Thursday, January 5, 2017

Tea Time With Yours Truly.

I know it's not technically Friday - and I'm still doing a food feature tomorrow - but I thought I'd share with you all an extra food review for the week, using one of my personal favorite beverages. Tea.

As you may have read in prior posts, I'm a bit of an amateur tea connoisseur - I just like the word. I truly like how each tea can have a distinct taste all it's own, specific to it's blend. It's one of the reasons I'm more fond of teas than I am coffee. Don't get me wrong, there are many days when I require a good cup of Joe, but I've come to realize that it's harder for me to find a uniquely different tasting coffee, than it is to find a distinct tea. I know they are out there and I have my preferences, but the variety feels far more vast with teas. 

Ranging from detox teas to caffeine free, you can find almost any tea to suit your needs. The other benefit from tea drinking, it that it doesn't have to just be a morning or daytime thing. In fact, many people drink a cozy cup of tea at night - myself included - to help them drift into a gentle slumber. 

Wanna see my nighttime tea recommendation? Click HERE.

I find that the right tea can either make or break your entire meal - and day. So I try to pick up new ones when possible, that are either aimed towards an "ailment" (like being unfocused for example) and/or mixed with an herb that I like (or are interested in trying). 

Today's teas are two vastly different teas from two mildly similar places. I will say however, that one of these teas is in short supply and if you wish to try it, you should hurry in to pick it up. The other however, is securely stocked. 

The first tea I'll talk about, is the limited time tea. It's from Trader Joe's and is called "Vanilla and Cinnamon Black Tea". Now, I've grown to truly love Trader Joe's black tea (I specifically say Trader Joe's, because I'm not a fan of any other brand that I've tried) and this was no exception. It is a winter edition tea (hence the Christmas lights around the lemur's tail), but for now it's in stock. 

I was really excited to try this tea, because I'm a huge fan of vanilla (see my post all about Vanilla HERE) and adding this to the list of potential festive delights in my cupboard, was something I couldn't pass up on. 

Upon first opening it, you'll be gifted this glorious smell that - at least to me - closely resembles a bakery with authentic pastries, that uses quite a bit of vanilla. The cinnamon isn't as apparent, but it's noticeable if you're smelling for it. 

The brew was exquisite and extremely smooth. It had a sense of "pure sweetness" to it, which led me to use less sugar than normal. I did enjoy my cup with my preferred creamer (see that post HERE), but even the few sips I took without creamer were decadently rich. It was a very soft tea, that made you feel as if you were being cuddled by a Tempurpedic pillow, while laying on the softest faux fur (because animal rights) blanket, covered in a cold comforter, snuggled in velvet pajamas, inside a heated room, on a cold winters night. Oh yeah. 

I don't think I'd go for an exceptionally sweet pastry or cookie with this tea, but a butter cookie would pair nicely with this hydrating blend of deliciousness. Also, if you're looking for a definitive cinnamon flavor, this isn't the tea you're looking for (Star Wars fans unite!). It's much more on the vanilla side, but it has a mini cinnamon touch to it. I actually enjoyed it this way, as it wasn't a "spicy" blend, but more of a relaxing brew. 

This tea DOES have caffeine, however, I don't see it as something you'd be able to use in place of coffee. The effects are VERY low - at least to me - and didn't alter my sleep whatsoever. 

As for the safely stocked tea, I found it at the brand new "Baron's Market" that opened up down the street from us. (See that post HERE). It's called "Mental Focus" by the brand "Choice". It's not specific to "Baron's Market" grocery stores, so I would recommend keeping your eye out for this one at your local health food store. I've even heard a rumor that it's sold at select Walmart's as well, so perhaps sneak a peak at their tea selection as well. 

This tea is infused with Gotu Kola leaf, Lemongrass leaf, Peppermint leaf, Licorice root, Ginkgo leaf, Lemon peel oil, and Ginkgo leaf extract. 

A brief description of Ginkgo leaf and Gotu Kola leaf:

Ginkgo leaf has been known to help with glaucoma, enhance your memory, and it's even used to help patients with Alzheimer's. 

Gotu Kola is known for it's numerous health benefits pertaining to boosting the nervous system, combating high blood pressure, repairing the skin, and improving the circulatory system. Along with many other components.

This tea smells very similar to the daytime theraflu tea, but it's taste is far better than the medicinal medicine. It has a mild citrus flavor to it, but again, with the creamer I use, you're left with a good morning brew that resembles the richness of a medium blend coffee. Of course the bitterness isn't there and this is caffeine free, but you're sure to feel a bit more mentally prepared to take on the days tasks. I don't think it's a good replacement for those cups of morning coffees you "require", but if you aren't a caffeine lover, this would be perfection. 

On the days that I don't drink coffee - I know, they actually exist - I've been reaching for this particular tea. It gives me the mild boost I need after a somewhat good sleep, without any sort of crash. It's refreshing, hydrating, and absolutely splendid. 

Both teas are recommended by me and both teas are sitting in my tea cupboard proudly. I am a little sad that the Vanilla and Cinnamon Black Tea is only while supply lasts, but I don't mind waiting until the next holiday season, because it's beyond worth the wait. I also love that I've been able to find another excellent morning tea, especially when we have school functions to attend to in the morning. Don't get me wrong, I love coffee, but sometimes the crash isn't worth it to me. 

These teas are well deserving of being purchased and if you do get the chance to taste them, be sure to tag me in your photo's using #TWRC on social media, for a chance to be featured! 

Love you Jedi's and may the force be with you all on your journey to tea heaven. 

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