awesome. Steepster Review:

David's Tea Pumpkin Chai

I have been wanting to try this tea for months and finally got it in a swap. I am not disappointed. It tastes like pumpkin, really like pumpkin, not just like cinnamon and nutmeg like a lot of pumpkin teas. I had it with some brown sugar and some half&half.

I will need to order a couple ounces of this. 

It costs $6.75 for 50 grams (about 1.75 oz, 15+ cups), then another $5 for shipping... So I will need to scrape together a bit of cash for it. It is more expensive than most of the other pumpkin teas I've looked at but worth it. Check out the ingredients:

David's Tea Pumpkin chai
Black tea, cinnamon, cloves, lemon peel, squash, carrot, caramel bits, pumpkin candies.

 The pumpkin candies are mostly to make it look pretty, the candies (sprinkles really) melt in the first steeping and do not add anything to the tea itself. The dried pieces of squash and carrot are what really make it taste like pumpkin (Most pumpkin pies/pumpkin pie filling is actually squash) .


The Cats - A Kitten (not mine)

Cats on Tuesday

I was away from home for a couple days. Pout missed me, he hung around my mother a lot, cheating on me. But I saw other cats myself while I was away. I got to meet my nephew's kitten.

He has a cute face

I always forget how small kittens are. Such a tiny little thing. Mean too, likes to chew on my fingers. I tried to teach him how to play fetch since he was already carrying one of his favorite toys and he actually did bring the toy back to me but he might have been heading that way already.

Pout is unaware of me meeting any kittens and was happy to see me. Whenever I called him he'd come running over like a kitten who just learned his name, tail held high, "mew mew mew!" and purring loudly. He's still happy that I'm back.

Yeah, old photos but he won't let me take his picture right now.


Celestial Seasoning - Sweet Coconut Thai Chai

I got an order in from Adagio last week, but have been too busy to do a proper tasting with photos and all thanks to my classes. And all but one of my teas from Adagio contain caffeine and I have been having trouble falling asleep so I resorted to a decaffeinated bagged tea last night for my blog.

  I prefer looseleaf teas but there are a few decent bagged teas out there. Also bagged teas are cheap, I can usually find Celestial Seasoning teas on sale 2 for $5. A while back I had gotten some of their Sweet Coconut Thai Chai.It is one of the first chais I have ever tried and still one of my favorites.

The tea part is a mix of rooibos (which is already caffeine free) and decaffeinated black tea. There's a bunch of different spices and coconut flavor.

My Steepster review:

Is it just me or does this tea get better when you’re getting closer to the bottom of the box?
This is a bagged tea but it’s still really good. Very spicy, strong hints of coconut. Even awesomer if you use a flavored coffee creamer, like pumpkin spice or chocolate, like most milk teas are improves with flavored creamers. When I can’t use fancy creamers I use milk (whole milk is better) and add honey instead of sugar.
I decided to try the chai iced last night. This added a few extra steps. I was supposed to add the milk to the ice separately, and to allow the chai to cool before adding it to the ice. The chai was still warm when I added it to the ice so the ice melted and the chai turned out weak and watery. But it is still a good chai if you make it properly.


The Cats - Cleaning my Room

The floor in my room was getting filthy, so I finally got around to cleaning it. Poor Cheeto was traumatized. Like all cats she hates vacuum cleaners, noisy things that eat dirt and secretly want to eat cats. But it's not the vacuum cleaner that really scares Cheeto. What she is really afraid of is the mop.

($140 for a mop head? really? Will anyone reading my blog pay half that for an entire mop complete with bucket, water and Mr Clean? I need to find better ads)

I'm not sure why she is so afraid of the mop, but I remember her being afraid of a rag mop as a kitten. The mop was not doing anything, it was just leaning against the wall. But Cheeto approached the mop like it was a strange dog. (Someone may have jiggled the mop handle so it moved when Cheeto got close enough to sniff it and made her jump... Cheeto is like a cartoon when she's spooked.)

Cheeto is a full grown cat so you would think she would have gotten over irrational fears but she is still afraid of the mop. She sat in the corner by the door and stared with her big yellow eyes as I ran the mop over the floor, skittering away in terror when I mopped near her. I wound up mopping my floor three times the floor was so dirty. Now that my floor is clean, dry and well polished Cheeto has ventured back into my room, making sure the mop is not hiding anywhere.

Oh, I set my sandwich aside and Tabitha is licking the bread on the floor, how much you want to bet it landed mayonnaise side down? Yeah, I feel like I accomplished nothing today now.

Anyways I've given some thought as to why Cheeto is afraid of the mop. In the cat language "Going under water" is synonymous with death. The mop head is frequently stuck in a bucket of soapy water, bobbed up and down, then rung out dripping liquid death back in the bucket, rubbed all over the floor only to repeat the death process. So to Cheeto the mop has to be something like a sadistic zombie movies, the kind I can only watch twenty minutes of before getting that sick feeling in my heart. So perhaps Cheeto's fear of the mop is not all that irrational.

And a picture of Pout to show that Cheeto has not taken over my blog again

Cats on Tuesday


Nina's Tea - Jamais Vu, Grand Amour and Scorpio

Nina's Tea has just been launched in the US and Canada. Nina's Tea is pretty popular in France so it's exciting to get a chance to try their tea. I contacted them through the Facebook page, was sent a catalog and got to pick out three teas for free samples, Jamais Vu, Grand Amour and Scorpio. They shipped fast, even with the bad snowstorm we had I got the teas within only a few days.

Nice big piece of orange peel

I tried the Jamais Vu first. In French jamais vu means "Never seen", but it is also a psychology term when someone experiences something they recognize but it seems unfamiliar, like the opposite of deja vu. Hmm. Anyways Jamais Vu is a black tea that has pineapple, orange, mandarin and safflower. I made a short tasting note on Steepster:
Very citrus, fruity, and slightly floral. I could not taste the pineapple but I could taste the orange and mandarin well enough. Tart but not too tart. I like it with a little sugar.
On the second steeping the orange taste is even stronger.
 It is a very strong tea but not bitter, I steeped the same leaves four times (3 minutes for the first steeping, slightly longer for later steepings) before it started to weaken.

I tried the Grand Amour next, but I did not like it as much. It's also a black tea, flavored raspberry, redcurrant,caramel and vanilla. My Steepster review:
Fruity, incredibly fruity. Maybe too fruity if that is possible. Since I opened the sample all I can smell or taste is raspberry and red currant. I am starting to panic for fear I will never taste anything else ever again.
I let the tea cool to room temperature while I ran some errands. The fruityness is not so overwhelming now. I think this might make a good iced tea. I do not taste any caramel or vanilla though.
 I tried steeping the leaves, it was a little better but I still did not like it and all I could taste was berries. Someone who loved this tea suggested that I try a shorter steeping time ( steeped for about 3 and a half minutes) and slightly lower temperature and she might be right, but I think I just do not like this tea. I think there are two kinds of raspberry teas, the kind I like and the kind I just don't like.

Nina's Tea has a collection of Zodiac themed rooibos teas. I was choosing teas based on their descriptions rather than names, and the Scorpio's peach, apricot and cream attracted me more than my sign. This tea has a pleasant peachy smell. My Steepster review:
This is my favorite sample from Nina’s. I can taste the rooibos, slightly woody. The apricot flavor comes through strong but not too strong, hints of peach and it is very creamy. The tea is fine on its own but I added just a few drops of cream, no sugar needed. This is a good dessert tea for the evening, and because there is no caffeine I do not have to worry about it keeping me up all night.
My first steeping was for about 3 minutes, sadly the second steeping was a little weak even though I steeped it for at least 5 minutes. I have about half a teaspoon left and think I'll add it to my used leaves for a third steeping.

Nina's Tea USA website is still under construction but some Nina's Teas are available on Amazon.


The Cats - A Few Photos

I do not like all the junk in the background, but that's one of my best pictures of Pout. A nice profile, his whiskers pointed forward because he's smiling for the camera. See how handsome he is? Sleek black and white coat, bright eyes. I love my Little Boy.

I did not have much time to write much for this week, so it looks like it's just a bunch of nice cat pictures. The above is Cheeto cleaning out a yogurt container. I've been meaning to send this pic to Cabot, get Cheeto some sponsorship or something. Cabot's Greek yogurt is really good too, by the way, very thick and creamy. Their cheddar is great too, but Cheeto does not like cheese very much.

And Rivkah in a basket. The cats usually like to play under boxes or baskets, but not this one. After I took the picture I realized that Rivkah could not get out. I felt guilty but she was not under there too long, and it made a cute picture.

Cats on Tuesday


Chocolate Chai

All out of cocoa mix so I made chocolate chai this week. Following recipe is for about two 12 oz cups.

Vanilla chai

  • 1 1/2-2 cups water
  • 1-1 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tsp chai tea (I prefer vanilla chai) or 2-3 chai teabags or put together your own chai tea
    • About 3 tsp loose tea leaves (or 2-3 teabags) I prefer black
    • The following spices - about a 1/4-1/2 tsp of each (Feel free to leave out anything you don't like or most likely do not have):
    • Cinnamon chips
      • cinnamon (I prefer cinnamon sticks or chips over ground cinnamon)
      • ginger (Fresh will be hotter, but dried or ground will do)
      • cardamon
      • nutmeg
      • peppercorns
      • clove
      • vanilla (extract will do, piece of vanilla bean if you have it) vanilla helps to bring out the chocolate taste
  • 2-3 tbs powdered baking chocolate (Or hot chocolate mix would be even better, but I don't have any tonight) 
  • 2-3tsp sugar and/or 1-2 tsp honey 
You'll also need a tea strainer, or rig up something to strain out your chai, any kind of mesh strainer or a coffee filter and funnel. I assume anyone reading this has a pot big enough to hold 4 cups of water. 

  1. Set the water in a pot on the stove at a medium heat. Add the chocolate, and if you're making the chai from scratch add the spices at this step. 
  2. When the water starts getting hot (Starting to steam) add the tea leaves. 
  3. When the water starts to steam add the milk, you can also add the sugar/honey at this step. Or you might want to hold off and add the sugar/honey to your cup.
  4. Keep the chai at a medium heat until it just starts to boil. Of course if you're like me you'll turn your back for 10 seconds and when you turn around it will be boiling over and making a mess of the stovetop. If you added the sugar/honey at step 3 it will be extra sticky. 
  5. Strain the chai into cups. If you are not wiping the sticky mess off your stove right now add the sugar/honey to your chai now. 
  6. Caution: Chai will be hot enough to burn your lips, tongue and if you swallow it will burn your throat. Sip carefully until it cools. Do not sue me because you scalded yourself. 
I thought it would be fun to add a candy cane to my chai. I even had the foresight to unwrap it first. The crook was broken off so it was less visually appealing. Unsurprisingly the chai was so hot it melted the candy cane really fast and I got to watch it slowly sink into the chai like a giraffe in quicksand. I do not recommend adding a candy cane to chai, though it did give a nice hint of peppermint.


Nature's Leaf Tea - Soothing Charm Throat Tea

I got a sore throat so I decided to try my sample of Nature's Leaf Soothing Charm Throat Tea. Here is my Steepster review:
Only a few days after I get this sample I came down with a sore throat. So I give this herbal a try. I know there's other stuff in this tisane but all I can taste is the chamomile, it's overpowered the tea. I added some honey and it is soothing my throat a little, but not much more than any other tea would.

It's not bad but I don't think I would order it again. Chamomile doesn't really effect me, but it might help others fall asleep. Also the vitamin C might be helping me with my sore throat/possible cold behind the scenes.
I was hoping that this tea would be a little more like Celestial Seasoning's Throat Tamer.

I should also note that my throat was a lot less sore a day after drinking this tea, and my cold got better, so maybe it does work. 


The Cats - Birdwatching

Sorry for the delay, I know I have not posted since Thursday. I wanted to post yesterday about ice fishing but since I got skunked the only time I went since the Bullhead I could no motivate myself to write a worthwhile post about how cold it was and trying to admire the scenery and nature stuff... I've been really busy with school.

So on to Cats on Tuesday.

Cheeto has been taking over my blog even though she is technically not my cat. So today's post is all about Pout. Pout hates Cheeto and I do not know why, though her smacking his backside when Pout's guard is down has not helped.I took a quick video of Pout watching birds at the feeder. The video quality is lousy, a lot of glare from the window, and at one point you can hear my mother say something and me being snotty. But here's the video anyways, those following my blog via email might not get the video and will have to visit my blog for the video.

Pout is fun to watch. Sometimes if the birds are close to the window he will flatted his ears and duck his head so his eyes are barely over the sill, but of course he won't do that when I am recording a video.