Happy December

That was quick.  With such little turnaround from Thanksgiving to Christmas, we are now fully entrenched in the holiday season.

I already miss the pumpkins and I was missing it even while still fully involved in all the teas and delicacies.  But I can’t pine forever so I not-so-quietly move on to some hot ones that fit in the mold of this season, or I hope.


Celestial Seasonings has always been a go-to and a staple in my collection. And for the many years I’ve been sipping  I’ve only been seldom disappointed in their brand.

Just recently, they’ve gone through another metamorphosis in their packaging.   I adore and am very found of the new look.  To me it’s bohemian yet contemporary. It just has this appearance about it that I’m drawn to.   I don’t know if it’s the font, the photos, or something beyond. I’ll get to more of that in a little bit.

I was once again back at my local supermarket knowing I was going to focus on teas for the winter months, and with this being December, a emphasis on the holidays and Christmas.

Their collection of holiday teas is enough for its own temporary blog and possibly bonus posts.  But I digress and as always to intend to focus on one or just a select few (if this situation justifies it) per article.


This week I went with the Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride and without any hesitation the package sold me.   I understand the artwork depicts sugar cookies as people on a sleigh being pulled by more reindeer cookies.  I don’t care if makes me feel something and even just the little something is enough.


I wanted to like this.  I so wanted to like this.  But this was an ambitious selection. A tea that’s going to taste like sugar cookies you might think would be artificial, but not here.

There is no caffeine which is just fine.  I drank this in the evening and no need to be wide awake if the occasion doesn’t call for it.

But the ingredients tell an interesting story.   I love vanilla bean and orange peel, I thought both would really elevate this tea to wonderful heights and evoke that sugar cookie sentimentality.  That didn’t happen.

Maybe seeing barley included maybe should have raised an eyebrow.  I am not opposed to it but it’s never a taste I’ve overly been enthusiastic over.

The tea bags itself did permeate with cookie goodness but that didn’t last long.   The steeping process gave an interesting clear color that emulated the look and feel of said sweet treat.  But the smell wasn’t as appealing while brewing.


I couldn’t finish my cup.   I think the tastes were few-and-far between. There were times I honestly felt like I was just drinking a cup of hot water and that was it.  I got hints of a sugary sweet taste but those weren’t frequent and maybe I tricked my head and mouth into thinking as much.   The barley really dominated everything else.


I had a nice arrangement of chocolates and cookies I was going to enjoy them with but no dice.  Hopefully next time. Santa seemed happy regardless.   I wanted to be happy too.


I was sad about that.  I really wanted to enjoy this but that didn’t happen. This is not going to deter me in any way.   The season is long and I will be writing about teas like this going into early next year.  But let me live in the present moment.   I will be writing about this amazing company again very soon.

And I hope to expound on all the good they have done the joy they’ve brought into my life.  My inaugural post on them reflects this notion.

Happy Holiday Season!






Pumpkin & Caramel Charm


This pumpkin phenomenon has been beaten into our heads going back to right before Labor Day.  Depending on who you are it’s entertaining, laughable, corporate, mind-numbing, or everything in-between.

Personally, when the season ends I will miss it.  I’m not big on monetizing something if it compromises something sacred such as Thanksgiving. However, I still see so much good, so much spirit, and so much joy in it.   That’s what I’m choosing to focus on today and as much as I can.

This leads me to this post.

I’ve spoken so highly of The Spice & Tea Exchange several times over the year. And I think I’m justified.   I will be talking about different tea companies and groups in the future but what finds me is what finds me. And I’m doing it back-to-back with another special from one of my favorites.

The Pumpkin Caramel Creme Tea is nowhere near as creamy, sweet, or as full-bodied as I thought it was going to be.   It’s almost quite the opposite for me and I’m perfectly happy with that.

The term ‘subtle’ brew is applied and I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. I’m in a place of comfort and happiness as I write this. And I have been sipping and savoring my cup.  I’m at peace.

The candy, coconut, caramel, among others were hard for me to detect. But I knew there was a melange of many transcendent ingredients to make this a winner. Fortunately, nothing is too overpowering.  That’s why using ‘subtle’, in the synopsis is perfect.


When opening the bag the aromas really captured the essence of the season.  I thought I was in line for something very sweet.   After brewing and smelling, I knew I was in for a special treat.  And I’m thankful to have tried it.

Everyone’s palate is different.  This tasted nothing like I thought it was going to be.  And I’m happy about that.  I like it for reasons that you may not.  And we may have an agreement or counter on some other attribute.

One thing I know for sure, the caffeine level is very high. This one snuck up on me.  I’m ready to go and tackle the world now.  Or maybe just wake up.

As seen above, in traditional format I will once again show a picture-by-picture breakdown from opening, brewing, and to sipping.   I’m fortunate to have the Tovolo make its triumphant return!


I enjoyed this with some delicious cinnamon almonds and pumpkin cookies.  See I just can’t get enough. And why the heck not!  It’s almost the holidays.


Like in last weeks post you see that this item sold out online.  I know a lot of their stores were saying they may have been done as early as mid-October on the pumpkin items.  But if you live near a store and you’re curious, hopefully they still have some of those teas available.   I hope to track down some more myself.


They may be one more post from this awesome company before the year is out. Only time will tell.

Happy Early Thanksgiving and Happy Pumpkin Season!