The Beginning of a Beautiful Tea Friendship – Loose Leaf Tea, Accessories, Collections & 5 Things I Love About Teavana Tea!

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Forget clothes and Christmas shopping – I think I’m going to spend all my money on tea!  Between the Four O’Clock tea collection, David’s Tea, Steeped & Infused and afternoon tea sessions around the city, I’m going to be pinching pennies come January!  And if that wasn’t enough to scare my piggy bank into hiding, I’ve recently fallen head over heels for the teas and accessories at Teavana.  For those of you who live in Markham on my side of the pond, you probably already know this but for those who don’t, I’ll tell you: Markville mall has been undergoing a massive renovation for the past year.  The floor and ceiling has been ripped up, shops have been relocated and remodeled, and a slew of new ones have taken up residence in the brand spankin’ new and shiny shopping centre.

While the mall is still only about halfway through its makeover, many new stores have called Markville home for the past several months and that includes our very own Teavana!  Off the top of my head, I know Hillcrest Mall has a Teavana but that’s the only other location I’ve visited so until I scope out their other locations, the shop at Markville is definitely my go-to from here on out.  It didn’t take long for me to hop onboard the Teavana love boat; I have two bags of loose leaf tea, Wild Orange Blossom (herbal) and Samurai Chai Mate (mate), sitting pretty in my kitchen tea cupboard and many other teas, sets, and accessories on my wish list!  Here are 5 things I’m loving about Teavana and their teas:

1) The Flavour – I’ve had full cups of their Samurai Chai Mate and their Peach Tranquility and a number of their samples in-store and I am honestly sold.  Their tea is so fresh, crisp, and clean.  It has such an incredible pure taste and flavour to it.  That’s not to say that other teas are mucky though!  All this means is that you can truly taste the quality of the tea because it’s that noticeable.  Drinking the tea is like drinking tea from a sparkling waterfall, only steeped and flavoured and, well, tea!

Samurai Chai Mate

2) The Collections and Tea Sets – OH.MY.GOD.  When it comes to tea (and many other things in life), I am all over collections and sets like frosting on a cupcake!  I love the special packaging, I love the special limited edition bonuses, and I love getting more bang for my buck.  While it can be frustrating when collections are limited edition with a shelf-life in stores (the MAC Cosmetics addict in me knows this feeling), I love them nevertheless because they’re always jazzed up and special.

Teavana has so many different collections that I am so in love with including their Sweet Decadence Tea Gift Set (a collection devoted to dessert teas with shiny chocolate brown tea cups!), their Exotic Blends Iced Tea Collection (a fruity tutti mish mash of delicious tropical fruit teas made for icy drink delights including flavours like strawberry lemonade, pineapple, peach, and more), their Global Treasures Collection (17 new teas!), and their latest collection just for the holidays: 12 HoliDays of Tea, 12 holiday-inspired teas in tins and in a special holiday box!  *prances around the room*  I’m so happy.  And I’ll be more happy when I can get my hands on some of these!

Wild Orange Blossom

3) The Samples In-Store – Who can say no to delicious samples?!  Teavana is ridiculous when it comes to their sampling.  There are 5 samples in-store to try at any one time and they are all yummy and really great at showcasing the depth of flavour in their selection.  There are fruity samples, floral ones, herbal ones, and even iced ones and they cater to different tastes and preferences for those who are tea die-hards and for those who are still tip-toe around it, not really loving or hating tea one way or another.

I always love the way their samples show the tea’s versatility.  Many of their samples are teas that have been combined with one another and that’s something that I never thought to do all this time!  I’ve always used only flavour of tea at one time but their samples show how amazing the teas can taste when two teas are combined into one.  It’s a heightening of flavour, an enhancement, and a very cool way of playing around with the different types of tea and being a bit of a mixologist!

4) Tea Accessories – Teavana is known for their beautiful tea Japanese fabric tins, their tea pots and tea cups, and their cast iron accessories.  I am all over their gorgeous jewel-tone chubby tea tins (I’ve been eyeing the cerulean blue one for weeks now!), and their taller cylindrical fabric tins are a work of art because they look like they’ve been wrapped in fabric modeled after origami paper.  And the collector in me cannot wait to snatch up some of those beautiful tea pots and tea cups, especially seeing how adorable mismatched china and tea dishes can be at parties and afternoon teas!

5) Personal wishlist – I can’t talk tea without making a wishlist!  Here’s a list of Teavana teas that I’m dying to add to my ever-growing collection tea: Snow Geisha (a white tea with cherries and cranberries), Slimful Chocolate Decadence (Oolong), Toasted Nut Brûlée (Oolong), Cocoa Praline Tart (Rooibos), Honeybush Vanilla (Herbal), and so many more!

This is just the beginning of a beautiful tea friendship.

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The Joys of Soft-Serve Ice Cream – A Vanilla Chocolate Mix with M&Ms!

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What a tease the weather was last week.  Gorgeous, sunny, and warm.  The weather decided it would yank our chains though, and delivered us with three days of rain in a row with no relief in sight till Thursday – and that’s if we’re lucky.  And while their was a humidex advisory nearly four days ago, I was shivering in my house today and sitting on my hands to keep them warm.  Tsk, tsk, weather.  Not cool.  Lucky for me, I enjoy eating ice cream any time of year and in any kind of weather, even in the frigid kind that makes your eyelashes stick together 😀 

Enter soft-serve ice cream, the yummy kind of sweet treat that makes you long for summer and chase trucks down the street as the music ding-a-lings.  I loooove soft-serve ice cream and I almost always get the swirly vanilla chocolate mix.  It’s one of the reasons why I also love the little ice cream sundae vendor in the middle of Markville Mall, La Cremiere.  Even though I’ve avoided mall food altogether for some time now (with the exception of Tim Hortons), La Cremiere is the food gem in the mall for me.  While other ice cream places have started charging $3.25 and up for a scoop of ice cream, La Cremiere is great because you can get a medium ice cream for around $2.70 and I just enjoy the fact that they have soft-serve.  I know, I know, I can get soft-serve at McDonald’s.  And although I do enjoy the hot fudge sundae, they don’t have fun toppings for me to play around and choose from, so for that reason…I turn the other cheek 😉 

I always get the soft-serve ice cream in a cup and because they have tons of sweet toppings that you can add on, I almost never let my ice cream go naked.  I’m notorious for getting rainbow sprinkles (my weakness, they’re just so pretty and fun), but this time around I wanted to go kiddy and get rainbow M&Ms.  It made me happy, it made me smiley, and it was delicious.  Ice cream always makes the day happy.

*****

Markville Mall is located at 5000 Hwy 7. East in Markham, at the intersection of Hwy.7 and McCowan Rd.  La Cremiere is located on the bottom level of the mall by the centre court and food court escalators.

Scrapbook materials used: brown, beige, bubblegum pink, and baby blue cardstock (Recollections); white, pink, and brown polka dot ribbon; alphabet stickers (K&Company); pink alphabet stickers (Recollections); ice cream truck embellishment and stickers (Jolee’s Boutique); ice cream stickers (gifted).