7 Swans a Swimming

Day Seven of the 12 Days of Christmas tea exchange

White Coconut Dulce White Tea by TeBella Tea, in Florida

Rachel used her local tea shop for her day - yay for supporting local businesses! She explained that she picked a white tea because of the white swan feathers, then continued the white theme by selecting coconut as the flavor.

This tea is fabulous. I'm not normally a white tea fan, but this may change my mind. There is a terrific coconut taste without coconut shavings (at least there weren't any in my cuppa). This would be great if you are allergic to coconut but love the flavor. (I am allergic to milk chocolate and ice cream myself, and I like both so I know what I'm missing. A tea with either of those flavors but not the actual ingredient would satisfy my craving, but not cause me pain. Anyway...)

This is one of the best coconut teas I've ever had. It's creamy and sweet - but not too much of either. The paper she included with the ingredients and description smell like the coconut tea - I just sniffed it, my coworkers must think I'm a weirdo.

Delish! Thanks Rachel! :)

3 French Hens


Day Three of 12 Days of Christmas tea exchange

LiberTEAS included three teas in a cute purple egg. I tried the first two, but haven't gotten to the third one yet.

1) Cafe Vanilla by Della Terra Teas
The aroma is sweet, like vanilla bean ice cream. It's not an artificial vanilla flavor at all. Della Terra Teas are always so flavorful and this is no exception.
The taste is crisp with a hint of extra sweetness on the edge of the sip. It makes me want to lick my lips! The flavor balances well with the black tea taste. The black tea isn't astringent. It's as if a vanilla candy or chip is melting in my mouth.
I expect nothing less from Della Terra Teas! This has to be one of the best vanilla teas I've ever had.

2) French Canadian Maple Tea from Tealicious Tea Co
The dry leaves have a hint of maple, which I love. (I love maple fudge and maple candies, potentially because I am from upstate New York!) This reminds me vaguely of how Pancake Breakfast's aroma is. Once it's brewed, I lose a lot of its maple-y goodness. Almost as if the maple flavor was rushed or pressed out. It lingers but isn't a solid taste.

3) French Blend (green and black teas) New Mexico Tea Co
Not much to say on this one yet. Dry leaves just smell like tea. Will try soon and update. :)

Loved the card she included - and the purple egg!

6 Geese A Layin'

Part of Day Six of the 12 Days of Christmas tea exchange

I mixed these two following the suggestion of the Day 6 teaist tattooed_tea. This was a great idea!

I've only ever tried Adagio's genmaicha tea and didn't really care too much for it. So pairing it with something else was right up my alley. I love anything strawberry so naturally these pairing would be perfect for me.

The Wild Strawberry tisane has a hint of hibiscus (hiss) but the genmaicha cuts it down considerably. Likewise, the tisane masks some of the burned popcorn taste I associate with genmaicha.

This tea smells and tastes like a bowl of Special K strawberry - YUM! :)

She also included Pancake Breakfast and Maple Bacon from 52 Teas, as well as Cranberry Orange Spice. Breakfast of champions!

Look at the cute box she wrapped the teas in. Adorable! She also included a honey drop. I'm saving it for later. :)

5 Golden Rings

Day Five of the 12 Days of Christmas exchange

I think this blend is Glitter & Gold from David's Tea - but I'm not 100%. DauisyChubb selected this one as a tea for Day Five of the 12 Days of Christmas Tea Exchange.

Check out the amazing artwork on the package! She's very talented! :) I actually want to frame it and hang it in my office - I love snowmen. Or snowpeople, to be PC.

On to the tea...
I can't get over how YUMMY this tea smells dry! I can tell this will be an instant fave... or I hope so.

While steeping the aroma is that same spicy and vanilla smell. It reminds me of Christmas in a cup. I love the gorgeous gold balls too.

The taste is a real treat for my tastebuds! Spicy vanilla with a hint of sweetness. Within one sip this has become a fave spicy tea.


4 Colly Birds

Day Four of 12 Teas of Christmas exchange

Thanks to a three-day long migraine I am very behind on the Christmas teas exchange (plus I missed my office’s xmas luncheon, boo). I’m sampling this one before tackling Day 5 and Day 6.

I really enjoy the black tea base on this tea because it doesn’t eclipse the black currant taste. I bet this would be amazing iced. Other than that, I can’t say too much about it. It’s decent, but there isn’t much flavor…so I’m not sure if this would be a purchase of mine. I keep feeling like it needs more oomph, like adding mint or strawberry or something…

I believe BoxerMama chose this tea because colly birds are black, and black birds makes one think of blackberry.

Many of us in the exchange thought it was "calling birds" - I still swear some versions of the song have the singer sing "calling birds" too, so we're not alone!

I'm looking forward to the next tea which is Glitter and 5 Golden Rings! It smells spicy!


New Etsy shop: Keen Tea Thyme

Announcing the opening of my new Etsy shop: 

Keen Tea Thyme!

Purchase my tea blends, teawares and handmade tea journals! Visit my shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/KeenTeaThyme.

Grand opening just in time for last minute holiday shoppers! Get 10% off with code GRANDNEW2012 at checkout now through 1/9/13.

Happy Holidays!


2 Turtle Doves

Azzrian's exclusive Red Leaf Tea matcha - Strawberry Champagne; photo by Keen Tea Thyme
This is the second day of the Steepster 12 Days of Tea Christmas exchange and we're treated to an exclusive, new matcha blend by Azzrian (Steepster name). She enclosed a little wooden teaspoon and several specialty Dove chocolates - of course Dove chocolate for her day, Two Turtle Doves.

This was my first ever cuppa matcha. And we really had a rare treat. The matcha was Strawberry Champagne! :)

The second I opened the bag, the gorgeous scent took my breath away. So delish! I couldn't wait to brew it up!

I carefully followed directions, although I don't have a whisk (not even a baking one), so I spooned a little over 1/2 a teaspoon into one of my older infusers and "whisked" that around the 180 degree water, until it seemed to be blended enough. There were no chunks, and I got out a lot of the air bubbles (not that they would bother me).

As I was whipping the matcha up, that wonderful Strawberry and Champagne fragrance was so calming and delish. I couldn't want to get my tastebuds on the beverage!

Closeup on Azzrian's blend; photo by Keen Tea Thyme

Now I've never had matcha before. Let me be very clear in this disclaimer. NOT EVER have I had matcha. Try to lasso your surprise that a teaist like me was a match virgin! But from all the reviews - and praise! - on Steepster I knew Red Leaf Tea was one of, if not the, best in quality, flavoring and price.

I enjoyed this cuppa, but I'm not sure if I'm a matcha convert yet. I found I couldn't just gulp it down, like I could the first day's tea and basically any other tea I've had. Maybe this is a "side effect" of matcha? But the flavor was very unique and absolutely delicious, as I guessed from its intoxicating aroma.

Azzrian explained that she originally hunted down a Turtle (like the treat, not the animal!) tea to no avail. In doing research she discovered that turtle doves mate for life (isn't that sweet?!) so she got to thinking about romance...and hence, created the sensual Strawberries and Champagne blend by mixing both of the matchas together. I believe you can purchase this exclusive blend from Red Leaf Tea as well.

I kept smelling the bag randomly today; the scent is SO yummy! And I swear it helped ease my headache - something a chronic, almost daily migraine sufferer appreciates.

Thanks for a sexy and delish blend, Azzrian! (And I loved the description on the card plus the seal! I felt like I was in Game of Thrones or something! See photo.)

Azzrian's envelope seal - how cool is that?! Photo by Keen Tea Thyme

Now for Day Three I'm behind, as I was too sick to enjoy any tea today. So I will tackle Day Three and Day Four tomorrow at work. Stay tuned for those reviews soon...