Adagio Teas is where I credit my loose leaf tea beginnings. They have a variety of teas for both beginners and experts, but their success comes from their lively fandom blend community. There’s a themed-blend for every movie, book, and video game out there. I know I’ve had a great time designing my own flavors, and I’m always interested in trying new blends from other tea lovers.
My favorite summer blend of late has been Forest Friend by Leslie Kiesler. This blend is a homage to the main creature in the film, My Neighbor Totoro, of Studio Ghibli fame. To me, Forest Friend is tea-blending at its best. It is mixed from Adagio’s white strawberry, white pear, and rooibos jasmine flavors. On their own, none of these teas are really my favorite: I found the strawberry to be a bit too sweet, the pear to be a bit too earthy, and the rooibos jasmine to be overwhelming floral. But when mixed together in these proportions, I can’t seem to get enough of this tea. It’s magical, like finding out you have a big fuzzy, forest friend as your neighbor.
I prefer this blend iced, with our without sugar depending on my mood. This is a blend mainly made up of white tea leaves, so keep your water temperatures a little cooler than usual to avoid any harsh notes. The strawberry makes this a delectable summer blend, almost like sugary kool-aid, but the pear and white tea gives the sweetness just enough grounding that it doesn’t become too much like candy. The rooibos jasmine is amazing when added to a blend in smaller quantities. It adds some tart, herbal rooibos flavors, and relaxing floral overtones. There are even blue cornflowers and golden marigold flowers in the dry leaf to make the blend look vibrant in my pitcher as it brews.
Top off the great taste with Leslie’s cute label on the tin and you’ll realize why it is so hard to resist this blend. Forest Friend is always in my wish list for when summertime comes around and I need a sweet, magical way to cool down and brighten my day.