White Peony from Swallowtail Tea. . . .

Whenever a tea company offers a sample pack, it’s a great chance to try out teas that you aren’t sure you’ll like.  Recently I tried a sample pack of several different teas from Swallowtail Tea company and White Peony tea was a lovely new find.

I’m not always in the mood for white teas.  They have a unique smooth, earthiness that is different than pu erh, black, or green teas.  In the right blend, this is a winning flavor, in the wrong blend it ends up tasting strange.  White Peony from Swallowtail tea was absolutely a winning white tea.

This tea is lightly flavored, mainly allowing the white tea itself to fill out the flavor profile.  The tea brews up deep and golden with the buttery and earthy tones I expect from white tea. The floral peony is gentle but present, not at all like perfume, but instead much more natural like crushed dried flowers, or getting a whiff of blooming flowers from a garden as you walk past.

White Peony is a great spring and summertime tea.  It is refreshing without being too vegetal or too sweet, and bright and floral without giving you hayfever.  A perfect balance of butter and blossoms, suitable for a hot or iced mug on a sunny day.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea
Description:

This least processed of all our teas has a shimmering golden liquor with a delicate floral fragrance.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Drink Me Oolong from Plum Deluxe

Drink Me Oolong from Plum Deluxe has a warm and toasty roasted oolong base with added mango and almond essence.  The darker oolong tea keeps the blend from getting too sweet, adding an almost savory nuttiness with each sip. The almond adds its trademark, almost-floral marzipan candy taste.  The fruity mango adds a nice brightness to keep this blend uplifting and not too dense or cake-like.

I believe the name of this blend is inspired by Alice in Wonderland, but even without the reference is it a cute name to have looking back at you from your tea cupboard on rainy days.  With sunny mango, bakery sweet almond, and a mid-level of caffeine, this is a great tea for the afternoon slump or a mid-day tea party.

Drink Me Oolong from Plum Deluxe was a limited edition blend, that should cycle back around in their seasonal blends or as part of their subscription service.  In the meantime, give Pick Me Up Oolong a try, with almond and maple flavors and a similar oolong tea base.

Or try another flavor of oolong tea.  Plum Deluxe teas always have great flavor combinations, and include things like “love” and “gratitude” on their ingredients list, so you can’t help but feel good when you brew a cup of their tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe

This tea is no longer available but click below for other options!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nepal Organic Gold Pathivara Black Tea from Simpson and Vail. . . .

Nepal is one place I have always wanted to travel to. I try and picture the place, the people, the culture. Since I probably will never have the opportunity to go there I will be living my wanderlust thru tea sipping. Nepal Organic Gold Pathivara Black Tea from Simpson & Vail helped me with this recently.

Nepal is located in South Asia, and bordered by China and India, and home to some of the largest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest which is the highest point anywhere on Earth. According to S&V and other sources – Nepal is comprised of 75 districts, one of which is the district of Panchthar. Panchthar is located in the Mechi Zone in the easternmost part of Nepal. It borders the Darjeeling region of West Bengal, India, and enjoys the same soil and climatic conditions as Darjeeling.

This certified organic garden is located in Panchthar, Nepal at an elevation of 1900 to 2100 meters above sea level. Simpson and Vail’s product description of this tea says that this garden sits among beautiful forested areas and has a stunning view of Mount Kumbhakarna. Pathivara Tea was planted in 1990 and is a relatively young garden that employs 35 people (mostly women). Pathivara almost borders the Sikkim border and the location is quite remote. The yields from Pathivara are not large which allows the growers to concentrate on producing this high-quality tea.

Nepal Organic Gold Pathivara Black Tea from Simpson & Vail consists of large black, golden, and well formed leaves that brew to an amber cup. It gives off a delicate yet full flavor on the tongue. The astringency (that is found in many high-grown Himalayan teas) is present in the cup although it is on the lighter side of things. The taste is smooth with a slightly sweet rose taste. An truly delightful cup of tea that I – for one – am thrilled they offer! Yet another great cuppa from our friends at S&V!


Here’s the scoop!

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

Pathivara Gold tea consists of large black and golden well formed leaves that brew to an amber cup with a delicate yet full flavored taste. The astringency that is found in many high-grown Himalayan teas is present in the cup although it is slight. The taste is smooth with a slightly sweet rose taste. A truly delightful cup of tea that we are thrilled to offer.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pina Colada Honeybush from 52Teas. . . .

I have very few herbal or caffeine free blends. They tend to be…bleh. I find that so many of them just taste like chamomile and…whatever. Or they are red rooibos and let me tell you, honey, me and red rooibos just DON’T get along.

When I got this, I didn’t think of it as a caffeine free option for evening, but rather as a nice change for summertime drinking, and planned to ice it, but OH MY GOODNESS. I made my first pot of it tonight and it was so much more than I was expecting.

First let me start off by saying that I don’t think I have ever had a pina colada, though I am aware of the ingredients. Daughter and I sang a bit of the Pina Colada Song to set the mood. (I like Pina Coladas! And getting caught in the rain!) I think this should probably be made a prerequisite before being allowed to sip.

Oh, but that sip! What a nice surprise! Yes, it is a little boozy tasting, but it is a just right boozy taste. I had a rum raisin tea not long ago that would have set off a breathalyzer. Yuck! But this was just perfect to showcase the fruit and coconut. Because I really feel that the fruit, coconut, and booze flavors were in perfect balance. The honeybush base is so nice. Why, oh why isn’t honeybush used more?

It was brilliant without any sweetener of any kind. As a night time tea, this is important to me since I have occasionally noticed that sugar tends to keep me up as badly as caffeine does.

So I am going to need a lot more of this tisane because I am going to need some big old iced pitchers of it when the weather gets hot and sticky, and some big old pots of it to send me off to bed satisfied and chill. It is currently unavailable but hopefully will be hitting the website again REAL SOON.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Honeybush
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for the blends that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Winter Spice / Tease Tea

Whole Star Anise!

What a surprise it was to open the 30g pouch and find that!

It makes it a bit more festive. The dry aroma is faint. Somewhat creamy, spicy, and nutty. My first cup of this was a bland mess but I didn’t want to give up. It’s a unique tea blend; slight creaminess hinted once the tea enters your mouth which turns into a peculiar spicy flavor; which I’m assuming comes from the ginger and the cinnamon. Calming is generally not a descriptor I use when talking about black tea, however, with the chamomile this tea has a nice calming effect.

Everything in this tea blends well together and yet I’m finding myself somewhat underwhelmed. Perhaps because they say spice in the name I expected more kick. The first cup was steeped between 2.5 and 3.5 minutes so the next cupping was upped to 5 minutes. I’m currently on a third cup also brewing 5 minutes but adding a 1/2 tsp more of tea. The first taste at 5 minutes was the same as the second cup so the brewing time was upped to 7 minutes. Unfortunately, this removed the creaminess and the spices seemed to have disappeared altogether. The tannins have taken over a bit more and there is a definite astringency in the after taste.

Overall, a nice blend but one that needs at least 4 minutes for full flavor and is not suggested for those who don’t appreciate a light tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tease Tea
Description:

This festive favourite is back for a limited time! A naturally flavoured black tea featuring notes of cinnamon, spice & everything nice. The perfect way to get into the winter spirit!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!