Tuesday
Aug262014

Tuesday Tea - Piña Colada and Crème Carmello - Steeped Tea

About Steeped Tea

Several months ago I was contacted by Christa Jones, a consultant for Steeped Tea. I was unfamiliar with this Canada-based company so Christa urged me to take a peak at their seasonal brochure. I was absolutely fascinated by their offerings. Not only do they stock a full range of teas, but they also carry cute teaware, and edibles like Chocolate Chai Muffin Mix and Matcha Mousse. 

Steeped tea isn't your typical tea business. While they do offer ordering online, they're actually structured more like Mary Kay (makeup) or PartyLite (candles) and use direct sales to spread the word about their teas. The idea of a house party may not be for everyone, but it is a great way to share your love of tea with others. According to their website "this company began as a passionate search for the perfect cup of tea. Along the way we discovered that the secret was who you shared it with." Well Steeped Tea, I couldn't agree more.

Today I'll be sharing two of their caffeine free options with you, Piña Colada and Crème Carmello. Both blends use a rooibos base and since they're caffeine free they're the perfect after dinner treat that won't keep you up all night.

Piña Colada
Tea Description:

Get caught in the rain with this coconut and rum flavored blend.

Ingredients: Rooibos tea, pineapple pieces, coconut pieces, natural flavor.

Other Information:

Leaf Type: Rooibos (flavored)

Where to Purchase: 

Canada - if you live in Alberta you can contact Christa Jones to host your own Steeped Tea Party. Otherwise you can find the nearest Steeped Tea consultant here

United States - My US readers can order Steeped Tea online here

Suggested Brewing Tips:

Serving Size: 1.5 teaspoons per 8oz serving

Water Temp: 208°F 

Steep Time: 4-6 minutes

Review:

Do you like Piña Coladas? I know I sure do. I'm also not into yoga and have half a brain. Sorry, I couldn't resist, Jimmy Buffett is just so catchy! Anyway, what's not to like about the combination of pineapple, coconut, and rum all blended up into a frozen beverage served with a little umbrella. The sad thing is that I've pretty well given up alcohol so it's been a long time since I've had one. The good news is that there are plenty of tea comanies releasing my favorite alcoholic drinks in tea form. 

While this doesn't taste quite like a Piña Colada, it is delicious. The flavor tastes strongly of brown sugar with all of its maple goodness. Since the pineapple and coconut flavors don't stand out as much this blend tastes more like pineapple upside down cake. Still tasty, but not quite what I had expected. The pineapple did come out more once I iced this tea down, but the coconut flavor stayed in the background keeping it from truly tasting like a piña colada.

Would I order this again? Maybe. While I did enjoy this, it tastes very similar to several other blends I've tried recently.

Crème Carmello
Tea Description:

Like a caramel chocolate bar, one helping is not enough!

Ingredients: Rooibos tea, hazelnut pieces, calendula petals, natural flavor. Contains Nuts.

Other Information:

Leaf Type: Rooibos (flavored)

Where to Purchase: 

Canada - if you live in Alberta you can contact Christa Jones to host your own Steeped Tea Party. Otherwise you can find the nearest Steeped Tea consultant here

United States - My US readers can order Steeped Tea online here

Suggested Brewing Tips:

Serving Size: 1.5 teaspoons per 8oz serving

Water Temp: 208°F

Steep Time: 4-6 minutes

Review:

I love dessert teas, they have all of the flavor of a well crafted dessert without any of the calories. Our second blend of the day, Crème Carmello, has that wonderful deep burnt sugar flavor you find in crème brûlée. It's seriously delicious and the addition of hazelnuts only makes it better. I've never had hazelnut crème brûlée, I'm not even sure if it is a thing, but if it is I imagine it tastes just like this tea. 

My Rating: 78/100

Would I order this again? Probably not. Even though I enjoyed the flavor of this tea it isn't something I see myself turning to often.

Disclosure

In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that Christa Jones a Steeped Tea consultant has provided me with tea for review. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Friday
Aug222014

Dr Pepper Pulled Pork

I've been hearing about pulled pork made with soda for years, but didn't get around to making it until recently. Boy, I have to tell you, I've been missing out. I feel like I should warn you guys ahead of time, this pulled pork is addictive. I'll sound like a glutton for admitting this, but I could easily eat an entire crock pot full of this all by myself. There is something about the combination of sweet and spicy that really hits the spot. Even better is the fact that this recipe is flexible, which is great, especially if you're going to be feeding a crowd. You can put it on a bun and top it with some Creamy Summer Coleslaw, make soft tacos topped with sour cream and cilantro, or eat it straight out of the slow cooker. No matter how you choose to serve it it's guaranteed to please.
Dr Pepper Pulled Pork 

Ingredients

1 5lb pork shoulder ("pork butt")
1 (7 Ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 can Dr Pepper
3 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
1 Tablespoon mild molasses
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Dry Rub

1 teaspoon cumin
1½ teaspoons coriander, ground
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper, ground
1 Tablespoon kosher salt  

Directions

  • To make the dry rub combine cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, ground black pepper, and kosher salt.
  • Separate chipotle peppers from adobo sauce. Reserve the sauce and add peppers to slow cooker with diced yellow onions and Dr Pepper.
  • Combine adobo sauce, yellow mustard, mild molasses, and Worcestershire sauce, then massage sauce over the pork butt. Top with dry rub and place in slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours, or until pork easily pulls apart. Cooking time varies widely depending on the size of the roast. Stir well to coat with juices before serving.

Notes

Our Creamy Summer Coleslaw makes the perfect side dish to accompany this recipe.

Recipe Inspiration

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/03/spicy-dr-pepper-shredded-pork/

Tuesday
Aug192014

Tuesday Tea - August Selection Club - Simple Loose Leaf

Plan Description:

When you join Simple Loose Leaf you will tour the world and explore the wonders of tea. Our members embrace the discovery of new passions and rekindle their forgotten loves through our carefully curated menu of teas. Select a plan, make tea selection, and get a package!

Where to Purchase: 

Simple Loose Leaf - Not Starving Yet readers, use coupon code NSYSELECTION25 to receive 25% off when you sign up for the Selection Club

August Selections:

Lady Earl Grey Black
Jasmine Special Grade Green

Blueberry White
Milk Oolong
Honeybush Herbal
Blueberry White

Review:

I'll admit that I'm partial to blueberry teas, but like all fruit flavored teas they can be really hit or miss. More often than not they taste nothing like the fruit they claim to be, but the Blueberry White from the August box is one of the few exceptions, it really tastes like blueberry. The blueberry flavor manages to capture the sweet and tart flavors of blueberry without drowning out the strong flavor of the Shou Mei White Tea that is used for the base. With most flavored white teas you'll taste the flavor first and the base second (or not at all,) but with this tea the strong earthy flavors from the Shou Mei really shine. It's a refreshing change from the norm, but I would have preferred just a bit more blueberry flavor.

My Rating: 72/100

Would I order this again? Probably Not. While I enjoyed this tea I would have preferred the blueberry flavor to be just a bit stronger.
Milk Oolong

Review:

For my second selection in the August box I decided on the Milk Oolong, even though I've had the opportunity to try this tea before. A fellow Steepster member sent me a sample of it last year when they discovered how much I love oolong tea. I'm always looking to broaden my horizons so I love it when people share their favorite teas with me, especially when it's a company I'm not familar with. The chance to try out new companies is one of the reasons why I've enjoyed my subscription to Simple Loose Leaf. They've added several small vendors to their line-up, most of which I've never tried before.

Once steeped this tea has a flavor much like I remember from my previous encounter with it. It has a buttery texture, which is partially due to the milk flavoring that has been added. Underneath this is a slightly floral flavor that edges towards peaches and cream once you steep it a second time. Later steeps take on a slightly vegetal flavor that increases with each subsequent steeping. I don't typically enjoy this tea once the sweetness disappears so I only steep it three times. You certainly could continue to resteep it if you still enjoy the flavors, this tea resteeps very well. Overall this is a really nice milk oolong, one that I would certainly order again if Simple Loose Leaf had a convenient way for me to reorder the teas I've enjoyed from the Selection Club. 

My Rating: 89/100

Would I order this again? Yes! I've purchased this before and I would do so again, it's a great example of how flavorful a milk oolong can be.

Lady Earl Grey

I normally pick two teas each month to review, but this month you get a bonus because I've already reviewed Lady Earl Grey. You can check out my review from October 2013 here.

Not Starving Yet readers, use coupon code NSYSELECTION25 to receive 25% off when you sign up for the Selection Club

Disclosure:

In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that Simple Loose Leaf has provided me with a free subscription to their service. As always, all opinions are my own.