This afternoon I felt like getting woke — both energetically and politically — so I chose Lion’s Blend from Friday Afternoon Tea.
This tea is essentially an Earl Grey with added rooibos & orange. The rooibos in Lion’s Blend gives a nice vanilla/sweetness that balances out its citrus/bergamot flavors. (I’m a huge fan of red rooibos, which I think throws in creaminess and joy to any cup.) Despite the rooibos, I still find this blend a little astringent. I like it, but it’s not on my must-have re-buy list.
However, I’m super happy I bought this blend because the proceeds go to an important charity that assists trans people with getting their mental health needs met (https://seattle.eater.com/2020/6/8/21284453/seattle-cafe-friday-afternoon-tea-donates-trans-mental-health-funds-jk-rowling). All of Friday Afternoon’s Harry Potter themed (https://fridaytea.com/collections/j-k-rowling) teas’ proceeds go there.
For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with a children’s book writer from 20 years ago, Jo (J. K.) Rowling has been saying a lot of transphobic things. You can Google it if you want. It’s mean stuff.
Friday Afternoon Tea saw this and decided to use its teas and the fans of her work to show that the fandom is progressive and kind! I love this. It’s a win-win situation.
It’s possible to love someone’s work without loving them. I also feel this way about horror/fantasy author HP Lovecraft. (He was really, REALLY racist. He thought Hitler had some good ideas.) It’s possible for people to be geniuses in one way but very, very behind in others.
That’s where this tea comes in.
Thanks, tea. You always give me balance in a crazy world.
Want to Know More About This Tea?
Leaf Type: Black/Rooibos
Where to Buy: Friday Afternoon
Lions, tigers, and griffins, oh my! This tea is dedicated to our bold, righteous Gryffindor brethren. They can find courage and happiness in the darkest of places, especially when bolstered by the bright citrus notes in this tea!
Ingredients: Rooibos, Assam black tea, orange peel, marigold, natural flavorings
All of our teas available online are gluten-free and sourced from organically certified farms. Most are vegan, but some may include honey (indicated in ingredients).
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Valentine’s Day, the Hallmark holiday. A wonderful time to celebrate those you love with flowers and cards and chocolates and gifts. Red and pink hearts abound. All the while, intelligent companies bank on this commercial goldmine, like Lindt which sells the same Milk Chocolate Lindor Balls you can get year-round but in a heart-shaped box and with an inflated price tag. DAVIDsTEA is no stranger to the Valentine’s Day game and lucky for us that means new Valentine’-inspired teas to try. That and cute heart-shaped tea tins for those hoping to impress their tea-loving sweethearts.
The Earl’s Valentine is a returning Valentine’s Day blend that was sold last year to a great deal of popularity. It is branded as a black early grey based tea, but there are more chocolate curls and rosebuds in the dry mix than actual tea leaf. It is made with roasted carob, black tea, chocolate pieces, rose buds, cornflower petals, natural and artificial bergamot, chocolate and cocoa flavouring. It brews up a caramel brown color and looks rather oily on top, probably due to the chocolate pieces. Thankfully the slickness of that oil goes unnoticed unless you are focusing on it. As for the flavor, the earl grey base, though it appears minimal compared to the other ingredients in the dry leaf, is quite present. The bottom of the sip is brisk and citrusy while the silky milk chocolate floats on top. Sandwiched in between is the rose which acts as a nice segue between the other flavors that might seem out of sync without its presence. Sweet yet floral, this blend delivers on what it promises and should be enjoyable if you enjoy bergamot and can look past the sheen on the top of your mug.
Berry Romantic, one of the new blends introduced this year, is a strawberries-and-cream tea made with apple, oolong tea, cane sugar, blackberry leaf, gomphrena petals, jasmine buds, strawberries, rose buds, natural strawberry flavouring and artificial cream flavouring. The dry leaf looks quite lovely and smells like a bouquet of flowers. The blend steeps up almost golden and has an unexpectedly thick mouthfeel that compliments the “cream” flavor. Unfortunately, the berry doesn’t remind me of the fruit so much as a generic berry flavoring. Also, I do pick up on the apple more than I would like, though I suppose that would make sense since it is the first ingredient. On the plus side though, despite the various floral ingredients, it is not a particularly floral-tasting tea and the blackberry leaf and cane sugar do not make this overly sweet. It is better than expected but still more synthetic and processed tasting than I normally like.
White Chocolate Rose, the other new blend for 2017’s Valentine’s Day, is probably the one I was most excited about. I don’t usually love floral teas so the rose should be more off putting to me but something about the simplicity of this blend just called to me. Black tea, white chocolate , rose buds, and natural and artificial flavouring make up this offering – no added sweeteners which DAVIDs has become so found of and no mile-long list of ingredients. The dry leaf is beautiful with its large pink rosebuds and its bright white chocolate pieces amidst the black tea base. Brewed up it is very similar in appearance to The Earl’s Valentine, caramel brown and with a slickness on top which, again like The Earl’s Valentine, is inoffensive in regards to the texture. Scent-wise this is all rose and that translates into the flavor as well. I saw white chocolate so I know it is in here but I just can’t find where. Nevertheless, I think this is my favorite of the three as it is the most natural in the mix. It is also the prettiest/most romantic looking blend, though all would make for an aesthetically pleasing present.
If your Valentine like chocolate teas or floral blends, these might be worth taking a look at. If not, I would recommend going with teaware instead…or flowers or chocolate or jewelry or any other classic Valentine’s Day present.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Various
Where to Buy: DAVIDs Tea
truly, madly, steeply