If you’re easily distracted by cute packaging, be warned that blends from NovelTeas can come shipped in beautiful, book-shaped, metal tins. At first glance, these tins can sit amongst your real books, undetected until someone realizes the titles are full of tea-related puns. Today, I’m tasting Picture of Earl Grey, also called Wilde’s Rosy Tea Blend on the Novel Teas site.
This blend is like a garden in a cup with lush rose petals and jasmine-green tea. All those flowers are a perfect match for the showy, vanity of this novel. Like Dorian, your tea will have eternal beauty since the dried flowers last much longer than fresh ones. Mind your steep times with this brew or else the roses might get a bit overpowering. Among the rose and jasmine there is just enough tart, earl grey to give the tea a backbone and remind you of the staunch and proper Victorian Era.
Any of NovelTeas blends would be a great addition to a book club, adding themed scents and tastes to the literary discussion. Picture of Earl Grey is a great blend for a garden party, or when you want your kitchen to be as fragrant as a spring garden in bloom. Just a sip of this lush and verdant blend across your tongue and you’ll feel as poetic and witty as Oscar Wilde himself.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Blend of Black and Green
Where to Buy: NovelTeas
The delicate flavorings and novel-inspired decorations of The Picture of Earl Grey™ may deceive you at first. This tin and tea provide for an exquisitely deceptive and Wildely elegant experience for any new collector. Organic jasmine green tea and a rose-blended bergamot radiate hedonism and reflect your eternal beauty as you sip.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Yerba Mate
Where to Buy: 52Teas
But I suppose you want to know about the tea this week. Inscape is my attempt at an artistic interpretation of Joe Hill’s novel. It is dark and mysterious with a roasted South American yerba mate base blended with almond slivers, marshmallow root, licorice root and a touch of peppermint. It is largely flavored with organic marshmallow and maple flavors and the cup tastes mostly like a rich vanilla/maple mate with a whisper of licorice and peppermint–like the ghost of Christmas, unexpected and strangely haunting. This is MY inscape, my re-imagining of Joe Hill’s novel manifested in reality and poured out for you. I hope you like it.
Learn more about this tisane here.
I’ve been drinking this Inscape: A NOS4A2 Inspired Yerba Mate Blend from 52Teas for a couple of days now, but this is the first time that I’ve taken the time to sit down and actually write a review about it. I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t even think about writing about the tisane until it was gone! Ha! And since I like to be sipping on the tea/tisane as I’m writing the review so that I can provide as accurate a review on what I’m tasting as possible, I found myself saying a few times … “well, I guess I’ll just have to wait until I brew it again.”
I have not read any of Joe Hill’s books (sorry, Mr. Hill, if you’re reading this), but, I am really enjoying this tisane so much that it is making me curious about reading NOS4A2 to see how the book stands up to the tisane that inspired it.
Generally speaking, Yerba Mate is not my favorite tisane base … but I don’t hate the stuff the way I once did. There was a time when I found it way too earthy for my liking … but, now, I don’t mind it so much. I also think that it may have had something to do with the actual Yerba Mate I was drinking, perhaps the brand was just not a very good one. But this … this is really nice. It tastes earthy and roasted … and this particular blend … almost tastes like a flavored coffee but with less bitterness than a typical cup of java.
The maple is what won me over with this particular blend – it is so yummy and maple-y and just … GOOD. It’s like that first taste of real maple syrup after drizzling the syrup over a stack of pancakes … you know that little drop that remains on the lip of the bottle? You’ve gotta wipe that off with your finger and taste it, right? That delicious, maple-y goodness is what I experience with every sip of this tisane.
Then I notice the creamy vanilla tones – it’s light and fluffy tasting, like marshmallow cream. In the background, I notice hints of licorice. And there is a nuttiness to this as well, and I don’t know if I’m getting that from the actual almond slivers or if it’s from the Yerba Mate. It’s not a distinct almond-esque flavor, it’s just a sweet, nutty taste that really elevates the soft, marshmallow-y vanilla notes.
Surprisingly, I don’t notice a whole lot of the peppermint. What I do notice a sort of clean … crispness right up front, but it isn’t a distinguished minty taste. Toward the finish, I start to pick up more of the peppermint tones, and the aftertaste as a faint, mysterious hint of peppermint. This surprises me because peppermint does tend to be a rather aggressive herb in blends, and often overpowers everything else. But that didn’t happen here – this is very skillfully blended with just the right amount of peppermint that leaves the taster thinking: “what was that?” Like the way a faint breeze feels when you’re walking through some spooky woods as night falls, and it tickles across your back and it’s just enough of something to make you wonder if the woods are haunted and you just had an encounter with a ghost. But … it’s a lot less freaky and a whole lot more tasty!
I like this a lot. I like it so much that I just visited the 52Teas website with the intention of re-ordering some … but it appears it’s sold out. Hopefully it will be re-blended!