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 Bear from Banff Tea Company. . . .

In the winter – I’m sort of a hermit. Or I tend to want to hibernate like a bear. Regardless – that is what this tea remind me of…a nice tea to sit down and hibernate with. A nice tea to sip on when you are overly frustrated with winter, too, because one sip will having you thinking SPRING is right around the corner.

The tea I’m writing about today is Black Bear from Banff Tea Company. It’s flavored black tea with enough caffeine to light a figurative fire under your butt in the morning. “This blend is indeed black and contains enough berries and leaves to satisfy any of the Park’s locals,” according to the company website.

The origins hail from Sri Lanka and the ingredients are Black tea, blackberry leaves, elderberries, dried blackcurrants, hibiscus, mallow flowers, sunflower petals, cornflower petals, natural Flavoring.

I’m not a fan of hibiscus so when I tasted the berry and realized this flavored berry tea did NOT contain hibiscus in it I nearly jumped for joy! This is a nicely done berry flavored black tea. The flavor ratios are very pleasing.

This is great iced but very good hot, too! It’s naturally sweet on its own and a delightful cuppa!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Banff Tea Company
Description

This blend is indeed black and contains enough berries and leaves to satisfy any of the Park’s locals.

Caffeine Level: High.

Origin: Sri Lanka.

Ingredients: Black tea, blackberry leaves, elderberries, dried currents, hibiscus, mallow flowers, sunflower petals, cornflower petals, natural flavouring.

Steeping Suggestions: 1 teaspoon (3g) of tea per 6oz cup of water, 90°C (194°F) for 2-5 minutes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey from Zest Tea

“Mombie”  Noun; a parent who is so overcome by sleep deprivation that their appearance looks more and more like a zombie each day.

Oh how I wish this Zest Tea were around when I had a 6-month-old with jetlag. 150 mg of caffeine per cup. Oh how that would have prevented my choking down overpriced coffees. Oh how I would’ve cherished those early mornings easier with a hearty cuppa. If only my local store carried it then, as it does now.

Fortunately now all I have to deal with is the daily grind of a toddler, and this power packed Earl Grey is a perfect mid-day bolster. And who needs a seista when there’s never-ending muddy laundry to be done??

With Sherlock Holmes gracing the teabag’s packet, I know I’ll be ready to go at a moments notice, but still come across refined… or crazy… either works. I imagine Prince William with his 3 kids now, still having to attend royal functions but maybe with those glazed over eyes and a bit of nodding. (Please tell me I’m not the only one reading those tabloids) Perhaps the Duke would’ve benefitted from this nice cuppa Earl, eh!

Real talk, you need to be careful brewing this one — The excess caffeine can easily create a bitterness if over brewed. And the wonderful floral, bergamot aftertaste just won’t cover up a sloppy steep.  I propose an overnight cold brew – two birds, one stone!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: flavored Black Tea bags
Where to Buy: Zest Tea

Earl grey has been a popular blend since it was introduced to the British Earl, Charles “Chaz” Grey, in the 1830’s. Most Earl Greys are made with low-quality base teas, but not ours. Zest’s Earl is made with premium Nilgiri Indian black tea blended with a delicious bergamot essential oil. Don’t thank us. Thank Chaz.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Orange Pekoe Special from Swallowtail Tea

When the tea has “special” in the name, it starts with a lot of expectations to live up to.  Good thing Orange Pekoe Special from Swallowtail Tea truly is a special mug of tea.

Right away, I was taken in by the scent of the dry tea leaves.  This is a pure black tea, not flavored, not a chai, and yet the leaves smelled sweet and earthy and strongly of cinnamon.  It was so comforting and flavorful it was hard to take my face out of the bag.

When I brewed this tea, the cinnamon took a backseat and more of the traditional black tea flavors came to the forefront.  The tea was bright and crisp, with just a touch of citrus that says to me it would be delicious if served with a wedge of lemon.  All of these forward flavors were quickly chased by smoother, toasted tones, almost malty and starchy like a not-too-sweet dessert.

The brewed tea smelled like crushed leaves and old wood, with just a whiff of woodsmoke.  The more I drank the tea the more the smoky notes came forward. This isn’t full-on chimney-bacon smokiness like you find in some lapsang souchong teas, this was more delicate, like the appealing sugar char of a creme brulee, or the faded campfire smell after the logs have long gone out.

All these natural flavors like wood and smoke and leaves in Orange Pekoe Special really put me in the mood for fall.  With a beautifully illustrated tin and such a rich flavor experience, this is now the tea I imagine when I think of someone stumbling upon a cabin in the woods and the owner pulls out “the good tea” for a special occasion.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea
Description:

Grown at the base of the Himalayas, this tea was first discovered growing wild in the jungles during the mid 1800’s. Assam is known for its deep, burgundy-red cup and pungent but sweet-starchy flavor. This is India’s most popular variety because of its intense flavor and ability to mix well with milk and honey.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Raspberry Jam from Perkse Tea

I’ve been on a berry kick lately. I just can’t get enough of that sweet, tangy, juicy goodness.

Today’s pick comes from Perkse Tea, a shop I found on Etsy when I typed in “tea sampler.” (Yes, this is how a LOT of our posts come to you. We tea reviewers can’t resist a sampler kit. So many new things to try and report back on!) They’re a Canadian company that encourages you to “embrace a positive mind-set and live a beautiful life.” Hard to find fault with that plan!

This tea really nails that raspberry vibe. It’s sweet and a little bit tart, just like chomping on the real thing — minus those aggravating seeds. There’s also a touch of blueberry and rose floating along to vary and deepen the flavor profile. The base is robust enough to hold up these flavors without losing itself. This reminds me of the base of a delicious cobbler. Throw some crunch and cream on there and you’d be SET. I’m currently out of my Almond Breeze, but I think that this tea would take it with aplomb.

I feel like I’ve fast-forwarded to a season of late outdoor dinners. There are citronella candles everywhere and I’m eating off a red gingham-check tablecloth on a picnic table. There are friends, and maybe even their kids, chatting and laughing. Dogs sitting at our feet. Like a country music video depicting good ol’ Amurrrica.

Oh man. This tea is SUMMER at its BEST.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Perkse Tea
Description

A deliciously hardy black tea infused with freeze dried raspberries cultivated from California.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!