What an exciting experiment. Let me give you a little background. I was recently inspired to make this concoction with slight variation of course when I heard about from Nicole Martin also know as @TeaForMePlease during a Ladies Tea Trade Hangout on Google+ with @Jackie and @jopj.
~By the way, if you are interested in joining a hangout contact @Jackie I’m sure she would be happy to help get you started. We hold them everything other Thursday night at 8pm CST with the next one scheduled this Thursday the 15th. Hope to see you there. ~
Now back to the tea infused wine. I’m enjoying a glass as I write and with every sip I’m finding it more and more difficult to put into words just how interesting the flavor profile is. Please be patient with me as my command of the English language isn’t as skillful as perhaps some other amazing bloggers on Tea Trade such as @Lazyliteratus and @theDevotea. I’ll do my best to muddle through and hopefully I’ll paint an accurate picture.
The Golden Monkey Infused Merlot Experiment
Estimated .75oz of Golden Monkey from Teas Etc.
Estimated 2 glasses of Merlot from Village Vintner (Local winery, brewery, and restaurant)
Combined tea and wine together in a glass jar, closed the lid, and placed in the refrigerator for roughly 16 hours.
Strained tea leaves out
Aroma: At first impression the wine took on a new sweeter aroma with a distinct chocolatey scent. The orginal aroma of the merlot prior to infusion was lighter, brighter, and fruitier. After the infusion you get an obvious bolder scent.
Flavor: While I was hoping the obvious chocolate aroma would translate in flavor it unfortunately did not. No matter though as it didn’t disappoint in flavor. You can clearly taste the Golden Monkey and I found that it married very well with the Merlot. It was interesting, as the completed infusion appeared to capture the best qualities of each ingredient to make this a wonderful glass of ”tea wine.” The flavor had a reminiscent fruity flavor of the merlot but far more subtle than it would have traditionally tasted. Now it was distinctly more earthy, rich, robust, and heady. The two components complemented each other very well with none of the included ingredents drowning out the other.
Since I still don’t feel I did this post or this new beverage justice with my discription here I promise if I am ever to meet you in person I shall make a fresh batch so that we may share a glass together and compare notes.
Gosh, do you ever get that feeling of shear happiness? You know the feeling where everything in your life just feels perfect regardless if it is or not? It just so happens that I am experiencing that rare form or euphoria right now and felt what better time than now to write a blog post capturing my ever so fast and fleeting moment that only comes but once a “blue moon.” This is one of those moments where I can do anything and find pleasure in any moment. It’s strange because we have had a bit of bad luck this past weekend. On this past Friday my husband lost his basically brand new iPad3 64G on an airplane. Still don’t know if we will see it again. Then on Saturday we discovered someone rear ended our car. Minor damage but still can it get any worse? On Sunday a bunch of us went to Six Flags Great America for Fright Fest, which by the way was anything but frightening. Still the rides were amazing and fun. I was glad that after all these years I was still able to take the most thrilling rides without fear or getting sick. Most of all the last time I was at Six Flags was probably about 4 maybe 5 years ago and I was pretty overweight. Although, I was able to take the rides I went on it was still sometimes pretty challenging to fit in the seats and get the harnesses on. The most difficult was the Eagle. The best ride in the park after 30years it’s still going. It is an old wooden coaster many of you must have seen it in a few classic movies before. So the best news is this year I was able to take ALL the rides without fear or difficulty. I have lost so much weight since then and though I still had irrational fears that I was going to still have issues I didn’t. The only bad news was halfway through my knee was killing me. It’s my left knee that I had surgery on back in 1998 and I can see I will need it once again but I’ll be honest I’m in denial. Not sure how much longer I’ll be able to deny it though.
Now the next day, Columbus Day. We all went to the Pumpkin Patch. The very same one I had been going to every year since I was in the fifth grade, a family tradition of course. We found the perfect pumpkin, visited the animal farm, did the corn stalk maze, and had fresh roasted corn, and apple cider. Still my knee hadn’t recovered from the day before. Things are looking more and more grim and obvious that a trip to the doctor and then surgery table is more and more evident in the near future. Did I mention I HATE going to hospitals and especially being put under for surgery? Lets just say I had a terrible experience once.
Well, despite all the highs and lows this past long weekend I had one incredible moment on Saturday night… My dear husband asked me to marry him again and I said… “Yes!!!” Did I mention he did it on bent knee holding a gorgeous diamond solitaire to boot? Oh, it was so beautiful and I can’t stop looking at it. Not to mention romantic. We got married nearing 16years ago. I was 19 he was 20. I worked in retail he was in the Navy. We didn’t have much money but we knew we loved each other and never wanted to be apart so we got married the best we could with what we had. At that time it was rings we found at the mall and Justice of the Peace. Him in his uniform and me in a nicer than usual outfit. No family to celebrate with us, we eloped. Just the two of us, a friend, and the one that married us at their home by the beach in Virginia Beach, so at least a bit nicer than a court room. I never expected a fancy ring, or a wedding ceremony. Now, here we are a different time, a different place, and I feel like when we first got married. The fireworks, the love in our eyes, the sparkle on my finger and the dream wedding I’ve always wanted on the horizon. All of what has happened this weekend has reminded me that we have to take things into prospective. Be happy when we should and scream it out loud if you want to. Let go of what we can not change. Renew passions, enjoy what you do. This weekend has helped me to refocus on what’s important to me. Which first and foremost will always be my family. After that I am starting to remember how much I used to love to blog about me, tea, and what interests me most. I hope this feeling lingers for a long time. I want to write, read, and drink as many cups of delicious tea as possible but not quickly. I want to drink it slow and with contemplation.
With Azzrian’s permission I am posting a review she did on a handrafted tea of mine on Steepster. Thank you for the kind words. It means the world to me that you enjoyed something I put so much of my heart into.
Totally unexpected delight. First of all the aroma of this tea is of warm vanilla sugar and berries. The smell was so warm, so inviting, so sweet, and so natural smelling. It really reminded me of the caramelized sugar on top of a creme brulee with wild berry glaze on the side.
The very fist sip was that of raspberry but it quickly faded into a warm sugared apricot flavor but not a sticky sweet sugar, rather a very natural sugar flavor.
Finally, an apricot I could fully appreciate, as I have had issues with finding an apricot tea I like recently.
What I liked most about this tea, and its flavoring was that I could still taste the green tea base beneath it. Often times when I have tried blends from artesian, or smaller tea vendors I find that the flavors are artificial, cloying, or chemical. This tea was wonderfully mastered! I am impressed! This is one of the best teas from a non commercial tea vendor I have ever tasted!
The liquor appeared oily and heavy in the cup at first pour and I did have some reservations thinking maybe the blend would not be very good but I was so wrong. The tea did have a full mouthfeel to it with that heavy feel but it was so juicy, mouthwatering, delicious!
This is an inconspicuous tea, it does not force you to take notice, rather allows you to simply meld into its splendor! I found that none of the flavors fought one another for attention. While vanilla was not mentioned in the name or ingredients of this tea I swear I could taste a hint of natural vanilla!
There were actual pieces of fruit in the blend just as stated on the site!
I loved the fresh tart apricot, the sharp but sweet raspberries, and the wonderful green tea base, it is naturally sweet so no sugar is needed.
The caramelized sugar aroma was mesmerizing! My mouth is watering as I write this review just thinking about the juicy fruity flavors I so enjoyed! Time to go brew another pot!
Pictured: Raspberry & Apricot Green Tea Delight being cold brewed.
So as it turns out there is a person out there with the name Tea Geek and as some of you know I have recently started a website called TeaGeeks. The differences are of course one website is “.net” and mine is “.com” and I have a “s” on the end of my name and he doesn’t. I found out about this other person and site once my last blog post went out. I was then notified by a few people that I know and also knows the other site. Before then I had no idea this other site even exsisted and once I went to the site noticed it was a place where you can sign up to receive newsletters. I thought to myself this is clearly different than what I was doing. I admit it did kind of stink that there was someone else out there with a similar name but I thought I would just let it go. I even reached out to the owner of the other site to at least say “Hi” and how it is so funny our names are so similar. Here I thought I had an original idea. I was thinking of that name for a long time. I was excited when I saw the domain name was available. Nevertheless, I get the feeling the other person is upset with me and may have the idea that I stole something from him. I might be wrong and hope I am. For one thing I didn’t steal anything he still has his site and I have mine. It just so happens they are similar. On the other hand I don’t want anyone to think ill of me. For me to steal anything would be a terrible way to start a business and even if I tried would be noticed in our tightly knit community, as was proven here. If any feelings were hurt I will apologize. Unfortunately, my excitement is now tainted and I really don’t want anyone upset with me. I also know I can’t make everyone happy. So hoping that everyone knows that I am not a malicious person maybe just a clueless one from time to time so I need to ask what would you do? I can look into keeping TeaGeeks or I already have another domain name I am not using which I like as well called IHeartTeas. I love both names, clearly I liked the first a bit better. So would you keep the original name or would you change it? This is the best time to make changes since I haven’t really done much on the side of business yet. I have only sold teas from my personal stash. Any thoughts? I would just hate this to be an issue for anyone. Tea=Love and that is how I would like to keep it.
Please help me! Thank you!
Over the past month I have been contemplating on if I want to take my love of tea to the next step and start selling tea? It has been a thought I had been laughingly considering for years but never really thought I would consider making into a reality. If you are wondering what the turning point was, it was the day I read about Tea Trade. When I first read about the concept I thought it was a wonderful idea and knew I wanted to be involved. I didn’t necessarily think of myself selling tea on the site but the idea did appeal to me. The idea of a location dedicated to all things tea just had to be a good thing right? I just couldn’t wait to read about tea, make new tea friends, maybe find new teas to add to my stash, what a fun place. So one day my husband and I were talking and thought wouldn’t it be fun if I could sell some of my excess tea? Sometimes I can be over zealous and purchase more than I could ever consume. With so much tea available out there I would get carried away and buy, buy, buy because I just had to try that new flavor or it is on sale or I enjoyed a particular tea and just had to stock up. I shopped for tea like a ravenous tea fiend for sometime but realized that had to stop. My hours were cut at work and money was getting tight so buying so much tea had to stop. As I was saying before I started to ramble my husband, Ralph and I started to talk and thought Tea Trade was a great opportunity to sell my excess and that maybe I could use that extra money on new teas or anything else for that matter. So with that said we gave it ago. It started out with two postings the Mystery Sample Pack and Customized Sample Pack and as they the rest was history. Within a day I sold my first sample package and the sales just kept coming. We started to think maybe this was for me, maybe this could be that blessing in disguise we have been looking for. I absolutely LOVE getting that next order and putting them together. It is the first thing I have ever done that doesn’t feel like work. I know I could do this forever but the question is should I? So much risk with the potential for so much reward or even loss.
I have $500 to invest and am trying to decide on if I take the next step or keep this simple as I have been and continue to sell my excess. If things go as well as they have been I would be a fool not to make a serious effort but on the other hand $500 is a lot when you already don’t have much. I am making my decision by next week. My husband supports any decision I make but I believe he wants me to throw caution to the wind and work on making my dreams come true. I need to think more. So much to consider before I can make such a serious decision. Wish me luck and tell me what you think I should do.
Sorry for the delay but as usual life sometimes gets in the way but I suppose that is just how life is. No worries though here I am as promised and will share with you the second of nine tea reviews I am doing on Capital Teas. I am so glad I decided on this particular tea, or should I say tisane and below I will with share with you the reason why…
Name: Blueberry Yogurt Rooibos
Company Name: Capital Teas
Company Description: A liquid dessert awaits with the aroma of ripe blueberries and creamy yogurt; a perfect blend of our honeybush with cranberries, blueberries, cornflower petals, milk granules, and sugar parts.
My Preparation Parameters: 1 tsp., 208° F, 7 minute steep
My Review: Deliciously blueberry. Sweet but not tart. A dessert tea without a doubt. I have found it difficult to find a blueberry tea I really like. Many times the blueberry just doesn’t taste authentic. I have had a few that tasted syrupy and too candy like. Some have had a strange after taste. I don’t know maybe I am picky but nevertheless the fact remains that this is delightful. I can see myself without a doubt drinking this one again. As for the yogurt aspect of this blend I am not sure if I even tasted it. It may be there and I just didn’t detect it. Although, since I didn’t notice it, it still does account for some points lost. I am still looking for accuracy. So, if I forgive the lack of yogurt and just judge the flavor I can say it is delicious and it is a bit like the flavor of blueberry pie. Always a good thing. In the words of Homer Simpson….”Ummm. Blueberry Pie!”
Rating: 8.5 of 10
If interested in purchasing the Capital Teas Blog Series Sampler Series please refer to this link… Capital Teas Blog Series Sampler Set
It has been a while since I last sat down to share my thoughts with all my tea buddies out there and for that I apologize. It has been a struggle to find time for just about anything I consider enjoyable. I am sure many of you know exactly what I am experiencing. I remember as I child I would utter the words… “When I grow up I will do whatever I want whenever I want” to my parents all the time. I am sorry Mom and Dad I was wrong about so much. To my surprise I thought because I am primarily a stay at home mom that surely I would have time to blog, scrapbook, hang out with my other stay at home mom friends, and of course most of all drink tea in a manor I can appreciate. I was sadly mistaken.
These days the demands of raising a child and running a household are far more time consuming and draining that I had anticipated. Of course I drink tea everyday but it isn’t just the action of drinking the tea that satisfies me. I want to drink it, savor it, appreciate it, and enjoy the moments. I want to create a certain ambiance, take in the sights and sounds. If I can’t do that I want 15 minutes to create a mental escape. Have a nice cup of tea and drift to wonderful place, my own special place.
With that said I was wondering with all the different variables in your life how do you enjoy tea? What is your mental escape? Do you just drink the tea or do you drink to enjoy it? Do you travel with tea? Take it to the beach, on a picnic, hiking, or any special place you may have? I am in need of ideas on how to escape from my daily life from time to time and allow myself some time for tea and contimplation. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
Being a stay at home mom has it’s advantages and disadvantages, which I am sure many of you can imagine. The best part is that I am so lucky to be able to be here for my daughter whenever she needs me. I don’t have to count on daycare raising her so I can be there to teach her and watch her grow. On the other side, if things go wrong, it’s my fault right? Just kidding, I hope. Anyway, I am going somewhere with this I promise.
Although my main focus is my family I do work a very part-time job outside the home which is great when you need a break; which is
what it started out as, but these days I do work for the money as many of us do. I am sure I don’t have to go into the whole economy topic. So with that said my hours are being cut to the point of nonexistence which is a bit frustrating for me. Considering the situation and my true desire to be with my daughter and in some way or another work in the tea industry. So I have recently
decided to dabble with a new website devoted to “Tea,” www.Teatra.de and hope it helps me realize a dream of mine. Now everyone don’t make fun of me I am baring my soul here. I strongly believe that tea has magical powers. Tea can bring people together, start conversations, create relaxation, promote creativity,
instill peace. Like I said magic! So I thought to myself what a perfect time to have discovered this wonderful site devoted to tea and people just like me. So just like that I decided to take the plunge on Feb. 23rd and decided to put up my first listing for tea samples and to my surprise that very first evening I caught some
interest. I am thrilled at how well I have done so far but of course the hunger has set in to do even better so perhaps one day I can work from home, rely on myself on income and be there for my
family whenever they need me. I truly want this to work and can’t thank Peter and Jackie of Tea Trade and LeafBox Tea enough for giving people like me this opportunity. I am not sure if they ever even thought this decision to build a website like this would effect
people in this way but it has for me. It has giving me the courage to start on this adventure. The best part is I am working at home and with tea so it doesn’t even feel like work. I love making up
every package. I put in a personal little touch in each shipment. I love all the people I get to talk with via Twitter and E-Mail. Let me
just say tea people are good people. Even better my little 4 year old loves tea and just insists on helping me, which proves to be wonderful type of bonding for us. Plus, she learns responsibility.
My hope is to fill a niche as my subject line mentioned, sorry I rambled so long. As a tea drinker and enthusiast I felt strongly that there is a need for a sort of “one stop shop” for tea. My main purpose was to create listings to allow a person to select tea samples normally offered by various tea companies in one location. I feel this helps me, the tea drinker looking to save time and money on shopping from various tea shops just to be able to try their stock and helps tea companies. Simply put, I provide the samples and if you like what you are drinking you can simply purchase a full size
package from that company. So, as I stated “Filling A Niche…I hope…” so far so good and hoping to do better.
Please share your thoughts with me and to all my tea friends support my dreams. You helped my tea passion flourish. Without you this would just have been a hobby.
First to arrive, last to leave. It was worth it all the while. My husband and I were fortunate enough to indulge ourselves at one of Tony’s (Part Owner of Chicago Tea Garden) tea tastings and boy were we glad we went. There is nothing like great tea and adult conversation.
Amongst the oldies, we had the opportunity to try many new fresh teas that haven’t yet been made public. Here are the teas we tasted and my thoughts…
1. Silver Needle (White Tea) : 1st Steep- I found it be bright, slightly sweet and clean. 2nd Steep – A little more robust in flavor and a bit sweeter. Over all not bad but not for me.
2. Yue Guang Bai (Moonlight White Tea) : 1st Steep – Light body and creamy. 2nd Steep: Bolder, richer flavor, toasty, and less creamy. Preferred the 2nd Steep. This is a new one for Tony and the leaves on this one are very large and delicate, a very beautiful tea. Overall better than the first white tea. I had considered purchasing this one and would suggest it to white tea lovers but I could not buy everything I wanted so for me, it didn’t make the cut. Please bare in mind I am not much of a white tea drinker. Update: I couldn’t resist the call and purchased some on 3/2/11, the 1 year Anniversary of Chicago Tea Garden. The tasting was held on 2/26/11.
3. Wu Yu (Jade Mist) – Love…Love…LOVE this gorgeous Pan Fried green tea. We didn’t go home without this one, plus ordered more on 3/2. 1st Steep – Vegetal, bold, slightly spinachy, and very green. The leaves are so fine and grow amazingly once steeped. 2nd Steep – Stronger and slightly bitter. Tony admits he over steeped it a bit. We all forgave him.
4. Ti Quan Yin (Monkey Picked Oolong) – I have dedicated this one to my Yiking Pot and love it. 1st Steep – Sightly grassy and floral. 2nd Steep – More grassy than the first and less floral. Bottom-line – YUMMY!
5. Ben Shan (A Roasted Oolong) – A new addition to Tony’s arsenal and quite possibly my more favorite of all the teas I tasted that afternoon. 1st Steep – Robust, sweet, roasted in flavor. 2nd Steep – Grassy, slightly sweet, a bit nutty. I highly recommend this one once it is officially available online.
6. Zealong Pure Oolong – A wonderful oolong grown in New Zealand. This is one of 3 offered by Tony. I tasted this for the first time. 1st Steep – Clean and grassy. 2nd Steep – Rounded flavor, equally grassy sweet and clean. 3rd Steep – Light in body and lost a bulk of it’s flavor. I preferred the 2nd steep the most.
7. Keeman Black Tea – This was the most puzzling of all the teas presented. There was a flavor and smell reminiscent of a memory in summer but none of us could put our finger on it. It had me curious enough to go home with some. 1st Steep – Smoky almost like a grill fire not to be confused with a wood fire. 2nd – Steep was stronger so it didn’t work for me. However, I made the purchase based on the first steep which I enjoyed and sparked a curiosity.
8. Golden Bi Luo – I LOVE this black tea. It looks like a snail before being steeped and a long smooth linear leaf once fully unfurled which for me was about the second steep. I have had this in the past and purchased more to restock. It is is a unique black tea.I find it is very difficult to get this one bitter. It has long since made it into my permanent stash.
9. Chrysanthemum Pu-Erh Toucha – I still haven’t explored many Pu-erh’s yet and this was alright for me. I felt the flower in the Toucha cut some of the usual earthy flavor. 1st Steep – earthy and slightly floral. 2nd Steep – More earthy and balanced in flavor.
With that said I walked out the door with seven teas. Some I had tasted at tasting and others on his menu. My husband and I had a wonderful time and may make the roughly 40 mile journey again. Check out some of Tony’s tea goodies at his website…
or if interesting in a sampler set from me…
Among all the other things I enjoy doing I also love to take pictures of all things nature. I used to limit myself to plant life and occasionally animals and insects. However, these days I enjoy taking pictures of my 3 year old daughter. She loves to pose and does exactly what I ask making for amazing pictures. I currently use a Nikon D70 but have my eye on a Cannon EOS 7. One day I may have one but until then my Nikon does well.
Although, I don’t have the time to pursue all my hobbies I still try to enjoy what I can when I can and above is just one sample of the pictures I have taken over the years. Stay tuned for more.
Well, it is official, I am blogging. I never thought the day would come but mostly because I didn’t think I had anything to say but that has since changed.
I have decided to use this blog to talk about all my teas and opinions and even show videos of scrapbooking projects and my Close To My Heart products. I hope you find this all interesting and that you share your thoughts with me as well.
Stay tuned more to come soon.