Lavender Dream from Dave and Solomons Tea

Dave and Solomons are a mother and son tea blending company, currently selling their indie creations on their Etsy store. I hadn’t come across them before this sample arrived with me, but it’s always nice to discover a new tea company, if a little dangerous for the bank account!

lavender-dreams2Lavender Dream is a fruit and herbal blend, combining the sweet fruitiness of peach with the light floral of lavender. It sounds a little odd to begin with, but I was pleased to discover that they’re actually two flavours which work incredibly well together. The dry leaf itself is incredibly pretty, with dark pink rose petals, bright blue cornflowers, and purple lavender buds, plus large (1-2cm square) chunks of dried papaya.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 5 minutes in boiling water. The result is a medium orange-brown liquor, which smells wonderful and which filled the entire kitchen with the scent of fuzzy peach.  To taste, it’s very much as you might expect. The peach isn’t particularly natural-tasting, hence “fuzzy” peach, but it’s strong and incredibly juicy, and I’m more than happy with that. The lavender is definitely playing second fiddle here, not really making itself known until very much the end of the sip. When it does, it’s a pleasant counterpoint to the sweetness of the peach, adding a delicate floral flavour, and just a hint of perfume.

I expected this one to be a lot heavier on the lavender, given that it’s called Lavender Dream. Having tasted it, I feel Peach Dream lavenderdreams3would be a much more appropriate name, because it is primarily a peach flavoured tea. I’m not the biggest fan of floral teas, particularly when they’re herbal blends, but in this case it shouldn’t put you off. The lavender really isn’t very prominent, but the contribution it makes is balancing one, and pleasant to boot.

As  this is a  caffeine free blend, it’ll likely be making a regular appearance in my evening rotation for a good long while to come. I love the juicy peach notes, and I’d actually like to try this one iced (although I might have to wait until summer, or a rare warm day, for that now.) I’ll definitely be trying more blends from Dave and Solomons Tea in the future on the strength of this experience. There’s certainly some skilled blending going on!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Fruit/Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy: Dave and Solomons Tea
Description

Yummy peach cubes with organic lavender, rose petals, marigold & cornflower petals. MMMM Soooo good!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate & Strawberry Puerh from Lupicia

ChocolateStrawberryPuerhTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Puerh

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Tea Description:

Decadent with chocolate on the nose, finishing with the juicy tart flavor of ripe strawberries. The rich flavors of puer tea and chocolate also work wonderfully with milk.

Learn more about this tea here

Taster’s Review:

I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest fan of puerh. It’s one of those teas that my tastebuds can’t seem to enjoy. Most of the puerh teas I’ve tried seemed too dusty, earthy and the very worst, fishy! I’ve personally found that there are so many teas out there that I enjoy more so I haven’t gone out of my way to find puerh. I have high hopes for this blend, though, as it’s supposed to have notes of chocolate and strawberry. Lupicia does fruit flavoring quite well, in my experience, so I bet this will be a tasty cup.

Ooh, this is lovely! The beginning of the sip offers a strong chocolate flavor and a bright strawberry. It reminds me a little bit of a melted chocolate bar with strawberry jam. How delicious! The puerh is actually so far in the background that I can’t truly taste it. I suppose it does come out at the end of the sip as something a bit dry and dark. If I gulp the tea, the puerh does become more present. This is where the blend falls flat.. but only because I don’t like puerh. Hah! The tea base does work with the flavorings, though.

I recommend this tea for anyone who loves the combination of strawberry and chocolate. Lupicia could not have made a more perfect blend of the two. Those who enjoy puerh might be a little disappointed as it’s not terribly strong, but really.. it’s all about the chocolate and strawberry!

Revisiting a Product Review: The One-Touch Tea Maker from Breville

UntitledWhere to Buy:  Breville USA

Product Description:

The new Breville Tea Maker is a revolutionary tea experience. The fully automated tea basket moves down, then up, gently agitating the leaves to precisely infuse your tea. Push the basket button and watch the basket cycle in and out of immersion. Seeing is believing.

Learn more about this product here.

Product Review:

Yeah, I know I reviewed this before.  I’m revisiting this product because if you’ve been reading my recent posts, you are aware that I recently had a tragedy involving my beloved One-Touch Tea Maker:  I broke the carafe or “jug” as it’s called by the manufacturer, Breville.

I was devastated.  I was so depressed about it that I failed to write reviews for a few days.

This appliance – seriously! – is my most used appliance in the household, second only to the refrigerator.  The refrigerator counts as the most used only because it’s always running.  But, I operate my Breville One-Touch more often than I use the stove or washing machine or toaster or any other appliance besides the one appliance that needs to be plugged in and running constantly.

So, when I broke the carafe, I was heart-broken.  I’ve had this appliance for four years now and had become dependent upon it.  It not only brews my black and green teas as well as tisanes perfectly, but, it also heats water to the perfect temperature so that I can brew Oolong, yellow and white teas properly.  (I brew Oolong and Yellow teas in my gaiwan and my white teas are steeped in a separate teapot because I find that the bulk of the white tea leaves works better in a ceramic teapot.)  How was I supposed to heat water now?  Ack!

Yeah, I know.  #FirstWorldProblems right?  Or maybe it should be #SpoiledTeaBloggerProblems.

Anyway, I broke the carafe on a Sunday.  I visited the Breville website where the parts and accessories are sold.  And there, I could buy a replacement lid, the power base, basket, basket lid, even the cute little tea scoop that comes with the unit.  But the jug was no where to be found on the website.  What?  How could that be?  I sent off a customer inquiry email to inquire about how I could go about getting a replacement carafe.

By the next day, my devastation has turned into despair, so rather than waiting and hoping for a reply from the inquiry email, I called the customer service line the next day only to learn that the reason they don’t sell the jugs is that it’s not cost efficient.  It’s a complex piece of equipment, and apparently it would be too expensive for them to manufacture them for sale.  My option at that point was to buy another unit.

My husband assured me that we’d get another one, after all, he knew how important it was to me.  (I have a pretty good hubby, even though he doesn’t always understand my obsession with tea.)

Later that Monday afternoon, I received a call from the customer service department of Breville, and it was as though a ray of glorious sunshine shone down on my doom and despair!  They offered to send me a refurbished One-Touch Tea Maker at no charge to me if I sent them my still in working condition power base.  So, I sent them my power base, and I was notified immediately by email that my “order” was being processed.  My new (well, refurbished!) Tea Maker arrived a week later and now I’m brewing tea again!  Yay!  A happy ending to my depressing tale.

There are two reasons why I am revisiting this review:

  1. In its absence, I was reminded of just how awesome the Breville One-Touch really is.  If you are a frequent tea drinker – if you drink more than one or two cups of tea a day, you really SHOULD get yourself one of these remarkable appliances.  You will love it.  Yeah, I know there’s a certain charm to brewing tea the old fashioned way, but, once you realize how much more tea you will enjoy with one of these devices … you will be happy you got one for yourself.  It’s the best thing invented since Shennong had a few leaves from a tea tree fall into his cup of hot water.  (Check out that story here.)
  2. I really felt I needed to comment on Breville’s spectacular customer service!  Hey, they didn’t HAVE to send me a refurbished unit at no cost.  I had my Breville for four years!  And I used it every single day of those four years, save a day or two when we might have been on a day trip or something (we haven’t been on vacation in a while!)  I am BIG on customer service.  I refuse to buy another Samsung product because I received shoddy service from them many years ago.  And by the same token, if I find a company that treats me well, I’m going to be sharing my story of love for that company to anyone who will listen.  I love Breville, and when I buy other products (I need a blender soon as well as a food processor!) I’m going to be looking for Breville because I know they’re a brand I can trust.

Thank you Breville!  Thank you for your exceptional customer service!  You have a customer for life!

Rooibos Garden Tea from Urban Tea

Tea Type: Rooibos

Where To Buy: Urban Tea

Product Description:

Handcrafted, naturally caffeine-free, organically grown Rooibos Garden blends South African Rooibos with sweet coconut and sun-kissed lavender. Nutrient rich, Rooibos is commonly consumed as a cure all for stomach aches, digestion aid, sleep and relaxation aid, promoting healthy skin and providing relief from allergies.

Ingredients

  • Organic Rooibos, organic coconut, organic lavender, organic natural flavoring.
  • Origin: South Africa, USA

Tasters Review:

This is my first encounter with Urban Tea and I am very excited about it!

Rooibos Garden has a powerful aroma and taste.  The aroma is mostly Coconut and Lavender.  And the taste is first and foremost Coconut and then the Lavender jumps in fairly fast after that first pop of coconut.

The rooibos flavor isn’t as intense as most rooibos can be but it still contributes to the natural sweetness to the taste…without it I think the floral notes could be bitter and the coconut more intense. With all of these ingredients together it seems to all meet in the middle quite nicely!

I will say that I prefer this one is better HOT than COLD.

If you are looking for an aromatic tea – give this one a whirl.  The Lavender is VERY relaxing…perfect for the end of a day!