Edith Wharton blend from Simpson and Vail

This lovely tea has been sitting on my tea shelf for a while, just waiting for the right day.  Well today was the day. This darjeeling blend was created in honor of author Edith Wharton at the Simpson and Vail tea shop.

I don’t know what it is, but darjeeling and earl grey teas always make me think of ladylike tea parties with finger sandwiches and sugar cubes.  This darjeeling blend is crisp and and could fit into the high tea setting, but it also has a lot more to bring to your cup.

In both scent and taste this blend is pleasantly bright and playful with plenty of grapefruit citrus.  This tartness feels satisfying like having the perfect biting witty comment ready to go on your tongue.  Beyond the grapefruit there is a bit of ginger heat, quickly followed by the smooth, vanilla tones of the mallow blossoms at the end.

Bold but ladylike, sharp but playful.  This is a great tea for that favorite smart and sassy friend in your life, or for any literary tea aficionado.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Simpson and Vail
Description:

For our Edith Wharton blend we pay homage to her descriptions of the undercurrents rippling through fashionable society. We have combined a refined, high-grown Darjeeling black tea with a little passionfruit and citrus flavor, a dash of spice and lovely flower petals to create a taste that is smooth and elegant. Perfect for an afternoon tête-à-tête.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Turmeric with Meadowsweet & Ginger from Traditional Medicinals. . . . .

My latest Sipsby box arrived and in it was several packages of this Organic Turmeric with Meadowsweet & Ginger tea by Traditional Medicinals. This isn’t something I would have ever picked for myself but I guess something in my profile suggested I would enjoy it. I guess that in and of itself warrants giving this a try.

Well it is not bad but it is also not a tea I would be all that interested in having again. I don’t often reach for herbals and this is a herbal through and through. When hot, there is a ginger burn, though just slightly and even that touch of burn is drowned out by a sweetness that I want to attribute to the Meadowsweet (but that is because of the name as I haven’t had this herb previously and when I tried researching what it is supposed to taste like, it just said “pleasant”). Before that burn and sweetness sets in though, there is a savory bitterness and that I think is contributed by the turmeric.

Each ingredient brings something different and for those that like these flavors, this could be a nice combination of the bunch. However, for me tea is about desserts and indulgence. This tastes like medicine to me which isn’t the indulgence I am looking for, though I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when drinking a tea from a company called Traditional Medicinals.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Traditional Medicinals
Description

Inflammation might get a bad rap, but it really can be a useful signal after exercise. Our formula honors this indication with turmeric, a root praised by healers around the world. Reinforced by the power of meadowsweet— historically used much like turmeric—and ginger’s warming properties, our tea represents an herbal trifecta of ancient wisdom and soothing relief.*

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Classic Masala Chai from Chai Safari. . . .

As a chai tea lover, I’m surprised I haven’t run into more Chai Safari teas in my experience.  Needless to say, I was excited to brew up a cup of spicy tea and try a new flavor.

I took one look at the dry leaf of this tea and immediately wanted to look up the ingredients.  The black tea leaves are processed into small pellets, which is typical for some types of chai, but I was confused when I saw the green tulsi leaves mixed in.  It’s not everyday that you see green ingredients in a chai tea, it’s usually lots of golden ginger and warm, brown cinnamon. Classic Masala Chai blend from Chai Safari has many of the classic chai staples like ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon, but it mixes in some more surprising ingredients like black pepper, tulsi (holy basil), and saffron.

Brewed this is everything you would expect from a chai tea: bold and warming, with the spice-cookie flavors of ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom.  I love the idea of the peppercorns in my teas, but it is hard to pick out the pepper flavor in this brew. Maybe some of the heat I associated with the ginger is actually from the black pepper.

The piece that sets this chai appart is the inclusion of tulsi and saffron.  These herbs add just a hint of floral sweetness in the scent and aftertaste. These refined flavors are an unexpected compliment to the bolder spices and made me realize that there is more to chai than ginger and cinnamon alone.

I will have to adventure into Chai Safari again and check out more unexpected chai tea flavors!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Chai Safari
Description: The Classic Masala Chai is India’s most popular chai. India’s own home grown recipe and consumed as a staple beverage across the country. This blend of exotic spices is the experience that will take you for a trip on this journey. The chai has dominant flavours of dried ginger and cardamom pods with a touch of black pepper’s spicy aftertaste. The sweet undenotes are delivered by cinnamon, Tulsi and a pinch of Saffron.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Country Chai Spice from The Cozy Leaf. . . .

Country Chai Spice from The Cozy Leaf already made me feel warm and relaxed just from the name.  Makes me think of being under a quilt out at a cabin, maybe beside a warm fire. Beyond the name, this tea had a surprisingly pleasant long list of spices in its ingredients list.  Cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, I expect, but not all chai teas comes with cloves and anise, and the never seem to come with fennel. What a lovely change of pace.

Brewed, this is a sweeter chai, thanks to a hearty serving of anise and cinnamon.  The anise isn’t strong enough to make this a black jelly bean chai, but it does add its token throat-soothing, candy-like properties.

Much to my surprise, the ginger and clove take a back seat in this tea, subtle enough that you might miss them if you’re not paying attention.  The fennel and cardamom are gentle and earthy, and add a much needed almost-savory pairing to the anise and cinnamon.

Just when I’ve thought that I’ve tried every chai tea I can think of, I find something new.   I look forward to getting cozy with another cup of Country Chai Spice from the Cozy Leaf sometime soon.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The Cozy Leaf
Description:

Full-bodied black tea chai made with real chai spices of rich cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, and sweet anise and clove for a healthy and delicious treat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Happy Tummy from Allegro Tea

After a big dinner or a stressful day, I tend to reach for an herbal tea to help me and my stomach relax.  Recently, I tried Happy Tummy from AllegroTea.

From the scent of the dry leaf, I would have guessed that this was a pure-mint blend.  The leaves were fragrant with icy cold peppermint, strongly reminding me of the mint flavor in classic candy canes.

I brewed this tea hot, which allowed the cinnamon and ginger to warm up the mint. With powerhouse ingredients like ginger and mint, this blend could have easily become overpowering.  Instead, the spices and herbs occupy a delicate balance: not too spicy, and not too menthol-like.

Having this balance of herbal sweetness, warm spiciness, and cool mint makes drinking this tea a very pleasant sensation.  I know its ingredients are designed to help calm a stomach ache, but they feel both soothing and invigorating in my throat and chest as well.  I’ll have to stockpile some of this blend for the inevitable sick day to help me feel better.

A clean and simple herbal blend, that can help turn around just about any ailment.  Warm you up, cool you down, settle your stomach, and make you smile.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Allegro Coffee and Tea
Description:

Organic peppermint, ginger, cinnamon, restorative dandelion root and spearmint have been calming tummies for centuries. We’ve blended them in just the right harmonious proportions in our Happy Tummy to gently soothe and balance your digestive system and calm your state of being.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!