During our time in Gatlinburg, we visited The Village, an awesome little set of shops. Old friends of the family run The Cheese Cupboard there and so it has been a regular stop for as long as I can remember. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the website and discovered the Spice and Tea Exchange was just a few doors down from The Cheese Cupboard! They make my wife’s favorite coconut oolong, which she had just run out of.

It was a cute little shop, more spice than teas, and the teas were kept in glass jars and clear plastic baggies on the wall, which…sucked, but whatever. Each tea was bagged by the ounce, and you could get 3 ounces for $12, so that’s what we did. A bit pricey, but it’s also in a tourist part of town. This is one I immediately reached for and I’m glad I did. In the process of packing for the trip, I packed a lot of herbals for my mom, but forgot to pack anything caffeinated for me and the wifey.

More than half the bag is gone, this tea one I reached for often in the mornings. Now that I’m home, I set it to coldbrew overnight and it is yummy. Very fruity, but there’s a cloying artificialness that will keep me from trying to get more. Still, I will definitely stop in every time I’m in the area.

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Formerly aisling of tea, now you can call me ele .

“You can forgive a murder, but never a mistake while preparing tea.” Chinese proverb

Labels? Here you go: Femme, Wife, Lesbian, Homemaker, Happy. Don’t forget tea fanatic!

New label as of May, 2015: Diabetic. I’m using tea to satisfy my sweet tooth cravings and keep me hydrated without hurting my system or messing with my blood sugar.

Ah, tea. My love for you is ever changing. At my last update, I was all about the rooibos and now I hardly drink it. I only occasionally had an oolong and now I have one just about every day. I’ve learned the art of resteeping and coldbrewing and kombucha. I have a lovely little tea pet named…well, I haven’t decided on a name for him yet. I also have five! live pets, a tabby cat named Rosabella Francis (Bella for short), a ginger cat named Orange Julius Pekoe (Pekoe), a white and grey cat named Earl Jean Grey (Earlie), a tuxedo cat (and the only boy in the house) Prince Erik Darien Darjeeling (JiJi) and a red foot tortoise named Da Hong Pao (Pao). So if you see me referring to my girls, I don’t have kids, just animals.

As for tea, I love oolongs, herbals, and black tea. Since I am no longer working, I no longer feel the constant need for a mate energy boost, though I do still reach for it from time to time. I also drink less matcha, though I do throw a spoonful or two in when I’m making smoothies. Most of my tea I drink coldbrewed, and since I discovered coldbrewed rooibos was giving me headaches, I’m drinking less and less of it. Straight pu-erh is not a thing I enjoy, but there are a few flavored blends I like. Greens are still too finicky for me to bother with hot, but they make great cold brews.

I am by no means a tea purist. I greatly enjoy flavored teas and I put stevia in all of my teas. It’s just how I do.

I think I’m going to name my tea pet Mr. Turtle. Even though he’s a tortoise.


Scarborough, ON



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