Say Aloha from Harlow Tea Co. . . . .

In theory, Spring is upon us. As the weather heats up, it is time to say goodbye to heavier winter teas and say hello or perhaps Aloha to lighter spring teas. So what is a lighter spring tea?

Well for me fruity greens come to mind. They are lighter in color and lighter in flavor. And Harlow’s Say Aloha with its strawberries and pineapple and other fruits sounds like a spring tea to me.

One misstep I think they took with this tea was using both a hojicha base and hibiscus. Both are such strong ingredients that they wrestle to take center stage, drowning out the fruity flavors in the process. Personally I think the hojicha base would have provided enough of a foundation to give this tea body and depth while allowing the other ingredients to play a bigger role.

As it is now, there is a roastiness from the green tea, a tartness from the hibiscus, and then a generic fruity sweetness from all the various fruits here. Plus, since candied fruit was used, the sweetness is strong, making for another contender in the wrestling match. These components are making war, when they should be blending harmoniously.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green Tea
Where to Buy:  Harlow Tea Co.

Houjicha green tea, hibiscus flower, myrtle leaf, strawberry leaf, dried strawberries, dried pineapple, dried plums, and cinnamon dried apples.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson & Vail

I’ve always been a fan of Edgar Allan Poe’s works and when I saw Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson & Vail I knew I just HAD to try it! A funny side-story prior to my review of this tea…when we first adopted Riley…our Corgi/Lab Mix he had terrible separation anxiety and because of it he used to grab books off my bookshelf and shred them to pieces! The Works of Edgar Allan Poe was his first and most graphic causality.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson & Vail is a Black Tea and Pu-erh Tea Blend with the addition of bergamot oil and beet root. Digging deeper into the black tea base – Simpson & Vail uses multiple black teas and even adds Lapsang Souchong in the mix!

The color of this – once brewed – is a dark brown but has red glowing thru – as well – thanks to the beet. It’s a glorious color – it really is! The aroma is smoky yet fruity.

The taste will take more explaining! Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson & Vail is complex but delicious! Upfront I could taste the Lapsang Souchong. It was smoky but not overly-so because of the other things happening in this tea. In the middle of the sip there is a sweet fruitiness going on that is a nice surprise. Following that welcomed fruity interruption is a wonderful malt flavor AND texture that swim around on my tongue. This blended teas ends smooth, fruity, and slightly smoky. There is an after taste and after thought of citrus that lingers, too. This is REALLY wonderful! I can’t think of anything I don’t like about this blended-based tea! YUM!

What I really LOVE and appreciate about the THOUGHT that went into Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson & Vail is the ingredients. To look at the dry blend it’s EVERYTHING DARK which totally explains Edgar Allan Poe’s life, work, and character. Throw in a bit of Lapsang Souchong and it just makes it very more ‘goth’ and mysterious. The beet root offers an immediate comparison to blood which also fits into the life and times and works of Poe. I might be getting a little over-analyzing with this next statement but I feel that lingering flavor from the bergamot symbolizes Poe’s talent that is still appreciated today and makes his literary-legendary live on.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Simpson & Vail


This dark, earthy blend evokes the damp tombs of Poe’s stories. While it is perhaps the most well known, The Cask of Amontillado is not Poe’s only story in which his fear of being buried alive becomes a major plot point. His vivid descriptions of “utter darkness among a quantity of loose earth” that “threaten[ed] to bury [him] entirely” offered a direction for our blend. It combines the earthy tones of Pu­erh black with the mellow smokiness of Lapsang and the slightest citrus hint of an Earl Grey. The dried beetroot turns the brewed tea a deep blood red.

Ingredients: Black teas, pu­erh tea, lapsang souchong tea, beetroot and bergamot oil.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!