Oolong Granita

Shaved tea!

Granita is a classically Italian ice dessert that is similar to sorbet but made by hand and therefore flakier. The granita I made kinda reminded of the "shaved ice" we use to get as kids but instead of being flavored with artificial sugar color, it's flavored with delicious Shangri-La oolong from Nepal Tea! 

It's summer so the majority of my Sips by teas are going to be turned into some sort of cool treat! 

The Shangri- La oolong is described as "spicy" and full bodied so I decided to add some cardamom pods to intensify the flavor but in a sweeter way. Green cardamom pods are so easy to incorporate into teas. For a stronger flavor, crack open the pods and throw them in the brewing tea. It will get strained anyway so no harm done if seeds sneak out of the pods!

It's important to use a container that is able to go in the freezer without cracking. I bought this glass bread pan from the grocery store and it can handle both hot and cold! I let the tea cool down in this dish. 

I wasn't able to get good photos of the progress but basically if you check on the granita every 20-30 minutes you will see it starting to harden. Make sure to push the edges of the granita into the center every time you check on it. 

What this will do is start creating the flaky type texture you see here. After there is no water left and all of the granita is frozen, scoop it out and enjoy! I missed a few chunks that were larger and they froze but I was able to run a fork along the chunks to shave them down. 

Do you have a favorite summer recipe that you want me to incorporate tea into? Share with me in the comments or contact me!

Tea Pop Sampler!

Creamy Pops. 

In my last Sips By box I received two different chai teas. I was so excited because the flavors in "chai" are amazing. I love the combination of spices used. I was really excited because these chais were slightly different and it gave me an idea...a sampler! 

I had a chai blend from Cozy Leaf and also another tea blend called white chocolate samoa that I added to the sampler. 

Here are the 4 teas I used. I used 2 teaspoons of each tea. I think if you use a tablespoon the pops will taste even better!

  1. Cozy Leaf  Country Chai Spice
  2. Zhi Tea Cacai Chai
  3. Rishi Masala Chai
  4. The Necessiteas White Chocolate Samoa

Although chais tend to have similar characteristics, each of the 3 chais I used have something that stands out. The Zhi Tea has Peruvian cacao nibs, the masala has black pepper that is very prevalent in the flavor and the cozy leaf has anise! 

I added in the White chocolate samoa because it has coconut, caramel, and chocolate which I think can compliment the other 3 chai teas well without straying too much from the classic chai flavor. 

With these simple popsicles, feel free to add toppings or things to dip them in. I added coconut to some and also melted some salted dark chocolate to dip the popsicles in!

The milk in these blends gives the popsicles a creamy and more substantial taste than if it was the brewed tea alone. I think you easily substitute cow's milk here for any other type of milk you like. 

Each of these popsibles had their own flavor. As shown in the photos above, they all had different colors. I liked them each individually for different reasons but I think the Rishi tea was my favorite because of it's spicy flavor. It was a bit heavier than the other popsicles and I loved it! 

I had 8 mold and the tea was enough to fill 2 molds. I have to say that covering the popsicles in coconut flakes was my favorite. The white chocolate samoas had coconut in them but still taste great with a boost of coconut. 

Next up...boozy popsicles! What are your favorite types of popsicles?!

Sips by Tea Subscription Box

Sips on Sips.

One of the best parts of joining the world of tea is realizing that I'm not alone!! Growing up a tea drinker in the US was often lonely. My friends would get so excited to go to starbucks and I would dread it because tea bags can't hold a candle to my beloved loose leaf. I've tried to like coffee, but it doesn't suit me. Then I became a tea blogger...

There are so many wonderful bloggers and businesses who are run by their passion for tea, like me! It seems like I can't even go a few days without discovering someone new. Most recently I've collaborated with Sips by and It's been awesome!

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When you sign up for a Sips by account or login with facebook you will be asked about your tea preferences and what I loved about it was how comprehensive it was. It not only asks about teas but also about flavors. If you have a strong preference against a certain flavor for example (fruity for me!) you can note that and it won't be in your box. Meaning you won't get any teas you don't like! Yay!

After speaking with Staci, one of the founders of Sips by, I found out there is also a human element to the creation and choosing of the samples. The algorithm that uses your preferences to make tea decisions is just a baseline. Sips by will also look at these results and make sure they are accurate to the flavor profiles. 

As someone who loves dark sweet teas I was SO happy with my box selections! Tiramisu black tea?? Are you kidding me?? YUM!

I got 2 black teas, one green tea and a pu er tea! This was a jackpot especially because I've recently fallen in love with Pu-er tea and I've never tried a sencha before. 

Probably one of the best parts about Sips by is the true partnership between these brands. Once you are a subscriber you have access to coupons to their brand partners! Let's pretend you got your box and loved a tea blend in it, you can get yourself another batch of it at a discount, just for being a subscriber. How cool is that? 

I'm glad I got this excellent haul from Sips by and boy oh by is it tea time! If you're a tea lover it's definitely time to check this company out! Look out for some fun recipe collaborations between Sips by and Tea Thoughts coming your way soon :) 

You will get 4 personalized teas a month that will make 15 cups of tea (or 45 re steeped) for only $15 ! Start your subscription with Sibs by today!