The Tea Addicts Confessional

All about the love of tea...and other beverages...but mostly tea

New Teas Arriving Soon!

I have some very good friends who are as excited about tea as I am. They love to try the different samples with me and give me their opinions.  Every now and again a sample is shared and they declare it a “must have”.  And I add it to the list.  Sometimes I am able to get it in stock quickly and sometimes they have to wait a little longer.  

There is a rooibos vanilla chai that I am getting in stock that I was told I had to carry.  The person can’t have caffeine so was growing rather impatient with all of my new and wonderful Kenyan, Indian and Chinese teas but no rooibos vanilla chai.  I held her over with the Coconut Custard and Caramel Mocha rooibos blends from a different vendor and assured her that the next time I placed a reorder the rooibos vanilla chai would be top of the list.  

In the meantime another friend asked when am I getting that rooibos vanilla chai in stock. I explained that I had so much money tied up with one vendor that I didn’t have enough at the moment but would get it as soon as I could.  She told me to keep her posted. 

So, I was starting to think I was the worst vendor on the planet with all the teas I wanted and needed to get and having so much tied up in teas that should arrive by 2014. So, I finally placed the order for the rooibos vanilla chai and everyone is very excited. I ordered it in pyramid sachets for the one customer and loose leaf for the other.  When it arrives I think we are going to have a rooibos vanilla chai party!  

And then I received a call today asking when I am getting that wrapped sachet chamomile in stock…soon…very soon. Actually I could use some of that right now!  

Handcrafted Royal Purple Orthodox Review

Bernabe (Tea Fax was kind enough to review this tea via Twitter. Here is his review which was over multiple Tweets. 

I’m finally doing it! The review for @StylinTeaBlends - hand crafted purple tea from Royal Tea of Kenya. Cheers to Lizz.  I dunno if I can call a review though I am not being very STRINGENT about my methods.

This reminds me of the color and aroma i get from a Wuyi Tie Luo Han pic.twitter.com/448WNCXUNh

Delightful flavor! Not too heavy but still has the malty-ness of the Assam tea bush. This would be an excellent morning tea or afternoon tea. The leaves are not very tightly rolled and are mostly whole, so they open up fairly quickly. Perhaps good for 3 steeps maximum.

Second steep ready. It would not be untoward to brew this in a pot rather than a gaiwan, but I don’t think I have an actual western pot here.

Considering I acquired this tea more than two months ago I would no doubt say that it has kept well in its original packaging (with care!)

I would say this tea is bold enough to satiate most - a tiny amount of sugar or honey would be fine, as would nothing at all - skip the milk. The malty impression fades on the second steep but it is still drinkable and feeling of tea (does that make sense?)  The third is the last.

The leaves themselves in the cup lend the appearance of very softly handled leaves, floating serenely over the steeping period.

Kenya is not oft known for its tea production, though I would certainly purchase this in the future and in greater quantities for high tea! Feels like that this tea would go quite well with a crispy tiny sandwich of some sort - probably a sweet thing, fruit or scone.

I put this song on in order to time the third steeping - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emrYGyBfFGM

One thing I noticed: there is a small amount of sediment (dust, fannings), you may wish to use a hand filter when serving this. If you like making a big pot of tea to last for some time instead of gongfu, this is a fine tea to drink!

@StylinTeaBlends have you tried mixing the first and second steeps of this royal Kenya purple tea? I find the blending quite delicious.

I have never blended the first and second steeps together but I will do that at my next tea tasting. 

I am glad that he enjoyed this tea as much as I do. It is always a lovely tea for special events. I appreciate the time all of my customers and friends take to let me know what they think of the different teas and blends they have purchased. It helps me decide what to keep in stock. This is one tea I will do my best to always have on hand.

Happy sipping!

teawingco:

Yame No. 5.
A brand new edition to the Tea Wing line up: Yame No. 5 is a full bodied, medium-deep steamed sencha. A wonderfully aromatic tea, Yame No. 5 is fired slightly longer than other senchas giving it a deep, full bodied tang. A great value too! You can check it out here

I bet this is delicious! I hate when you see a tea on line that looks incredible and look at your empty cup and think “darn I wish I could brew the tea in that picture right now!” 

teawingco:

Yame No. 5.

A brand new edition to the Tea Wing line up: Yame No. 5 is a full bodied, medium-deep steamed sencha. A wonderfully aromatic tea, Yame No. 5 is fired slightly longer than other senchas giving it a deep, full bodied tang. A great value too! You can check it out here

I bet this is delicious! I hate when you see a tea on line that looks incredible and look at your empty cup and think “darn I wish I could brew the tea in that picture right now!” 

July Stylin’ Tea Blends Newsletter

Newsletter is a new module that we installed so this is a bit of an experiment. Of course the preview of what it says it will look like and what it actually looked like were not even close so what was sent looked like a 2 year old played with the keyboard and put random breaks in every sentence. I decided to post it here as well:

Hi,

I wanted to announce some exciting news. Aromatica Fine Teas and Soaps in Canada has given me permission to sell Freedom Tea locally and on my website. Freedom Tea is a lovely blend of rooibos with a creamy lemon flavor that I fell in love with over a year ago when I first tried it.  This tea has great karma. It was created as a fundraising blend to benefit the International Justice Mission. The International Justice Mission has been fighting tirelessly to put an end to human trafficking worldwide. This is an uphill battle. Just today I read an article on Assam and how many of the young girls there are lured away from working on tea farms by promises of a better life only to find themselves in horrible situations. As a mother and a tea lover the article really broke my heart.

This issue is not limited to far away lands.  Aromatica Fine Teas and Soaps saw some the human trafficking issue first hand in their neighborhood of Chilliwack. That is why they felt the need to promote awareness of this social ill and create something that literally smelled like Freedom. Hence the lemony rooibos blend that smells like a bright summer day as soon as you open the bag. $10 of every pound sold of this bag is sent to the International Justice Mission. 

Visit: http://stylintea.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=24&products_id=304 for more information

Tea and charity…what a fine blend they make.

This is why through the month of July we are donating 10% of all sales to The Collective Music School in New York City. I also added some samplers that will be a 20% donation to them.  They ran into some unexpected expenses they did not want to pass back to the students. It was an unfortunate circumstance and having been on the board of several non profits, I completely understand how such things happen. You can read about their situation at http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/drummers-collective-rebuilding-our-school  I am a lover of all music as anyone who knows me can attest.

And because I love music so much I have Dana’s Cup of Strength black tea which is a strong Kenyan tea in honor of Dana Fuchs, an amazing musician and performer who I have the utmost respect for. Her new cd, Bliss Avenue, was just released which is really exciting. Both are strong and powerful but deep and rich in spirit. 

Last but not least I have added a lot of new teas and blends. Pina Colada White tea is amazing as an iced tea. Handcrafted Purple tea is a unique new variation from Kenya that I personally love. And I have added the Straight From Japan sampler which are the teas from the Monthly Mystery Tea Sampler Club straight from single estate farms in Japan.

So, I have not been bored to say the least. My tea journey has led me to some unexpected and fun places and I have made some new and wonderful friends along the way.  I am looking forward to sharing more teas and blends. And as new teas are added to the Tea for A Cause I will let you know.

Happy sipping!

http://stylintea.com/store/

Connie’s June 2013 Tea Reviews

I have several customers who give me verbal reviews after trying the many teas I sell. Connie was kind enough to put some of hers in writing which is really helpful. I appreciate the time and effort she took to create her list. She did not care for the Sencha Green Tea I sent her but her reviews of the Kenyan teas from Royal Tea of Kenya were very high.

Connie’s Reviews on a 1 (poor) to 5 (fantastic) scale:

White Whisper (from Royal Tea of Kenya) - Great flavor. Not bitter, nice light flavor. Similar to a green tea. A light, sweet tea. (5 stars)

Royal Golden Safari (from Royal Tea of Kenya) - Nice strong flavor. Loved this in the morning. (5 stars)

Sencha Green Tea (sample) - Not my favorite. Too bitter for me. (2 stars)

Grandpa’s Afternoon Tea (from Royal Tea of Kenya) - Similar to Mt. Abedares but not as flavorful. Still a good morning tea. (4 stars)

Mt. Abedares (from Royal Tea of Kenya) - Similar to Grandpa’s Afternoon Tea. Almost identical in flavor. Good morning tea. (4 stars)

Dana’s Cup of Strength (from Royal Tea of Kenya soon to be released in honor of Dana Fuchs, actress, singer, amazing performer) - Very good taste. Had some in morning and afternoon. Nice and smooth (not bitter). (5 stars)

Thank you so much Connie:)

Happy sipping!

Check out the Black and Pu-erh sale going on now at www.stylintea.com - 15% discount on all Black and Pu-erh teas and blends in stock.

And don’t forget to enter the IS IT LOUD ENOUGH Facebook Giveaway (because I am not bright enough to make the widget work in Tumblr) - you can win a $25 on line shopping spree at www.stylintea.com and a $25 donation made in your honor at the http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/drummers-collective-rebuilding-our-school

No purchase necessary.  Visit:  http://bit.ly/11iYps2 to enter! 

Enter the IS IT LOUD ENOUGH Raffle

The IS IT LOUD ENOUGH raffle has begun to raise awareness for The Collective School of Music’s fundraising campaign. Enter between now and July 31 for a chance to win some awesome prizes.

First prize is a $25 shopping spree at Stylintea.com and a $25 donation made in their honor at:
http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/drummers-collective-rebuilding-our-school

Second prize is a $10 shopping spree at Stylintea.com and a $15 donation made in their honor at:
http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/drummers-collective-rebuilding-our-school

Third prize is a travel tin of Harney & Sons tea and a $10 donation made in their honor at:
http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/drummers-collective-rebuilding-our-school

No purchase necessary.  Visit:  http://bit.ly/11iYps2 to enter! 

Good luck and Happy sipping!

Music, Tea and Fundraising

People who have known me a long time know that I am a music lover. I went from a large record and tape collection to a large cd collection to a large mp3 collection over the years. Everything from classical to heavy metal with some jazz, pop and show tunes in between.

The nice thing about music is the variety. Music can be uplifting or solemn, energetic or relaxing, enjoyed with friends or alone. The options are infinite.

Tea is much the same way. That is probably why I love it so much. I didn’t continue my piano lessons long enough and sing so poorly that I have given in to lip syncing at church. However, I can make a decent cup of tea. And what goes better with tea than music? Okay food would probably be the correct answer. But after food, music is the number two thing that goes best with tea.

I am known for my support of a variety of charities. My one boss nicknamed me “Mother Earth” because I am always coming to him to donate to one cause or another. My other job is at a wonderful non profit that does a lot of good work in the community, Co-County Wellness Services.  I have been involved with the Literacy Council of Reading-Berks since 1988. I attend many fundraisers for other non profits in the area annually. It is just something that I have always done. I got that gene from my father who was the Executive Director of different Boy Scouts of America offices at one time or another. I obviously got my tea addiction gene from my mother since my father wasn’t that into tea.

The thing both of my parents have in common is their love of music. They were from different schools in the Pittsburgh area and met at one of the County Band ensembles. My mother played clarinet and my father played trumpet. Years down the line they had me who could play neither:)  As my boyfriend always says “learning an instrument takes patience and you were clearly too impatient to wait in that line before you were born”.  It’s true. I drove my piano teacher to drink. I was never good at rolling the fingers over the keys…I was more of hit the keys so hard that they can hear it in the next house. But I did learn how to appreciate the music of others and I have a son who is a very talented tenor so it’s all good in the end.

But back to my point of music and tea and charity. I started Stylin’ Tea Blends for many reasons. One my job at Gloray was changing and I thought I would be losing it. Luckily it evolved into another job which is equally rewarding with awesome people I adore. My job at Co-County Wellness Services is never 100% secure. It only takes losing one or two grants for the doors to close. Hence the many fundraisers to help cover overhead costs so we can meet the needs of our clients. I had to help my son through his last year of Albright College which is not a cheap school. I was a depressed, stressed mess. So, I decided to focus on what I love and what I wanted and selling tea not only became a possibility, it became a reality. I was so thrilled to be able to buy the teas that I have been paying retail for over the years at wholesale prices and share them with friends.

Stylin’ Tea Blends was created with three main goals. One is to sell high quality tea from vendors who share my core values. I don’t want to carry tea that is bartered and sold for cheap off while some poor farmer is being exploited. I do believe that energy gets into the tea and it is why I have such love of my vendors who know where their tea comes from.

The second goal is to bring the community together through tea. We live in a very strange area in a very strange time. I love the Reading area but I can tell you it is not perfect. Reading is well known for its high crime rate and was voted #21 of America’s most dangerous cities in 2009. For our size that is rather significant. Reading also had the highest poverty rate of any city in 2012. It is a shame because the one thing that Reading does have is a lot of heart. That is why there are so many non profits and churches trying to help the significant amount of homeless and working poor in the area. There are many who see this “us/them” as a blur that has turned into “we” and those are the people that I have tried to do what I can by having tea tastings, donating product for raffles, etc. I get nothing from these events except knowing that in some small way I did my part to help better our community. Hence the name “Communi-Teas”. 

The third part of Stylin’ Tea Blends is one that many of my customers are familiar with because they hear about it all the time - Fundraising Opportuni-Teas.  We have raised money to help sponsor walkers in cancer, diabetes and MS walks. We have helped send a junior ambassador overseas with the People to People organization. And coming up we are going to be raising money to help The Collective School of Music in New York City with their fundraiser to help their school through a significant funding issue so they don’t have to pass those costs to the already financially burdened students. 

I love the journey that Stylin’ Tea Blends has taken me on and that music, tea, and fundraising are all going to be coming together over the month of July. I thank everyone who I have met along the way from my vendors to my customers and most of all my very supportive family and friends. I look forward to making new friends and sharing new teas.

If you haven’t checked out Stylintea.com lately then you really should because we have a vast selection from amazing vendors. Some of the products I carry because I have customers who buy them by the pound (i.e. Nutty Almond Creme and plain Yerba Mate). Others I carry because I love the vendors and want to give others an opportunity to try their teas (all of my Mountain Tea oolongs). 10% of everything I sell on the website for the month of July will be donated to The Collective School of Music fundraiser. Doesn’t matter if the item is on sale or not. There are no disclaimers of any kind. Everything counts from Harney & Sons to Stylin’ Tea Blends Private Label.

I will write more about the fundraiser in upcoming blogs since this has turned from a simple blog entry into a short story. But I wanted to prepare everyone for the upcoming event. July is going to be a fun month with raffles, giveaways and more tea tastings.

Happy sipping!

An explanation of the project we are fundraising for in July:

http://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/drummers-collective-rebuilding-our-school#

National Donut Day and Tea

Today is National Donut Day which means Dunkin’ Donuts is giving away free donuts to their customers. I thought about going before work but envisioned hoards of people lined up waiting for their free donut. So now I am thinking I can go after work when most people have already gobbled up their free donut delight.

Donuts and coffee go great together it is true but I have to say donuts and tea are also a great match. Both have such delicious varieties that sometimes it is hard to choose. However, it is always fun to pair one with the other.

I am sure by the time I get to Dunkin’ Donuts the selection will have dwindled significantly.  However, I will need to find one that will go with whatever tea I decide to blend tonight which will probably be a caffeine free blend. Which rooibos blend depends on the donut I choose. If I get a blueberry donut then I will have a lovely blueberry rooibos.  If I get a standard glazed donut then I will probably have the berry herbal that I received for my birthday. If by some miracle they have a cruller left in stock then I will have it with a cup of Nutty Almond Creme.

It is a rainy, dreary day so knowing I have something to look forward to like tea and a donut after dinner, is really uplifting. It is the little things in life that make life worth living. So thank you Dunkin’ Donuts for your kind offer of a free donut to keep me in good spirits despite the weather.

Happy sipping!

For a wide variety of high quality teas at affordable prices visit: Stylintea.com

Tea Rafiki of the Month at Royal Tea of Kenya

Today I received an email from Joy, my sales representative at Royal Tea of Kenya. The email said that I was selected as Tea Rafiki of the Month. This honor was bestowed upon me for my on going support of Royal Tea of Kenya and the Kenyan farmers.   http://www.royalteaofkenya.com/index.php/component/content/article/62-featured-tea-rafiki/170-tea-rafiki-of-the-month-lizz-taylor

I am very touched and honored indeed. After all, what I do is not the hard part. The farmers did all of the work. They planted, harvested and processed some of the finest teas I have ever had. Anyone who has purchased tea from me knows that I only sell tea that I am passionate about. I was so passionate about Grandpa’s Anytime Tea that I sent samples up to Tea Sparrow because I didn’t want them to miss out. They loved it so much they selected it as one of their featured teas in April. Rightfully so since it is a great tea and still one of my best sellers.

It is true that Joy and I are like Tea Sisters. She sent me some samples to try to keep my mind off my son moving out of the area. It gave me a good excuse to get together with friends and have tea tastings. I also found a few new Tea Friends who fell in love with the Royal Tea of Kenya teas.

Joy knows that I have been sad because I can’t make the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas again this year so she sent me the link and said “Hope this makes your day”.  Yes it does! Very much! It is indeed an honor. I am happy to continue to support the Kenyan farmers and I am very appreciative of the support and kindness that Joy has shown me over the time we have known each other. 

Thank you Joy!

Happy sipping!

stylintea.com