Please Not Tonight from Oh You Tease

I have a soft spot for a nice cup of peppermint tea so I was more than happy to try Please Not Tonight from Oh You Tease. Mint tea is said to provide all kinds of health benefits like help with digestion and mental focus. I reach for a cup of mint tea when I want something crisp and refreshing and decaf.

Please Not Tonight is a perfectly named minty brew. Anytime you’re not up to whatever the night throws at you, brew a cup of this tea to soothe what ails you. Feel a migraine coming on? Let the creamy peppermint cool your head. Have an unsettled stomach? Drink a mug of crisp freshness. And this blend has chamomile to boot, to help encourage relaxation and sleep.

The real treat is the Oh You Tease shop itself. Their teas come in cheery, patterned envelopes with sweet or cheeky names. You also get the satisfaction of supporting a small business, a small business that brings more tea into the world. If that doesn’t make you feel better, maybe you need to brew another cup!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Oh You Tease
Description:

Naturally caffeine-free tea blend of peppermint leaves and chamomile flowers – natural stomach soothers

A fascinating and refreshing herbal infusion with an amazing minty peppermint and uplifting aroma of chamomile extracts. The whole aromatherapy in a teapot. Naturally caffeine free

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Queen Catherine/Haney and Sons

Everyone who loves tea should probably take a good look at Queen Catherine of Braganza, sometimes referred to as the “Patron Saint of Tea.” Tea was known in England by the time she arrived to marry King Charles II, but she popularized the drink that was already quite a fixture among Portuguese nobility. Her life story is one of great character and strength in the face of both great privilege and tremendous heartache and sorrow.

In 1988, Harney and Sons was commissioned by the Portuguese government to create a tea blend in her honor, and they did a bang on job of it. Keemun, Panyang, and Yunnan black teas were blended into the tea that has become a shelf staple in my house.

In my early tea drinking days, all black tea got milk and sugar. As my palate and tastes changed and I stopped adding anything to my tea, Queen Catherine stayed, because it was just as good (better) plain than it had been with additions.

It is lightly smokey from the Keemun and has a light fruity aspect as well. I enjoy it at breakfast and in the afternoon equally, and because of its versatility it can be served to guests regardless of whether they take milk and sugar. Drinkable on its own, it is also delightful with sweets or with a meal. Because of how dear it is to me, I am always a little nervous when I introduce new tea lovers to it, but it has never failed to win hearts.

(People new to this blend often cry out, “This is TEA!” on first sips.)

Queen Catherine is my tea for days when I need to be told, “There, there,” but also, “You can do it, dear, I know you can, so get out there and be strong!”

This tea will always hold a place in my heart. It was by my side during some hard days and has also accompanied many happy ones. Fortunately, it is a wonderfully affordable tea as well as a great tasting one.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Harney & Sons
Description

We created Queen Catherine, a Harney & Sons signature blend of three Chinese black teas (Keemun, Panyang and Yunnan), in honor of Queen Catherine of Braganza, who introduced her love of tea to the British. We are privileged to have this tea featured in the Museum of Tea in Hangzhou, China. Harney & Sons is the only Western tea company who has received this honor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bonfire from Adagio Teas

Adagio Teas might be known for the fandom-inspired blends submitted by their users, but the tea company also offers their own seasonal blends.  One of my favorite flavors they have created is a fall blend called Bonfire.

This blend is mainly comprised of honeybush herbal tea, which brings the perfect caramel, woodsy notes to start as a baseline.  If you are wary of red rooibos teas, don’t worry about this blend, the honeybush is much more gentle and less medicinal than the rooibos. The honeybush is paired with just a smidge of smoky black lapsang souchong.  There is little enough lapsang souchong to keep the caffeine level low, and to not overwhelm you with its bacon-like scent. Truly, the smokiness is relaxed and minimal, if you are on the fence, give it a try. Personally, I’ve grown to like smoky teas, so I add an extra scoop of lapsang souchong to the Bonfire loose leaf to really pump up the robustness.

What takes this blend to the next level are all the other herbs and additions.  Apple pieces add some juicy sweetness and their trademark fall flavor. Aniseed and cacao nibs add some dessert tones to make this brew feel like a treat.  Orange peels and cloves bring their wintry spice combination, and red peppercorns add a pop of color and just a hint of cracked pepper flavor.

This tea is delicious on its own, but also goes well with lemon and honey, or could be a tasty starting point for a hot toddy.  The blend is not available all year round, so I always make sure to stock up and make it last.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Honeybush and Black
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas

Description:

Crisp autumn nights call for warmth and comfort and little can better provide them than an autumn bonfire. Behold our bonfire blend: Honeybush hazelnut and cocoa nibs relax and ground you, while a spice blend of aniseed, cinnamon, clove and orange peel offer cozy comfort and zest. Apples and rose hips add soft sweetness while lapsang and red peppercorn offer hints of smoke and the flickering spark of heat. A perfect tea for fireside enjoyment or downtime dreaming.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl of Time from A Quarter To Tea. . .

Up to today’s bat is the Earl of Time, a Quarter To Tea blend that blends a black Earl Grey with vanilla and black currant.

I’m not sure why it’s called Earl of Time, but I SUSPECT it’s because Earl Grey got a message from a Time Lord to add these inclusions for a COMPELLING BREW.

Time Lord: “Listen, I’m from 3030, and Skynet just figured out a bangin’ way to make your trademark beverage a little more exciting.” Earl Grey: “My trademark beverage? I just throw a little bit of citrus into my black tea.” Time Lord: “Believe it or not, that’s going to be YOUR THING. You will be known through ALL OF TIME for that one thing.” Earl Grey: “What about my charity work? My metal band? My hand-tatted doilies?” Time Lord: “No.” Earl Grey: “My way with words? The fact that I am an expert cat cuddler?” Time Lord: “None of that makes it to the future.” Earl Grey: “So I’m just… like… a spritz of bergamot?” Time Lord: “And now… some vanilla and black currant. Try it.” Earl Grey: “That’s DELICIOUS! So creamy! That berry flavor, with the slight citrus edge! WOW! I might write a poem about it.” Time Lord: “It’ll be forgotten to the sands of time, but sure, I mean, go ahead.” Earl Grey: “Roses are red / violets are blue / I like this tea / and so might you.”

(illustration by Super Starling herself!)

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea
Description

A fun and fruity twist on the classic Earl Grey! This one features black currant, vanilla, with that classical satisfying punch of bergamot.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey Black/Zest Tea

Earl Grey and I have an uneasy relationship. I like good Earl Grey. Not so good Earl Grey? I will have a glass of water, thank you.

Off the table for me are strong bergamot layered on super fruity Ceylon, and artificial bergamot flavor. Too sour! Both of them!

What a nice surprise this Zest Tea Earl Grey is! Zest is all about caffeine, which is the opposite of important to me. I don’t need it. I don’t really want it. But sometimes people do want it or need it. And getting it from tea gives you the added benefit of L-theanine.

Since this is supposed to have more caffeine than a cup of coffee, I expected it to be harsh. I gave the sachet a sniff when I opened the individually wrapped pouch (+1 for freshness) and it was a delightful, uplifting bergamot aroma.

The steeped tea is definitely toned down aroma-wise from the sachet, as is expected, but the tea is still bright and sparkling with cheerful bergamot. The Nilgiri base is pretty smooth with just the right amount of briskness. Most remarkable to me is how balanced the base and the bergamot are.

I drink my tea plain, but I bet this could take milk and sugar if that’s how you roll. Caffeine warriors, rejoice! This tea may be your new love! So I take it back. Zest isn’t all about caffeine. They are all about providing good tasting, good quality tea with extra caffeine kick, smoothed by L-theanine.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Zest Tea
Description

Earl grey has been a popular blend since it was introduced to the British Earl, Charles Grey, in the 1830’s. Most Earl Greys are made with low-quality base teas, but not ours. Zest’s Earl is made with premium Nilgiri Indian black tea blended with a delicious bergamot essential oil.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!