Forest Friend blend by Leslie Kiesler on Adagio Teas

Adagio Teas is where I credit my loose leaf tea beginnings. They have a variety of teas for both beginners and experts, but their success comes from their lively fandom blend community.  There’s a themed-blend for every movie, book, and video game out there.  I know I’ve had a great time designing my own flavors, and I’m always interested in trying new blends from other tea lovers.

My favorite summer blend of late has been Forest Friend by Leslie Kiesler.  This blend is a homage to the main creature in the film, My Neighbor Totoro, of Studio Ghibli fame.  To me, Forest Friend is tea-blending at its best.  It is mixed from Adagio’s white strawberry, white pear, and rooibos jasmine flavors.  On their own, none of these teas are really my favorite: I found the strawberry to be a bit too sweet, the pear to be a bit too earthy, and the rooibos jasmine to be overwhelming floral.  But when mixed together in these proportions, I can’t seem to get enough of this tea.  It’s magical, like finding out you have a big fuzzy, forest friend as your neighbor.

I prefer this blend iced, with our without sugar depending on my mood.  This is a blend mainly made up of white tea leaves, so keep your water temperatures a little cooler than usual to avoid any harsh notes.  The strawberry makes this a delectable summer blend, almost like sugary kool-aid, but the pear and white tea gives the sweetness just enough grounding that it doesn’t become too much like candy.  The rooibos jasmine is amazing when added to a blend in smaller quantities.  It adds some tart, herbal rooibos flavors, and relaxing floral overtones.  There are even blue cornflowers and golden marigold flowers in the dry leaf to make the blend look vibrant in my pitcher as it brews.

Top off the great taste with Leslie’s cute label on the tin and you’ll realize why it is so hard to resist this blend.  Forest Friend is always in my wish list for when summertime comes around and I need a sweet, magical way to cool down and brighten my day.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White/Rooibos
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Description: There’s a friend waiting for you in the forest, but he’s snoring the day away. Wake him up with a cup of tea so you can begin a magical adventure!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Orange Creamsicle from BlendBee. . . .

Often, I’ll find myself looking lovingly at my tea cabinet (not unusual) and envision myself as a tea blender. In this very particular fantasy of mine, I’m set up in a perfectly crisp, clean and home-y bright white kitchen, sunlight flooding through the windows, a gentle breeze pushing in the open windows, and I’m hand-blending delicious teas while the birds outside chirp backup as I trill, Snow-White-ing-ly.

I’m pretty sure this isn’t how actual tea blending happens. But this is my fantasy, so we’re gonna pretend it is.

Luckily, there exist some incredible companies who offer this service to fulfill all my tea-blending delusions of grandeur! I may not be in a sunlight kitchen, twirling through my own blending cabinet, but thanks to custom tea-blending services, I can almost be.

One of my very favorite companies that offers this service is the incredible BlendBee. I could wax poetic for ages about why I love BlendBee– super high quality teas, spectacular flavors, interesting blends and constant use of beneficial/healthy herbs and spices to flavor teas and support health, not just a bunch of “natural and artificial flavors” sprayed on some dry leaves. For a super reasonable price (and I’ve had great luck picking up a few groupons for this service recently, making it even more reasonable), you can completely customize your own blend, choosing everything from the base to a plethora of add-ins, flavors and other goodies.

In the past, I’ve made a custard tea (which was delightful, and I’ve already ordered more of), most recently, a blueberry Danish tart tea, and the one I’m sipping right now: Orange Creamsicle. I requested this blend be made with creamy, buttery green tea, marshmallow root, vanilla and custard flavor, lemongrass, orange pieces, and a touch of orange oil for flavor. The result s a pillowy green with dreamy, creamy vanilla flavors that is perfectly reminiscent of the favorite shopping mall Orange Julius of my youth.

Iced, this one is even better. The green is mellow, the flavors light and fresh, not at all artificial or overpowering. I love serving it up with a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice for a twist on an Arnold Palmer. It’s everything my little aspiring-blender-heart could have hoped for, and more!

Thanks, BlendBee, for making my tea-blending dreams a(n almost) reality. Now all I need are those singing birds in the background, and I’m set!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  BlendBee

Click below to learn how to blend your own teas with BlendBee.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hidden Meadow from BlendBee. . .A Custom for Me Treat!

A couple weeks ago, I reached out to Jamah at BlendBee and asked her if she could create a flavored green tea for me. I knew that part of her business was based on customizing tea, but I wasn’t sure if she had all the components I was asking for. So we chatted for a bit and about a week later, Hidden Meadow was born.

Hidden Meadow is a marvelous blend of vanilla, green tea, spearmint, and marshmallow root. I was wanting a tea that was a bit different than the other minty teas I had and thought this would be a good starting point. (I’m thinking we tackle a creamy orange dreamsicle tea but I haven’t chatted with her yet about this one.)

Brewed up this tea has such an inviting aroma that I literally huddle over the tea pot while the tea is steeping. I just adore the smell of the vanilla, marshmallow root, and spearmint combination.  This is one tea that I allow to cool for a few moments.  From my experience with this blend, allowing the tea to cool really helps bring together all of the flavors.

This tea is bright, vibrant, soothing and invigorating. All of the flavors are well balanced and not one overpowers the other. The vanilla is rich and creamy while the spearmint gives the tea a bit of pep. There is a specific taste that I adore that marshmallow root adds to a blend and I can tell its there but I really can’t describe it.

Hidden Meadows is a tea that I will need to have on hand at all times. I just adore it and its one that I’ve found myself reaching for again and again and again. I’ve even drank nothing but this tea for a few days and still can’t get enough of it!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Green Tea
Where to Buy: BlendBee

Breathe deep & fall in love…A simple yet intoxicating blend of green tea, marshmallow root and fresh spearmint delicately infused with warm vanilla. This is a creamy, minty & dreamy green tea blend for you to savor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Using Heavenly Hazelnut from BlendBee to Create A Nutella like Latte!

Back when I was in grad school, I worked as a nanny. And among the many, many things I adored about the wonderful family I worked for, near the top of the list was the CONSTANT supply of Nutella they always had in their cabinet. You guys? I was obsessed.

So as soon as I took one whiff of this tea from Blend Bee, I was instantly transported back to the tablespoon I’d smear in my oatmeal every morning, or lick off the knife after I was done making a treat for the little ones. This tea is one hundred percent, spot-on hazlenut in scent and flavor, and I knew there was only one way I wanted to brew it– by making it into a Nutella latte.

I simply steeped the tea in about 3/4 the normal amount I’d use of hot water, and when finished, stirred in a tablespoon of dry drinking chocolate mix we had in our cabinet, and topped it off with some steamed coconut milk. The result? Nutella in a cup! It was pure, decadent perfection, while still feeling light and not overly-sugared from the tea base. I don’t think I’ll ever brew this tea any other way– as it is an herbal tea, it made for a lovely, caffeine- and guilt-free way to end the day.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Honeybush
Where to Buy: BlendBee

A delightful and highly beneficial Honeybush tea blend. Paired with rich ingredients like Chicory Root and Carob Bean. Rounded out with super nutritious Agrimony Herb and infused with exquisite and nutty Hazelnut & Vanilla extracts.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!