Secret Garden from Pinch of Geek

Being one that always shies away from lavender in teas, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this tea. Secret Garden has a mix of lavender, jasmine green tea, dried roses, and rosehips. I loved all of the other components so I went ahead and gave the brew a try.

Rich gorgeous floral notes comforted me as I sipped this tea down, cup after cup. Subtle romantic tones really give this tea that soothing comforting feel. The lavender is present but not overwhelming. You more or less get that familiar lavender after taste. As you drink the tea, you are enveloped with the jasmine green tea perfection with the sweetness of the dried roses.

All in all, a well balanced floral tea that I will want more of soon. The perfect tea to grab a blanket, a book, and snuggle up for a cozy afternoon!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Pinch of Geek


The Secret Garden tea is named after the classic English children’s book about a young girl in a magical English garden. This tea is a strong floral bouquet meant to inspire dreams of walking in the English countryside. It is a jasmine green tea with rose and lavender. This tea does have medium caffeine levels. This tea blend has no artificial flavorings or added oils. There are no added sugars or flavorings.

Because this tea requires some preciseness to balance the flavors, I only offer this tea in sachets. You can order the bagged tea in 10 or 20 sachets. Steeping time is a little different: steep until the jasmine pearls open into leaves. You will be able to see through the sachet to remove promptly when leaf unfurl (3-4 mins). The jasmine tea tends to get bitter and “perfumey” tasting if over steeped.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Children’s Hospital Vanilla Black Tea from The Secret Garden Tea Co.

ChildHospVanillaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  The Secret Garden Tea Co.

Tea Description:

A playful blend of  baby rosebuds, vanilla, and bergamot that reminds us of childhood tea parties. Proceeds go to BC Children’s Hospital.

Ingredients: Black tea, rosehip pieces, rose petals, blackberry leaves, natural flavors.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

After reading the ingredients listed and then opening the sample pouch of this tea, I was a little surprised to immediately recognize a chamomile blossom.  I see the rosehips and rose petals and blackberry leaves, but they need to update their ingredient list to also include chamomile.

This is a tasty blend.  The black tea base has a robust flavor and it melds nicely with the notes of vanilla to create a really rich, creamy flavor that is both malty and vanilla-y sweet.  The sip starts out really smooth yet strong, and it remains smooth to the finish where I pick up on a slightly dry astringency.

The bergamot is a little less distinct than the vanilla and even the floral notes in this blend.  When one reads the description of this tea, they might be led to believe that this is a “Earl Grey Creme” type of tea, but I wouldn’t call it that.  It’s more of a flowery cream type of tea than it is a creamy bergamot type of tea.

The floral notes are soft and sweet.  I like the way they contrast with the silky vanilla tones.  I don’t taste a lot from the aforementioned chamomile blossoms, not even that distinct apple-y flavor that I usually pick up on when I drink something with chamomile.  The strength of the black tea and other flavors seems to cancel out the chamomile – but that certainly doesn’t disappoint me.  What I do taste is the rose and it’s quite a nice flavor.  It starts out rather delicate and by the time I made my way to mid-cup, I was noticing more and more rose essence emerge in every sip.

I’m also so pleased to find that this tea is a tea that benefits the BC Children’s Hospital.  I like that Secret Garden Tea Company has found a few favorite charities and offers help to them through the sales of their lovely tea blends.

This is a really nice tea.  It has many different layers of flavor and what I think I’m realizing now that I’ve just passed the mid-cup point is that every sip seems to be just a little different than the one that preceded it.  I might notice a really strong presence of the black tea in the first sip and with the next sip, I pick up on more vanilla.  The sips that follow allow my palate to explore other flavors:  hints of bright bergamot notes, a rose essence that develops, and the creamy-malty flavor of the vanilla and black tea flavors.

It’s quite an interesting tea – I’d recommend this to anyone who is looking for a blend that’s a little less ordinary!

Vanilla Almond Black Tea Blend from The Secret Garden Tea Company

VanAlmondTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  The Secret Garden Tea Co.

Tea Description:

One of our staff favourites! Pair with desserts such as marzipan pear tarts, lavender shortbread, and chocolate bon-bons for a decadent treat.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

This Vanilla Almond Tea from Secret Garden is so smooth!

By the time I started writing this review, I was more than halfway finished with my first cup!  It is just so tasty and so unbelievably smooth and easy to drink that it began to disappear quickly.

The dry leaf is quite appealing to the eye with lots of almond slivers and bright orange-yellow petals (calendula and sunflower) mixed in with the dark brown tea leaves.  To brew this tea, I used my Breville One-Touch and added 2 bamboo scoops to the basket and poured 500ml of water into the jug.  I set the temperature to 212°F and the timer for 2 1/2 minutes and I let the machine do it’s thing.

The tea brews up dark and sweet smelling.  I can pick up on delicate notes of almond and vanilla but mostly what I’m smelling is the black tea.  It’s not an overly fragrant brewed tea but I still find the aroma quite pleasant.  It reminds me a bit of freshly baked cookies!

But the real treat is in the sip.  As I mentioned above, it is one of the smoothest teas I’ve tasted lately.  There is very little astringency, especially the first few sips.  Now that I’m nearly finished with my first cup, I am picking up on more astringency than I experienced at the beginning of the cup.  It’s a slightly dry sensation that I’m experiencing but it’s quite slight especially in comparison to other black teas that I’ve consumed.

This is so smooth from start to finish.  It starts out smooth and creamy, I pick up on the vanilla immediately.  As the sip progresses, I notice the almond and the sweet, nutty flavor accentuates the creamy, sweet vanilla tones beautifully.  These two flavors were made for one another!

The black tea is a smooth, even-tasting black tea.  It’s probably a Ceylon.  It isn’t an aggressive, astringent, bitter or overly robust black tea.  It is smooth.  It melds amazingly well with the flavors of almond and vanilla.  There is a slight caramel-y undertone to the black tea that further highlights the sweetness of this blend.  I like that it is a sweet drink but not cloying.

Because it isn’t an overly sweet or cloying tea, I think it would make the perfect tea to serve along with dessert.  You really wouldn’t want something too sweet paired with dessert because the dessert is already sweet.  This is smooth, not too robust nor is it bitter or overly astringent.  It wouldn’t detract from the delightful confection that you’re enjoying for dessert.

It would also make a lovely afternoon tea.  A great tea to choose for a tea party or perhaps something to serve to guests after dinner.  I find it to be a very “welcoming” sort of tea.  When I sip it, I feel like it’s communicating to me:  “Welcome home.”

Avalon Blend Black Tea from The Secret Garden Tea Company

AvalonTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  The Secret Garden Tea Co.

Tea Description:

A lovely mix of Vanilla, Bergamot, and Rose Petals in honor of Avalon Centre!

Ingredients: Black tea, rose petals, natural flavors.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

This tea smells heavenly!  The dry leaf has a strong bergamot fragrance that is tempered slightly by the presence of sweet vanilla.  I don’t smell much from the rose in the blend, but then, with the bergamot as strong as it is, I wasn’t surprised.

The dry leaf is as pretty to the eye as it is to the nose too.  Black tea leaves with cornflower petals and rose petals strewn throughout the blend.  To brew this tea, I used my Breville One Touch Tea Maker.  I measured 2 bamboo scoops into the basket of the tea maker and then poured in 500ml of water and set the temperature for boiling (212°F) and the timer for 2 1/2 minutes.

The brewed tea smells like a delightful combination of vanilla and bergamot with notes of black tea.  Yummy!

And it is yummy.  This is a tasty Earl Grey Creme type tea but with a hint of rose that weaves its way in and out of the sip.  The rose is quite delicate, but, it is discernible (especially if you slurp the sip to aerate the tea over your palate).

The black tea is a brisk flavor in the background.  It isn’t too aggressive a flavor, but it is strong enough to hold its own with the other flavors that are playing in the foreground.  I would categorize this as a medium-bodied black tea base, I suspect it’s a Ceylon.  It’s flavorful and supports the bergamot and vanilla nicely.  It has a dry, moderate astringency toward the tail.

There is a good balance between the flavors of bergamot and vanilla.  The bergamot is tangy and bright.  The vanilla softens the sharpness of the bergamot and the two flavors together create a delightful caramel-y flavor.  It is sweet, a little tart and tangy and absolutely lovely.

This is the first tea that I’ve tried from The Secret Garden and I think we’re off to a good start with this blend.  I really pleasant twist on an Earl Grey Creme!  And when I saw that this was a blend created in honor of the Avalon Centre, I decided to google Avalon Centre … and I hope I got the right place!  I have great respect for a company when it takes the time to recognize services like the Avalon Centre.  It makes me appreciate this tea and this company even more!

Correction:  This appears to be the right place!  And it certainly is another worthy service to recognize through a lovely tea such as this.