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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. ūüôā

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

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

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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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Tea: Casablanca Orange

I had been trying out mixing iced Casablanca tea (from Silk Road) with different drinks, and this concoction came out of realizing I only had a small amount of iced Casablanca left, along with less than a glass of orange juice left in the fridge too.

My first thought was to mix the two together… after all, I’d enjoyed the virgin tea mojito¬† a day or two earlier.¬† Then I realized the flavors I would be mixing – mint and orange.¬† For anyone who has brushed his or her teeth, and then had a glass of orange juice, this is NOT a nice combination.¬† I gave it a try anyways, and was pleasantly surprised.

Mixing 2 parts tea with one part orange juice, the result was more like drinking a nectarine than orange juice, mint tea, or green tea at all.¬† It was both fruity and minty – but the flavors didn’t compete at all.

Iced Orange Mint Green tea

Turns out that orange mint tea isn’t that unusual at all.¬† Here’s a recipe I found on about.com in their Southern Food section.

Orange Mint tea

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tea bags
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preparation:

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil; remove from heat. Add tea bags, mint leaves, and sugar; let stand 10 minutes. Remove tea bags. Transfer to a large pitcher; stir in orange juice and lemon juice. chill thoroughly before serving.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.  

Blogger A Bird and a Bean also has a recipe for Orange Mint Green tea – and for a more adult version, check out Joy the Baker’s Sweet Tea Bourbon cocktails.¬† (Can’t¬† you just smell the freshly cut grass and feel the sunshine on your skin?)

Casablanca is definitely moving up my ‘must buy again’ list, if for nothing else but it’s versatility!

Do you have any suggestions about what I can blog about in the upcoming summer months?  Let me know in the comment below!

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2011 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea mojito

The virgin Tea Mojito

When picking up Casablanca  at Silk Road in Victoria, the clerk who processed my purchase suggested trying it in a mojito Рwell the other day I tried making up a virgin-style mojito with it instead.

The recipe:

  • Casablanca tea, brewed a bit strong, for 2 minutes with almost boiling water. ¬†Left to cool, and refrigerated overnight (I never have ice in the house..)
  • A bit of sugar to sweeten
  • 2/3 glass of the chilled tea, topped up by 1/3 of tangerine-lime sugar-free soda. ¬†(This is the brand I get from Safeway, a plain lime soda or lemon-lime like Sprite would likely work too)

The result… the finished drink is lovely – though I think a bit of ice would have helped! ¬†The drink is lightly mint, lightly lime… but with very little green tea flavor (which works fine for me!) I think it would be extra-special with some muddled mint leaves just like a real mojito, garnished with a wedge of lime.

Of course, if this virgin version doesn’t work for you, you could try adding a splash of rum as well. ¬†Really nicely paired with this was a few Peak Freans Lime Coconut cookies. ¬†ūüôā

The real mojito recipe (serves 4, from the Photo Collection blog):

  • Ice
  • 6 ounces light rum
  • 12 mint sprigs, muddled
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • Club soda
  • Lime slices
I think this would work fine with a regular mint tea as well Рif you give it a try, let me know how  you like it in the comments below!
 
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Posted by on June 28, 2011 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Herbal Chai

Silk Road's Herbal Chai tea

Doesn’t this herbal chai from Silk Road¬†look fantastic? ¬†Yes, I know, I know.. ANOTHER Silk Road tea – wonderful for me, not so good for anyone who isn’t planning a trip to Victoria… ¬†but, I’m sure there are other local sources of something that looks, smells, and tastes as good as this one.

This tea is described as “a zippy, sweetly spicy & warming infusion” and contains¬†ginger root, cinnamon bark, anise seed, cardamom, and allspice. ¬†The tea looks gorgeous – full of big chunks of lovely things, and it smells spicy and wonderful, with a slight medicinal scent which caught me a bit off guard.

Silk Road's Herbal Chai tea

Brewed, the tea is very pale in colour, almost to the point of wanting to add more tea – but don’t – it’s just fine with the regular amount of tea! ¬†I ‘dressed’ it with white sugar (I always use white sugar in chai.. I don’t know why…) and 2% milk. ¬†YUM! ¬†This is like the tea version of cinnamon hot chocolate. ¬†It’s warming, soothing, and has just a generous zing to it to remind you that it’s a chai!

Herbal Chai with sugar and milk

The Silk Road website has a recipe for Chai Chocolate Truffles, and in their blog there’s a recipe for Chai French Toast¬†featuring Chai tea syrup. ¬†(Pst.. Yes, I know saying “Chai tea” is redundant… I’m just telling you what they call it.. ūüėČ )

Want another recipe using Herbal Chai?  How about one for a chai-spiced apple cider for the chilly months from Vancouver blogger The Bounty Hunter?

Do you have a favorite chai blend?  Share it in the comments below!

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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Imperial Green Tea Mandarins

So here’s a post that I’m writing and will use the ‘publish later’ feature of WordPress to publish!

While in Victoria, BC not too long ago, I mentioned that I stopped in Silk Road, a cute shop where I picked up some tea for myself, and one tea to give as a gift to my best tea-loving friend! ¬†I thought I’d share the ‘before’ with you, and hopefully after I’ve given the tea as a gift, Connie can do her own review about how the tea tastes for Happy Sushi Belly¬†too!

Tea stuffed mandarin oranges!

So these are Imperial Green Tea Mandarins – the Silk Road website describes them as: “Green Pu-erh tea is placed inside of a hollowed out mandarin orange. Next, the tea-stuffed mandarin is exposed to intense heat for a short period, so that the mandarin peel is completely dried and lightly charred. This unique drying process also causes the mandarin peel to impart a delightful, delicate flavour into the tea leaves”. ¬†

Here’s hoping that Connie likes the tea!

I couldn’t find any other bloggers who have had the chance to review this tea, so if you’ve had the opportunity to try this one (or the Imperial Black Tea Mandarin, or the¬†Imperial White Tea Mandarin which Silk Road also carries) please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Casablanca

Silk Road's Casablanca tea

The scent of Casablanca tea from Silk Road ¬†is a green tea with spearmint leaves, described as “a taste sensation of sweet spearmint and intense green tea”.¬† The ingredients are Chinese green tea and spearmint leaves, and it smells sweet and minty when dry.¬†¬† I picked this tea up while in Victoria, at the Silk Road tea shop I reviewed earlier.

When hot and plain (I always end up calling this “undressed”…), this tea was good – the spearmint is the most dominant flavor, but the slight bitterness of the green tea follows the minty taste.¬† The green tea bitterness isn’t too strong though (coming from someone who isn’t really fond of green teas usually).¬† I added some sweetener, which improved it a bit.¬† I also only steeped it for 2 minutes, to try to avoid some of that bitterness that can come from over-steeping.

Iced and sweetened though – this tea is awesome!¬† The mint flavor and green tea flavor really seem to lend themselves well to being chilled, and the sweetener cuts the bitter flavor well.¬† The sales clerk at Silk Road suggested using Casablanca for the base of a mojito too – which sounds like an awesome hot-weather drink… I have some Casablanca sitting in my fridge right now waiting for me!

I’ll have some photos of the steeped tea soon… in an upcoming post!

The author of It’s A Smashing Life loves Casablanca tea – and has two recipes to share using the tea – one a lemonade, and the second an ‘adult’ lemonade using raspberry wine!

I wouldn’t have expected the green tea mixed with spearmint to be so good; what unexpected combinations do you like in your tea?¬† Let us know in the comments below!

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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Velvet Potion

Silk Road's Velvet Potion tea

With such a fantastic name, I had been expecting a lot more out of this tea. ¬†From the Silk Road tea shop in Victoria, BC, this tea is described as “luscious chocolate mingles with alluring notes of vanilla, hints of black spice and mellow black tea”. ¬†The ingredients include black tea, raw cacao, vanilla beans, along with spices. ¬†This was a pleasant tea, there’s certainly nothing wrong with it, and it smells nice – but the chocolate flavor is very weak compared to some of the other chocolate teas that I’ve had the chance to try lately. ¬†The tea is mild, with a gentle chocolate flavor along with the flavor of black tea. ¬†I didn’t specifically pick out the taste of vanilla or other spices, though so often chocolate includes vanilla, so it’s not surprising that I might miss picking it out.

Velvet Potion

So, I wasn’t too impressed with Velvet Potion (except for the name!) but I went looking for other bloggers that might feel differently. ¬†Alison posted in her Hospitality Haven blog that Velvet Potion is one of her favorites, and she used it to make some delicious-looking muffins (and included the recipe). ¬†That might be an interesting way to use the tea, though the Silk Road website also has some recipes to try – including tea-infused spirits, a drink called Velvet Cream Potion using the tea and egg nog (which sounds awesome – I’ll have to remeber to try it next winter when egg nog is available again!). ¬†Marianne also purchased Velvet Potion and blogged about it in French Fries to Flax Seeds. ¬†Heed the Hedonistalso writes about Velvet Potion along with a few other teas from a tea tasting.

Velvet Potion

This tea has such a great name – what’s your favorite tea that has an awesome name to match? ¬†Let us know in the comments below!

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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Angelwater

One tea I love from the Banff Tea Company is the Lavender Mint tea (soothing and extra-good with just a little drizzle of honey) – which is so lightweight and large in size that we’ve nicknamed it “fluffy tea”. ¬†While at Silk Road tea shop in Victoria, BC, ¬†a sales clerk ¬†pointed us in the direction of something similar – a recommended, very popular tea. ¬†The tea is called Angelwater and it is described as a “tea of serenity” with “a subtle, sweet and mellow” flavor. ¬†It includes spearmint leaves, lavender blossoms, rose petals, elder flowers and red clover.

Angelwater tea from Silk Road

Dry, it smells absolutely divine – and it looks incredible! ¬†It just looks so incredibly PRETTY. ¬†(And who doesn’t like the pretty?!) ¬† It’s very similar to the Lavender Mint when brewed, but a bit more complex. ¬†It was quite minty, with the lavender/floral taste to follow. I preferred it with a bit of sweetener than without, and thought that it was very good, though I won’t be giving up the Lavender Mint tea instead!

Angelwater tea from Silk Road

Another blogger loves Angelwater too – read Luv In The Mommyhood, where the writer compares the tea to a ‘mommy drug’, or read Lauren’s comment on the Boss Of You blog about how Angelwater is the tea-of-choice at her office.

Angelwater tea from Silk Road

Angelwater tea from Silk Road

Angelwater is such a PRETTY tea – what is the prettiest, most girly, flirty, friendly-looking tea you’ve ever bought? ¬†Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re in Victoria, check out Silk Road
1624 Government St
Victoria, BC V8W 1Z3
Canada
Tel: 250 704 2688
Fax: 250 382 0001

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Posted by on June 8, 2011 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages

 

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Tea: Silk Road in Victoria, BC

Silk Road by Miss604 on Flickr

I recently visited Silk Road tea shop in Victoria, BC, and thought that I would share with you some of my impressions of the shop. ¬†The shop is downtown, near the Chinatown area, and from the outside looks clean and inviting. ¬†The company has a spa on one side (where you enter and pay for any purchases) with body/skin care products and aromatherapy. ¬†There are also spa services available (apparently downstairs, I wasn’t looking for it while I was there) but the other side of the store was what I was interested in – the tea shop!

When we entered the shop, on the spa side we were offered a sample of hot tea, while on the tea side they were offering iced tea to sample. ¬†There is a small bar area with a small menu of to-go teas to drink, a few displays of teapots, and other accessories, and then a wall full of shelves of tea. ¬†Each of the teas is stored in large jars, and there are small vials to smell the teas themselves – getting the teas is self-serve, choosing the tin size you want, filling it, and labeling it with the available labels. ¬†(When you check out, they also have steeping suggestion labels if you’re interested.)

Photo of the tea bar by Miss 604 on Flickr

I ‘sniffed’ a number of different teas, and although I felt in the mood for an Earl Grey, I ended up picking up a green tea instead (but not their Earl Grey Green), and a gift for a tea-loving friend, while my travel companion picked up FOUR different teas and a new strainer (which should work better for rooibos tea than the Tuffy strainer I blogged about earlier).

I was also super thirsty, but wanted an iced tea instead of a hot tea – they weren’t really set up for making iced teas other than the one they were sampling, so I got a small to-go cup of the sampling tea which was mixed with lemonade (yummy!). ¬†(I think it might have been Seamist, but I’m forgetful!)¬†There were a number of different tea-related recipes in the store, and their website has lots more as well – most are beverages, but the tea popsicles looked yummy too – maybe a great option for the upcoming summer? ¬†If you’re interested in trying out some of the recipes, you can find them on their website, or on the Silk Road blog.

The lines of tea tins by Miss 604 on Flickr

I didn’t end up taking ANY photos within Silk Road (I was really thirsty, my hands were full, and there were so many other places to visit!) so I’ve used three photos from Miss 604’s Flickr album – you can check out the original photo in her Flickr stream by clicking any of the photos, or visit her blog at Miss 604!

If you’re in Victoria you can visit¬†Silk Road¬†at:
1624 Government St
Victoria, BC  V8W 1Z3
Canada
Tel: 250 704 2688
Fax: 250 382 0001

In the meantime, Wanderlust and Words also visited Silk Road, Jacqueline¬†visited and wrote about Silk Road in Heed the Hedonist, and Rebecca (Miss 604)blogged about Silk Road as well with lots of great photos! ¬†More great photos are on Keira-Anne’s Vancouver Island blog too!

I’ll have reviews of some more of the teas from Silk Road soon – which teas would you want to try from there? ¬†Let me know in the comments below!

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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in Out of town - BC, Tea & Beverages

 

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