Unfortunately, after I won I realized I hadn’t paid attention to the giveaway rules and that it was actually only open to UK residents. I apologized and said I would understand if they would need to choose another winner, as it was clearly my fault for not reading the rules correctly. However, they decided to send me my giveaway prize in exchange for a review. You know me and free, I just can’t resist.
I tried the tea and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was delicious, comforting, sweet, and a little nutty. I have to say this tasted much better than a lot of other pie flavored teas I’ve had before. A lot of pie flavored teas are either extremely weak and need multiple teaspoons or tablespoons like the Pinky Up brand. SaChasi gave you a full flavored tea that didn’t require adding extra amounts of loose leaf to your tea cup/infuser.
Prices range from $4 for a sample size (20g) to $8 for 50g and $16 for 100g.
As Wednesdays we have tea (one of my book clubs meets on Wednesdays) I decided to share the tea with the other members.
Two of us members loved the tea while the other two thought it was a great Pecan Pie Tea, but could use extra maple pieces or maple sweetener to really make it pop for them.
I still thoroughly enjoyed it and drank most of the pot all by myself! (Sorry book club members, once I start drinking tea it can be hard to stop).
A few years back I was given a collection of five teas, A World of Teas. As I was about to try them out, I started thinking: which books would best suit these teas? After all, nothing goes together better than a good book and a delicious cup of tea.
Since then I try my best to repeat it whenever I review new teas. 🙂
I was trying to think of which book best went with this tea. I needed something comforting (a comforting read), something that was relaxing but sweet and fun; along with having a few nutty characters thrown in there…and finally decided this tea paired perfectly with Emma.
For those of you who haven’t read it, Emma is the story of a girl who has been mistress of her house and doted on by her father. After her governess marries (a match she believes she put together) she becomes bored and intends on trying her hand at matchmaking. She pygmalions her new acquaintance, Harriet Smith, and plans to set her up with the new minister. Things do not go according to plan as her matches do not take hold and her “creation” takes a life of their own.
For me Emma is a fun comedy (although it does have its dramatic parts) with quite a few nutty characters and situations. We have Emma’s failed matchmaking, Miss Bates’ silly chatter, Mr. Woodhouse hypochondria, etc. Everyone in the book is guilty of being silly at one point or another.
For me it is a comforting read and even though Mr. Woodhouse wouldn’t approve of the sweetness of maple pecan pie; when I drank the tea it made me think of spending a chilly day by a fire (or heater), and the following quote popped in my head:
I was on Instagram and scrolling through reels and saw this Saint Patrick’s Day matcha latte made with Lucky Charms by Steven Smith Teamaker. It looked delicious and I knew I would have to make it!
1/2 – 1 teaspoon Matcha
3 Tablespoons of hot water
1-1.5 Cups of milk
1 Cup of Lucky Charms Cereal (I used the discount brand)
Remove marshmallows from cereal.
Pour a cup of Lucky Charms or other cereal in a bowl. Add 1-1.5 cups of milk.
Mix to combine and let stand for 30 minutes.
Strain cereal and milk mixture through a sieve/cheesecloth and gently apply pressure to remove all the milk.
Put the Matcha powder, sugar if using it, and water in a mug
Whisk together to ensure no lumps (use a matcha whisk or electric stirrer.
If making a hot matcha latte; warm the cereal milk and pour into the mug. If making a cold latte, pour cereal milk into the mug.
Add marshmallows on top of the drink.
It was delicious! The cereal made it sweet enough for me so I did not add any sugar or sweetener to my drink.
My marshmallows did end up melting fairly quickly, so I would watch for that if you make the drink hot. It probably is better to have the marshmallows in a cold matcha latte. But otherwise, it was truly magical and delicious. I would definitely make this again!
I’m not one of those people who likes to take their holiday decorations right when the holiday ends and set up for the next one. I also celebrate Valentine’s Day until February, but last year I threw a Valentea party in two weeks and wanted to share it with you all. However, I know people need more time than that and wanted to share it with you all.
Christmas 2021 my friend was given a book that had ideas to hold a tea party every month. She held the first party on January 29th and no one wanted to do the next one, the Valentine’s Day party. I agreed and of course had to change the direction to Valentea and Jane Austen.
So the first thing you need for a party is invitations. I like to make my own cards and sent everyone a Valentine. I used romantic and love quotes from my favorite books.
After planning that came decorations. I’m lucky that I still have the ones from my bridal shower. I have reused those so many times! Yep, I used my pink floral table runners, framed Jane Austen quotes (which can be purchased from this shop); along with pink and white flowers.
I was able to figure out my menu pretty quickly as I have a Tea Time magazine subscription, a Betty Crocker holiday cookbook, a Nancy Drew Cookbook, etc. I had a lot of recipes to choose from.
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cold heavy whipping cream, divided
2 large eggs, divided
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest until combined. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in cold butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup cold cream, 1 egg, and vanilla extract. Add to flour mixture, stirring until a dough begins to form. Working gently, bring mixture together with hands until a dough forms.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently 4 to 5 times. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to a 1-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch fluted round cutter dipped in flour, cut 13 scones from dough, rerolling scraps as needed. Place scones 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon cold cream and remaining egg until combined. Brush egg mixture over tops of scones.
Bake until edges of scones are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 18 to 21 minutes. Serve warm.
Optional: Add a glaze.
Tea Time Magazine Lavender White Chocolate & Cranberry-Raspberry Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon dried culinary lavender
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup chopped dried Cranberries and Raspberries
1 (4-ounce) bar white baking chocolate, such as Ghirardelli, chopped
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, ⅓ cup sugar, baking powder, lavender, and salt, whisking well.
Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add cranberries, strawberries, and chocolate; stirring until combined.
In a liquid-measuring cup, combine cream and vanilla extract, stirring to blend. Add to flour mixture, stirring until mixture is evenly moist. (If dough seems dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Working gently, bring mixture together with hands until a dough forms.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 4 to 5 times. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a ½-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cutter, cut 12 scones from dough. Place scones 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle tops with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Bake scones until edges are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
Game 1: Who Said It?
For this game I took all the romance quotes I had used on the Valentines and people had to match up the quote with who said it.
Game 2: Who Can Name the Most Romance Movies?
For this game I had everyone turn their sheet of paper over and write down as many romance films they could think of in a minute. This was a ton of fun as afterwards we all talked about which ones we liked and what films were our favorites to watch.
I had a lot of fun with our tea parties, and I hope this helps if you want to plan a Valentea party.
Last month was my birthday and unfortunately both my sister and best friend were unable to celebrate with me. We then decided to meet up a few weeks ago and have a girl’s weekend.
We went to Sacramento and were looking for a tea place to go to for lunch, really searching for a High Tea but willing to go to whatever tea place we could find. A quick google search and I found the There and Back Again Cafe a Lord of the Rings themedgamer cafe. Now we all love Lord of the Rings so it seemed the perfect place to go and celebrate.
The There & Back Again Cafe opened at the beginning of this year. It serves teas, coffees, hand pies, avocado toast, and “shire-cuterie” boards. They have 15 tables for gaming and a collection of board games, card games, and cooperative/group games. If you come and purchase food or drinks, having a gaming table is free (otherwise there is a $5 cover charge.)
All games are first come first serve, and patrons can also bring their own games if they wish.
They are open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 7:30 am – 3 pm; Fridays 10 am – 5 pm, and Saturdays they are open 8-3 for any customers, closing and then reopening 5-10:30 by registration only. They also hold special events that have a cover charge and are by reservation only.
Due to family commitments, traffic, lack of parking, meter issues, and the current construction in Sacramento we didn’t get to the cafe until after one and had only a couple hours before the shop closed.
The first thing we enjoyed was the ambience and the decorations in the cafe. Everything was exactly what a geek would love. They had such a variety of games, that we did not need to play any of the ones we had brought. We really enjoyed being in the cafe and playing a couple rounds of a new game, in fact I think we might have startled some of our more quiet neighbors with our joviality.
Then we went about ordering our drinks. The menu has a variety of regular coffees and teas for you to choose from; but is also home to geekier ones.
GROGU REFRESHER: A delicious twist on our favorite little green guy’s preferred snack. (lemon lime soda with a blueberry twist)
HALFLING GREEN APPLE TEA: Halflings agree, it’s a wonderful hot delight. (Sweetened with caramel, topped with steamed almond milk and cinnamon)
LIGHTBRINGER LAVENDER LEMONADE: In this dread hour, a warrior shall draw from the fire a delicious lemonade! Sweetened with Lavender syrup, truly refreshing.
POLYJUICE POTION: Magic juice. But not the kind that’ll leave you trippin’… we think… Peach Lemonade with a color-changing potion. Choose a potion from the magic spells box.
SYLVAN STRAWBERRY MATCHA: You can’t outrun destiny just because you’re terrified of it. (Iced matcha latte with strawberry puree & white chocolate drizzle)
MEILOORUN JUICE: Citrusy and tart yet sweet melon drink favoured by General Hera Syndulla and her comrades on the Ghost. (pineapple soda with fruit syrup)
X-WING Red Leader sure knows how to get into the air with this one! (energy drink with two shots of syrup of your choice) pwew pwew
I being a lover of Matcha, and it being a sweating Saturday, I of course had to try their Sylvan Strawberry Matcha. I thought the drink was very good extremely delicious, and I would definitely order it again.
So while I enjoyed the ambience and the drinks, the biggest issue I had with this cafe came to the food. Since I have been there the menu had changed, but when I went there on May 28th, they had only a few food options: Ham & Brie hand pies (which were unfortunately all sold out when we arrived), shirecuteries, avocado toast, and a vegan Avocado, Tomato & Basil Sandwich. As the three of us were all very hungry, and wanted something more substantial than a charcuterie board; we all decided to instead each order the Avocado, Tomato & Basil Sandwich with a caprese salad for $8.25 (although one of us had the for gluten-free one which was $11.25). However, instead of a sandwich we received a piece of toast with vegan mayonnaise, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and sprouts. At least the other ladies did, as my order was just avocado and tomatoes on toast; I was not given any of the greens. We all were disappointed as we were expecting an actual “sandwich”, not toast, and an actual salad-not just sprouts on top. If it had been described as toast or an open faced sandwich we would have been expecting to see only one slice of bread, but as it was labeled sandwich we all expected a full sandwich.
My thoughts regarding the menu is that I strongly suggest the There and Back Again Cafe to add pictures to their ever fluctuating menu so that customers can have an idea of what to expect when ordering. As they have a fluid menu they wouldn’t have to include photos of every item, but I believe a few shots would be helpful.
As far as staff goes, the two that were working that day were helpful and very pleasant. Both were attentive and answered any questions we had regarding the drink menu. They did forgot to make my sandwich, but when they realized that, they apologized and brought me one as soon as they could. In a time where every business is struggling to find and keep good employees, this cafe has some great ones.
I definitely recommend going to the There and Back Again Cafe and enjoying their drinks with a game or two (I know I plan to go back for a game night/day with some friends). When it comes to their food, definitely give glance over the menu before heading to the cafe, to decide if the items described there are enough for you, or if you need to eat before.