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.

I Met My Matcha

I was very excited to receive some complimentary Steeped Tea from my friend Erin,  which came in a gorgeous, blue package that I quickly tore open. I have a love for matcha tea due to its health benefits but am always on the hunt for a more tasty option. The Steeped Tea company offers a wide variety of flavours, as well as an interesting #meetyourmatcha challenge and corresponding bundle. How awesome is this kit?!
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I was most definitely up for the #meetyourmatcha challenge, due to my fairly recent discovery of this fantastic dietary option. The health benefits of matcha tea area numerous, some of which include the massive antioxidant punch (137 times more than standard green tea), disease prevention, lowering cholesterol, natural detoxification, age-fighting, it boosts metabolism and there are a slew of excellent vitamins, amino acids and minerals in the tea as well. When standard tea is made, we only get the nutrients that come out in the steeping process but, in order to reap the full benefits of green tea, we would actually have to consume the entire leaf. That would be pretty gross, chomping on a soggy tea leaf, but matcha tea powder provides us with that option, sans the cow-like chewing. I’m a big fan of the cancer-fighting catechins (a class of antioxidant) and matcha tea, according to Brunswick Labs, actually has the highest concentration of antioxidants than any other “superfood” out there today. Even if I didn’t enjoy the tea, I would still drink it after that!
When I opened this particular box, I found a cute measuring spoon and four different blends of matcha green tea powder inside; melon ball, sweet strawberry, original and pineapple.
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I was pleasantly surprised by this beautiful bundle, as it’s full of some interesting flavour combinations and ideas for your own matcha recipes on this great reference card;

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As I have to whisk the tea, I decided to make it in a bowl and you typically add 1/2 of a teaspoon to a full teaspoon of the powder, depending on your taste. After a year of experience with this powdered beverage, I typically prefer the thinner option because it is not chalky on the palate.
This is the bamboo whisk that I use to whip up all of my concoctions, along with the stand it sits upon. Cute, isn’t it?!
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See how beautifully green it is? Compared to other teas like this, it is far more vibrant than the ones I have come across previously- this means that they used quality leaves and it hasn’t been blended with too many stalks or garbage-y bits.
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Now, when you start out on your own matcha tea experience it is absolutely imperative that you first mix the powder with only a bit of water. You make a paste, then add the rest of your water, or you’re going to end up with a very clumpy and unpleasant tea. Most people don’t know this so matcha gets a bad name.

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You whisk everything in a zig-zag motion and are doing well if you get quite a few bubbles. I took the below picture after the froth had dissipated a bit but it only takes about 15 seconds or so to get an ideal amount of foam to it. If you do things properly, you’ll end up with a few more bubbles than this.
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If you are not a fan of green tea, the original kind probably is not the beverage for you. It’s exceptionally earthy and tastes of vegetation. It is not astringent and reminds me a bit of alfalfa sprouts, kale or similar tastes. The sweet pea-like finish makes one go back for more and I find this beverage to be incredibly soothing but my husband, on the other hand, hates the stuff.
Morning matcha in my moccasins;
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For the past couple of weeks now, Steeped Tea has been my go-to option as part of my morning routine and I’ve found myself partial to the melonball option, personally. It tastes like a watery honeydew, or at least I think so, and doesn’t leave you with a cloyingly sweet or fake taste in your mouth. It does more for me than espresso and I find that an evening cup helps to prevent me from crashing right after dinner. It saves from exhaustion and saved my poor family members from an exhausted me, which can be rather unpleasant if I’ve got a list of chores to knock off and am fighting the Sand Man. An average serving of matcha tea, according to Matcha Source, contains around 35mg of caffeine but studies have shown that the natural combination of everything else that the beverage offers actually causes the energy jolt, with none of the typical caffeine jitters that one might experience from coffee. This also means that, much to my enjoyment, I don’t have the post-coffee crash either.
The pricing per serving comes out to less than buying coffee or tea for the day and far more healthy for you, as an added perk.
I’m a big fan of the versatility and, to name a couple of things you can do with this as an ingredient, it can be added to puddings, rice dishes, icing, muffins, curries, salad dressing, as part of cake (although I’m not partial to that and I matchafailed on that one), any sort of smoothie recipe you would like, as a crust on meat, to soups and mixed in with cream cheese. Here were a few more of my #meetyourmatcha endeavors;
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If you’re not a huge fan of the taste, one of the best ways to sneak matcha tea into your diet would be to include it in eggs because the taste is masked quite well. I’m  not a fan of green eggs as a visual so I didn’t include anything in liquid form. For my quiche, pictured above, I tossed some in with the cheese prior to blending everything into my egg mixture. I found it paired really well as part of a spinach dish, sharing similar tastes, so we actually didn’t notice it a great deal as part of this dinner and the cheese absorbed all of the matcha goodness.
I was actually absolutely thrilled with this lunch;
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I mixed a serving of matcha into my avocado for atop of my goat cheese and found that this sandwich, on rye, quickly became a hit. I’ve actually eaten one of these tasty, little morsels for lunch every day this week! #newfave
The website has a wide variety of recipes for cooking and other uses, such as matcha smoothies like this one, although I am partial to all of them in liquid form. I also like making mine with more than just berries and have found that peaches pair incredibly well with this flavoured stuff, especially if you’re using any of the melon matchas as part of your drink. My husband, however, likes his blended with vanilla icecream but, thankfully for him,drinking this tea can also more than double the body’s own rate of thermogenesis (fat-burning) so he can afford this pleasant beverage. The pineapple one is my husband’s pick, appealing to his sweet tooth, and this is actually the only type of matcha he will drink. As such, I’m a customer for life! I found the strawberry one to be most pleasing where scent was concerned but, with icecream, anything goes!
matcha smoothie
And, on the subject of green tea sexy, why don’t we go typical mojito but just crush a bit of the matcha powder along with the lime and mint? Hands down (and bottoms up), it’s got my vote!
matcha cocktail
I’ve seen the #meetyourmatcha challenge done so many ways, with suggestions made about face masks or using matcha in massage oil. Although that’s all well and good for some, I definitely prefer to gain all of the benefits of ingesting this tea and, as a matter of taste, I really do enjoy keeping it simple and drinking it as part of a daily ritual. If you want to go slightly more fancy than a standard cup of tea, you could always sweeten it with some honey, froth some milk and make it a latte. The tea-world is your oyster!
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Here is Erin’s contact info, or visit her Facebook page by clicking here, as I know you’re now ready to #meetyourmatcha!
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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.