It’s day 12! We’re half way through this Advent Calendar! Wow!
How goes the holiday rush? Have you finished your holiday shopping? We haven’t. Then again, we have been a little under the weather! Both hubby and I came down with a horrible cold. I’m glad that neither of our daughters caught it. Hubby had to take a few sick days, neither of us were feeling well enough to get up and go anywhere – much less face the crowds of a store filled with frenzied Christmas shoppers!
For today’s artistic inspiration, I’m going to show another piece that I created a few years ago. This is my holiday wreath. It was very easy to make. It almost feels a little “wrong” for me to say that I made it when I think that most of the work came from an artist who calls herself “Confections” on Etsy. She made this gorgeous “ragamuffin” style “yarn” that I used to wrap around a foam wreath shape that I bought from my local craft store. I’d wrap and wrap and then, every once in a while, I’d tie it off to enhance that ragamuffin look. Then I attached some glitter adorned holly leaves and big red buttons for holly berries, and added a big red bow to finish it off.
It was a fun project and really simple. I managed to finish it in a few hours and it’s a wreath that I proudly hang up every year. The colors in the ragamuffin yarn are so beautiful and were exactly what I was looking for for this type of project. I love it!
Speaking of love, today Teanzo sent me a tea I adore!
Organic Bergamot Earl Grey
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Teanzo 1856
Our highly aromatic version of this legendary American favorite Earl Grey tea is blended using organic tea giving this Bergamot Earl Grey Tea its depth of flavor. Bergamot Earl Grey tea is also delicious served over ice.
I was greeted with a bright, beautiful fragrance when I tore open the sampler pouch today! That amazing aroma of bergamot! It’s a little sweet, citrusy and there are notes of flower in the fragrance.
To brew this, I grabbed my Kati Tumbler (boy, my Kati is getting a work out with this advent calendar!) and poured the contents of the packet into the basket. Then I heated 12 ounces of water to boiling and let the tea steep for 3 minutes.
This is a good Earl Grey. I like that it’s an organic selection!
The flavor is bright and tangy. The bergamot flavor is strong but doesn’t overwhelm the black tea base which is bold. There are notes of malt and notes of caramel that mingle nicely with the energetic flavor of the Italian fruit.
I taste hints of flower in the distance, but don’t mistake this as my saying it tastes “perfume-y” because this doesn’t taste like that at all! It’s a strong, forward flavor but it hasn’t been overdone. A good quality bergamot oil was used to craft this blend because it doesn’t come off as soapy. It just tastes like a really smartly blended Earl Grey tea!
This is an Earl Grey tea I’d be happy to drink any day! I’m so glad that Teanzo included this in their advent calendar!
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Tea Mania
This Oolong originates from Doi Mae Salong and is also known as GABA Tea. This because of its high GABA. Oolong Black Pearls is a hand-picked and rolled Oolong # 12 which was oxidized 100%. Therefore, it’s a black tea too. But, the flavor isn’t bitter like some black tea. It’s more floral and honey-like. Quite comparable with a Darjeeling. The preparation is classic Oolong style: Rinse, first a short infusion, second infusion a bit longer, third infusion even longer, etc. Can also be infused cold as ice tea.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’m always excited to try teas from new-to-me companies, like this Oolong Black Pearls tea from Tea Mania. And what a delightful tea this is!
The tightly wound leaves look like a green Oolong (and like the picture above) but, they are much darker in color. I think that perhaps the website has the wrong photo linked for the tea … these leaves are much darker, reminiscent of a rich chocolate color. They are quite fragrant with lovely floral tones.
It is very flavorful … and I agree with the above description. The flavor is quite similar to a Darjeeling, but the body and texture is a bit thicker, more like an Oolong. There is no bitterness whatsoever, it is sweet … sweet like honey!
There are lovely floral notes to the flavor, but they are not as prolific as in a greener Oolong. This has more of a fruity note to it, reminiscent of a ripe, juicy apricot. For those who tend to shy away from the greener Oolong teas because of their strong floral essence, I think that you’ll find this Oolong to be more to your liking … it’s much more like fruit than it is like flower. There are still floral notes there, and I find them to be more pronounced if you slurp the cup to aerate the tea over the palate. I find these floral tones complement the fruit tones and they enhance the sweet honey notes as well.
There are subtle hints of earth to the flavor as well as slight woody notes. It’s really quite complex, with so many delicious layers of flavor to discover. A really wonderful Oolong – I’m so glad I got to try it – and it’s one I’m happy to recommend to all the Oolong enthusiasts out there!
Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope your day is happy and filled with all the things you love most: family, friends and of course TEA! (Actually, I don’t know if you love tea most, but, it’s one of the things I love most in the world, and since you’re sitting here, reading this with me, I have to think that maybe you at least ENJOY tea a little bit!)
Anyway, today’s shiny, bright green envie/box brought me this EXCLUSIVE tea from Della Terra Teas:
Sugar Plum Perfection
Leaf Type: Black
Where To Buy: Della Terra Teas
Note: this tea is one of three exclusive teas to this 12 Days of Christmas collection
Merry Christmas!!! Today is the big day! Now, open up this amazing sugar plum tea and sip away. You’ve earned it!
This black tea will bring more magic to this already magical day with the taste of sweet sugar plums and spice. Enjoy and relax!
A Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
I was so excited when I opened today’s little package from Della Terra Teas! I love Sugar Plums! Well, actually, I’ve never tried the traditional type of Sugar Plum. But, when I lived in Ridgefield (Washington), the little antique store in town sold some old time candy and during this time of year, they’d sell the Jelly Belly version of the Sugar Plum, and I loved those. Well, to be honest, I love just about anything Jelly Belly … but I digress.
After tasting this, I suspect that this Sugar Plum Perfection is a bit more like the traditional Sugar Plum rather than the Jelly Belly version … but, that’s alright, because I’m enjoying this! It’s a bit more spiced than it is a fruity tasting tea, but I do taste the notes of plum in there too … and I especially smell the plum when I lift my cup up to my lips to take a sip. That smell is quite plum-y (and of course, spice)! YUM!
The black tea is a fairly mellow tea here as it is not particularly prominent in the cup. I mean, it’s obviously there, and I can taste it, but, it’s not a strong, distinct flavor. I find that the tea notes develop on the palate a little as I continue to sip … but the spice and the fruit notes are the strongest flavors of this cup. Normally, this would give me cause to take issue with the tea, but, this tastes so yummy that I find it difficult to complain about anything. I like this a lot.
The spices (the most noteable of which is cinnamon) are pleasant and warming. The plum flavor is sweet, and there is additional sweetness in this from little sparkly sugar crystals that have been added to the blend. I also taste a floral note to this, and I find this to be quite appealing if for no other reason than it adds an interesting dimension to the overall cup.
What a perfect way to end this wonderful countdown to Christmas – the Della Terra Teas way!