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!

Plum Oatmeal Squares Temi Sikkim Tea from A Quarter to Tea. . . .

Buttery oatmeal squares are the simplest comfort food, a warm (healthy) hug. I expected nothing less from this Plum flavored seasonal offering from A Quarter to Tea.

My first impression is strong fructose vibe from ripe plums or berries, almost the scent of a sweet wine? It’s rare that I find plum in a tea, and this reminds me of smelling farmer’s market produce in the fall. Slivers of goodies decorate the dry black tea leaves, including actual oatmeal.

The hot water awakens the blend, the familiar breakfast oats smell emerges then the tannins follow, the strong fruit smell of earlier is now just a hint. Being present for transformations like these, I find myself appreciating the effort the creators put into their products. The plum aroma gets stronger again as the auburn water gravitates through the steeper.

There is a mismatch of acidity in the two flavors which surprises my taste buds, but also somehow balances itself out. These malted and fruity flavors work really well together. The second steep mellows out the tannins and is more of a creamy fruit taste. Delicate with hint of, wow, what is this biting aftertaste? Like most flavored blends, noticeably less intense but still a good amount of flavor. None of the some cinnamon-type spice in here that I would’ve expected, but it’s oatmeal-y enough without it.

It takes a lot of guts to release a rare flavor, and this offering from A Quarter To Tea rises to the challenge, keeping things original, yet still enjoyable.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea

Tea of the Month for November 2016

Temi’s perfect muscatel notes are blended with rich dessert flavors: plum, pastry, and vanilla butter. A warming dessert tea, perfect for this (or any other) season.

This tea is limited run, so once it is gone, it’s gone for the season. It is sold only in 0.5oz quantities.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Timid Red from Tea Taxi. . . .

Tea Taxi is one of those tea companies I hear about all the time, but I’m not sure I’ve ever tried. They have a bunch of fun looking mixes, complete with sprinkles and cute names.

Today’s pick was Timid Red, which I mostly reached for because there are little red hearts in it. Cute! In addition to the tea, this mix rocks “Candy (sugar, cornstarch, cellulose gum), natural flavors, sunflower, safflower, [and] calendula.” CANDY AS THE FIRST INGREDIENT?

The flavor itself is mostly vanilla with a kick of grenadine and a very light floral note.

It’s a savory and sweet mix that’s pretty strong, which I love. (Watery tea is the bane of my existence.) I’m not sure why it’s called “Timid Red,” since it’s fairly bold. Maybe the vanilla is supposed to be sweet (ergo timid)?

I disagree with this assessment. I think that this red is a go-getter. It’s SASSY.

The only beef I have with this tea is the company’s slightly confusing branding system. On the sample-size bag, each type of tea comes with an animal symbol instead of one universal Tea Taxi symbol. So my sample came with a stag and “Rouge Timide” on the front, and I had to Google what it was and work my way backwards. I don’t think that the full-size bags have that issue, thankfully.

If you’re reading this, Tea Taxi friends: j’adore votre thé, mais votre emballage est confusant. Merci pour votre temps.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tea Taxi

The delicate aromas of vanilla and pomegranate in this black tea may well remind you of your first pangs of love. Close your eyes and let yourself go…

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Sage Superherb by Republic of Tea. . . .

I steeped this tea five minutes with one tea bag in about one cup of 190 degree water. Although I do normally use loose leaf tea, the convenience of pre-bagged tea is tempting too! Especially when it’s high-quality tea.

After steeping, it’s become a yellowish color and smells a bit pineapple-ish with an undertone of sage. The sage isn’t too overpowering, at least judging by the fragrance.

First sip: Yes, the pineapple may actually be stronger than the sage here. It’s also quite sweet. It has a bit of a stevia flavor, almost. The pineapple flavor blends with the flavor of the sage leaves and, according to the ingredients list, orange leaves as well to create a pleasantly fruity drink. It’s much more palatable than drinking an infusion of straight sage, which is important if you’re going to be drinking this on a regular basis. Yet the woodsy, flowery flavor of the sage does come through as well.

This is listed as an herbal tea for hot flashes, although I wouldn’t know anything about how effective it would be for such a complaint. It’s probably good for colds/sore throats as well; it’s comforting, soothing, and relaxing. Or if you’re looking for a more culinary use it would probably go well with cookies for a snack, although I’m not a tea pairing expert either.

It’s definitely sweet and seems well-balanced in flavor, and whether you end up drinking it on a daily basis or just as an occasional novelty, I hope you’ll be glad you tried it too!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Republic of Tea

As women, we have the power to create and nurture life, all while juggling hormonal changes and external stresses. For centuries, women have relied upon the same powerful herbs found in our organic SuperHerb Teas to keep them balanced, and now they can easily be part of your daily life as well.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Mao Feng from Global Tea Hut. . . . .

My holidays started early with the surprise receipt of  Global Tea Hut’s Magazine and tea tin subscription from Taiwan.

I’m the type of person to read the manual first before trying something new, and was a little worried that this 80 page magazine would require me to brush up on my rusty Mandarin, but there were no parts lost in translation! It was both poetic and relatable, mixing Chinese tea history and culture as well as modern processing techniques used for the very Mao Feng Tea I was about to taste.

This months sample of bright colored organic buds and leaves from China’s Yellow mountain brewed into a clear liquor. After brewing there is an aroma of browned butter and a remarkable hint of sweetness – the lingering scent on a lovers sweater.

The sipping flavor was muted, but the long-lasting, sweet aftertaste was wholly unexpected! This is perhaps the purest tea I’ve ever consumed.

Reading the magazine along with my multiple resteeps, I felt a very meditative connection to this experience. There was even an invitation to contemplate the Personality (qi) of the tea. The care that went into its preparation and the lingering feeling of comfort I felt drinking it, led me to think of this Mao Feng as the embodiment of love. A very special surprise indeed!

When you subscribe, they offer to send a free gift to anyone.  This company has won itself a great deal of my appreciation. I’d highly recommend their subscription for anyone who wants to learn more about teas, or who enjoys non-flavored leaves. Recently they’ve also started an App to connect Tea enthusiasts from around the world.

The tea by itself is a treat, but there is something even more beautiful in making a connection to the growers. It’s exciting and grounding at the same time. Is this Zen?

Here’s the scoop!

Loose Leaf:   Green

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!