Tea Bird Company Review

Good afternoon- and here is an adorable logo for you to “awh” at! 
It’s Monday and, as a result, I have been drinking plenty of tea! I was able to sample all of these specific ones over the last couple of weeks but my brew today prompted me to post about them. The Tea Bird Company was kind enough to send me their sample pack for review and this is what it looks like;
 
At first glance, I love the simplistic branding and the titles of the various blends, as well as the fact that each includes its own brewing instructions printed directly on the packaging. Very handy, especially if you are new to the tea scene.
I tried the Lord Earl In The Study With An Infuser (such a fantastic name) first; 
Black tea
Each blend arrived wrapped in this little disposable teabag, which is what floats the boat for some but it is not my idea of a good steep. With the average consumer, as well as when it comes to convenience, loose leaf is not exactly the most popular option. 
I prefer loose leaf and was just the littlest bit sad at first but, lo and behold, the teabags unwrap and easily open! Hurray!
Once I opened the small sachet of joy, the tea leaves looked like this out of the bag; 
For steeping, I have a nice infuser pot but prefer to use this little guy for smaller portions; 
Isn’t that adorable?! It’s a single tea cup infuser and it is incredibly handy, on top of being super cute. The little thing flips upside down while steeping and his perch there covers the top of your teacup so as to keep your beverage warm. In a house where it is often the case that I have left my drink sit for too long due to the kids, it is quite nice to be able to still partake in a nice cup of hot tea, thanks to my bitty bird buddie. I bought this through Pampered Chef and am told that it is being discontinued as of August 31st, which is a big bummer, so I will have to grab a couple more. If you want one for yourself, you can also support my lovely friend, Sara, with a purchase and will find this non-feathered friend here.
This is how it works and how the tea looks while just starting to steep; 
The black tea was absolutely delicious. I got a kick out of using my tea bird to make Tea Bird but I’m a big dork like that. Anyway! The taste of this is standard in the sense that it is a similar flavour to what is considered when one thinks of “tea” but it was much cleaner to me. I find the big two name brands either taste a bit like dirt or a lot like chemicals, which is not at all surprising when you do some research upon the ingredients. This provides none of that and all of the relaxing goodness that is achieved from the best cup of, to quote Jean Luc here, “Tea. Earl Grey, hot”. 
Sourced from; http://startrekconfessions.tumblr.com/post/14356715986
To transition from balls of steel, The Captain, to Magnolia Steel now; this is the next kind I tried!
Green tea
Here is an up-close and personal shot! 

Now, I have reviewed my share of green teas, some of which you can read about here, and I drink a lot of them. At least three times a day (when not pregnant), I will have a cup and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Although it is slightly more earthy than I prefer for regular, all temperature consumption, it was also a bit more flavourful than a standard green and a hint of berries on the tongue left me going back for another sip. The name, I thought, was quite cute and I am wondering if it was a play on Steel Magnolias. If not, it prompted me to make a sweet tea out of this all the same because it’s the house wine of the south, don’t ya know? I used a scaled down version of a recipe from Southern Living, which can be found via this link. 

Amazing- and it will also now be part of our regular summer routine.

I have NO idea where the title for this next one came from; a song, a prayer said by the guys on the road, a poem…who knows? That is what I enjoy about Tea Bird; all of their items are compelling, be it due to the title or taste. Every indulgence was an intriguing encounter and I give them a lot of credit for that.
In previous reviews, I have stated how I was never a big fan of Oolong tea and have since reached the conclusion that I was mental. I have come to greatly enjoy the experience and have never found an Oolong that is the same as any other that I have come across. Trucker’s Prayer was fantastically fruity, with notes of apricots seeming to be the prominent flavour, and there was very little astringency to the cup. I just loved this tea, from scent, to sip, to finish.
Now, to calm down, I’ll talk about Calm Down, their herbal offering; 
A very decidedly minty tea that smells absolutely divine, this one reminds me a lot of chamomile blends with the exception of it not tasting like the flower that bears the name. Odd, I know. This is not a tea that I would, personally, drink on a daily basis but one that is perfect while dealing with a cold or flu. I enjoy lemongrass and the soothing mint during such times but, once in a while, it is a nice one to have while curled up with a novel as well. Even the thought is calming.
If you want to check out Tea Bird for yourself, please find all contact details below. It’s worth perusing the site, simply for the clever marketing and their laid back, fun approach to business. Definitely a company that enjoys what they do- which is why they are so good at it, I suppose! 

I will leave you with my wishes that you have an excellent day, as well as the immortal words from Monty Python; 

Make tea, not war.

Kiss Me Organics Matcha Review

I have talked before about Matcha and I keep bringing it up, I suppose because I love the stuff. I am a weirdo, however, and enjoy things like brussel sprouts, broccoli, spinach and kale. I like the earthly, leafy flavours and was probably a rabbit in a past life.

Most people do not feel the same way about veggies and I am seeing an increasing trend among friends, or their children, who are steering away from greens. Now, that is a completely different blog post in itself and I hate that idea,  but nonetheless I may be alone in enjoying the matcha flavour. I know that is the case in our household, as I have introduced my husband to it and he nearly gagged when trying to drink the tea previously- and he’s one who will eat greens without fuss! He tried it as a result of the energy boost provided though and that benefit alone outweighs the taste for him. Dr. Oz recently did a show that featured a segment on matcha, which you can view here, and discusses the fantastic health benefits of using this product.
matcha
With the Kiss Me Organics Matcha, you’re receiving something that is USDA certified organic and they test their leaves in the lab to make certain that their tea is of the highest quality. This is important to me because it means that pesticides, chemical-laden fertilizers and herbicides have not been used on the plants, on top of the company taking steps to make certain that the tea was not exposed to unsafe toxins as a result of the geographical location.

With matcha tea you’re getting about 30mg of caffeine per cup, an excellent source of amino acids, 1/2 tsp is equal to 8-10 cups of regular tea where antioxidants are concerned and it improves focus, as well as memory. Very important point here for any other Mamas on the reader list; it also blocks fat from entering your cells! Oh yeah baby! I wouldn’t care if it tasted like gym socks, which thankfully it does not, I would be drinking it daily.

In all seriousness though, for me personally, I enjoy the calming ceremony of whisking matcha green tea and sipping from my ceremonial bowl. I’m a nerd, I know. This particular brand is not one that I would drink directly like that, however, as it tastes a bit muddy to me and I do not find it to be of the same vibrant, gorgeous green colour that ideal matcha is. The straight drink is not something I would recommend for this one but it works out alright as I do not always have time for that anways. I simply wish to include it in my diet, regardless of the rush that I am in. For that purpose, or so that my husband can enjoy the benefits without the flavour that he does not enjoy, we make a matcha smoothie. The value provided from Kiss Me Organics is excellent for the smoothies, as you can still gain the benefits from green tea powder but don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to include it in a wide variety of recipes.

In a smoothie, you can include nearly anything you would like, with any mix you so choose. I typically add in organic soy or almond milk, a tsp of matcha, some frozen berries, 1/3 of a cup of North Coast Naturals fibre and half of a banana. I say only half because my one year old daughter eats the other and I toss the remaining end in to use it up. Here is the result;

matcha

With Kiss Me Organics, you can find a multitude of uses for the matcha green tea powder with their recipe booklet, like matcha rice or lattes, and the product itself is of Certified Organic quality. It’s absolutely delicious in a smoothie and, if the mood suits, I add in some coconut oil for the additional health benefits.

How do you fit healthy choices into your busy lifestyle?

 
 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Frisky Zebras Shiraz Review

No, no, the title isn’t because I’ve gone crazy- That’s the name of the wine I’m currently drinking, Frisky Zebras, and I have to say it’s a pretty excellent buy!
I was initially attracted to the colourful label, the silly name and the various stickers exclaiming it’s eco-friendly approach and Free Trade practices. The makers of Frisky Zebras, an enterprise called United Nations of Wine, is a certified “CarbonNeutral” company so they give back more than what they take from the earth. Being decorated in these types of disclaimers and bedecked with stickers regarding awards, I was definitely intrigued. After these types of investments have been made by the business, I figured the Frisky Zebras Shiraz was going to be an expensive experiment but what really sold me on their brand was the price; $8.75! I actually checked the fine print on the LCBO price tag, to compare and make certain that I was holding the bottle to match, but that’s the actual cost. Needless to say, I excitedly headed straight for the cash with the Shiraz in hand and then high-tailed it out of there like I stole something!
After tucking my children in (for the billionth time) this evening and pouring myself a glass, I discovered fruity notes on the nose, coupled with coffee and an anise-like aroma. Loving black licorice, lattes and wine, it was quite like having a glass of all of my favourite things and I was a regular Julie Andrews for a minute, going all Sound of Music soundtrack over this and the prospect of no children being awake for the next three hours. That also happens to be one of my favourite things.
I was definitely correct with the fruity aspect, as the wine tastes of cherries and plums, then a chocolatey sweetness that’s amped a bit with a slight pepper. It’s a medium-bodied red, which you might think wouldn’t be the case due to it’s 14% alcohol content, with a smooth finish that’s not too long but not short enough to disappoint a gal either!
I would recommend the Frisky Zebras Shiraz for anyone who prefers a sweeter wine, without prominent and lingering tannins.
If you end up trying the wine and dislike it, please be sure to check out the rest of their line and see if there may be something that peaks your interest. This company does charity work, as well as being eco-friendly and worth spending your money on. If you’re going to enjoy wine, you may as well save the planet while you’re gripping and sipping.
If you like it, great! I have introduced you to something frisky and enjoyable that isn’t my husband. Some days, I would happily trade one for the other 😉

Cheers!