I Will Not Faint/Adagio Teas

Before I get started on this review, I have to disclose that I designed this Miss-Davenport-from-Space-Cases-themed tea myself. I don’t get any proceeds from it. Those go to a charity I think the character would have supported.

ANYWAY.

Making this tea was an adventure. I don’t know how to design or proportion a good tea. Adagio doesn’t really give guidance; it just lets you jump in there and throw stuff in the pot in whatever ratio you’d like.

I just put some stuff in this blend that felt appropriate to the character. She’s English (Earl Grey) and obsessed with waffles (caramel rooibos) and strawberries (strawberry tisane). This is a low-caffeine tea because the character is stressed out pretty much all the time. The last thing she needs is more zing in her fret.

The result smells like CRACK. You should smell this thing. Creamy and Earl-y and rich with berries.

The taste, however… is okay… but not great. I think that all the strawberry I hurled in there might have too much hibiscus lurking in it.

The flavor is, like, tangy? And not in the best way?

When I swallow, it’s great. But when it’s actively being sipped and in my mouth, it’s both bland and a bit much.

This might actually be good iced. Hot, it’s meh.

I feel like I might have messed this up a little bit, but you live, you learn. Feel free to try it, though, and all of the other Space Cases themed teas I made. Every single one has proceeds that go to charity. I am not taking your money, which is for the best, because I can’t promise any of them are good.

Ah, Adagio. You are the tea world’s Willie Wonka factory, and I appreciate you.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Description

This tea is a signature blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Empress Rajini/Simple Loose Leaf

“When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground,” Cersei famously said in the first season of Game of Thrones.

If you think fighting for dominance isn’t for you, try Empress Rajini. She seems to have her tea game on point. Think of all the tea you could have if you were in charge. Delicious, delicious tea.

I steeped this cup to go along with a donut I procured from the break room. (Why are there never, say, apples in there?)

The blend looked flowery and rich and dark, a perfect compliment to my chocolate-frosted confection.

And BOOM, I was right. This rose-lavender-fruit confection was the perfect counterpoint to the black tea in the blend and the chocolate from the donut. The whole thing was an IMMACULATE pick-me-up. Delicious. Wonderfully balanced, sweet, and ladylike.

I suspect Rajini is a fair and beloved empress.

If you don’t want to risk your life to rule, you could just buy the tea from Real Simple Loose Leaf, I guess.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Simple Loose Leaf

Description

Black tea, lavender, and rose petals with mango and peach flavor

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey Cupcake/52Teas

I am picky when it comes to my Earl Grey teas. I like them to be balanced. So often the bergamot is too strong, the cream flavors too artificial tasting or the black tea base is too weak.

Almost every tea manufacturer puts out their version of an Earl Grey and sadly I have a box full of Earl Grey teas that just didn’t make the cut. What is the point of drinking something that you don’t love?

When I saw that 52 Teas was again offering their Earl Grey Cupcake tea I really was interested. The tea itself is very pretty, full of star-shaped sprinkles. The smell of the dry leaf is very heavy on the bergamot so I was at first worried that the bergamot would be too overwhelming.

I steeped the tea for 3 minutes. The instructions on the packet indicate that the tea flavor develops as the tea cools, about 10 minutes. I am happy to report that this tea is lovely. The black tea base is solid, it is malty with very little astringency. The bergamot is perfect, not too strong at all, and the back end of the taste is a delightful vanilla flavor. The vanilla is not artificial tasting, it is a nice, natural flavor.

I did try the tea at the 10 minute mark and I do agree that the vanilla becomes much more prominent as the tea cools. I have been so pleased with all of the teas I have tired thus far from 52 teas and this tea is no exception. I highly recommend this tea if you love Earl Grey.

This probably would rank in my top 5 Earl Grey teas of all time and that is saying a lot as I have tried many!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

This tea is currently not available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Masu Old Tree Black Tea/Old Ways Tea. . .

Something was tugging at me this evening…a longing to shut myself away with a pot of tea and candlelight and soft flutes playing.

It is so easy to make a cup of tea, and the process itself can be calming and enjoyable. I wanted to go the extra step and create an atmosphere for a full tea experience. Candles were lit first, the tea tray arranged on the floor, water set to heat, a tea selected, and Asian traditional music playing.

Some time ago, I would have felt impatient in the preparations, wanting to get to the part where we sit and drink. I have learned now to view the setting up and the cleaning up as part of the pleasure of the whole experience and I feel very contented as I prepare.

The tea selected is from Old Ways Tea. This is a black tea, Masu Lao Cong Hong Cha. It is in a lovely red and gold package of five grams weight. I think that is perfect for this little gong fu session.

The leaves are beautiful. They are long, twisted, and black. I poured hot water into my little pot, poured it out, and then added the leaves and put the lid on for a minute. The warm, steamy environment in the pot allows you to smell the leaves better prior to actually steeping the tea.

The aroma is rich and dark. There is no cocoa aroma here as you find in many Wuyi teas. It is a rich scent of TEA, pure and unadulterated. More layers of scent begin to peek out and continue to develop throughout the session.

I kept the first steep short as my pot is quite small. We used an aroma cup to fully enjoy every aspect of this session, and now there is a strong burnt sugar aroma. This is not the wafting smokey aroma of a lapsang, but a deep and stable smell as of burnt sugar when making caramel. I am reminded of the brown sugar toast my mother made, when the brown sugar would melt into a hard crust on top of the bread that would shatter and crumble when you bit into it. Then after a deeper sniff, it reminds me of peach cobbler. My favorite part of a homemade cobbler, fresh from the oven, is the edge where the batter has touched the pan and become crispy and deep brown instead of cake-y like the middle.

With each steep, the baked fruit aromas grow with this tea. The sugar is fading a little and fruit steps forward more, and then an aroma like osmanthus begins to blossom. Combined with the baked fruit and sugar, it smells like a fine, natural cologne.

This was an excellent tea for a gong fu session. It is not a heavy tea, nor is it astringent. The body is medium and the color somewhat light for a black tea. I am so glad we made the most of it, and took the time to enjoy its full beauty. I am left feeling very much at peace, even after the tea things are washed and dried and put away. The peace lingers.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea

Description

2018 premium black tea from my cousin’s garden in Masu. 2018 has brought a good harvest and we are excited to offer this tea once again. Lighter fragrance with strong mouth feel and overall roundness. Brew it strong or weak, the tea can deliver.

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees. The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal. The trees are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu (麻粟) high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. The soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims. I am satisfied and happy to offer this tea for your enjoyment.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Malty Biscuit Brew/Yorkshire Tea

Hello, my dear tea lovers. I will admit that I spend way too much time online looking for new teas to try. I almost have a mountain of teas but somehow I obtain more. And this time on my search I have found a very interesting blend, a blend that mimics the indulgent practice of biscuits and tea by Yorkshire Tea.

Now I want to say that this brew has no actual biscuit in it for the biscuit flavor comes from the natural vanilla that they use in combination with a blend of black teas. The vanilla that they use is of the nutty variety and it does actually taste like I have eaten it with a biscuit! It is nice and comforting without having too much of the vanilla flavoring (it only makes up 3% of this blend) to the point where it is just a hint of “biscuit” flavor.

Now sadly, this brew isn’t sold in American markets all that often so the easiest way is to get this brew from Amazon and I got a 40 count box for about $7. Now keep in mind, this seems to be a UK exclusive so if you do decide to order, you will have to wait a bit because of overseas shipping. But mine (I ordered from the Amazon seller Spellbound from England) came nicely packed and the box is brand new and has a best by date of 08/2020 though I doubt it will last till then.

If you want the tea and biscuit experience on the go I say this is a great option! It is warm and cozy and even if you are not the biggest fan of vanilla, like myself, I am sure you will enjoy it. It is also versatile as well for you can have it with milk for more of a biscuit-like flavor or without. So if you are after a cup of cozy but don’t have the biscuit or you are on the go I fully recommend this tea!

See you for the next cuppa!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Yorkshire Tea via Amazon

Description

A proper satisfying brew Meet our Biscuit Brew – all the happiness of tea and biscuits, without the biscuit! It’s the comforting taste of Yorkshire Tea with a smattering of malty sweetness, for a satisfying treat that doesn’t get crumbs on your jumper. Especially lovely with milk. By Appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales Suppliers of Beverages, Taylors of Harrogate North Yorkshire

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!