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alcohol

Perfectly Pink #LadyMendl blend from #SunshineCottage

Another lovely tea from the crafty world of Etsy, this time it’s Lady Mendl blend from Sunshine Cottage.  The Lady Mendl tea blend is based on a cocktail of the same name.  The alcoholic beverage was all pink pizzazz, served in a martini with grapefruit juice, cointreau, and gin.

With so much pink citrus in the mix, this tea is surprisingly creamy, with delicious, juicy grapefruit at the forefront, and sweet, candied orange in the undertone.  There are even passion fruit pieces in the dry leaf, adding to the popping, tropical flair of these flavors.

The black tea base is nutty and rich, nicely balancing the strong citrus tones.  There’s even a hint of black pepper in the smell of the leaf, and it comes through in the brew the longer it is steeped.  I find the hint of something savory and spicy to be an appealing counterpoint to the luscious fruit.

This would be a great blend for fans of earl grey who want to get outside their usual bergamot flavor but still want a citrus-inspired drink, fit for a lady.  Look no further than Lady Mendl from Sunshine Cottage and start brewing up something perfectly pink.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Sunshine Cottage (Etsy Shop)
Description:

This blend is based on my mother’s favorite cocktail – the Lady Mendl. A delightful blend of orange and grapefruit, this black tea is perfect for an afternoon tea while listening to the legendary Cole Porter – who sang the praises of Lady Mendl in ‘Anything Goes’.

Just as an aside, Lady Mendl (or Elsie DeWolfe) was a fascinating woman and well worth reading about – perhaps while sipping a cuppa of this blend. I enjoy mine with milk (it smooths out the citrus) and a dash of maple syrup (another of my mother’s favorites).

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nice Coconuts White Tea by Luhse

NiceCoconutsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Luhse

Tea Description:

STORY:

Unbeknownst to most, Queen Song longs for the day when she meets her island mate, King Kong. She has recently taken up hula dancing to keep fit and has begun wearing sexy, eye-catching outfits to attract attention. Despite the gang’s misgivings, she can be found wearing risque coconut bras when she is not at work. 

TEA DESCRIPTION:

Coconuts have migrated into your cup of tea. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Another Luhse sample from my recent order. Nice Coconuts is a white blend, flavoured with coconut. The dry leaf smells amazing – strongly of coconut, with an undertone of creaminess, and a hint of something almost rum-like. Alcoholic, at the very least. The dry leaf looks to be a mixture of silver needles, which are white and downy, and white peony, which is blackish-brown in appearance and not particularly fresh looking. There’s a predominance of broken leaves and twigs. Scattered throughout are red safflower and blue cornflower petals, and a smattering of dried coconut shreds. There’s enough leaf in the pouch for about two cups, although if your cup is larger than average you might want to use the whole sample (about 3 tsp), as per the recommended parameters. My cup is on the smaller side, so I went with 1.5tsp of leaf, and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. The resulting liquor is a medium yellow-green; the scent mildly coconutty with a floral undertone.

To taste, this one is deceptive! I wasn’t convinced at all by the scent of the brewed liquor, but it’s actually very pleasant. The initial sip is all coconut cream; sweet, tropical amazingness! It has remarkable depth of flavour, with just a hint of rum rolling around the mid-sip, and an almost thick mouthfeel. It’s like a decadent dessert – rum babas, maybe, with a side of coconut ice cream. It’s possible to taste a little of the white tea towards the end of the sip, although it’s by no means prominent. Just an edge of floral, hay-like sweetness. Mostly, the white tea seems to contribute most towards the mouthfeel, and doesn’t at all overpower the sometimes-delicate flavour of coconut. This really is a delicious, summery cup. I’m impressed with this blend, and it’s definitely one I’d consider repurchasing in the future.

Apple Brandy Assam from 52Teas

Apple-Brandy-AssamTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

A Mokalbari Estate GFOP Assam blended with freeze-dried apple pieces, and organic apple and brandy flavors. This rich Assam base has a long and wiry leaf style with some golden tips and makes a beautiful cuppa with the hints of apple and brandy.

Learn more about this blend here.

Learn more about 52Teas’ subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

Wow, this review is scheduled to publish mid-January and I’m just now getting into my December teas from 52Teas!  Time to get with it!

I steeped this tea in my trusty Breville One-Touch.  I love this machine!  I measured 2 bamboo scoops of tea into the basket (these were heaping scoops because the pieces of apple are large and took up a considerable amount of space in the scoop!) and I measured 500ml of water into the jug.  Then I set the parameters:  2 minutes (it’s an Assam so I use a little less time) and 205°F (again, with an Assam, I take the temperature down from 212° to 205°).

At first I wasn’t too sure about this tea.  I wasn’t really picking up on any flavors at all.

I could taste the Assam.  It tasted like a wine-like Assam to me – then again, that could just be the Brandy flavoring playing games with my palate – but I can taste a wine-like taste to this and not so much a malty tone.

I do taste some malt, just not as much as I typically do with an Assam.  I really like the base, though, because it’s a rich and full-flavored tea.  It’s very enjoyable and has a really good flavor to it.

I’m not a big alcohol drinker, as I’ve confessed many times (I’m a TEA-totaler) so I can’t really tell you that what I’m tasting is definitely brandy.  But I do taste a wine-like/brandy-like flavor to this and this flavor develops as I continue to sip.

Because as I said at the start of this review, I wasn’t too sure about this tea.  It took a while for the palate to start picking up on the flavors of this tea.  After a short cooling time and as I now continue to sip (I’m now halfway through my mug of tea), I’m tasting more flavors that taste of brandy/wine.

And I can taste the apple too!  The apple notes started to really pop after drinking about 1/4 of my cup of tea.  The flavor is sweet and crisp and I like the way it melds with the brandy and Assam.

This is tasty!

Brandy and Winter Peppermint Tea from Culinary Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Culinary Teas

Product Description: 

Our Brandy and Winter Peppermint tea has the fruity taste of a good Brandy with the cooling zing of Peppermint Schnapps. Perfect for an evening Hot Toddy.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I know I’ve confessed this before, but I’m not really big on alcoholic drinks.  I’ll have an occasional drink, but it is a rare event, but I am certainly no expert when it comes to alcohol.

But I am usually intrigued by alcohol flavored teas.  Usually, but I have to admit that I wasn’t terribly excited by this particular tea.  Somehow, the combination of brandy and peppermint just didn’t sound like it would taste very good.  Boy, was I WRONG.  (But don’t tell my husband I admitted that!  We can’t have him going around thinking I was wrong about something)

This tea is really INCREDIBLE.  The peppermint is really vibrant, it tastes more like peppermint Schnapps to me (which shouldn’t be surprising since it’s mentioned in the description).   The peppermint is front and center with this tea, and it tastes very fresh, and I suspect it is the flavoring of the brandy that elevates the peppermint flavor.

The brandy flavor lies just beneath the peppermint, always there, making its presence known but without becoming too aggressive.  It is very mellow and calm. It has a fruitiness to it that tastes reminiscent of sweet grapes, plum and tangy currants.  There is also a hint of smoked wood flavor to it – not a strong flavor and I found that it was most prevalent in the first couple of sips and now, not so much as I am nearly finished with my cup.  The brandy notes lend a very smooth taste to this cup, and evokes thoughts of a brandy that somebody’s rich uncle would keep in a fine crystal decanter for special occasions.

The black tea base is not to be overlooked here, as it is a key element to what makes this cup taste so astonishingly good.  It has a bright, brisk flavor to it, but it is not an incredibly bold flavored tea, which leads me to think that it is probably a Ceylon.

Overall, an excellent flavored black tea.  This is one that you’ll want to have on hand this holiday season, because it would make a great alternative for someone who wants some of those festive holiday flavors without imbibing alcohol, a fantastic substitution for the traditional “hot toddy”!