Happy National Pumpkin Day!

I know this pumpkin thing has seemed over-the-top too many.  I love it.   I am not big on the consumerism aspect of it but I am in love with this festive time of year. It’s a teaser for the month of November and all the fun that comes with it.

Unfortunately, I started seeing pumpkin stuff as early as mid-to-late August.  I understand companies want to get a jump on it but that’s where this becomes just business and less about the spiritual aspect of this time.

Now I love all the amazing foods and drinks that can come from this.  But we’re seeing it added to everything; bread, chips, coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages and everything in between.  I used to just think it was in a pie on Thanksgiving and that was it.

A friend of mine recently sent me a photo of pumpkin spiced cat litter.  Seems a bit extreme?  But if it makes my cat happier I’d be tempted to buy it.  So the consumer bug has gotten to me too.   Speaking of which…

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Need I say more?   The visual is beautiful and you can’t help but be mesmerized by the choices.  It could be a pumpkin-themed display or something on the opposite end of the spectrum and we’d still be enthralled.

I take it back to Trader Joe’s for this week’s tea assessment.  It’s the Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Tea and it’s an interesting one.

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I like rooibos and the health benefits have been presented to you in these two respective links.  But if I wanted a regular rooibos I’d have purchased one.   I purchased this expecting more pumpkin and the autumn themed flavors.  I got none of that.  The flavor is fine if they didn’t mention the spice.  So this is not as advertised.

Maybe it’s my taste buds but I don’t think so.  I really gave this a shot.  I steeped this for the suggested amount of time and I didn’t get much.

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However, the smell from the sachet was absolutely terrific.  But that scent did not translate when brewed. The aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg definitely hit me when I opened up the tin.   Why did it not permeate after steeping?  Could it be that it’s artificial?  That’s just my speculation.

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The reddish-pumpkin color after steeping is also stunning which ordinarily correspond with a masterful tasting cup.

I really wanted to love this tea but it didn’t happen.  It’s ok otherwise but the promotion that this is a pumpkin spice tea I feel is misleading.

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In the spirit of this day I did enjoy a bowl of pumpkin-themed pecan oatmeal that was really good but also not as powerful as maybe implied.

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I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from trying this.   Many may prefer this tea exactly as it.  Hopefully you’ll be able to detect the flavors that I couldn’t.  I wasn’t even trying too hard which usually leads to positive results.   But they can’t all be masterpieces.

Nevertheless, I highly recommend this gem from Trader Joe’s that captures what this season is all about.  I hope to end the TJ’s posts on a high note, so I envision this is not the last time I write about them this year.

Happy Holidays!

Best,

Ideen

Saratoga Style

Now I’ve never been to Saratoga, but I’m grateful that my friends who visited recently, thought to bring me a bag of tea as a souvenir.

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The Trans Siberian Chai from Saratoga Tea & Honey Company was an absolute pleasure to drink.  What a work of art! And you can see a lot of thought and passion was behind this creation.

This tea really got my spirits up, as it’s been needed. Summer is slowly winding down, but I refuse to concede it ending.  We have a few weeks to go. Yet while this blend feels like more something more Autumn, it works well here as we’re now officially segued into September.

The flavors of cocoa, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon are a soothing and comforting melange of joy.   I don’t know how else to describe it.  Actually I could write a ton more superlatives if I could.  The cocoa, especially, really stands out and makes this a unique tasting cup.   Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices and always warms my heart.

I’l be honest, clove and nutmeg are not something I’ve had enough of, so those flavors, for me at least, are not quite detectable.   As I was smelling it and then sipping it, I was looking for those scents, and they didn’t hit me as like the aforementioned cocoa and cinnamon. And chai is usually always a winner.

I wish I could add more links for everyone to enjoy, but the website seems to be incomplete and there’s an across the middle of the page it states that the online store is coming soon! Now that I look forward to!

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I love how the back of the label encourages us to experiment with the quantity, duration, and temperature for the heating process.  And yet they still throw some helpful recommendations for time and temperature to boil!  Good on them!

What I also look forward to is a visit to Saratoga itself. A lot of places in the country and the world have alluded me. And I hope to cross that off my list.  Not only for their teas, but I see they have a honey room as well.  Join them at the bar for a pot of tea with pals! Yes please!

For now, I will do my best to capture the beauty of this tea brewing process.    The same friends who brought me this tea, also purchased this majestic teapot set from the wonderful World Market.  So it’s only right to bring it back for one of my favorite tea making rituals.

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I wanted to show you how amazing the tint is that I threw in a bonus photo in one of my favorite teacups! How gorgeous is that?  And how beautiful are those tea leaves and spices? This is the real deal.

The inaugural post with this pot can be found right here!

As the weather turns, and that pains me to say, more brewing and more fun tea contraptions will be seeing their returns and debuts in the weeks and months to come.

Take good care!

Best,

Ideen