Gojiberry Blueberry Pomegranate

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Tea of the Day: Gojiberry Blueberry Pomegranate by The Whistling Kettle

Description: Now here is a combinations that will turn heads! This green tea masterpiece starts with bright red gojiberries bedded on a rich, green Sencha. A spritz of lemongrass and a splash of royal blue cornflowers rounds out this blend.

Dry tea smells bright and fruity, like a blueberry-raspberry pie

Liquor is a bright golden color in the cup

Steeped tea smells just like the dry, and the tea has a pleasantly fruity taste with a hint of grassiness in the aftertaste.

To me, it needs no sugar, but for the sake of people who like their tea very sweet, I added a little to see how it would be.

Adding sugar enhances the fruit flavors, making each one more distinct. I’m reminded for some reason of berry-flavored gum, which is not a bad thing (yay nostalgia )

Tea Rating: 4.5/5


 

Day 12: Christmas Day

I hope none of you actually read this on Christmas Day. Rather, I hope you’re all spending time with family, as I am

 

merryxmas

 

 

Peach

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Tea of the Day: Peach Black Tea by Adagio Tea

Description: In the famous poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’, T.S. Eliot wrote, ‘Do I dare to eat a peach?’ The literary-minded folks at Adagio have taken it upon themselves to provide Mr. Eliot with an answer: why not just steep a cup of our bright Ceylon black tea flavored with sweet peaches? Delightful peach-nectar fragrance, lingering floral aromas as you sip, pleasant astringency and ‘peach fuzz’ dryness. Simply peachy…

Dry tea smells like you would expect from the name of the tea: peaches, ripe, warm and juicy

Liquor is a dark red-brown in the cup

Steeped tea retains it’s peachy smell but is now a little richer

Before adding sugar, the tea is first a robust black tea with peach flavor most apparent in the aftertaste.

When you add a little sugar, the tea lives up to its name and description and becomes much more drinkable. With it’s strong flavor, it would be a good morning coffee replacement

Tea Rating: 4.5/5


 

Day 11: Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is probably my favorite day of the year.

There’s just something about it, most of the work of the holidays is done (if only for the moment), you’ve traveled to your destination if you are traveling, the house is tidy before the explosion of wrapping paper and packing peanuts, and there’s a feeling of anticipation (but for once without dread) in the air.

Plus, it’s my parents anniversary, which to me makes this day romantic on top of everything else.

It’s pretty much the best Christmas love story that you can think of: two people, young and in love, one about to deploy, and she proposes to him so that they don’t have to be apart. Small wedding, but two of the happiest faces you’ve ever seen.

And 28 years later, they’re still together, still in love, and still happy.

So tonight I wish all of you some peace, a little bit of sweet anticipation, and a cozy moment with the ones you love most

 

Pu-Erh

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Tea of the Day: Pu-erh by Sipping Streams

Description: If you are looking for an unusual, trendy and health focused tea, look no farther than Pu-erh (pronounced poo-er in Mandarin or bo-lay cha in Cantonese).Pu-erh is typically aged at least one to four years before it is ready to drink. In some cases, Pu-erh can be aged for fifty or more years before consumption! Pu-erh has a strong, clean flavor with sweet undertones. It is often compared to the smell of fall leaves in a colorful pile. When you make Pu-erh tea, you can usually brew it a lot longer and stronger than other teas. This is due to the fact that Pu-erh has a long fermentation and oxidation period when it is being processed

I love Pu-erh before even tasting it because it’s like unwrapping a little gift every time, because for the varieties I’ve had,  each little tea cake is individually wrapped

Dry tea smells earthy and a little nutty

Liquor is a very dark brown in the cup, like liquid chocolate except you can see the bottom of the cup through it.

Steeped tea retains its earthy smell.

First thought is that this is the smoothest tea I’ve ever had.

It’s grassy and sweet, with an undertone of something rich, and it leaves behind a surprisingly refreshing flavor. It almost reminds me of freshly cooked pasta

Adding a little sugar changes the taste to something like a cross between coffee with cream and Mexican chocolate.

Tea Rating: 5/5


 

Day 10: Some alternative Christmas trees, if you’ve been putting off putting up your tree.

The simple one:

simplistic

I’d add some color, personally, but there’s something very peaceful about this design.

 

Some hanging ones:

hanging

All I can imagine is the hopeless tangle of all the strings, but I love the way it looks.

 

One for all the bookworms:

book

I have to admit I do cringe at the state of those book spines, but maybe this would be a good use for all those old textbooks that you hate?

 

And finally, one to bring back some nostalgia:

cartoon

Dr. Seuss, anyone?

Rooibos solstice

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Tea of the Day : Rooibos Solstice by Summit Spice and Tea

Description : Another bright, slightly sweet house blend of vanilla and orange with a hint of peppermint

Dry tea smells like an orange creamsicle

Liquor is a lovely red-amber in the cup

Steeped tea smells much like the dry, except you can smell the peppermint, just slightly.

Tea is sweetly citrusy, the vanilla making it taste more like a desert than a tea

Adding sugar brings out the mint a little more, but also helps to further blend the flavors

Tea Rating :4/5


 

Day 9: The Winter Solstice

We’ve survived the longest night.

(Apologies if you’re reading this from the southern hemisphere and just finished your longest day. Come back to this in June :p)

This isn’t such a big deal now, but not so very long ago it was a scary thing. People would pray or party the while night through, throwing light out into the world in a hopeful imitation of the sun, and rejoice at sunrise that next day.

To me, the Winter solstice is a great metaphor for our lives. We will see the light again, live through our dark times, if only we just believe. If we hold on, throw our light into the dark, we will see the dawn.

A particular phrase comes to mind when I think of this: “it’s always darkest before the dawn.”

From personal experience I can say that though that phrase may be cliche, it rings true. For the slide into dark was gradual, but the day things started to get better blazes like the sun, forever branded into my memory.

So wherever you are today, have hope. For the future, for yourself, for the people you love. It’s not a childish or silly thing, but rather something we need to keep on going when life gets hard.

Peppermint

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Tea of the Day: Peppermint Herbal Tea by Celestial Seasonings

Description:The aromatic Oregon- and Washington-grown peppermint we’ve selected tastes so fresh and delicious that it requires no accompaniment — it’s simply the only ingredient here.

Dry tea smells like peppermint, bright and fresh

Liquor is an amber color in the cup

Steeped tea is still very peppermint, but has a bit of a savory tone in the smell.

Before sugar, the tea is very minty, a real pick me up.  Adding sugar makes me think of candy canes, and makes me want a cup of hot chocolate. Nice and smooth.

Tea Rating: 4/5


 

Day 8: For those of you already thinking about New Year’s resolutions

First off, please be kind to yourself. Don’t make resolutions based on holiday stress and family-fueled guilt.

Make changes to be a happier you.

If you have a big goal, start with small things you can stick with. Some ideas from a health related perspective:

Drink more water. Substitute green tea for black, or black tea for coffee. Take up photography, even if it’s just with your phone—it’ll get outside and moving more often!

Whatever your goals are, be patient with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day and changes to your life will take time to build momentum

Here’s a good example of what I mean about taking time. Mark Hamill is 64 years old, and there is recent buzz about how he’s made quite the transformation since 2012…that’s right, 3 years. Totally reasonable amount of time for anyone, and a totally reasonable results.

 

weight loss

Hibiscus Honey Lemon

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Tea of the Day: Hibiscus honey lemon by the Hawaiian Islands Tea Company

Description:  Hibiscus honey lemon green tea has a unique smooth taste from a blend of Japanese green tea, honet and lemon.

Dry tea smells like honey and lemon and rich tea

Liquor is a chestnut brown in the cup

Tastes like green tea with some tartness to it, with the lemon flavor only apparent in the aftertaste.

Tea Rating: 2/5


 

Day 7: Another video! A refreshing take on make up how-to’s that leaves a very positive feel, great starting another day on the right foot!

Rooibos Raspberry

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Tea of the Day: Rooibos Raspberry by Summit Spice and Tea

Description: This blend makes a great afternoon or evening beverage, and kids like it, too!

Dry tea smells like a warm raspberry tart, rich and fruity

Liquor is a dark brown-red in the cup

Steeped tea smells more strongly of raspberry. It’s a little more tart than one might expect (without sugar) but it still very drinkable

Tea Rating: 4/5


 

Day 6:  A video by one of my favorite youtube people, Hank Green of the Vlog brothers, talking about things that feel good/make him happy. These are relatable to everyone, plus he’s funny.