Edith Wharton blend from Simpson and Vail

This lovely tea has been sitting on my tea shelf for a while, just waiting for the right day.  Well today was the day. This darjeeling blend was created in honor of author Edith Wharton at the Simpson and Vail tea shop.

I don’t know what it is, but darjeeling and earl grey teas always make me think of ladylike tea parties with finger sandwiches and sugar cubes.  This darjeeling blend is crisp and and could fit into the high tea setting, but it also has a lot more to bring to your cup.

In both scent and taste this blend is pleasantly bright and playful with plenty of grapefruit citrus.  This tartness feels satisfying like having the perfect biting witty comment ready to go on your tongue.  Beyond the grapefruit there is a bit of ginger heat, quickly followed by the smooth, vanilla tones of the mallow blossoms at the end.

Bold but ladylike, sharp but playful.  This is a great tea for that favorite smart and sassy friend in your life, or for any literary tea aficionado.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Simpson and Vail
Description:

For our Edith Wharton blend we pay homage to her descriptions of the undercurrents rippling through fashionable society. We have combined a refined, high-grown Darjeeling black tea with a little passionfruit and citrus flavor, a dash of spice and lovely flower petals to create a taste that is smooth and elegant. Perfect for an afternoon tête-à-tête.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Black Cherries in Sweet Cream from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

This Darjeeling, cherry, and cream tea is profoundly decadent. This blend tastes like a dessert that’s melty and gooey. The cream is so creamy that I feel like a farm where it came straight off the cow. Like, a fancy French cow.

A Quarter To Tea has a good grasp on cherries. I never liked cherries until their Chocolate Cherry Oolong showed up in one of my sample packs. It was a game-changer. So much so that my hopes were high for this one — and it succeeded.

When I went to this tea’s site, I discovered that this tea was inspired by Game of Thrones:

“Illyrio smiled as his serving men spooned out bowls of black cherries in sweet cream for them both.” (Dance with Dragons)

In case you forgot Illyrio (I did), he was the one that took care of the Targaryens while they were in hiding. If this is what he was serving people, well, I might hide out there, too. Does he have any space available?


Here’s the scoop!

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

“Illyrio smiled as his serving men spooned out bowls of black cherries in sweet cream for them both.” (Dance with Dragons)

Luscious black cherries with a medium body darjeeling base, paired with heavy notes of cream and vanilla. Decadent enough to make a magister proud.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Goomtee Muscatel Valley Autumn Flush 2016, Darjeeling Organic from Tea Swan. . .

Many of you may already know that I start each and everyday with at least one black tea. Recently finished up my stash of Goomtee Muscatel Valley Autumn Flush 2016, Darjeeling Organic from Tea Swan and I have to say it will be sorely missed!

The natural flavor of Goomtee Muscatel Valley Autumn Flush 2016, Darjeeling Organic from Tea Swan was both floral and spice and they shine thru this straight-up black tea. It’s warming and comforting on just about ANY day.

I like my black tea strong so I tend to add a few extra leaves of tea to my cuppa. A nice hefty, overflowing teaspoon in about 200 degree water for about 2 minutes seemed to do the job for me.

The aftertaste was a lingering masculine type flavor sort of like pine, for example. Prior to steeping the leaves we crisp and much like you see in the photo above. This is an outstanding black tea. If you are a fan of straight-up black teas – you are going to want to try this one!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tea Swan
Description

Goomtee Muscatel Valley Black Tea is unique variant of whole leaf tea is collected from Darjeeling during the autumn flush. It combines the flowery essence of autumn and the spicy charm of spring.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lady Grey from IndiasTea. . . .

It’s hard to pin down exactly what makes a tea a Lady Grey blend.  I believe Twinings tea company first coined the term, making a citrusy earl grey tea without powerful bergamot oil.  Either way, Lady Grey blends tend to be earl-grey-inspired teas blended to be a bit more gentle or ladylike. Lady Grey from India Teas certainly fits into that category.

While this blend has bergamot oil in it, it is at much lower levels than your average earl grey. Instead of the intense bergamot, this tea is accented with lemon peel and orange peel, making for milder and gentler citrus tones.

The leaves and the brewed tea had a fragrance of lemon-vanilla, reminding me of lemon poppyseed muffins. The tea is bright and pleasant, but not overly sweet, still preserving some of the citrus pop of traditional earl grey.

Brewed, the leaves appear much greener than when they are dry.  I’m not sure exactly what type of tea leaves are used as a base, but the flavor and color lead me to believe it is a darjeeling, or less oxidized tea.  The more delicate leaves suit the airy lemon peel flavors and ladylike theme.

Lemon is the star player in this blend since there is no black tea tannin richness to overpower it.  This Lady Grey is light and drinkable, a sunny lemon brew with just a little grounding to distinguish it from an herbal tea.

This is a delectable alternative to powerful earl greys, and might just be your new favorite citrus tea for cold brewing as the weather gets warmer.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: black
Where to Buy: Indias Tea
Description:

Not to go by its name, Ladygrey Tea is a modern creation so as to appeal to every age groups with its distinctly citrus fragrance.

Ladygrey Tea is a Tea blend which has been flavored with the addition of oil of bergamot to provide a relaxing and calming effect by taking you on a only-me journey.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Glenburn Estate Darjeeling, First Flush 2017 from Yatra Tea. . . . .

Darjeeling teas fall somewhere on the spectrum of black teas, green teas, and oolong teas, depending on their level of oxidation.  This 2017 First Flush darjeeling is a high quality blend from Glenburn Estate and from the Yatra Tea Company.

The dry leaves are a very dark green, and tightly curled.  I used the recommended brewing of 185 F water with a steep time of 3 minutes.  Brewed, the tea was fragrant, green and fruity, and very much in the oolong-family of of scents.

The taste was driven by a muscatel stone-fruit flavors, a green and pleasantly tart, almost fermented, frutiness.  This tea was bright and sunny, with notes of apricot and white grape, coupled with a lush green undertone. The mouthfeel was very smooth in texture, though I don’t taste as much buttery flavors as I might expect.  The more I sipped, the more gentle lemon and citrus notes became apparent.

This is definitely a fruit-forward tea, perfect for springtime brewing.  Even if flowers aren’t quite blooming in your garden, watch these tea leaves bloom in your mug and enjoy the sweet fragrance and experience.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Darjeeling
Where to Buy: Yatra Tea
Description:

High in the Himalayas, overlooking the intimidating Kanchenjunga mountain range, lie the rolling tea fields of the heavenly Glenburn Estate. Founded in 1859 by a Scottish tea company, Glenburn is one of the oldest Darjeeling estates and many of the laborious routines appear to be unchanged till date on this 750 hectare estate.

In addition to traditional Darjeeling black teas, Glenburn produces a superior green tea at specific times of the year. Yatra Tea Company proudly presents an April 2017 offering harvested exclusively for us.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!