by Cassandra Vincent
I love tea almost as much as I love sci-fi and fantasy. There are some artists, stories and performances I cannot imagine life without and one is Doctor Who. I love the classic and the modern reboot and every incarnation of the Doctor for the unique individual spirit each performer has so courageously brought. And they must have done something right. The Doctor has been with us for over 50 years (who saw the Day of the Doctor for the 50th anniversary? Oh yes, I was in a joyous boisterous group stateside applauding as all 13 doctors came together so Galifrey would stand. Fly your geek flag proudly, people.) From TV serials, to TV movies, to multitudinous audio stories, to anniversary specials, holiday specials, behind the scenes series, conventions and on and on, The Doctor is beloved. It is no wonder. Sci-fi is brilliant as a medium for us to explore other worlds and ideas but also to explore what it is we could evolve to be. I see the Doctor as a great metaphor for all of the facets inside us. At every moment we choose our response to life, choose who we are. Even with benevolent intent I think the best of us question ourselves. The ability of the Doctor to be caring and frightening in turns and to question whether he is a ‘good man’ I think is an honest look into the human spirit and struggle for completeness – for the day when all of our pieces unite to create an effective, powerful, at peace whole.
"There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea is asleep and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, and somewhere else the tea is getting cold.
Come on, Ace, we've got work to do."
- The 7th Doctor [“Survival” 1989]
It is no surprise then that the good Doctor has inspired tea blends as well. As a very British bit of entertainment it makes sense that tea works its way into many of the stories – tv, audio and novel. Adagio Tea has a vast array of teas inspired by entertainment ‘fandoms’ including numerous inspired by Doctor Who. I tried two of these charming blends:
This dalek inspired black blend was created by Elizabeth o. and includes the following Adagio teas:
Tasting notes: A deep, rich cup that reminds me of holidays and warm hearth fires. There is a gentle sweetness from the nutty flavors and cloves as well. This one takes milk well and sweetener brings out more of a caramel/dessert-like flavor.
Packaging: You can get both small and larger quantities of the fandom teas in decorative tins and I think that is part of their charm. As you can see in the picture, this blend comes in a tin with a vintage-style dalek design. I am a fan of decorative, opaque tins and will gladly reuse this. Bear in mind the tea is straight in the tin. It is quite full and there is no bag, which is good to know to prevent accidental spillage upon opening.
"Never turn down tea if it's offered. It's impolite, and that's how wars start." – The Eighth Doctor [“Memory Lane” – Big Finish audio adventure]
This Time And Relative Dimension In Space blend is made of the following teas:
Sweet, delicate and mellow. The vanilla is clearly present but not overwhelming. It ties the fruit ‘companions’ together. I agree with other reviewers that it would be a good iced tea candidate.
“Tea! That’s all I needed.”
With over 10,000 (!) fandom teas there is likely a fit for any entertainment tea geek on your gift list. Though there is no brewing time or temp on the tin itself the Adagio website is very detailed. There are links to each of the blend’s components on the tea’s page along with brewing time, temperature, reviews and size options. The fandom section is a bit overwhelming. I suggest using the handy search boxes to find a specific show/game/theme to narrow your search. Plus you can blend your own tea using the wide range of Adagio teas, upload original artwork for it and name your creation too.
Thanks to Adagio Teas for reaching out to us and providing their fandom teas for this adventure through space, time and taste! Wishing you many such great adventures to come in tea AND in anticipation of the next Doctor as the 12th Doctor makes his exit in season 10 of the reboot! Where did he get that cup of tea?
by Cassandra Vincent
I've been wanting to try tea dyed eggs. I knew there had to have been a ton of people who have done them already and sure enough I found a great post by Lu Ann over at The Teacup of Life blog with a good clear baseline on how to go about tea dying eggs. Here is the post: http://theteacupoflife.com/2017/04/diy-tea-dyed-easter-eggs.html
I thought this would be another opportunity to use some of the tea that was given to me that is no longer drinkable and that I've been using for art projects. So I pulled out three:
1) an old CTC black tea (CTC meaning 'crush'[or cut], tear, curl' processing method which makes for small even tea that looks a bit like pellets)
2) Bancha tea fannings and
3) chamomile tea bags.
I did use a large amount of tea to water ratio to get a deeper color - about 2 TB for a 10 oz. cup. I did use vinegar as well - about 1 tsp per mug. I admit, I didn't have the patience to leave them in overnight so I only left the eggs in for 15 min to one hour depending on depth of color desired. The black tea of course produced the deepest tone when the egg was left in for a long time, but produced a lovely pale brown when left in for 15 minutes (that is the 'Tea' egg in the photo above). I dabbed at one of the dark brown eggs with a paper towel after I pulled it out of the tea to give it a kind of mottled look which I really like. The green tea produced a light but pleasing green. The chamomile was very underwhelming though, only giving a pale yellow cast even though it was in for the longest time.
I used a white crayon to write 'TEA' on one egg prior to dying to play with the idea and found it worked really well. Though writing with white on white was a bit of an act of faith as I couldn't actually see what I was doing until after the dye job, lol.
I know that colored eggs are often looked at as an Easter thing, but I think they'd be a lovely way to plate hard boiled eggs for a brunch at any time of the year. I encourage you to explore the beauty of the earthy tones and the fun of creating designs as the muse strikes you. Enjoy!
by Cassandra Vincent
I’m a fan of nitro – the smooth and creamy texture is a huge plus to my enjoyment. I love good tap beer on nitro. Our old friend Guinness and close mate Murphy’s are great examples of the nitro stout with a fine foamy head that gives the impression near to whipped cream which I love also. I randomly discovered a chocolate milkshake stout that broke me out in a rash of cravings that lasted for weeks.
Then I discovered ice cream made fresh sans any preservatives, using liquid nitrogen to freeze the ingredients as they are being blended resulting in a deliciously fresh and velvety creamy gorgeousness. That caused another rash of cravings. Marvelous!
I have tried nitro cold brew coffee as well. Though I definitely prefer cold brewed coffee to it’s hot brewed version I didn’t feel the nitro was as good a fit here for me. Strange, as in every other case I really prefer it. May be I need to try some more brands to find a better fit as it may have had more to do with the roast than the nitro.
Now the nitro trend has found its way to tea with tea on tap and also canned versions for purchase at specialty food stores like Whole Foods. I tried B Sweet canned nitro matcha green tea. I thought it might have the widget that causes nitrogen to be released into the liquid upon opening, which I’ve experienced in beer cans, but it did not. The can includes the suggestions “shake well and pour hard”. I think I would have benefitted more from the suggestion “shake hard and pour fast” as I clearly did not shake hard enough and got chunks of matcha at the bottom. Ick. I found that the creamy head on top of the matcha reminded me more of the crema on an espresso shot rather than the thick head on a Guinness. This matcha is unsweetened but has a naturally sweet and mellow character. To my palate it is less grassy than some matchas I have had and is not at all bitter. Everyone has their preference as to matcha taste and there are many grades of matcha. There is no indication on the site or can of what grade is used but I have been told the company uses a blend.
I think the nitro version of matcha is a fun experience that I would repeat. I am interested in trying B Sweet nitro Thai tea and also trying their nitro teas on tap to see if there is a more intense nitro effect. Have you tried nitro tea yet? Are you up for this adventure into tea innovation? Let us know about your nitro experience on facebook, twitter, pinterest. Cheers!
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