Monday, January 11, 2016

Tea Sparrow December 2015 Review

Another month of delicious teas. . . and all Christmas-appropriate with creamy, nutty and chocolatey flavours.  Mmmm!  I can't get enough tea in wintertime - although it doesn't quite feel like winter yet.  Is that going to happen sometime soon, you think?

What is Tea Sparrow?  A fave sub in my house!  For $20 CAD per month (including shipping), Tea Sparrow sends 4 different types of loose leaf tea (so yes, you need some way to brew loose leaf  - tea balls are an inexpensive option) - usually a green, a black, a rooibos and an herbal but sometimes they mix it up.  The teas are separately packaged and are each approximately 0.6oz for a total of about 35 cups of tea per month (less if you use a lot of tea in brewing, maybe more if you're willing to brew twice using the same tea). 

If you want to try Tea Sparrow, check out this 60% off offer and get your first month for only $8!  When you click the above link, you will be taken to a password-protected page.  Enter "teas" as your password and you will be offered the promotional discount.  Please be aware that this will start a recurring monthly subscription but Tea Sparrow allows you to skip any month through their website (although why would you want to?) and you can cancel at any time.  Enjoy!

And, out of their bags:

Clockwise from top left:  Cream of Earl Grey, Nutty Almond Cream, Vanilla Cacao and White Wedding Tea

Cream of Earl Grey
(organic black tea blend, organic calendula, organic bergamot oil, organic vanilla extract, natural cream extract)

Mmmm! If you've read any of my Tea Sparrow reviews before, you will likely have noted my affinity for the Earl.  This is Tea.  And this is a really, really delicious one.  Tea Sparrow suggested amping up the creamy texture of this blend with a splash of egg nog and, as usual, they were so right! I will miss this when it's gone.

Nutty Almond Cream
(apple pieces, crushed almonds, cinnamon pieces and beetroot pieces)

A fruit tea that I can really get behind.  This tastes like an apple crisp in liquid form - especially if you add a little extra sweetness with sugar or honey (it does have some sweetness already with the apple and beetroot).  Tea Sparrow has a recipe for marshmallows on their blog that uses this tea.  I'm not sure I'm up for making marshmallows but I am definitely up for drinking lots of this tea!

Vanilla Cacao
(organic Tisano cacao shells, organic rooibos and organic vanilla) 

This is how I like my rooibos - in the background.  Here it adds a little sweetness to a cup of chocolate-y, vanilla goodness.  And it's such a pretty tea too; look at those cacao shells!

White Wedding Tea
(white tea, jasmine flowers, and roasted chestnut flavouring)

My fave this month.  White tea is such a treat! It's usually a little pricier but I have never had a white tea I didn't like and this one is no exception.  The roasted chestnut adds a depth and nuttiness to this tea and blends really nicely with the jasmine.  Tea Sparrow suggested using this in a "White Russian Wedding" Cocktail so, of course, we did and it was almost better that way.  Almost.  Here's their blog link if you'd like to check out that recipe.

Overall Verdict:

Not a bad tea this month.  All were delicious and seasonally-appropriate.  Plus, I love how Tea Sparrow rounds out this subscription experience with a newsletter offering info and facts about tea as well as these recipes and ideas for how to use the tea in non-traditional ways! I am coming up on a year with this sub and can't see myself cancelling it in the near future. . . especially since I'm heading back to work and part of my routine when I'm there involves a big cup of tea during my prep period so I can power through some planning and marking.  Tea Sparrow will definitely help me get in the mood for that!

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