Grateful For The Spice & Tea Exchange

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Well here we are.  Thanksgiving has passed, and we’re well into this most beautiful of times of year.   And when it comes to tea and beautiful times of tear, that can only mean the fine folks of The Spice & Tea Exchange.

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The Spice & Tea Exchange go hand in hand with all that is good about tea, and all that is good about the holidays.  They’ve been so good to me throughout this blog, it’s only fitting that the first ‘official’ teas I review post Thanksgiving into Christmas is in honor and tribute to them.  It would’t be right otherwise.

Here is my ever growing with this iconic and mesmerizing brand of tea.

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With amazing tea, comes the most work and thought put into it.  As with the holidays, a lot of heavy lifting, shopping, card writing, errands, the parties, and everything else in between is going to rear it’s holiday head.

It’s up to me, to you, and the universe to appreciate and savor these moments, or rush everything to the point of not living in any one moment.  I’ve been guilty of that continuously.   So for that reason and many others, I took my time here.  I really took my time here.

The prepping, steeping, brewing, display set up, and all the other minor details took an hour or so.  In the past I may have rushed things.  But what is the rush in life?  It’s life, it’s the holidays, it’s time to savor every moment possible.  It’s plausible I may rush through the teas I’m going to review but I really don’t want to.  I want to tell you how beautiful and charming this experience was.  Because it was.

And I’m so happy and grateful that I’m able to visit their many locations.  This past week it brought me back to their most charming of stores in historic Downtown Annapolis.

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With the Christmas Spirit in the air, and another heartwarming visit to one of my favorite towns, it’s time to review their three teas for this season.

And you will see of old friends along the way, that I’ve used as infusers before.  You could call them the ghost of infusers past.  Yes I really just wrote that.

First, is the Winter Granola Herbal Tea.

What I love about this is while it smells amazing when you first open this bag, and the aromas really hit you, it’s not as strong upon actual prepping.  And while that may sound like a bad thing, or bait-and-switch, it’s exactly what you want.

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My old pal the ManaTea is what I used, and initially it was a struggle.  I only blame myself.  I think this infuser is perfect for certain loose teas that don’t have as many solid pieces.  Get what I’m saying?   But I wouldn’t let that deter me.   Like I said, I remained patient, and wanted this to be as memorable and perfect for me as possible.

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Yes I took my time, and finally we got that color to shine through.  However, as I was saying, maybe this is how it was going to turn out regardless of whatever infuser I used.

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It’s light and has the perfect balance of maple, apple, orange, and cinnamon.  Yes this goes perfectly with breakfast.  I broke out some old pumpkin oatmeal I got off clearance, and it was a match made in holiday season heaven, or something.  Yes, it was beautiful.  This is a well crafted and constructed tea.  But I don’t think I could drink it outside of morning time.  And that’s exactly what’s intended.  Beautiful.

Second, is the one a few of my friends were most intrigued about, the Chocolate Candy Cane Tea.

Again, it’s so powerful on the nose that you would expect it to be too sweet (ha) when you sip.  Oh no, it’s refreshingly light on the tongue and it’s a still a black tea at heart.  And it’s so good to my heart and soul.  And the Pink Pig Infuser was ready to step up and steep.  And my cup got dark in a hurry, which is what made me initially think this was going to sweeter to the point of uncomfortable.

Again, it was the most pleasant of surprises.  And the lightness of the chocolate, the peppermint, and the candy cane makes this a blessing for those who find the candies of this season, that this tea represents a bit too harsh.

I put those said candies on display but strictly for display purposes.  Well maybe I indulged in a few.

Last and certainly not least is the Gingersnap Herbal Tea.

This was my favorite, simply because it’s most like a tea I could drink all year round.  I love ginger and it’s the most distinct taste in this tea.  While you have vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and lemongrass, you still have ginger, and that makes so happy.  The smell of the bag will make you think of those tasty gingersnap cookies, and who doesn’t love that?

This is tea I can have all the time, and I think my ducky friend would approve.   And I think he brought some company.  This one is feeling a bit festive right?  I love that.

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There’s the cookies but you really don’t need anything with this tea.  It’s a caffeine free and herbal gem that I want right now.  So that’s what I’m going to do.

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Oh man, I went into this thinking this would be the heavy lifting portion of my holiday tea posts.  I don’t know.   It seems The Spice & Tea Exchange makes the love of tea so joyous, so effortless, and reminds me why I keep doing what I’m doing.  I’m so blessed.

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I’m happy to present these to you while it’s still November.  But I also think that all the posts that proceed this have a lot to live up to.  If time allows, during the month of December I will try to throw in some more than weekly posts.  I tried that for the last couple of weeks and happy with how that turned out.

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But for The Spice & Tea Exchange I’m going to savor this for a while, into next week, and beyond.   Just when I think I’ve run out of things to say about them, they just create a whole new world of joy, and happiness.

That’s the true spirit of the holidays.

For all your shopping needs, click here, here is their list of locations, and contact info.

This will be a repeated message, but I wish you and yours a happy, safe, and most amazing of holiday seasons.

Peace be with you.

Ideen

 

 

 

 

 

Honest Tea Is The…

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Did you get the play on words?   I wasn’t aware of the double meaning until today.  And it’s always been in plain sight. I’ve been drinking Honest Tea, here and there for a number of years. A fun fact is that it’s based not far away from where I grew up, in Bethesda, MD.

As the weather shifts to hotter and more humid, the posts will also shift to cooler options, which will include bottled and iced teas.   Without hesitation I wanted to write about this Maryland based company as my first foray away from the stove, hot water, pots, kettles, and all the fun instruments I’ve been using recently.

It was a sunny day, very hot and hazy, and aside from drinking lots of ice cold water, I had a yearning for some naturally flavored goodness.   So I got the inspiration to write about a cold tea when I made it to my grocers aisle.

I missed National Iced Tea Day last week, so I’m making up for it as much as I can today.

As you can see, the amount of bottles is endless.  So I grabbed a couple in hopes they would turn out great.  I chilled them in the refrigerator after purchase, so I could fully appreciate their hopefully refreshing tastes.

So how’d it go?  Well fun is one way of looking at it!

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First up is the Peach Oo-La-Long Tea.  The name is entertaining and really resonates with me.  It’ll be on my mind for a while.  That’s a great way to sell you brand.   The tea itself for me was solid.   Oolong is not a tea I’ve had often nor have I ever been a major fan.  This will take some growing.  My taste and experience for it has been seldom.  After drinking this that could change.  It wasn’t my favorite chilled tea but we all have our particular tastes.

The peach puree and agave flavors are dynamite.  I really like agave.  And it’s an interesting alternative to honey, which I love almost more than anything on his planet.  So I was happy to try something different.

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Next is the Mango White.   This I could drink endless bottles of.  The flavors come alive here.  I adore white tea and I adore mango.   And throw in the agave syrup once again and we have a winner.  Perfection.  Having this chilled on a hot Summers day is a visual I’d like to repeat.  What a joy this is.

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And the profound quotes, proverbs and messages under every lid is a wonderful touch.

There’s a lot going on with this company.  And their website is loaded with information.  It’s a lot to take in but I included links where I could.  More on their products can be found here.

My favorite parts of all revolve around helping the community and there’s plenty to read about.  I love this stuff!  It makes me want to do more.

Being Fair Trade Certified and USDA Organic is always something I look for in a product and if the intent is good then I feel good about what I’m supporting.  It’s my symbolic gesture of saying thank you and it’s me saying I’d like to do my part as well in helping others.

I know I only glossed over Honest Tea’s items, but I could go on.  Instead, I will revisit them later this Summer and hopefully talk more of their amazing teas, flavors, and messages of good.

Thanks so much.

Best,

Ideen

The All Mightea

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I have seen the Mighty Leaf tea boxes in stores all over town.  And I’ve always been drawn to their packaged presentation.  But, I never thought to buy a box.  Well now is as good of a time as ever.

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Today is Cinco De Mayo.  And that’s an excuse to celebrate.  Many of us will be eating big Mexican meals and indulging ourselves.  I wanted to buy a tea that would help settle the tummy and aid in digestion.

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So I went with the Ginger Twist.   In all honesty, I wasn’t dazzled or blown away.   You don’t need a lot of ginger to help keep you regular.  And I am aware that it’s one ingredient among many others.

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However, the packaging and presentation is mesmerizing. They call their pouches artisanal, and I would agree.    The contents look incredible.   The silk pouches are visually stunning.

And the Annapolis, MD mug has made it’s debut to the blog!

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I just didn’t get a lot of power from the tea itself.  It looks beautiful.  And I’ve provided plenty of pictures to prove that fact.   Visually, everything about this is fantastic.    But there’s something missing with the flavor.

It’s very minty and I could taste the licorice.   And aside from the lemongrass, I couldn’t taste much of anything else.  There’s a vast array of tropical fruits that I was hoping to taste, but to no avail.    After my first few sips, I wasn’t in love with it.  But it got better as it progressed.

It’s not a bad tea at all.  I think I was just expecting a lot more.    I think a lot of people will enjoy it immensely.  I’ll say it was ok.   And by no means will this dissuade me from trying out their products again.   As you can see, they have so much to offer and there’ll be plenty of time to try this company’s wide array of teas again.   And I’m looking forward to it.

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I did want to post a link about their community involvement. I always love reading about that.

In the meantime, enjoy your celebrations and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Take good care.

Best,

Ideen