Tea Spirits from Townshends Distillery

The absolute star of Portland’s Tea Fest earlier this month had to be this series of tea infused spirits from Townshend’s distillery. Normally they are known for their kombuchas, which have about as much alcohol in them as fresh orange juice does.  I chose a bottle of their smooth, high-quality cane spirits infused with roses and white tea, which lead to a dainty, yet crisp summer cocktail. I had no idea this was even a thing!!! Back at home, I mix mine with a touch of sparkling water to add to the merriment. Sipping the 80 proof straight provides an utterly fabulous, naughty at the garden party feel – strong yet uplifting, then a transcendent floral aftertaste that comes across quite differently than your standard rose tea. Definitely floral, but sweeter and not at all like an antique shop. Another fine benefit to this beverage is its ability to encourage me to break my writers block, win! And no hangovers yet, despite my crutch on it through finals week, knock on wood.

My partner ended up getting an early birthday present of Smoke Tea Spirits from them, a strong (smelling) lapsong souchong (in vodka I believe) alternative to scotch that they insist you must have at least two sips of to get the full effect. Not at all my taste, though I cannot really do tannins.  Have you ever had tea-infused cocktails before? What are your recipes? I’m dying to try and DIY some now…


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White Tea
Where to Buy: Townshends Distillery
Description:

Townshend’s White Rose is made from a simple recipe featuring white Tea and rose petals. Our unique low-temperature still allows us to capture the subtle aromas of these delicate botanicals. The result is a clean, velvety spirit that is delicious chilled, or in cocktails.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

China White Tea from Capital Tea Limited. . . .

Sometimes…I just want a plain, simple white tea. Don’t get me wrong…that doesn’t mean that it’s inferior. That could not be further from the truth when I’m sipping and jotting down tea tasting notes for this White Tea from Capital Tea Limited. The more specific, lengthy name of this lovely white tea from china is called…Bai Hao Yin Zhen – Yunnan Da Bai Silver Needle 2016.

A Yunnan Silver Needle? Yes please!

Bai Hao Yin Zhen – Yunnan Da Bai Silver Needle from Capital Tea Limited features gorgeous, pure, long shiny silver buds that give off a notably sweet floral aroma.

Unopened – these leaves are STUNNING and produce an incredibly sweet and smooth nectar-esque tea liquor with complex flavor and aroma notes that fondly remind me of both apricots and melons…two of my favorite fruits from the time I was a tike!

Sometimes you can just lose yourself in simplicity but isn’t that what is needed from time to time? Especially after a long, stressful day, week, month, or YEAR? This tea whispers ‘YOU TIME’. Listen to the whispers…and enjoy a cuppa!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:  Capital Tea Limited
Description
Gorgeous pure long shiny silver buds with a notably sweet floral aroma. These stunning unopened leaves produce an incredibly sweet and smooth nectar-like tea liquor with complex flavour and aroma notes reminiscent of apricots and melon. – 50g package

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Vanilla Bergamot from DAVIDs Tea. . .

“An elegant white tea…” is how DAVIDsTEA describes this Vanilla Bergamot tea but personally I wouldn’t describe the scum ring and oil drops on the surface of my mugs as “elegant”. That’s just me but maybe the flavor will show some of its elegance as opposed to the look.

I made this white tea mixed with apple, white chocolate, rose petals, vanilla, bergamot peel, and flavoring as a strawberry milk latte and a plain tea.

Despite the clearly visible drops of oil in the strawberry milk latte, the tea is creamy and smooth. The mouthfeel is soft, not slick and the sweetness of the strawberry milk really compliments the velvety vanilla and bright bergamot of the cup. At times the citrus of the bergamot gets so crisp it borders on bitter but between the prep method, the white chocolate and the gentle rose, it is kept in check. Though for those that tend to fear the blerg, this might still be too much for your tastes.

The plain hot cup is where I found the scum ring from the white chocolate, I’m assuming. Though the mouthfeel isn’t oily, it’s not really creamy either and since it doesn’t seem that the white chocolate contributes much, I don’t see why it is needed. What is contributing a lot is the bergamot, the brisk bergamot. Vanilla whisps float through but it’s the bergamot that’s hogging the limelight. The rose and apple also get their brief shot in the spotlight, adding a floral note that is a bit drying on top of the bergamot and the signature apple sweetness that so many DAVIDsTEA blends have, respectively.

Well, it seems the elegance comes through when made as a strawberry milk latte but the beauty is lost when the tea is made plain. Lose the white chocolate and perhaps tone down the bergamot and this could be a winner but as it is, I would say latte, preferably with strawberry milk, is the only way to go. It gives this tea just a little boost to take it from “meh” to “mmm”.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White Tea
Where to Buy:  DAVIDs Tea
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for white teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Thoughts on Darjeeling Silver Needle from The Kettlery. . .

Touted on its website as the most expensive and famous teas on earth its not hard to see why with its incredible flavor.

Truly this is a one of a kind tea. From beginning, the beautifully processed and dried young leaves, to the end, with its sweet after taste this tea is a master piece. It has a sweetness to it that is unlike anything I’ve tasted before.

What’s truly amazing is that it isn’t because of anything added to it.

The sweetness is simply because of where it was grown, harvested, and processed.

It has slight grassy notes as well but they are somehow different from that of ones found in green tea.The website also describes the sweetness as muscatel, which, when steeped correctly, is uniquely present in the undertones.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy:  The Kettlery
Description

One of the most expensive and famous tea on earth from the mountains of Darjeeling. Darjeeling Silver Needle is a paradise for straight tea lover.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Strawberry Shortcake from The NecessiTeas . . . .

There’s something about strawberry shortcake that makes me think of summer, or at least makes me think of flowery tea parties.  Maybe it’s just the fact that strawberries are at their height in the summer, or the fact that strawberry shortcake is often served with everyone getting their own little cake on a doily or saucer.  Either way, drinking Strawberry Shortcake tea from the Necessiteas felt like the right thing to do on a beautiful summer day.

This tea smells decadent even in the dry leaf, with lots of strawberry and vanilla fragrance.  The scent is supremely sweet, almost like strawberry Starburst candies.  The blend brews up gold in color, and continues to be berry-sweet and incredibly fragrant.

In taste, the most forward tastes are strawberries and cream, with a bit of the earthy white tea to balance all the dessert-flavors.  There are yellow cake notes at the back of each sip, reminding me of birthday cake ice cream.  These cake flavors combine with the white tea, bringing an almost buttery, savory feel to the tea that gets creamier as the brew cools.

Three things go into strawberry shortcake: berries, cake, and cream, and this blend has all three essential elements in tea form.  This is a must-try blend for any dessert-tea fans, or for any fun summery, strawberry occasions in your schedule.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: The NecessiTeas
Description: Angel food cake perfectly combines with a light layer of sweet cream and juicy strawberries to create this guilt-free dessert. Enjoy hot or poured over ice.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!