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!

A Trio of Peach Teas from Beleave, Rishi, and Teavana. . . .

Who knew I had so many peachy teas in my cupboard?  Let’s look at a spontaneous peach tea trio!

Pinkies Up Peach from Beleave Teas

Leaf type: white tea

This is a white tea with peach pieces and added flavors.  The dry leaf smells fruity and juicy without being artificial.  When brewed, the white tea base is smooth and buttery and pairs perfectly with the bright sweet peach overtones.  White tea and peach are a winning combination.  Black tea blends tend to get too tart or overbearing against the sweet fruit.  Pinkies Up Peach from Beleave would make a great summer iced tea.

Peach Blossom White from Rishi Tea

Leaf type: white tea

Wow, blossoms indeed!  There are plenty of buds and petals in the dry leaf, and the blend smells a flower box.  Brewed, the fragrance is even stronger with jasmine and peony.  The peach takes a back seat in this blend, and taste a bit more peach candies than fresh fruit.  The peach tones pop up in the aftertaste, alongside citrus notes like mandarin orange.  This wasn’t a very peachy tea, but it was a unique floral blend that surprised me.

Peach Cran Tango from Teavana

Leaf type: black tea

Even before Teavana closed its online shop, I believe the Peach Cran Tango blend was discontinued.  So it’s a bit of a moot point for me to review it now.  To help soothe the Teavana ache, I tried to replicate this blend on Adagio’s custom tea builder.  Give my Peach Cran Tango and try and see how it stacks up.

The last of the Teavana sample I tasted was simple but enjoyable.  Sweet peach is balanced with a bit of tart cranberry, all atop a solid black tea base. This is technically a peach blend, though it also features a good dose of cranberry. Cranberries are sweet, tangy and versatile, and seem to tango with just about any fruit partner. The red-berry tartness help the peach from being too cloying and make for a balanced fruit blend.

Well I’m feeling just peachy after all these peach teas.  All this sweet fruit makes me feel like warmer weather is on its way already…

 

 

Rose City Rooibos from Beach House Teas. . . . .

Spring and summer are my favorite time for drinking floral teas, complementing the flowers blooming outside of my teacup.  So this seemed like the perfect time to try a cup of Rose City Rooibos from Beach House Teas.

This is the first tea I’ve tried from Beach House Teas so I took a look at their website.  Family-run business in the Pacific Northwest with a focus on organic and wild ingredients, producing hand-blended teas.  They also have an Etsy shop, if that’s more your style.  They even offer herb-infused sugar for cooking, and herb infused salts and bath bombs for the bath.

Let’s get back to the tea at hand, Rose City Rooibos.  Like many tea blends on Beach House Teas, this blend looks great in the dry leaf with beautiful curled rose blossoms in pink and cream, and the rich russet tones of the red rooibos.

Brewed, this tea is smooth and simple, with the nutty, caramel tones of the red rooibos with gentle floral overtones.  The ingredients list says there is peppermint in this blend as well, but the mint gets lost under all the rooibos taste and rose scent. I wouldn’t mind more peppermint in the next batch to help add more dimension to the flavor set of this blend.  I usually favor teas with a bit more punch to their flavors, so I might not brew this one again.  Overall this was very simple and comforting.

This tea’s description calls this a “liquid spa” and I won’t deny that the floral notes are relaxing, and the rose petals are captivating to look at.  A good tea for when you need some relaxing aromatherapy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Beach House Teas
Description:

Rose City Rooibos is 100% organic loose leaf tea blended with red rooibos tea, rose petals, peppermint, and pure extract. This floral elixir is all about beauty and what better way to surround yourself in beauty than rose petals and rooibos that’s like a liquid spa?

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jasmine Dragon Pearls from Enjoying Tea

In the early days of my loose leaf tea drinking, I first encountered jasmine green tea pearls.  I was working evening shifts at the college library and we had a small, varied supply of tea, mainly our favorite tea bags.  But one night, one of my coworkers had brought in loose leaf teas they were looking to share.  I was fascinated by these little green pellets in one of the tea canisters and dropped a few in mug even though we didn’t have tea bags or filters.  I watched the balls of tea unfurl and fill my mug with flavor.  Turns out they were jasmine green tea pearls, and I’ve had a nostalgic affinity for this kind of tea ever since.

The Jasmine Dragon Pearls from Enjoying Tea are beautiful little tea oddities.  Tightly rolled pellets of tea, twined with both grey fuzzy buds, and olive green leaves.  Brew them gently, despite their tight shape, these leaves are still green tea at heart, keep the temperature of your water a little cooler than normal.

The dry leaf was already heady and fragrant with jasmine blossoms.  Brewed, the flowery notes continued to be pronounced, full and luscious like a bouquet of flowers in your hand.  Beneath all that flower-power, the tea has a buttery base, with slightly earthy and savory undertones.  The less sweet notes paired well against the powerful jasmine.  The overtones of each sip carry the floral flavors, so sweet they are almost fruity.

Jasmine Dragon Pearls from Enjoying Tea lived up to my fond first memories of trying jasmine pearls from many years ago.  Give this tea a try and make your own jasmine-scented memories!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Enjoying Tea
Description:

This green tea has a unique shape of a pearl and comes from the Chinese province of Fujian. These hand rolled pearls consisted of both leaves and bud. This tea has a sweet flavor with a flowery jasmine aroma. Researchers in Japan found that people who drink green regularly have a lower chance of getting cancer or developing heart diseases. Dragon Pearl is a great tasting healthy tea to drink regularly. We highly recommend it.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!