Springtime feels like the time for Alice in Wonderland: flowers blooming, spending more time outside, feeling a little more whimsy after the winter blues. I’ve seen a few new teas popping up this time of year, themed for just such an occasion.
I recently tried the Lewis Carroll blend of black tea from Simpson and Vail. In case you don’t know, Lewis Carroll is the author of Alice in Wonderland, among other works. Alice in Wonderland tends to be a favorite among tea fans for the famous tea party scene featuring the Mad Hatter, not to mention all the cute tea cakes that wreak fantastical havoc for Alice’s adventures.
This Lewis Carroll tea blend features an Indian black tea base, combined with Chinese Rose Congou black tea, highlighted by added violet fragrance and flavoring. All these flowers are meant to put us in a fantasy world, whether in the queen’s roses, or in the garden beside the tea party. There are lots of blossoms in the dry leaves, and the brewed cup smells as sweet as a blooming garden.
I enjoy the fragrance of this tea, but strong floral blends aren’t my personal favorite when it comes to taste. I found I enjoyed the tea more with a touch of milk and sugar, which helped mellow out the strong floral flavors and made the brew more like a flower-scented dessert.
This is a great tea to put you in a springtime mood, perhaps sipped while out-of-doors after a dreary winter. If you’re one for having fancy tea parties, this may also be a great choice, whether it fits your Alice in Wonderland theme, or just because it feels fancy and ladylike, and makes the flowers on your teacup smell like they are alive and fresh!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Simpson and Vail
A tea party plays a memorable role in Carroll’s most celebrated novel as the setting for Alice’s nonsensical meeting with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. “A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden” where, as the Mad Hatter told Alice earlier, “it’s always tea time.” To make our Lewis Carroll blend, we added our fragrant violet flavor to an Indian Black tea and Rose Congou tea, a China black that has been scented with rose petals during the drying process, to create a deep amber cup with an incomparable bouquet and a flavor that is absolutely heavenly.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson & Vail Tea is another offering from S&V’s Literary Tea Line. Although I’m not as familiar with this author as I am the other authors on the tea tribute list I was very excited to try this tea.
A mighty fine combination of black teas from India, Sri Lanka, China, and Taiwan along side bergamot oil is what Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson & Vail Tea is made of. I LOVE having a blend of 4 different black teas in this base. The bergamot oil is hiding a bit but as the tea cools naturally at room temperature it seems to peek out a bit more.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson & Vail Tea describes this tea as a Russian style tea that brews to a bright copper cup with a mellow, flavorful, medium-bodied taste and a lemon-citrus aftertaste. I would have to agree with this. There were slight hints of smoke that were laying underneath as well which were a nice addition to this tea! All-in-All another nice tea from S&V!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Simpson & Vail
Fyodor Dostoyevsky was born in Moscow in 1821 and spent his first sixteen years among the orphans, criminals, and asylum patients with whom his father worked. In 1846, Poor Folk gave the young Dostoyevsky his first taste of literary fame, but it is Crime and Punishment and The Idiot that cemented his legacy. His works examined the complicated relationship between ideology, political climate, and personal upbringing and how they each affect a person’s psyche. His novels serve as a precursor to existentialism, and they are pivotal in the Russian Symbolism Movement.
Tea plays an important symbolic role in Dostoyevsky’s writing, where it often serves as a comforting staple in an otherwise chaotic world. In Poor Folk, he writes that “all the world needs tea” and then later the main character reminisces about a simpler time when he could be “sitting in [their] little parlour at tea with [his] parents—in the familiar little parlour where everything was snug and warm!” The Russian samovar provides warmth and a central meeting place equivalent to the watercooler. Our Fyodor Dostoyevsky tea blend is an approximation of a typical Russian blend of the time and it recreates the flavors that he and his characters would have savored. Sip along with Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin, Rodion Raskolnikov, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky himself with this delicious blend.
This Russian style tea brews to a bright copper cup with a mellow, flavorful, medium-bodied taste and a lemon-citrus aftertaste.
Ingredients: Black teas from India, Sri Lanka, China and Taiwan and bergamot oil.