Product Review: Simplicity Teas

C.S. Lewis said it best, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” Like most readers and writers, I have my go to reading and writing snacks and drinks. While I love coffee as much as the next person, I switched to drinking tea more often a few years ago. I absolutely love tea and have at least 2-3 cups a day now. I am always on the look out for new teas to try but I hate when I order a tea and it just isn’t what I was expecting. I have picked up a few teas in my local grocery store too and some have been great while others have been hit and miss. That is why Simplicity Teas sounds like a great option for someone like me.

Simplicity Teas is a monthly subscription box where you can try out a couple of their teas in a smaller version before committing to a larger amount of the tea. They have both a subscription box and fully stocked shop with infusers and full orders of tea. I opted for the subscription box so I could try a couple of different types of tea. My tea box came with an adorable strawberry infuser and enough tea for a month! I had 4 different teas to pick from, two black teas and two herbal teas. One of my black teas was decaffeinated, which was actually perfect. One of the things I hate about drinking tea is I never remember to buy decaffeinated. In the afternoons I like to have a nice cup of tea, I usually don’t because I will never sleep with the caffeine.

I was thrilled to try the loose leaf lavender lady black tea first for that very reason. This tea has a pleasant lavender flavor that isn’t overpowering but yet has enough flavor to feel fortifying. I followed the directions using only 1 teaspoon and let it seep for about 3-4 minutes with boiling water. I added a little bit of Nutpods creamer which gave it a really nice creamy flavor. I don’t drink sugar in my tea and I don’t think this tea needs any sugar either. It had great flavor and since it was decaf I can drink it all day long! I also tried this tea to make my own version of a Starbucks London Fog latte.

I made the tea like normal with the same ratio, 1 teaspoon and seep for 3-4 minutes. In a separate sauce pan, I put about 1 cup of milk (I used regular milk but I think any would work just as well) and then I added 2 teaspoons of brown sugar and a splash of vanilla extract. Once it was barley boiling I mixed it with the tea that was done brewing. I thought it came out pretty good. The tea had enough flavor to support the extra milk liquid but I think next time I might add a little more tea just to give it a little more flavor since I prefer it a little stronger when there is more milk involved. Overall though the lavender of the Lady Lavender came through really tasty.

I have a couple more teas to try in my box from Simplicity Tea so be watching for my review on those but I was really impressed with the variety and quality of their teas. I love that there is enough tea in each monthly box to get me through the month and to try something new before I commit to buying a whole tin. You can cancel or skip at any time and you can even make a gift of the subscription box—I mean Mother’s Day is coming up and this would be a great treat for mom!

Review: Adagio Tea Book Blends

There is nothing like drinking a cup of warm tea while curling up with your favorite book in front of the fire. Especially in the winter time.

Adagio Teas is a unique line of teas that does a number of literary inspired tea blends and pairings. Now I am far from a tea connoisseur but I know that I like chai, black, and orange teas so surely I would be able to find something that I liked on their website.

I was blown away with how many different fan blends they have for book lovers! There are literally over 100,000 blends! This is mostly a site where readers and fans can create their own blends which I love because it allows the fan to create something special an unique.

You can make your own blend with ease as well as find adorable art (or create/upload your own) to go with whatever book you are reading! It’s truly a wonderfully unique way to get involved with your book and share your love with other readers and tea lovers.

So I decided to try a few blends. I selected 10 based on my tea tastes and book tastes and here is the list:

Jon Snow 

Lady Mary 

Pumpkin Potion 

Perfect Pumpkin Pie Chai 

Pumpkin Chai Latte 

Ours is the Fury 

Orange Spice Rooibos 

Mr Darcy 

Dark Prophecies Draft 

Targaryen Spirits 

Now you can find out more about each tea blend and what they contain as far as flavors and teas by clicking on each link above.

I spent about a month showcasing, reviewing, and pairing my tea samples on my Instagram page which was a super fun way to interact with my readers and followers. I got to meet lots of new people and book lovers in a way that I hadn’t thought of before. So be sure to head over to my Instagram page and follow along.

Anyway, the teas arrived super fast and in small little sample tins. The samples were inexpensive and made about 5 cups depending on how strong you like your tea. Fast shipping as well so I didn’t have to wait weeks for it to arrive. The teas smelled super fresh and the samples were in tins so nothing leaked out in the box.

The first one I busted into was the Jon Snow blend. I was really impressed with the balance of the blend. The person who created this one had a vision and it was spot on. It had a little hint of ginger for edge and a kick, but the other ingredients balanced it out making it smooth and memorable.

I won’t go into detail about every single tea I tried because that would take pages. But I feel confident that I leaned a lot about teas in this experiment. There are literally hundreds of blends you can try or create your own. The website is easy to navigate and the teas have a gourmet feel for a fraction of the price. And seriously who can resist a tin with your favorite book character or title on it?

This is such a fun company and I highly encourage anyone who loves tea and books to try them out. Or send a few samples to your relative for holiday gifts! I know I am wording a bunch as stocking stuffers for all my bookish friends and family members!

 

Read-a-ton 10 years, 10 books

Get ready for a walk down memory lane readers. Nostalgia warning…..

This year I decided on a whim to participate in Dewey’s 24 hour Readathon. I feel like every single year I miss this event and that just makes me sad so this year I decided it was now or never. At the urging of some of my bookish friends, I did sign up.

So far I am 10 hours in and I’ve finished one book and am almost done with another. I hope to finish 3 books but would be happy with 2. I am documenting my pursuits on Instagram and on Twitter so please follow along.

What is the purpose of this post you ask? Well every hour or so, Dewey’s hosts mini challenges which I have actively been participating in throughout the day on my Twitter and Instagram.

This hour is about 10 years, 10 books where we are asked to post our favorite books published during every year the Dewey’s Readathon has been happening. I decided that a post on Twitter or other social media was rather overwhelming so I thought I would post a singular list here.

So here it goes:

2007: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 

2008: Graceling (Graceling #1)

2009: An Echo in the Bone (Outlander #7) 

2010: Mischief of the Mistletoe (Pink Carnation #7)

2011: The Night Circus 

2012: Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy) 

2013: Letters from Skye 

2014: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)

2015: The Lake House 

2016: A Murder in Time (Kendra Donovan #1) 

2017: The Last Christmas in Paris 

Special Feature: The Spine Tingling Literary Canon List for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and this week on The Lit Bitch we are talking about the books that make you want to curl up and hide under the covers of your bed. You know those books that scare you so bad that every little noise in your house makes you jump and wonder….is there a monster under my bed???

The folks at Casper Mattresses have a great blog called Pillow Talk and they are doing a super fun ‘haunted’ feature on their blog for Halloween where they talk about spooky hotels (including the Heathman Hotel in Portland, a personal fav of mine being from Oregon and all). Casper is a great company full of fellow bibliophiles like myself and they asked me to share what books I have read that have kept me up at night to celebrate Halloween!

I haven’t read a lot of ‘horror stories’ but I have read a few classic novels that certainly belong in the ‘spine tingling’ literary canon and I also added a few other books that were so suspenseful that I found myself jumping at any little noise. I am sure there are a lot of other creepy-tastic books out there that I am forgetting…..Stephen King comes to mind and I’ll be honest….I want to read Stephen King but I’m a little too scared! If you have a favorite scary book that makes you want to hide under your covers please share it in the comments below!

Continue reading “Special Feature: The Spine Tingling Literary Canon List for Halloween”

Prague Day 1 and 2: Soul Plane and the Missing Deodorant

I should have known that things weren’t going to go well for us when I realized I forgot to pack deodorant. Sam and I share deodorant and each thought that the other packed it.

So here were are, sitting in our Portland hotel the night before we leave for Prague when we realize…..shit, we don’t have deodorant.

We get up Friday morning early (4:30 am) and depart for Portland airport and check into Virgin Airlines for the PDX to LAX by way of San Francisco Airport (SF) flight that we have been dreading….cause really, 4 plane changes is just excessive even if we are flying across the Atlantic.

No thanks to Expedia, we were forced to change some of our flight plans but we thought we had it all figured out until we checked in at PDX. The Expedia fiasco was an entirely different set of craziness……let’s just say……we will probably never use Expedia again let’s just leave it that way!

Continue reading “Prague Day 1 and 2: Soul Plane and the Missing Deodorant”