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!

Happy from Wild Leaf Active Teas

Happy blend from Wild Leaf Active Teas is described as a stress-buster meant to lift your mood and brighten your day. This herbal blend features chamomile, rose petals, and lemon myrtle as the main flavor profiles though there are other ingredients like tulsi basil as well.

This tea is driven by its chamomile base, with lots of gentle lemon-honey herbal flavors, made even sweeter with a bit of stevia in the blend.  The rose petals are gentle, much to my relief, and add just a breeze of floral tones without getting too much like perfume.

I detect a some of the greener and earthier undertones from the tulsi basil, though I might have missed it if I weren’t looking for it. I wish there was a little more tulsi to help add some variety with all the sweet lemon and honey flavor.

This is a delicate blend, gentle and easygoing.

When you want the relaxation that comes from chamomile but want a blend with a little more floral flair, try Happy blend from Wild Leaf.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Wild Leaf Active Teas
Description:

Imagine all life’s favorites that make you relaxed and content. A cup of Happy feels a lot like that. A modern blend to cheer you up or chill you out, organic whole leaf Tulsi reduces stress and lift moods while Chamomile, Lemon Myrtle and Rose Petals brighten the spirit. A happy body and happy soul makes for a happy place wherever you go. Just to be clear, Happy will not magically whisk you off on vacation. That’s a different kind of Happy. But one can dream, and we’re glad you do. Sip it in deeply. Because this life is Wild.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Greek Mountain Tea from Klio Organic. . . . .

My family carries on the old school art of drying flowers to “preserve” the heartwarming memory from when they were given, and this bag of Greek Mountain Tea from Klio Organic is a full on bouquet of petite yellow love from Mount Olympus!

The thick flowering stems smell of basil, and crushed mint, but feel fuzzy like sage leaves versus the roughness of traditional camellia Sinensis tea leaves. Quite a bit smaller as well, with dozens of tiny pale flowers, light green buds and silver glistening leaves.

I brewed at 175 F and immediately the scent morphs towards the hints of sage I got earlier. There are a lot of essential oils on top, and a good amount of natural sweetness in this veridian brew that would probably be fine for most folks, especially given the light citrus aftertaste. My sweet tooth, however, preferred to add a few drops of plain stevia.

Being naturally caffeine free, this is a mind clearing tea, as it’s unique flavors make you step away from the daily grind and focus on the surprise in your mug.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Klio Organic

This variety, Sideritis Scardica, comes from the legendary Mount Olympus, in the Balkans, situated between Thessaly and Macedonia. It has been tested for antioxidants by Brunswick Labs, (www.brunswicklabs.com) the leader in bio-analtyical testing. It has a mild and very pleasant taste and aroma.

One ten ounce serving of our certified organic Mount Olympus Greek Mountain Tea has an ORAC 5.0 antioxidant score of 6,600 and 160mg of polyphenols.

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!

White Thunder from The Love Tea Company. . . . .

What a bold and dramatic name for a white tea: White Thunder.  So many white teas get paired with desserts, like ice cream flavors or berries, so I was intrigued to try out this flavor just from the brash name alone.  Besides, it doesn’t hurt that this tea is from Love Tea, one of our ChariTea companies.  Learn more here.

The White Thunder blend features white tea, peony, spearmint, and peppermint.  I brewed it both hot and iced, and preferred the flavors chilled.  There’s something about drinking an iced mint tea, like Moroccan Mint, that just feels best suited over ice on a hot day.

Back to White Thunder, for a tea without any fruit ingredients, there is a delectable peachy flavor mingling with all the mint.  This is a well-balance blend, despite mint making up half of the ingredients list.  The white tea and peony really get a chance to shine and be tasted, and bring forward that bright stone-fruit taste.  The white tea adds a sweet, mild, earthiness, and the peony compliments those tones with floral, blossoming notes of its own.

The spearmint and peppermint add a touch of frost to even out all the flowers and fruit.  The balance of sweet and crisp feel like sitting on fresh green grass that has been cooled by the shade.  White Thunder might be my new favorite summer iced blend, bringing just the right balance of cool mint and breezy florals.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: The Love Tea Company
Description:

Bai Mudan, also known as White Peony is a type of white tea made from pluckings of one leaf shoot and two immediate young leaves. Bai Mudan is sometimes preferred by white tea drinkers for its fuller flavor and greater potency than other major types of white tea. For an extra kick, peppermint and spearmint are added to this blend.  Boom, crack, that’s the sound of your taste buds loving this blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!