Tag Archives: coffee

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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Vancouver: Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts

Looking at Downtown Vancouver from on Granville Island

Looking at Downtown Vancouver from on Granville Island

While in Vancouver I had to grab a quick lunch, so stopped at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts’s bakery and cafe, Bistro 101 near Granville Island. They advertised a $7.95 soup and sandwich deal. Although they were all out of sandwiches when I went in, so instead I got a couple of bacon and onion (which weren’t very onion-y, thank goodness) mini quiches instead.

Mini quiche, coffee and soup for lunch

Mini quiche, coffee and soup for lunch

The soup was minestrone, and I got a cup of coffee (oh Vancouver, you do love your coffee!) as well. All in all, a good lunch for under $10.00!

Bistro 101 on Urbanspoon

Tea shop in Vancouver

Tea shop in Vancouver

Before heading down to Granville Island I also stopped into a tea shop to meet up with a friend for a cup of tea. I didn’t have a chance to make any notes or take any photos though I’m afraid – my company was just too charming & distracted me!

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Posted by on January 26, 2014 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages


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Tea: Jumpy Monkey and David’s Tea sample packs

In an occasion of tea-lovers good luck, I happened upon some single-serving packets of David’s Tea in my work kitchen (in the shared cupboard). My only conclusion is that someone won the teas in our recent holiday party, and found that loose leaf tea didn’t suit them so gave them up for the shared consumption of all. (Or perhaps they only like a particular type of tea and so the variety pack wasn’t necessary.) Their dislike is my gain!

First off – what a GREAT way to try new teas. I know that David’s Tea offers free samples to customers who shop online, but why don’t they offer this for in-store purchases too?  (Perhaps with free shipping over $50, they’re trying to encourage online shopping? I’d be all for that if I was just replacing favorites, and didn’t want to try new things.. but smelling the teas is a fun part of the tea-shopping experience for me, and often the staff in-person have urged me to try new things…)  They should really consider giving away samples with purchases in-store too. After all- it’s a great, low-commitment way of trying more flavours (especially if the flavours were chosen based on what you purchased..) and you know if you try more tea, you’re going to find a new favourite and buy more!

Moving on…

So Jumpy Monkey was the first one I grabbed from the shared cupboard (though there are many still there tempting me with their tea-y goodness). It is described as “sweet energy” on the David’s Tea website and includes Argentinean mate, roasted peaberry coffee beans, almonds, white chocolate and “other roasted barks and roots” which from the ingredient list would appear to include carob, clover, oat straw, and cocoa nibs. The package also indicates that there is vanilla in the tea, though it isn’t listed on the website. The package also lets the consumer know that the coffee beans are rainforest alliance (certified?).

Oat straw huh? Neigh.

Jumpy Monkey

Jumpy Monkey

The scent dry is slightly coffee scented, with a bit of smokiness that I sometimes associate with yerba mate. Steeped up, the scent is even a stronger coffee scent, and there is definitely a coffee taste to the steeped tea, but again with that smokiness and a bit of ‘dryness’ as well. There is also a slight sweetness (mind you I added sweetener). I found that the tea lacked the bitterness that I usually associate with the aftertaste of coffee though – which was great! I didn’t have milk in this tea, but I think it would be really good with just a drop to mellow out the dryness a little bit. It is also DARK when steeped up. I kind of regret having this at work where I couldn’t get a good ‘in the mug’ photo for you to show off just how dark this tea is – very similar to weak coffee.

I’ve talked a little about yerba mate in a past post so that’s where the “jumpy” comes from – sort of. Mate is supposed to provide the energy-boosting/stimulating effect of caffeine, but without the ‘jitters’ often associated with coffee.

Jumpy Monkey

Jumpy Monkey

My conclusion – this is a really great coffee alternative tea. If you have a coffee lover in your life –this might not turn them away from the coffee pot for good, but it might convince them to join you for a pot of tea more frequently.

I made up a second cup of this tea using the same leaves, and it was just as flavourful – but this time I added milk, which gave it a warm richness and smooth body which was wonderful! It however, was a lot less “coffee” and a lot more “tea” to me; still with that slight smokiness.

The only problem I had with this tea – and it is most likely due to the fact that it was a pre-packaged sample, rather than freshly chosen from a bin at the store – the fannings/dust.  There was a lot of crushed material in the tea, which obviously makes it’s way through my beloved Tuffy strainer, and made the tea slightly less appealing.  If I remember in the future, I’ll bring in some of those T-bags from home for these sample packs at work.

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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Tea & Beverages


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Coffee: A bit of holiday cheer

Shocker, I know, I’m posting about coffee for a change instead of tea.

I have been seeing the poster for Red Velvet White Mocha from Good Earth Cafe for a while now, (since I pass it every day at work) but held off until the other day, when I succumed, desperately wanting that red velvet flavour.

Red Velvet Latte

Well, my red-velvet craving will go unsaited for another day – since there’s nothing about this that says “red velvet” to me at all, or even chocolate for that mater.  It’s not even red.  😦

With that being said, it wasn’t particularly coffee-like either, and tasted delicious.  Last year I tried the egg nog latte and was horribly disappointed (I like a little more egg nog than they prepare..) but although this time I didn’t get what I anticipated, I still really enjoyed my drink. It’s seasonal though, so it won’t tempt me for much longer with the promise of holiday cheer in a paper cup!

So, do you have any ideas how I can fill this red velvet craving?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages


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