Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yeah, I'm just going to give up on the past little while

I know.  Bad me.  I stopped for a while and then suddenly I managed to forget everything that I drank and when.
I assure you that there was lots of tea, but I can't really remember what or what days I drank it.  Here are the bits I remember:

A nice pot of Earl Grey
A pot of ginger with fresh lemon slices
A pot of ginger mixed with lemon verbena
A cup of blueberry pomegranate
A bunch of cups of masala chai.

Pretty sure everything I drank during my gap in blogging was from World Tea House.

I could give you excuses about time, memory, and allergies-that-aren't-allergies, but really, I could have done better.

Le sigh.

Anyway, today I started off my day with some more chai, wandered up to the usual lunch place, and got a cup of white coconut creme and a cheese tea biscuit.  I got real butter for it too.  I never have real butter.  We always have margarine at home instead of butter.  Got some more hot water on my way out.

Anyway, that's really all I've got for now.  Still daydreaming of throwing an awesome tea party.  Until then...

Friday, March 25, 2011

K. Let's try that again.

Post about tea I had yesterday was eaten up when my computer auto-restarted with no warning.
Miserable mother fucker. >:(

Alright. Yesterday:

Chai in the morning (Tali's Masala Chai, World Tea House)
I went up to the the usual place for lunch again, because I'm not sure if I'd be allowed to eat my lunch at Sawadee.  Got myself a pot of Rosehips and Hibiscus tea.

I think this might actually be the closest to disliking a tea I have ever come.
Which still isn't that close because I still got my pot re-steeped.
I think I would have liked it more iced.  It has a very strong flavor, and it kind of kicked my ass.  It looked awesome though.

I could watch that steep all day.

I got my mug re-filled on my way out and that was that.

Today:  Went up to the usual place again and ran into a friend studying.  Did everything in my power to make her as un-productive as possible.  We are now all going to see Hobo With a Shotgun tonight.  It's going to be awesome.

Got a cuppa Sencha Mint (which was just as greeny-minty as I had hoped) and a chocolate vanilla mint latte on my way out.  Forgot to re-fill the mug o' chai on my way out.  Ah well.

That's all for today.  This whole post would have been a lot more interesting if this hadn't actually been the second time I wrote it.  Gr.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Catchup and Thank You to Mint

Here we go:
Monday:  Decided on my day off to finally check out Sawadee Tea House.  Holy tea!  SO MANY TEAS!  I was feeling a little overwhelmed when the lady working (I'm not sure if she was the owner or not) started talking about different tea blends that she had to help with different problems, like digestion or trouble sleeping.  She mentioned PMS, and didn't my hateful uterus decide to remind me of it's discontent right at that moment.  I know that my problem isn't really PMS, as that would be, you know, pre-menstrual syndrome, but I decided I could use all the help I could get.
I remember that the blend is mint, nettle, and honeybush, but I think there might be something else too.  I can't quite remember.  Next time I go back, I will ask her.

Now, I can't really say whether it really helped out, or whether that was more of a placebo effect, but I can say I felt better after having a cup.  I figured, I liked the taste anyway, so the worst case scenario would be that it didn't really help with my cramps that much, but still tasted quite nice.
I really liked how everything was set up there.  It looked really nice, and was pretty calming.  There were some boutique type things in the back (scarves, incense, etc.) and a lot of plain dried herbs too.  And about a bajillion kinds of tea.  Roughly.
I also liked the little timers she had.  No beeps, so they won't alert me if I'm deep in a conversation about video games, but they're still effective.  I think beeping would have ruined the atmosphere there anyway.  The writing on the top of the little sand-timer reads "herbal 7 minutes"
I decided to pick up a small tin of the tea to drink at home as well.  Like I said, you tell me that eating grass would help with cramping, and I'd probably try it.
Which brings me to my next problem: Whenever I try and research different herbal remedies, it looks as though every herb ever is effective for every ailment ever, which just cannot be right.  It's very confusing.

Anyway, back to Sawadee:  There were quite a few nice tea/coffee sets for sale.  I'm  happy that none of them were in purple, or else I'd basically have to buy it.  Have to.
There was a book there on how to use Rooibos tea in cooking.  Looking through, some of them seemed pretty cool, but some of them seemed a bit too complicated for me.  I get scared off by the word "Duck" in  a recipe.
While looking at the book on Rooibos recipes, she brought out a little booklet of info on different teas so I could read up on Rooibos.  It was pretty cool.
I was also happy to find out that she does a pretty well priced lunch special....World Tea House:  You might not see me as often for lunches anymore.  Don't worry, it's still my go-to place for meeting with friends.

Happy with my new discovery, I decided to get something to eat.  I figured I'd go with yam rolls again, since I love them so very, very much.  But when I got up to I Love Sushi--Gasp!  They were closed!  The sign said they weren't open again until quite late.  That made no sense to me me:  Why would a restaurant close over supper time?  Maybe it's just not usually a very busy time for them, I guess...
Before I could despair though, I remembered that Dharma Sushi was basically right across the street, so I went there instead.
I remembered that they're yam tempura rolls aren't quite as crunchy as I'd like, probably because they add avocado (which is delicious, but not exactly crunchy) so I got the veggie tempura plate instead.  Delicious.  I also got some miso soup and some unagi maki rolls.  To drink though, I decided to try some brown rice tea.

It was actually pretty good.  It almost tasted like something I could eat.  I think I could drink that as a kind of "snack tea", if that makes any sense.
It's ok if it doesn't.  I often don't make sense.

After nomnomming the nommy noms, I decided to pop into World Tea House, since I was only a few buildings over from there anyway.
I noticed a tea I hadn't noticed before, the Kauai Cocktail (which I'm not really sure how to pronounce), which according to the site is hibiscus, currents, rosehips, pineapple, and rooibos.

The colour of the tea was surprising.  It was dark pink. :o

Alright, so this wasn't really the best picture to illustrate the colour of the tea.  I'll have to try again sometime.

It. Was. So. Good.  My first thought when I saw it was that it looked like juice.  "Oh no," I thought. "If I keep thinking it looks like juice, I'm going to be disappointed when I take a sip and it tastes like tea."  Except it actually does taste like juice.  I was drinking hot juice.  It was delicious.  I heard Phil say that if he gets a slushy machine for the summer, that this might be one of the flavors he slushes.

Just a warning Phil:  If you slush this, you may never be able to get rid of me.

Now, I have no idea why, but Monday night (well, probably Tuesday morning) I woke up feeling horribly nauseous.  I was sure I was going to throw up eventually.  I (very slowly) made my way to the bathroom and waited a while.  Nothing much was happening, so I (again, very slowly) made my way to the kitchen and brewed up my secret weapon:  mint tea. (Pacific Cost Mint, World Tea House).  I stole my mom's diffuser to do it.  There are two teas that really help me when my tummy is upset:  mint and ginger.  I didn't have any ginger, so mint it was.

I slowly sipped it and felt good enough to go back to bed, where I happily slept until pretty late.  I was asleep before I finished my cup.

Thank you mint tea.  You make the contents of my stomach stop panicking so much that they want to call an emergency evacuation.

Tuesday during the day wasn't quite as exciting, except that I met up with my friend and hung out for a while.  She's always really great to talk to whenever I feel like doing something creative.  She gets me charged up and ready to take on the world for a bit.

We met up at Cabin Coffee.  The whole theme there is that you're in a cabin.  The walls look like a cabin, there's a tree in the corner, it looks kinda woodsy.  To help with the cabin-feel, there were mice running around.  You know, to add some wildlife to the mix.

(I actually don't mind mice at all, I think they're pretty cute.  Neither did my friend.  As long as they aren't eating or pooping in my food, I don't care.)

She got some flavored coffee, which just smelled like coffee to me, and I got some hummus and pita bread and a small chai latte.
I was actually kind of surprised how small their small was.

Still, I kinda felt like I had to get something, since I walked in with a thermos full of the blend I got from Sawadee Tea House the day before.  It was another crampy day, ok?

I'm pretty sure it was made with syrup, but it was alright I guess.  The hummus was good though!

That's all for now. :D

Sunday, March 20, 2011

You know what goes great with tea?


Got invited to a friend-of-a-friend's birthday party.  Now I'm a teensy bit jealous. XD
Brought a mug of chai (Tali's Masala Chai, World Tea House) with me.  We ate the TARDIS and watched Torchwood.  It was pretty awesome.

I'm taking it back

I have always heard the term "tea bitch" used in such an awful way.  It's always more along the lines of "Get me more tea, bitch!"
I intend to re-define it.  Rather than someone who runs off to serve you tea at your command, I plan to change the definition to the following:

Tea Bitch:  Happy and willing to serve someone tea if they ask nicely, but also happy and willing to splash hot tea in someone's face if they try and fuck with him/her.  Fond of gathering with friends over tea and discussing feminism, tea, and sequin-covered clothing.  Particularly fond of discussing the word "bitch" as a positive or negative.

I'm planning a little get-together between some of my lady friends.  I could pretend as though I'm just inviting them over for a nice little tea party, but I also know that any time I get together with these friends one on one, it almost always ends in one of us having some sort of feminist rant.  I'm curious to see what would happen if we all got together at the same time.  Something may just explode.

There are, however, two big problems with this.  First, I don't have that much space.  I can get seats for up to eight people (including myself) and I'm not sure I'd really like to have a party with more people, but there just wouldn't be that much space for them.  I'd have to steal chairs from the kitchen, and we'd all be crammed in around the coffee (tea?) table.  I just don't think I can comfortably seat more than four people, honestly.
The second problem is teacups.  I realize this isn't actually that big of a deal, since I have enough mugs, but I just want a nice set.  The set I do have is very cute, but also kind of small.  It's also missing a cup since I broke one.  I guess I am officially on the hunt for a new tea set.

Okay, so I guess there's only really one problem with this.  The teacups isn't actually a problem, it's just me wanting more teacups.

Anyway, until I have enough room to have my own little party, I'll just keep plotting.

Stay strong, Tea Bitches.  Stay strong. <3

Friday, March 18, 2011


I might have mentioned before that I love mint.  I really do.  The only thing better than mint is mint chocolate.
In fact, last night I was having a dream about buying some minty candy at a store.  I was trying to figure out what product would have the most mintyness for the best price.  I think in the end I went with a jumbo pack of jr. mints, but I was still kind of wishing I'd gotten a bag of gummy spearmint leaves.

So, because I was still craving mint, I decided to make myself up a cup of mint tea..
But wait?  Why settle for just mint, when I can have mint and chocolate?

Mint hot chocolate, yaaaaaay!

I just steeped some strong mint tea and added it to some hot chocolate I made up.

I made a little too much, so I shared a cup with mom.  She said she liked it. :3
Hopefully now I won't be tempted to buy a mint hot chocolate from Tim's when I go out to value village later today.

No guarantees I won't go get a chubby chicken burger though.  For some reason I've been craving a chicken burger for the past couple of days.  It makes no sense.  They aren't all that special, and I don't even really like them that much...

Oh well.  I'll start eating better tomorrow, I promise....

PS:  I thought this might actually be a post where I didn't mention World Tea House at all.  Wrong!  The mint tea I used was Pacific Coast Mint from World Tea House.

It'll happen someday.  Eventually. XD

Thursday, March 17, 2011

That's a whole lot of green...

I can't say I started off my morning with Chai, because it was actually the afternoon before I made it, while running out the door to catch my bus.  I ran and only just caught it.  I'm really happy for that, I was sure I would miss it completely.
Anyway, for my lunch break I wandered up to my usual place and got myself a pot of Irish Breakfast tea.  Why?  Because there was a special on for it today because it's St. Patrick's day. :D

My pot of Irish Breakfast, and across my friend's pot of White Peach.

From the window I could see a lineup to get into Durty Nelly's.  It was a sea of green.

Besides the fact that I'm not a big drinker anyway (well, not alcohol) I've always felt a little uncomfortable with getting completely smashed on St. Patty's day.  In the morning.  In public.
I mean, besides the fact that I would be uncomfortable drinking that much, that early in public anyway, doing so in the name of the Irish just seems...

Yeah, I just don't like it. :(  I'll choose another holiday that's less closely tied to a different nationality to get shitfaced.  Like Labour Day. Hell yeah, Labour Day.

While I was drinking it I decided that a little bit of milk would be great, so I went to get some.

And I splashed a big glug of it (Note: I use "glug" as a unit of measurement) in my cup. :(

Not cool, milk.  Not cool.  Having that much milk in my tea is only good when it's a Latte. :(

And this time I remembered to get some hot water on my way out the door. Because I am a total wuss when it comes to hot drinks, and because my travel mug is a very good mug, I'm still drinking that cup now.

So, overall I'm feeling a bit better than I was this morning.  I've got tea, and I've got a computer.  I'll be alright.

What if I get bored of tea? :(

Today's post comes in two parts: Part one, tea I drank yesterday. Part two, sad ramblings.  Please enjoy!

Morning on-the-way-to-work tea was black tea (Vanilla Black, World Tea House)

So, I know I said I would try out Sawadee Tea House, but you know how I said that the only time I had was during lunch?  Yeah, I'm not really sure how they would like me bringing my lunch in and eating it there.  At least I know I'm allowed to eat my lunch off in the corner at World Tea House.  So that's what I did.  Normally I only get a cup of tea over my lunch break, but I got a pot.  Not only that, but I drank it quickly enough to get it re-steeped. :)
It was just as good with the second steep.  Maybe even a little better.  Maybe I'll get a tin and see how many times I can re-steep it at home.

This one was a treat to watch at first too.  I got the Fine Jasmine Pearls, so they cost a bit more, but I think it was worth it.  It was just as light and sweet as the Spring Jasmine that I tried before, but had a little more to it.  If I had more talent as a writer, maybe I could describe it better.  Like I said before, chances are you don't speak enough WTF to understand me right now anyway.  My point is that it was good.  And if I hadn't been such a dummy, I wouldn't have forgotten my phone at home and been able to take a picture of the pot while the pearls unfolded.

My phone wasn't the only thing I forgot though:  I also forgot to get more water for my mug on the way out.  It actually kinda works out, there was a little lineup right around the time that I had to leave, so it's probably for the best anyway.  There's a kettle at work, so I just filled up there.

And now for part two:  Worrying about life.

For the past month or so I've been feeling pretty depressed and I haven't had any idea why.  As long as I'm working or distracting myself, I don't notice, but as soon as I run out of distractions or start thinking about the future, I get unexplainably sad.  Last week wasn't so bad, but it seems to have come back hard this week.  My moods haven't been this unstable since I broke up with my fiance--And that was eight months ago.
Anyway, I'm sure there are a few reasons for why I feel the way I do, but one reason that I kind of stumbled upon was my need to be "entertained" by my jobs.  Maybe it's my ADD talking, but as soon as I realize that I've done everything I will ever do with my job, I just shut down.  Get bored.  Stop caring.  And then I feel absolutely miserable.

Anyway, I think I'm actually afraid that there is nothing I can do and actually support myself with that I won't eventually get bored of.  I don't mean that I want job that is never boring, that's pretty much impossible, I mean something where I won't realize that within half a year I've basically mastered that particular position.

Now, what does this have to do with tea?  Well, it's about this blog.

This is the longest I have actually kept a blog, and this is the most focused I have ever been on my topic, with the exception of this post.  I'm sure that's because right now tea is still new and awesome and I've got loads to learn...but what happens when I learn more?  Will I get bored with it?  Will I get bored with blogging?

What if there is nothing that I won't eventually get bored with?  What am I going to do?

*sigh*  I think it's time for either some tea or chocolate.  Or both.  I'll probably update the result of my supper-break tea later tonight.

Till' then...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hm, I might need to throw a different kind of tea party...

Friend just sent me a virtual copy of a booklet that was available from DavidsTea on tea martinis.

Maybe I should be looking for martini glasses along with those tea cups.  And maybe I'll pick up one of these from think geek just because I'm a bit of a geek.

Here's one of the pages:

Of course, the booklet would recommend tea from DavidsTea, but I think a lot could be done with any kind of tea.  Still, I know they have a lot of nice flavors...I'll have to go back to pick some up for myself, then drink it at home.  The atmosphere might not be what I'm looking for at the shop, but from what I can tell the tea itself should be good.

I Love Yams

Oh yes, I have a new food-love.  But first, my depressing Sunday:

One cup of chai tea (Tali's Masala Chai, World Tea House) all day.  Didn't get a lunch break, didn't get a chance to run to the kettle.  It was so sad.

Monday:  It was pretty awesome.  I had the day off, and was absolutely craving some yam tempura rolls from I Love Sushi .  I went there once with a friend and absolutely loved them, so I just had to go back and try them again.

Had. To.  Definitely needed to have yam rolls more than, say do my laundry.  Way more.

On the way there, I filled up my mug with some black tea (Vanilla Black, World Tea House) and went off on my quest for delicious, delicious deep fried yam.

This time though, instead of being a total cheapass like I had been on my last visit (where I only got the yam rolls), I also tried their unagi maki rolls and salmon rolls.  After that...I think I have a  new favorite sushi place!  :D

It also just happens to be less than a minute away from World Tea House, (think, across a street and down a couple buildings distance) so once I was done eating I decided to get myself some tea.

I've basically given up following any real sort of order in trying the teas there, so I decided to try one of the green teas.  I went with a pot of Japanese Cherry.

I really liked it, but I don't think it's the sort of tea that I would just drink any time.  I think I would have to be in the right mood for it.  It was floral, delicate, and sweet.  I stayed long enough to get it re-steeped (I was waiting to meet a friend downtown anyway) and it re-steeped quite well.  It wasn't as cherry-like the second time, but it was a bit rosier, and a bit sweeter.  Very nice.  Kind of....fancy, actually.  Like, if all of the teas I've tried were people, Japanese Cherry would be the one all dressed up for a fancy function of some sort.  But it would be one during the day where nobody drinks too much booze.

...all this makes me wonder if I'm the only one that wonders what different teas would wear to a party...

That's all for yesterday.
This morning I decided to go for more black (Vanilla Black, World Tea House) which not only got me going once I got to work, but kept my hands nice and warm on the way there.

...In fact, sometimes, if I'm wearing my big coat with the big pockets, I'll put my thermos right into one of my pockets and put my hand beside it (like I said, big pockets) to keep my hands warm.  Once one hand is warmed up enough, I switch pockets.  It's great on days where I've forgotten my gloves.  Most delicious hand warmer ever.

At lunch I went up to my usual place, and got a cuppa Spring Jasmine.  I'm not usually a fan of Jasmine, because I think it can be kind of sweet, but it usually turns out really bitter...But oh wow!  It was really, really good.  The smell alone was wonderful, but the taste was also very sweet.  It was so good that one of two things must have happened in order for it to be so much better than the .  Either a) Other places where I've gotten jasmine tea in the past prepared it wrong or b) World Tea House sprinkled magical fairy unicorn dust in with the tea leaves.  Must be one of them.  Possibly both.

On my way out I got some more hot water for my mug, and came back to work.  I'm just finishing that cup off now.  Hopefully I'll have a chance to run to the kettle before work is over.

Finally, it turns out that there's another tea place even closer to my work than World Tea House.  I think tomorrow I might check out Sawadee Tea House.  It's really close by, so I've got no good reason not to go.  Only down side is that it looks like it closes the same time I get out of work, so I'll have to go during lunch some time.

That's all for now.  I think I'm going to start hunting for a nice tea set.  Well, maybe just one that can serve more than four people.  Actually, even one that can serve more than three people would be nice, since I broke one of my teacups. >:(  I want to throw a tea party where all of my friends can get together and basically bitch about things.  I think tea goes quite well with bitching.  Hence this blog.

Not that I've been bitching in the blog lately.  Amazingly, I've managed to talk mostly about tea.  I'm kind of shocked that I've managed to stay so focused for this long.  Oh, but don't worry.  I'm sure eventually I'll have a long, ranting post about some topic that doesn't really have anything to do with tea, but just happened to come up in conversation with someone while I was drinking tea.  It's just a matter of time.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No rest for the wicked...

Oh, yesterday I was just about ready to kill someone.  Still not entirely sure why, though.

Started off the morning with my usual chai (Tali's Masala Chai, World Tea House) in my usual way of forgetting about it until the last minute and running out the door with it in my mug.

Throughout the day there were lots of little annoying things:  I was trying to write a letter, it was very busy at work, and there were constant chirping and squawking noises going off for most of the day.  I didn't actually get a lunch break, and I was feeling kind of icky anyway.  I rushed out the door yesterday morning and didn't have enough time for my makeup.  No one thing was really that bad.  Actually, even all together they weren't that bad, I was just feeling absolutely, unreasonably bitchy.  Moreso than usual.

So at the end of the day my friend asks if I want to meet at my usual place and I accept.  I figure it's probably a good idea for me to de-stress a little bit before heading home and attempting any sort of interaction with my mother.  Normally, mom is a level-headed, totally reasonable person, but if you try and act bitchy towards her, she will out-crank you.  By lots.  Sometimes you don't even realize just how badly she has beaten you until way later.

I was kind of hoping to avoid that.

So up I went to chat with my friend.  When I show up, she's got her laptop set up and it turns out she was reading this blog. :D

She was chilling out attempting to get work done over a pot of Tropical Pineapple, while I decided to try the coconut chai latte.  I was pissed off.  It was a latte kinda day.

It was also a sugar mound cupcake kinda day.  Phil was nice enough to remind me to take a picture this time. XD

And for a better sense of scale:

It's not huge, because I can fit it in my hand, but it IS still about half icing.  I love it.

So, about the latte:

Yummy!  It was kind of odd though, it was definitely chai, and definitely coconut, but it was a blend of both flavors that made it so that it wasn't really either.  But still both.
If that makes no sense to you, then that's probably fine.  It just means that I can't write proper English, and you can't read proper WTF yet.  If there is such a thing as "proper" WTF, that is.
At any rate, it was sweet and spicy, while still smooth and frothy, which is exactly what I was hoping for.
This one was one of the flavors of Zhena's Gypsy Teas sold at World Tea House, Coconut Chai.

So there I was, sipping my latte and probably causing a huge spike to my blood sugar, trying to relax a little more and failing when I look behind me and see...

And suddenly I kind of felt like the rest of my night would be alright.  And it was.

I wasn't even all that mad when I realized I had left going out into the freezing cold without getting more hot water to re-steep my tea. :3

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tea Time x 2

Soooo, yesterday was a fun day, despite the chill and gloom.

Started the morning off with my chai (Tali's Masala Chai, World Tea House) on the way to work again.

Wandered up to World Tea House for lunch (you know, I think I might just start saying “the usual place”) and was lucky enough to run into a friend of mine.  Ended up staying later than I should have, but I don’t really feel too, too bad.  I ran back and the person that was at the front desk while I was away didn’t seem to be really bothered by it, so I guess I got off the hook this time.

Not that I’m planning on making this a habit, just that it’s nice to have gotten away with it just this one time.

I stayed a little later than I should have because my friend is usually pretty busy, and I never know when I’m going to get to see her again.  It could be next week, it could be next month.  Who knows?

Anyway, while I was there I had a cuppa Lapsang Souchong.  Smokey!
The same sort of smokey taste as the Russian Caravan that I posted about last time, but a little lighter (though, no less smokey).  Super tasty, but I think I like the Russian Caravan a little bit more.

And on my way out I re-steeped my chai.

Now, forgetting that I had already made plans to meet for tea after work with a friend of mine (different friend from earlier), I happily sipped my tea, only to return a few hours later to happily sip more tea.
I mean, if you're not sipping it happily, then what's the point?

My friend got a pot of the Citrus Green tea, while I got a pot of Tropical Pineapple.  Once we finished one cup each, we traded and tried the other's pot.  So really, I got to try three teas in one day. Hurray!

Our pots o' tea.

I was afraid that the pineapple wouldn't be very noticeable in my tea but luckily I was wrong.  It was quite pineapple-y and very sweet.  The Citrus green wasn't as sweet, but had more noticeable citrusy flavors that kinda jumped out at me.  They were both very nice. :3
No tea wandering today, since I don't get a lunch break, but I did have my usual Chai this morning.  Haven't gotten a chance to re-steep it yet.

I don't like working Saturdays.  Hopefully I'll actually get a break tomorrow... :(

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And now for some very important pictures.

Hey, I've got my phone again.  Time to share some pics:

My cuppa mulberry magic.  They've got the cutest little tables there too!

World Tea House's What The Hell cookies!

The cupcake I had been lusting over for days.  I started eating it before I remembered to take the picture.  It usually has a blue chocolate chip-type-thing on the top.  Next time I get one, I'll have to remember to take the picture before I dig in...

Holy Smokes!

And now for an update about today's tea.  This morning I had my usual morning chai (Tali's Masala Chai, World Tea House) on the way to work.
For lunch I went up to World Tea House yet again.  Today I decided to try the Russian Caravan.

Holy Smokes, batman!  This is delicious!  It's like drinking everything that's good about smoked mackerel, but not nearly as gross as what comes to mind when you think of drinking smoked mackerel.  In fact, it's really more the smokeyness, rather than the mackerel.  Although I do quite like fish.  Don't think I'd want to drink one though...

Anyway, it's full and smokey, and has a taste that kind of dances it's way toward bitter but stops before it's unpleasant.  It even went great with my sandwich.  Next paycheck, I'm picking up a tin, for sure.

On my way out I got more hot water for my mug again (Thanks Phil!) and now I'm just waiting for my workday to end.  Hmm...what a wonderful cup of tea. <3

My first time with David's Tea...

Ohmanohman, I am behind.  Time for a catchup post!

I can't remember what I drank Sunday and Monday.  I know I must have drank something though.

Tuesday I was really, really bored, so I went over and met with a friend at World Tea House.  I had myself a cup of Caramalized Pear.  Which is delicious, but not really pear-y.  More apple-y.  I thought maybe I was a little crazy until I read the ingredients:  Rooibos tea, apple, marigolds, caramel, honey.
Can you say yum?  It made me think a bit of apple pie, actually.  I wonder how that would have tasted if I had stayed and steeped it a second time...

Yesterday, after meeting with a friend for lunch, I wandered down to DavidsTea.  First of all, let me say that overall my experience was actually a good one.  Smelling the different teas they had there, it looks like they've got some great blends available.  The tea was good, my chair was crazy comfy, and the staff were very friendly.  Though, while I was sitting there, drinking my cup of Mullberry Magic, something didn't seem quite right about the whole thing.  I couldn't figure out why:  The space was bright, open and inviting, the staff were happy to talk about tea, and did I mention my chair was comfy?  It was very, very comfy.

I looked across and I realized that there were only two crazy comfy chairs, and two other tables that could seat three each (with not as comfy looking chairs), if those people didn't mind sitting very close to each other. Chances are each table would probably only be taken up by one person, since they were rather small.

And then it hit me.

This place isn't really designed for people to come and sit down and have a cup of tea, it's designed to sell whatever stuff they've got.  The space is used to highlight the tea ware they have for sale, and to accomodate line-ups for the cash registers, not create a cozy space for people to spend time there.  This isn't a bad thing, it's just not what I was looking for.

I mean, there were other little personal problems I had too:  The man serving me, while very knowledgeable (and kinda cute too), overwhelmed me with the different teas he talked about.  If I had an afternoon to sit and chat with the guy about tea, I think I would have enjoyed myself, but while trying to pick something to order it was a lot to take in.  It might have been a bit easier if I had come in looking for a particular kind of tea, but since I like just about everything, that meant he could talk about just about everything...

The other thing I noticed was that a lot of the facts they had to share about the tea focused on how good it is for you. The website also has this sort of information on their teas.  It's awesome to know this sort of stuff...but I personally don't drink tea because it's good for me.  I drink it because I like tea.  I like the ritual of preparing tea, of sitting down and enjoying the tea.  I love tasting it.  Sometimes I'll just sit and concentrate on how it tastes rather than gulping it down.  How does it taste if I sip a little bit?  If I sip a lot of it at once?  How does it taste on the different parts of my tongue?  Is it different if I re-steep it? If it's hot or cold? Oh, and I whenever my tea is in a transparent cup or pot I love to watch it steep--It's like watching a lava lamp, only I get to drink it afterward. I don't care if it will help me lower my blood sugar or not.  For me, that's just a bonus.  But hey, this probably isn't a universal thing, it could just be me.

It makes sense to know this sort of information--It's a great selling point.  But the whole experience just reminded me of when I worked at Fruits & Passion: (great products, horrible management with no care for blatant discrimination issues, but that's another story...) I could give a bunch of facts about all of the products we had, the different fruit properties that were in them all and what they were good for, which ones had different vitamins, etc.  I really did care about the products, really.  I was excited to learn more about each product, and I was happy to share that knowledge.  Looking back though, none of the extra selling points we were given were ever just "Because it smells good."

I think I would have liked a little bit of "Because it just tastes good."  Just a little.  Or at the very least, I would have liked it if the staff let me stop and think about whatever they had just said, and to stop and smell the tea at my own pace.

One other thing:  No timers.  Perhaps World Tea House spoils me, but I always have to cheat and use a timer.  Especially if I'm talking with someone or doing something else.  My ADD is always pretty good at making sure I forget about my tea (and just about anything else I should be doing, especially work...) so having an annoying beep to remind me about my tea really helps.  If I don't have a timer, I use other things to roughly keep track of time:  How long it takes me to walk somewhere, how many songs have passed on my ipod...Things like that.  If I'm sitting down talking with someone else, I promise I will forget about my tea.  It's a near guarantee.

Now, after all that blabbering on about the whole sitting-down-and-drinking experience, how was the tea itself?

It was ok the first time around.  Very nutty.  A little bit too nutty, I think, but I was told that before buying it, so I knew what I was getting into.  Second steep, it was very good.  A little sweeter, and the macadamia nuts weren't so overpowering.  Definitely magical the second time around.  Better when sipped a little bit at a time rather than a big sip.
I might not get that particular blend for myself, but I may go back and pick up something else.  I'd probably see if I could get a tin and take it home.

Although, that chair was ridiculously comfy...

EDIT:  K, I forgot two points about yesterday.  First of all, I forgot to mention the samples when I went to DavidsTea.  There were actually two different ones.  I went in by myself, and I got a sample, then later when my friend came in we both got another sample.  The first one, Countess of Seville was really good! (in fact, I think I should have just gotten a cup of that...) but the second one (which was brought over to us while we were sitting down--how nice!) their Sencha Pear was very, very bitter. :( I don't know if they just steeped that sample too long or if it's like that regularly.

After DavidsTea, I went to World Tea House.  Mostly for a cupcake.  I also had some good ol' Earl Grey while I was there.  It was delicious and comforting.  I drank it black because my mound of pink sugar cupcake was sweet enough.

Yeah, I know it's kind of silly to go out for tea, then go out for more tea, but I had my mind set on eating that cupcake.  It was sugary, sugary awesomeness.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Aw, motherfucking fuck. >:(

K, so I'm a dumbass.  But a bit more on that later.  First off, yesterday was awesome.  Went to a potluck for the cast of the Vagina Monologues. Yay vaginas!

For my contribution I brought some apple crumble, which was mostly me just throwing stuff together and throwing it over some apples (but not anything that contained milk, because I knew that at least one vegan was going to be there) and for a drink, I brewed up some extra strength white coconut creme to add to some cold water once I actually got there for some nice iced tea.  The ice tea worked out really well!  Super yummy.  I can see me making a pitcher or two of this in the summer.

Oh, and on my way there I had some Earl Grey (Earl Grey Creme, World Tea House) in my mug that I still haven't lost yet.  I knew it would stay warm until I got there.  I mostly brought it because I knew it would be good to drink while eating my apple crumble.  I wasn't counting on a delicious chocolate cheese cake too...Oh, I hope we have something like that again sometime.  The food was super delicious.

While we were there, we tried some tea that our gracious hostess shared with us from Davids Tea, but I can't remember what it was at all.  It wasn't bad, but I think it's the sort of thing that I would save for when I was sick or something. It was kind of eucalyptus-y.  I'm sure most people think of it as being a nice smell, but I always associate the smell with being ill.

But now for me being a dumbass:  I knocked over my teapot and it exploded all over the floor.  Luckily it was empty, not so luckily it's totally broked.


I have to stop breaking and loosing shit!  I don't have enough money to keep replacing this stuff.  I mean, the prices for these things aren't unreasonable, but they're a bit much if I'm going to keep replacing them every few months (or in the case of my mug, weeks) because of my dumbassery.


You were a good pot.  You steeped my tea, you kept my tea from getting super bitter, and most importantly, you didn't dribble.  You died too young, pot. *sniffle*

I don't think I'll replace this one right away.  I loved it to bits (uh...literally) but I think I might see if I can find a bigger pot for guests, and just use either my mug or my BREWT when making tea just for myself.  Or I'll steal my mom's diffuser, if she doesn't bring it to work.  I'll survive on my own, but I'll have to figure something out for guests...Not that any of my friends ever come over for tea.


I am quickly working myself into a depressed state...

But, argh! Since December, this makes one broken tea cup out of a set, two lost travel mugs, and one broken pot.  Maybe I should just drink everything out of plastic kids sippy cups from now on.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

wakey wakey!

Hello, hello again my lovelies. Time for a tea update!

Tonight I'm working later than usual, but I also started later than usual.  While I was at home I decided to brew myself a pot of mint tea (Pacific Coast Mint, World Tea House) to go with my curry chicken.  I tried it the other day for supper and I actually really like the combination of a minty drink with a spicy meal.

Of course, if I had thought this through I would have started the tea a lot earlier, because I was done the chicken before the tea had cooled enough for me to drink.  On top of that, I also started getting ready for work and ended up forgetting about it, so I just put the tea I forgot about in my mug and drank it on the way to work.

For something to drink later while I was actually at work, I brought my tin of white coconut creme with me so I could fill up once I got there.  My co-worker was nice enough to fill my mug up for me while she was on her lunch break.  Thanks!

I went up to World Tea House again for my break.  I decided against bringing my supper with me this time though, since I just wasn't that hungry.  Also, I kinda forgot to grab it on my way out the door anyway.  Not that I haven't forgotten my food until I was already out the door before, but today I was already feeling icky enough, no need to add a too-full tummy to that as well.

Actually, now that I stop and think about it, I feel much better than before my tea break.  Maybe a walk and some tea was all I needed.

Anyway, once I got there I asked for something that would wake me up, since I was feeling kind of drowsy.  Phil recommended the Golden Yunnan.  I really like it.  It's comforting like the kind of "regular" tea my mom would like, but just a little different.  Phil said that it was good with a little milk, but I just drank it black.  (Or in this case, brown.)  I really liked it.  It's not fancy, but it's nice and familiar, somehow.

While I was there I was still eyeing some of the diffusers.  I called up mom and asked if she wanted one, she said yes, and she said she wanted a small tin of tea to try.
Yeah, I got the diffuser and forgot to actually pick up the tea for her.  Sorry mom! :(

It's ok though, I said she could try any of my tea.  I even said she could take one of my tins with her to work if she promised to bring it back, but she said she might forget.  She said she wasn't ready for that level of responsibility. XD

On my way out I decided to try their maple tea latte.  I had heard good things, and wanted something else to drink, so I picked one up.

Holy steamed yum, batman!  Now, for the tea-in-steamed-milk category, Just Us! (who's website doesn't seem to be working at the moment) still wins with their Earl Grey, but this is a close second.  It is really, really good.  Plus, I actually get to choose skim milk, and it was just as sweet as I like my lattes.

For some reason though, it seemed determined to escape out of the cup on my way back to work.  Some of it ended up on my hand.  This was probably because I was walking fast down a hill rather than any real sense of self-preservation on the part of the the latte. Thank goodness for cup tops!

And finally, I filled up on hot water for my mug too so I'd have something to drink later.  This time I did it while I was at work instead of on my way out of the shop.  I'm just starting on that cup now.  I might slow down with the sipping for this one though, since I'm by myself and can't guarantee that someone will be here to watch the front if I need to run to the washroom later...

*sigh* Only three more hours to go...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts

I'm determined to someday do a dance number to this song.  It will involve a coconut bra.  It will be awesome.

Yesterday in the morning I went with my usual chai (Tali's Masala Chai, World Tea House) which I finished once I got to work.

Also coconut related, but not quite as awesome: Coconut Black tea from World Tea House.
Yesterday I wandered up for my lunch break and thought I'd skip ahead on my list of teas to try to the Coconut Black, because I love coconut so much.

It was..another tricksy false black tea.  It smelled kinda coconutty (I seriously loooooove coconut) but I couldn't taste any of it.  I was a little disappointed, really.  I mean, it was a good black tea, but the coconut just wasn't there at all. :(

In contrast to this though, was the Raspberry Black tea that I tried today.  Very Raspberry-ish!  I absolutely loved it!  If I had any money to spare, (and I don't after that new pair of shoes just happened to jump into my bag...) I'd pick up a tin.  Also, I just bought a tin of tea, I probably don't need a new one.  Not yet anyway.
At this rate, I'm going to need to re-locate my teas to a shelf in another room.  I'm also going to need a new shoe rack.

Mom mentioned that she needed a diffuser for loose tea too.  I've been eyeing one of the diffusers, and a kettle from there as well.  Maybe once I save up a bit more, I'll pick them both up. Or maybe just the diffuser for mom.  I've been really slacking off with my saving lately.  It's time to get back down to business...

....It might also be time to actually create a tea budget.  It's not frivolous spending if it's in the budget, right? Right?


Oh right, I also have no pictures from today's tea break, because I forgot my phone at home.
Oh, and tomorrow will be the last "I wandered up to World Tea House for lunch..." posts for the next little bit, because I only work part time.  It's a good set up, but it's a little strange.  I work Thursday- Thursday with Monday off, then I have Friday-Thursday off.  In two weeks, I only work 7 days, but I work them all at once.
This leaves me with a lot of free time on my hands.  I would really like to learn something new in that time.  So far my list of things I'd like to learn is:

A new language (French or Spanish right now)

And I'd like to see what goes into making tea cups.  I have lots of ideas for tea sets that I know I will never be able to find at a store...

Time to make the most of my time!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Different moods, different teas

Yesterday I really had to clean my room.  It's been a mess of clothes everywhere for weeks now, and I was finding it difficult to even get ready in the morning because I couldn't find any of my clothes underneath the mess of other clothes.
It was time to organize.  It was time to clean. all. the. things.

So I did.  It was pretty awesome to see my floor all sparkly again.  The sparkles might have just been my imagination, but to me, they were there.
And what did I drink while I did this?  Mint tea.  Mint tea is my concentration tea.  It's my get-the-fuck-to-work tea.  I think it's the smell.  It's focusing, somehow.  It doesn't wake me up, but if I'm already awake it helps me get to work.  Or at least, I think it does.  I don't know for sure if it's the tea, or if it's just my ritual of drinking mint tea before I get to work that helps me get into the right state of mind to do the work that needs to be done.

Anyway, this all got me thinking about why I drink tea.  A lot of the time, I drink it because I just like the taste of it, but sometimes it's for a different reason.  To relax, to wake myself up, to concentrate, or even occaisonally for spiritual reasons.  Sometimes my goal centres on drinking the tea itself, sometimes it's about what I hope to accomplish after drinking the tea.  So many reasons to drink tea besides just drinking tea. There's so much potential in each little cup.

Later at night I shared a pot of tea (Vanilla Black, World Tea House) with Mom.  She said she liked it, and I'm always happy when I find something like that that we both enjoy.  We sipped the tea while eating some nanaimo bars that she had picked up earlier.  It was super yum.  I suppose the real reason I made up that pot though, wasn't because I wanted to drink the tea, (although I did, and I managed to not steep it for too long this time, so it was really yummy) but because I also just wanted to share something with Mom.  And that's the beauty of any kind of food or drink, isn't it?  It's not just that we need to eat and drink to survive, and it's not just that we can like the taste of certain things, but it's also about who you do those things with.  It's about connecting with someone else for a moment.

All this thinking makes me want to throw a tea party sometime.

Finally, this morning I got myself a cup of chai (Tali's Masala Chai, World Tea House) on the way to work.  I really like it for the morning.  It's comforting in the morning, for some reason.  What's left in my cup now has been cold for a while, but I'm still sipping at it slowly.
I'll be going up to World Tea House later for lunch, so I'll update again later.