Posts Tagged ‘tea time’

Yay!

OK, so I’m really behind on my posts.  I’ve got a few posts hanging out in the draft section of my dashboard, just waiting for me to put the finishing touches on them.  But, I had to put this post ahead of the rest, because … IT’S TEA TIME!

???????????????????????????????I don’t know if the great minds at Knoshy actually read my blog.  I hope they do.  But, I’ve been mentioning in several box announcement posts about my desire for a tea time box.  They’ve finally given me my heart’s desire!  The theme for this month’s box is Tea Time!

So, the first thing that needs to be in a Tea Time box is tea, right?  And what better company to select a tea from for this box than Steven Smith Teamaker?  There’s a full box of Lord Bergamot (one of my very favorite Earl Grey teas – in the top three – of all time!) and even though they’re sachets – tea tastes better when it’s loose leaf! – I won’t ding ’em for going with the sachets.  I understand … I get it … not a lot of people know what to do with loose leaf tea.

They also included a package of Amsterdam Wafel cookies from Rip Van Wafels.  I’ve had these before, and they’re totally yum.  I’m glad they’re in this box.  There is also a package of my favorite shortbread cookie baker – Lark Fine Foods!  These are Sweet and Savory Olive cookies.  Interesting.

Finally, there’s a jar of You’re My Boy BLUE-berry Bourbon Jam from the Jam Stand.  This sounds like a seriously yummy jam … it would be spectacular on scones.  I might have to make some scones soon to try it out.

I’m thrilled with this month’s box!  Thank you, Knoshy!

greenblackchocolateLearn more about Green & Black’s here.

Buy Green & Black’s chocolate on Amazon.

Tea Suggestion:

Chocolate is one of my favorite tea time treats because … well, I’m a chocoholic!  This is an exquisite dark chocolate bar, and I chose to drink this Black Tea from Shan Valley with the chocolate.  The roasty flavor as well as the other notes (hints of smoke, caramel, nut, earth and toast) of the tea complemented the deep, rich flavor of the chocolate in these mini-bars.

What I Think:

These tiny bars that were in my November Love with Food box are so cute!  They are .53 ounces, and when you open the wrapper, it looks like a miniature chocolate bar, complete with the “break lines” that you’d find on a larger bar.

Put simply, this is rich and delicious.  One of the better dark chocolate bars I’ve encountered.  There is a good snap to this.  The chocolate tastes rich, sweet with just the right amount of bitterness to keep things interesting.  There is a deep fruity character to the chocolate.

My Final Thoughts: 

This is definitely a chocolate bar that I’d pick up again when I’m craving dark chocolate.  I’m glad that I have seen this chocolate in my local Whole Foods.  I’ll be grabbing a bar next time I shop there!

EspressoChip

The Holiday Trio box has three different cookies in it: to the left is the burnt sugar and fennel cookies, the middle is the salted rosemary, and the right is the espresso chip.

Product Information:

100% whole wheat shortbread with espresso and chocolate chips

I received the Lark Holiday Trio box which included these cookies in my December Knoshy Box!

Tea Suggestion:

When I have shortbread cookies, I like to have a rich black tea to go along with … perfect for dipping!  I chose This English Breakfast Tea from Tea of Life to drink with these cookies.  Yum!

What I Think:

OK, I am not a fan of coffee.  No, that’s not completely accurate.  I used to be a big fan of coffee, but, I realized at some point that it was that morning cup of java that was making me feel ill around 11 am every day.  And what I’m not a big fan of is feeling ill.

So, I stopped drinking coffee and started drinking more tea.  At the time that I was drinking coffee, I was also drinking tea but I was more of an occasional tea drinker.  I fell in love with tea and the rest is history.

So, whenever I’m encountered with stuff that … has coffee or coffee products in it (and espresso is coffee) I tend to be a bit … leery of it.  And so I was leery of these shortbread cookies.  But, I do love the other cookies I’ve tried from Lark so I  was hopeful.

And these are tasty.  A strong coffee taste to them and notes of chocolate.  I wish there was more chocolate but every once in a while, I get a bite with big chocolate flavor and I like that.  I love the texture of these cookies.  Lark manages to nail the shortbread texture perfectly in their cookies.  It’s sort of flaky and layer-y and buttery and crumbly … and just plain WOW!

My Final Thoughts:

These were tasty.  Of the different Lark cookies that I’ve tried, I’d have to say that these were my least favorite, but that’s because of the espresso.  I would have much rather had the spiced chocolate krinkles cookies from Lark … they sound amazing!  However, these cookies do get bonus points for being made with whole wheat.  It makes me think I’m eating healthy when I know that I’m not.  But, the illusion helps me feel less guilty … somehow.  So, I liked them … but didn’t love them as much as I’ve loved the other Lark cookies.  Still real good though.

naturalcrispsProduct Information:

Using a handful of natural ingredients, 34 Degrees carefully bakes their wafer-thin crackers until they are subtly toasty and overtly tasty.

These flavorful crisps pair well with mild to sharp cheeses, blue cheese, spicy spreads, and orange honey butter. They are great for parties and holiday celebrations!

I received a sample pouch of these crisps in my December Love with Food box.

Tea Suggestion:

I don’t often drink a jasmine tea with the foods that I review, because I find that the jasmine often interferes with the flavor of the foods and I don’t get to explore the foods properly.  But that wasn’t the case with these crisps!  I thought that this Organic Jasmine Tea from Kally Tea was a perfect complement to these crackers – the savory of the crisps contrasted nicely with the sweet, exotic notes of the jasmine.  A really nice way to enjoy these crisps!

What  I Think:

I didn’t pair these with cheese or any type of dip.  Instead, I ate them right out of the package with a cup of jasmine tea, and I found it to be a delightful tea time, indeed!

I love the texture of these!  They’re so light and crisp.

Really tasty.  There’s not a lot to them, they’re SUPER thin and crispy and really … that’s it.  Just a crispy bit of a cracker.  Not overly salty, no extraneous flavor additions … these are kind of like an extra super thin saltine cracker with a little less salt.

But I think that’s what I dig about them.  They are just simple little crackers with a really enjoyable, crispy, crackly texture.

My Final Thoughts:

I am definitely going to be buying these again.  I found them in my local grocery store, and they have a variety of flavors, so I think I’m going to do a little exploration of these crisps, and next time, I’ll try them out with cheese and dips too.

???????????????????????????????Product Information:

Little crunch dried kernels of corn never tasted so good! The crunch dried process removes water while maintaining the natural flavor of the product. There are no preservatives in the product, and there’s only 2 ingredients! The bag is easy to store and makes for a great salad topping!

I received this snack in my November Love with Food box!

Tea Suggestion:

I chose to sip some iced tea while munching on this Sweet Corn Crunch, and the iced tea that I had chilling in the fridge when I opened this bag was this Vanilla Cola Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas.  I don’t know how “ideal” a pairing this was, but the iced tea was delicious, and the snack was tasty, so I enjoyed it.

What I Think:

Wow!  These are very different from what I was expecting.  I guess I was kind of expecting something more along the lines of HalfPops or CornNuts, but this snack is like neither one.  It’s more like the cut corn you’d serve at dinner, only instead of tender and juicy, this is light and crisp.

It doesn’t have that very toothsome crunch of a CornNut.  This is a very delicate kind of crunch.  Light and crispy, like a chip, only not like a dense corn chip … more like a light potato chip but with the flavor of corn and in the size of a corn kernel.

It’s sweet and has a really enjoyable texture.  It is a very satisfying snack.  It’s deliciously different, but familiar enough that it doesn’t taste “weird.”  A really good snack!

My Final Thoughts:

I’d definitely buy this again if I saw it at the store.  I really liked the texture, and I liked the flavor.  It was a fun and tasty snack.

molassesspice

Picture from Love with Food.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

Old-fashioned flavor with a modern kick. Molasses, ginger, and vanilla combine to create a year-round chewy molasses treat reminiscent of crisp fall days, perfect with a glass of ice-cold milk.

I received a packet of these cookies in my December Love with Food box.

Tea Suggestion:

Because these cookies had a sweet and spicy taste to them, I wanted to go with a pure black tea that would allow me to experience the flavors within the cookies.  I chose this Golden Yunnan from In Pursuit of Tea, and together the cookies and tea made for a really delicious tea time treat.

What I Think:

These soft, delicious molasses cookies are the perfect cookie for this time of year.  It just tastes like Christmastime … it tastes like the holidays.  They are sweet and spicy, not quite as spicy as gingerbread cookies, but there are notes of ginger in these that provide a nice little kick.

I like the texture of these cookies.  The cookie itself is soft, but the sugar crystals on top of the cookie (they appear to have been “rolled” in raw sugar) give a little bit of crackly crunch to each bite.  There is a bit of a zesty, peppery bite to the cookies, but, the spice is countered by the sweetness of the molasses.

My Final Thoughts:

Like I said before:  these cookies taste like the holidays.  They were a delicious addition to my Love with Food box for December.  These cookies are definitely something I’d consider purchasing again!

gingerbreadspice

Photo from Knoshy.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

This organic, fair trade chocolate is crafted by Theo Chocolate in Seattle, Washington. Gingerbread spices are mixed with creamy milk chocolate that’s sweet, spicy and warming! Makes a perfect fireside treat to enjoy with a mug of hot cocoa. Limited seasonal release.

I received this chocolate bar in my December box from Knoshy!

Tea Suggestion:

Because I’m loving the notes of spice in this chocolate bar, especially the nutmeg, I decided to brew a cup of this Nutmeg Cream Tea from Butiki Teas!  I love the way the creamy notes of the tea marry with the creamy taste of the chocolate on my palate, and the the spice notes of the tea were in perfect harmony with the zesty spices of the confection.  Delicious!

What I Think:

Chocolate!

This is the first of two chocolate bars that I received in December’s box from Knoshy.  And I’m loving it.

There is a good amount of spice to this candy bar.  It’s a really delightful balance between rich, creamy milk chocolate and warm spices, and I like that they aren’t competing with one another.

When I shop for chocolate, I generally select a darker chocolate, but, I really like milk chocolate too, and I think that milk chocolate is the right choice for these particular flavors because it makes it taste almost like a chocolate “chai” but without the tea.  (Don’t worry, that can be easily remedied by simply enjoying the chocolate bar alongside a cup of hot tea!)

In fact, the spices here are very chai-like.  It’s got ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg, as well as vanilla.  Most of these (and often all of these) are found in a masala chai.

My Final Thoughts:

I love this chocolate bar.  I am so glad that Knoshy included it in this month’s box.  It is rich, spicy, and chocolate-y … and absolutely delicious.