This is not a Tea Review, however, it is a pump up session for a great tea-centric Festival!
I have been planning and plotting, arranging my schedule so that I can hit all the great vendors that will be at the Midwest Tea Fest this weekend! Saturday is the big day, and I am completely stoked. Former sister-turned-fabulous-editor-in-chief Liberteas has sampled three teas that are offered by some of the companies, like Herbal Alchemy Teahouse, Shang Tea, and the Queen’s Pantry. I can’t wait to try out the Jane Austen Teas offered by Bingley’s Tras, stock up on herbs offered by Herbal Alchemy, and anything aged from Shang Tea! There are also great and fun non-tea related vendors who I am definitely siked to check out, such as Yoki, a funky company that sells all sorts of cute Asian knickknacks, or Pi Ceramics, who may just have the one cup I have been searching for my whole life. I could really go on and on about the various vendors, but you should really check it out for yourself here.
The presentations and tastings lead by the vendors and sponsors should also be a hit. I am sure to attend the aged white tea session hosted by Sheng Tea, listen to Elyse from Tealet speak of the importance of face to farmer tea, and watch how tea leaves are processed thanks to Single Origin Teas. I know that at the end of the day, all eyes will turn to the Godfather of tea in America, James Norwood Pratt when he does his presentation.
Tune in next time when I show off the actual event and perhaps show you all my tea haul, which I can only imagine will be unreasonably large!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Herbal Alchemy Teahouse
This black tea has everything in which to woo an unsuspecting pallet – roses, chocolate, damiana and rich spices, but like every vampire’s kiss this tea is blood red and has a tiny bite…of cayenne red pepper.
Learn more about this tea here.
Learn more about the MidWest Tea Fest here.
This Vampire’s Kiss Tea from Herbal Alchemy Teahouse is the third of the teas that were sent to me by the organizers of the MidWest Tea Fest: Herbal Alchemy Teahouse is one of the featured vendors at the festival! After a quick glance at the list of scheduled vendors at the festival, it makes me wish that I was able to attend! It looks like it’s going to be an awesome tea fest!!!
This blend is a combination of black tea, rose, chocolate and spices. The tea brews up to be a dark, burgundy red – like a blood red color which makes me wonder if there’s hibiscus in this? I didn’t see a full ingredient list, so I’m not sure, but if I were to wager a guess, I’d say that there’s either hibiscus or something ‘beet’ in this blend because of the color.
It doesn’t taste strongly of hibiscus, but I do get a slightly thick texture that I would normally experience from hibiscus. That could also be from beet. And because of the spicy notes, I’m not detecting anything that’s obviously tart from hibiscus or obviously sweet from the beet, so I’m not really sure what’s supplying the strong color, but I’m suspecting hibiscus because the flavor tastes more like hibiscus to me than it does beet.
So what do I taste? I taste chocolate. But it doesn’t taste like a creamy, rich kind of chocolate flavor, it tastes more like cocoa powder that’s been added to a spiced herbal tisane. Or like cacao nibs/shells that have been added to a spiced herbal tisane.
I taste the spice! The spices build gradually, staring out rather delicate, but after a few sips, I’m getting a warm burning sensation toward the back of my palate.
I also taste an odd, herb-y sort of flavor that I can’t really describe except to say it tastes sort of medicinal, but not in an unpleasant way. It tastes like an herbal tea and as I continue to sip, I’m tasting more hibiscus-like flavors too.
But, I’m not complaining because the cocoa and the spice play with these hibiscus-like notes in such a way that it tastes more ‘berry like’ than it does the tart, syrupy flavor that I usually dislike from hibiscus. It’s odd, it’s different, but somehow, it works!
My biggest complaint about this tea? I don’t taste much black tea flavor. I’m getting a strong presence of the other flavors here, but the black tea seems almost non-existent. I like that the chocolate is strong, I like that I taste notes of rose and even that hint of spicy cayenne pepper that builds on the palate. I like that warmth from the spices. I’m just wishing I had more black tea flavor here.
This seems a lot more like an herbal tisane to me than a black tea. It’s good, though. If you’re one who enjoys spicy drinks, this is something worth exploring!
And don’t forget about the Midwest Tea Fest! If you’re going to be in the Kansas City, Missouri area on June 6th – you should definitely visit! And if you can make the trip, GO! It’s a great opportunity for tea lovers to get more information about the beverage they adore and an excellent way for those who are new to tea to learn more!