William Shakespeare’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson and Vail

ShakespeareTinTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Simpson & Vail

Tea Description:

Possibly the most well-known name in western literature, William Shakespeare began his life as a tanner’s son in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the spring of 1564. After a seven year period following the birth of his children in which no reliable records of his life can be found, Shakespeare reappeared in London where he began writing and acting in plays.

Initially, his name was relegated to the corners of playbills, but as his productions grew in popularity, theaters began using “written by William Shakespeare” as their main selling point. The plays and poems he produced during the thirty year period when he was writing have endured the test of time and are studied and read across the world. He pioneered many styles and structures that have set the foundations for some of western literature’s greatest achievements. Shakespeare is even credited with inventing over 1700 words in the English language.

Gardens, herbs, and flowers appear in many of Shakespeare’s plays and oftentimes play a critical role in his stories. Our William Shakespeare tea blend is a combination of a few of the many herbs he references: lavender, roses, rosemary. The wit and playfulness of his verse means that Shakespeare’s plays can still be enjoyed today, ideally with a warm cup of tea.

This black tea and floral blend brews to an amber cup with a sweet, floral taste. The slightly earthy and woody notes are rounded out with the citrus taste of bergamot and sweet rose petals.

Ingredients: Rose Congou black tea, lavender petals, rose petals, rosemary and bergamot oil.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is the first of many new teas (from Simpson & Vail) that we will be reviewing here at Sororitea Sisters – William Shakespeare’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson and Vail – that is!  I’ve always been a fan of poetry but this specific name and tea go beyond my love for writing!  Whether or not it’s TRUE or a case of mistaken identity – I ‘may’ be distantly related to William Shakespeare.  The family rumor is that I am related to a ‘John Hall’ from Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.  There was a John Hall that was a Doctor there in the 1500’s that married William Shakespeare’s Daughter Susanna.

So there were MANY reasons I was excited about this tea!  But let’s get to the ACTUAL tea experience – shall we? This William Shakespeare’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson and Vail has a black tea base and is blended with lavender, rose, rosemary, and bergamot oil.  After reading the product description and learning about the connection and inspiration of this tea I was blown away at the creativity and artisan-ship!

First and foremost the powerful aroma smacked me in the face as soon as I opened the bag!  This is some STURDY stuff!  William Shakespeare’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson and Vail is like a special flavored Earl Grey.  Not just your standard EG but with a little extra something.  But the aroma was magnified that is for sure!

The color of the post-infused tea in the cup was a lighter color of brown that I thought it would be.  But that didn’t mean the taste was going to be lacking.  The flavor on the tongue was almost as intense as it was on the nose!  I could taste the Earl Grey as well as the heavy-duty lavender.  The rosemary was subtle but contributed.

I really enjoyed this William Shakespeare’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson and Vail.  Sure – the tea was a winner – but – when you have a theme, tribute, or personal story with it – it makes it even better!


English Peppermint from Tiger Spring Tea

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Tiger Spring Tea

Tisane Description:

Our single estate peppermint, grown and harvested in England is probably the strongest peppermint in the UK. It is coarse cut and its pure taste will satisfy all peppermint lovers and because only a small amount is needed to make a refreshing cup of ‘tea’, it makes it an excellent value product. Because of its fragance be prepared to store this tea in an air-tight container, unless you prefer your whole house to smell of nothing but pure peppermint!

Learn more about this herbal infusion here.

Taster’s Review:

Living in the Pacific Northwest, I find that I can be a bit snobbish when it comes to things that are grown here – like apples and cherries and even peppermint.  I tend to think that Washington peppermint is the best, and no other even comes close.  Well, this English Peppermint from Tiger Spring Tea is proving me wrong.

That’s not to say that we don’t have the best peppermint here in the Pacific Northwest, I still (stubbornly) believe that is true.  But, I must admit that this single estate peppermint from England is really good, and quite possibly just as good as anything I’ve tried that was grown in Washington.

Now, I bet some of you are sitting there, reading this, and thinking:  “come on!  Peppermint is peppermint!  It’s an herb and it’s the same no matter where it’s grown.”  But, that’s not true.  Just as tea is different depending upon where it is grown, peppermint is also different.  (Of course, the quality and taste of the peppermint also depends largely on how it’s harvested, processed, and how long it’s been stored)

The moment I opened the pouch of this English Peppermint, I was blown away at the strong, fresh scent.  It smells VERY minty.  And of course, it tastes very minty too – it’s pure peppermint, after all!  But, there is also a smoothness to it, almost a buttery note to the background.  While it does have an intensely fresh taste to it, I don’t feel like I’m sipping on liquified toothpaste.

And it is very soothing, too.  Peppermint is often used to calm the digestive system and I find that after my barbeque rib dinner this evening, this is relaxing and soothing … not to mention the fact that my mouth feels minty fresh and clean!

An excellent peppermint tea.  I really enjoyed this and would recommend it to anyone looking for an exceptional peppermint tea … and that says a lot for a peppermint that wasn’t grown here in Washington!