Travel the World with #SirStuartBlackAndGreen from #Kent&Sussex Tea Co.

Sometimes I try out unflavored teas with one kind of leaf, and a flavor that all about the purity of the process.  And sometimes I try out teas that are exactly the opposite– just like today’s blend, Sir Stuart Black and Green.

This tea has both black and green tea leaves, three types of flower petals, and rich spices like cardamom, fennel and ginger.  Visually, this blend is full of diverse colors and shapes, and the smell of the dry leaf is luscious and complex.  It smells like someone lit floral incense in a kitchen, where other smells like fennel or orange peel are being mixed together as someone starts cooking.

The flowers are most prominent in the scent of the tea, with bergamot and sweet orange dominating the taste.  The flavors of the tea leaves themselves are minimal: no grassy greens and no bitter blacks.  Instead, the varied ingredients list really dominates the flavor spotlight.

As I drank the tea, more of the unexpected herbs like fennel or cardamom popped up in the taste and smell, though the ginger was slow in arriving.  I finally got some of my favorite buzzy, spicy mouthful from the ginger after I let the teabag steep beyond the recommending steep time.  Overall the blend is sweet without being cloying, and the bright citrus lingers on the tongue without being to tart.
According to Tea & Coffee, this blend is named after the well-travel Sir Stuart Cleary of Cranbrookshire.  With all the varied treasures and eye-catching beauties hidden within this tea blend, it feels like a bounty gathered from exploring the reaches of the world.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Green
Where to Buy: Kent & Sussex Tea Co.
Description:

Sir Stuart a fine Black Tea and Green Tea. A flavoured Tea with hints of Bergamot and Orange. Named after the explorer Sir Stuart Cleary of Cranbrookshire following a trip to the Orient. A beautiful looking loose leaf tea with magical flavours when brewed. A Fruity aroma combined with Spicy Ginger and Fennel create something special and fresh tasting. Ingredients Black Tea, Green Tea, Ginger pieces, Fennel, Cardamom seeds, Natural flavouring, Rose petals and Cornflower blossoms.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Don Quixotea by Novelteas

I steeped one very heaping teaspoon of dry leaves in one cup of 210 degree water for about 4.5 minutes. (I decided to be generous with the amount of leaves I put in, probably because it just smelled so amazing and I was in the mood for something strong.) I could see whole cloves and bits of cinnamon bark in the dry leaves of this tea–lots of them.

I always enjoy trying out new chai blends and seeing which spices come to the front and how the chosen spices blend together and so on. This one seems to be heavy on the spice bits and relatively light on the black tea bits, and the spices include plenty of cinnamon and ginger.

After steeping: Cinnamon does seem to be a prominent flavor, going by the smell of the steeped tea. It’s remarkably light in color for a chai, with a sweet rich smell (not just spicy but deeper and sweeter) and has an orangey tint also.

First sip: As foreshadowed by the scent, some of the spices are sweet! The sweet smoothness is what I notice first. The spiciness isn’t overwhelming and doesn’t hit until the sip reaches the back of the mouth. I think I’m mostly tasting clove, cinnamon, and ginger. (There’s pepper in the blend too but not too much.)

With milk: as expected, this delivers a much more well-rounded cup. It’s still not very spicy though. My personal preference would be to steep this one much stronger next time as I consider it fairly mild when steeped to these specs. And I’d probably steep it in milk instead of steeping it first and then adding milk.

Overall, there’s great flavor here, and as a bonus you don’t have to add sugar because it’s so sweet already.  Plus, it’s organic as well.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  NovelTeas
Description

Join book-lovers and tea-lovers alike and take up your arms to a cup of our traditional organic chai spices –  red cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, and the root of ginger.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Have a cup on Lord Grantham with Downton Abbey Tea Blends #RebpulicofTea

Grantham Breakfast Blend is one of the Downton Abbey themed teas from The Republic of Tea.  This blend is built from a strong assam base with added ginger, meant to be masculine and just a touch fiery.  The ginger came to life right as I poured hot water on the leaves, surprising me with an almost-chai smell for a moment.  As the tea steeped and cooled, the assam really took the lead, providing deep and malty black tea tones.

This tea echoes Lord Grantham, pictured on the tin, clad in upper-class white-tie attire.  Both the man and the tea are strong enough to help you power through an early morning of managing accounts, spicy enough to manage bold daughters, and warm enough to provide comfort during a family tragedy.  
After trying this flavor, I had to take a look at the other Downton Abbey blends on Republic of Tea.  They have several options, a few of which include Miss Patmore’s Pudding, black tea with vanilla sponge cake flavors, English Rose hibiscus tea for the lady-like sisters, and Downton Abbey Estate Earl Grey, for your more traditional tea outings.  

These teas would be great for a Downton-themed tea party of your own!  


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Republic of Tea
Description:

Full-bodied, malty, organic Assam black tea is infused with the spicy flavor of organic ginger root. Try with a splash of warm milk and sweetener for a flavor reminiscent of sticky ginger pudding. This energizing tea is perfect for an early morning foxhunt or preparing for the dramas of the day.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sensiblyscript’s Take on Lapsang Chai by Bluebird Tea Company. . . .

Steeping specs: One teaspoon at 212 degrees for 4 minutes in 1 cup of water.

This was an exciting idea for a tea. I’ve tried actual lapsang souchong once and couldn’t get through my mugful (maybe it was a bad idea to add milk, but I couldn’t stand it without milk either so I figured it couldn’t hurt anything). It’s not because I don’t like smoky flavors, either. I love smoked meat (I mean, BACON, right?), and I love campfires although it’s true I don’t eat them. But combining smoky tea with other strong spices that I know I like sounds like a very clever idea. I only wish I’d had it. In fact, I think I might have the rest of that sample packet of Lapsang somewhere; maybe I should go experiment with mixing it with various chais.

But I digress. . . .

After steeping for four minutes I took a good whiff–it smells tantalizingly smoky. This could be either a good thing or a problem, as mentioned above. The color is amber-ish–on the light side for a chai, I think (and I do have the unfortunate tendency to judge my tea’s strength by its color! I’ve been known to waaaaay over-steep my tea just because it didn’t look dark enough to me). A few crumbs of leaf have escaped my basket, so maybe I’ll use the finer mesh next time I steep this. What’s really exciting is that although the smell is smoky, I can smell spices too! Cinnamon, ginger, and possibly clove, I think.

First taste: it’s definitely not tasting like liquid smoke here, which is good! The flavor combo is hard to describe, though. The smoky tang and the warmth from the spices hit me at approximately the same time with each sip, which means it really has a kick! It’s not a super spicy chai, though, so if you’re sensitive to spice that probably won’t be a problem (depending on just how sensitive you are, of course. Some people manage to complain of spiciness in foods that taste basically bland to me).

The smokiness combines especially well with the ginger notes for some reason. Does ginger have a smoky component normally? I don’t know. I just know that this tastes really, really good. The smoke lingers a bit after each sip, but like I said, it’s not overpowering.

I also tried this tea with milk and sugar and found it still enjoyable, although less unique. That could just be due to the fact that I have a tendency to put milk and sugar in all my tea, though the milk does seem to muffle the brightness of the spice notes a bit too.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy:  Bluebird Tea Co.
Description

We like to do things a bit differently at Bluebird. Our latest infusion is a thoughtful blend of Lapsang Souchong, malty Assam + aromatic masala chai spices. A BREWtiful blend of tea + culture alike!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Get a Boost with Green Tea +C Citrus Ginger

Green Tea + C Citrus Ginger from Sencha Naturals is an effervescent drink mix made with green tea, ginger, and orange flavoring.  Like other immune-system-boosting fizzy drinks, this powder bubbles and hisses when mixed with water, like seltzer tablets.  The powder and the drink smell super spicy with ginger and tangerine citrus.  Drinking this beverage, there is a tart bite of citric acid, like the sourness in chewable vitamin C tablets.  The ginger heat comes through in the aftertaste, bringing a warm and buzzy mouthfeel.

As a green tea, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this product.  The green tea base is lost among the orange tartness and slight chalky consistency of the powder.  However, I would recommend trying this out an alternative to fizzy, immune-boosting drinks.  Green Tea +C is unique in that it is the first effervescent drink mix I’ve used that includes green tea in the ingredients.
At the end of a weekend, when I’m tired and facing another week, I sometimes feel like I need a boost, both mental and physical.  That’s the time of day that I’d reach for something like Green Tea +C.  The bubbles and tart orange flavor are energizing and zesty and I like the idea that I’m powering myself up with some Vitamin C, ready to face another Monday.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green tea powder
Where to Buy: Sencha Naturals
Description: We believe that nutrition should come from whole food ingredients, versus synthetic vitamins. Whole leaf green tea, acerola cherry, coconut water, and supporting herbs to help you stay well. Serve hot for a gingery warm and citrus-y bright cup of tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!