The Flipside of Gynostemma

Hi everyone! How are your Wednesdays going?

So as I mentioned yesterday, I got some not so hot  responses from a brutally honest review I wrote on Bean Around Books & Tea’s Gynostemma Green Tea.

Now, may I firstly say, I am probably not going to like every tea I review. If I did I would probably be hiding my true feelings for some of the teas and then it wouldn’t be as accurate as a review.

That being said, I pushed some buttons with my review and as a response, my good friend and friendly neighborhood barista at Bean Around Books, Miss Abby, wrote a rebuttal, which I promised I would put up.

And so here we are – The Flipside of Gynostemma is the name of this post.

Read from a different perspective, it might change your mind. It has not changed my mind (one customer, who was and remains, in fact an avid drinker of Gynostemma,  joked I wasn’t getting anything for Christmas after reading the review), but to each their own, correct?

Read Abby’s rebuttal below and let me know what you think! Thanks for reading!

Cheers! Lindsay 🙂


In Defense of Gynostemma

Hello everyone, this is Abby, you friendly, neighborhood, weekday morning barista.

Recently my esteemed coworker Lindsay tried our Gynostemma tea and, while she liked the numerous health benefits it provides, she did not
particularly care for the taste.

Well, I’m sitting here, enjoying my second
cup of Gynostemma today, as is my ritual before I drag myself off for a
workout at the gym. Now, I don’t claim to know everything about every
single tea we sell, and this is one that I paid absolutely no attention to
until about a year ago, when we inexplicably started selling a large amount
of it. I asked one of my customers who had just ordered a cup, and he said,
“Dan told me it was good for me.”

Okay then.

That being as good a reason as any to try a cup of tea, I did a quick Google search and made myself a cup.

I have probably consumed dozens of cups of the stuff since.

I think part of Lindsay’s issue with her tea-tasting is that she steeped
her tea bag a little too long. Green teas are delicate, and they become
bitter very easily. Whereas she steeped her tea for 4-5 minutes, I would
recommend no more than 3 minutes for your first steep. Seriously, time it.
The nice thing about green tea is that you can use your tea bag over and
over; you just steep it a little longer each time.

To me, it’s a pleasant taste. If you like plain green tea, you will
probably like Gynostemma. I can see where Lindsay would find it a little
grassy, but I also find it to be a touch sweeter than your average green
tea, and not as bitter (that is, if you don’t over-steep it).

It’s one of those teas that makes you feel healthy, if you know what I mean.

So there you go. We are not always going to like every tea we try, and as a
regular green tea drinker, I wanted to add my two cents. If you are bored
of Sencha, give this one a try.


Tea At A Glance: Scottish Caramel Pu-Erh

Hello everyone!

Hope your weekends went well and your Mondays back at work passed by without a problem!

Today I am doing a Tea At A Glance feature on one of our specialty teas – Scottish Caramel Pu-Erh.

The reason I am doing this particular tea is because I am planning on doing a Tea Culture post all about the production & benefits of Pu-Erh tea (which for a fast fact is a fermented and dark tea, hailing from the Yunnan Province of China).

I pronounce the tea as:


But I think you can also pronounce as:


( like Pear but with a “w“, like a little kid whose learning to talk).

Ingredients for this tea are as follows:

  • Black Tea (Pu-erh style)
  • Almond Pieces

This tea is an interesting one, but I kind of like it.

You have the base of black tea, but when you smell it, it smells like caramel, like a sweet dessert tea. I remember smelling this tea and feeling like I wasn’t sure what to make of it, whether I enjoyed the smell or not. I mean, it had a clearly sweet smell to it but I also smelled black tea, but not the kind of black tea which you smell coming from an earl grey or an English Breakfast (mainly black teas with ingredients such as oil of Bergamot, Assam etc.).

But I digress.

The tea is super. delicious. Compared to the smell which threw me for a loop, it tastes sweet and this tea would be delicious in a latte (a little bit of milk, some caramel syrup to emphasize the flavor of caramel, yum, yes. Do it). The aftertaste is this warm, caramel, flavor that sits in the back of your throat and goes down quite nicely.

One thing to keep in mind is that you should only steep this tea for 3 minutes for the first cup, any more and the tea is going to be really strong. After that, you can steep it a little more for each cup of tea you make, so a 2nd cup, steep for 4 minutes, 3rd cup 5 minutes.

I think the problem with this tea is that people may be thrown off by the name Pu-Erh. I know personally I had never heard of Pu-Erh tea before working at Bean Around Books & Tea, and I think the name often frightens people away because they don’t recognize that particular type of tea.

However, fear no more, as it is posts such as that are about delving into teas which you might not be familiar with at Bean Around Books & Tea and getting familiar with tea in general, if you are not a big tea drinker.

To purchase our Scottish Caramel Pu-Erh tea or any of our other teas, visit us in store or online at

Check back soon for a Tea Culture post all to do with Pu-Erh black tea!

Thanks for reading! Cheers! Lindsay 🙂



Tea At A Glance: Gynostemma



Hello everyone!

As promised, today I have a Tea At A Glance feature for you all, on a Green Tea. Seeing as I have done one or two features on Green Tea ( and THAT IS IT!) I thought it was time to do another one!

Today I am going to talk about a tea at Bean Around Books & Tea that probably has one of the more difficult names in our collection to pronounce. I know when I first saw the name I had no idea what it was, and frankly sounded like a breed of fungus or mushroom you see growing at the base of trees when you’re walking through the forest… BUT IT’S NOT I PROMISE!

Let us talk about …. Gynostemma

Let us have a quick pronunciation lesson alright?


See it just looks like a scary word but it is actually not! 🙂

On our website, over at, you can find our Gynostemma tea under the Wellness section. We have recently updated our entire tea collection so that ALL ( yes all 70 something) of our teas are now available for you to purchase ONLINE. Can I get a woot woot! Makes a pretty good Christmas present, just saying 😉

Some fast facts for you: Gynostemma is caffeine-free and is largely consumed in Southern China for energy & long life. The leaves of Gynostemma are used to make medicine & the tea itself is often referred to by its other name Southern Ginseng.

We have stored Gynostemma under the Wellness section because of the amount of benefits you can achieve by drinking it!

  • Lowers high cholesterol
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Improves heart function
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Increases stamina & endurance
  • Increases resistance to environmental stress
  • Improves memory
  • Reduces hair loss

The only ingredient you will find in this tea is Gynostemma Leaves – no artificial flavors or sweeteners.

Lets get into the review! Ready? Please be advised I try to remain positive when tasting tea, but I would prefer to  be honest about how I feel about the tea which I’m drinking rather than give you readers a positive, but dishonest review. So keep that in mind with today’s review, because unfortunately, this tea & I did not mesh well.

I’m going to be honest.. this tea doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing nor does it smell very lovely either (compared to our B.C. Sunset, which, as weird as this may sound, is a beautiful tea, lots of colors & a delicious fragrance).

When I first smelled my cup of Gynostemma while doing my review, the first thought that popped into my head was that it smelled…

like warm grass…. Yup….

But it also sort of smells like Jasmine tea. But, alas it can’t be compared to the deliciousness of Jasmin tea.

The taste… is another story. I steeped it for the appropriate length of time ( we recommend 3 to 7 minutes for this particular tea). I would say I steeped mine for 4 to 5 minutes…. SO STRONG OH MY LANTA…

Unfortunately, this tea also tasted like warm grass ( I’m sorry to tell you..). It wasn’t so bad when I first took a sip but as you move it to the back of your throat, the taste changes.

Yes I know that some green teas are made from twigs and leaves and bits of plants, and I accept them. I accept their differences.

But this one? Not my cup of tea, guys. Too grassy? Too strong? Too leafy? I don’t know. I like green tea, don’t get me wrong.

But not this one.

Positives of this tea:

  • The amount of health benefits – holy noodle.
  • No artificial flavors or ingredients, which means you pay for quality and  you get what you pay for.

Negatives of this tea:

  • The smell, look and taste did nothing to win me over.
  • If I wanted grass I would have gone out to my backyard.

Let this not be a reason for you to not try the tea. Try it out and see for yourself what you think, by all means! It might just be an individual preference.

Regardless, you can purchase all of our teas in store or online at ( click dat link yo!). Thank you for supporting our little local business, and thank you for putting up with a tea review that wasn’t actually a positive one for a change.

Have a fantastic weekend & i’ll see you next time for another Tea At A Glance review! Cheers! Lindsay 🙂

Tea At A Glance: Moroccan Mint

Moroccan Mint Green Tea

Moroccan Mint Green Tea

IMG_6265 IMG_6266

Hi everybody! I’m happy to report it is Friday! Yay!

Today up on the blog, we have another Tea At A Glance feature, on Bean Around Books & Tea’s Moroccan Mint Green Tea.

I love doing reviews on our teas because it gives me a chance to try a new tea and check it off my list.

My goal is to review all of our teas, which might take a while seeing as there are 70 different kinds! That is 70 cups of tea. Holy Noodle.

So – Moroccan Mint. Let’s get started!

Mint tea is very popular in Morocco and North Africa, hence the name Moroccan Mint tea. Moroccan Mint only has two ingredients and it is a custom blend made at Bean Around Books, which means you can’t get it anywhere else:

  • Gunpowder Green Tea – Fun Fact! This tea is named Gunpowder because the Sencha tea which it is made of is rolled into little pellets, resembling gunpowder grains.
  • Peppermint Green Tea

Both of these teas can be bought separately at Bean Around Books, or you can buy them in a delicious minty combination better known as Moroccan Mint.

Moroccan Mint, smells like … well … mint. Really yummy mint! We do have plain Peppermint and plain Spearmint but this is a good combination if you want a green tea with a bit of a bolder taste. When you smell the tea, it clears all your sinuses up.

It smells really pure, a solid green mint tea, which I would recommend if you are looking for a green tea that is perhaps a bit more flavorful than other, perhaps more plain green tea. We do have fruity green teas as well, such as our Passion fruit Green Tea or our Peach Mango Green Tea, but is more minty.

The tea also has the great taste of mint. This is a great go to tea if you feel a sore throat coming on – the peppermint is a big help in aiding sore throats. Add a little bit of honey and that makes it even more beneficial.

As always, you can buy any of our tea in store at Bean Around Books or online at

That’s it for now! Stay Tuned for the next Tea At A Glance Feature! Cheers! Lindsay 🙂

Photo Courtesy of Tumblr

Tea At A Glance: Hot Apple Cider Tea

Hot Apple Cider Tea

Hot Apple Cider Tea


A very unflattering show of my knee, but I had a little friend who helped me make the post today and kept me company! He really like my sweater - I guess it was comfy :)

A very unflattering shot of my knee, but I had a little friend who helped me make the post today and kept me company! He really liked my sweater – I guess it was comfy 🙂

Hi everyone!

It has been a few days since I posted anything, mainly because of the holiday, but also because I have been trying to offset how much I post. I don’t feel the need to post every day (and I think a good chunk of people who blog tend to only do it once or twice a week if I am correct!) but sometimes I do post every day. Sometimes it is 3 or 4 times a week. And I’m sure there will be some weeks where I only post once or twice. And that is okay too!

I think today I couldn’t get more into the spirit of Fall if I tried. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate it by the way! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday with family and friends and enough food to feed a small army. Because that definitely occurred in my house. #leftoversforweeks

I decided to write this post outside today! So I am sitting on Bean Around Books’ cute little patio out front,taking in the crisp, sunny fall day, enjoying the coziness of my new scarf which I recently bought and drinking a cup of the tea that I will be talking about today for all of you!

The name of the game is a piping hot cup of Hot Apple Cider Tea.

This one is a good one folks.

This tea smells like apple cider and that is because it is made with a lot of the same ingredients as apple cider. The warm, sugary drink I used to love and enjoy when visiting the Maple Ridge pumpkin patch as a kid, but now in a tea format!

It’s got a very strong smell to it, cinnamon & apples- which are 2 of the ingredients!

  • Red Rooibos
  • Diced Apples
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom
  • Natural Flavoring

Mmmm! So much good stuff! All natural flavoring too! That’s my rule of thumb – real ingredients you can actually pronounce! Ain’t that swell?

It tastes like apple cider but because I don’t add anything to the tea when trying it out, it is unsweetened. I imagine if you were to add a pack of sugar ( or perhaps some heated up apple juice?), it would taste just like sweetened apple cider.

This tea would also be a great contender to be combined with the spiced drink mix recipe I posted a few weeks back. You can check out that post here: Recipe Feature: Spiced Drink Mix on The Tea Blog

As always, you can purchase any one of our over 70 premium loose leaf teas in store or online, including our Hot Apple Cider Tea at 

Did you see my little spider friend? So cute! I think he needs a name. Then again, he jumped off my hand and I don’t know where he went, so maybe not!

Have a great Tuesday everybody, and stay tuned for another Tea at a Glance feature!

Cheers! Lindsay 🙂