Raven’s Blend from Friday Afternoon . . . . . .

Hello dear readers! I have recently come across a quite delightful tea company that was sent to me as a secret Santa gift and I was amazed by the quality and of course with the tea selection. I had a whole lot of tea to chose from in the care package that was sent to me but after some consideration, I picked up Raven’s Blend.

For starters, this tea is very light given its black tea base and I believe that is thanks to the white tea wingman. There is also blue cornflower in this tea which adds a delightfully light floral taste. To those who are familiar with the taste profile of Lady Grey, it is like that but more delicate. I feel like I say this a lot because most teas are relaxing but I find that this one can be paired with just about any relaxing activity. But it also can spark creativity, giving your brain a needed boost. Which makes sense because its namesake is derived from the Ravenclaw house in the Harry Potter series. Which, funny enough is my actually my house.

Now on to the pricing of this beautiful blend. There are a total of four sizes to choose from; 1 oz which is priced at $10, a 2 oz which is priced at $14, 4 oz for $25, and 8 oz for $45. There aren’t any individual samples that you can order outright but I do know for certain that you can email the shop and ask for individual samples at $2 per sample. If you want to be more adventurous there is a mystery sample pack for $13 with four options (high caffeine, no caffeine, moderate caffeine, mixed caffeine) and an educational sampler pack for $35 that comes with steeping notes that has five options to choose from; black teas, green teas, oolong teas, pu-erh teas, and medicinal teas. Lastly, if you are in the Harry Potter fandom, there is a Wizarding Collection that you can purchase for $25 that features .5-.75 ounces for each of the teas from each of the four houses.

For the final thoughts on this tea, I believe it is well worth the money for the taste and the woman behind it is also great from my experience. From what I can tell she is very active with her consumers and is constantly adding new products to her online and physical store. There is also an option to make your own custom tea blend for $35 either by email or at the physical location. Also, as I was writing this review, I made a fresh cup of Raven’s Blend and I will possibly make another one! I fell in love with this tea company and you better be ready to see more reviews of this company in the near future!

See you for the next cuppa, Kara


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  Friday Afternoon
Description

In wise old Ravenclaw house, “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.” This medium-bodied, floral black tea is designed especially for you bibliophiles. High caffeine levels prepare you for those all-night study sessions and sharpen your focus while you devour the written word. Also fabulous while you read (or reread) your favorite novel, curled up in your favorite armchair or reading nook.

Ingredients: Black tea, white tea, and blue cornflower

All of our teas available online are gluten-free and sourced from organically certified farms. Most are vegan, but some may include honey (indicated in ingredients).

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Black Tea Infused with Osmanthus Flowers from Zesta Ceylon Tea. . . .

This is my first ever tea from the Zesta Connoisseur Collection, and based on this one I can’t wait to try more.

I am a fan of floral flavor, BUT (and this is a BIG BUT which I why I made the word BUT so big) only when it tastes natural and not like soap or chemicals. My first ever jasmine flavored black tea tasted like pure bubble bath, and disgusted me to the point that I was afraid to try any more jasmine for a long time. Now I love jasmine tea. So let’s see how this osmanthus goes…

I am using the sachets of this orthodox production flower infused tea, although it is also available loose. The leaves are small and twisted, and definitely not CTC. It calls for a very short steep time, which I respected and followed all directions to a T. Or to a “tea”, if you will. (Groan! I’m sorry. I will stop now.)

And…I am really enjoying this. The Ceylon base is nice and light, not one of the puckery strong ones, and there is no question that I am tasting LOTS AND LOTS of osmanthus. And for some reason, it is making me think of Parma Violets, which I also really enjoy.

I am on my third cup and high-fiving myself for choosing this one as my last tea before bed, because it is soooo relaxing. This would also be an excellent soothing tea for an afternoon when you need a little pampering. I am wrapped in my little osmanthus scented cocoon and off to have sweet dreams…


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Zesta Ceylon Tea
Description

Native to East Asia, Osmanthus flowers are famous in China for their distinct flavour and scent. This tea combines selectively handpicked Osmanthus flowers with fine Chinese black tea to brew a cup which is fragrant yet pleasantly light with a fruity taste. Just the tea to help you relax at any time of day.

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!

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!