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cornflower petals

Charles Dickens’ Black Tea Blend by Simpson & Vail

Steeping specs: I steeped a heaping teaspoon of this tea in about 10 oz. of boiling water for three minutes.

I tried some of this tea before looking it up, so I didn’t know what to expect but then realized it was rather unusual so I checked out the background and steeping recommendations so I could give it a more “proper” review. Apparently it’s a combination of black tea, oolong tea, and natural flavoring (plus cornflower petals, which add visual interest). I found it to be quite a memorable blend.

(Combinations of black tea and oolong intrigue me . . . I mean, for one thing, they’re really hard to classify. For another, I’m never sure what combining them is supposed to accomplish. Is it supposed to be like black tea but with more floral notes, maybe? I wonder what black tea would taste like if combined with a smoky roasted oolong? Hmm, maybe it’s time for an experiment . . .)

After steeping, it’s a sort of cedar-mahogany color, quite clear, and not very viscous. The scent is a bit tart and so is the first sip. It’s rather more acidic and astringent than your typical black tea, but in a good way. It seems quite well-blended; I think the flavors balance well (they bring out the strong, tannic, earthy properties of the black tea). It’s nice and strong, which I like. It would make a great breakfast or afternoon tea, I think. The S&V website doesn’t say exactly what flavoring is in the tea, just that it has a currant aftertaste, but I found it to be quite hearty in a satisfying, filling sort of way.

Next I added sugar. Sugar tames it down a lot. It’s still strong and a bit astringent, but less acidic and curranty. (It still tastes vaguely berry-ish, though.) It’s also excellent with milk. Adding both sugar and milk makes it a hearty, strong, creamy, and well-rounded cup. Overall I’d give this tea a big thumbs-up for flavor, interest, and comforting-ness.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black/Oolong Blend
Where to Buy:  Simpson & Vail
Description

Unlike many of his characters, Charles Dickens was born to loving parents in February of 1812. However, when he was only 12, his father was imprisoned for debt and Charles was sent to work in a blacking factory where he labeled endless bottles of shoeshine. He would leave the factory four years later to finish his education, but those formative years deeply affected him and inspired many of the boyhood horrors he would later write about. He wrote many of his most famous novels like Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby episodically, with a new chapter appearing in a magazine each month. These works examined the lives of the less fortunate and found humanity amid the most inhuman conditions.

Tea appeared in Dickens’ work as a calming force like in David Copperfield, when the main character recounts how he “sat swilling tea until [his] whole nervous system, if [he] had had any in those days, must have gone by the board.” Or it could surface as a commonality between classes that allowed Dickens to emphasize the stark differences between lifestyles. While a “real solid silver teapot” and “real silver spoons to stir the tea with” are listed among the treasures of Old Lobbs in The Pickwick Papers, “a regular place of public entertainment for the poorer classes” described in Oliver Twist would provide “a public breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper all the year round.” Our Charles Dickens blend adds a flash of color to a traditional british tea. The blend is a hearty, well-rounded blend of China and Indian teas that has an amber cup with a light currant after-taste.

Ingredients: Black teas, oolong tea, flavoring, cornflower petals.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

ImmorTaliTea from Cup of Love

Black Tea, Orange Pieces, Blackberry Leaves, Safflower Petals, Lemon Balm Leaves, Strawberry Pieces, Calendula Petals, Sunflower Petals, Elderberry Pieces, Raisin Bits, Hibiscus Peals, Apple Pieces, Rosehip Bits, Passion Fruit Pieces, Kiwi Pieces, Raspberry Pieces, Rose Petals, Cornflower Petals, & Peppermint are the ingredients that went into ImmorTaliTea from Cup of Love.  Therefore a LOT of time and effort went into this flavor combination!

It has a nice balance of fruity, spicy, mint, sweet, and sour!  The black tea base is NOT over the top darker than dark or stronger than strong but it leaves enough room for the other ingredients to come out and play!  I mean take a look at the FRUIT in this tea!  Orange, Strawberry, Elderberry, Raisin, Apple, Passion Fruit, Kiwi,  and Raspberry!  YUM!

Then for the herbal side of things you will notice in both aroma and taste the Blackberry Leaves, Lemon Balm, and Peppermint!  Refreshing!

Let’s NOT forget the the floral side of things…Safflower, Calendula, Sunflower, Rose, and Cornflower.  Fine and Fragrant!

But the amazement doesn’t stop there!  There is the tart of the Hibiscus and Rosehip Bits that tickle your taste buds, too!  There is a LOT going on but each and ever ingredient plays its part here!

I prefer this one cold but it’s pretty tasty hot, too!  ImmorTaliTea from Cup is one of those teas that will certainly keep you guessing!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Cup of Love
Description:

Black Tea, Orange Pieces, Blackberry Leaves, Safflower Petals, Lemon Balm Leaves, Strawberry Pieces, Calendula

Petals, Sunflower Petals, Elderberry Pieces, Raisin Bits, Hibiscus Peals, Apple Pieces, Rosehip Bits, Passion Fruit

Pieces, Kiwi Pieces, Raspberry Pieces, Rose Petals, Cornflower Petals, & Peppermint

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Groovy Guava Tea from Simpson & Vail

Tea Type: Green Tea

Where To Buy: Simpson & Vail

Product Description:

A wonderful afternoon tea! This fabulous blend of delicious fruits is melded with colorful herbs and our delicate White Monkey tea. The pale ecru cup emits a scrumptious fruity taste that is certain to please.

Brew 2 tsp per 8 oz. cup for 2 minutes @180ºF.

Contains: Green tea, Orange Blossoms, Raspberry pieces, Cornflower petals and flavorings.

Tasters Review:
I totally LOVE this tea and I have a lot to say about it!

First, I’ve had more than one person call me a hippie before so I often associate HIPPIE with the word GROOVY.  Groovy MEANS “highly stimulating and attractive, excellent” and that certainly fits the bill here.

In addition to this being one GROOVY Tea…I love that it’s Guava.  I’ve had a few Guava Teas before and I have been left wanting.  This is a nicely flavored Guava green tea.

It’s awesome hot or cold.

The taste is sweet and it’s a nice mix of fruity-flavors with a smooth and mellow green tea!

Green Tea BLISS. Delightful! GROOVY, man!

Balinese Rainbow Jasmine Green Tea from Green Tea Lovers

Tea Type: Green Tea

Where To Buy: Green Tea Lovers

Product Description:

Country of Origin: China
Region: Fujian Province
Grade: Jasmine Grade 1
Altitude: 1500’ ft. above sea level
Manuf. Type: Orthodox
Infusion: Pale yellow to bright and green
Ingredients: Luxury green tea, Natural dried jasmine blossoms + buds, Osmanthus petals, Calendula + Sunflower petals, Cornflower petals, Safflower petals.
Character: Exotic full floral Jasmine. Smooth green tea flavor. Long delicate floral finish.

A luxury Jasmine green tea with cornflower, safflower, osmanthus, calendula and sunflower petals. The cup is a heavenly mixture of sweet floral notes and grassy undertones. A fabulous blend befitting the island that gives it its name.

Hot Tea: This tea is best enjoyed by pouring 180F or 90C water over the leaves (1 teaspoon per cup) for 3 minutes (longer=stronger). Don’t remove the leaves. Can be infused repeatedly 2-3 times using higher temperatures & shorter infusions until flavor is exhausted.

Iced Tea: Pour 1 1/4 cups of hot water over 6 teaspoons of tea and steep for 5 minutes. Pour into pitcher while straining leaves, add ice and top up with cold water to make a quart of iced tea. Garnish and sweeten to taste. Produced under ISO 14001 Certified Environmental Management Standards.

Tasters Review:

What a gorgeous green tea!

I was assuming it was just going to be green tea with flavoring but you can see all the different floral ingredients within.

It’s VERY pretty!   The Jasmine (and other flowers) are wonderfully done…noticeable but not overly intense….not to mention colorful and pleasing to the eyes!

There is a nice sweeter side of the green tea coming out and it shine thru with the floral notes!

This is REALLY nice…I wish more Jasmine Teas could be this nice!  Thank  you Green Tea Lovers for a beautiful tea…inside and out!  This wakes-up the sense, that is for sure!

Black Celebration Tea from TeaScapes

Tea Type: Black Tea

Where To Buy: TeaScapes

Product Description:

This tea is a celebration of colors and mixed flavors. The blended tea is a beautiful melody of tea leaves, rose petals, almonds, cornflower petals, orange peels and more. This exquisite Black Celebration tea won an award at the 2008 World Tea Championship for having the best aroma and flavor. The brewed tea offers up a spicy taste for the palate. It infuses for just 3 minutes, allowing the flavors and aromas to intertwine to create a zesty golden liquor. The flavor is naturally sweet and uplifting.

Tasters Review:

My first reaction to this flavor was “OH” and not necessarily a good one! Mostly because I wasn’t prepared for that flavor…

now…DON’T Be alarmed this is a POSITIVE review!  I ended up liking this tea just fine and dandy…keep reading!

You know when you take a big swig of something – what you think is – say – Cherry Coke and it ends up being lemonade or something completely different??  Well that is why I was so taken back by this…I was ASSUMING it was something completely different!

And you know what they say about ASS+U+ME…ing…

After that initial shock…I was blown away by the spiciness of this one!

By the 3rd sip everything started making sense and the taste and my taste-buds starting to finally become friends!

I could taste the spices, orange, and then the cinnamon – specifically – it reminds me of a fireball or Hot Ball type cinnamon, then comes the cranberry and peach.  Toward the end of the sip I can taste the papaya.   The apple is a bit more hidden than most of the other flavors but that’s ok with me.  The end of the sip on to the aftertaste is a fruity-spicy one…more spice than fruit – at least on my tongue.

This cup is NOT lacking color, aroma, or taste – let me tell you that!  This is a beautiful dry blend and the more I sip it the more I like it but it was quite shocking at first – especially because I wasn’t prepared for that flavor!  It’s intense!

I’m not complaining…I do like this!

Just a heads-up on the cinnamon!  If you like Fire Balls/Hot Balls you will probably like this.  If you aren’t into spices or cinnamon or fireballs…just wanted to warn you!

This is sure to warm any tummy!  It’s a Nice bright mix and toasty-warm cuppa!  I really needed this THIS week as we are in the middle of snow storm after snow storm!