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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 ayurvedateas.com, 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: Organic North African Mint

David's Teas Organic North African Mint loose leaf tea

David’s Teas Organic North African Mint loose leaf tea

Even if you don’t usually like green teas, I think you might like this green tea from David’s Tea.

I tried this tea recently when it popped out of the holiday crackers I mentioned in my pre-holiday post.  Both myself and the other person I pulled the cracker with both got North African Mint, and it was only a few weeks later when I realized that I had this tea already – it was one of the (many) I had taken to work!

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Posted by on March 9, 2014 in South-East Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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David’s Tea Brazillionaire

A black tea featuring lovely big chunks of Brazil nuts, I had high hopes for this loose leaf tea from David’s Tea. It didn’t disappoint!

Brazillionaire black tea blend from David's Tea

Brazillionaire black tea blend from David’s Tea

I mentioned Brazillionaire  in a previous post, and finally I got around to trying it! Loose it’s a bit intriguing, with highly visible raisins, coconut flakes, and then those big chunks of Brazil nuts, it looks more like muffin ingredients than something I’m going to steep up and sip on. The tea base is black tea from Sri Lanka, and then David’s Tea has gone and added those ‘natural and artificial flavourings’ that I’m starting to get a bit tired of…  (So many other premium loose leaf tea companies are able to get amazing flavours without using artificial flavouring, or unnamed flavours… catch up David!)

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Posted by on January 4, 2014 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Cold 911 tea from David’s Tea

Organic Cold 911 tea from David's Tea

Organic Cold 911 tea from David’s Tea

Feeling the winter sniffles? David’s Tea would like you to consider their Cold 911 organic tea which includes peppermint, juniper berries, and orange peel along with oils of eucalyptus and orange oil.

If you click the “mint” category tag, you’ll see some other mint teas (and just other instances where mint has been mentioned in our Happy Sushi Belly posts) including Midsummer Night’s Dream – a tea I reviewed back in May – a tea also combining orange and mint – a tea that I really wasn’t that fond of.

Organic Cold 911 tea from David's Tea

Organic Cold 911 tea from David’s Tea

With that in mind, I didn’t have high expectations of Cold 911, but it’s actually pretty good. The mint, eucalyptus and orange flavours really weren’t that noticeable (mind you, I did have a cold when I tried it…) and it just seemed like a nice, simple peppermint tea.

Organic Cold 911 tea pouring through my steeper

Organic Cold 911 tea pouring through my steeper

While it’s a pleasant enough tea, since it’s not much different than a plain peppermint tea – I’d say save your money and skip this one in favour of cheaper bagged peppermint teas unless you’re a loose leaf tea purist.

Organic Cold 911 tea from David's Tea

Organic Cold 911 tea from David’s Tea

 

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2013 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Ceylon Star from David’s Tea

With star anise as a major ingredient, I was really excited to try Ceylon Star from David’s Teas when it first came out… but when I went to check it out in-store, the dry scent just didn’t appeal to me. Then, a while ago I received a sample of the tea, which gave me a great chance to give it a taste – commitment-free.

Ceylon Star black tea from David's Tea

Ceylon Star black tea from David’s Tea

Keep reading for my mini review!

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Posted by on December 28, 2013 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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David’s Tea Honeydew Maté tea

I received Honeydew Maté as a sample, which I love because it’s a low-commitment way to try new teas – though at the same time with David’s Teas it’s a bit frustrating too – only because if I really loved this tea, I’d be out of luck, as it’s no longer in stock. I love that they bring in new flavours every season, though I don’t love how they retire teas… couldn’t they keep them on their website even if not in store?

Ah well…

This tea is a green rooibos, with green yerba  mate, white hibiscus blossoms, melon pieces (which include sugar, green melon and starch) along with ‘natural flavouring’. The tea is super fine, so of course it just flowed on through my Tuffy Strainer, but at least all of those little pieces sank to the bottom of my cup!

Honeydew Mate Tea from David's Tea

Honeydew Mate Tea from David’s Tea

Dry, the tea smells pretty gross. It smells a lot like that artificial watermelon flavoring used in bubblegum. Ew. When steeping up though, more of the smokey scents come up from the rooibos, and when it’s ready to drink, it’s kind of mix of the two -artificially sweet flavour and smokey rooibos. The sweet isn’t too bad though, it’s tolerable… but not fantastic.

Now.. the maté. Maté is known as a stimulant – an alternative to caffeine. I had mine on a Monday morning when I really could have used a pick-me-up… and this tea sort of fell flat. I didn’t get the “buzz” that I did with Chocolate Rocket, or really any ‘stimulation’ above any other cup of tea.

All in all, it’s a general “eh” for flavour and effect.  It’s not a terrible tea, but it’s not a great one either. I won’t miss it now that it’s retired… nor will I look for it or recommend it if they bring it back.

Since this one is no longer in stock (maybe it will come back at some point?) you can check out all of the maté teas that David’s Teas offers.  http://www.davidstea.com/mate-en

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in South-East Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea gifting at the Mad Hatter’s Holiday Party

Party Crackers from David's Tea

Party Crackers from David’s Tea

I’m super-excited, because this year my employer’s Social Committee has decided to have a “Mad Hatter” themed holiday party – and part of that means that we’ll be giving away delicious tea as take-away gifts (along with a few other things to choose from)!

(Ok.. a bit of a disclaimer, I’m actually the chair of the Social Committee, but the team totally chose the idea – I didn’t have anything to do with it, though  I’m super-excited that it was chosen!)

So, as possibly the resident most enthusiastic tea lover (or at least the tea lover on this committee!) I was tasked to find the take-away tea gifts for our guests. The challenges include:

  • Not everyone might like tea (not a problem, we’ll have other gifts as well they can select instead)
  • We don’t know in advance how many people will attend (which means we’ll have to guess, and then use any leftovers in our staff kitchens – also not a problem as far as I’m concerned!)
  • Not everyone might be a loose-leaf tea lover (which means ideally I want to include a filter/strainer/infuser as well)
  • Budget.. (when isn’t that a consideration!?)

Bulk ordering from the Banff Tea Company

Beautiful blooming tea in the Banff Tea Co. shop

Beautiful blooming tea in the Banff Tea Co. shop

So.. I started off by contacting my most-favourite tea shop in Alberta – the Banff Tea Company (which I know I’ve mentioned a few dozen times before in Happy Sushi Belly, just click the Banff Tea Co. tag to see all of my previous posts). They mention on their “Enjoy a cup” page that they offer bulk pricing for weddings, functions, and events, and this is right up my alley!

I found a lot of great ideas, but was most interested in picking out a small tin of tea along with an inexpensive ball strainer – or if needed picking up a few packages of their paper filters.

How about David’s Tea?

Chocolate Orange tea from David's tea

Chocolate Orange tea from David’s tea

I also checked out the Special Orders page on the David’s Tea website where they suggest tea for corporate gifting, party favours (that’s me!) and tea for the office (I wish!). I sent a quick email, and within about an hour Morgan from David’s Tea had sent me a few links and a PDF catalog to get me started.

There were lots of ideas there too – and similarly I picked out a small tin and inexpensive strainer as my top choice.  I also liked their party crackers though – which would be a good option if the budget was even smaller.

… and the committee picked

The tea in the Party Crackers from David's Tea

The tea in the Party Crackers from David’s Tea

When I shared the price points of my top choices with the committee, they were nervous about the price point in order to accommodate approximately 100 people (now that the party is really close, we’re actually looking at closer to 150 people!) so we decided to go with David’s Tea’s party crackers.
These have a little tea-related joke, a 4.5g / 0.2 oz package of loose leaf tea (6 different flavours) a paper filter, and a tissue paper crown inside. They’re $16.50 for a package of 6 crackers.

A big box of tea from David's Tea (Instagram-style photo from my iPhone)

A big box of tea from David’s Tea (Instagram-style photo from my iPhone)

What a great party idea!

For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I LOVE themed parties and costume parties, and I’m pretty excited about coming up with a costume/something to wear for this party too.  I don’t know for sure what I’ll be doing yet, but if I do something new, I’ll post it on the other blog I write for – Dawn’s Dress Diary... come check it out!

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2013 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Goji Pop

I’m going to interupt some of my Finland posts for a little bit. Now that I’m well back in Calgary and have settled into my regular non-vacationing routine, it’s back to tea, sushi, and the other goodies that make my belly happy!

Since it’s summer, I’ve found myself drinking a lot less tea, especially at work where my office has very poor air circulation and it can get pretty warm.   Of course, this means that I have to change up my tea routine and select something to have as iced tea instead.

Davids Tea Goji Pop just seems to be meant for drinking iced!  Described as a “hot pink tea fill ed with sweet, sweet goji berries, rosehips, citrusy lemon olil,  apple, melon, marigold and hibiscus.  It’s probably the most delicious longevity formula ever.  Which is key, since you’ll be popping it for the next two centuries. Caffeine-free“.  The site lists the ingredients as: “Apple, goji berries, hibiscus, rosehips, honeydew melon, marigold petals With artificial flavouring”

Goji Pop tea

Goji Pop tea

The package recommended brewing up the tea extra strong, and simply pouring it over a glass full of ice when it was ready.  I did exactly that, though I took a sip while it was hot too….

Goji Pop tea

Goji Pop tea

Hot, it didnt’ strike me as anyting special.  Already the taste was really weak.  Poured over ice, it wasn’t much better – a slight apple flavour, but only after I added some sweetener.

I tried another glass a few days later and used way more tea (pretty much filling up my Tuffy strainer to the top) and the result was similar.  The iced tea was vaguely fruity, with the most dominant taste to me being the apple, but not really the POP of flavour that I was looking for.  It’s not like I waited for all the ice to melt and water-down the flavour either… it’s just not an especially flavourful tea. Luckily I didn’t mind the goji beries, as normally I don’t really like them.

There are a lot of teas that taste great iced or hot, and I wouldn’t recommend this one – even with twice as much tea as i usually use (which means twice the per-cup price too…) there still wasn’t a lot of flavour.

What’s your favourite?

What’s your favourite tea to drink iced? Let us know in the comments below!  While you’re at it… who’s going to Taste of Calgary today? I posted about it a few days back if you missed the post, but it starts today!

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2013 in South-East Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Salted Caramel

I picked up Salted Caramel from David’s tea primarily for my mum, who loves all things caramel, butterscotch and toffee… me – I prefer the chocolate side of life, but I’ve enjoyed a nice little salted caramel once or twice…(especially when dipped in chocolate!).

Dry, the tea has a distinct smoky scent. I wouldn’t really say that it smells like caramel at all, though there is a slight hint of sweetness.  Steeped up, the smoky scent continues, though with a little sweetener and milk, the sweetness comes out too. The tea had a lot of fannings in it though which was disappointing – the tea leaves themselves in my strainer were very small, accompanied by very finely shredded toasted coconut, and one or two little cubes of toffee.  The limited amount of toffee actually in the tea (and the sugars it brings with it) probably explain why the tea neither smells, nor really tastes, of toffee.

The ingredients for this tea are Black tea, coconut, caramel, English toffee, sea salt, and flavouring. Allergens include dairy, nuts, coconut, and soy.  I don’t really know where my caramel or sea salt went to – I couldn’t see either in the dry tea at all.

Salted Caramel tea from David's Tea

Salted Caramel tea from David’s Tea

So, finally, the taste…

With sweetener and milk, I found the tea a slightly creamier, sweeter tea with a bit of complexity above a regular unflavoured black tea. However the distinction is minimal, there really isn’t a lot of additional flavour in this tea.  The black tea and toasted coconut are balanced with the toffee and caramel pretty well so that none of the flavours really jump out. This is good for some, and disappointing for others who might expect a bolder caramel taste.

Like some of the other teas I’ve reviewed, I’d recommend this more for those who want a slight update from their regular pot of black tea, more for those who like bold, exciting new flavours. (Oh, and my mum didn’t like the smokiness at all….) 😦

Salted Caramel tea from David's Tea

Salted Caramel tea from David’s Tea

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Ice Cream Cake

I love the name and branding of this tea from David’s Tea.  It’s also a super-pretty (dry) tea, and without any caffeine, drinkable at any time of day… even if it’s not a special occasion!

Ice Cream Cake tea

Ice Cream Cake tea

This tea contains red and green rooibos, honeybush, freeze-dried ice cream bits, sprinkles, natural and artificial flavoring, and the allergens include milk, eggs, and soy.  The tea looks pretty dry, but it’s kind of a hot mess when you steep it up. I put it in my Teavana perfect tea maker, and the ice cream bits are all gooey and icky when the tea steeps up… definitely makes me glad that the tea maker is dishwasher-safe.

Ice Cream Cake tea

Ice Cream Cake tea

Dry, the tea smells sweet, and just a little bit smoky from the rooibos.  When steeped up though it’s just warm and delicious smelling. The taste is similar to a lot of David’s other ‘candy’-centric teas like Red Velvet Cake, Read My Lips, and Toasted Marshmallow – there’s a warm, soothing taste, with just a bit of sweet, even without adding sweetener.

The reviews on Steepster seem to be pretty much in line with my thoughts – it’s a tasty, sweet tea, but the additional ingredients make it somewhat gooey and messy.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2013 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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