Category Archives: teashop

Wear your tea.

This morning my knitting and tea partner in crime Ana sent me a link to these delightful teapot leggings:

teapot

Teapot Leggings by Kim Ver Vuur, available at Redbubble.com for $49.40

I totally need a pair for lounging around. You can also get her delightful teapot and teacup designs on a variety of merchandise. Check it out!

Advertisements

DrinkMe: Shang Tea, Cinnamon Wu-long

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go on a work errand to a local tea shop, Shang Tea, located in Crown Center. While there, an amazing staff member offered us tastes of several different teas. The shop is very welcoming – there are tables and benches and you can come in an order a pot of tea or just sample the day’s offerings.

Although I was purchasing some supplies for work, I couldn’t resist leaving without a little goodie bag for myself, the contents of which I plan to review in the coming weeks.

Today’s tea is Cinnamon Wu-long.

From the website, this blend is 100% white tea and cinnamon.

It is available in a variety of sizes: 1oz for $12, 2oz for $22, 4oz for $42, 8oz for $84 and 1lb for $165.

When I opened the bag, this one smelled heavily of cinnamon. When I brewed it, the cinnamon smell faded somewhat and there was an almost nutty aroma from the tea.  The resulting tea was a little bit smoky, with a cinnamon aftertaste. It was far more subtle than the teas I usually drink, but I really enjoyed it.

I also have to say, I can’t wait to go back and sample some more teas! I’ll share a few more with you next time.

A Very Downton Par-tea

I just received the new Republic of Tea catalog and I was delighted to find more Downton Abby inspired teas are now available.

The Upstairs Collection includes:

The Upstairs Collection, Republic of Tea, $28.95

 

If you’re looking for something else to include with a gift, perhaps a delicate tea cup?

Flora & Fauna Tea Cup and Saucer, Republic of Tea, $39.95

 

The Downstairs Collection includes:

The Downstairs Collection, Republic of Tea, $28.95

 

For an additional splurge, maybe the Brown Betty Teapot?

Brown Betty Teapot, Republic of Tea, $44.95

 

Tourism: United Kingdom Tea Rooms

A friend of mine was kind enough to point out that Buzzfeed has published a delightful tour just for me: 21 Absolutely Charming Tea Rooms You Have to Visit Before You Die.

I can hardly decide which one I would visit first:

#1 The Bat’s Wing Tea Room, Isle of Wight

The Bat’s Wing Tea Room, Isle of Wight, Flickr: garryknight / Via Creative Commons

#8 Bettys, Harrogate

Bettys, Harrogate, Flickr: neilt / Via Creative Commons

#13 The Three Sheep Tea Rooms, Skipton

The Three Sheep Tea Rooms, Skipton, teawithmarykate.wordpress.com

#21 Tu Hwnt l’r Bont Tearoom, Conwy

Tu Hwnt l’r Bont Tearoom, Conwy, Flickr: spuddebs / Via Creative Commons

A very Downton Tea Party

I only recently learned that as part of 2013’s Black Friday celebrations World Market had a whole Downton Abbey themed tea party event. I can’t believe I missed it!

Perhaps my favorite part were the beautiful mugs they gave away as part of the Black Friday promotions.  They don’t have any more, so you’ll have to resort to eBay like I did to get one.  It’s a beautiful white ceramic mug with gold detailing and the Downton Abbey logo.

World Market also paired with the Republic of Tea to come up with three very special Downton Abbey tea blends. I was able to pick these two up last week at my local World Market, but they’re limited edition so you’ll have to be quick. I noticed they’re still available on the World Market site, as well as at PBS.

I was able to get both the Estate Tea Blend and the English Rose Tea. Sadly the local World Market was already sold out of the Grantham Breakfast Tea.

  • Estate Tea Blend – Classic Earl Grey black tea is blended with bergamot, orange oil and exotic vanilla.
  • English Rose Tea – A bright fusion of rose, raspberry and hibiscus leaves.
  • Grantham Breakfast Tea – Organic Assam black tea is blended with organic ginger root.

Of course if you’re feeling like getting crafty at your tea party, you could always knit a Downton Abbey inspired knit.

How about the Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer?

Lucy Hat, Carina Spencer, $5.00 (pattern)

Or the Stunning Sunflower Lace Stole by Galina Khmeleva:

Stunning Sunflower Lace Stole, Galina Khmeleva, part of The Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits, $14.99 (magazine of patterns)

Or the Half Day off Mitts by Sara Lamb?

image_medium2

Half Day off Mitts, Sara Lamb, The Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits, $14.99 (magazine of patterns)

Teashop: David’s Tea

I don’t remember who first told me about David’s Tea but I was excited to place and order with them. It wasn’t until after I had already ordered that I realized that they were located in Canada and it would take a little extra time to receive my box.  Even so I was pleasantly surprised that it arrived in about a week and a half, smelling delicious.

For the most part I didn’t order samplers, but instead ordered 50g packages, most of which ranged from $7-8.  I was also curious to try the Agave that they sell, so you can imagine I hit that $50 for free shipping (even internationally!) pretty quickly.

So far I cannot stop smelling the teas – they are so aromatic.  I’m reviewing the first for you tomorrow so stay tuned!

Drink Me: Tea Market, Birthday Tea

Almost all of the shopping I do these days, tea and yarn included, is primarily online. However, you just can’t beat going to a local tea (or yarn) store to get to view, smell, or touch the goods in person.  I was excited to learn that there is a little tea shop in Brookside, a neighborhood in Kansas City and that it was right near work.

Tea Market, Brookside (Kansas City, Missouri)

Last week a coworker and I went over at lunch time to check out the Tea Market, and I have to say we were not disappointed.

The store is super cute and staffed by the friendly owner. She personally selects and blends about 100 tea varieties in the store, as well as selling a really good selection of prepackaged teas and accessories (mugs, paper filters, infusers of various sorts, teapots, etc).

The loose leaf tea is set up in canisters on one wall. Each canister contains a description of the ingredients in the tea and a price per ounce. There’s also a tiny smelling jar for each canister so you can view and smell what you’re selecting. My coworker and I stood there for several minutes just smelling and enjoying the varieties.

Once you select what you would like, the owner weighs and packages it in either a foil ziplock pouch (1oz) or a tin (2oz and up).  She also told me that if I bring the tin back, she’ll re-use it for my next order and take 10% off the price.

I purchased several teas which you’ll see here over the course of the next few weeks.

Today’s selection, Birthday Tea is described as a celebratory blend of black tea with raspberry, passion fruit and marigolds.  I purchased a 2oz tin for $4.00 an ounce.

When I smelled this tea it smelled fruity and sweet and reminded me of tea party cakes.  I could definitely smell the raspberry and there was something else unidentifiable.  Once brewed it still smelled deliciously sweet and fruity. I wish I had a full ingredients list so I could tell you more of what is in this tea. I can identify the marigold flowers, and there are also some pretty blue flowers that turned pink when steeped in hot water.  The tea did not disappoint – it was a good black tea, but also had a sweet, tart and fruity taste. I’m betting this would be fabulous iced in the summer.

Drink Me: Adagio Teas, Almond Oolong

A few weeks ago I ordered a variety of samples from Adagio. One of the things I ordered was the Oolong Orchard sampler pack (4 teas, 2 ounces, $7).  I was very excited to try and Almond Oolong in particular.

You can purchase the Almond Oolong in a few different sizes: a half ounce sample for $2 (makes approximately 5 cups of tea), 2 ounces for $6 or a full pound for $29.

The tea is pretty pure: it contains Taiwanese Oolong tea and natural almond flavor. When I opened the package it smelled SO good – like amaretto and marzipan, nutty and sweet.

After I brewed it the aroma was milder, but still definitely almond.  The tea was sweet and nutty, very light and dessert-like. I would definitely recommend trying this one if you enjoy almond flavoring.

Drink Me: Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co., Blood Orange

About a year ago, I participated in a swap with someone in the United Kingdom and she sent me some tea from the The Kent & Sussex Tea & Coffee Co.   She actually sent me two flavors, but for today I’ll only discuss one, the Blood Orange Black Tea.

From the package, this blend contains both China and Ceylon teas, with orange peel and red safflowers.

When I opened the package I was surprised at how pretty the blend was – you can see the chunks of orange peel and the little bits of red safflower.

This tea is available in various size packets: 50g for £1.86 (~$3.08 as of the writing of this post), 125g for £3.40 ($5.64), 250g for £6.12 ($10.15), 500g for £11.25 ($18.66) or 1 Kilo for £21.40 ($35.49).  I also played around a little and added a few 50g samples to my cart and even international postage appears to be reasonable.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the packet was the tangy smell of orange peel.  However, after I had poured the hot water in, the aroma I noticed most was the safflower.  It gave the black tea a flowery, almost honeyed smell.

I was a little afraid that the flowery aroma would overpower the tea, and I think it did a little bit. It was a good strong black tea, but I didn’t get much orange out of it and I found the safflower a little much for my tastes.  If you like more herbal/flower blends you might want to try this.  I chose my standard sweetener, about half a packet of Splenda, but I think it would also might work well with a little honey.

Drink Me: Adagio Teas, Glow Cloud.

I’m going to start with a tin of tea I actually bought a few months before starting this whole project.  In October of last year, I was involved in an online swap through Ravelry, a social network site for knitters.  The swap was themed around one of my favorite podcasts, Welcome to Nightvale.

In one of the forums there, someone mentioned the The Town We Do Not Speak Of signatures tea collection at Adagio Teas.  As I understand it, Adagio allows users to create their own signature blends of tea.  Some users also decide to create artwork to go with their teas and then make them available to other users as well. In this case one user created 10 teas as part of her signature collection.  For the adventurous, Adagio offers the collection of 10 as a sampler set, including the mini tins for $39.

The Town We Do Not Speak Of sampler set, Adagio Teas, $39

I read through the ingredients in each of the teas and decided to order just one that sounded appealing, Glow Cloud.  The selection was offered in either a 3oz pouch for $10 or a 6oz tin for $24.  What can I say? I really wanted that tin.

Per the Adagio website the signature blend contains green tea, white tea, pu erh dante, orange peels, marigold flowers, apricots, natural mandarin flavor, natural peach flavor and is accented with cranberry and hibiscus.

The first thing I smelled when I opened this tin was the delicate scent of peach. I could see bits of orange peel, cranberry and hibiscus leaves.  I let the tea steep about 2 minutes before drinking and when it was done I was very pleased.

Overall, it tasted tangy and sweet.  I could taste the green tea, but it was subtle, and the citrus and peach flavors definitely came through. I have now drunk this one several times.  It is great as an afternoon pick-me-up and I can see this being a favorite I keep in the collection.