Festively Flavored


I teased it last week and knew I was going to go back for a couple more from my old pals at Trader Joe’s.

When browsing their tea section, and looking for anything new I can get my hands on,  something told me to just walk around some more.  And when you’re at a store as captivating as Trader Joe’s, that’s not hard to do.

But after grabbing some free samples, at the corner of my eye in in the refrigerated beverage area, I spotted something new, something hopefully something inspiring, and most important of all, something perfect for the holiday, and the season.

They have recently introduced Kombucha to their already impressive repertoire of teas, and for that matter many of their food and drink products.   It was only a matter of time.  It never crossed my mind to think they would carry Kombucha until now.


When I saw the two on display basically begging to be purchased, I didn’t hesitate one second.


I will admit that when I saw the Gently Gingered Kombucha Tea, I thought it read Gently Gingerbread, which would be quite ambitious.  Could you in theory make gingerbread flavored Kombucha?  Of course you can.  But that’ll have to wait.   This is…


This wasn’t good.  This is about as flat as a Kombucha I’ve ever had.  And it’s not that it was terrible.  Take out hoping that this would taste like the flavors of the season you love so much, it doesn’t take like much.


If you’re not into fermented drinks, this is not where you want to go.  These are meant to be sipped, savored, appreciated, and and drank slowly like you would have a cup of tea.  But this was a struggle.   I usually save my Kombuchas for a while if they’re in protected packaging.  This is the first I’ve had in a can, and I don’t think that’s anything to really expound upon, other than the fact is I’m going to have a hard time wanting to drink this again.  But if was able to be sealed I may give it another chance.   And  you know what, I still might?

You taste ginger but it’s light, it’s lacking, and it’s missing the heart and soul I want from a tea and now the Kombucha I drink.   This was about $2-$2.50, so I wouldn’t dissuade you from not trying it.  You might love it.  But I would say proceed with caution.


The Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s you see here and in the next display of sweet treats are mainly for display, as I still want to celebrate all the deliciousness that Trader Joe’s has to offer.


All is forgiven and all is glorious, because their current offering, just in time for the holidays, the Organic Cranberry Spiced Apple Kombucha represents everything that’s right with the world, and that includes Christmas.  Especially Christmas and the holidays.

This makes me so happy.  The color tells one story, but the combination of cranberry juice, apple juice, and cinnamon within this black tea work-of-art is just what you want this month.  I would say you could have this year round.  Yes you can.


Again, while this one is easy to drink, it’s one you take your time with.   The amount you see poured here is the amount I had.  Yet this one was kinder to my stomach , so you know the probiotics are working! I can’t rave about this one enough.   And at a little under $3, it’s worth splurging a bit on this.


Can’t forget those Peppermint Joe Joe’s.  Again, this is not really a pairing but more so an homage to all the joys of this holiday.

This will not be it for Trader Joe’s, as my history has shown, I will always be on the lookout for whatever awesome item they will introduce next.  Just when I think I’ve done it all, I know I never will, nor do I want to.

This is a journey, it’s a marathon, and anything but a race.  It’s not a race against time or anything else.  Though the holidays may feel like all of the above and then some, it’s about enjoying all the moments you can, with amazing food, drink, and of course the people.   We’ve got a lot holiday left and I look forward to what’s next.

Peace Be With You.



Ginger Chai Commotion

Yeah that title makes no sense.  There isn’t commotion other than maybe Chai isn’t for me.

We continue the holiday teas with a brand I have never reviewed.


I introduce to you the Gingerbread Chai fom Zhena’s Gypsy Tea.    I’ll admit the label sold me.  He looks so happy and that makes me happy too! These are the images that many of us like to see during the holidays and year round for that matter.


I thought it was good.  Yet it took a while to get going.   I think I’ve spoiled my whole life expecting so many teas to knock my socks off.  This didn’t happen.   The ingredients that you see listed above were not easy for me to detect.   I just feel like everything clashed and got lost in the shuffle

I love cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.   Nothing stood out. Even licorice,which I shudder to think about, wasn’t on my radar.  So what’s wrong here?   Maybe too much of a good thing?  Or in this instance, too many things.

I did finish my tea at my usual pace. What I wrote above made it sound so terrible but it’s really not.  It’s just not inspiring.   It’s a decent cup made with great flavors that should have come out better.   And just because I didn’t love doesn’t mean you’ll have the same response.

There were times when I got a kick at the end, or the finish.  But it wasn’t consistent.

It smelled great when I opened the package and throughout the steeping process the aromas were growing by the second.  It just didn’t transfer over during the actual sipping experience.

I’m not sure but this might be the first time this mug has been used during my writing so that’s a bit exciting right?  Yessir…


I had my cup with some holiday themed cookies, including some gingerbread shaped treats, which did make the experience all that much better.


As you see, the Santa plate has made its auspicious return from last week.

When reading about Zhena’s story and their good intentions, it only makes me want to try more of their abundance of selections.  And that will come.

I will be getting around to a couple of their Glass Jars in the next month or so, if not sooner.   They have so many flavors that are outside the normal parameters of what many of us have been conditioned and gotten used.

For my previous post on chai, you can click here.

With so many holiday teas to try I just know the next few weeks and into the new year are only going to get better.  I fully expect to be writing about something breathtaking next week. I’m all for it.

I sincerely hope your holiday season has been one of comfort, joy, and a strong feeling of community.

Stay warm and stay healthy.