Bellasia: Once Upon A Tea. . . .A FairyTale Tea Book Along With Dragon Berry Tea!

With having twin two year old nieces, sharing tea with them has always been top on my list.  One of the first presents I bought for the girls was play tea sets.  I was so happy when I heard they played with them all the time.

So the other day when I asked them to have a tea party with me, they both said “We are ‘cited!” When I told the that I had a princess book to go along with our tea- well squealing was their reaction with lots of clapping.

Bellasia: Once Upon A Tea is a book with an incredibly lovely message.  The story more or less is a story about a queen and king who couldn’t have a baby on their own but with the help of some magical friends they are able to achieve this dream.  The story is based on the author’s (Mercedes) real life story.  Her and her husband struggled to have a child on their own and decided to adopt a little girl into their lives to provide them with their fairy tale ending.  When it was time to read princess books to her daughter, Mercedes noticed along with her daughter, that there was a lack of stories about adopted princesses. Hence, Bellasia Tea was born.

As far as the actual story goes, the story is quite heart warming and knowing the background of the creation of the story just makes the experience even more so.  The princess is grown from a magical brew that the magical friends created.  As the princess grows up, she learns she has special powers to make her the defender of their realm.  I will say that my twin nieces did have trouble sitting through the story since the book is on the longer side but these girls are more on the go kinda gals so I probably should have waited until nap time instead of smack dab in the middle of play time.

But, they did love drinking their tea while listening to the story.  I cold brewed Dragon Berry to accompany the story time and the girls flipped out over this tea as well as most of the adults that tried the tea. Dragon Berry is a fruit tisane consisting of berries, cherries, hibiscus and other flavors.

Yes, this tea has a tart flavor but not an overwhelming one, which surprised me.  It was more of a fresh tasting fruit punch with a tart background.  The hibiscus was not overwhelming and the sour cherry flavor was a delicious twist.  Everybody loved the tea and I had to brew up more.  I think next time I would throw in some orange slices to really dress the tea up.

All in all, this is such a great book and one with such a lovely story.  I think the story may be better suited for older kiddos than my 2 year old sweeties, but it is a wonderful story to share with children, the illustrations are gorgeous, and the tea is delicious!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Fruit Tisane
Where to Buy:  Bellasia Tea

My name is Mercedes, Yep the queen in the book and as you’ve might of guessed I have a beautiful daughter named Isabella. I started Bellasia for a few reasons. My husband and I could not conceive so we adopted the most beautiful little girl in the world, she’s a shining star that completes our lives. I grew up on Fairytales and Happily Ever After’s so naturally so did she. I noticed that she was quite distraught that there were no adopted princesses and even in some case shed a not so flattering light on non-birth parents as a whole. I felt pretty bad for her, so I would think of fairytales that had adopted princesses and that made her smile.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Give in to Temptation with a Picture of Earl Grey from NovelTeas

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!

Review: The Tea Book by Linda Gaylard

TeaBookBook Information:

Where to Buy:  Dorling Kindersley


Where does tea come from? With DK‘s The Tea Book, learn where in the world tea is cultivated and how to drink each variety at its best, with steeping notes and step-by-step recipes. Visit tea plantations from India to Kenya, recreate a Japanese tea ceremony, discover the benefits of green tea, or learn how to make the increasingly popular Chai tea. Exploring the spectrum of herbal, plant, and fruit infusions, as well as tea leaves, this is a comprehensive guide for all tea lovers.

Learn more about this book here.


Linda Gaylard’s The Tea Book is the kind of book I’ve been looking for a long time. From the time I first started drinking tea “seriously”, I’ve been reading books about it as well. Many were disappointing for various reasons – too short, too brief, too perfunctory, too basic. Even after spending hours looking online, I hadn’t really come up with anything close to what I wanted, which was a book that would provide not only the introductory stuff, but also some more detailed information about the different types of tea, growing regions, varieties from those regions and their characteristics, and maybe a little about tea rituals in those places. I’d pretty much given up hope of finding such a book – until now!

The Tea Book is all these things and more. Written by Tea Sommelier Linda Gaylard, it’s a definitive guide to tea and tea drinking – perfect for both beginners and more experienced tea connoisseurs. Split into 5 sections, the book begins with a chapter on what tea actually is, discussing the Camellia Sinensis plant, its growth and terroir, harvest and production and a quick overview of the various varieties. The second chapter looks at brewing – comparing loose tea and tea bags, storage methods, water, and equipment, and provding some rule-of-thumb preparation guidance for green, white, oolong, black, pu’erh, and yellow teas. The third chapter looks in more depth at the history of tea, and the different tea producing countries and regions. This was the most fascinating section for me, as it also outlines the various tea rituals of the world and a step-by-step guide to performing them. It’s not just the big three of China, India and Japan, either – less well known tea producing nations such as Korea, Turkey, Vietnam, Nepal and Indonesia are also featured. Tisanes have a chapter all of their own, with sections on roots, barks, flowers, leaves, fruits and seeds.

The final section of the book is dedicated to recipes, featuring both tisanes which can be created from scratch (i.e. Fennel, Lemongrass and Pear, Spring is Here, Rosehip, Ginger and Lemon, etc.), and recipes using various tea varieties (i.e. Salted Caramel Assam, Matcha Latte, Spicy Ceylon, etc.) In depth instructions are provided for the creation of Iced Tea, Kombucha, Masala Chai and Bubble Tea. It really is a fascinating section, with a lot of inspiring ideas, and more than proves that tea can be so much more than just a few leaves and some water.

I’ve spent many happy hours perusing this book, and I’ve learnt things I’d never otherwise have known. The standard of photography throughout is excellent – clear, illustratively useful in the step-by-steps, and sometimes just plain mouth-watering! If there’s anything you’ve ever wanted to know about tea, doubtless you’ll find the answer here. It’s a great book, containing a wealth of information and inspiration. I’d consider it a worthy addition to any tea fanatic’s bookshelf.

Tea Book Volume 1 with Black Tea from Basilur Tea

BasilurVolume1Tea Description:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Basilur Tea

Product Description:

Basilur is an expression of the art of drinking tea. Each range of Basilur depicts its own story related to the rich Sri Lankan heritage. Each product is a unique tea drinking experience which transports its discerning tea drinkers to another time and place. Basilur tea takes you through this long journey of tea, with innovative blends and packaging yet, keeping the 5000 year old traditions intact. This Tea Book is a gift from Basilur tea family to the connoisseurs of tea.

Ingredients: 100% Pure Ceylon black tea, cornflower, jasmine buds, blue malva and flavour roasted almond.

Learn more about this product here.

Taster’s Review:

From a tea enthusiast’s and consumer’s prospective, this Tea Book Volume 1 with Black Tea from Basilur Tea has got to be one of the coolest products I’ve come across in a long time!  It’s a book shaped tin (LOVE it!) and tucked inside the tin is a 3.5 ounce resealable pouch of almond flavored black tea!

I love the tin.  It’s one of the neatest tins I’ve ever seen!  It’s visually stunning, and it’s just a really unique way to package tea!  It would make a great gift for your favorite tea drinker (even if that tea drinker is you!)

And the tea inside is really good too. The blend is visually stunning with its beautiful blossoms of blue cornflower and white jasmine along with pieces of roasted almond tossed with the black tea leaves.  It smells of sweet almond and flower.  The brewed tea is especially delightful to the nose.  The warm almond notes evoke thoughts of something freshly baked.

The flavor is quite nice too.  The black tea base is a Ceylon, and it is a mild, even tempered sort of taste.  Nothing too bold or harsh, instead, it’s smooth and brisk and mellow.  It isn’t an aggressive or overstimulating type of tea, making this a nice choice for afternoon sipping.  (And I can’t help but think that this would be excellent with a piece of almond biscotti!)

While the tea is piping hot, the almond flavor is a little difficult to discern.  I recommend allowing the tea to cool to a drinkable temperature (give it about four minutes after you’ve poured the tea), and this time allows the flavors to develop properly.  I can taste the almond now!  It’s a pleasing flavor, not so strong that it overpowers the flavor of the tea.  This is definitely a tea that I’m drinking here, and the flavoring lets you know that the tea plays the starring role in this cup.

It’s sweet and nutty, and I can taste hints of flower in the distance.  This isn’t a jasmine tea.  While the jasmine blossoms do add a touch of jasmine essence to the cup, it is not a significant enough flavor – in my opinion – to deem this a “jasmine” tea.  I think that the jasmine elevates the almond a little bit.  Interesting … that was kind of unexpected how the light, exotic sweetness of the jasmine helps to accentuate the sweet, nutty flavors of the almond.  I like that.

I found this to be a really delightful and tasty cup of tea.  It definitely has a winter-y sort of flavor to it (this “book” is Volume 1 of the winter series), so I can see why they’d include it in the winter series.  It tastes best served hot, but it also makes a nice iced tea.