Death Eaters Tea Club Specialty Box from Riddle’s Tea Shoppe

Bring out your inner good or bad wizard with a box of wizarding-world-themed tea goodies. Riddle’s Tea Shoppe offers quarterly boxes alternating between the Death Eaters Tea Club (canonically, the bad guys) and the Auror Tea Society (the good guys). The 2018 spring Death Eaters box was my first hands-on experience with Riddle’s Tea Shoppe, though I’ve long admired photos from afar.

This box was jam-packed with well-designed surprises. My box featured a canister of Basilisk Egg tea bags (spicy, earthy chai with lemongrass and peppercorns), a bag of loose Devil’s Snare tea (rich black tea with dark berry and cocoa flavors), and a bag of loose Venomous Tentacula tea (a decaf blend of black tea and rooibos with strawberry marzipan flavors). To pair with my tea was a vial of shimmery Unicorn Blood (simple syrup). Each treat featured original artwork or uniquely designed labels to make them feel extra magical and make them suitable to display in your tea shelf.

Beyond tea, the box included a laser cut wood bookmark and enamel pin, featuring stylish typography of favorite evil wizard spell words. There was also a print of an original watercolor painting of the Chamber of Secrets from Riddle’s Tea Shoppe’s creator. Of course, the Death Eaters Tea Club cute-and-creepy skull logo is on the box itself and various stickers and labels.

This box gave a lot of experience and beauty for a modest price. The one challenge is ordering before the pre-orders sell out, and waiting while the materials are assembled and shipped. To keep up-to-date on the next box, check out Death Eaters Tea Club (@deatheatersteaclub), Auror Tea Society (@aurorteasociety), and Riddle’s Tea Shoppe (@riddlesteashoppe) on Instagram. Also check on Riddle’s Tea Shoppe on Etsy for non-box goods related to tea and fantasy fandoms. The shop updates randomly, so check back often.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: various
Where to Buy: RTS Quarterly
Description: Each box contains:
– 1 canister of tea [Caffeinated]
– 2 small tea samples (10g each) [1 decaf / 1 caffeinated]
– 1 enamel pin
– 4 additional surprise items!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Daryl Dixon Fandom Blend from Adagio Teas

This is a fandom blend from the wild west of build-your-own blends on Adagio Teas.  I couldn’t find an exact match on tea flavors and fandom styling on the website, so I am going by look and taste for this tea.  (Don’t worry there are a few other Daryl Dixon blends on the site if you need to get your fandom fix).

The character of Daryl Dixon kicks plenty of zombie butt on the Walking Dead, so it is only appropriate that his tea blend is driven by high-caffeine yerba mate.  This mate is the green (unroasted) variety, and brings a little fresh citrus note into the brew alongside all its usual earthiness.

I believe this blend also contains a flavored green tea that helps brighten up the lemon undertones even further.  As is appropriate for any gory zombie show, this tea also features a dose of Blood Orange herbal tea. The proportion of blood orange is small, so it adds a bit of juicy orange flavor without taking over the blend.  The brewed tea is green-yellow in color, with only the tiniest hint of pink from the powerful hibiscus.

This is a blend that packs a punch without being too bold or bitter.  When you need an unconventional pick-me-up, try brewing a cup like this yerba mate Daryl Dixon blend.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Mate
Where to Buy: Adagio

Description:  This blend is no longer available but click below for blends that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Christmas in September: Winter Cheer from Virginia Tea Company

I’m a bit out of season to review Winter Cheer from Virginia Tea Company, but today is a grey and dreary day so a cup of tea with “cheer” in the name feels like a good fit.

This blend features black tea, peppermint, and cinnamon.  Even in the dry leaf you can smell all three distinct flavors.

Having peppermint and cinnamon in the same blend is like sitting in a snowbank next to a campfire: there are both cooling and warming elements happening at the same time.  I enjoy blends that make use of these flavors. Beyond their flavor profiles, both peppermint and cinnamon bring their own type of sweetness.

Peppermint has a creaminess beneath all its icy mint, almost tasting like vanilla.  Cinnamon has a more earthy, herbal sweetness, more in line with cloves or licorice.

With both of these flavors set against the robust backdrop of black tea, you get a full-bodied brew with a very tactile mouthfeel, both cooling and warming. This is a fresh take on the “spiced black tea” trend that pops up every fall and winter.  The mint and cinnamon together really make this unique and festive.

I’m feeling full of cheer already!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Virginia Tea Co.
Description:

Sit back and relax with your family this holiday season while sharing this delicious, guilt-free tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Orange Pekoe Special from Swallowtail Tea

When the tea has “special” in the name, it starts with a lot of expectations to live up to.  Good thing Orange Pekoe Special from Swallowtail Tea truly is a special mug of tea.

Right away, I was taken in by the scent of the dry tea leaves.  This is a pure black tea, not flavored, not a chai, and yet the leaves smelled sweet and earthy and strongly of cinnamon.  It was so comforting and flavorful it was hard to take my face out of the bag.

When I brewed this tea, the cinnamon took a backseat and more of the traditional black tea flavors came to the forefront.  The tea was bright and crisp, with just a touch of citrus that says to me it would be delicious if served with a wedge of lemon.  All of these forward flavors were quickly chased by smoother, toasted tones, almost malty and starchy like a not-too-sweet dessert.

The brewed tea smelled like crushed leaves and old wood, with just a whiff of woodsmoke.  The more I drank the tea the more the smoky notes came forward. This isn’t full-on chimney-bacon smokiness like you find in some lapsang souchong teas, this was more delicate, like the appealing sugar char of a creme brulee, or the faded campfire smell after the logs have long gone out.

All these natural flavors like wood and smoke and leaves in Orange Pekoe Special really put me in the mood for fall.  With a beautifully illustrated tin and such a rich flavor experience, this is now the tea I imagine when I think of someone stumbling upon a cabin in the woods and the owner pulls out “the good tea” for a special occasion.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea
Description:

Grown at the base of the Himalayas, this tea was first discovered growing wild in the jungles during the mid 1800’s. Assam is known for its deep, burgundy-red cup and pungent but sweet-starchy flavor. This is India’s most popular variety because of its intense flavor and ability to mix well with milk and honey.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hood River Rooibos from Beach House Teas. . . . .

Hood River Rooibos from Beach House Teas is a delicious decaf herbal blend with rooibos, ginger, and honeycrisp apples. I love the fall, and sometimes I love extra honey sweet apple teas with lots of cinnamon and flavoring, but Hood River Rooibos has me re-thinking what I want in my herbal apple teas this season.

This tea is simple and delightful.  The woodsy rooibos is flavorful without caffeine or bitterness. A touch of ginger root adds just enough sweet spice to make you think you’re drinking something special and seasonal.

The honeycrisp apples are really the ingredient that shines. The naturally sweet fruit flavor of the apples doesn’t need any sugar or honey to taste indulgent and refreshing.  Because there aren’t any powerful spices like cinnamon or cloves, you get to taste all the apples for themselves. Even a chai-lover like me doesn’t miss the cinnamon in this blend.

This tea makes me nostalgic for the fresh fall apples in the orchard of my hometown.  This is the perfect blend to warm you up when your picking apples off the tree, or when you’re just daydreaming about fall and all its wonderful flavors.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Beach House Teas
Description:

Hood River Rooibos is 100% organic rooibos tea blended with ginger root and Pacific Northwest Honeycrisp Apples. This combination of sweet apple mixed with the heat of ginger and the earthy flavor of rooibos is perfect for the winter season.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!