Arabian Kismet from Swallowtail Tea. . . .

I love black tea with unusual combinations of spices, so I was very excited to try Arabian Kismet from Swallowtail Tea.  This is a blend based around orange pekoe special Assam black tea with added sage and cardamom.

The full flavors of the black tea itself pair perfectly with the fresh and earthy sage, and the sweet and mellow cardamom.  This is one of those teas that will work for any occasion. It has classic black tea for those staunch pekoe drinkers and a little bit of spice for chai lovers.  But without the classic chai spices like cinnamon and ginger, this tea is much more versatile and unexpected.

Sage always makes me think of Thanksgiving, so this feels very much like a fall tea to me.  The cardamom helps that image, bringing up spicy visions of the upcoming winter spice cookies.  This tea smells like a classic kitchen or herb garden, but its flavor combination in a tea blend is a new and exciting change of pace for me.  Great for breakfast or afternoon, or anytime you want to feel a little cozy and a little dreamy.


Here’s the scoop!

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

This delightful blend of Assam, sage, and cardamom might make you believe in Kismet after all.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cripple Creek from Swallowtail Tea. . . .

The package for Cripple Creek black tea from Swallowtail Tea (the same makers as Red Rooster Coffee) features a picture of iced tea with slices of oranges and a swallowtail butterfly perched on the rim.  The label was so enticing on this warm day, that I had to give this new tea try.

This is a Ceylon tea.  Usually I associate a mouth-puckering sharpness with Ceylon teas, but Cripple Creek is surprisingly smooth and mellow.  There is still a brightness to the tea, just a wisp of citrus or fig, but the focus of the flavor is much more malty, and almost toffee-like.

This reminds me of some of my favorite breakfast black tea blends from other suppliers.  It is robust without being too earthy or smoky, and tart without being bitter. Cripple Creek is well-balanced and serves you well for a hot breakfast cup or a traditional iced pitcher.  Besides, the label is so pretty, I’d want a tin on my shelf just to show it off.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea (Red Rooster Coffee)
Description: Sourced from the Dilmah Estates in the Southwest region of Sri Lanka, this tea goes great on its own, or with milk and sugar. Harvested between the months of March and July Ceylon is the most popular tea in Sri Lanka and beyond due to its smooth and balanced flavor, with notes of malt and allspice.

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!

Root Down Tisane from Swallowtail Teas

The colorful label for Root Down Tisane from Swallowtail Tea features a yellow and orange sun on the horizon.  It must be a sunset, as this tea is perfect for after dinner or before bed.

This tisane is driven by licorice root.  I’m a fan of licorice in all its forms, including as a root in herbal teas.  Licorice root is a natural sweetener, adding a bit of spicy anise flavor along with its sugary perk.  Licorice is also a throat soothing herb, so it brings a very smooth mouthfeel and soothing sensation.

Beyond the bold licorice, this blend features some cinnamon warmth and just a ghost of mint and orange peel.  There are also dandelion root and nettle leaf in the blend, but they are more for color and health benefits than taste.  I wish the mint and citrus were just a little bit bolder to add more flavor texture to the brew.

Root Down Tisane would be a great blend for those who are tired of herbal teas having ginger, chamomile, or even rooibos, as none of these ingredients are included.  This blend is all licorice and herbs, and is a nice change of pace for a naturally caffeine free blend at bedtime. I’ll have to save the rest of my tea sample for when I need to set down some roots and snuggle in for the night.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea (Red Rooster Coffee)
Description:

This signature tisane was artfully crafted as a warming and supportive infusion. Perfect as an after dinner treat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!