Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tea Review: Benner EB

Thirsty Thursday #24

Benner English Breakfast

Hi! Grace here. I'm taking a break from recipe research for a spot of tea. Oh, you'll notice the photos are a bit different. Sometimes I liked the ones with flash better than the ones without and vice versa. So I'm mixing it up!

Today we're looking at Benner English Breakfast Tea. 
Benner Tea Company is an Aldi brand. We love shopping at Aldi; if you have one nearby, check it out. Xyra says the prices are great and we have yet to be disappointed in anything we've tried. Xyra usually gets the 100 bag count box for work; the other day she saw they now had English Breakfast in a 20 count box and picked it up to try. The English Breakfast bags come in foil packets.
You'll find brewing instructions on the one side. Hmm, no ingredients. Well, English Breakfast blends traditionally combine Assam, Ceylon, and Kenya black teas. The mix makes a full-bodied flavor that stands up to lots of additions. Let's get to steeping.
While that steeps I'll get my cup...oh, Bon Bon! Be careful of the tea!
Yip! (turns and walks away)

[Timer beeps]

Done steeping! The English Breakfast has a lovely dark auburn color.
It smells good. Malty. 
First sip is plain. 
Yes, strong and malty. Would make a nice unsweetened iced tea, but hot I think it needs something. Let's try honey.
(sips) The honey is good. 
Makes it velvety. I'd do this if I had a sore throat. Let's see what happens if I add milk to the tea and honey.
(sips) Hmm, milk takes another edge off the tea meshing the sweet and robust malt together well. Time to try sugar in the raw or turbinado sugar.
So, the molasses remaining in the sugar combines well with the malt. Keeps it robust with a hint of sweet. What happens if I add milk. (sips) 
Creamy. Well blended. Easy to drink. Now for regular table sugar.
This is sweet before anything else. Maybe I added too much. Reminds me of "sweet tea" but hot. I wonder if milk will smooth the sweetness. (sips) 
It does, but sweet still hits me first.

Benner English Breakfast is supposed to be similar to Twinings or Bigelow English Breakfast, but less expensive. 
It's good, but not stellar. Definitely better than the regular Benner black tea in the 100 count box. We definitely won't take it back.

(giggles) Bon Bon, you're such a good pup!

Our weather is starting to feel like fall again. Good for hot tea all day long, but when isn't it? (giggles) I guess when it's in the 90s. (giggles) What is your favorite fall beverage?

À bientôt!

Note: Tea Time with Melody Q is not affiliated with American Girl, Aldi, or Benner Tea Company. The tea reviewed was purchased with our own funds for our collection. The review is unsolicited and comprised of our own honest opinions, thoughts, and words. Links are provided for educational and informative purposes only. No purchase is suggested or required to enjoy the post.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Manic Monday

Septembers are Interesting

Grace, Kaya, Lea, 2 or more

Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!
What's wrong, Lea?
I can't believe it! We've only posted four times this month! We didn't wish anyone a Happy Labor Day or tell our readers we are thinking and praying for Texas, Florida, Peurto Rico, the Caribbean, or Mexico. We're behind in reading and commenting...and you're just sitting there.
Whoa! Slow down. It's okay. Our regular readers know September is our slow month. In fact, September can be slow for many blogs with everyone getting back to a busy schedule and trying to budget time for all activities. Readers in the affected areas, have more to worry about than reading our blog, some don't even have electricity right now. Our prayers are reaching them.
And we aren't just sitting here. I'm researching the Goschenhoppen recipes to post and Kaya's trying to read and leave comments. Plus Kirsten posted her first Sipping Sunday yesterday.
Yes. Please don't worry. Have some watermelon.
We'll get back to a regular schedule soon. 
And catch up too.
We'll take turns.
Whew! Selfie time!

So glad you stopped! See you again soon!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tea Review: Diehl's Vietnam OP

Sipping Sunday #1

Hi! How are you? It's been quite a September and I wanted to step in and give you something to remember us by. Oh, that doesn't sound good. We aren't going anywhere. Septembers are so busy around here; it's our slowest posting month. So I thought about starting Sipping Sunday. They will be few and far between. (giggles)

Diehl's Real Teas: Vietnam OP

We have a new tea place near our house. It's called Diehl's Real Teas. Xyra went in one Saturday and had a very nice time. She picked up a bag of Vietnam OP for us to try and review.
What is OP? Well, OP stands for Orange Pekoe. That's not a flavor, but refers to leaf size. In this case, it refers to tea made from the tip of the leaf.
Let's look inside. These leaves are nice and tightly curled. There doesn't seem to be much of an aroma.
I'm going to use our clear pot and substitute a different lid. I want to see the color and dancing leaves.
The instructions say 1 to 2 teaspoons of tea leaves for every 6 ounces of water. The pot holds more than 6 ounces, so I'm going to put in 3 teaspoons.
Xyra will add the hot water and I'm going to set the timer for 5 minutes.
Wow! It's really dark already. You can barely make out the leaves.

[Timer beeping]

Wow! Still really dark. I hope I didn't over steep.
It smells malty and warm and, well, like plain black tea.

My first sip will be plain.
Um, I think I over steeped the leaves. It's kind of bitter, but not bad.

For my second sip I've added bamboo honey.
It's nice, but not quite right. Gives just a hint of sweetness to the tea.

Now let's try regular sugar.
This is better than the honey. A bit more crisp. Takes away some of the bitterness.

Hmm, I wonder what sugar in the raw will do?
Okay. This I like. The molasses left in the sugar really takes the edge off and adds another dimension to the flavor. 

Now let's see what happens when I add milk to plain. 
Not bad, but missing something. How about with the sweeteners. Honey...
Nice. The milk definitely helps to combine the flavors and smooth out the edges.

Regular sugar.
Yes, it helps here too.

Sugar in the raw.
Oooo, this is really good. I like this combination best.

I've come to the conclusion the Vietnam OP is a good morning blend with breakfast. 
It has a full flavor that holds up well with milk and sugar. (whispering) But also needs both. It will probably make a good iced tea.

What's your favorite morning beverage?

Stop again soon! Have a nice day!

Note: Tea Time with Melody Q is not affiliated with American Girl, Diehl's Real Teas, or Bee Folks honey. The tea and honey reviewed were purchased for our collection with our own funds. The review is unsolicited and consists of our own honest opinions and words. Links are provided for educational and informational purposes. No purchase is required or suggested to enjoy the above post.