Category Archives: Tea & Beverages

Tea: Iron Goddess – Tieguanyin

Tea. Photo by Modomatic

Tea. Photo by Modomatic

I brought one of my little tea-chests to work not too long ago, mostly filled with gifted teas – one of which is Iron Goddess.

Since it was a gift, I don’t know where it comes from (though I have my guesses..) but I found a few write-ups online about this oolong tea, including a charming story on

Legend of Iron Goddess:
Centuries ago there lived a poor farmer in the Fujian Province of China. He lived by a temple that was dedicated to the Iron Goddess of Mercy. The temple was in poor condition since it wasn’t kept by anyone for a long time. The farmer cleaned the temple and burned incense to honor the Goddess. Touched by the poor farmer’s devotion to her temple, the Iron Goddess appeared to him in a dream and told him to find a treasure left for him behind her temple. The farmer woke up and searched all over the temple for the treasure only to find a small tea bush. When the farmer made tea from this bush, he noticed a unique fragrance and wonderful sweet taste. Delighted, he grew this tea bush and gave some of it to his neighbors so that they can also enjoy this treasure from the Goddess. Word spread of this wonderful tea and thus the Fujian Province became famous for the origin of this tea.

The taste is just slightly sweet, and very mellow.  I am not a huge fan of green tea, so oolongs seem to split the difference for me – plus they have less caffeine than black teas!

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Posted by on April 18, 2015 in Tea & Beverages


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Dark Iron Budda tea

Dark Iron Budda tea

Dark Iron Budda tea

This is just another super-short post. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time right now to write here, and I haven’t been checking out many new places to eat in Calgary lately either. 😦

Dark Iron Budda from Banff Tea Company is really good – mild tasting oolong tea – I’d get it again (the next time I’m up in Banff that is!)


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Afternoon Tea at Butchart Gardens

Pouring tea through a strainer at the Butchart's Afternoon Tea

Pouring tea through a strainer at the Butchart’s Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea at the Butchart Gardens – can you imagine anything more perfect to combine a bunch of my interests in one lovely afternoon?
We didn’t have reservations, and Afternoon Tea is only served from 12 noon – 3:00 p.m. April 1 – September 30. We only had a short wait though before a table became available – though the tearoom we were in was full, and it looked like the porch areas and other tearoom/dining room was also full.

(How much do you LOVE the little strainer above too? If it had been more affordable in their gift shop, I totally would have bought one…) Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on October 19, 2014 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages, Treats


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Summer Shangri-la tea

Summer Shangri-la tea from Silk Road Tea in Victoria, BC

Summer Shangri-la tea from Silk Road Tea in Victoria, BC

One of the first teas I opened up from my trip to Victoria’s Silk Road was Summer Shangri-la tea – which is a black tea for “lazy summer days”. It includes black tea (the shop doesn’t indicate where from), calendula flowers, lavender blossoms, citrus peel, vanilla beans, and peach fruit ‘essence’.

Summer Shangri-la tea from Silk Road Tea in Victoria, BC

Summer Shangri-la tea from Silk Road Tea in Victoria, BC

Dry, the tea reminds me a lot of a tea I loved from David’s Tea – Southern Belle, but with a slight smokier smell (with the addition of lavender) and less milky (without those yoghurt drops).

I steeped up three cups with one infuser of tea, and the flavour remained strong through the second cup, but decidedly weaker with the third. The taste is pretty close to the scent – peachy, fruity, with a slight smokey taste from the lavender. It definitely isn’t as “creamy” tasting as the variation from David’s Tea, but would probably be a better option for tea-lovers concerned about the added ingredients. I had mine with skim milk and sweetener – mostly because it was morning, and that’s how I usually have my morning black tea!

I think this is a great summertime tea – and as summertime fades, this will make fall a bit more tolerable. 🙂

Summer Shangri-la tea from Silk Road Tea in Victoria, BC

Summer Shangri-la tea from Silk Road Tea in Victoria, BC

Silk Road on Urbanspoon

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Posted by on October 3, 2014 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages


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Silk Road Tea – Victoria, BC

Selection of teas at Silk Road in Victoria, BC

Selection of teas at Silk Road in Victoria, BC

I’m going to take a little break from my Iceland posts to head back to Canada again – this time for my trip to Victoria, BC, and a must-visit Silk Road Tea shop.

Located in the Chinatown area of downtown, Silk Road is spa on one side, and tea on the other, and a young woman greeted all of the guests with a free sample of a freshly made iced tea to take off some of the heat of the August day when we visited.

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Posted by on September 7, 2014 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages


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Iceland National Museum Café

Delicious meringue Skor cake at the café

Delicious meringue Skor cake at the café

My last post included the meringue cake from  the café at the Iceland National Museum – and although the cake was perhaps the most memorable part of the meal, it certainly wasn’t all we enjoyed. In keeping with my other posts from food in Iceland, I wanted to share with you a quick post about some of the other things we enjoyed there. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Out of town - Europe, Tea & Beverages


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Happy Sushi Belly is off to Victoria, BC

That’s right – I haven’t even come close to sharing all of my delicious (and sometimes strange) meals and treats from Iceland with you, and I’m off for another short holiday! I’m heading to Victoria, BC… so if you know of any must-see restaurants I have to visit while I’m there (I’m staying downtown near the legislature) please comment and let me know your favourites!

Of course, I’m going to try really hard to get to Silk Road Tea as well while I’m there…

Silk Road's Herbal Chai tea

Silk Road’s Herbal Chai tea

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Posted by on August 10, 2014 in Out of town - BC, Sushi, Tea & Beverages


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Pukka love tea

Before I get started with posts about the food and treats I tried in Iceland, I thought I’d post about Pukka tea.  Pukka tea comes from Pukka  organic herbs in the United Kingdom.

Pukka "Love" tea

Pukka “Love” tea

Some of Pukka’s organic herb teas have won “Great Taste Awards” in competitions in London, and they have also received several industry awards and commendations.

They describe Love Tea as:

“Love tea is a unique blend of fragrant herbs with fantastic soothing properties. Drink Love tea to help you feel cherished and well nourished, night and day.

• Rose and lavender warm the heart
• Elderflower and chamomile relax and soothe
• Marigold petals are beautifully balancing”
They say that their tea ingredients are organically grown and fairly traded.

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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Tea & Beverages


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Tea: Vata Ayurvedic

Vata Ayurvedic Tea

Vata Ayurvedic Tea

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting very much in Happy Sushi Belly over the past few weeks… well I was really sick, and really sick means no new sushi adventures!

(Or energy to write up posts for that matter either…)

Now that I’m starting to feel a little better, I do have a new mini-post for you though, about a very pretty tea from David’s Tea called Vata Ayurvedic. It’s an herbal tea that I had in a multi-pack of other herbal teas, but right now it’s not available on David’s website – check back later though, it might be back…

According to, Ayurvedic teas are caffeine-free herbal teas “that help to balance one’s doshas”. The site goes on to state that Ayurvedic teas “help to regulate and balance vata, pitta, and kapha doshas, and thus keep the body in balance and harmony” and are “an effective and economical way to bring back one’s doshas into balance”.

So…. there’s that.

On Wikipedia, I read that a “dosha” is “one of three bodily humors that make up one’s constitution according to Ayurveda. These teachings are also known as the Tridosha theory”. This is starting to sound pretty circular. Maybe I should have waited until I was totally healthy before starting this…

So, let’s just talk tea.

Since the tea is no longer on the David’s Tea website, I can’t say for certain what is in the tea, but visually it looks like peppermint, chamomile, rose buds, and lemongrass. Reading one of the Steepster reviews, it looks like the tea also contains fennel, licorice, and orange.

The David’s Tea write up for this tea is:

“Relax, help is here
5000-year-old Ayurvedic medicine says that we all consist of three doshas in differing proportions. Vata is the most delicate one, and an imbalance can cause anxiety or nervousness. Regain your equilibrium with this soothing blend of organic chamomile, saffron, licorice, ginger, fennel seeds, rose buds, spearmint, organic rosehips, lemongrass, organic holy basil and orange.”

The taste is almost exactly like the custom-blend a friend made up for me with peppermint and chamomile as the predominant ingredients. It’s pleasant, but not anything really special. I don’t think that I’d look for it again if David’s Tea brought it back, but I’ll make up a few more cups of it while I’m trying to drink lots of fluids during this cold….

Feeling under the weather?

Since I’m still not feeling well – leave a comment below with your favourite ‘feel better’ teas!

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Posted by on June 11, 2014 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages


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Tea: Kusmi Violette

Kusmi tea

Kusmi tea

One of the teas I picked up at the Banff Tea Company ages ago was the Kusmi brand Violette tea.  I had heard and seen a bit of Kusmi tea, but didn’t know much about it until reading a bit about it in the shop.  You might remember I tried some of the Kusmi Almond Green tea last May as well.

Kusmi teas were first established in 1867 in St. Petersburg, and in 1917 the company moved to Paris where it continues using “high-quality teas with natural essences to create subtle aromas and flavours“.  Teas come from India, China, and Ceylon, while the essences come from around the world.

The little mints – I’ll get them next time!

I had seen some violet candies in the candy store only a little while earlier, (but not picked them up, as I was only getting things for someone else.. and no sweets for myself) and so the chance to try violet tea was too enticing to pick up (even if the cost was quite dear! eep!) According to the Kusmi website (the Canadian site is all in French, so I am referring you to the English USA site instead) the tea is from Chinese black tea leaves and violet petals.


Dry, the tea is distinctly a black tea, with a light floral violet scent.  It doesn’t look particularly pretty – though the tin itself is especially pretty!  Although the Banff Tea Co. website doesn’t list the Violette in-stock, they did have a few tins, though only the large size – they did have some smaller tins of different flavours and variety packs of smaller tins, so it’s worth calling ahead and seeing what they might have in stock before making the trip.  I’m sure I’ve seen the tins on the shelves of other specialty tea/coffee shops as well, so you can likely find it locally as well… (though next time you’re in Banff, you know where to go!)

The scent while steeping is similar to any other black tea, with a slight floral scent – though the violet isn’t especially distinct.

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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Out of town - Alberta, Tea & Beverages


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