Tea Party Sonnet in honor of William Shakespeare black tea blend from Simpson and Vail


TEA-ming up with Tiny Salutations again for your reading pleasure with this sonnet:

Harken back to a faire of the 16th century
With “William Shakespeare’s black tea blend”
In each cup a wistful reverie
And a moment for your soul to mend.

It’s rosy liquid, by any other name,
Would it smell as sweet?
Inspiration my mouth doth claim
In framing Sonnets in my seat.

Intense floral aromas enhance
The Bard’s many tales
Of tragedy, comedy, and romance
Such a tea of Simpson and Vail’s.

Made of lavender and rose
And fresh plucked rosemary
A delight to eyes, mouth, and nose
As good a tea as potpourri!

The flavor is smooth
The rose aftertaste BOLD
A pleasant scent in truth
The color a rich chocolate gold.

This tea we doth surely keep.
Huzzah for a second steep!

Here’s the scoop!

Loose Leaf:   Black tea Blend

Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail

Description:  Gardens, herbs, and flowers appear in many of Shakespeare’s plays and oftentimes play a critical role in his stories. Our William Shakespeare tea blend is a combination of a few of the many herbs he references: lavender, roses, rosemary. The wit and playfulness of his verse means that Shakespeare’s plays can still be enjoyed today, ideally with a warm cup of tea.

This black tea and floral blend brews to an amber cup with a sweet, floral taste. The slightly earthy and woody notes are rounded out with the citrus taste of bergamot and sweet rose petals.

Certified Kosher

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Monkey King Jasmine Green Tea from Numi. . . . .

Steeping specs: 170° with one teabag in one cup of water for about 2 to 3 minutes

This green tea is a great responsible option for travelers who need the convenience of a teabag but don’t want to go with a low-quality commercialized option. This one has fair trade certified ingredients (tea leaves infused with jasmine that is also certified organic) and a biodegradable teabag. So there’s some social responsibility for you.

The tea water while steeping turns a yellowish color and immediately gives off a very very floral scent from all that jasmine. Jasmine is actually quite a piercing sent, unlike the green tea flavor in the tea (which I can’t smell at all due to the heady flower fragrance). This particular batch of jasmine flavor, though, is actually much more approachable than some that I’ve tried recently. It’s not so penetrating that you want to run and hide, and it doesn’t make you feel like a perfume shop. It just lingers around the tea and makes everything sweeter.

I should probably also mention that I am almost unable to taste any green tea flavor over the jasmine once I start drinking it. Not quite unable, though. I am finding a bit of astringency that could only come from the tea itself, and there are a couple of other notes that may be tea-related, although it’s a little hard to tell this point. In addition, the Jasmine actually makes this tea really really sweet, which means it doesn’t need sugar (making it even healthier to drink and even more convenient for traveling).

Overall I’d say this is a very exceptional option considering that it came from a tea bag (I try not to be too much of a loose leaf snob, but some teabags make it so easy). The leaves in the teabag are chopped up pretty finely but still manage to deliver excellent flavor, especially excellent Jasmine flavor.

I would be careful with the directions given on the packet though, since they’re a little unspecific. It says to boil your water and then allow to cool slightly before steeping. What you really need to do is allow to cool significantly to about 170-180° or you’re likely to end up with bitter tea. My tea was steeped at about 170F and is almost verging on bitter already. Of course you can always add sugar if it starts to get bitter too.

So as mentioned above, I think this is a great option for traveling, what with its socially responsible packaging and convenience of use (and higher-quality ingredients than other conveniently packaged teas), or you could even keep it around the house for a great flowery-tasting option when you’re in a hurry or don’t want to bother with loose leaves.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green Tea
Where to Buy:  Numi Tea

This tea is not currently on the website but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ginger Beer Tisane from DAVIDsTEA

10526dt01var0028998-bi-1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Tisane

Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:

Sweet, spicy, refreshing…is there anything tastier than a good ginger beer? Since its introduction in 18th century Britain, this fizzy, golden drink has been a hit everywhere from the lunch counter to the cocktail bar. And with warming ginger and sweet apple, this tasty blend is our take on the classic. We love sipping it after a heavy meal, or to soothe a sore throat. Up for experimenting? Brew it strong and top up with sparkling water and a splash of vodka, for a twist on a Moscow Mule. Cheers!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Last week I stopped at DAVIDTEA after work around when I was starting to get sick/just realizing I was sick and I picked up some tea to drink later and grabbed a hot “To Go” cup of this as well. I picked it out because it’s the new Tea of The Month but I realized much later it was actually probably a good choice because of the ginger as well since that’s a good thing to drink when you are sick.

I was a little taken aback! I’m honestly not the biggest fan of Ginger Beer. Every time I’ve tried it it’s just been a little too concentrated and spicy for my liking. And actually, I’m also just not a huge fan of ginger in general. However, that said, I actually found this pretty enjoyable. It’s not like it didn’t taste like Ginger Beer either; the ‘zippyness’ and almost ‘bubbly’ ginger flavour was accurate to my memory of Ginger Beer and very well captured the spirit of the drink. This was just much lighter overall and didn’t have that ginger burn that comes with too concentrated ginger. I dislike that sensation so much. Instead it was more of a mild ‘tingle’.

Of course, ginger isn’t the only flavour going on in this blend. I also tasted notes of honey and apple, both of which were quite nice and provided a sweet juxtaposition from the ginger. However, the most interesting flavour I tasted was lime!? I’m not sure where that’s coming from at all because there are no ingredients that should be contributing that flavour however it’s definitely something I tasted, and I quite liked it. Maybe it’s because I was slightly sick and my sense of taste may have been a little off. I’m not sure.

Overall? I wouldn’t buy this again but I liked it and for me that’s more of a ‘win’ than I ever expected with this blend. If I did drink it again, it would probably only be to see if I could taste the lime again when I’m not sick.

Coconut Ice Tisane from DAVIDsTEA

Coconut IceTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal/Tisane, Honeybush

Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:

We all know the feeling. Sometimes, you just need a little something sweet. And creamy.And fresh. You know, the perfect rich and frosty summer treat. Lucky for us, we’ve got this tea – a refreshingly decadent blend of honeybush, coconut and cocoa shells. Rich, smooth and totally addictive, it tastes just like a scoop of coconut ice cream. Want to take it to the next level? Try it as an iced latte. It’s the answer to any summer craving. (MK Kosher).

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is part three of a five part review of the DAVIDsTEA Summer Collection.

Ah DAVIDsTEA, your love of coconut is so predictable. I’m pretty sure no one was surprised by the inclusion of an obviously coconut focused blend this season. What did surprise me, however, was the classification of this tea. It’s got honeybush listed as the first ingredient which to me says that it’s the ingredient in the largest quantity and yet this is still listed as a herbal/tisane and not classed as a rooibos/honeybush blend? That confuses me a lot. I’d really like a break down of the thought process that took place here.

Also surprisingly, I had the perfect excuse to do a cold brew for this one and instead I found myself brewing it up as a hot tea! It was alright; the most dominant flavor was the honeybush which again begs the question ‘why did you class this as a herbal!?” but it was pretty equally matched by the strong flavour of both fresh coconut and toasted coconut. I actually did expect a little more coconut flavor because DT had the biggest excuse to go all out here, but I’m happy with the level that’s present. Yummy! It definitely reminds me of coconut ice, minus the ice part. But the crisp, fresh flavor is really well conveyed.

Also, COCOA SHELLS! I’m really happy that DT hopped on board with the love of cocoa shells here because they do such a better job at conveying a smooth chocolate flavour than chocolate chips would have done; plus no oily chocolate goop! Their use here was definitely a smart decision, though I did find the flavour mild in comparison to everything else going on and I don’t know if the blend would have been lacking had chocolate not been included at all. I think they contribute more to the aroma than the taste itself.

I liked this one; probably would have liked it better cold but I wanted to switch things up a bit and be less predictable with my preparation. I’m sure I’ll happily finish off the rest of my trial sample though I do doubt I’ll pick more up afterwards because while this was tasty I just don’t think it was different enough to warrant a need for me. Coconut lover will be all over this one, though. I’m sure it’s gonna do really well.

Ceremonial Gold Class Organic Matcha from Midori Spring

Ceremonial-MatchaMidoriSpringTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green (Matcha)

Where to Buy:  Midori Spring on Amazon.com

Tea Description:

Midori Spring’s Ceremonial Gold Matcha is rich, smooth and creamy with a hint of sweetness when brewed traditionally. Only the best and darkest tencha are used for Gold Class. Gold Class has a fresh, sweet, green-vegetable-like aroma and the colour is a vibrant emerald green – a trait only high quality Ceremonial Grade Matcha encompass.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

From the moment that I opened the canister of this Ceremonial Gold Class Organic Matcha from Midori Spring – I was excited!  I was anxious to try this beautiful powdered tea!

The dry powder is a bright, vivid green color – the color green that Matcha enthusiasts would immediately recognize as top-notch Matcha!  This is the color Matcha should be!

I got out my chasen and chawan and scooped out a couple of scoops of Matcha with my chashaku – one scoop using this bamboo scoop is just enough for one serving of Matcha, but I wanted two!  Then I placed the Matcha into my sifter (I just use an inexpensive wire mesh strainer for this) and sifted the Matcha into my chawan.  I added hot water (160°F) and began whisking.  I don’t have a precise measurement for the water – I use the eyeball method and then I taste it after I’ve whisked it.  If I need more water, I add some.

This Matcha whisks up BEAUTIFULLY.  The color of the tea in the photo above is quite accurate – that is the same color of the liquid that’s in my chawan right now, although it’s difficult to see it since it’s beneath a thick cap of foamy froth.  This tea froths up so well and it maintains the froth for a long time after you’ve finished whisking.

The flavor is outstanding.  This is a really top-notch, high quality Matcha.  This is the kind of Matcha that is used in Japanese tea ceremony because it’s of the best quality.  Sweet!  Not a hint of bitterness.  Smooth and buttery.  No chalkiness or gritty texture.  The flavor has hints of berry and cacao in it’s complex layers.  It’s vegetal.  It’s a bowl of Matcha perfection.

If you’re a fan of Matcha – I highly recommend trying this one the next time you need to stock your cupboard.  You’ll be happy you did!