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!

Persian Rose from Tay Tea. . . .

Is this tea? Or flowers? Because by the looks of it, I just steeped up a bunch or lovely pink rose petals with maybe a bit of tea. Even when the tea was done steeping and all the color had been drained from the flowers, the bits of tea leaf was few and far between.

So, a tea that is mostly flowers…well that isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on how you feel about floral teas. Some people love them, others not so much. Full disclosure…I am on the “not so much” side of this debate. However, as far as florals go, I think rose is the one I mind the least in my tea.

Despite the lack of leaf here, there is still enough black tea to provide the rose with a solid, slightly malty, bergamot-flavored base. I didn’t realize this was an earl grey tea but I honestly don’t mind. It simultaneously grounds and blends with the lighter, floral notes of the rose that obviously prevail here.

There is also green cardamom in the ingredients list, though personally I do not taste it at all. Unless it is part of what gives this more depth and weightiness, along with the base tea.

Nonetheless, there is no bitterness here and despite the seemingly simple ingredients in my filter, this tea is definitely not monotonous in flavor. That would lead me to believe we are dealing with a high quality blend that would be perfect for those who love earl greys, flavored earl greys, or rose-flavored teas.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tay Tea
Description

This is Nini’s signature tea, her first blend and personal favorite. An absolute must for anyone in love with black tea…and roses. A nostalgic blend of ceylon bergamot scented tea blended with rose petals, organic rose buds, green cardamom and borage. This “little black dress” classic transitions effortlessly from morning to afternoon.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Violette from Dammann Freres. . . . .

I will admit that this wasn’t the first tea that I added to my shopping cart from Dammann Freres. I do like floral teas, but they have to be really special for me to enjoy. Floral teas can either be very nice or they can remind me too much of perfume and cause a headache. I have high hopes that this tea will be tasty.

The scent of this tea is of a rather plain black tea base with a hint of flowers and a handful of juicy blackberries. Sipping… this is a bit different than I expected. The black tea base isn’t really anything special… it’s light and a tiny bit astringent. It honestly reminds me a little bit of store-bought iced tea. The flavor that follows next is sweet and reminds me of berries. I suppose I do detect a bit of something floral, but it isn’t as obvious as other blends.

While this isn’t my favorite tea from Dammann Freres, I do enjoy how unique this tea is especially in the realm of floral blends. If you want to venture into floral teas, but don’t really want something over the top, this would be a good choice.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Dammann Freres
Description
Blend of black tea perfumed with violet flavor. Close your eyes and breathe you recover the freshness of a undergrowth in spring.
  • Dominant note: Floral notes

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Morning Pick Me Up from Tocha Teas

I’m a green tea drinker for the most part. When I do drink black tea, it’s usually Chai, or some other spiced/flavored black tea. I guess for the most part I just find plain black tea a little flat and boring.

I tried this tea two different ways. One cup was plain, with a little coconut sugar. It’s a lightweight black tea, and the floral notes are very subtle, but they’re there. I actually enjoyed this cup more than I expected, and would drink it that way again. It also has a slight sweetness to it, so I used less than a teaspoon of coconut sugar. If you don’t like very sweet tea, you’d probably love it alone!

The second cup I tried was with the same amount of coconut sugar, and a splash of coconut milk. Now this is what I need in the morning! It was sweet and creamy and just really pleasant. I feel like not only did it give me a little morning pick me up, but it also put a smile on my face.

Think Earl Grey, with a little less floral aftertaste. Very nice for a crisp morning!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tocha Tea

checkout_logo_imageDescription

The fragrance of purifying Osmanthus flowers is the perfect complement to the subtle sweetness of whole leaf black tea. Quench your thirst and revitalize your spirit with this smooth, full-bodied blend; ideal for kick-starting your morning or uplifting your afternoon.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Royal Blend From Full Leaf Tea Co

This is a lovely blend, with leaves of black, gold, and green, tiny rosebuds, and lavender flowers. The dry blend smells lovely and displays beautifully on a leaf holder.

Oh, the dilemma of what to do when a tea is a black tea/green tea blend! Boiling water to draw out the flavor and robustness of the black tea or cooler to prevent scalding of the green? Many green teas are hardy and require near boiling water so I compromised a bit and used 200F for three minutes.

When I taste it, I am instantly reminded of Christmas. This puzzles me at first. Then I remember my spicy roses that have a clove scent. These rosebuds have the clove scent! This tea tastes every so lightly of clove and the lavender is more subdued than the rose to me.

Since it is a drying tea, this means “goes well with food” in my book! I help myself to a thin and crispy cinnamon sugar cookie and take another sip. Ah yes, I can still taste all the flavors in the tea! This will be a good pairing to remember for the future. As drying as it is, I would not drink it by itself much, but I will definitely be pairing it with light sweets when guests are here. A guest who really only loves black tea tried it without knowing what was in it, took a sip, and said, “Oh, that’s a good one!”

I got a pretty nice second steep from the leaves, too. Bonus!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Green Tea
Where to Buy: Full Leaf Tea C

logo (5)Description:

A tea for a Queen! Vibrant colors and rich aroma come together to create a beautiful loose leaf tea with a sweet floral flavor.

Black tea, green tea, lavender flowers, rose petals, and vanilla both look and taste like “royalty”.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!