Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Contest - Celestial Seasonings

Hey Readers!

I just wanted to let you all know about an upcoming contest from Celestial Seasonings, so here you go!

Iced Tea Drink Recipe Contest

Celestial Seasonings is holding an iced tea drink recipe contest!  Individuals are invited to create a custom drunk recipe using any of their favorite Celestial Seasonings teas as an ingredient.  Recipes will be judged on use of tea, creativity, and taste.  members can submit recipes for consideration at by July 31, 2008.  Winners will be notified in early august, and will receive one of three prizes:

One grand prize winner will receive a 500 dollar American Express gift card to be but towards a summer road trip, a signed copy of "Queen of the Road" and a Celestial Seasonings gift basket valued at $100

Two runners-up will receive a $250 American Express gift card to liven up their next book club discussion party, a signed copy of "Queen of the Road,: and a Celestial Seasonings gift basked valued at $50.

Thanks for looking, and I hope one of you wins the grand prize!  Let me know if you do!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Delicious Teas are Found in Nature.

Greetings, readers!

I know I promised you another blog entry in one week, but a week and a half isn't too bad for me, right?  Better than my usual month between entries!  Once again, my apologies for keeping you all waiting, and now, without further ado, is this week's tea review!

This week's review is on a tea company called In Nature Teas.  They are another Organic tea company, which is becoming an increasingly popular trend in the world of tea!  I remember the days, not too long ago, when organic teas just did not meet the same quality standards as their mainstream counterparts.  Companies like In Nature, and others, are changing this for the better.  In fact, I would wager that some of the better teas I have sampled in the past few years have been organic ones.  It is very relieving to me to see organic products meeting such high standards!

Now, back to the main point.  Recently, I received a package of samples from In-Nature.  The sample I'll review today is one of their Jasmine blends.

For the most part, I can say nothing but good about the jasmine tea that I sampled.  I have always been a fan of jasmines, and this seemed like a particularly good one.  Pure, whole jasmine pearls, with very little breakage, just the way it ought to be.  Brewing the tea was also a sinch - they included detailed brewing instructions in the box, that covered the amount and precise temperature of brewing.  The cup clarity of this blend is at least as good as any jasmine that I have sampled before.  They seem to have done everything right with this blend.  Additionally, the buds were picked at the right time, and had just the right balance of flavour and astringency.

The packaging was also second-to-none.  A well-designed and durable storage box, inside of which is a foil-sealed bundle of Jasmine.  Also inside is a sheet of paper giving you more info on the blend you just opened, as well as containing detailed preparation and brewing instructions.  The packaging is both useful and attractive, and very well suited toward keeping your tea as fresh as possible.

Shipment was fast, and every inquiry that I submitted was answered quickly and professionally.

In Nature is, and shall remain one of my highest recommendations for a quality organic Jasmine.  I thank them for allowing me to experience their product.

I hope you have all enjoyed reading this review.  Look for another in about 1-2 weeks.

You can visit their website at

Thanks for reading!  Over and out,

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Little Taste of Zen

Hi Readers!

Today I finally have a review ready for you, so sit tight, and I hope you enjoy it, even though it will be a bit of a variance from my typical posts.

Recently, I was contacted by Suntory, who asked if I would be interested in reviewing a product called "Zen Green Tea Liqueur." They described it as an alcoholic beverage made from Japanese Matcha. Although I typically refrain from doing reviews on alcohol products, this one seemed interested, so I determined to give it a shot.

Shortly thereafter, I received a box containing a bottle of the beverage for my evaluation. It even came with a booklet of suggestions for cocktails and other things that could be made with the liqueur. However, I decided that I would take the route of the purist on this one, and evaluate Zen only on it's own merits.

The first sip was an interesting experience. It certainly had plenty of flavor imparted from the matcha, but I could also detect a blend of spices that I couldn't quite identify - although they certainly added to the experience. The tea flavour was authentic, strong, and shockingly not overpowered by the flavour of the underlying spirits.

I quite enjoyed the flavour of this beverage, although I do feel that it would be a bit strong for most people's liking - which is why it would make such a great cocktail beverage!

The packaging is also a delightful experience all its own. It comes in a shaped green glass bottle, which is curved in a very pleasing way. The colour also complements the profile of the matcha inside. Aesthetically, I could be no more pleased with this product.

Flavourwise I do have a few suggestions, however. First, the beverage is a little bit too sweet - this acted to take away somewhat from the presence of the Matcha. A little less sweetness would make this a much finer beverage. However, all other aspects of the product, including the blending and overall flavour profile, fit the ticket perfectly, making this a truly luxurious brew for the tea afficianado, and a brew that every fan of spirits and tea should give a chance.

I'd like to thank Suntory for the experience, and I hope that any of your readers that enjoy the occasional drink will see about trying this next time you are at the bar. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

That's all for now, but stay tuned later this week for additional reviews and other material.

Over and out,