Just Elderflower from Plum Deluxe

The elderflower flowers look like micro chamomile blossoms, yellow and spherical.  Though the elderflowers are so tiny, it almost like a bag of pollen. The small blossoms are a golden color and very fine in texture.  When brewing this tea, be sure to use your infuser with the finest mesh or smallest holes.

Brewed, this tea is surprisingly earthy and savory, and not very floral.  The tea has a woodsy fragrance like crushed dried flowers or cut hay. Some of the flavor notes remind me of the brighter pu erh teas I’ve tried, so if you aren’t a floral tea fan, this blend might just be your favorite exception.

The taste of the brew continues to support the earthy, dried grass tones, but coupled with a new, buttery flavor.  The taste is a bit more vegetal than the scent, with a crisp, celery note. As the brew cools, and the more I drink, the more I detect a sweeter, brown sugar undertone.  Plum Deluxe recommends the brew with a bit of sweetener, which helps bring forward the toasted sugar or brown butter flavors even further.

Just Elderflower is a unique blend in appearance and taste, making for a thoughtful and flavorful one-ingredient brewing experience.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe
Description:

Just Elderflower is part of our “just” line of thoughtfully-source, single ingredient herbal teas.  Elderflower is a curious, floral, and fragrant tea ingredient. Despite its delicate nature, it steeps up for a wonderful, calming, curing beverage.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Go to Wonderland with a cup of Lewis Carroll tea from Simpson and Vail.. . .

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
Description:

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!

A Trio of Peach Teas from Beleave, Rishi, and Teavana. . . .

Who knew I had so many peachy teas in my cupboard?  Let’s look at a spontaneous peach tea trio!

Pinkies Up Peach from Beleave Teas

Leaf type: white tea

This is a white tea with peach pieces and added flavors.  The dry leaf smells fruity and juicy without being artificial.  When brewed, the white tea base is smooth and buttery and pairs perfectly with the bright sweet peach overtones.  White tea and peach are a winning combination.  Black tea blends tend to get too tart or overbearing against the sweet fruit.  Pinkies Up Peach from Beleave would make a great summer iced tea.

Peach Blossom White from Rishi Tea

Leaf type: white tea

Wow, blossoms indeed!  There are plenty of buds and petals in the dry leaf, and the blend smells a flower box.  Brewed, the fragrance is even stronger with jasmine and peony.  The peach takes a back seat in this blend, and taste a bit more peach candies than fresh fruit.  The peach tones pop up in the aftertaste, alongside citrus notes like mandarin orange.  This wasn’t a very peachy tea, but it was a unique floral blend that surprised me.

Peach Cran Tango from Teavana

Leaf type: black tea

Even before Teavana closed its online shop, I believe the Peach Cran Tango blend was discontinued.  So it’s a bit of a moot point for me to review it now.  To help soothe the Teavana ache, I tried to replicate this blend on Adagio’s custom tea builder.  Give my Peach Cran Tango and try and see how it stacks up.

The last of the Teavana sample I tasted was simple but enjoyable.  Sweet peach is balanced with a bit of tart cranberry, all atop a solid black tea base. This is technically a peach blend, though it also features a good dose of cranberry. Cranberries are sweet, tangy and versatile, and seem to tango with just about any fruit partner. The red-berry tartness help the peach from being too cloying and make for a balanced fruit blend.

Well I’m feeling just peachy after all these peach teas.  All this sweet fruit makes me feel like warmer weather is on its way already…

 

 

Persian Plum Rose Black from Blossom. . . . .

I’m TOTALLY LOVING THIS TEA! So much so that I slapped it on one of my personal TOP TEN LISTS even before I gave it a proper review!

The tea I’m referring to is Persian Plum Rose Black from Blossom! It smells AMAZING as soon as you open the bag! I ALMOST didn’t want to infuse it – it was THAT amazingly-scented!

But I did – and I’m glad I did! It was incredible! Persian Plum Rose Black from Blossom is an exotic black tea blend with sultry notes of plum and rose petals, and a pleasant finish of cardamom spice. Organically Cultivated Ingredients – to boot!

The Plum was more like a Sugar Plum…but naturally-so! The cardamom was of gentle to gentle-medium on the flavor scale and done to perfection! The rose gave it a subtle floral-cream flavor to even everything out. This is terrific hot but dandy cold, too! I always drink my tea straight-up with nothing added but I could only assume it would be just as special with rock sugar. I’m thinking it would be the equivalent of a Rose Marzipan but with plum!

This is VERY delicious, memorable, and amazing! I’m totally in LOVE with Persian Plum Rose Black from Blossom!!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy:  Blossom
Description

An exotic black tea blend with sultry notes of plum and rose petals, and a pleasant finish of cardamom spice.

Organically Cultivated Ingredients*:
Black Tea*, Cardamom*, Roses*, Natural Plum Flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

An Early Taste of Spring with Mountain Oolong Spring. . . . .

Mountain Oolong Spring from Mountain Tea Co. is truly a springtime tea.  In the spring, everything blooms and bursts into life, and you can evoke this feeling by brewing a cup of this tea in your kitchen at home.  I’ve had quite a few teas that smell like jasmine or rose, but this tea lights up with the fragrance of less typical flowers, soft and feminine like baby’s breath or lily of the valley.

Putting your nose into a cup of this tea will envelop you with this relaxing, perfumey sensation.
Beyond the flavor of flowers, there are nutty and buttery tones to help fill out the brew and give the tea a smooth, rich mouthfeel.  The more I steeped these leaves, the brighter and greener the undertones became.

The most unique and memorable part of this tea is its forward floral accents.

If you’re a lover of flowery oolongs, Mountain Oolong Spring will be a perfect fit for your tastes.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Mountain Tea Co.
Description:

The character of a pot of tea tells a story about the leaf it originated from. Good tea is a mixed blessing for tea farmers; in general, the harder the tea plant struggles to grow, the more flavorful and tempered the finished brew becomes. For this reason higher elevation with colder temperatures and thinner air produces outstanding leaf.

The 2016 spring harvest of Mountain Oolong withstands high temperature water longer without introducing dryness to the flavor, producing a forgiving and well-behaved pot of tea for the busy brewer. The steeped cup reflects a beautifully clear yet deep honey gold color; the nose is creamy sweet over a faint, nostalgic scent of rice flower bud.  Notes for this crop are sharp and floral, paired with a robust body.  Expect flavors of citrus blossom mostly, nasal and high in the mouth.  Properly brewed we found that this tea has even greater re-steep potential than past flushes, up to six or seven.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!