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
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.