Teavana: It’s Legacy Lives On

Teavana was one of my favorite stores to visit in malls.  It was a tea-lover’s dream store, carrying all sorts of teas from basic to ethnic, savory to sweet. After it’s stores went extinct in 2018, it has been sorely missed… by me. 

I have been obsessed with tea for years, and Teavana was one of the best resources I had to purchasing rare teas and blends. But it wasn’t just that: it was inspiring a whole way of life. I loved everything about the place: from purchasing a new tea tin when selecting a new tea, sampling teas, and seeing all of the new innovative tea tumblers, tea pots, cups, and mugs.

The highlight inside the stores was seeing the impressive wall filled with large canisters of loose tea. When selecting a tea, the associate would waft the smell of the tea from the canister your way so you know how it will taste. They would make recommendations, as well as let you create your own tea blend if you wanted. Also, if you needed something to drink on the go, the associates would freshly brew some tea for you with rock sugar. Yum!

After saying all that, Teavana’s name is still out there. Here’s what’s left of the legacy of Teavana–a small selection of pre-bottled teas and tea bags of some of their most popular tea blends. You may also see Teavana teas offered on a Starbucks menu.

This was the first time I have ever purchased the offered goods of the revised Teavana brand. I picked up three types of the tea bag containers, and I tried four flavors of the bottled tea. My favorite is the bottled unsweetened strawberry apple. Of the tea bags, I have only tried the peach tranquility. It’s flavor isn’t very potent, so it easily tastes watered down.

From the time when the stores were open, I had accumulated quite a collection of their teas in tea tins. And because their stores are no longer around, to me, the tea and tins from those visits are priceless.

Anyone else missing Teavana?

Bye~

May Day

Hello! It is the first day of May, and I started it off with a refreshing barefoot walk through the morning dew. It was a cold 45 degrees, but so therapeutic.

To dress up my yard for the day, I decorated my little lilac bush and landscape tree with colorful ribbons looped around the branches. They look so pretty when the wind is blowing.

Do you see the violet in the grass? ^^

The day’s cold start turned into gorgeous weather, warm and sunny, so I enjoyed most of the sunlight with a spontaneous tea party~ I made Marie Antoinette tea and picked up some assorted mini cheese cake tarts.

Overall, it has been a very pleasant day. It inspired me to bring out all of my artificial flowers to arrange into vases to set around the house. They are perfect for brightening rooms~

Bye!

Product: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker

Hello, people! For the past week, I have been enjoying a new appliance. It is an automatic tea kettle by Breville called the One-Touch Tea Maker. I have never had an automatic tea maker before. Normally, I would heat up an electric kettle of water whenever I felt like it, but sometimes I would forget to come back to make tea when it was done, so I would need to reboil the water. (*^^*)

This is the tea station in my room
Loose tea goes into this basket

But with this appliance, once it’s set up, it can make a delicious brew automatically at whatever time it’s set for. I have been setting it up to brew ten minutes before my daily alarm goes off, so I have fresh tea to start my day!

The display screen shows the temperature and the remaining brew time

It does not over-steep the tea either. This kettle has special brewing features based on the type of tea and desired strength, and based on the temperature the water needs to be for optimal flavor and brew time. However, if you know a certain tea needs more or less brew time, it can be customized. For example, I have a fruit-and-floral tea blend that tastes better the longer it brews, so where the preset brew time would be five minutes, I change it to eight.

The tea is fully brewed!
I love drinking tea from pretty teacups–it tastes so much better that way ^^


This tea maker has been a wonderful investment into my daily routine. It gives me a solid reason to wake up early in the morning. ^^

The full make, style, and name of this product is Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker

Has anyone else tried this maker? If not, it’s worth it!

Bye~

Home Tearoom: Sakura Blossom Tea

It’s time for a Home Tearoom session! Right now is the season for cherry blossoms and I wanted to share what it’s like brewing the blossoms themselves into a tea. I have tasted a blended sakura tea, but I wanted to experience the pure flavor of the flower alone. The brand I purchased is Honji-En and the flowers are harvested from a cherry tree variety called Yae-zakura.

First off, the packaged blossoms are preserved with salt and plum vinegar, so they will need to be rinsed before using for tea.

It only took a light dip in the bowl of water to remove the salt. Once the salt was off I placed the flower into a cup of hot water and let it steep for five minutes.

I decided to use this girly Pikachu cup for the tea ~ so cute

It was surprisingly simple washing the salt from the blossom and the tea itself was not salty. However, I probably needed to use less water–there wasn’t any flavor… (*・‐・*)

Eventually, I will try it again, but I want to save the flowers for a special occasion next.

Anyway, if you want to try this yourself, just know that it is not too difficult to rinse off the salt, it’s worth doing, it’s so elegant, and makes for a very photogenic cup of tea.

Thanks for reading ~

Hanami: Sakura Flower Viewing ❀

Hello~!  For the last few days I have enjoyed my cherry tree’s blooms.  They finally opened!  I had been eagerly waiting for my weeping cherry tree to flower for weeks.  I was concerned that they would prematurely blow off because of storms, but they have lasted so that I could appreciate the bud-to-bloom progression.  This was my needed excuse to sit under a tree and to enjoy some treats I have been saving for the occasion.

​The items I had were Lipton sakura tea, two types of mochi, a red cocoa KitKat bar, and Little Twin Stars sugar star candies.  I also made roasted barley tea (mugicha) to sip afterward. ^^

Since I had several treats to eat with the tea, I just set them on the saucer and brought it outside.  The tea is a blend of black tea with Japanese cherry blossoms, so it is a dark color.

It is still pretty early in the flowering period, so the tree isn’t super fluffy with flowers yet, but it is still so pretty~ the flowers are pure white with yellow stamens.

This tree blooms during the changing weather, so there is a lot of wind and/or rain that tug at the the delicate petals.  All of these factors make the already short flowering period even more short-lived–I am lucky for it to last a week!  But because of this, I have learned to appreciate the beautiful flowers sooner than later. ^^

Bye~

Happy Easter! Pastels, Tea, Bunnies, Goodies

Hello, sweeties!  Easter is a wonderful holiday.  It coincides with the beautiful Springtime weather, plants growing back and flowering.  Thus there are many Spring aesthetics that work well for Easter.  Here are some of my favorites: for motifs, bunnies, lambs, eggs, flowers, and crosses; pastels colors; real and artificial flowers and grasses for a Springtime feel; and teatime decorations to add a touch of grace and hospitality.

So on that note, I put together some displays in honor of the holiday.  I decorated a pink shelving unit with all kinds of knickknacks.

(* • ᴗ • *) و ̑̑

The top shelf has two lamb ceramic planters decorated with pompom bows.  In the middle is an Easter egg necklace.  It’s so sweet~

On the second shelf I have two Easter baskets, one with a vintage Rainbow Brite Easter card, and the other with Usakumya mini pouch.

There was one new thing I added to the Easter schedule this year: a teatime!  I had a new tea to use for this and some special seasonal cheeses.  The tea was a lovely Marie-Antoinette tea, made of rose petals, apples, and black Ceylon.

For the cheeses, there were three types: Wensleydale with raspberry and white chocolate, Wensleydale with lemon and honey, and aged English cheddar.  They all tasted soo good!  We ate them with Ritz crackers.

All-in-all, Easter day was fun.  I dressed up in a lavender dress and I did wear the Easter egg necklace I showed on that pink shelf–it wasn’t just for display. ^^

Oh, yeah, this was my favorite colored egg~

Toodles~

˙˚ ᕱ⑅ᕱ ˚˙

Keep Calm…

…and wear lolita (while drinking tea).

Hello!  It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed it by sitting in the sun with a hot cup of tea.  It felt great soaking in some sunlight after so many cloudy days.  Though plants are still dull-colored, recovering from the Winter, wearing adorable lolita clothes and drinking tea from my favorite Hello Kitty mug made the atmosphere quite pleasant. 

During this time of mandatory stay-at-home quarantine, I now have freedom to wear the clothes I love and to spend my time on back-burner hobbies, like home decorating, sewing, gardening, and cooking.

All of the time is great.  However, I need to make sure I am not just squandering it, vegetating at the computer watching videos while eating sweets… (;¬_¬)  I need to be productive–use my time to straighten up the house to keep my home a personal paradise.   ʚ♡⃛ɞ(ू•ᴗ•ू❁)

Perhaps this self reflection is the encouragement and motivation I need to be and live in the cutest way I can.  Yay~!  ₍՞◌′ᵕ‵ू◌₎♡ 

Love, love~!