Blog Archives

Drink Me: Tea Embassy, Secret Garden

Another tea I picked up in my last Tea Embassy order was their Secret Garden blend.

From the website, Secret Garden contains Pai Mu Tan, Darjeeling and Chinese green teas, sencha, dragonwell, gunpowder, jasmine jade pearls, candied mango bits, candied pineapple bits, orange peels, strawberry bits, red currants, sour cherry bits and apricot bits.

Secret Garden is available at $6.50 per ounce in 1oz, 2oz, 4oz, 8oz and 1lb packages.

When I first opened the package, I got the overwhelming tropical scent of the mango and pineapple. As it brewed I also detected the cherry and strawberry scents.   The tea itself was light and fruity.  The blend didn’t taste strongly of any of the actual teas: I didn’t get a black tea feel from it, and the green tea was very light and not grassy.  Overall, it was a really nice light fruity blend. I think it would be fantastic iced and I really enjoyed it.

Drink Me: Tea Runners, Creme de la Berry Green

A second tea that I got from my last Tea Runners box was Creme de la Berry Green, which actually comes from Simpson & Vail from whom I have recently purchased tea.

From the website, Creme de la Berry Green contains green tea, organic cacao nibs, flavoring and strawberry fruit pieces.

It’s available in a variety of sizes: 2oz for $4.15, 4oz for $7.20, 8oz for $13.20, or 1lb for $26.40.

When I opened the package, the first thing I could smell were the strawberries; it was like they were sweet and tart and fresh in the package.  The tea itself was light without a grassy taste, and the strawberry flavor really came through. I didn’t get as much of the chocolate taste, but I was so delighted with the strawberry flavor that I don’t care.  I can’t wait to try this one iced as summer rolls around!

Drink Me: Lana’s The Little House, Chautauqua Blend

A few weeks ago I received an unexpected package in the mail from Lana’s The Little House.  Worried that I might be tea shopping in my sleep, I opened the box with a bit of trepidation. What I found inside was a lovely note from Lana herself.

Apparently when I reviewed my previous order I had noted that one of the samples I received was fairly light. Now I have gone back and looked carefully at the current site and there doesn’t seem to be a defined amount for the sample size, so I guess I must have been comparing that particular sample to the other one that I ordered and also reviewed.  Regardless, this surprise package contained a note from Lana apologizing for the small size of the sample and as well as a few other samples of her tea to try.  I don’t think an apology was necessary, but I appreciate the thought and thank Lana for her excellent customer service.

I received two teas in this package: Fredonia Blue & White and Chautauqua Blend.  Today I’ve chosen to review the latter.

Chautauqua Blend contains black tea with a combination of strawberry bits, raspberry bits, orange peels, and other fruit flavors.

It is available in a variety of sizes including 4oz for $12.00 and sample size for $3.oo.

When I opened the package I smelled the berry flavor and it reminded me of summer.  Once brewed I got more of the black tea aroma, but it still smelled like summer fruits.  The tea was smooth with just a hint of sweet. It was delightful as an afternoon cup of tea, but I also think it would be wonderful iced in the summer months.

Again, I would like to thank Lana for her thoughtful package and I encourage you to try some of her offerings (including her Snowflake Tea which I love!).

Drink Me: Plum Deluxe, Strawberry Orange Herbal

As you know, I recently ordered a few teas from Plum Deluxe.  Another tea in this order was Strawberry Orange Herbal Tea.  This tea is actually from their “blooper” section and is offered at a sale price.  The reason it is a blooper is because a large customer ordered a special blend and then didn’t end up purchasing the blend. Their loss is my gain!

From the label,  Strawberry Orange Herbal contains honeybush tea, hibiscus, rose hips, orange peel, apple pieces, strawberry pieces and raspberry leaves.

Strawberry Orange Herbal is available in limited quantities for $3.50 an ounce.

When I first opened the package I could smell the strawberry and the apple most strongly.  Once brewed I got more of the hibiscus scent, along with the berry and orange flavors. I did add just a touch of sugar, but this one is fruity and sweet enough I’m sure I could have gone without.  This was excellent both hot and cold – just a fruity, refreshing summer drink. If it sound good hurry or you may miss it!

Drink Me: Tehörnan, Maja Gräddnos

About a month or so ago I had the privilege of doing an exchange with a knitter in Sweden. We exchanged local yarns and local teas. She sent me a delightful blend from Tehörnan called Maja Gräddnos.  I couldn’t find this exact tea on the site, but I did note that they had a variety of other wonderful looking teas.

With the help of Google Translate, the label on the package says the Maja blend contains black tea, strawberry, black currants, and vanilla.

The blend Maja, according to my Swedish friend, is named for a cartoon cat, Maja.

The tea is a delightfully berry flavored black tea. I added just a bit of sugar and it’s sweet but not overpowering. This is definitely one I will savor for some time to come, my own little piece of Sweden.

Drink Me: Republic of Tea, Hibiscus Sangria

The second iced tea that I ordered from Republic of Tea was Hibiscus Sangria.

Hibiscus Sangria contains hibiscus, apple bits, sweet blackberry leaves, orange peel, natural orange, lemon, lime and strawberry flavors.

It is available in a tin which contains 8 pouches (to make 8 quarts of tea) for $6.99.

The tea itself is refreshing. I can taste the sweet hibiscus but the orange peel with lemon and lime give it a bit of a citrus tang that makes it not too sweet. I’d be eager to add fruit and maybe a splash of wine to it and see how that jazzed it up, but I did enjoy drinking it plain as well.

Drink Me: Republic of Tea, Organic Strawberry Basil Green Tea

I decided with summer rapidly approaching (we’re already getting the humidity!) it was time to check out some iced teas.  I placed an order with Republic of Tea, eager to try their Organic Strawberry Basil Green Tea blend.

From the label, Strawberry Basil contains organic green tea, organic apple, organic sweet blackberry leaves, organic basil, organic lemon balm, natural strawberry flavor and organic strawberry bits.

It is available in a tin which contains 8 pouches (to make 8 quarts of tea) for $7.99.

When I opened the tin it smelled like fresh strawberries – a scent that only grew as I brewed the tea.  I added just a bit of sugar and it tastes delightful. I don’t get a lot of the basil or the lemon balm, but I do get plenty of strawberry goodness. The tea is light, fruity and a bit sweet and I think it will make a delightful addition to my summer iced tea rotation.

Will you be my Valentine?

If you’re still looking for a gift for your Valentine, might I suggest a mug and some tea?

I was in Barnes & Noble last week and I saw these delightful mugs that would be perfect for you and your love:

Barnes & Noble, Be Mine Mug, $7.95

Barnes & Noble, I’m Yours Mug, $7.95

As for tea, I can heartily suggest David’s Tea Love Tea #7 (review here):

Two weeks ago on the podcast I got to try a sample of The Republic of Tea Downton Abbey Crawley Sisters Tea which tastes of chocolate and strawberries and was delicious.

Finally, I haven’t tried it yet, but I see that Harney & Sons has a Valentine’s Blend that includes chocolate tea and rosebuds.

valentine-tin-web

Happy steeping!

Drink Me: Upton Tea, Black Wild Berry

A few weeks ago I got a sale email from Upton Tea and I just couldn’t resist picking up a few things.  The first thing on my list was the Black Tea Wild Berry.

From the website, the blend contains China black tea with blueberry and strawberry flavors.

It is available in a variety of sizes: 12g sample for $1.50, 100g packet for $8.80, 200g packet for $16.72, 400g packet for $32.60 and 800g bag for $61.60.

 

When I first opened the bag I have to say that I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the smell. While I could sort of smell the berry flavors, it also reminded me a bit of cough syrup, which was a total detractor. Once I brewed the tea, it tasted like a black tea with a hint of berry. However, it never lost that orginal aroma and my sense of smell is too closely linked to taste, so this one will be a pass for me in the future. Your mileage may vary!

Drink Me: Capital Teas, White Cosmo Organic

The final tea I ordered from Capital Teas was the White Cosmo Organic.

From the website, the blend contains: organic white tea, organic rosehips, organic blueberries, organic raspberries, organic schizandra berries, organic strawberries, organic and hibiscus flowers, natural lychee and plum flavors, and organic white tea with jasmine.

It comes in a variety of sizes: 2oz for $16.00, 4oz for $32.00, 8oz for $60.80, 1lb for $115.20 and 2lbs for $217.60.

Based on the description of the ingredients I expected to really like this tea, but my first impression when I opened the bag to take the photographs was that it was overly flowery.  When I opened it a second time to make a cup, I got more of the hibiscus and fruity smell. Once brewed the tea was mild, with a bit of a tangy hibiscus/berry taste. Overall, it was ok but it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be.