Irish Tea For One Teapot from FineLine Teas #VeganMoFo2016

A few years ago I received this lovely teapot as a gift from my parents and I haven’t seen too many of them since I received it but recently I was online and saw it on a site and thought I would review it today.  It’s the Irish Tea For One Teapot from FineLine Teas.  Eventho this Irish Tea For One Teapot from FineLine Teas is not currently in stock I felt it was certainly worth a mention!

Irish Tea For One Teapot from FineLine Teas is a decorated teapot for one (or two) and has the Irish look and feel to it.  It’s painted in cream and green and has Celtic knots wrapping around the teapot.  It’s a 3-piece teapot and says “A good laugh and a cup of tea are the two best cures” on it.  You can see where the small top part comes off and the bottom half as well.

I think this Irish Tea For One Teapot from FineLine Teas is darling.  I have only used it a few times because I use it more for display than USE but that might have to change in the coming months.  I’m also using this as my Vegan Mofo post today where the prompt is “Something Rare” as we are to use something we don’t usually use in cooking – well – instead of that – I figured I would feature this teapot since I don’t usually use it but still admire it!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Teaware
Where to Buy: FineLine Teas
Description: A beautifully decorated tea for one, this Irish tea for one set is painted in cream and green and boasts lovely Celtic knot work. View product description below for more information.

A beautifully decorated tea for one, this Irish tea for one set is painted in cream and green and boasts lovely Celtic knot work. A three piece set, this tea for one features the saying “A good laugh and a cup of tea are the two best cures”. Packaged ready for gift giving, this tea for one is sure to delight.

Stoneware. Dimensions: Teapot – 7 1/2″ x 6″ and holds 22oz; Cup – 2 1/4″ and holds 10oz. Dishwasher and microwave safe.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Storm In A Teacup Herbal Tea from Cupan Tae

storm-in-a-cupTea Information:

Leaf Type: Herbal/Tisane

Where to Buy: Cupan Tae

Tea Description:

A stormy, spicy herbal blend with a breeze of anise taste.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This one has a very, very pronounced dry aroma; the leaf practically oozes with the scent of sweet, black licorice! Not licorice root or anise, mind you, but black licorice. While I have no problem with either anise or licorice root – I love black licorice and I’ve found few teas that convey it well.

That love for black licorice probably comes from my Grandpa; before he passed that was his absolute favourite self indulgent treat in the world. He kept huge tins of licorice allsorts by his lazy boy that he’d snack on during Blue Jays games, and he’d buy black jellybeans in bulk and sometimes he’d just let me grab big greedy hand fulls of from the tins. It’s a really good memory I have of him from when I was a child and the smell of the dry leaf of this tea is making me so nostalgic for it. I know there’s not actually black licorice in the blend and it’s a trick that the fennel, combined with the aniseed, is playing on me. But I’m gonna try and be willfully blind to that; because I want this to taste like black licorice.

Hmm, now that this one’s steeped up there’s a very thick, powdery white residue all along the inside of my mug and I can’t figure out why – I’ve never had that issue with any of the listed ingredients I’m familiar with – and the only one I’m not familiar with is ribwort, so unless it’s from the ribwort I can’t explain it. It’s annoying though; almost as bad as gross melted down chocolate goop from blends that use chocolate chips instead of nibs or shells.

Steeped up, sadly, it doesn’t taste like black licorice though. Not in the same way it smells like it, anyway. I do get heavy doses of both fennel and anise flavour which is sweet and delicious, but it’s fairly overtaken by a very dominating savory, herbaceous note and then milder notes of peppermint and a supple fruit note that I suppose could be apple like is listed in the ingredients. Visually I didn’t see any apple in my measured out tea leaf though. That strong savory note tastes very, very weird to me; and I’m wondering if that’s the ribwort leaves. I’ve never had another tea with ribwort leaves and after a very quick Google search I’ve learned that apparently they can have a mushroomy flavour. I have really, really minimal exposure to what mushrooms taste like given that I am pretty allergic to them; any time I’ve had them it’s been really involuntary and, upon realizing I’ve ingested them I’ve had much more pressing things on my mind other than the flavour.

It’s a fascinating experience for me even if it’s not the one I expected to be having and in that regard I’m a little disappointed this isn’t as black licorice-y as I wanted it to be but I also know I was projecting unfair expectations onto the tea. It’s definitely not a bad tea; just so weird. Am I actually tasting mushrooms!? I’d honestly be interested in going back and having this one all over again; I feel like without the expectation of a more licorice-y tea I might be more observant of the herbaceous qualities that are present. Overall, surprisingly sweet and savory!

Irish Cream Butter Crisps White Tea from Butiki Teas

Irish Cream Butter CrispTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Tea Description:

Our Irish Cream Butter Crisps tea pairs an intense creaminess with rich buttery sugar crisps for a decadent dessert treat. Adding some brown crystal sugar intensifies the sugar cookie component and cuts some of the creamy flavor. This is our creamiest tea yet.

Read more about this tea on Steepster.

Taster’s Review:

A few days ago, Butiki Teas announced that their last day of operation would be January 31st.  I still have a couple of other teas from them that I plan on reviewing – and some of them are now sold out and not returning – so you won’t be able to buy them, but I hope that you’ll be enjoying what I have to say about them anyway!

This is one such tea.  It’s been sold out!

I’m really happy that I got to order some before it sold out because this is yummy!  Just as the description above suggests, it’s really creamy.

The first thing I noticed was a strong buttery flavor.  It tasted like I was drinking a butter cookie.  It was sweet, but not too sweet, but definitely creamy and rich like a butter shortbread cookie.

I taste hints of Irish Cream but these are faint undertones.  Mostly what I taste is butter!  The white tea base has a hay-like flavor and I taste subtle whispers of fruit.  I found myself wishing I tasted more of the Irish Cream, but I do love this creamy, buttery sweetness that I’m tasting!

Since this is a white tea, I decided to resteep it.  And the second infusion was just as flavorful as the first – I’m still getting that really strong, buttery taste.  This actually tastes like someone liquefied a buttery shortbread cookie and added the liquid to a cup of white tea.  It’s such a strong, well defined flavor.

A really lovely tea – and as I sit here, drinking it, I can’t help but feel more than a wee bit sad that Butiki Teas is closing.  They will be missed!

24 Days of Tea Holiday Countdown – Day 4 from Teanzo 1856

It’s day four!  We are off and running as we count down the days until the big day arrives.

A snowman crafted out of polymer clay on a 2×2 inch canvas by Kari McKnight-Holbrook. Adorable!

Today, I decided to feature something that I didn’t make, but it’s one of my favorite gifties that I ‘ve received in the past from a fellow mail-art artist.  What’s a “mail-art” artist?  Basically, a couple of years ago, I was actively involved in a few online groups that would send each other little pieces of art in the mail.  It was fun and it was a great source of inspiration.

This piece was created by an artist named Kari McKnight-Holbrook.  I love the texture of the piece.  Every year, it gets a featured place on my mantle on its own tiny little easel.   It’s just so festive and cute and fun.

Now it’s time for some tea fun!

Irish Breakfast Tea

irishbreakfastTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Teanzo 1856

Tea Description:

A bold blend of leafy black teas from India and China with some golden tips.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

Reviewer’s Note:  After writing this review, I found this tea on the website – I don’t know if it was an oversight on my part or if it wasn’t on the website at the time of writing the review.  Anyway, it’s great that this tea is available now because it’s a good one!

I’m happy to have an Irish Breakfast Tea in my teacup – I love the bold, rich, malty flavor of an Irish Breakfast Tea!

And this Irish Breakfast from Teanzo has all that!  It’s a bold tea with the strong, hefty character that I look for in a breakfast blend.  It’s got a rich and satisfying mouthfeel and the sweet, malty notes that I like in my “first tea of the day.”

And it’s just what I needed this morning!  Today has been one of those days when I found it difficult to shake the sleepy.  I wanted to just stay in bed, curled up under the covers but I had things that I needed to do!  This tea came to my rescue today.

The flavor is robust.  It starts out sweet with notes of caramel mingling with the malty flavors.  At about mid-sip, I pick up on a slight bitterness.  It’s not a strong or unpleasant flavor, I think it offers a nice contrast to the sweetness at the start.  The sip offers notes of fruit (I taste raisin and dried plum) and hints of floral.  These floral notes are difficult to pinpoint, so I’ll describe it like this:  imagine standing in a tea garden and off on a distant hill there are some flowers.  When a gentle breeze sweeps through the area, hints of those flowers are picked up in the breeze and brought to where you are.  Mere hints of what lies in the distance.

The finish reminds me a bit of freshly baked bread.  Delicious and satisfying.  There is a wee bit of astringency at the tail, but it’s more like a slight dryness, kind of like what you might experience after eating a piece of that previously mentioned freshly baked bread.  There isn’t a lot of aftertaste to this, hints of distant flowers and a slight fruit note, as if it’s a continuation of what I experienced during the sip.

A truly rewarding cup of Irish Breakfast.  Thank you, Teanzo 1856, for including this in the Advent Calendar

Irish Breakfast Green Tea from Culinary Teas

irish_breakfast_greenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Culinary Teas

Tea Description: 

Irish Breakfast Green is full bodied with the ‘umpf’ of black tea but the gentleness of green tea. Enticing toasty hint of flavour. Massively Irish.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t usually turn to a green tea as a breakfast tea.  I usually want the kind of gusto a black tea provides, but this green tea packs a swift kick!  Yes, the “kick” is a bit milder than what I’d get if I were drinking a strong Assam black tea, but I could see grabbing this tea as a breakfast tea (even though I’m drinking this as an afternoon tea at the moment.)  It has a very satisfying flavor.

Yes, this is a blend, but that doesn’t make it complicated to brew.  I grabbed my Kati Tumbler – really, this is one of the greatest tea brewing systems that I own!  I turn to it frequently because it works great for teas that I have just enough for 1 serving of.  And since I’ll be sharing this sampling with my SororiTea Sister, TeaEqualsBliss, I want to make sure I have enough left to send her way!

I used 1 bamboo scoop of tea for 12 ounces of hot water.  I heated the water to 180°F and I steeped the blend for 1 1/2 minutes.  And wa-lah!  A lovely green tea!

This really is lovely!  A very flavorful green tea blend.  I knew when I brewed the tea that the teas were from China, Japan and Kenya, but I wasn’t sure which teas from these regions were used int he blend.  From looking at the dry blend, I would guess that the Chinese tea is a Gunpowder.  It’s a little harder to distinguish which teas from Japan and Kenya were used, but I think that the Kenyan is the larger, rolled green tea (see the photo above) and I think that the Japanese tea is a Houjicha (or a roasted Bancha type tea).  Of those three guesses, the only one that I’m pretty confident about is the Gunpowder.

I like the way the flavors come together.  The sip starts out sweet.  Right away I start to pick up on the toasty, nutty flavors.  It’s not an overly vegetal/grassy tasting tea but there certainly is a “green” sort of taste to it that’s a little vegetative.  There’s a hint of buttery flavor.  After my palate becomes acclimated to the nutty, buttery, and vegetal notes of the tea, I start to notice floral notes.  There is also a fruity note that I taste that is vaguely reminiscent of melon.  In the distance, I pick up a light “smokiness” to the cup that is quite intriguing.

Overall, I found this tea to be a rather enjoyable cuppa.  If you’re looking for a way to start your day with a green tea, this would be a great choice.  I wouldn’t add milk to it the way many do with a breakfast blend – I think that milk would really overwhelm the tea.

Plus:  Milk + Green Tea usually = ICK.  So best not to try that.

Instead, try this one straight up.  It’s got a really nice flavor without any additions at all.  If you must add something to your breakfast tea, try a dollop of locally harvested, raw honey (added health benefits with that!) or even better:  a thin slice of lemon or lime!