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Bates’ Brambleberry Black Tea from The Republic of Tea

In addition to being a fandom tea that I’m sure everyone who watches Downton Abbey will love, this tea has a wonderful flavor and is an awesome eco-friendly offering from the Republic of Tea. It comes in a round unbleached tea bag with no strings, staples or tags, and can be composted after you use it. It looks insubstantial enough that you could even throw it in your own non-industrial-strength compost pile (I understand some municipalities have compost pickup along with trash and recycling pickup, but mine is not that lucky so I do my own composting). It smells excellently Read More

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Himalayan Shangri-la from Teabox

If I had to choose between dark oolong or green oolong, for me it would be green every time. I find them characterful and unique, with more variation in flavour than I’ve typically found (at least so far…) among their roasted counterparts. And that’s coming from a habitual black tea drinker. Himalayan Shangri-la is a Nepalese Oolong from 2015. It’s a first flush, or spring, oolong comprising highly graded leaves taken from a single estate. The leaf here is pretty impressive – they’re long and twisty, with a high predominance of downy buds, and vary from a dark khaki to Read More

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Uper Fagu Darjeeling Oolong from The Tea Shelf

I’ve not come across many Oolongs from Darjeeling in the years I’ve been drinking tea, but the ones I have tried have always been something special. This one is no exception. It starts with the leaf, which in appearance reminds me a lot of a first flush darjeeling (although it’s actually a second) crossed with a very fresh white peony. The are a high predominance of downy silver buds, some verging more on silver or pale green, plus some brown-ish-copper leaves. The scent is sweet and lightly jasmine. Initially, the taste is subtle and fairly mineral, in the way that Read More

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White Chocolate Samoa by The NecessiTeas

Yay, a white chocolate coconut tea! With caramel! And it’s caffeine free, so it’s great as a nightcap. I approximated the steeping instructions for this tea, noticing as I did so that there’s plenty of coconut visible in the dry tea. It has a sweet creamy smell even when dry. Once the tea is steeped, it turns out to be about the color of apple cider, but a bit darker. It has a light, pleasant flavor and fragrance from the very first sip. I found it to have a creamy flavor and aftertaste (presumably from the coconut).  As the description Read More

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Lavender Dream from Dave and Solomons Tea

Dave and Solomons are a mother and son tea blending company, currently selling their indie creations on their Etsy store. I hadn’t come across them before this sample arrived with me, but it’s always nice to discover a new tea company, if a little dangerous for the bank account! Lavender Dream is a fruit and herbal blend, combining the sweet fruitiness of peach with the light floral of lavender. It sounds a little odd to begin with, but I was pleased to discover that they’re actually two flavours which work incredibly well together. The dry leaf itself is incredibly pretty, Read More