Tag Archives: Andes Breeze

An Herbal Infused Moment

The Portfolio

There are few go-to herbal infusions I would consider as staples in my tea cupboard. Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepytime Tea, MyTeaShelf.com’s Andes Breeze, and my own personal blend I’ve dubbed Calm-o-mile. So when Teekanne approached me about sampling their herbal line, I was willing (of course!), but ambivalent. It was a heavenly surprise, then, when these herbals arrived on my doorstep. Twelve herbal infusions divided into three categories of Energizing, Relaxing, and Soothing. All in the most gorgeous portfolio – though here all you see is the aftermath of my indulgence… 

The Purge

Let me preface all of this by saying that we have been in the process of selling and buying a home over the past several weeks – factor in the holidays, and let’s just say life has been anything but serene. I decided to do as Teekanne suggested and allow their blends to help me live a healthy lifestyle. I devoted the majority of my daily tea consumption to their infusions alone. These accompanied me through the shredding of 10 trash bags of outdated and unnecessary documents, the scheduling of myriad repairmen, inspectors, realtors and escrow officers, freakouts over last minute wire transfers, and they even took the place of an evening’s glass of wine. The result? Well, we are moving the last week of January into a new home, and I still have a shred of sanity left!

My chief complaint with herbal infusions is that if there is fruit involved, there is a sickeningly sweet aftertaste, or if there is no fruit involved, there can be a dusty, weedy residue left in my mouth. Teekanne presented an entirely different experience. Yes, these are bagged infusions, but it didn’t matter. Good is good. Each of the flavors had a mild sweetness that stayed just that – mild. The only exception was Rosehip and Hibiscus, which veered into my personal icky sweet danger zone. Other than that, I found a pleasant boost in the Energizing blends, and I may be convinced that my new wind-down beverage of choice is a Soothing or Relaxing blend.

There were a few stand outs:

When it came to the Energizing blends, I expected Lemon Twist to be my fave, but surprisingly I have to give the top spot to Cinnamon Apple Spice.  If you are a fan of Bigelow’s Constant Comment, you may enjoy some similar notes in this blend.  In the Relaxing blends, Mandarin Breeze pleasantly surprised me. The orange essence was subtle but lovely. I expected to love the Honey Vanilla Bliss, but shockingly, this was the one infusion I actually could not finish. I don’t know how two such perfect flavors can contradict each other so harshly, but this was a case where two rights made a wrong. To be fair, I have yet to come across a vanilla blend of any kind that worked for me, so perhaps I’m not the best judge in this case. But it was the Relaxing blends – both Purely Peppermint and Triple Mint Tranquility that really sent me over the moon. Or rather, brought me gently back to earth and calmed the chaos that seems to reign from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. each day.

My new evening companion

Verdict – Me likey. The misses were far outweighed by the hits. And I guess I should not be surprised since Teekanne (which I just learned is German for “teapot”) has been a big player in the tea industry since 1882.

One more bonus? They have launched a promotion entitled “My Teekanne Moment” with a grand prize of a $5,000 American Express gift card. I like their style.

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A Moment Shared from Germany

Tea can bring people together, even if they are worlds apart. So, imagine my delight to hear from our drawing winner, Abadia, from Germany! She received her package with samples of all six award winning teas and sent me this lovely review of Andes Breeze:

Enjoying an Andes Breeze on the other side of the world!


Dear Jen,

I tasted it!  And it was really lovely.

An herbal infusion perfect for me: not too fruity but refreshing enough and at the same time “warm”.
Spicy but gentle.  Stimulating (good for an afternoon with a good book!) and due to the lack of caffeine very adequate for late evenings too!

Have a nice weekend,

Abadía

I wholeheartedly agree! Thanks for your lovely review, and I look forward to hearing of even more moments from all of you!

And remember you can still take advantage of the 10% off discount code at http://www.myteashelf.com when you enter the code TEAMOMENT at check out.

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Filed under Tea, Travel

An Event-ful Moment

Thank You, Sponsors!

Neither rain nor sleet nor flooded roadways could keep these women away from my first tea event of the New Year (thank goodness!), An International Tea Moment’s Best of 2009 Tea Event.  Torrential rains have hit Southern California with a vengeance not seen since 1995, so while tea may seem the perfect antidote to gloomy weather, I was a little concerned that hurricane-force gusts of wind may deter my guests. Luck was on my side, though, and the rain stopped just long enough for the guests to arrive.

Some were new to the different varieties of tea, some had some old stand-by’s in their cupboards, and all of them were more than happy to have an excuse to step away from their places of work and enjoy a tea party of any kind. Here, they would be introduced to my favorite discoveries of 2009, including:

Best of 2009 Black Tea: Mokalbari Estates, by American Tea Room

Best of 2009 Black Tea Blend: Tangier, by American Tea Room

Best of 2009 White Tea Blend: White Tiger, by DAVIDsTEA

Best of 2009 Oolong: Rose Violet Calendula, by Naivetea

Best of 2009 Green Tea Blend: Jaded Julip, by Lavender Lounge Tea Company/Pangea Tea Company

Best of 2009 Herbal Infusion: Andes Breeze, by MyTeaShelf.com

Upon arrival, guests were met with score cards and asked to step into the tasting room. Each of the 6 award winning teas was laid out with small tasting cups. Everyone made their way through each station, jotting notes and asking questions about the differences between teas: white, oolong, green and black, and why an herbal tea was usually not really considered “tea.” (There are no actual tea leaves in most of what we refer to as “herbal teas.”) Cards were collected – during lunch, guests would be served the tea they chose as their favorite.

The rain fell during lunch, and then came the hail! Everyone commented they were glad to be inside with a hot cup of tea rather than dealing with the weather outside. Conversations ranged from the effects of tea on teeth, to birthday makeovers, to academics, to teapots, tea cups, collections and my lovely experiences with each of the event’s wonderful sponsors and award winners. The lunch menu included roasted red pepper and tomato soup with basil; four sandwiches: cucumber, tuna salad, egg salad, and pear and brie;  a savory ham and cheese-filled puff pastry, an orange and cranberry scone to be topped with fruit preserves and Devonshire cream, strawberries and blueberries, and assorted chocolates.

Before the end of our time together, we tallied the cards and identified the “Fan Favorite” of all the award winners.  Now, you all know my bent toward black teas and tea blends. So when it comes to tea parties that involve finger sandwiches, the obvious accompanying tea is always a black one, right?  To my surprise, there was not one Fan Favorite, but two. And neither were black teas!

Congratulations to Naivetea for Fan Favorite #1, Rose Violet Calendula Oolong, and to DAVIDsTEA for Fan Favorite #2, White Tiger!

Fabulous prizes!

And then, the icing on the cake, each guest got to take the tea party home with them! Due to the generosity of the award winners, everyone left with a sample of each of the six award winning teas, a tea cup with infuser, a discount code for MyTeaShelf.com for 10% off (Enter code TEAMOMENT at checkout), and an assortment of tea samples from DAVIDsTEA to further explore some exciting and creative tea blends.

As I wrapped up this event, I reflected on what this moment was all about. Yes, I have been introduced to a plethora of amazing, exciting, unique and nuanced teas, each with their own distinct personality. But even better, I got to share a select few with a collection of amazing, exciting, unique and nuanced women who have become treasured friends over the last 10 years since Gene and I moved here. For me, that is what made this moment most successful.

Are you an existing fan of any of these award-winning teas? If so, you are invited to submit your own ‘tea moments’ through photos, videos or written note!

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Filed under Drawings, Tea

A Breeze from the Andes

Suitcases waiting to be packed. Conference calls to initiate. Laundry to start… and then fold… and then transport upstairs. Articles to write. The last of the Christmas cards to be dropped in the mail. And work. The last day of work.

The surprise packet in the mail. A gift. A reinvigorating blend. Andes Breeze. Even the name breathes life into my slowly waking mind and body. I inhale a zephyr of spearmint, chamomile (not too weedy), is that lemon? And what else… apples maybe.  Something sweet. The first sip.

This golden infusion delivers a new burst of energy. My eyes are open now. My senses enlivened. Cinnamon. A finish with just a hint of sweetness – but not sugary sweet. Freshly sweet.

I think you have something here, My Tea Shelf. And I thank you!

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