Tea - For a sick person

Sorry no tea reviews this week. Still getting over that cold. I spent a couple days in my room with an electric kettle, sleeping and drinking tea. I had not felt focused enough to measure out tea leaves so I've been drinking bagged teas, mostly herbals like Celestial Seasoning.  Lemon Zinger and Jammin' Lemon Ginger belong together. And a lot of honey.


The Cats - Ive been sick

Cats on Tuesday

I've been down with a bad cold. The soothing throat charm tea did not cure me this time. I have mostly been sleeping the past couple of days.

Pout has not been the most helpful. He found some noisy toy with a bell in it and played with it under my bed. I do not recall him enjoying any bell toys while I was not sick.

Cheeto has a much better bedside manner. When I'm not feeling well Cheeto snuggles next to me, purring gently.


Going Grey

I have a couple Earl Grey variations to review this week.

I got some Harney & Sons Earl of Harlem tea in sachets. The sachets are meant for 16 ounces of water so I used the biggest mug I could find, literally a soup bowl with a handle. I steeped it for about 4 minutes in boiled water and added a little sugar.

My Steepster tasting notes:
Used one of the sachets with about 16 oz of water. The dry tea smelled like a strong Earl Grey. However after I steeped it the smokiness overpowered the bergamot. I added some sugar and as the tea cooled I could taste a hint of bergamot. Next time I might try this mixed with another Earl Grey to help fight the smoke.

Not a bad tea but not one I would buy. Glad I got to sample it. 

Baroness Grey by Culinary Teas is an Earl Grey with orange and lemon peel, rose and cornflower petals, cinnamon pieces. I steeped it for about 4 minutes in boiled water. My Steepster tasting notes:

At first sip maybe a little too strong, I will have to decrease the steep time next time, and maybe have the water be below boiling.

It's a pretty powerful Earl Grey, it reminds me of Russian Earl Grey, only more floral. Very citrus, I can still taste the bergamot but I can also taste lemon and I think orange rind. It is a good blend. 

I managed to get some of Ovation Tea's Blueberry Earl Grey. It is a very different Earl Grey, as I was looking at the leaves I realized that it actually has dried blueberries in it. Not those tiny wild blueberries that you sometimes get in cereals, but great big ones. It also has orange peel, marigold petals and cornflowers. My Steepster tasting notes:
The first time I tried making this tea I got distracted and oversteeped it by 7+ minutes. Needless to say it was bitter.

A while later I tried it again with fresh leaves for about 4 minutes. It was very blueberry-ish. It could use more bergamot but still a good Earl Grey. I am thinking of mixing with with some double bergamot for MORE bergamot, or some EG cream because a creamy blueberry EG has to be awesome.

It is good with milk and some sugar helps bring out the blueberry. I might try an even shorter steep time to see if that keeps the bergamot from being overwhelmed by the blueberry. 
Sadly if you want some of Ovation Tea's Blueberry Earl Grey it will be hard to find since they're out of business now. :-/ Ovation also has a raspberry Earl Grey I would like to try but it will not be easy to find.

52 Teas has been selling the Earl Black at half price so I gave into temptation and ordered an ounce. The Earl Black is actually a white tea flavored with bergamot and blackcurrant. My Steepster tasting notes:
It could use more bergamot, but I say that about almost every Earl Grey tea (the exception being ETS double bergamot, and maybe a few regular Earl Greys) I can't seem to get enough bergamot.

Very fruity, the blackcurrant comes through clear. Next time I think I will steep it longer because it seemed a little weak at 2 and a half minutes (Or it could be the white tea, I'm not used to white tea and am still developing a taste for it). And maybe add a little double bergamot.

Glad I got this tea. Working on tasting every Earl Grey there is and I think this is my first EG made with white tea. 

I did the unthinkable and steeped this white tea for over five minutes. It did not turn bitter at all, and I liked it a lot better 'oversteeped'. The bergamot was more noticeable. 
52 Teas has a few other Earl Greys (Earl Pink) that I'd like to try.


Mr Roger's Day

Sorry no WBW from me this week. It's Fred Roger's Birthday today.

I watched his show when I was little, and I won;'t say how old I was when I stopped watching it. Mr Rogers kind of annoyed me but I loved the Land of Make Believe.

(Sorry this post is so short, I have a spreadsheet assignment due today so back to the grindstone)


Rivkah as a Kitten

Cats on Tuesday

I came across some pictures of Rivkah when she was little so I decided to do a post of kitten pictures. I haven't been able to find any kitten pictures of Pout, though I must have some somewhere. When I find them I will have to do another post. (Pout was an adorable kitten, fluffy with extra whiskers)

Baby Rivkah and littermates
In case you can't tell, Riv is the one climbing out the bottom left corner. Ben-Oni is the other kitten with a ticked coat and is right behind Riv.

Playful Riv
I hope I find the negative of this photo, and that it's in better shape, sad how scratched up it had gotten.
Tabitha, Rivkah and Ben-Oni
Tabby was born about 3 weeks after Rivkah and Ben (Cheeto is Tabitha's mother, Tabby is the only kitten she ever had). Tabitha was the only kitten in her litter so she was almost as big as Riv and her littermates but not as developed mentally, did not have the same level of coordination... She got picked on a lot.

Trudy did not like wrestling and playing rough, but Cheeto loved it. So Trudy would take care of Tabitha while Cheeto played with Trudy's kittens.


Some Tisanes - Montana Gold and Evening in Missoula

This week I am reviewing two of my favorite herbal teas. Yes, I know herbals/tisanes are not really tea but I make them with hot water and really like them. Both are blended by the Montana Spice and Tea Company, there are quite a few places to buy these teas online, these I got from TeaSource.

Montana Gold is a rooibos tea with orange rind, clove and cinnamon. I steep for about 6 minutes with boiled water. Here is my Steepster review:
Montana Gold
I need to get more of this tea, I drank the last of it the other day. Either hot or cold it's good. No sweetener needed. A great tea to drink late in the day without any caffeine to keep you up.

A lot of cinnamon taste, hints of citrus. The cinnamon is stronger with the second steeping. 

Evening in Missoula is my favorite tisane. It smells and tastes a little like birch beer. It has just about everything in it, but none of the ingredients are overpowering. Here's the ingredient list:

  • Blackberry leaf
  • Chamomile
  • Damiana
  • Lavender extract
  • Lemon peel
  • Papaya leaf
  • Passion flower
  • Peppermint
  • Raspberry
  • Red clover
  • Rosehips
  • Spearmint
  • Star anise
  • Strawberry leaf
  • Vanilla 
  • Wild cherry bark
  • Wintergreen
Evening in Missoula
 I might attempt to blend simpler teas and tisanes, but home made Evening in Missoula is out of my league. Steepster review from a couple months ago:
I started drinking this tea recently but it’s quickly become my favorite tisane. All the herbs blend together perfectly, nothing overpowering the other herbs, an aftertaste like birch beer. Tastes good hot or cold, though it tastes a little sweeter if you let it cool. It doesn’t need any sweetener, though I sometimes add a little honey.
I usually steep it 6 minutes but it can probably steep for less than that, I’m used to black teas and this tea looks light yellow in my glass pot but it’s stronger than it looks. This tea can be steeped at least twice and still taste as strong as the first steeping.
This tea is something of a cure-all too.

 It is a very relaxing tea. I really need to order more of this tea too, I have been scraping the bottom of the bag so the picture of the tisane leaves is not the fairest.

Both tisanes are usually found looseleaf, but can be found bagged. I prefer looseleaf but getting Montana Gold bagged might be better than loose because rooibos likes to escape most tea strainers.


Wild Bird Wednesday - Sparrows and a Bluebird

Camera Critters

I have been really busy with classes, but while I have a chance I'll post a few bird photos. Most of them are feeder shots, quite a few sparrows (I love sparrows). I actually manged to take a half decent picture of a bluebird through the window.

Pout is a serious bird watcher.

Hungry little sparrow


I think they were robins, they're so far away they could just be rocks on the snow.
I was excited to see a woodpecker at the suet, a different species than usually is there but by the time I got my camera ready it flew away. Stupid bird. But then this bluebird showed up and hung out in the tree long enough for a quick shot. Bluebirds never seem to hang out at the feeder for long.


Away from my poor cats

Camera Critters

My poor cats must be feeling abandoned again. Have been away from home a lot, briefly visited with them the other day before taking off again. Little Boy Pout made the most of it:

Here I am!

I love you, Mommy! 

I felt terrible leaving him again. He's a very needy cat.

Don't worry, he's only rubbing,
NOT spraying
To make matter worse I've been cheating on Pout, played with my cousin's cat. A very handsome blue-grey cat, not sure of where my cousin got him but I'm pretty sure there is at least some Russian Blue there. He's a very friendly cat, very affectionate, does not play rough.


He would not chase the string much so I found him a matchbox car and he had a lot of fun kicking it around. Of course I didn't get any pictures of that. (And I put the string away because I did not want the cat swallowing it, besides the grossness of pooping string it can cause all sorts of problems)


Icefishing - Season Ends

No one is more disappointed than me to not have more posts about icefishing. This year was only slightly better than last year because I iced one fish, last year I didn't ice any. I really should have gotten a fishing license in another state that actually had a decent winter.

So unless I get to travel it looks like I won't be fishing through the ice until next winter... I plan on panfishing when the local pond thaws. And I will be trout fishing when trout season opens next month. Not as fun as chasing flags but it'll have to do. Tempted to rig one of my tipups with a pool noodle so I can have a floating tipup just so I can get a flag. Watch this spot for some open water fishing coming soon.