Mt. Hood Vanilla from Townshend’s Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Townshend’s Tea

Tea Description:

A crisp black tea from Sri Lanka with the added flavor of smooth vanilla bean. A gentle everyday hot tea, or a smooth and quenching iced tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this more than once, but I do love Townshend’s Tea.  I often refer to it as a “Starbucks” for tea (because, let’s face it, when it comes to tea, Starbucks falls flat) because it has that same comfortable, lounge-y kind of feel, in fact, I find it more comfortable/lounge-y.  And not just because of the tea.  The whole vibe there is much more relaxed.  Sort of like tea itself.  Sure, tea has caffeine, but because of the polyphenols in tea, you get a gentle, steady delivery of the caffeine to your system instead of that coffee jolt.

Mount Hood
Photo from Wikipedia. Click on the pic to go there.

And while you do have to be in Portland to take in the relaxed atmosphere of Townshend’s Tea, you don’t have to be in Portland to enjoy their teas.  They sell their teas online!  I ordered this tea online because I was unsure when I’d be able to visit their store, and I really wanted to try this tea.  Mt. Hood – while I’ve not been there, but hopefully will visit soon! – it is something that touches me daily with its breathtaking views.    On some cloudy days, it appears to be floating in the clouds.  On clear days, it looks so cold yet beautifully serene.

The first time I tried this, I found it a bit lacking in something.  It was still very enjoyable:  sweet, creamy and smooth.  But, I felt like it was missing something.  I wanted a stronger black tea base.  And while I am now drinking from the same package of tea that I had tried that first time, I am finding this cup to be more satisfying than it was the first time around.

Even though the black tea is still not as bold as I think I’d like it to be, I am discovering more of a malty tone today than I remember tasting previously.  It’s still sweet, creamy and smooth … and this malty note adds a nice dimension and a more satisfying mouthfeel to the cup.  I guess I just needed to try it again … maybe I didn’t use enough leaf last time.  Who knows?

It was good the first time, but now it is REALLY good!  I’m really enjoying this.  It makes a great tea to enjoy in the afternoon.  It’s not quite strong enough for a breakfast tea, unless you are looking for something a little more gentle for your mornings.  A beautiful tea that celebrates some of the beauty of Oregon.

Dark Forest Chai from Townshend’s Tea Company

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  Townshend’s Tea

Tisane Description:

Dark Forest Chai is made up of honeybush, cacao, carob, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, red clover, rosemary and roasted chicory.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

This tisane smells incredible.  As I was pouring the tea into my favorite mug and the amazing aroma wafted through the air, it was as though I had been magically transported to a donut shop – believe it or not, this smells like a cake donut that’s been dusted with cinnamon and sugar!

And while it doesn’t taste exactly like a cinnamon and sugar donut, there are elements in this that give it a similar (and very sweet-tooth satisfying) flavor.  A strong cinnamon essence, pleasantly sweet, with a somewhat savory, freshly baked cake sort of element to it, which is further enhanced by the presence of the cacao and carob.

The roasted chicory gives this cup a satisfying depth and a toasty element that is very harmonious with the other ingredients, and I think that this ingredient is what gives the cup that rich, freshly baked flavor.  It also lends a hint of coffee-like flavor to the background.  Coffee and donuts!

I like that this doesn’t taste strongly of any one ingredient, instead, it is a medley of all the ingredients.  It is mildly spiced, and while there is some heat to it which continues to develop as I make my way to the bottom of the cup, I would not categorize it as spicy.  It is warm, though, and I don’t know that I’d recommend this to someone who is extremely sensitive to spice, but, if you like a medium-warm heat to your cup, this tisane provides that.

I figured I’d like this chai – as I do love chai! – but, what a surprising treat it turned out to be!  I love this!