24 Days of Tea Holiday Countdown – Day 15 from Teanzo 1856

Today is Day 15, it hardly seems REAL to me that it would be December 15th already.  Just ten days until Christmas.  Just 14 shopping days before the day.  This year vanished way too quickly!

altered badgeToday, I decided to feature something that I made several years ago, and I had not intended on making it for the tree, but it has since become an ornament for the tree.  This is an altered toy sheriff’s badge.  I covered it with polymer clay and then I embellished it with more polymer clay accents, glitter, paint and some metal embellishments.

When I created this piece, I did so because I was working on an art ‘zine and the main topic of that issue was my favorite artist of all time, Vincent Van Gogh.  His painting, “Starry Night” is my favorite work of art of all time and this altered badge is an interpretation of that work.

In case you’re wondering what an art ‘zine is, it’s a handmade ‘magazine’ – there are many different types of ‘zines out there, but the ones that have always appealed to me and the kind that I focused on were altered art ‘zines.  In these ‘zines I would talk about art and also tea (my two obsessions) and I’d include short stories, journaling, “how to” tutorials, and little art sample inclusions (like little bits of ephemera and stuff).  They were fun.

Still curious?  This book might give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

Let’s get to today’s tea, shall we?

Simply Rooibos

orgrooibosTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Teanzo 1856

Tea Description:

This high quality organic rooibos iced tea from South Africa is a great source of antioxidants and trace minerals. Simplicity at its best, rooibos is naturally caffeine free.  Also great as a hot tea and takes milk well.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

OK, yeah, I was less than enthusiastic when I saw that today’s tea is pure rooibos.  But, I was happy to find that it’s organic rooibos (I am not all that crazy about plain, pure rooibos.  But the organic rooibos is pretty good.  And yes, there is a difference, I did a side-by-side comparison to them at one point, and there is a distinct difference in flavor between the two.)

But really, there’s not a lot to say about this organic rooibos that I haven’t said about organic rooibos in the past.  It’s sweet with honeyed notes and a flavor that is somewhere between warm nutty flavors and woodsy tones.

To brew it, I recommend going slightly lower than most vendors of tea will suggest.  Most suggest using boiling water.  I don’t.  I lower the temperature to 195°F.

Here’s why:  A lot of tea drinkers, myself included, often complain about a “sour wood” taste to rooibos.  I didn’t call it “sour wood” though, I called it a “funky, weird taste” because I didn’t think of putting the words sour and wood together.  Yeah, I got the wood flavor, but it didn’t taste like “sour wood” to me, it tasted funky and weird.  So that’s what I called it.

After tasting that funky, weird, sour wood taste (or whatever you want to call it!) more often than I wanted to taste it when drinking something that is supposed to be a pleasure to sip (ie:  tea/tisane), I decided to play around with how I brew the stuff.  And I lowered the temperature of the water that I steep rooibos in and I found NO funky, weird taste.  No sour wood.  That’s my secret to avoid that strange flavor.


I steeped the rooibos for 10 minutes and it’s a very enjoyable cup.  Nutty, a little woody (but more like a nutty flavor than a woodsy one) with notes of honey-like sweetness.  Hints of a toasty, smoky note in the distance.  Quite pleasant, really.  Simple, organic, pleasant and naturally caffeine free.  A nice tea to sip later in the evening when you’d rather not overstimulate yourself with caffeine.

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