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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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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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Village Ice Cream

Last summer at Voices in the Village I first heard of Village Ice Cream but I didn’t get around to visiting until this year – this is the problem with not being downtown nearly as much as I used to!

Finding Village Ice Cream is not especially easy, because it’s at the end of a dead-end road, and then tucked into the side of a building rather than having a street-front entrance.  There is a decent sized parking lot, though I bet when they get busy, it gets full fast. When I went there was a short line that the staff had moving fairly efficiently, and their very small ‘patio’ was full with families sitting on the available benches.

Village Ice Cream

Village Ice Cream

There really isn’t a super-close place to go to enjoy your ice cream unfortunately – Olympic Plaza is probably the closest park, and you’ll probably be half-done by the time you get there.

There are a number of traditional flavours like vanilla, chocolate, maple pecan, coconut, and strawberry, a few ‘branded’ flavours like coffee – which they’ve branded after Phil & Sebastian (a coffee shop), chocolate mint – which is branded as “Guide’s Mint” – alluding to girl guides I presume (which is odd, because girl guide cookies are chocolate and vanilla…)  They also have a few more unique flavours such as cardamom, huckleberry, and salted caramel.

The shop has ten flavours that they keep “in the dipping cabinet and in the pint freezer” at all times, and then a rotating variety along with one sorbet for those who want to be dairy-free.  When I was there the seasonal specials included Root Beer (which apparently tastes just like a root beer float), Mango, Oaxacan Chile Chocolate (a Vegan option made with coconut milk) and Hibiscus Juniper Sorbet.

Village Ice Cream

Village Ice Cream menu

I started off with a sample of cardamom.  I didn’t know what to expect, but it was fantastic! The clerk filled me in that cardamom is a spice from India, used heavily in Chai. I loved it, and toyed with the idea of getting a scoop of it to go, but instead I went with my first choice, the Hibiscus Juniper Sorbet.

Sorbet from Village Ice Cream

Sorbet from Village Ice Cream

I think that I probably missed out on something by going with the sorbet instead of the creamy goodness of ice cream, but it was still quite good. It reminded me of a vaguely floral/herbal strawberry sorbet, although not exceptionally strong tasting.  I was also toying with the salted caramel, but have read online in reviews that it can go from good, to tasting ‘burnt’ and I definitely didn’t want that…

Have you tried out Village Ice Cream yet? What is your favourite flavour? Let us know in the comments below!

Village Ice Cream
Located in Victoria Park
431 10 Ave SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 261-7950
Village Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Want a sneak peek of some of their other flavours? Read this post from the Silk Road Spice Merchant – I didn’t know that it was their spices that go into a lot of the flavours!

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in Downtown Calgary, South-East Calgary, Treats

 

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Tea: Midsummer Night’s Dream

Midsummer Night’s Dream is another tea from David’s Teas that I received in a caffeine-free sample pack during the holidays, and in my attempt to start shrinking my collection of teas, I wanted to use it.

I didn’t read the ingredient listing before giving it a sniff – and dry it smelt like both oranges and mint, which I’ll admit made me a bit worried.  It was morning, and all I could think of was drinking orange juice with freshly brushed teeth. Ew.  However, I boiled the water, popped the tea into my Tuffy strainer, and prepared to give it a try.

No matter how good this tea might sound otherwise, I really don’t recommend giving this tea a sniff while it’s steeping.  Honestly, it looks and smells… wrong.  It looks mushy and kind of gross – the colours which look fine when they are dry together looks pretty icky when they’re wet, and it smells terrible.  (I can’t even nicely describe what it smells like steeping… all I could bring up is an incident involving way too many Screwdriver cocktails…)

However, what it lacks in steeping appearance and scent, it almost makes up for in the final taste.  The tea is alright, but honestly nothing special. I tasted more of a lemon and mint flavour in the final brew rather than oranges.  I was glad not to have that toothpaste-orange juice sensation, but I can’t also say that I really like this herbal tea either.

Midsummer Night's Dream

Midsummer Night’s Dream

The ingredients are listed on the David’s Tea website as: “Apple pieces, spearmint, freeze-dried whole cape gooseberries, marigold blossoms, safflowers, rose petals. With artificial flavouring.”  The description also includes orange oil, so I suppose that is the artificial flavouring (or at least one of them).

One thing I was reminded of when the tea steeped up, is that these sample tins are pre-packaged, and then shipped.  This means they are tossed around a lot and there is plenty of opportunity for the ‘tea’ to break down into smaller and smaller pieces.  There was a LOT of ‘dust’ that made it through the holes in my Tuffy strainer.  It made the tea much less appealing when steeped up – though I’ve found this is a consistent problem with pre-packaged loose leaf teas.

Midsummer Night's Dream - lots of bits got through the strainer

Midsummer Night’s Dream – lots of bits got through the strainer

While the crushing isn’t really a problem with the tea itself (rather I could have popped the tea into a T-sac and not worried about the fannings/dust) I did have another problem with the tea- longevity.  Normally from most of David’s Teas I can make at least 3, sometimes 4-5 infusions before the tea looses its strength.  This time around I made two good infusions, but the third was so weak it wasn’t even worth drinking. I poured it down the sink and made up a fresh cup of Buttercream instead. (Another tea I’m trying to use up…)

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Tea & Beverages

 

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Treats: holiday cookies

For the holidays I made a few different cookies, and three of the ones that I’ll lump together are the lavender-mint shortbread, lemon poppy seed shortbread, and mint chocolate-chip cookies I made.

Lavender Mint shortbread

Lavender Mint shortbread

The Lavender Mint Shortbread started out with a recipe from AllRecipes: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lavender-Shortbread-Cookies/ however I altered it a bit by using sweetener in place of the white sugar, and I used Lavender Mint tea from the Banff Tea Company. (Although I do have a nice bag of culinary lavender that I really need to use too…)

The result – very fragrant, not too sweet, with just a little curious and unexpected taste.  I didn’t grind up the tea at all, so the shortbread is unevenly spotted – but so pretty and light! The dough spread just a tiny bit when baking.

Lemon Poppy seed cookies

Lemon Poppy seed cookies

Next, I struggled with the measurements from the UK version of AllRecipes for lemon poppy seed shortbread: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/8909/lemon-poppy-seed-shortbread.aspx and although I triple-checked the conversions, the dough was WAY too gooey, and wasn’t going to hold it’s shape at all for baking. So… I started throwing other things in there. I didn’t have fresh lemon zest, so I put in dried lemon rind instead, and really just kind of went nuts with the whole thing.  The result? AMAZING. These were so delicate and light, with a lovely tangy lemon flavour and just a little bit of cute poppyseed sprinkling.  Hahahaha… of course, this is because I didn’t write down ANY of my adjustments and thus will never be able to replicate the cookie.

Mint Chocolate Chip cookies

Mint Chocolate Chip cookies

Finally I made up the mint chocolate chip cookies from The Idea Room: http://www.theidearoom.net/2012/02/mint-chocolate-chip-cookies.html though I used sweetener instead of sugar and used only mint chocolate chips (one full bag, because who’s going to keep 1/3 of a bag left over?) instead of half and half mint and regular chunks.  The end result was just lightly minty, and not nearly as sweet as I had expected.  They were also LOADED with chocolate chips, which I think totally made up for it, though others wanted more sweetness in the cookie part itself. The dough didn’t spread at all when baking though, so instead of leaving them in scoops (after the first batch) I flattend them out before baking.

NOM!

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2013 in Tea & Beverages, Treats

 

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Tea: Crème de menthe Pu’erh

The other day I popped into David’s teas, looking for two teas in particular.  I’d been wanting to have a few more white teas to choose from (The only one I had up until then was Buttercream which I wasn’t a huge fan of).  I went in looking for Whisky White and Pom Power, but unfortunately I didn’t love the Whisky White (by scent) and they were all sold out of Pom Power (online as well apparently!) so I had to look at others…. One of the ones I picked up was a Pu’erh tea.

Pu’erh tea is officially a green tea – but it’s a variety that is fermented or semi-fermented aged tea.  It’s sometimes called “dark tea” to differentiate it from black tea (which it resembles) and green tea (which is what it technically is). Like wine, the tea is aged, though like wine, aging does not guarantee success.  It is available in loose leaf form, or in a pressed ‘brick’.  Some are ‘raw’ (darkened through exposure to the elements) and some are ‘rippened’ (fermented).

Pu’erh tea is supposed to reduce blood cholesterol, is believed to help after heavy alcohol consumption, and according to Wikipedia is sold widely as a tea to help with weight loss though there is little evidence to that claim.

Ok, so enough about Pu’erh tea itself, and about the tea I bought!

I really liked the scent of the Crème de menthe tea, which the sales clerk recommended based on my comment about really liking mints and sweet teas.  This is a cooked ‘rippened’ tea, with the addition of cinnamon, peppermint, licorice root, and vanilla.

Dry Pu'erh Creme de Menthe tea from David's Tea

The tea is supposed to be good for many, many infusions, and I’ve done four so far, all with remarkably similar results.  First off, the liqueur is incredibly dark – even with a very short steeping time.  The flavour is really well-balanced; someone who I shared the first and second infusion with described it as “smooth”.  There is a mint flavour, definitely a creamy kind of flavour (rather than a tangy mint), and then something dark, earthy, and almost nutty.  I am guessing that it’s the vanilla and licorice along with the tea itself, since the shop clerk said that Pu’erh tea is very ‘earthy’.  The bonus – despite being a green tea, I would not have thought it was green at all.  There was none of the bitterness. dryness or grassy flavour that I usually associated with green teas. The third and fourth infusions were not noticeably different in flavour or colour.  I’m curious to see how many infusions I can get out of the tea!

So, I took a look for other reviews of this tea, and they seem to be pretty mixed.  On Steepster, there are posts from people who loved the tea, and those who HATED it.  The good reviews seem to mostly be from those who really like mint, while the negative reviews are mostly from people who didn’t like the fragrance once it’s steeped, or didn’t like the intensity of the tea.

First and second infusion, with about a 2-3 minute steep

Other teas I picked up the other day (which I’m sure I’ll review soon!):

  • Organic North African Mint: Green tea with peppermint (I’m hoping this will be a good replacement for my Silk Road Casablanca tea from Victoria)
  • Vanilla Oolong
  • Quangzhou Milk Oolong (which I mostly got because I read a few good reviews about it on Twitter!)
  • Cherry Potion: White tea with cherries

I can’t wait to try them all!

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in South-East Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Raspberry mint iced green tea

A while back I was thinking about making my own raspberry mint tea, and I finally got around to it a while ago. (Ok.. a long while ago – this is a scheduled post!)

I started off with just water, frozen raspberries from our neighbour’s garden, and mint leaves from our backyard.  Last year we planted a few different mint plants, and didn’t end up doing anything with them. We didn’t expect them to come back, but they did with vigor!  Unfortunately since we didn’t expect them to come back, we didn’t keep the little labels – so I don’t know what kind of mint we have!

lovely colours!

I heated it up, added some Splenda to cut the tartness of the raspberries, and muddled the mint and broke up the raspberries. The colour was fantastically bright, and it was interesting how the raspberry fruit became really pale as the juice went from the berries into the tea.

Finally I made up some green tea (‘matcha’ from the Asian grocery near my house), and poured the raspberry-mint ‘tea’ through the same strainer to create the raspberry mint green tea.  I decided to go with it iced instead of hot so it went in the fridge for a few hours, and done!

Done!

Overall, it was… ok.  I think it would have been much better with black tea instead of green tea – mostly because the green tea taste really was strong, and the mint taste not noticeable enough.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in South-West Calgary, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Raspberry Mist

Raspberry Mist is another tea I received as a gift. I’m not sure where my friend got it, which is kind of disappointing.  I did a search for it online, and went to the website of the shop I thought it might have come from, but  no luck!

Raspberry Mist tea

Dry, the tea doesn’t really have much scent – there’s a slight berry scent, but it’s all rather underwhelming.  It’s rather pretty though, with little chunks of dried raspberrry.  Steeped, it smells fruity, and there’s another scent which kind of reminds me of Christmas.  Without being able to look up the ingredients, I would guess that there is mint in this tea as well.

It’s a very pleasant tea – if I had any idea where to get more, I might!

Raspberry Mist tea

In the meantime though, I might try this recipe for Raspberry Mint Tea from $5 Dinners with mint from our garden and raspberries from our freezer (courtesy of our neighbour’s garden).

Have you seen Raspberry Mist tea anywhere?  Fill me in in the comments below!

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Rooibos Chocolate Mint

Chocolate Mint Rooibos

I’ve been enjoying a lot of Rooibos teas lately – lots of flavours are out there, and since they have no caffeine, I don’t worry about drinking them late in the day.  One I picked up from my favorite tea shop in Banff is Rooibos Chocolate Mint.  Yep, I love all things chocolate, and this one is no exception.  The scent of the tea dry is amazing – a great blend of tea, chocolate, and mint.  Steeped, the tea definitly has a chocolate scent – without being overwhelmingly “chocolate”.  The flavor, once steeped is similar; the flavors of tea, chocolate, and mint all blend together really well.  I  add a pinch of sweetener, which makes it nicely sweet – but you can totally drink it plain as well.

Yummy chocolate mint tea!

I wasn’t able to find any non-commercial blogs about this tea – so if you’ve given it a try, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Banff Tea Co. on Urbanspoon

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Out of town - Alberta, Tea & Beverages

 

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