Tuesday Reviews-Day: Teanzo Advent Calendar


So, if you follow me on Instagram (@scrapsoflife, if you don’t), you might have noticed that I was posting an awful lot of tea pictures this month…

That's a lot of tea cups (mugs, etc.)

That’s a lot of tea cups (mugs, etc.)–No repeats for 24 days!

After seeing a picture in my insta-feed about another tea advent calendar, I hopped onto Amazon and impulsively bought the first tea advent calendar I could find that was reasonably priced and available with Prime shipping (what can I say, Prime has me spoiled). It arrived and promptly taunted me for almost a week before I could taste my first tea. (That would be the downside of Prime shipping and advent calendars…)


Prior to this I had not heard of Teanzo 1856, a company out of California, but I’m quite happy to know about them now!

The 24 teas included in this box were:

  1. Winter Earl Grey
  2. Jasmine
  3. Apple Cinnamon
  4. Irish Breakfast
  5. Peppermint Rose
  6. Acai Berry Green
  7. Dream Spa Blend
  8. Black Cherry Tea
  9. Ti Kwan Yin
  10. Chocolate Mint Tea
  11. Bergamot Earl Grey
  12. Detox Mint
  13. Cranberry Tea
  14. Breakfast Tea
  15. Tranquil Spa Blend
  16. Tropical Iced Tea
  17. Moroccan Mint
  18. Vanilla Rooibos
  19. Darjeeling
  20. Orange Creme Dessert Tea
  21. Fennel Chai
  22. Earl Grey Green
  23. Chocolate Coconut Tea
  24. Christmas Chai

Picking a favorite is nigh on impossible, so many of them were amazing in their own unique ways. Both chocolate-including teas were certainly fun, but the Chocoate Coconut Tea was my favorite of the two–even Todd liked that one, and he’s not a tea guy. He also liked the Black Cherry Tea from earlier in the month. I’m always happy with chai blends but not always fine with fennel–the Fennel Chai surprised me with how good it was, though the Christmas Chai was still my preferred of the two.

There was only one tea I was unhappy with, and that was the Apple Cinnamon–it sounded great, but I think something was off. It had an odor to it that was a little too earthy, maybe even a bit musty? I brewed it up anyway and, yeah, the weirdness lingered. It was too bad, too, as I liek apple-cinnamon items in general. I’m hoping I just got a bad batch.

I think both the Dream Spa Blend, Tranquil Spa Blend, and the aptly named Tropical Iced Tea would both be fabulous over ice in the summer. (Bonus for the Tranquil blend being my first experience with green rooibos.) The cranberry tea could have made a lovely sachet or potpourri (if I hadn’t wanted to drink it, too). The Orange Creme Dessert Tea was also aptly name, like a warm creamsicle, but in a good way.

Even though each packet of tea did not seem to hold a tremendous amount, I had no problem brewing a second cup of any of them, when desired, with no loss of flavor. I did sweeten just about all of them, and to many I added a bit of milk. Many of them I used my refillable Keurig pod to brew them and while I know purists would not necessarily agree with the method, I had no problems with it.

Of course, the majority of these teas have caffeine, and I generally avoid that. I made an exception for the advent calendar and didn’t notice too many side effects from the uptake in intake, but I would probably stick with their herbal and rooibos teas in the future (with special exceptions for their chocolate teas).

For my first advent calendar experience (yes, really, this is the first one I’ve done in my 40 years of life as far as I can remember) this was a smashing success. A tea a night, when it’s chilly outside and schedules are hectic, was a nice little wind-down for each day. I’d definitely do it again, and I’ll almost certainly be ordering from Teanzo in the future.

Full disclosure: This is not a sponsored review. I purchased the tea advent calendar myself and was not contacted by the company prior to the start of the sampler. I can’t say they don’t know who I am since they did like a lot of my instagram posts, but not beyond that.

Random Appetites: Have a Cuppa!


Let us depart the ethanol-tinged waters I usually tread for a more sedate beverage today: tea.

It’s chilly this week in Florida and that has me reaching for the kettle and my stash of various teas and tisanes. What’s a tisane? Well, only beverages brewed from tea leaves are tea, the herbal beverages that are frequently called teas but contain no tea leaves are technically tisanes. Doesn’t change them, really, it’s just a bit more correct.

My favorite tea is Earl Grey and Twinings is thoughful enough to provide a decaf version that most stores carry, so I can steep myself in Oil of Bergamot (that citrusy note that makes Earl Grey Tea, Earl Grey Tea). I will occasionally take it with a bit of milk and a sugar cube or two (yes, I buy sugar cubes just for drinking tea) but usually I’m good with a healthy dollop of honey for sweetness. (And as much of a geek as I am, it’s not because of Captain Picard, it’s merely a coincidence that my favorite captain prefers my favorite tea.) And for those hot months (which is most of the time, here in Florida) a mix of Earl Grey and Lemonade makes the BEST drink in the World (courtesy of the Earl of Sandwhich in Downtown Disney).

Another frequent tea in my cup is the “Herbal Revive” tisane (also from Twinings) that is essentially ginger and lemon peel with a bit of other flavors thrown in (but no actual tea leaves, hence it’s a tisane despite the fact that the package says “herbal tea”). When combined with honey, the lemon perks up a sore throat and stuffy sinuses and the ginger is good for settling an upset tummy.

Now, those two teas come in bags and I’m generally okay with bagged teas for everyday use: they’re economical and you can sometimes get another cup to half a cup out of a good tea bag by adding more hot water to the cup (referred to as “rebolitto” when talking soups, the reboiling usually gives you a slightly weaker cup of tea so if I’m planning on stretching out that cup I’ll refill once I’ve finished about 2/3 of the first one). Loose teas are generally a step up in quality and I have some of those, too, mostly from Adagio.com.

Of course, if you can’t find a blend you prefer on the store shelves, you can make a tisane out of practically anything. Put your ingredients (citrus zest strips, herbs, spices, etc) in a cup and top with water from a tea kettle and let steep for 3-8 minutes. The time depends on how tough it is for the water to work the oils and flavors from the items in your cup. Fresh herbs and zests will take less time than dried flowers of, say, chamomile or lavendar, and those take less time, still, that a bit of cinnamon stick or dried woody herbs like rosemary or thyme. You can use a tea ball or reusable muslin tea bag to steep your teas but it’s really not that tough to drink loose teas–after all, you’re supposed to sip , not gulp.

And for the gardner or hands-on tea drinker I’ve just come across this Indoor Deluxe Herbal Tea Herb Garden that I’m really itching to try. Granted, I have a pair of black thumbs, but maybe something small like this I could actually manage to grow!