Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More tea!

Guess what arrived in the mail today-- more tea samples! And the timing couldn't be better-- the last couple of days have been overcast and rainy, perfect weather for hot tea! These are from SerendipiTea and promise to be really yummy. SerendipiTea has a HUGE selection of teas and a focus on fair trade teas. Plus they have a large assortment of Bio Dynamic and Organic teas. I asked them to send me an assortment of their teas that they are proudest of and feel represent the brand best. They sent: Bolivian Black Tea, Namaste (Indian Black Breakfast Blend), Makaibari Green Darjeeling, Puthjarjhora Estate Indian Green (Dooars), Earl Grey, Buccaneer (Coconut, Chocolate, Vanilla, Rooibos, Black Tea), Razzle Dazzle 'Em (Raspberry & Indian Green), What a Pear! (Green Tea & Pear), Zzzz (Chamomile & Lavender Tisane) and Red Oz (Lemon Myrtle & Rooibos Tisane). Wow. Thats a lot of tea.

I immediately put on a pot of the Buccaneer tea. Yum! The toasted coconut adds a subtle richness without overpowering the tea flavor. I like the balance of the rooibos and the black tea together. Rooibos on its own hasn't been appealing to me lately, but it accents the black tea nicely. Overall a very nice tea, perfect for a dreary day.

ETA: just tried the What a Pear! pear flavored green tea. Its a little weird. Ok, so I don't normally like pear flavored things and its very peary. Its not bad, just not me. Two down, 8 more to go!

Update: I'm now sipping a mug of Namaste- described as a Single Estate Indian Black Tea Breakfast Blend. I like it. Its very smooth without the bitterness that I sometimes find in poorer quality black teas, even the second cup w/ the same leaves. I added some sugar but no milk. I may try it with milk in the future, though, as sometimes I like my black tea prepared that way. There aren't any exciting flavors in this one, its just a good black tea. Mmmmm

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Being newly married and basically living off of Chris's student loans and the little bit that I bring in from The Unique Sheep, I've been trying to pinch pennies lately. I can't complain because I really haven't had to sacrifice much. The only thing I've missed has been shopping at craft stores. But yesterday I had an excuse to go to the fabric store to get lining for a knit bag I've been working on (more about that later).

But first I had to find one. There are lots of things I love about living in a small town like Carrboro. I love that most of the restaurants support local farmers. I love that I can ride a scooter almost anywhere I need to go in town. Sometimes I also love that there are no chain stores. But sometimes I just need an AC Moore or JoAnns. I'm just now starting to explore the area outside of our little town on my own (usually Chris drives) and I am very proud of myself for actually finding the JoAnns out in Durham and not getting in a wreck in the terrible Chapel Hill traffic on the way.

Anyway, I spent a pleasant hour or so stroking fabric and looking through racks of buttons. Look at these cute little bug buttons I found. They are perfect for the little crochet baby shoes I made a week or so ago.

I also found this silicone baking tray for muffins or cupcakes. I bought it to make pumpkin spice muffins, one of my favorite fall treats. But since its not quite fall yet I found another use for them-- soap molds! Craft stores sell brittle, flimsy plastic molds that they say are for soap but really they are only appropriate for melt-and-pour soap. They just don't work if you are making soap from scratch. But flexible silicone molds are perfect. Some places sell them for soap making but they can be kind of expensive, so I love it when I can find silicone baking molds that will work for soap.

Yesterday I also got some tea in the mail that I ordered from an Etsy shop. I had asked them to send me samples of some of their best blends for me to test out as options for some of the Unique Sheep clubs. I haven't made up my mind about them yet. The 4 blends, starting at the top and going clockwise, are Chocolate Mint Rooibos, Organic Herbal Ginger, Raspberry Rooibos, and Organic Sencha Rose. The Rose one is the prettiest with the green tea leaves and the dried rose petals, but I was disappointed by how many large sticks were included in the blend. To me, that shows that a poor quality green tea was used as the base of the blend. The rose flavor was a little too sweet, but admittedly I'm not usually a big fan of rose scented or flavored things, so its not fair for me to judge. I've also tried the Ginger herb tea and liked it much better. The lemongrass in it gives a lot of yummy flavor making it very refreshing. And they say that ginger is good for the digestive system and I have a sensitive stomach, so it might be just the thing for me. I haven't tried the Rooibos teas yet. Lately I just haven't been in a Rooibos mood. I think, for me, Rooibos is better in the fall and winter. Once I've made up my mind about this tea purveyor I'll let you know.