Friday, January 2, 2015

Love Me Some Pie


For Tea Time today Brian came over and we made Celebration Balls for the D&D Game I am running for Jacks friends on Saturday.

This was the first Tea Time I have ever attempted and the process needs a lot of refinement; specifically:

  1. How many times can you resteep a pot of tea?
  2. I am using water temp 200 degrees & steep time of 2 minutes as a rule of thumb--is there a better method to determine this than 'taste'? I have what I think are single use tea packets so I don't have room to experiment.
  3. What is the debris floating on the surface of the tea--is that normal or am I doing something wrong?
Basically, I am glad the first time does not count! The event started with me having On Call work issues & the relaxation part of tea time did not happen. Also, the principle that tea time leads to better conversation was challenged as well--primarily because the craft and kids took up a lot of our attention, but also because of this work thing that had me distracted--ideally next time things will go a bit smoother.

Friday sells some amazing tea over on Etsy as well as doing an amazing YouTube series which is largely my inspiration for Tea Time. I have made a New Year's Resolution to drink tea--the resolution to drink tea is based on this idea that it will lead to calm, conversation rich afternoons. Also, Battle of Five Armies has this incredible moment when Bilbo invites the dwarves to visit the Shire mentions that tea is at 4:00.

We randomly selected this tea from the variety pack I got from Friday--I will post our review of the actual tea drinking experience separately.


while the water was heating to 200 we collected our supplies for the celebration ball--Dice:


Player boons--mostly the same ones that Tara had used.


Lisa used a Creative Memories paper cutter to chop these up while laughing at my amazing Craft Project--evidently she had made these exact same paper wrapped balls for Halloween two years ago & I had either forgotten or never known...good husband!


We added some tattoos which have nothing to do with the adventure we will be playing but are always fun


we dug through our bag of minis


to find some for the boys


and selected these four -- mostly from the latest WotC set


The streamers we bought at Target while shopping for Skylanders earlier in the day


Back to the tea, we added the tea to my new Teavana pot


And poured in the water


it started making tea immediately--we did a 2 minute steep on this pot. I think that this was not long enough & three minutes would have been better--also the tea cooled very quickly once cupped--I think that the water could have been hotter, but I am new to this and not sure...Over all we would re-steep the leaves three times, I have no idea if this is appropriate.



I grabbed some very simple cups--a little on the small side as well since I was not sure how it was going to taste.


it poured out cleanly.


The only issue is that you cannot tell when the cup is full--next time I will use clear glass tea cups.


There was a little bit of Tea left in the pot, so we heated more water because I had heard from Michelle at Teavana that I could re-steep the leaves.

Brian, Jack, Lisa, & I got back to crafting--the wrapping was going well, we had decided to not use tape because we thought it would make unwrapping odd


Jack was doing a great job


We wanted that combo color pattern at the end so we folded the streamer in half


which was actually the hardest part


it was super hard to fold it in half cleanly


Lisa had some two sided tape which we used to attach the token


here is the ball


Jack started re-steeping the third pot


We then started work on how to review tea--we started with trying to decide on the categories we would use--we came up with:

  1. Aroma
  2. Taste
  3. Cost
  4. Re

which did not work very well--cost makes no sense in our context & re was just a mistake--we will likely be refining our review model in the future & I will have separate post with our teams actual votes.


for the third pot we had also downloaded the Teavana timer


There was a great animation for the brewing


that closely resembled the activity in the pot



on some of the cups there was a fine layer on the top the tea--I assume that this was tea that had not been filtered properly--Kate was concerned about this, so I will work on it.


Kate added honey to her tea


Cody got a cup of dill pickles to go with our tea


Kate added milk to her tea as well as the honey.


And then Lisa got the scottish brittle out for Brian to try & we destroyed it--one of the best holiday treats that she has ever made--seriously this stuff is gamer crack


Here are the finished products--please let me know which one of the following you think looks the best--A, B, C, or D. Not that we are being competitive with our crafting...but you know...











Also, at the end we had tea leaves in our cup--is there an easy way to read these tea leaves?