After a much needed break from blogging, I’m finally back. Even though I wasn’t posting here on the blog, I was still actively posting on YouTube and TikTok. During December I somehow managed to keep up with 3 tea advent calendars. They were from SipsBy, T2 and Vahdam. It was interesting tasting so many new teas throughout the month. During this process I discovered that there were only 3 teas from the T2 collection that I really enjoyed. For Vahdam I enjoyed pretty much all of their chais, but not the turmeric based teas. Those are being passed on to my mother. SipsBy was a large selection of teas from all kinds of different brands. That one was fun and had some teas that I loved and some that I definitely did not. All in all, I can see me doing the SipsBy advent again, but not the T2 or Vahdam. I would definitely try a chai sampler from Vahdam though if they had some new chai teas or ones that I haven’t tried yet. You can check out my daily vlogs on the advent teas over on YouTube.
During the month of January I am reading through the book The United States of Cocktails by Brian Bartels. At the end of the month I will do a post with my final review of the book. For now, I have been enjoying making several of the cocktails from the book and learning some cocktail related facts about each state. You can check out my videos on the Ward Eight Cocktail and the Jack Rose Cocktail on YouTube. There will be a couple more videos this month related to the book before my final review at the end of January.
For Christmas this year I received a sampler of Twinings teas and decided to review them on my channel as well. You can check out my video reviews on You Tube as well (round 1, round 2, and round3). I will say that overall I was not very impressed with the Twinings teas. At least not from their tea bags. I do plan to do some more reviews of teas available at the grocery store soon. I know that not everyone likes to order their teas, some people stick with what they can buy in the store locally.
Also coming up in January, I will have an Earl Grey tea showdown. This will be a video series that last for a couple days and on the last day I will post the results here on the blog and also on video. I think it will be a fun way to try out a bunch of Earl Grey teas. Earl Grey is one of my favorite tea flavors so I am pretty excited about trying a bunch of them side by side.
So what can you expect her going forward? Right now I’m planning to do a monthly book review of a book related to drinks. For January it’s The United States of Cocktails. I will announce February’s book later this month. I am also planning to post twice a week, once with tea related content and a review of the teas I have tried that week and once with cocktail related content and a review of the cocktails I have tried that week. I’m looking forward to getting back to regular posting here.
It’s time for another Martini Monday post. This week I tried yet another Pumpkin Spice Martini recipe. What can I say, I have a love of Pumpkin Spice martinis and I’m always in search of the perfect one. While I have found some good ones, I have yet to find one that I consider perfect.
This week’s pumpkin spice martini does not actually have any pumpkin or even pumpkin flavoring in it. It just has some pumpkin spice sprinkled on top of the martini. So, while I did enjoy this martini, I could not really taste the pumpkin spice. It was more of a vanilla martini for me. I did use salted caramel sugar on the rim though which was delicious.
Pumpkin Spice Martini
2 oz vanilla vodka 2 oz creme de cacao liqueur (clear) 4 oz half and half sprinkle of pumpkin spice on top Garnish: salted caramel sugar (or cinnamon sugar if you can’t find that)
Shake first three ingredients with ice. Strain into martini glass with sugared rim. Sprinkle pumpkin spice on top.
The Faerie tea by Witchwood Teahouse was included in the Magic Tea Box that I ordered from SipsBy. This tea box was a LOT of fun and something I definitely plan to order again next year if they offer it. That said, this particular tea was just ok and not one of our favorites.
Tea: Faerie by Witchwood Teahouse
Source: SipsBy Magic Tea Box
Type: White Tea
Steeping Time: 3-10 minutes – I did 5 minutes
Aroma & Taste: minty
Notes: This tea had a mild mint flavor that was ok to me. Nothing special for me as I’m not a huge fan of minty teas. It was also supposed to be color changing, but it did not change colors for me. If you like mildly minty herbal teas you may enjoy this one, but it just was not for me.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Buy Again: No – I actually wound up putting this one in my give away box as it was just ok.
Here I go changing things up again. This time I decided to make Monday Martini Monday. I mean, I love martinis so why not? So here is my first ever Martini Monday post. It is important to note that the martinis that I favor are dessert martinis and not gin martinis. So if you’re looking for a gin martini, this is not the place. However, if you are looking for a dessert martini I am your girl.
This week I made a Boston Cream Pie Martini. It was creamy and delicious and I loved it. If you enjoy Boston cream pie, then you will probably enjoy this martini. I can’t remember where I found this recipe originally, but I am so glad that I wrote it down and saved it.
Boston Cream Pie Martini
1.5 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur 1.5 oz Vanilla rum 1.5 oz Coconut spiced rum cream
Shake with ice. Strain into martini glass.
What types of cocktails are your favorite? I love to try out new cocktails so I’m always looking for fun cocktail ideas. I’m also finally starting my cocktail nights with friends back up. A few of us got together for Halloween while our kids did their trick or treating and it was so nice to have that time with friends. We also got to try out some pumpkin pie martinis and pumpkin pie pudding shots. It was a fun night.
Finally, here is the TikTok video I made showing how I made this martini.
When I received my order of the Adagio Wicked Teas, included in my box was a sampler of the teas from the October CommuniTEA samples. Since this was my first order from Adagio I actually hadn’t heard of their CommuniTEA before so I was excited to learn about it. The box I received had 7 tea samples which were the samples for the week of October 24, 2021.
For those that aren’t aware of the Adagio CommuniTEA box, it is a sample box of assorted Adagio teas. There is one sample tea for each day of the month and the samples contain a mix of straight Adagio teas and blends from their custom blends uploaded by customers. I personally love that it contains a mixture of both. The idea of the CommuniTEA is that everyone participating tastes the designated tea on the specified tea and shares their thoughts on it to help build community.
While I absolutely love the idea of sharing a specific tea on a specific day in their community, it just has not been working for me. My schedule is crazy and I have a hard time being able to consume the given tea on the given day. That said, I do enjoy trying the various teas and sharing my thoughts on them so my hope is to be able to share those thoughts here. I have already purchased the November box and I’m excited to try them, even if it isn’t on the assigned day.
The Adagio CommuniTea box is $19 and can be purchased on their website here. At this point you can purchase the December box. I’m not sure if I will purchase the December box because I already have advent calendars, but I am considering it. However I will be posting my thoughts on the November teas.
The sample teas the I have tried from the October 24th sample week box are:
Spiced Mate – This is a Brazilian toasted mate with spices and citrus peels. This tea was not something that I enjoyed and I wound up dumping it out. It was my first time trying a mate and I was not a fan.
Sally – This tea is a blend described as a traditional yet mellow Earl Grey Lavender with the sweetness of blackberries and smooth cream. I really enjoyed this tea and I am tempted to purchase some more of it. The only thing holding me back is the sheer quantity of tea I already have that I still need to try.
Candy Apple – This is a Sri Lanka black rea with caramel and apple pieces. I personally do not like apple drinks so I am passing this one on to a friend who does enjoy them. I also previously tried the Candy Apple Concoction tea from their Wicked Collection which uses this tea as a base and just did not care for it because of the appled.
The teas that I still need to try are:
For Good – A blend of white pear and aniseed
Maple Creme Oolong
Green Potion – A blend of mild citrus and mint green, mild green earl grey with blueberry and green roobios.
It’s time for another Mixer Monday post. This week I am once again mixing different liquors with my pumpkin spice iced tea. I can’t seem to help it, I just love the pumpkin spice iced tea in the fall and so does my daughter so we have had it a lot. Let me know if you have any suggestions for other mixers that might go well with pumpkin spice iced tea, or even regular iced tea. I’m always looking for fun new flavor combos to try out.
Here are this week’s mixers in order from least favorite to favorite. Although they were all delicious and will definitely be trying them all again.
Baileys Irish Cream – This made a fun adult version of a pumpkin spice tea latte. It was delicious and did not change the taste of the tea very much.
Caramel Cream Liquor – I used a local one Maryland one that I love and need to buy more of soon. This added a nice caramel flavor to the pumpkin tea and gave it a caramel pumpkin latte vibe. Another easy, delicious drink to help wind down in the evening.
Ole Smoky Pumpkin Spice Cream – This one is good to sip on its own, but when you add it to pumpkin spice iced tea it is so good. It made the pumpkin flavor in the tea really stand out and I loved that. Super good and I will definitely be having this version again. It was my favorite of the night.
You can check out all of my Mixer Monday posts here. This series is still pretty new, but I’m hoping to continue it for awhile. After all, there are so many different teas and liquors that can be combined in so many ways.
The Wicked Tea collection is a fun Halloween themed tea collection put out by Adagio Teas. I ordered these because of the fun tins. These teas are only available in October so if you want some, you need to order now. This was my first order from Adagio teas and I enjoyed the teas. They also had fast shipping which makes me happy. I will definitely be ordering from them again.
I absolutely love churros, but they aren’t exactly something I should be eating all the time. So I was super excited to come across a recipe for a churro latte. I was so excited that I actually ordered the tea I needed for this latte just so that I could try it. For fun I decided to add a splash of bourbon to the latte for an adult treat. For my daughter I left out the bourbon and she still loved it.
2 Vietnamese Cinnamon tea bags (Republic of Tea)
6 oz hot water
1/2 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
splash of vanilla
Steep the tea bags in the water. I did 5 minutes.
Warm milk with a splash of vanilla.
Mix together tea and milk mixture. Also mix in bourbon if you’re adding it.
Top with whipped cream.
This latte was a delicious treat and I will definitely be making it again.
Here is the TikTok I made showing how to make the latte.
When I purchased the Pumpkin Tea Collection box from Sips By, I wound up falling in love with the Psychocandy tea. When I went to their website to order a tin of Psychocandy, I saw that they also sold a sampler box of their top 10 teas. I wound up ordering that as well so that I could try out some more of their teas. Here is a list of the teas included in the package:
Low Country – strong black tea with bourbon and burnt sugar notes
Passage – rich black tea with hazelnut and chocolate
Combray – creamy organic green tea with vanilla and cardamom
Biarritz – velvety rooibos with amaretto and orange blossom
Jet Black – rich black tea with roasted mate and espresso bean
Dark Iris – rich oolong with peach, pistachio and lime
Metropolitan – vibrant black tea with bergamot, plum and clove
Psychocandy – darkly sweet rooibos with pumpkin and caramel
Know By Heart – white tea with orange blossom almond and honey
Black Metallic – floral black tea with violet and elderberry notes
I wound up giving the Jet Black sample to a friend of mine because I do not like the taste of coffee so I know that this one is not going to be my taste. Then I gave the Psychocandy sample to my brother since I purchased a in of it and thought that he would enjoy that one as well.
I am actually very excited to try out these teas. Reviews will be coming as I try them out. As add reviews I will add links to this page. If there is one that you are interested in seeing that is not linked, please let me know and I will add that one to the top of my list.
You can check out all of my tea unboxings here. I have been buying way too much tea lately. But Fall is my favorite season and I love the fall teas.
Yesterday I posted some mixer ideas for pumpkin spice iced tea. Just in case any of you aren’t sure how to make pumpkin spice sweet tea, here are the instructions for how I make it. Personally, I use the Republic of Tea Pumpkin Spice tea bags for this tea. They are easy and convenient. You can also pick them up in many grocery stores, just make sure that you get them in the fall because they are only available seasonally. I make sure to stock up for the year and actually bought the large bag of 250 tea bags from their website.
To make half a gallon of pumpkin spice iced tea you will need:
7 Republic of Tea Pumpkin Spice tea bags
1/2 cup sugar
I place my tea bags in a quart mason jar and add the boiling water. Let this steep for 3-5 minutes and then remove the tea bags. While the tea is steeping, add the sugar to your half gallon pitcher. Once the tea has steeped, add it to your pitcher and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Finally, add enough cold water to make half a gallon. Give a final stir and you done. Store your iced tea in the fridge.
A few notes:
I used a mason jar to steep the tea, but you can use any food and heat safe container. Some ideas would be a large pyrex measuring cup, a tea pot or even just throw the tea bags into the pot you used to boil the water.
While I use sugar for my tea, you can choose to not sweeten your at all or use any of the numerous sugar alternatives to taste.
This iced tea should be good for about a week, but it never lasts that long in our house.
These tea bags also make a great cup of hot tea. I like to use 2 and add a little milk for a pumpkin spice latte.