Soothing from Balcony Teas

When you look up herbal tea in the dictionary you should see a picture of Soothing blend from Balcony Tea. It is so herbal and so picturesque.  There are yellow orbs of chamomile blossoms, curls of pink rose petals, vibrant red rose hips, and purple lavender.

Brewed, the tea is sweetly fragrant, floral and full of outdoor goodness. The lemony chamomile is the primary flavor, followed by the juicy rose hip.  The lavender and rose are still present but more relaxed, which is just the way you want it. Too much rose and a blend becomes like perfume, too much lavender and it reminds you of grandma’s closet. This tea is blended just right, and hits the flowery sweet spot.

This tea is soothing, its scent makes you imagine a garden. The chamomile is relaxing, honey sweet with a hint of lemon. Breathe deep in the soothing flower scent and relax.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy:  Balcony Teas
Description:

Feel transported to a beautiful evening in the Mediterranean. All is calm and you can smell wild flowers. Perfect for a moment to yourself or to wind down after a busy day.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tropical Sunset from Love Some Tea

This is the first time I’m trying a blend from Love Some Tea.  I got a chance to try Tropical Sunset blend thanks to a generous SororiTea Sister.  The first thing I noticed about this tea is its colorful logo and package design. A green stylized tree is set on a bright background of orange and pink sunset rays.  The colors look a bit like a groovy blacklight poster or a flower power mural.

The second thing I notice about this tea is the size and quality of its leaves.  Their description says this includes both black and green teas, but it is hard to tell the difference in the dry leaves, they are all lush, long, curled leaves.  Brewed, the color difference between the green and black leaves is more distinct and you start to notice the layers of flavor in the scent and taste.

This tropical blend is a medium body tea, like an oolong, with a touch of green and mineral flavors.  But the black tea also adds a bit of unexpected starchiness and a tiny hint of woodsy smoke at the end of each sip.

Among all of these intense tea flavors, there are fruity flavors like passionfruit, mango and papaya.  The fruitiness is so lush the dry leaf almost smells like a fresh plum, but the tropical nature of the fruits comes out more in the brewing.

The quality of the tea leaves made it so that I really enjoyed this tea when brewed hot, but something about tropical flavors always makes me think the tea would be even better when served iced.

I was impressed by my first experience with Love Some Tea and I’ll have to try some of their other flavors sometime soon!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black and Green
Where to Buy: Love Some Tea
Description:

Our first green and black blend layered with all the wonderful aromas of Thailand, including dried mango, dried passion fruit, dried papaya, rose flower, blue lotus flower, jasmine flower.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sabriel Fandom Blend from Adagio Teas

Full disclosure, this is one of the blends I made on Adagio Teas.  Their create-a-blend tools are just too much fun, and their fandom tea community is active and engaging.  I wanted to review my Sabriel blend because I had been stewing over the idea for a long time, and it was so satisfying to have it finally come together.

Sabriel is one of the main characters from the Old Kingdom book series by Garth Nix.  I won’t go into too much detail about the books, except to say that the series essentially follows the lives of “good” necromancers who help fight dead creatures or put the dead to rest.  The stories are beautiful, imaginative, and just a little spooky.

For my Sabriel tea blend I wanted something impactful but nuanced; her work managing the magic of the dead takes steadiness and subtlety.  The body of the tea is made up of two types of green tea. The gunpowder tea is robust without being astringent, and adds a whiff of smokiness that compliments the crackling, toasted notes of the hojicha tea.

The rest of the ingredients are all fragrant and sensory-inspiring.  Peppermint brings a cooling creepiness, like fog in a graveyard, or a settling peacefulness like still water.  Rose and lavender can have the morbid interpretation of flowers at a funeral, but can also being nostalgic, like remembering a favorite bouquet or garden memory.  Cardamom adds some spirit and peppery spice, and feels a bit unexpected without its usual partners of cinnamon and ginger. The scent of cardamom always makes me think of opening the kitchen spice cabinet, and all the cooking possibilities within.

I have not come across a blend quite like this in my tea drinking experience, so I was more than happy to have the opportunity to make it myself.  It was also great fun to honor one of my favorite characters and book series in tea form.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sencha Sensation from T2 Tea

Sencha Sensation from T2 Tea is a flavored green tea blend with added flower petals.  Since this is a green tea, remember to keep your water temperature cooler than normal to bring out the best flavors.

When brewed, this blend smells buttery and tropical.  These flavors continue into the taste with passionfruit and citrus flavors complementing the lush and fresh green tea base. The tea is sugary from the fruitiness without being candy-like, and the end of each sip features more of the natural celery or sweetgrass flavors of the green tea leaves.

I drank this blend warm on a rainy day for an afternoon pick-me-up and the fruity and floral flavors helped sweeten my mood.  This would also be a great tea to cold brew. The cooler temperature would suit the green tea and the tropical flavors always taste better over ice.

Let yourself get swept up in the Sencha Sensation.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: green
Where to Buy: T2 Tea
Description: A blend of petals with sencha green tea produces a light floral taste and citrus aroma. A subtle flavoured green for those who like a delicate brew.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tea Spirits from Townshends Distillery

The absolute star of Portland’s Tea Fest earlier this month had to be this series of tea infused spirits from Townshend’s distillery. Normally they are known for their kombuchas, which have about as much alcohol in them as fresh orange juice does.  I chose a bottle of their smooth, high-quality cane spirits infused with roses and white tea, which lead to a dainty, yet crisp summer cocktail. I had no idea this was even a thing!!! Back at home, I mix mine with a touch of sparkling water to add to the merriment. Sipping the 80 proof straight provides an utterly fabulous, naughty at the garden party feel – strong yet uplifting, then a transcendent floral aftertaste that comes across quite differently than your standard rose tea. Definitely floral, but sweeter and not at all like an antique shop. Another fine benefit to this beverage is its ability to encourage me to break my writers block, win! And no hangovers yet, despite my crutch on it through finals week, knock on wood.

My partner ended up getting an early birthday present of Smoke Tea Spirits from them, a strong (smelling) lapsong souchong (in vodka I believe) alternative to scotch that they insist you must have at least two sips of to get the full effect. Not at all my taste, though I cannot really do tannins.  Have you ever had tea-infused cocktails before? What are your recipes? I’m dying to try and DIY some now…


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White Tea
Where to Buy: Townshends Distillery
Description:

Townshend’s White Rose is made from a simple recipe featuring white Tea and rose petals. Our unique low-temperature still allows us to capture the subtle aromas of these delicate botanicals. The result is a clean, velvety spirit that is delicious chilled, or in cocktails.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!