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A Vanilla Question Options
Frosty
#1 Posted : Monday, February 02, 2009 3:36:10 AM
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Posts: 134,494
On their website they have something called 'Nutcracker Sweet', different spelling, not sure if it's the same thing?  Perhaps not, the ingredients listed there are a bit different...    Ingredients:  Black tea, natural vanilla extract with other natural flavors, and cinnamon.
Sarah/Librum
#2 Posted : Monday, February 02, 2009 1:59:40 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Hmm. My bad.  You have the right spelling, and the picture is the same.  But contents on the site and the box are not the same.  Curious. 

'other natural flavors' -

And not available/orderable from the site either. 


But I might have the answer.  Our normal vanilla extract is made from Vanilla tahitensis.  McCormmicks (spelling?) is Vanilla planifolia.  I hope to be able to get into town and get some of that.  I am thinking that the extraction process makes it stronger.

Sarah.
Frosty
#3 Posted : Monday, February 02, 2009 2:30:26 PM
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Posts: 134,494

Do you ever mess with eBay?  There are a few sellers with it listed, some are as high as 8.74/box (after you add on the shipping).  This one is 2.62/box, first box is 3.49 shipping (so total would be 6.11), looks like more than 10 available and possibly .99 shipping for each additional box if you get more than one (so each box after the first would be 3.61)...   http://cgi.ebay.com/Nutcracker-Sweet-Holiday-Tea-by-Celestial-Seasonings_W0QQitemZ250320457044QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116

I don't know what your thoughts are as far as an on-line auction like eBay are... personally, I love it because sometimes I find items that are almost impossible to find elsewhere.

Frosty
#4 Posted : Monday, February 02, 2009 2:53:10 PM
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Posts: 134,494

Did some looking on-line, and found this recipe:

Ellen’s Holiday Tea Blend

2 ounces Darjeeling black tea
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2
teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup currants/raisins
1/4
teaspoon ground ginger
1/4
teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons orange zest (rind), grated {1 orange = 2 tablespoons grated zest }
1
teaspoon vanilla powder or Madagascar-Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Place tea, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, currants/raisins, ginger, nutmeg, orange zest, and vanilla powder in a bowl and mix together. NOTE: If using vanilla extract blend well through dry ingredients, allowing the entire mixture to dry.

Mixture will yield 20 cups of tea.


Making Tea:

  • Use one teaspoon of tea mixture per each 6-ounce cup of tea. One heaping teaspoon of tea mixer per #2 T-sac may be used per 2 to 3 cup tea pot. One prepared tea bag containing leaf tea will brew 2 to 3 cups of tea.
     
  • Preheat a teapot or "hot the pot" by rinsing it out with hot water. By insulating the teapot, it keeps the tea hot during the brewing process.
     
  • Bring the fresh cold water to a full rolling boil. Remove from the heat quickly as to not allow the oxygen to escape from the water. Water that has been reheated gives tea a flat taste. Only boiling water can extract the full flavor and benefit from the leaves.
     
  • Use one teaspoonful of tea mixture or one tea bag per cup (6 ounces) of water. Pour boiling water over the tea.
     
  • Let steep for 7 to 10 minutes. Do not judge the strength of your tea by its color. It takes time for the leaves to unfold and release their flavor. If you prefer your tea less strong, add hot water after the brewing period. Always decant the tea before serving.
     
  • If Chai is desired add warmed milk to taste.


Tea Enhancers:  Sugar, Honey, Candied Ginger or Orange Rind
It was on this site http://whatscookingamerica.net/EllenEaston/HolidayTeaTreats.htm

Perhaps it could give you a starting point to try to recreate the tea?  I am not a tea drinker, just never got a taste for it or coffee.  Hopefully you can find a way to make it!

Shirley

Sarah/Librum
#5 Posted : Tuesday, February 03, 2009 9:13:02 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Frosty,

Am on eBay and OLA all the time.  It is part of my job.  We have stores on each.  But I never thought of looking for the tea there.  I guess it should not surprise me.

We are coffee people.  I grew up on 'coffee soup', which is rewarmed coffee, with dunk sticks.  Dunk sticks are like the Little Debbies but no glazing.

I am not a tea person, but this one is the exception.  That is why I want to recreate it if I can.  The ingredients I have, I just have to find the right mix.

Thank you for that recipe.  I will continue to experiment with this. 

Sarah.
Frosty
#6 Posted : Tuesday, February 03, 2009 10:56:01 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Your coffee soup is probably enjoyed sort of like what I make.  I like to mix instant hot chocolate into a cup of coffee and dip toast into it.  What do you sell in your ebay store?  I am not familiar with OLA, I will have to check it out.  When I am looking for anything that may be hard to find, I always check eBay.  It never fails to amaze me what you can find... Hope you can make the tea, it would probably be cheaper than buying it, too.
Sarah/Librum
#7 Posted : Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:45:22 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Shirley,

Sorry for the lapse.  I was busy experimenting.

From one of our old cookbooks, I got the idea and solution.  The problem was that I was doing the vanilla wrong.  All the kinds seem to work.  The trick is simple.  Fill cap of vanilla extract with the extract, and put normal rice in.  Let it soak up as much as it can, about eight hours.  Extract and let dry.  The ratio is just less than a grain to a 'teabag'.  As I use an infuser I am not sure of that measurement, but it is marked on the infuser as such.

As to what we sell, visit our 'reading room' at http://www.librum.us.  That is where the free/demo work is.

Sarah


Spark123y
#8 Posted : Sunday, February 15, 2009 1:43:28 AM
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Posts: 134,494

Sarah, So you add the rice directly into the tea bag after it's dried? I was a little confused on that part.

Thanks, Brian S

Sarah/Librum
#9 Posted : Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:49:22 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Brian,

I use a 'blade' tea infuser, which is embossed with tea bag equivalent measurements.  Lehmans has a similar one, but without the embossments. Their number 1068635, $16.  I suppose a tea ball would do just as well.  Or a tea bag.  Yes, I just put the rice grain in.  I have also learned that you can slightly vary the strength by where you put the rice grain.  In the bottom of the blade is weak, in the top is strong. 

Sarah


Spark123y
#10 Posted : Thursday, March 05, 2009 4:05:05 AM
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Posts: 134,494

Interesting. I actually visited Lehmans this past fall on my return from a tractor show in indiana. Nice place. Lots of neat stuff. I was able to purchase a "hasher" there that was exactly like the one my grandma used to use in her kitchen to chop home fries for breakfast.. I really wanted to load up a new range and bring it home but had already filled the van with auction goodies.

Brian S

Sarah/Librum
#11 Posted : Wednesday, March 11, 2009 9:56:43 PM
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Posts: 134,494

Brian,

Then I would suggest you get on their mailing list.  We just got the latest catalog.  Here it is part of our 'humor' collection.  People look at it and laugh at the prices.  In fairness, they do well as a 'english' avenue, and you can find many of our (OOM, Amish, etc) products there.  But the prices!!!

Sarah

Spark123y
#12 Posted : Friday, March 13, 2009 12:24:31 AM
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Posts: 134,494

Sarah,

LOL, Yes, I understand . We chuckled at the prices when we were there. However, on items that I really needed I didnt quibble about the cost since I "was there" and  "they had it". Still, it was a nice place to visit. I would like to spend more time in that area when I'm not in  such a hurry and "just passin through".

Brian

 

Sarah/Librum
#13 Posted : Friday, March 13, 2009 12:24:31 AM
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Posts: 134,494
Celestial Seasonings has a seasonal tea they called Nutcracker Suite.  I love it.  But it is seasonal. 

So I thought I could make my own.  Even better, I could put stevia in it.  Presweetened.  And that would keep my Husband out of the sugar.

The label says it is black gunpowder tea and Vanilla, nothing else.  Vanilla?  I do not taste vanilla.  And which one?

I thought it would be vanilla extract  (normally made from Vanilla tahitensis)?  NO.  Bitter.

Ground vanillian (Vanilla planifolia)?  No.  No taste.  Apparently the steeping kills it.

Or Ground Vanil (Vanilla pompona).  $$$  Too expensive for them to sell at that price.

Can anyone help?

Sarah
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