Vicky’s Sponge Cake/Bird & Blend Tea Co. . . .

According to Bird & Blend, Queen Victoria started the trend of adding a snack to mid-afternoon tea. WHAT A HUMANITARIAN. BLESS THAT WOMAN.

Apparently Vicky really liked sponge cake, so Bird & Blend re-created its vibe with this black blend featuring coconut, vanilla, & raspberry.

I don’t really eat sponge cake (I don’t think? DO I?), but I like whatever’s happening here, which is a lot like having a berry-flavored cupcake with cream cheese/vanilla icing. I’m definitely getting “berry”, “creamy,” and “confection” here. A soothing Ceylon tea serves as the blanket upon which these airy, sweet flavors rest. It’s basically holding the door open and saying “after YOU, ladies.”

I’m sipping this tea at the end of a hilariously rough day (spreadsheets were in play), and it’s making me feel so much better. It’s SO calming. It’s like when a parent or pal pets your hair.

“There there,” the tea whispers. “Enjoy this. You deserve the finest.”


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Bird & Blend Tea Co.

Description

There is nothing better than a cuppa and cake (except perhaps a cake flavoured cuppa!) and did you know it was our good old queenie Victoria who invented the Vicky Sponge? Guess the name gives it away a bit! She loved taking afternoon tea with her home girls but decided they needed some extra nourishment to last until dinner. Cake it is then! We like your thinking QV!

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!

Trappist Monk Blend Organic Black Tea from Fraser Tea. . . .

When I first started drinking loose leaf tea, someone sent me a sample of a monk’s blend. I don’t remember what company made it, but I wasn’t terribly impressed with it. I never did seek out any to buy, but I didn’t hate it. It just didn’t do much for me.

A traditional monk’s blend tea is black tea with vanilla and pomegranate, or grenadine, if you will.

This Trappist Monk Blend is far more complex. Blueberries, Michigan cherries, caramel flavor instead of vanilla, and lots more!

Did I mention that it is ORGANIC? This is a real point of passion for the brothers who founded this company. That raises the price, as would be expected with quality ingredients, but I resteeped my sachet and got a really great second cup, with almost no noticeable decrease in flavor or color.

The base is a smooth assam, so a nice bit of caffeine but not at all rough enough to need sugar. I thought it was delicious just as it is. I am guessing it would make a great iced tea, with or without sweetener, as well.

I found it to be more full-flavored than the monk’s blend from years ago. The assam and caramel lay down some nice deep bass lines, the stone fruits give us our sparkling middle notes, and calendula provides the treble. Cornflower makes it all a little sweeter.

This is a variation on monk’s blend that I can get behind!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Fraser Tea
Description

A unique twist on the tradition of Monk’s Blend tea, our Trappist Monk Organic Black Tea melds Michigan cherries with exotic vanilla and sweet caramel organic flavor and is crafted from the highest quality Assam tea. Through bold flavors, that are tempered with zesty orange peel, pomegranate and grenadine, the essence of this tea takes on a rich sweetness. We named this blend after the Trappist monks whose order our father was a member. Choose this organic black tea to help increase alertness and focus, we wish you a healthy mind, body and spirit with each cup.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Currant Explosion from Simpson and Vail

This tea lives up to its name. There are so many dried berries in the dry leaf it is more like trail mix than tea. Currants and rose hips galore! The blend is jazzed up with little magenta raspberry pieces as well.

The other amazing part of this tea is that it is a fruity herbal blend without hibiscus. Love it, hate it, hibiscus can sometimes be a deal breaker for tea drinkers. Rest easy and brew this berry blend instead.

The tea brews up a golden color and smells like berries and damp grass. The blackberry leaves add a softer foliage flavor beyond the fruitiness. This helps the berries taste more natural, rather than candy-sweet.

The raspberries play a bigger role in the flavor than I expected, their red berry jam flavor coming through first, followed by the deeper tart tones of the currant.

The currant seems like a formal, adult flavor to me, but if you make this tea into a sweetened cold brew it could be the hit of a kids’ summer party. Or keep it straight-laced and drink it hot from a traditional teacup to help ease into the evening.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Simpson and Vail
Description: This flavored tisane explodes on your taste buds! The exceptional blend is a huge hit with young and old alike.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wildberry Black Tea from Simpson and Vail . . . .

BERRIES BERRIES BERRIES. Berries near! Berries far! Berries drank from a jar!

Berries sipped in a car!

Berries berries on your tongue; berries are for everyone!

This berry blend is so berry-licious that I had to slip into a rhyme trance. I’m back now, though, to let you know that wow, this is a lot of berries.

It’s a blend of wildberries, blackberries, and raspberries. They ooze into one thick (slightly NyQuil-like) mix.

Iced, the berries are more sweet and less medicinal, but they’re still pretty strong.

I definitely prefer this iced. It’s got a lot of a perky kick that works better cold than hot. If you’re a berry fanatic, you’ll love this BERRY MUCH. But if you’re on the fence, this might be a little much.

You need to reach in your heart. To thine own self be true. Berries here, berries there, berries are everywhere! Berries are pals I love the most! Berries have taken over this post!

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

This outstanding berry blend is a combination of strawberry, blueberry and blackberry flavors. It brews to a deep amber cup with a fresh picked berry aroma and a taste that explodes on your taste buds. Delicious hot or iced, it’s the perfect cup for a relaxing summer day!

Ingredients: black teas, wildberry flavor, blackberry leaves, raspberry pieces, and malva (mallow) blossoms.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!