Touch of Grey/Dem Bones

Hello dear readers, I come bringing a brew that is more than welcome in my ever growing tea shelf. It is from a brand that has captured my heart in its macabre design and its quirky humor. Their first product that caught my eye was their sugar skull cubes but when I found out that Dem Bones also had tea I just had to try it.

This tea features an invigorating blend of orange pekoe, bergamot oil, the dried flower petals of marigold, cornflower, and rose. The pekoe is the jolt of energy at the start and then it mellows out with the trio of flowers with the hint of bergamot oil keeping that citrusy flavor all throughout each sip.

Now on the prices, on Etsy and on her site DemBonesShoppe, you can only purchase a 2-ounce bag of tea for $11. Which I believe is a really good price considering that most of the bigger names in tea sell a 1 ounce tin of tea for about $5+. Additionally, as far as I know, you cannot purchase samples outright but I do believe that you can message Dem Bones, either on the site or on Etsy, for more information.

All in all, I believe this tea is a new staple in my tea lineup. I like to look at it as a sister to my other all-time favorite, The Picture of Earl Gray by Noveltea Tins. So if you like the sound of a flowery tea but don’t want to sacrifice caffeine I say that this a great mix of both worlds.

See you for the next cuppa!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Dem Bones

Description

Party with the dead and lift your spirits with this insanely aromatic floral tea blend.

The Orange Peoke hold it’s own to the citrusy fruitiness of Bergamot Oil. Rose, cornflower and Marigold petals grace the blend not only with a burst of color but enhance the citrus notes. This is a classic!

Try it with a dash of cream and Dem Bones Sugar Cube Skulls.

INGREDIENTS: Black Tea Blend (camellia sinesis), Marigold Petals (calendula officinalis), Cornflower Petals (centaurea cyanus), Rose Petals (rosa canina), and Bergamot Oil.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Canadian Berries from Siplicious. . . .

Hello precious teacups! Are you cold? I’m cold. I’m always cold, but I’m really cold now because it is winter where I am and so brutal outside that I half expect to see an AT-AT Walker wander past my window. Inside, though, inside is where the tea is and that will warm you up with much less work than a less-than-lively tauntaun.

The saving grace of weather like this is that it’s the perfect time to enjoy a good cuppa. I brewed this particular blend for 5 minutes using boiling water. It brews up the vibrant red you would expect from something containing hibiscus. The flavor is tart and juicy and overwhelmingly hibiscus and cranberry. I like this but I’m not picking up on any of the other ingredients.

I did get three solid steeps out of this tea. I abandoned the third cup and it was cold by the time I got back to it. Turns out this blend isn’t bad hot but it is miles better as an iced tea! It is a fantastic berry explosion in my mouth, much more nuanced than the hot brew. I might have known this if I had paid attention to the website categorizing this as a summer tea!

This blend makes an excellent base for a modified version of Lu Ann’s tea-infused hot chocolate recipe .  I brewed the tea like normal, stirred in three heaping teaspoons of Cadbury Drinking Chocolate, added almond milk (maybe a shotglass’s worth, I was eyeballing it), and topped it off with vegan marshmallows. So good! The chocolate and sweetness tone down the hibiscus, allowing the cranberry, raspberry, peach, and strawberry notes to come out by turns.

So the lesson here is a) read instructions and b) don’t be afraid to experiment! This is a delicious herbal berry blend but I would have written it off as a hibiscus-heavy cup of boring if I had only had it as a plain cup of hot brew. Stay warm out there!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Fruit Tisane
Where to Buy:  Siplicious
Description

This award winning “All-Canadian”, berry-delicious infusion is packed full of native berries bursting with the flavors of our True North Strong and Free.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Valentine’s Themed Afternoon Tea from My Cup of Tea Dessert. . . .

Afternoon teas have become a bit of a weekend pastime for my sister and I. It is just nice to slow down and have a pot of tea and a nice meal together. Thankfully, where we live, there are a lot of different tea places to choose from. Some better than others. Some at hotels. Some in stand alone afternoon tea shops. There is a wide variety and we are exploring them all.

My Cup of Tea Dessert has a fun take on the traditional afternoon tea. They have different themed afternoon teas at different times of the year to celebrate the holidays. Their foods are made to compliment the themes such as meringue ghosts for Halloween and strawberry Santas for Christmas. My sister and I attended while they had their Valentine’s theme and that meant hearts and flowers and pink galore.

The sandwiches were not your average cucumber and cream cheese or egg salad. We got pepperoni pizza stuffed bread, proscuitto on garlic toast, and heart-shaped pesto grilled cheese. My favorite was the grilled cheese. Light, warm, and the pesto really added a nice pop of flavor. My least favorite was the pepperoni pizza stuffed bread which seemed out of place, a little sweeter than I would have liked and a bit too robust for an afternoon tea.

They served plain scones as well as lavender earl grey scones. The scones came with whipped cream (I think) and little jars of Bonne Mamman jam. My sister didn’t like the lavender earl grey scones so I got those two and she took the two plain. As a tea lover you’d think I would have been happy but lavender and earl grey just aren’t my favorite flavors. Despite my reservations, with the jam and cream, the scones were really quite good with a warm and flaky texture.

The desserts were also atypical. They consisted of rose water panna cottas with a pomegranate rose water jelly, mixed berry yogurt mousse cakes, and two homemade heart-shaped truffles (one was black sesame flavored and the other was strawberry). Rose water is another flavor I don’t typically love, mostly because every time I have had it it’s been too sweet but the panna cotta was actually quite nice. Personally, I think the pomegranate helped keep the rose water in check which provided a little tart to compliment the sweet. The mixed berry yogurt mousse cakes were interesting as they tasted like mixed berry yop (a yogurt drink) but in cake form. It was good but took a second for my brain to accept the familiar flavor in an unfamiliar way. The truffles were also too cute and while they weren’t my favorite truffles I have ever had, they were a nice way to end the meal.

The tea was presented to us in tiny jars so we could smell them all. There was approximately 30 teas to choose from but I was surprised there were only two plain teas (a tieguanyin and an assam) and very few black teas (most of which were variations of earl greys). I ended up picking a green rooibos called Lime Cooler and my sister went with a fruit tisane called Mango Tango. Our teas were served to us in glass teapots placed on top of pot warmers which I thought was neat. They were boiled but served with tiny glass tea cups that allowed the tea to cool to a nice temperature for drinking quite quickly. The leaf was also in filters in the tea pots but due to the heat of the water, the filters were too hot to remove ourselves and even if we did remove them, we had no where to put them. This was not an issue for our teas but could lead to over brewing of other types of teas.

Tastewise, my tea was minty but sweet from the lime and apple. I thought it went nicely with the foods as it was very refreshing. My sister seemed to enjoy her tea quite a bit too since we sat long after we finished eating so she could drink up the pot. I had a sip and despite its bright hibiscus red color, it wasn’t too tart. It tasted more like fruit punch than mango to me but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

My Cup of Tea Dessert was not the greatest afternoon tea I have ever had but it was unique. Unique and still quite good. Plus, it was relatively inexpensive compared to other tea shops and hotels in the area. I would probably return for another theme to check out their new offerings as it certainly was a fun experience.


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy:  My Cup of Tea
Description

Click below for more information about their afternoon tea services!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Caramel from Kusmi. . . . .

I am taking a wee break from work to enjoy Mardi Gras cookies – delightfully almond flavored and sweet – and a hot cuppa. This new-to-me caramel struck my fancy, and I am delighted with the pairing.

You might think sweet with sweet wouldn’t be awesome together, but this black tea from Kusmi is from China, lacking the lemon/citrus notes one gets from most Ceylon tea and the caramel is not overly sweet but instead is almost a burnt caramel. Honestly, if I hadn’t prepared this myself and someone had told me it was a tea from China with natural caramel notes, I would have believed them.

Put together, it makes for a wonderful tea to pair with sweets or to drink on its own. As usual, I have added no milk or sugar and it is smooth and delicious, but I would say that this tea would handle milk and sugar VERY well for those who prefer additions.

I have the muslin tea sachets, and I have steeped twice and literally forgot I was drinking a second steep. There is no sourness, but a mere hint of briskness and the flavor of the black tea is lingering. I think this would make an excellent breakfast for folks like me who are not looking for a big brown boot of a builder’s tea to kick start them in the mornings. This has all the strength I need for a day starter or an afternoon refreshment.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Kusmi 
Description

With its delicious aroma, this black tea from China flavoured with caramel is the perfect drink to enjoy a quiet moment. It goes wonderfully with pastries.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Russian Caravan from Tea Queens. . . .

I usually reserve my smokier teas for cool or cold weather since I find them very comforting, but cloudy, rainy days spent gazing out the window qualify, too!

Tea Queens sells through consultants, and you can host a tea break or a tea party to learn about tea and to taste some of their offerings. If there is no consultant in your area, the website instructs you to call customer service, so I assume you can order directly from them.

This Russian Caravan is a blend of Assam, Keemun with lychee, and Lapsang Souchong. There are no steeping instructions on the website so I went with 200F and four minutes just to pamper the Assam a bit.

The resulting tea is so light I thought perhaps I had made a mistake, but I have another Lapsang blend that comes out a similar color.

This went very well with our breakfast of blueberry scones. The company sells scone mix, too, by the way! And teapot cookie cutters and colorful decorating sugars.

There is a touch of briskness from the Assam, and it is nicely smokey. I like smoke, and a few Russian Caravan blends have disappointed me by being a bit too tame, but this one was just right. I really don’t taste much lychee, even the cups I drank after the scone was long gone. I think mainly I pick up a general fruitiness from the the Assam and lychee together.

I have made a lot of new friends by having people over who want to learn about tea, where it is grown, how it is processed, how to prepare it, why to drink. I think the idea of hosting a party where an expert comes to conduct your own personal tea flight is marvelous! Especially since it gives you a discount on your tea, and real teaheads know how outrageous the tea budget can get!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tea Queens
Description

A blend of Assam and Keemun with Chinese lychee tea imparts a wonderful fruitiness. Lapsang Souchong adds a gentle touch of smokiness to this one of a kind blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!