Tuesday, 31 December 2013

PMS and Menstruation Part 2: Tea I Made

The tea I made:
Part two! Yay!

When I made my own tea mix, I had to get my herbs and/or spices from different sources. No I did not use all the herbs and/or spices listed (mostly because of the fact some were from the same section, or just really hard to find). I'll list them all before I put down my mixes.
I only made one main mix, mainly for my personal generalized symptoms. I lean more towards being super crampy, achey, bloated, and moody. Since my flow is quite heavy, I also get anemic. Essentially, I feel pretty shitty for at least the first 2 days of my cycle, and about 2 days before.
Adjust to your personal needs and/or taste.

I tried to make mine taste as good as possible.

Laura's Mix:
-Organic unpasteurized honey*

Before steeping this mix smelled mostly like lavender and ginger. Not surprising, since they have the two strongest scents out of everything.
Once steeped, it smelled like thyme and fennel.

Because I'm the one who made it, I guess I should put some brewing instructions (they're more like guidelines, really), eh?

1.5 tsp/cup
Steep 5-7 minutes
Water at a rolling boil

It wasn't the worst I've ever tasted. I put in 1.5 tsp of honey for 1cup, so that really helped. It didn't taste too shabby with milk and honey either. This mix tasted like a lavender, ginger tea, with some back notes of fennel. It was nice and light and sweet. The sweetness is purely from the honey, so without it it wouldn't taste nearly as nice.

Most importantly, did this brew work?
Well, after months of trying it...it works decently.

If the cramps are REALLY bad, it will take the edge off, if they are average to light, it can make them go away mostly. It honestly made it go from needing pain meds, to not. At one point pain meds did diddly squat, and this helped.

For bloating, it helped it feel better and made it less bloated.

For moodiness, it just was soothing. It wasn't a fix all all the time, but it relaxed me.

For anemia...well it wasn't an iron supplement or a steak. It helped, but not when I had a heavy flow. When it was a normal flow, it did give me a boost.

See you next week!

*Honey is a natural sweetener, and overall just good for you. Fun fact, honey that is pasteurized becomes essentially honey-flavored corn syrup. So, remember to buy UNPASTEURIZED honey! Putting honey in hot water will not pasteurize it, but microwaving it will. I got mine at my local grocery store. It was the Compliments brand and not super expensive for the size of jar I got.

We DO NOT take responsibility for any possible consequences from any use of the information provided by this information, or information contained in this blog. The post of this information does NOT constitute the practice of medicine or replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider(s). Please seek the advice from your doctors.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Alpine Punch

Alpine Punch from DavidsTea
Ingredients: Rooibos, coconut chips and rasps, apple pieces, cinnamon pieces, ginger bits, cardamom, black pepper, rose blossoms, almond flakes, artificial flavouring

I am quite sure this tea has been a winter special with DT for quite some time because I remember even two years ago hearing people rave about this tea. I gave it a good whiff, but all I could manage was a lazy shrugging of the shoulders and putting it aside for the teas that smell much more appealing.

Oh yeah, and this tea is yet another in the massive ensemble of teas containing - you guessed it- fucking coconut.... 
Jackie disapproves of your coconut-y shenanigans, DT

BUT  it doesn't taste bad. I'm at war with myself trying to decide if it's the almond or the coconut that I can taste more of, but with the over-bearing scent of the coconut, I'm going to say the coconut wins. Damn shame, because this is a SERIOUSLY smoooooth tea. If you hold your breath you can REALLY taste the apple. It's a  cornucopia of flavours.

It is good.

Pick out some of the coconut and add some more rooibos and you have something. But it doesn't have those things...
I wouldn't buy more because I have much better tasting cider-esque teas with more of the punch (where is this "PUNCH" the name suggests, by the way?!) you expect from a winter tea. But it could be your thing, so give it a try!

Now I'm going to go lie down because this holiday madness is murder. 

Happy Steeping, and I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

PMS and Menstruation Part 1: Information

This is part one! Part two will be next week! Bumping it forward in honor of my body being a twat.

I spent months on this you better read it all you tea-bags.

Okay uterus-owners, we all know how shitty having your period can be. Cramping, bloating, heartburn, moodswings, anemia...I say, start the New Year with some handy knowledge about how a tea and it's components can help you!

I'm going to start this post explaining (and sourcing.) the reasons why I'm using certain herbs for certain uses. Please check the provided sources, as some herbs and/or spices may have contraindications.
And yes, I have experimented. I'll let you know my favorite overall mix that helps with the majority of the symptoms.

Herbs and/or Spices (that I may use in a tea) that may help with cramping, and why:

Although in many areas of research, black cohosh has been found to decrease menstrual cramps, it can cause other adverse side effects. I would not use it in a tea for those reasons.
The main reason magnesium helps with menstrual cramps is by helping with calcium absorption, aids in normal muscle and nerve functions, and boosts the immune system.
You can find more nutrition information on foods with magnesium here.

Anything that is an anti-spasmodic will help with muscle cramps (your uterus is a muscle).

The main reason vitamin D helps with menstrual cramps is by regulating prostaglandins, and to decrease the production of inflammation producing molecules [additional information]. Please note, very high doses of vitamin D may be harmful, and that not all scientists agree that it can help with muscle cramps.

Herbs and/or spices (that I may use in a tea) that may help with gas and bloating:

Ginger helps by helping promote the passing of gas. Yes. Farting helps with bloating. Bloating can hurt more than farting will embarrass; PASS THAT GAS. And by helping decrease spasm in your GI (gastrointestinal) tract.
Peppermint helps by helping to relax the muscles that allowing painful digestive gas to pass.
Fennel helps by minimizing GI tract spasms. I personally find fennel's licorice-y taste bearable, if not enjoyable. It is not overpowering, and to me, hardly licorice-y at all.

Herbs and/or spices (that I may use in a tea) that may help with anemia: 
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
How thyme and marjoram help with anemia is because the are both high in iron. Please note, the link for marjoram's nutrition contents is set to 100 grams (dried and ground), and will need to be manually converted to anything smaller. Thyme is already set to 1 tsp dried and ground.

Herbs and/or spices (that I may use in a tea) that may help with moodiness
Ginseng has been shown to help with mood swings, but those are mostly when associated with menopause.
Lavender helps by acting as a relaxant and helping with anxiety. Note: If you end up using PURE LAVENDER OIL instead of the edible straight plant, MAKE SURE IT IS FOOD GRADE. IF IT IS NOT FOOD GRADE, IT IS HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH. 
Valerian, as well as what was stated in the cramps section, is also a mild sedative, and can be used as a sleep aid, and a relaxant. Although if you have too much valerian (AKA start eating the full plant/root by itself like a salad) you may experience very strange dreams. So please refrain from doing so!
Chamomile can help with moodiness by acting as a relaxant.

When it comes to cravings I do recommend finding a tea that has the flavor you are craving, and adding that to any other mix.  Fulfill a craving as best as possible!

We DO NOT take responsibility for any possible consequences from any use of the information provided by this information, or information contained in this blog. The post of this information does NOT constitute the practice of medicine or replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider(s). Please seek the advice from your doctors.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake

Ingredients: Black tea, cherries, pineapple, natural and artificial cake flavoring  (DT, NO! You are a CANADIAN company. Use PROPER spelling! Flavouring*... Yes, I copy and paste the ingredients from their site.)

Coffee Cake smells amazing. Even Chris  told me that he thinks it smells really good, and he never comments anything about my teas. So I was excited to give this one a try.

I steeped it for five minutes, as suggested (it could use a little longer, in my opinion) and it does smell a little like a coffee cake. All I could think was that it tastes like a toasted caramel rooibos, even though there is no rooibos tea in this one. I wish I could taste more of the fruit and less of the cake flavouring... but that is not to say that it isn't yummy; it is!

It tastes like caramel and rooibos, but you still get the rich flavour of the black tea. That's about all I can say about it... It's good!

I'm going to go back to making chocolates now!
(Perhaps MATCHA chocolates?????)

I will try and make a post before Christmas with some recipes that I have come up with. if not, Merry Christmas!

Happy Steeping!


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Sleigh Ride

Okay so, let me preface by saying I wasn't feeling the best today, so this review is probably going to read as more short and sweet than anything else.

This tea tends to lean itself to the weaker side, so I had to double strength it at 2 tbsp for one pot of tea.
It smells fruity and a little creamy, and very pretty to look at.

I steeped it for like...10 minutes or something.

It looks how kanpe tea tastes.
Honestly, I thought that's what it would taste like.

In the end, it's more bland than anything, and kanpe tastes better and frankly tastes more Christmas-y.

Sleigh Ride LOOKS more festive, that's for sure though.

Good tea, won't buy again because bland.

Now excuse me while I go nap because I am not feeling up to snuff.


Thursday, 12 December 2013

Spiced Fig

Spiced Fig from DavidsTea

Ingredients: Apples, cranberries, black mission figs, calimyrna figs, dates, almonds, rose hips, cloves, natural vanilla flavoring.

 Ah, the classic fruit in a pudding from the Christmas being demanded for by obsessive carolers. Figs.
Let me be clear, I do not like figs. They are a disturbing fruit created via wasp sex. That's right, WASP SEX. Look it up and gag along with me. 

I'm doing this or you. Therefore, I do not like you right now...

The smell is very off-putting, I really do not like it... but sometimes taste is better than smell when it comes to tea, so I steeped it for the 8 of suggested 6-8 minutes. I was hoping the crazy overbearing cranberry to fig ratio would help me get through this tea, but no... 

Wait for it... it's a first... are you ready for this???

I do not like this tea.
At all.

It tastes like someone threw a fig newton in warm water... only without the awesome cookie sweetness... It's just a fig in water. It has a lot of ingredients, but I just don't taste any of them!

I don't know how else to describe it. It tastes like baby's first tea. Bland, far too light, I just can't bring myself to drink any more. I won't even be finishing this cup. YUCK

No thank you. Not for me.

Happy Steeping,

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

White Chocolate Frost

The weather outside is frightful, but the tea inside's delightful!
Please ignore the grammar, I hope it will fill you with some laughter,

Stop the stop, stop the snow, stop the snow!

See the peppercorns?
Did you enjoy my song? You fucking better have. I had to google words that rhyme with grammar for that shit.

I love this tea.

I put in 1 tbsp, as usual. Steeped for...I'm not really sure. I was doing some chores and forgot. In my fancy glass teapot, because I wanted to. And that's how I motherfuckin' roll.

The tea tastes like those white chocolate peppermint candies. It tastes great hot, it tastes good cold.

When hot, it warms the soul. It really brings out the sweet, smooth, creamy-ness of the white chocolate.
When cold, it is super refreshing - like after dinner mints are supposed to be! You absolutely taste the peppermint more.

Seriously though, it's pepperminty, chocolately, and just a nice smooth drink. It's just want I needed to make me feel better about the horrible iOS update with my Galaxy.
Buy it, drink it, enjoy it. You won't regret it.

I mean, it isn't the prettiest tea to look it, but that's why you ingest it, not look at it.

 Stay warm, my friends!


Thursday, 5 December 2013


Gingerbread from DavidsTea
Ingredients:  Rooibos, green rooibos, honeybush, cinnamon, currants, crystalized ginger, pineapple, safflower petals, natural and artificial flavouring

The Christmas teas continue!

It is FREEZING outside. Inside pictures only
Gingerbread. DavidsTea was really excited about this one when they announced it, claiming it took a lot of work to perfect the taste of gingerbread. Laura seemed unimpressed and even gave me her bag. But it smells like rooibos and a freshly baked gingerbread cookie, so I'm pretty excited.
Here we go...

I steeped it for 6 minutes, since it suggested 5-7, and like I said, it smells pretty damn good.

It tastes exactly the way that it smells. I can see how it would taste kind of nasty if you did it for too long (I wouldn't go past 7 minutes, myself), but I'm just not getting the overbearing molasses flavour that Laura has warned me about.
I'm actually really enjoying it. It could be that I got a lucky spoonful that got me the perfect combination of the bits, but I am definitely keeping what I have!

Gingerbread tastes like a gingerbread cookie with a side of rooibos.
I'm impressed. It's worth trying, but be conservative in your first purchase until you are sure that it is for you. Unless you are getting for someone else...

This one seems to be a bit of a gamble.

You can get really adorable little tins of the gingerbread, or get a set of tea filled tin Christmas tree ornaments for great gifts! Though, I can not find the ornaments on the online store anymore... Hm

Oh, yes. and HURRY! DT says this tea and the other "Holiday" labeled teas could be gone by the mid this month!! MADNESS!

Good luck with your shopping.

Give many a great tea gift!

Happy Steeping!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

"Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some chamomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter!
 'One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time.'"

~Beatrix Potter

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Santa's Secret

The weather today
So I'm going to start with how I like to make this tea, because it's my review, and I'm an adult who can do what I want!

Today's tea is Santa's Secret.

I steeped the tea with 2 tablespoons PER FOUR CUP POT, and steep it 5 minutes. So it's pretty strong. I also stir the leaves while it steeps so all of the candy cane sprinkles dissolve.

Then I add 1/3 cup skim milk (use whatever milk you have), heat that fucker up. I microwaved it on high I think for 54 seconds. Specifically 54 because I stopped it when it started to bubble.

To that, I add 2 teaspoons of vanilla agave, stirred it around.

Then  poured that awesome hot milk and agave mixture directly into my pot of hot freshly brewed tea, gave it a quick stir.

Then I drank it. All of it. Because it was yummy and I put effort into making it  however little effort is actually was I don't know because I am lazy today

It tasted creamy, vanilla-y, with tiny peppermint afternote. If I had plain peppermint tea, I'd add just a sprinkle more. Like a literal pinch. Just so the afternote becomes a bit stronger.
It inspired me to try this with a bunch of my other black teas, but switch to my maple agave when appropriate.

SO IT WAS DELIGHTFUL. Which actually made it taste a lot like White Chocolate Frost shhhhhhhhhh

But, having it plain...it didn't really make me go "this is a delight yum yum" it made me more think of "did someone add Pure Vanilla to Orange Pekoe?

Kayla's post describes it pretty good actually. So...read that, and take this as evidence that this tea needs extra to taste special so you may as well just get White Chocolate Frost

I can't go to the gym today like I wanted to because of the first blizzard of the year and all the lights need to be on otherwise it's dark inside, so I ARE GRUMP.

Keep on drinking* and stay warm,
Love your grump,


*Whether or not you turn it into a Hot Toddy is up to you. Wiki defines it not how I was taught; tea with booze. Not this. Ignore wiki.