The absolute star of Portland’s Tea Fest earlier this month had to be this series of tea infused spirits from Townshend’s distillery. Normally they are known for their kombuchas, which have about as much alcohol in them as fresh orange juice does. I chose a bottle of their smooth, high-quality cane spirits infused with roses and white tea, which lead to a dainty, yet crisp summer cocktail. I had no idea this was even a thing!!! Back at home, I mix mine with a touch of sparkling water to add to the merriment. Sipping the 80 proof straight provides an utterly fabulous, naughty at the garden party feel – strong yet uplifting, then a transcendent floral aftertaste that comes across quite differently than your standard rose tea. Definitely floral, but sweeter and not at all like an antique shop. Another fine benefit to this beverage is its ability to encourage me to break my writers block, win! And no hangovers yet, despite my crutch on it through finals week, knock on wood.
My partner ended up getting an early birthday present of Smoke Tea Spirits from them, a strong (smelling) lapsong souchong (in vodka I believe) alternative to scotch that they insist you must have at least two sips of to get the full effect. Not at all my taste, though I cannot really do tannins. Have you ever had tea-infused cocktails before? What are your recipes? I’m dying to try and DIY some now…
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: White Tea
Where to Buy: Townshends Distillery
Townshend’s White Rose is made from a simple recipe featuring white Tea and rose petals. Our unique low-temperature still allows us to capture the subtle aromas of these delicate botanicals. The result is a clean, velvety spirit that is delicious chilled, or in cocktails.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Just.Organic.Tea
We start with our premium black tea. Then, we add a generous amount of vanilla. Top it off with carob, and you’ve got the perfect dessert tea. Luxuriously rich and inviting, you’ll melt into vanilla heaven with hints of caramel-chocolaty goodness. Organic certified.
This Just Naughty ‘Nilla is a blend that Just.Organic.Tea. offered when they were running their Kickstarter campaign (which did successfully fund, yay!) but it does not appear to be available at this time.
It’s a tasty blend. Not my favorite vanilla tea that I’ve had, and I suspect that the main reason for that is the carob. I’m not a big fan of carob, if you want chocolate-y flavor, go with cacao shells or nibs. (Shells provide the best flavor, in my opinion.) Carob just imparts a fake chocolate flavor.
That said … this is a tasty blend and with a few tweaks to it, I think that Just.Organic.Tea would have a successful tea. The black tea base is a rich, well-rounded, full-bodied tea. Notes of malt. It’s a robust black tea that would make a nice morning tea and with the vanilla addition, it makes it just a little dessert-y for breakfast. Who doesn’t want a little dessert for breakfast?
I love that this is an organic tea, and I do appreciate Just.Organic.Tea.’s ideas about social responsibility. It’s a great company and I have enjoyed most of the products that I’ve tried.