If you are looking for a wonderful unique gift for any tea enthusiast, check this review out! I have one and use it each and every day. I am in love with these wonderful spoons and have to say they make me smile each and every day!
Not too long ago I received a lovely spoon from Blue Crabb. A Vintage Hand Stamped Silverplate Spoon – BEST TEA – Spoon from Blue Crabb’s Etsy Shop, to be exact.
This A Vintage Hand Stamped Silverplate Spoon – BEST TEA – Spoon from Blue Crabb’s Etsy Shop is absolutely darling! The product description says it would make a great gift or party favor be HECK YES I’m keeping it for myself!
This is a gently used spoon that has been given a new look and Blue Crabb says it could show some signs of wear but I cannot see any! I love the vintage look. They don’t make silver spoons like this anymore – or at least at the places I have seen silverware – lately!
I’ve used this spoon to gently stir already broken apart pu-erh while still in the strainer. I’ve also used this while stirring freshly brewed iced tea. But have to admit my favor thing to do with this – is to admire it! I’m in LOVE with my A Vintage Hand Stamped Silverplate Spoon – BEST TEA – Spoon from Blue Crabb’s Etsy Shop!
Here’s the scoop!
Teaware: Stamped Spoon
Where to Buy: Blue Crabb
“BEST (heart) TEA!
Any time is tea time! Do you and your bestie love tea? This charming teaspoon will make a lovely gift , or a perfect Party Favor for your next Tea Party or Shower. Just message me and I will be happy to make as many as you need!!!
Please remember even though this gently used spoon has been given a new look, it will show some signs of wear.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Where to Buy:
I was unable to locate this specific tea on their website so instead of adding the product description here I thought I would write a little bit about the company and their Single Estate offerings.
Tea People was founded by Neeraj and Vishaka, a husband wife duo along with their Scottish friend Gillian. Neeraj and Vishaka hail from the beautiful tea growing region of Darjeeling in India and have been living in the UK since 2005. In 2009 they came across a school in their hometown of Darjeeling that was in urgent need of some repairs and assistance. The school, known as MSK School, Sonadaserved the children of tea garden workers and other impoverished villagers in the area.
As the duo attributed their own success to the education they had received and firmly believed in the role of education in providing equal opportunities and in alleviating poverty, they decided to help. They teamed up with Gillian who at that time was running her own charity. The three of them together raised the required funds and provided the much needed assistance.
As for their Single Estate Teas…”Single estate” refers to any tea that comes from only one tea estate or garden, as opposed to being a blend from various estates. Single Estate Tea is unblended. These teas tend to have unique characteristics particular to that estate for that season. Like fine wines, they will vary somewhat from year to year. Single estate tea can be identified by the name of the estate, such as “Makaibari” or “Bannockburn,” that will appear in the name of the tea. People who have tried our single estate teas describe it as a revealing taste experience – similar to savouring a top of the range chateau bottled wine.
This is a no-nonsense type black tea. Considered one of their finest Darjeeling offerings I would tend to agree. It’s also one of their Single Estate Black Teas which was explained above. This Makaibari First Flush Vintage tea I was honored to try while it was still available.
The flavor of this specific tea was slightly woodsy, a bit florally-fresh, and even a little sweet. I didn’t notice as much in the 1st infusion – but follow-up infusions seem to have a nod of jasmine flavor in the end sip on to the after-taste. This is a pleasant tea that would be great to have on hand anytime you are in the mood for a straight-up Darjeeling Black tea or sharing with friends.
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Darjeeling Tea Lovers
JUNGPANA TEA ESTATE was the ‘show stopper’ last season. Some of the best teas of 2013 were produced in this Vintage Jungpana Tea Estate. We were very eager this season to see what is in store from this estate, and YES yet again this tea has re-defined the First Flush. Undoubtedly this tea is NIRVANA.
When steeped for 4 mins, it gives bright amber liquor and the flavours are very natural. It has a mouthful of flowery notes which only keeps you anxious for what is in store with the second sip. The aftertaste has a faint muscatel note which is a trademark for Darjeeling. Overall a clean crisp flavour with zero astringency.
We actually feel proud to have this tea in our store and THIS IS WHAT A PURE ORGANIC FIRST FLUSH DARJEELING BLACK TEA SHOULD BE. No wonder the teas from this estate make it to the Royal Tea Parties in England.
Learn more about this tea here.
On the Darjeeling Tea Lovers website, this tea mentions that it’s a “Special China Black Tea” and I’m not sure exactly what is meant by that. I was operating under the belief that the Jungpana estate is in India (Darjeeling). Does the Special China refer to the type of tea plant?
Despite my confusion (it’s easy to confuse me) I found myself falling in love at first sip with this Jungpana Nirvana First Flush from Darjeeling Tea Lovers!
When I’m about to indulge in a first flush Darjeeling, I don’t expect a strong “muscatel” essence from it, it’s been my experience that muscatel is more common with the second flush, not so much the first. Both flushes are great for different reasons, but if it’s muscatel that a tea drinker is looking for, then they’d be better served to choose a second flush tea.
But, that’s not the case with this Jungpana Nirvana First Flush! There are some delightful muscatel notes to this tea! Sweet, grape-y notes with a luscious body to it – I’d describe it as a thick, silky mouthfeel. There is an almost sugary sweetness to this cup that I’m finding irresistible. In fact, it’s difficult to actually write this review because I find myself wanting to keep sipping. I don’t want to put my cup down long enough to write!
It’s sweet and fruity, with hints of earthy/woodsy tones in the distance. There is a very light astringency to this. With the first few sips, the astringency was barely noticeable at all, and now that I’m more than halfway through the cup, I am starting to notice the astringency a little more – it develops.
Overall, a really, really good Darjeeling Experience, even if it’s a little different than I would have expected from a Darjeeling. Different is good! And be sure to re-steep the leaves! The second infusion is just as flavorful as the first!
Leaf Type: Black (Darjeeling)
Where to Buy: Tea People
In Darjeeling, winter is the time for all tea plants to rest. Come spring, little leaf buds begin to appear and open amidst a flurry of activity. From these leaves is created a delicate tea meant for super connoisseurs of tea by the well known organically certified Makaibari tea estate located in the foothills of the Himalayas where the tea is grown at an altitude of around 4500ft.
The light liquor has the characteristic Darjeeling floral bouquet along with an incredible depth and complexity. Fantastic for afternoons when you need a little pick-me-up.
Learn more about this tea here.
I want to start by apologizing to our loyal readership for going a few days with no posts! Due to an unfortunate circumstance, I found myself without a tea kettle. I accidentally broke the glass carafe (or jar) of my Breville One-Touch and I was kind of … well, not even “kind of,” I was very devastated by the loss. I was depressed. I felt like I lost one of my best friends. And that may sound sad, but, hey, when you love tea the way I do, you know how important these tools become to you. Anyway … I’m still without the glass jar momentarily and am still sad about my loss but there is good news on that horizon which I will share with you in a future post.
For now, I’m using a stove top kettle and brewing some Darjeeling Tea from Tea People. Specifically, I’m drinking this Makaibari First Flush Vintage Black Tea.
And it is a lovely Darjeeling!
The aroma of the dry leaf is very earthy with notes of wood. It reminds me a bit of the smell of a forest just after a rain: wet wood and earth with notes of peaty moss. Once brewed, I notice more of a floral note emerging, and less of the woodsy/earthy tones.
The flavor is pleasantly crisp and smooth. Darjeeling teas tend to typically be a lighter tasting and feeling tea than other black teas, and this is true with this Darjeeling as well. It has a light, uplifting flavor and texture. It glides over the palate, offering flavors of notes of earth and flower, with a sweet fruit note that is present throughout the sip.
The sip begins with a woodsy sort of flavor and a subtle undertone of fruit. The fruit notes emerge more toward mid-sip, offering a sweeter flavor. As the sip nears the finish, the sweet fruit notes meld with a floral note and hints of earth are in the background. The finish here is not quite as astringent as some Darjeeling teas that I’ve experienced, in fact, it’s a very mild astringency. The aftertaste is lightly sweet.
It’s a beautifully complex cup of tea, and it’s definitely lifting my spirits!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: New Mexico Tea Company
A sophisticated twist to an undeniably sophisticated black tea. Vintage Earl Grey adds the subtleties of rose and lavender to the familiar well-loved tradition of Italian orange bergamot for a smashing afternoon delight. Enjoyed with an intimate circle of friends or in your own personal retreat time, this soothing and lively combination will stir memories of pleasant times well spent.
Learn more about this tea here.
This Vintage Earl Grey blend from New Mexico Tea Company is a very interesting combination of flavors … a really unusual but tasty twist on a classic favorite!
My first thought when I saw so many floral notes plus bergamot was that this would end up tasting like one of those fancy body washes that you might find in a specialty shop in the mall. And while I’ve not actually picked up a bottle of body wash and chugged it, I think I can still say that this does not taste like body wash … or soap … or perfume!
It is one of the more unique Earl Grey blends that I’ve encountered. The flavor is at once citrus-y/bergamot-y, rose, lavender, and rosemary, with a background of black tea flavor. The black tea base is rather subtle and even a tad overwhelmed by the presence of so many strong flavors … but that does not mean that I do not taste the black tea. It just means that it is not as prominent as it would be in a traditional Earl Grey blend. While it doesn’t stand out and say “Here I Am” to the palate, it comes through in the background. There is only a wee bit of astringency and no bitterness with this tea.
In one sip, I notice notes of rose, lavender, bergamot, resin and pine, plus a backdrop of black tea. The rose is the first flavor that I notice immediately. The bergamot then comes through, offering its distinctive citrus-y, tangy flavor. The lavender takes a few sips to really be recognized … and I think this has something to do with the other ingredients actually “altering” the usually distinguished flavor of lavender … it took me a little while for me to recognize the flavor as lavender … whereas if this had been a straightforward lavender scented black tea, I would have noticed the lavender immediately because of the lack of other ingredients to taint the lavender’s presence.
The rosemary is there too, and I like the sharp, pine-ish flavor that it offers the cup. It really does give this a ‘vintage-y’ kind of flavor together with the rose and lavender. It’s quite remarkable.
I really enjoyed the way this tea came together. It is indeed DIFFERENT, but, different isn’t always bad. In this case, different is definitely GOOD, and it was unique and interesting enough to keep me sipping!