Many, many months ago (I’m ashamed to count how many) my friend Ana brought me a few bags of Tea-Historic tea that she had picked up at a local festival. I pulled them out for sampling in the next few weeks and went to the website to do more research and learned that Tea-Historic is closing up shop! That will teach me to delay in reviewing.
The first tea I wanted to review was Tea-Historic Cretaceous Cinnamon. From the package, Cretaceous Cinnamon contains Assam black tea, and cinnamon sticks.
Tea-Historic teas are available in 1oz increments for $6 per ounce.
When I opened the package I was interested to see big chunks of cinnamon sticks in with the black tea. The tea itself smelled wonderfully of cinnamon, both before and after brewing. It was a delightfully strong black tea, with the taste of warm (but not spicy) cinnamon. It was perfect for a mid-afternoon cup.
From the website, the Capital Blend is a blend of Assam, Kenyan and Ceylon teas. They consider it a Scottish Breakfast Blend.
Capital Blend is available in 1oz increments for $3.00 per ounce.
When I opened the package I smelled a good strong black tea. Once brewed, the tea was a smooth finishing black. I brewed it strong for my morning kickstart, and added just a touch of sugar. It was full bodied without a bitter finish and I really enjoyed it. I would definitely order more.
This past week I became smitten with a gorgeous sweater called Assam. It turns out it is the newest release from Tabetha Hedrick and is part of the new Sweet Georgia collection of patterns called High Tea.
The full collection which includes an additional sweater, a shawl, and a hat (for a total for 4 patterns) is available for $15.00 Canadian via Ravelry.
A few weeks ago I posted about a beautiful necklace that I wanted to purchase from Churchmouse Yarn & Teas. As long as I was placing an order I had to try some of their tea. I ordered a package of Blend No. 512, Churchmouse Winter.
Per the site, Winter is a blend of Assam, Ceylon and China Yunnan teas with a hint of summer fruit.
Winter is available in either sachets (15 for $16.50) or loose leave in 4oz for $14.00.
When I first opened the package I smelled the smoky Yunnan and a fruity smell. Once brewed I got more of the black tea. The tea itself was lovely – a great strong, full bodied brew with just a hint of sweetness, perfect for an afternoon cup. I highly encourage you to add a cookie to the snack while you’re at it. I will definitely be keeping this in my collection.
From the website this is a blend of Ceylon and Assam teas with mango, cinnamon and passionfruit.
It is available in a variety of sizes: 50g for $5.25, 100g for $$10.50 and 250g for $23.63.
When I first opened the package I got a whiff of cinnamon and something tropical. These aromas only intensified as I brewed the tea. The tea itself was a good strong brew, and the cinnamon, mango and passionfruit just added an extra bit of sweetness and spice. I really liked this one quite a bit.
Readers and friends often ask if I only drink flavored teas since that seems to be so much of what I review here. The simple answer is that the flavored teas are fun to try, but there’s also nothing like a strong cup of black tea. Today I’m sipping Irish Breakfast tea from Harney & Sons.
From the site, Irish Breakfast is 100% Assam tea.
It is available in a variety of sizes: sample for $2.00, 4oz tin for $6.25, 8oz tin for $11.50 and 1lb bag for $19.00, in addition to boxes and tins of sachets in various amounts.
When I opened the tea it smelled like a smooth mellow Assam. I brewed and added a bit of sugar. I was impressed by the deep reddish orange color of the brew. The taste was as I expected, rich and strong. I know many of you would love to add milk to this one. This was a great way to start the day!
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:
- Lady Cora’s Evening Tea: Lemon balm, linden flower, orange blossoms, chamomile, lavender flower, skullcap, passion flower and valerian root
- Grantham Breakfast Tea: Organic Assam Black Tea
If you’re looking for something else to include with a gift, perhaps a delicate tea cup?
The Downstairs Collection includes:
- Mrs. Patmore’s Pudding Tea: Black tea, sweet blackberry leaves, carob bits, natural caramel and vanilla flavor
- Bates’ Brambleberry Tea: Fine black tea, natural berry flavors, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry and blueberry bits
For an additional splurge, maybe the Brown Betty Teapot?
One of my favorite things about starting this blog has been finding out which of my friends are interested in tea and getting a few of them more interested in tea. This has led to some awesome tea exchanges and I’ve gotten to try so many new ones through them!
This past weekend my friend Ana of The Well-Appointed Desk came over for a little bit of knitting time and brought with her a few bags of tea for me to try. I settled down to try Eleven today, Adagio Tea’s signature blend for Matt Smith, the Eleventh doctor on Dr. Who.
From the website, the tea is a blend of black tea, assam melody, natural vanilla flavor, dried coconut and apple pieces.
It’s available in a sample tin for $4, a 3oz pouch for $10, a 5oz tin for $19 and as part of the Dr. Who Sampler Set (1 of 6 tins) for $19.
When I opened the bag I could smell the coconut and apple. Once brewed I mostly smelled the Assam. The taste was as promised: “unfailingly sweet and as strong as you could ask for.” It was perfect for a mid-afternoon sip and paired beautifully with some Trader Joe’s Almond Windmill Cookies leftover from the weekend’s knitting party!
Several weeks ago a friend asked me if I had any recommendations for a good Assam tea. The fact was I had no idea where to start. So when I placed an order from Mighty Leaf, I decided to try their Organic Assam Estate.
From the website the Organic Assam Estate is “black tea from the renowned Satrupa estate in Assam, India, [and] is delicate and slightly sweet, with a hint of Swiss chocolate.”
The tea is available in a 4oz size for $15.95 and in a 1lb size for $49.95.
When I first opened the package I smelled a rich earthy smell, slight sweet in tone. Even though I tend to like flavored tea blends quite a bit, I was intrigued by the aroma. I brewed this one up strong, but added some sugar for sweetness. Once brewed it was a good strong smelling tea. The taste was very much what I expected: pure full-bodied black tea. I think I lack the words to properly describe how Assam tea differs from other black tea varieties, but there is something characteristic about it and this was a really nice once. A good go to, or perhaps one to blend with other flavors?
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?
Or the Half Day off Mitts by Sara Lamb?