Spread That Love

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I will be self indulgent for a bit.  But when it come to blogging isn’t that what blogging is? I’m talking about a subject matter while throwing my personal spin on things.  That may not appeal to some but then again we all have a story, and I think all of our stories matter.

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My birthday was recently. And while I don’t expect anything, whenever I do get a gift I’m eternally grateful.  I’m annoyingly eternity grateful to the point I can’t stop saying, ‘thank you!’.  Spreading the love, showing gratitude, and saying thanks is what life is all about. It’s not much but a simple mutual gesture of comradery and friendship goes so far in this universe.

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This is why the gift of tea, and this most incredible teacup, from my close friends has had me grinning over a week later.

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Within all my charming gifts, I find the most beautiful canister from English Tea Shop.

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Now if memory serves me correctly, the last time, and maybe the only time, I had their tea was with the same friend(s) who gave me this gift.    I don’t remember what tea I had then, but the Chamomile they gave me this time is one I will never forget.  And not just because it was a present.

 

I mean that.  There’s so much to this tea.

When you see an inviting and bright pink container it’s automatically going to make the tea taste that much better.  And I haven’t even opened it yet.  That tea kettle design with all the images of the season are just adding to everything.  No added pressure.  But this tea needs to be good or I’ll be really sad.

It was really good.  Actually it was great. And it’s a lighter than usual chamomile.  And I brewed this on the sunniest of all days.  I would have made this iced but…

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…Not only did I get this amazing tea, but right next to it was the most beautiful of all teacups (that I alluded to before).   They hit my heart.  Animals are the best.  My cat is the best.

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This cup is one I want to use all the time.  But for sentiments sake it will be one I will love, appreciate, and celebrate all over, but I feel it should only be used for the most special of occasions and the most special of teas.

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This chamomile is just that special.  And I’m not just saying that.  The steeping process was as charming and organic as the tea.   It may not show up in all the pictures but start to finish the natural progression and changing of colors in my teacup was as good as I’ve ever seen.

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I literally could see it before my very eyes.  It’s those little things that make me excited. No, actually they’re big things to me.  I didn’t want it to stop.  Here I am still building up all this excitement and I had yet to actually grab a sip.

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After celebrating the packaging, this beautiful teacup with some lovely cats, I can safely say this tea was fantastic. Actually somewhere in this post I did mention the tea was great, it was light, it was colorful, and it was calming.  The calming part is big.

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Chamomile is an herbal and wellness tea that is meant to bring peace and tranquility.  In a chaotic world (and not just the crazy cats) it’s sometimes hard to find.  But tea is always there for you.  It’s authentic, affordable, and approachable.  Yes I used all those big words that start with the letter ‘A’, on purpose.    But how about my cat friends?  What about all the fun things that start with ‘C’?  Calming, charming, and comforting.

I took my few pictures and then enjoyed myself in the comfort of my own home, with my cat, and with the beautiful weather surrounding me.

Cats are my favorite and this chamomile is now one of my favorites.

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This makes me want some more.  I’m a fan of English Tea Shop (or Shoppe as I like to call it), and I believe this is only the beginning.

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Here is their story,  their expansive list of teas, where you can find their teas around the globe, contact information, and once again their link to purchase their teas online.

I hope the opportunity presents itself that I get to try another of their teas.  This chamomile is perfect in any kind of weather.  I imagine it’s amazing iced and chilled, but it’s light and refreshing taste makes it work in wall temperatures and all seasons.

Whether it’s another gift from my dear friends, the universe, or somewhere else, I look forward to having many more of their selections for the duration.

Plus the cats really seem to like it.

Ideen

 

The Perfect Everything

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I want the posts throughout this Spring and beyond to focus on teas that are enjoyable, accessible, and approachable.  There will be the occasional forays into iced teas, tea ice cream, and who knows what else.  But I looked back at some of my posts and while I do all these articles (or whatever we choose to call them) out of love and joy, I do find myself coming off a little too serious at times.  I just can’t help myself.

This is why I will intend to have the titles, the stories, and everything else to resonate in the most spiritually positive ways as I can.  If a tea is disappointing then I’ll elaborate as to my thoughts on to why, but still focus on the positives where I can.  Some teas and some scenarios are beyond help, but hopefully those will be few and far between.

With that said, I will see how it goes and hope I can stick to what’s most important and celebrate my love of tea.  And what better way to keep this going then by sharing my thoughts on two spring themed and fruit forward teas by my one of my long time staples, Bigelow.

I was all set to discuss with you some of their newer creations, but the universe had other plans for me.  And I hope to get to that next week.  So this looks like a two-parter or back-to-back with one of the most recognizable and available teas in all the land.

Here are previous stories on this great company.  I’m surprised I haven’t written more. Well more is coming.

But without any further buildup I’m thrilled to share my thoughts with you on the Wild Blueberry Acai and the Perfect Peach.  With names like that, you know they take themselves seriously while not taking themselves seriously?  Do you know what I mean? Or maybe I’m reading more into this than I should.  I tend to do that.

I’ve had a couple of their herbal teas before but not these.  And I’m glad it wasn’t until yesterday that I got to try both.

First up is the Perfect Peach.  What I have found out about Bigelow in general is that steeping needs to be short and sweet.  It only takes a couple of minutes to get the all the flavors you’re hoping for.  In addition, the color permeates your cup almost instantaneously.  Sometimes certain brands take a few seconds or a minute or two to get that intended tint.  And even more than a few minutes to get all the flavors.  This is not a question of quality or anything like that.  It’s just what it is and my interpretation.

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The Peach is just fun.  It’s not going to blow you away or win any awards.  It’s just an enjoyable tea that promises as delivered.  I didn’t expect to taste a peach pie, and I’m not sure if I did.  And to tell you the truth it doesn’t matter.  It’s a tea that can be enjoyed heated, and I can only imagine how good this would be iced.  I’m detecting a theme of revisiting like I mentioned last week.   A huge positive to take from this is it doesn’t taste like an artificially sweetened peach pie or tea, or what have you.   I may not detect all the fruits, hibiscus, and flowers mentioned in the ingredients.  But what I do taste is a lightened and heightened peach based tea that evokes feelings of Spring and feeling good.  That’s all that matters.

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I could have stopped right there.  But if you thought the color of the Peach was quick, the Wild Blueberry Acai is a perfect shade of purple.  Oh and it sips well too.  Just like the Peach I expected the Blueberry as opposed to the Acai to be the main attraction in my cap.  I can safely say that I tasted both and the combination is fantastic.  And thankfully it’s light, and as a dear friend said, delicate, just like the Peach that it can appeal to any sensibility and even the most discriminating of tea lovers may like either of these teas.  I lean a little bit towards this one, but would recommend either.  And the benefits of blueberry and acai are your friend.

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I’m grateful some of my cat friends pictured throughout wanted to share in this experience with me.

Both the teas are my friend and can be yours too.  They are available in just about every grocery store and local shoppe where you secure your favorite teas.  And I’ve seen their 20 count boxes at $3 or less.  And sometime even below $2.   You will be getting your money’s worth and then some.  And if you don’t, I think a couple dollars to try some new teas was worth the stretch.

If you can’t find their teas near you, here is their link to purchase online.

I’m hoping to continue this next week with a sampling of Bigelow Benefits.  Now I just need to find them myself.

Blessed,

Ideen

 

Auspicious Start To Autumn

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How do I begin?   It seems like quite a few folks (as some may call them, those ‘Pumpkin People’) started way back in August.  What exactly am I talking about?  It’s the extended pumpkin season that seems to grow longer and longer each year.

In case you hadn’t heard National Pumpkin Day was last week.

I’m not opposed to it.  People are looking for ways to make them feel good.   If that means celebrating holidays in advance (however absurd it may be to some) than good on you.  I’m not one to judge and nor should anyone else.   For me, when I see pumpkin lattes and coffee creamer showing up in later Summer, I do get sad.  I love what fall brings but the forewarning of what is to come with the colder temps can be heartbreaking.  It all depends on how you feel.  I love my summer but appreciate all that autumn has to offer.

If you live in a part of the country where you fully get all four seasons, it’s an amazing thing.  Not everyone can say that.  For me, three out of four ain’t bad.  But I’ll worry about that in January.

After that extended monologue, it’s time to celebrate autumn.  For me pumpkin season starts now.  It’s officially November and I don’t know where the time went.  Oh there I go with the monologue I promised to stop.  Onto one of the many reasons I love this season.

Trader Joe’s has always symbolized the good of ever season.  The holidays (yes it might be too early to say that, I’m partially one of those people) and TJ’s are synonymous to me.  I love a good display representing the time of year.

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I honestly thought I’d be late, considering end caps and featured items have been up for open a month.  Even though I’m supposedly late to the game and might have past the peak of season, I got my fill of goodies.  And that includes a tea I swear I’ve never seen before.

The Autumn Apple Rooibos seems to be a new addition to the season tea collection that Trader Joe’s is so good at cultivating.  Seriously, they make everything larger than life. And presentation is just as important as what you’re drinking (or eating, or whatever..) but speaking of which.  How does it taste?

Maybe it was the mood I was in but I loved it.  In my growing experience of drinking Rooibos, it’s becoming more evident that it’s a leaf I want more of.

I would be kidding myself if I wasn’t drawn to the antelope on the cover.  There’s the presentation aspect.  The holiday themed colors and artwork also attracted me.  Heck, the tea section always attracts me, but this is the the good stuff.

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Who am I kidding?  I didn’t know that was a Springbok Antelope.  I thought for sure it was a reindeer.  Oh, here I go… But nevertheless, I was committed to buying this tea and honored to get the season rolling with this splendid conconction.

Whether or not the apple flavor is natural is a moot point.  To me it tastes good.  This time of year is about indulging in things you ordinarily wouldn’t.  Health and counting calories, additives, and artificial sweeteners tends to fall by the wayside.  But this is still healthy and rejuvenated my soul and my spirit.  That’s what drinking tea is all about.

The ingredients also include Natural Apple and other Natural Flavors.  Well, that doesn’t tell you anything, but when you drink something so soothing, the questions tend to not matter.

I kept the bag in the whole time as it was not as rich and overpowering as I feared.  And I went way past the suggested six minute steeping mark.  Like it even says, it’s a suggested amount of time.  There’s no rules to this thing.  I just bent them a little and the results were magnificent.

The last few sips really got some good apple flavor in them.   But I got them throughout my cups.  Yes I had a couple of these and I may just have another.  This is such a good tea.  Did I happen to mention that? Go get this tea if you live near a Trader Joe’s.

Can I recall such a wonderful tea that symbolizes the season?  I honestly don’t know.  I’m asking myself and you a loaded question.  Maybe I’m just loaded from the tea.

Maybe I’m loaded from the pumpkin commotion.  Yes I got a bit carried away with the treats.  Yes that’s pumpkin soup crackers, tortilla chips, and fall harvest.  And we need pumpkins in the photos, so thankfully the kind staff gave me a sugar cookie for free.  No that wasn’t pumpkin flavored.

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Most important of all, the cooling of the temperatures, the shorter days, and longer nights are a reminder of what is truly important to us.  We need to feel a little warm and cozy. And we’re going to need to feel even warmer soon.  So what perfect gesture than to get a tea cup that is so fitting of what’s important to me.   And hey look, there’s a friend within the mug.  So fun!  This tea was so fun.

I don’t know how the rest of the month will pan out, but hopefully it will be representative of all the good this time of year has to offer. There’s so many flavors and scents to appreciate.  I hope I’ll be presenting some of them to you.

For all my past Trader Joe’s posts, click here.    And here’s a few more.

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Let Pumpkin Ring,

 

Ideen