Welcome back to Teatime Tuesday! Today is the finale of National Pride Month’s Rainbow of Tea, ending at the beginning of the Pride Rainbow with a red brew!
My first selection was going to be a ruby red berry tea, but when I made this tea at work and got a very orange steep, and then brewed it at home for last week’s orange entry, it instead came out a rich red color! I was actually a bit surprised, since the name and scent of the tea don’t really invoke thoughts of a red steep, at least to me!
Allow me to introduce TeaSource‘s Candied Almond. I ordered a 2 oz. bag of this just after my birthday last March on a whim because it was on sale. Currently a 2 oz. bag is only $5.39 from the TeaSource website, so it is a very affordable tea. However it is a very large, chunkier, heavier herbal tisane, so 2 oz. will not last as long as fine, leafy teas. A slightly larger 4 oz. bag is $9.97.
Zip-snap tea bags are my favorite (they are just so easy to open… I have some horror stories involved trying to open tea tins!), but I really like TeaSource’s bags because of that cute viewing window in the back! Sometimes, it’s the little things, you know?
This tea looks — and smells! — like you could eat it plain! It smells like a sweet, cinnamon sugar-roasted granola. (Have you ever walked past one of those booths at a fair or farmer’s market with fresh nuts roasted in cinnamon sugar? I love those, and it smells just like getting a big whiff of one of those booths!) As you can see, it is filled with thick pieces of nuts and fruits that appear to be coated in cinnamon! The ingredient list is apple pieces, almonds, cinnamon pieces, beetroot pieces, and flavor. This is obviously not a tea for those with nut allergies!
I’ve made this tea a few different times, and have found that to really bring out the flavor, using a little more tea and going for a longer steep works wonders. Because it is a really full, chunky tisane, one rounded teaspoon just doesn’t seem to be quite enough for me to get the flavor I really enjoy, so I usually use two, which still only fills my Apace Living infuser halfway and gives plenty of room for expansion. The instructions recommend steeping 7-10 minutes, using boiling water, and I usually go the full steep.
It will look like it hasn’t steeped at all, even after the full ten minutes, but don’t be alarmed…
Once you pull the infuser out, it turns a vibrant, brilliant red right before your eyes! I guess it must be all that beetroot that causes that bright red color!
I still find the taste a little too subtle plain, but once a bit of sweetener is added, this is a really nice dessert tea. It has a very nutty flavor, with a hint of cinnamon-sugar sweetness, and some very subtle fruit tones lingering in the aftertaste. Most nutty teas I find are flavored blacks, so if you want a nutty tea that is very light without the astringent taste of a black tea or simply that is caffeine-free and can be enjoyed any time of day, this is a good choice.
Unfortunately, this is one of those herbals that just doesn’t resteep well at all. The flavor is so weak in the second cup that it really isn’t even worth trying to resteep it, and you can tell by looking at the color, which has gone from red to a pale pinkish-orange (perhaps this is why I remember it being orange at work… maybe I didn’t give it a very good steep that first time!) This is a tea that you may as well just make a fresh cup each time, allow it to really steep and release that flavor properly, and then savor it. Another reason why it makes a good “before bed” indulgence tea!
And so, as I sip my Candied Almond cuppa, Rainbow of Tea comes to a close. This month I held Sims Pride 2017, which didn’t get as many entries or views as last year, and I can’t help but feel a little disappointed about that. Will next year come and go with even less fanfare? I can’t help but feel a “bigger name” in the Sims community would be so much better for the cause. I do it because it is something I’m passionate about and I didn’t see anyone else doing it, but it seems I’m not the best to spread the word and rally participation. I’m just a small blog, after all.
My Pride Photo Fridays are coming to a close as well. This month I had an elderly bi/lesbian couple, a lesbian wedding, gay fathers, a transgender woman, and I still have one more photo to go up this Friday featuring a genderqueer individual.
Is it surprising to know I was not raised in an open and accepting family? Both of my parents are fiercely conservative, one of the religious flavor, the other of the political flavor… and neither are LGBTQ+ allies, despite the fact both my sister and I are members of the LGBTQ+ community (I’m asexual and she’s pansexual). Because we are “straight-passing” we don’t exactly experience what I would call “hate” within our family, but we also can’t freely be ourselves, either… we can’t talk about LGBTQ+ issues and our support of them, and certain aspects of our true orientations just have to be brushed under the table, hidden, or ignored. It can be frustrating… but on one hand, I feel like because I bottle all that up so much in my daily life, that’s why when I’m in my online communities, I feel so free to be completely open and honest about who I am, and just bursting at the seams to spread love and support to this diverse and amazing community.
A lot of people close to me are part of this community, too. My best friend Todd is asexual. My sister’s close friend (and former roommate) is gay. His family wanted him to go through a Christian rehabilitation program… he chose to move out instead. My sister’s domestic partner (my heart says “brother-in-law” no matter what the marital status!) has a little brother that just graduated high school… and just came out to his family about being gay. Except his father, he isn’t willing to cross that bridge because he knows what would happen. Todd’s adopted son (an adult adoption, his son is my age, and I love him to pieces!) is transgendered. My good IRC friend is transgendered, too… but can only be her true self online. I respect her more than anything for trusting and loving me enough to tell me the truth and the struggles she faces living with gender dysphoria and knowing she can’t do anything about it because she doesn’t want to lose her family, her friends, her career. I feel blessed to know each and every one of these people and their stories.
Starting next month I’ll be doing two months of Icy Summer, and taking a look at iced teas! I’ll be comparing teas warm brew to how they are as an iced tea, and will be trying to pick out teas from my collection that I think will make good iced brews (which doesn’t necessarily mean they are all going to turn out great, but we’ll see how we go!) I’ve taken to “cold brewing” rather than steeping warm and then icing, so if there is a tea you are interested in from my tea collection, feel free to let me know so I can start preparing cold brew batches in my pitchers and mason jars!