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Get the Tea: Twinings of London’s The Art of Earl Grey

Do you still love the products you enjoyed as a child? Whether it’s something you enjoyed to eat or drink, played with, etc. We certainly do; there are brands we grew up that we still use to this day, one of which is Twinings of London tea. You already know of our obsession with all things tea, so we write this with a great deal of pleasure. We had the great pleasure of being invited to celebrate Twinings of London’s The Art of Earl Grey, the three newest flavor additions to the brand’s long legacy of fine teas (they have 300 years of tea expertise under their belt).

For those not in the know, Earl Grey is a black tea infused with bergamot, it is aromatic, flavorful, a great energy booster, and one of the two most popular blends of black tea in the world (English Breakfast is the other). Twinings has been blending Earl Grey tea for almost two centuries. The Twinings of London’s The Art of Earl Grey Collection includes Earl Grey – Extra Bold, Earl Grey – Jasmine, and Earl Grey – Lavender. Seeing as January is Hot Tea Month, it’s the perfect time to honor the new flavors.

Earl Grey – Extra Bold

Like the other two blends, the Earl Grey – Extra Bold is a modern twist on the classic tea. Starting with Twinings of London’s original Earl Grey tea, they then added more of its exquisite flavor to create a mouthwatering tea with a rich, vibrant taste.

Earl Grey – Jasmine

The Earl Grey – Jasmine is a smooth, uplifting blend that is known for its intoxicating aroma and slightly sweet taste. The uplifting flavor of jasmine creates an aromatic tea that will light up your day.

Earl Grey – Lavender

Get ready to sit back and relax with the soothing taste of the warm, inviting Earl Grey – Lavender tea. Known for its fresh, floral aroma and soothing taste, the luxurious flavor of lavender creates a rewarding tea that will calm and soothe your soul.

Along with enjoying several cups of the new teas in their flavorful glory, we also got to enjoy quite a few Earl Grey variety cocktails including The Canterbury, a bourbon rum hot toddy with Earl Grey – Extra Bold, The Newcastle, a white rum old fashioned with Earl Grey – Jasmine, and The Strand, a Gin Collins with Earl Grey – Lavender.

We also had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Stephen Twining (pictured below), a 10th Generation Twining. Along with singing the praises of Twinings tea to him, we had the opportunity to ask him a question we have wondered about since we first started drinking Twinings – what’s the significance of the “S” on the brand name? If you notice, his last name has no S.

As it goes:

When Richard Twining (The Grandson of the founder) put up the doorway to our Strand Shop in 1787, he did not like the ” ” at the end of the name, so removed it. Thus creating our brand name.

It’s not at all what we expected but I love that little detail. So there it is tea lovers, the new flavors that make up the Twinings of London’s The Art of Earl Grey collection. All three flavors, and so much more, are all available now on the Twinings website. Are you eager to try these new Earl Grey varieties?

Community Coffee’s Top 10 Tips to Enjoy Mardi Gras 2016

Are you heading to New Orleans for Mardi gras next month? We’ve teamed up with our favorite Louisiana coffee to bring you a top ten list of tips and trick to fully enjoy your Mardi Gras experience in honor of the return of their Mardi Gras-inspired flavored coffee, Community Coffee Mardi Gras King Cake Coffee.

Community Coffee Mardi Gras King Cake coffee

If you’ll be in New Orleans to partake in the carnival festivities, this is the perfect time for some insider tips on the celebrations. Did you know the origins of Mardi Gras in New Orleans can be traced to medieval Europe? The revelry passed through Rome and Venice to evolve into the ornately costumed festivities we see and enjoy today. There’s a lot of tradition and heritage that have helped shaped the Mardi Gras scene into its current celebrated state, and we want to make sure you all there is to have a fully immersive and wonderful time. Without further ado, here are our top ten good things to know to enjoy Mardi Gras like a New Orleans native:

  • Number 10
    How to spell “krewe” and “flambeaux” and “Mardi Gras” and, well, you get the point.
  • Number 9
    Technically, Carnivale is a season, and Mardi Gras is a day. But New Orleans tend to generalize and refer to the weeks of parades leading up to Fat Tuesday as Mardi Gras.
  • Number 8
    The Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and gold. Remember to coordinate your outfit appropriately.
  • Number 7
    The Captain of the Krewe is more important than the King. But the King gets all the glory while the Captain does all the work.
  • Number 6
    If you miss a doubloon thrown from a float, never reach down to pick it up. Always put your foot on it. If you go with your hand, you’re either too late or you’ll get your fingers stepped on.
  • Number 5
    If you bite into a plastic baby in a King Cake, that’s a good thing.
  • Number 4
    Any beads shorter than two feet long are unacceptable unless they are made of glass — the bigger and longer the beads, the better.
  • Number 3
    Once any beads have touched the ground, they are sullied and should not be picked up unless under the rarest of circumstances.
  • Number 2
    The vast majority of people in the French Quarter during Carnivale are from out of town.
  • Number 1
    The Number 1 thing you must know about Mardi Gras season is that Community Coffee Mardi Gras King Cake coffee hits the shelves. We suggest you celebrate with the “king” of all flavored coffees, the delicious Mardi Gras King Cake coffee with light vanilla and cinnamon flavoring. For a limited time you can have your cake … and drink it, too.

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Named after the famed Mardi Gras cake, the limited edition, Community Coffee Mardi Gras King Cake Coffee is a seasonal flavored coffee which boasts a blend of cinnamon and vanilla. Made from only the top 10% of the world’s coffee beans, this festive blend is a light, well-balanced sweet roast that is full-bodied and possesses a mild to medium level of acidity. This unique coffee flavor perfectly captures the spirit of Mardi Gras and the flavor of king Cake. The Community Coffee Mardi Gras King Cake Coffee is available for a limited time only, in 12-ounce bags and single-serve K-Cup® pods. For more information, visit on where to purchase, visit www.CommunityCoffee.com.

Tea Time w/ Teavana, and Taylors of Harrogate Teas

Hello fellow tea lovers, we hope you guys kept warm with a mug or two of one of our delicious hot toddy recipes. We continue celebrating Hot Tea Month with some non-alcoholic tea options. If you haven’t heard, we’re in for a bit of snow off and on for the next 2 1/2 weeks, nothing too major, but just enough to break out a few cups of tea to warm you up. If you don’t have any tea at home, we recommend you picking up teas from two of our favorite tea brands, Teavana, and Taylors of Harrogate.

TEAVANA OPRAH CHAI

Teavana_Oprah_Chai_www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com Teavana_Oprah_Chai_Set_www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com

The above set is actually a holiday set we’re still enjoying and sadly its no longer available, but you can snag the equally wonderful Teavana Oprah Chai Tea Ritual Set (pictured below), a five piece set that comes with Oprah Chai Tea in a Tea Tin, a 32 oz Perfectea Maker, and two double wall glass mugs (we especially love these mugs because we don’t burn our hands like ceramic mugs do).

Teavana® Oprah Chai Tea Ritual Set2

Aside from its amazing taste, your purchase of the Teavana Oprah Chai Tea Ritual Set, a $4.00 donation will be made to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to support educational opportunities for young people, including Girls Inc., National CARES Mentoring Movement, Pathways to College and U.S. Dream Academy. This is a tea with a great purpose. not only does it warm your body, it warms your heart as well. We’ve probably stated this before but our favorite tea is chai, we love the combination of these Indian tea leaves, milk, sugar, and blended spices including cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, and cloves. To us, it is the perfect combination of creamy, sweet and spicy. Grab the Teavana Oprah Chai Tea Ritual Set on sale now for $44.98 from www.teavana.com.

TAYLORS OF HARROGATE

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When you have a legacy of tea that spans 130 years, chances are you know your teas and trust us when we say Taylors of Harrogate knows all there is to know about tea. From black and green teas to flavored and herbal teas, Taylors’ collection of tea offerings has something for every tea lover. Taylors prides themselves in harvesting unparalleled quality and flavor for their teas, so they are put through the most stringent testing to make sure nothing sub-par makes it into their production. With fans that include the British Royal Family, you know you’re getting the best.

Today we’re highlighting the Taylors of Harrogate Variety Tea Pack, which boasts a 48-count of the following eight tea flavors including, English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Decaffeinated Breakfast, Lemon & Orange, Pure Assam, Green Tea with Jasmine, Organic Peppermint, and Organic Chamomile. Not only is tea delicious and healthier for you, imagine all the hot toddy varieties you will enjoy with this variety pack. We’re really excited to try the Assam Tea, a rich, strong and full-bodied black tea with malty notes that is best served with milk. Of course, we still love the old favorites we grew up on such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey; thanks to Taylors of Harrogate, you can indulge in classic tea flavors and discover a few new ones. Visit Brands of Britain to purchase a tea or two and to learn more about Taylors of Harrogate teas.

Now that we’ve introduced you to Teavana, and Taylors of Harrogate, will you be adding more tea to your daily routine? What teas are you enjoying during Hot tea Month? Share your thoughts in our comments section.

Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer: The Brew Master

Have you ever sat down and calculated the amount of money you spend at coffee shops? We sat down and calculated how much we spend at coffee shops in a month, and we were very surprised that our number was that high. Naturally this prompted a change. As we head into 2016, we’re making some changes, and the first is eliminating unnecessary spending. Instead of making multiple trips to coffee shops, we’ve welcomed the Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer into our home. It’s our own personal coffee shop, right on our counter top. Call us a home barista.

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Are you looking for that cafe taste from the comfort of your home and without the cafe budget? Then the Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer is just what you need to bring that rich flavor home. Whether you’re in the mood or a classic brew, iced, or frothy flavored coffee beverage, the Ninja Coffee Bar Auto-iQ’s One-Touch Intelligence lets you enjoy hot coffee with incredible flavor richness, in any size you want: a cup, travel mug, half carafe or full carafe. The Coffee Bar draws just the right amount of water you needed from its reservoir, based on the brew size and brew type you select.

You will especially love the specialty brews that the Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer creates, which boasts its highest concentration of coffee. It’s a coffee extract that, like espresso, you can use to create coffeehouse-style hot and cold layered beverages such as these delicious recipes below:

Sweet Sofiaccino

Sweet Sofiaccino

4 Ninja® Single-Serve Scoops (or 4 tablespoons) ground Colombian coffee
3 cups ice
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Whipped cream and ground cinnamon, for garnish
Size: Travel Mug setting
Brew: Specialty
Following the measurement above, place the ground coffee into the brew basket. Place the ice into a large plastic cup; set cup in place to brew. Select the Travel Mug size; press the Specialty Brew button. When brewing is complete, combine coffee and ice with evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk in a 24-ounce or larger blender container. Blend until smooth, about 25 seconds; divide between 2 glasses and garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon

Cappuccino-Style Coffee

Cappuccino-Style Coffee

4 Ninja® Single-Serve Scoops (or 4 tablespoons ground coffee) 5 ounces 1% milk
5 ounces 1% milk
Size: Travel Mug setting
Brew: Specialty
Following the measurement above, place the ground coffee into the brew basket. Place milk into the glass jar of the Ninja Easy Frother™. Microwave on High for 1 minute. Remove from microwave, secure lid, and pump the Frother 15 times. Or use a small microwave-safe jar with lid; secure lid, shake milk until foamy, remove the lid, and microwave on High for 1 minute until milk is hot and froth is set. Pour frothed milk into a mug; set the mug in place to brew. Select the Travel Mug size; press the Specialty Brew button. When the brew is complete, sweeten as desired.

Love your caffeine intake on the strong side? Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer’s patent-pending technology blends Precision Water Delivery with automated controls for Calibrated Temperature, Pre-infusion, Coffee Saturation, and Flavor Richness, allowing you to up the concentration intensity 2x with Over Ice Brew and 3x with Specialty Brew to unlock the full flavor potential of your favorite coffee.

The Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer is available with either a double-walled vacuum insulated Stainless Steel Carafe or Glass Carafe and Precise Temp Warming Plate, Double-sided Scoop, Ninja Easy Frother, and a 40 Recipe Inspiration Guide. Grab either option for $179.80 hen you buy it directly from Ninja Kitchen.

Try the #GreatTaste of Seattle’s Best Coffee

Great news coffee lovers! Now you can enjoy more Seattle’s Best Coffee flavors at home thanks to their new at-home coffee options. Featuring five varieties of single-serve K-Cup® packs, and two new, at-home roast and ground blends, you now have new reasons and more ways to enjoy your morning, afternoon and evening cup of joe.
Seattle's best Coffee new launches

Sitting next to customer favorites, Signature Blends 3, 4 and 5, are new flavors, Born in Seattle House Blend, and Spirited Start Breakfast Blend. The Born in Seattle House Blend is a smooth, medium-roast coffee made with premium, roasted Latin American beans that Seattle’s Best has been known for since their inception in 1970. The Spirited Start Breakfast Blend, is a medium and vibrant blend that is bright and crisp with smooth citrus notes. Seattle’s Best Coffee is also available in single-serve K-Cup® packs in five varieties of medium roast blends including Signature Blend 3, House Blend, Breakfast Blend, Very Vanilla and Toasted Hazelnut. The K-Cup® packs are available for a suggested retail price is $7.99 for a pack of 10 or $10.99 for a pack of 16. Want to try a free sample for yourself? Like their Facebook page and click Get Seattle’s Best House Blend for free.

And for those days when you need something a bit stronger than regular coffee, why not try this enjoy this coffee with a twist like the delicious Seattle’s Best Coffee Mapletini. This heavenly cocktail features the medium-dark and rich Signature Blend No. 4 with the sweet taste of maple syrup and vanilla vodka and creamy half & half.

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Seattle’s Best Coffee® packaged R&G, frozen, instant, and single-serve coffees are available in more than 20,000 locations including most U.S. food, drug and mass retailers (Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, Costco, Safeway, Kroger and more). Visit the grocery locator on www.SeattlesBest.com to find your favorite coffee products.

Where Tea is a Pleasure | Good Earth Chai

Anyone who knows me (or has looked up my Starbucks card order history), knows Chai is my favorite tea. Chai is known as a type of Indian tea, made by boiling the tea leaves with milk, sugar, and cardamom. But did you know Chai actually means tea in Hindi? Which mean when you order a Chai tea, you’re actually asking for tea tea….which is a bit funny. Anyway, I love getting creative with my chai, I usually do chocolate chia in the fall and gingerbread chia in the winter and summer it’s all about refreshing cold chai drinks. This is why I love the Chai variants from Good Earth, they’re not afraid to fuse chai with various fruits, spices and roots to create new exciting flavors. The three Good Earth Chai flavors, whose names I absolutely adore, are featured below:WILD CHAILD

wildchaild

With tantalizing chai spices and smooth caramel flavor, the curiously exotic Wild Chaild gives you the sweet you need with just the right amount of spice to make whatever you’re doing more interesting. We love the subtle taste of ginger, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, and star anise that add to the exotic flavor mix of this bold chai.

SWEET CHAI OF MINE

sweetchai

With smooth vanilla and decadent maple flavor infused with traditional chai spices, Sweet Chai of Mine is the perfect way to enjoy some “me” time. Ginger, natural peach flavor, and licorice root are just a few of the ingredients which adds to the smooth and delicious flavor of this tea.

ORGANIC STARRY CHAI

starrychai_org

Ready for an amazingly exotic chai that’s organic? Featuring organic spices that are masterfully blended with a surprise touch of cherry flavor to create a decadent tea experience, Organic Starry Chai will blow your mind. With its mix of organic raspberries and natural cherry flavor mingling with the likes of organic cinnamon, organic nutmeg, organic ginger root, organic licorice root, and organic black pepper, you are sure to enjoy ethereal moments of elation with every sip.

All three Good Earth Chai flavors are available on their website. A box of Wild Chaild and Sweet Chai of Mine retails for $4.49 each, while Organic Starry Chai is $4.79 each. Each box contains 18 tea bags.

 

Tassimo T20 by Bosch Home Brewing System

For those of you who like me, do not drink coffee, is a single person living in the city and is pained to give up $5 for a cup of tea from Starbucks, you’re going to love the Tassimo T20 by Bosch ; you can make your own at home for 1/4 the price. As winter makes it appearance (somewhat), curling up with a hot cup of Chai Tea or Hot Chocolate is a necessary treat. Of course being a single girl that’s always on the go, I don’t have time to wait for a kettle to boil every time to make one cup of tea. Plus when my coffee-loving mom comes to visit, each of us can enjoy our respective beverages without ruining each others. These are the reasons I’m in love with the Tassimo T20 by Bosch

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“The Bosch® T20 Home Brewing System is designed with an eco-friendly, on-demand water heater for fast brewing. It’s easy, too; just pop in a T DISC, and the T20 reads the barcode and brews the perfect cup of coffee, cappuccino, latte, espresso, tea, or any one of our coffeehouse-style beverages.”

tassimo

I was very excited when Tassimo sent me this T20 Single-Serve Brewer, I’ve been dying to try one of these machines every since I laid my eyes on it and I have been enjoying some lovely cups of Chai Tea and Hot chocolate since I got it. Tassimo offers 12 distinctive beverage brands and a wide variety of hot and cold beverage choices, including coffee, real milk cappuccino and latte, espresso, crema, tea, iced coffee, and hot chocolate – an amazing variety of beverages to satisfy an assortment of tastes. As I stated before, I am not a coffee drinker, so to have a machine that allows my favorite hot drinks whenever I please is an amazing thing. See below for video of my first cup of Chai tea using the Tassimo T20 (please forgive the unsteadiness and the bit of rambling – I was trying to do everything while holding a video camera – sometimes you just need an extra pair of hands)

The Tassimo T20 features include:

  • Bar code technology allows the Tassimo machine to prepare each beverage with the exact pressure, temperature, water, and time duration, so each and every drink is perfect
  • Instant heat-up and fast first cup
  • Customize your beverages with a single touch of a button
  • Noise reduction system for quiet preparation of beverages
  • Low energy consumption: zero-watt hours in standby mode and an on-demand heating element
  • Height adjustment and removable cup stand allows you to use the cup or travel mug of your choice
  • Automatic cleaning and descaling with use of a special T DISC keeps your beverages tasting clean
  • Removable cup stand and splash cover lets you customize the color to suit your kitchen (mine didn’t come with extra colored covers so if yours doesn’t, make sure you call Tassimo)
  • Removable 1.5 L water tank

The Tassimo T20 comes in three colors – Black, White and Grey and retails for $99.99. It can be purchased directly at www.tassimodirect.com or at retailers such as Macy’s, jc penney, Best Buy, Bloomingdales, Bed, Bath & Beyond, P.C.Richard & Son, Target, etc.

Community Coffee’s Rich Taste of Louisiana

I grew up in a house and family where coffee was king, no matter what the occasion. death – out comes the coffee, Wedding – there must be a few after ceremony cups, Christmas season – coffee was always ready for carolers. Like I said, coffee was boss. And in those days of my youth, the words “instant coffee” was very much frowned upon – coffee was made on way and one way only – fresh roasted coffee beans were grounded and brewed, if you wanted instant, well go to someone else’s house. This was a place for Percolators, preferably stovetop (these have since transformed to coffee machines, espresso machines, etc, but a few are still around today). They generally looked something like this (of course this one is more refined than what I remember from childhood)

percolator

Although I have since been captured by the Starbucks machine but my mother has never been impressed with designer coffee mixtures – she still loves her ground coffee and roasted coffee beans. She even has a vintage percolator, a coffee grinder and several coffee machines (backup in case one breaks I guess)- the woman loves her coffee. I usually can’t help myself and always pick up coffee I think my mom will enjoy. On her most recent weekend visit to NYC, I introduced her to Community Coffee. I should say I showed her the coffee I got from Community Coffee, which was the Rich Taste of Louisiana Coffee Sampler

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I had to pull my hands back very quickly or risk missing a few appendages. After the oohs, a very faint “you shouldn’t have” and he sound of the package being ripped opened I thought to myself – should I tell her that I was just showing her the coffees and it wasn’t a gift for her? My answer was of course no after I saw the intense salivating going on in front of me let me know this coffee was never meant to be mine – so this will be a review of Community Coffee through my mother’s eyes or rather her taste buds (yes, my mom proceeded to give me details on how much she liked or loved each flavor) – sweet, isn’t she?

A little bit about these coffees – First, Community Coffee is Louisiana-based, family-owned company and has been around since 1919. The Rich Taste of Louisiana Coffee Sampler comes with four 12oz bags of coffee beans – Evangeline Blend™, Louisiana Blend™ (Medium Dark), French Quarter Fusion™ and Crescent City Blend®. The four 12oz bags cost only $34.99 and each bag cost a very, very low $7.99. One thing I noticed from the time I got the coffee, even though the package was sealed, the aroma was very present from the coffee, at first I thought one package might be ripped but turns out each bag has a little valve (known as nitrogen-flush containers)which allows the you to enjoy the amazing aromas. “The valve keeps oxygen from entering the bag and causing the coffee to lose freshness. This also keeps the bag from opening prematurely due to excessive pressure.” This little valve was the coolest thing to my mom, she kept on poking the bag so more of the coffee aromas came out (told you she loves her coffee). Anyway, out came the coffee grinder, filters, etc. We went through each bag and here are the findings

Crescent City Blend (Medium-Dark Roast) – mom thought this was a gentle and mild coffee, it smelled and tasted a bit sweet, was smooth and had no after taste. A great start to this little tasting adventure (and some quality mom and daughter time)

Louisiana Blend (Medium-Dark Roast) – this blend had a nutty aroma and taste; it was bold and rich, very srong. It didn’t smell nor taste sweet (even though this is medium-dark roast like Crescent City, they are quite different)

Evangeline Blend (Dark Roast)- heaven…this ultra smooth blend was mom’s favorite. She said it reminder her of coffees from the Caribbean/Latin America. It’s not as bold as the Louisiana Blend but was the perfect combination of sweet and richness.

French Quarter Fusion (Medium Roast) – this blend had a strong and bitter taste, it was my mom’s least favorite (she still finished it though). She doesn’t add milk to her coffee, but she said she would with this blend.

So there you have it, great coffee at a refreshingly low cost and this is coming from a coffee addict. The weekend visit ended with my mother taking “her” coffee back with her – as I said, the coffee was never mine. I think next time I’ll go for tea instead, she doesn’t drink it as much.

Before I end this, I must let you know some of the other cool things Community Coffee offers, such as a Mardi Gras Giftset (complete with mardi gras designed Tumbler and beads)

or maybe you’re in the mood for some of Marguerite’s King Cakes, which comes in Cinnamon (shown below), Cajun Praline or Cheesecake) – yum

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