Some of my holiday wishes have definitely come true, with lots of delicious holiday tea blends in my cupboard. I was even lucky enough to get a tea advent calendar this year (mine is from Plum Deluxe). With plenty of festive tea brewing in my mug, my tea dreams now turn towards tea accessories.
I feel like I’m taking more pictures of tea than ever (and tagging them with #365daysoftea). My tea leaves would get to show off their color and shape in a clear glass teapot like this one from Bluebird Tea or this one from Teaposy. There’s always something cozy about my favorite ceramic teapot, but having a clear glass teapot would make my tea shelf more elegant, and make for more eye-catching tea pictures in the new year.
Daruma Good Luck Canister
I was looking into fun tea storage options when I came upon the Daruma Good Luck tea canister— with a face! Apparently these canisters have a tradition where their eyes are blank at the beginning. When you first get the canister, add one eye and set a goal for yourself. When you achieve the goal, you can add the other eye. It’s never too late to learn more about tea-related traditions. As we enter the time for resolutions, setting a goal seems like the appropriate thing to do. Maybe I will get some extra motivation from setting the goal with a Daruma’s eyes.
Fortune Telling Teacup
Fortune telling and tea leaves have a long history, but I wasn’t aware of just how many teacups are made just for that divining purpose. There are some great fortune telling teacups on Etsy. I’m enchanted by the aesthetic of these teacups. Some cups are laid out with playing card designs, others have zodiac symbols, some have mysterious pictographs I don’t recognize, and some of the fancier ones have full illustrations. I would probably need some tea-reading lessons along with the teacups before I can really look into my future and plan ahead for the new year.
Whether or not I’ll be telling fortunes in the new year, I will definitely continue brewing tea!
Leaf Type: Herbal/Tisane
Where to Buy: Cupan Tae
A stormy, spicy herbal blend with a breeze of anise taste.
Learn more about this tea here.
This one has a very, very pronounced dry aroma; the leaf practically oozes with the scent of sweet, black licorice! Not licorice root or anise, mind you, but black licorice. While I have no problem with either anise or licorice root – I love black licorice and I’ve found few teas that convey it well.
That love for black licorice probably comes from my Grandpa; before he passed that was his absolute favourite self indulgent treat in the world. He kept huge tins of licorice allsorts by his lazy boy that he’d snack on during Blue Jays games, and he’d buy black jellybeans in bulk and sometimes he’d just let me grab big greedy hand fulls of from the tins. It’s a really good memory I have of him from when I was a child and the smell of the dry leaf of this tea is making me so nostalgic for it. I know there’s not actually black licorice in the blend and it’s a trick that the fennel, combined with the aniseed, is playing on me. But I’m gonna try and be willfully blind to that; because I want this to taste like black licorice.
Hmm, now that this one’s steeped up there’s a very thick, powdery white residue all along the inside of my mug and I can’t figure out why – I’ve never had that issue with any of the listed ingredients I’m familiar with – and the only one I’m not familiar with is ribwort, so unless it’s from the ribwort I can’t explain it. It’s annoying though; almost as bad as gross melted down chocolate goop from blends that use chocolate chips instead of nibs or shells.
Steeped up, sadly, it doesn’t taste like black licorice though. Not in the same way it smells like it, anyway. I do get heavy doses of both fennel and anise flavour which is sweet and delicious, but it’s fairly overtaken by a very dominating savory, herbaceous note and then milder notes of peppermint and a supple fruit note that I suppose could be apple like is listed in the ingredients. Visually I didn’t see any apple in my measured out tea leaf though. That strong savory note tastes very, very weird to me; and I’m wondering if that’s the ribwort leaves. I’ve never had another tea with ribwort leaves and after a very quick Google search I’ve learned that apparently they can have a mushroomy flavour. I have really, really minimal exposure to what mushrooms taste like given that I am pretty allergic to them; any time I’ve had them it’s been really involuntary and, upon realizing I’ve ingested them I’ve had much more pressing things on my mind other than the flavour.
It’s a fascinating experience for me even if it’s not the one I expected to be having and in that regard I’m a little disappointed this isn’t as black licorice-y as I wanted it to be but I also know I was projecting unfair expectations onto the tea. It’s definitely not a bad tea; just so weird. Am I actually tasting mushrooms!? I’d honestly be interested in going back and having this one all over again; I feel like without the expectation of a more licorice-y tea I might be more observant of the herbaceous qualities that are present. Overall, surprisingly sweet and savory!
Where to buy: Tea Forte’
Product Description From Tea Forte:
Our elegant porcelain tea cup ensemble is one of our signature service items. The custom cover keeps tea hot while revealing the leaf of our pyramid infuser. After steeping, remove the lid to enjoy a piping hot, aromatic cup of tea. Each cup is beautifully packaged in a handcrafted wooden box. The cup holds 8 oz.
I must say that I have about 10 Tea Cups that I use often and a few accessories but I am more into purchasing and obsessing about the actual tea than the tea accessories or other products. This Cafe Cup from Tea Forte’ is starting to change my mind about that.
Let’s start from the very beginning of my journey with this product…shall we…
I received it perfectly – and I mean PERFECTLY – packed in an attractive wooden box. Upon opening the box it was very carefully wrapped in matching green tissue paper. Everything was safe and sound. I started unwrapping the contents and first saw the cover and then saw the cup. Both are bone white in color and lightweight.
I’ve always been a “tomboy” and never very “Miss Prissy” but holding this cup and sipping my tea from it made me feel…well..dainty.
The Bone White color of the cup is perfect for those who are intrigued by the liquid color of the tea or for those reviewing tea like me. You can see the actual color very clearly.
The first time I sampled tea in this I did steep a Tea Forte’ pyramid bag in it…White Ginger Pear…as a matter of fact. I used the lid and stitched the trademark Tea Forte’ leafy string thru the top. It held the pyramid bag perfectly in place…even while transport from the “hot water location” to my desk.
Now…I’m not always the most graceful person and did notice that the tea sloshes around in the cup fairly easy. I’m not saying this is good, bad, or indifferent, it’s just something I noticed.
I was showing a friend of mine this little gem and he asked me if it came with a coaster. I thought to myself…self I thought…I bet I could use the lid as a coaster…and so I did!! I don’t think this has ever been recommended but I did it anyways and I will say that it worked out nicely.
I really like this Cafe Cup from Tea Forte’. I really had no idea I would have this much to say about it, but apparently I did.
If you ever come across one of these – check it out!