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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 »

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

 

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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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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: 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.

Scent

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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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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Tea: Devil’s Chocolate

The retail wall of David's Tea

The retail wall of David’s Tea

Ages ago I picked up a small amount of Devil’s Chocolate from Teaopia, a rooibos tea with cacao nibs, ginger, cloves, and red pepper.  The tea is intended to be a rich chocolate flavour for chocolate lovers, but I was disappointed in the tea as a chocolate tea.  The tea is tasty, but not really the chocolate flavour that I was hoping for.

Dry, the tea is mostly spicy, warm, hot…  There’s also a slight bitterness to the scent which I didn’t care for, but     I was so curious to try the tea that I went for it anyways. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 7, 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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Lavender Earl Grey tea

It seems like ages ago now, but .. well.. ages ago, Connie and I checked out Market Collective at the Mewata Armories.  Of course, we had to check out Gluten-Free Foodgasm who had a booth there (and have a delicious mini-cupcake) and a number of great artisans selling everything from paintings and  jewelry to plants and clothing, but we also were drawn to the Leaf Ninjas and a booth selling loose leaf teas.

The vendor was Tian Teas, and you can find them on Facebook.  They also have a website – http://tianteas.ca however the link was broken when I tried to visit.  Additionally their Facebook page was really out of date and not used a lot – the most recent post when I visited was in November 2012 – nearly a year out of date when I visited.  The Facebook page doesn’t currently (at the time of writing) list any of their tea varieties, prices, or where to get them either…

Organic Elixirs Lavender Earl Grey tea

Organic Elixirs Lavender Earl Grey tea

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Posted by on December 26, 2013 in South-West 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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