William Shakespeare’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson and Vail

ShakespeareTinTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Simpson & Vail

Tea Description:

Possibly the most well-known name in western literature, William Shakespeare began his life as a tanner’s son in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the spring of 1564. After a seven year period following the birth of his children in which no reliable records of his life can be found, Shakespeare reappeared in London where he began writing and acting in plays.

Initially, his name was relegated to the corners of playbills, but as his productions grew in popularity, theaters began using “written by William Shakespeare” as their main selling point. The plays and poems he produced during the thirty year period when he was writing have endured the test of time and are studied and read across the world. He pioneered many styles and structures that have set the foundations for some of western literature’s greatest achievements. Shakespeare is even credited with inventing over 1700 words in the English language.

Gardens, herbs, and flowers appear in many of Shakespeare’s plays and oftentimes play a critical role in his stories. Our William Shakespeare tea blend is a combination of a few of the many herbs he references: lavender, roses, rosemary. The wit and playfulness of his verse means that Shakespeare’s plays can still be enjoyed today, ideally with a warm cup of tea.

This black tea and floral blend brews to an amber cup with a sweet, floral taste. The slightly earthy and woody notes are rounded out with the citrus taste of bergamot and sweet rose petals.

Ingredients: Rose Congou black tea, lavender petals, rose petals, rosemary and bergamot oil.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is the first of many new teas (from Simpson & Vail) that we will be reviewing here at Sororitea Sisters – William Shakespeare’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson and Vail – that is!  I’ve always been a fan of poetry but this specific name and tea go beyond my love for writing!  Whether or not it’s TRUE or a case of mistaken identity – I ‘may’ be distantly related to William Shakespeare.  The family rumor is that I am related to a ‘John Hall’ from Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.  There was a John Hall that was a Doctor there in the 1500’s that married William Shakespeare’s Daughter Susanna.

So there were MANY reasons I was excited about this tea!  But let’s get to the ACTUAL tea experience – shall we? This William Shakespeare’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson and Vail has a black tea base and is blended with lavender, rose, rosemary, and bergamot oil.  After reading the product description and learning about the connection and inspiration of this tea I was blown away at the creativity and artisan-ship!

First and foremost the powerful aroma smacked me in the face as soon as I opened the bag!  This is some STURDY stuff!  William Shakespeare’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson and Vail is like a special flavored Earl Grey.  Not just your standard EG but with a little extra something.  But the aroma was magnified that is for sure!

The color of the post-infused tea in the cup was a lighter color of brown that I thought it would be.  But that didn’t mean the taste was going to be lacking.  The flavor on the tongue was almost as intense as it was on the nose!  I could taste the Earl Grey as well as the heavy-duty lavender.  The rosemary was subtle but contributed.

I really enjoyed this William Shakespeare’s Black Tea Blend from Simpson and Vail.  Sure – the tea was a winner – but – when you have a theme, tribute, or personal story with it – it makes it even better!


Good Morning Energy Tea from Tea Drift

Good_Morning_Energy_largeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Tea Drift

Tea Description:

Black tea, lavender, rose, bergamot and rosemary.

  • Helps fight bad breath
  • Lowers the risk of diabetes
  • Improves damaged lungs from cigarette smoke
  • Reduces risk of heart disease

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Tea Drift’s Good Morning Energy Tea is direct and to the point.  Good Morning Energy Tea from Tea Drift contains Black Tea as the base with highlights of lavender, rose, bergamot, and rosemary.  But I picked up on something a little extra and somewhat mysterious.  It resembled lemon grass.  Perhaps it was just the naturally-morphed bergamot and rosemary combo.  Regardless it was a delight.

I was able to get about 3 infusions with this dry loose leaf.  Of course the first was the strongest and the 2nd was quite good too.  The only reason I attempted a 3rd infusion was to see how far I could stretch it.  The last infusion was fairly week but overall my experience with this tea was a positive one.

I’m not sure how much energy it really gave me but it was a pleasant morning cuppa either way.  The Lavender was more noticeable than the rose.  The Bergamot wasn’t overly intense and the rosemary really helped take the flavor to the next level.  The Black Tea base was nice…not too bold but not weak either.  Eventho this had Bergamot in it I wouldn’t call it an Earl Grey it was far from it.  This flavored tea has an identity all of its own and I appreciate that.

This is certainly worth a sip and many more to follow.  Try and for yourself and let us know what you think!


Lemon Jasmine Cleanse Tea from WayGood Tea

LemonJasmineTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  WayGood Tea

Tea Description:

A delicate herbal infusion kissed with fragrant rose petals & jasmine flowers.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Dry, this Lemon Jasmine Cleanse Tea from WayGood Tea smells more like sage and rosemary than it does lemon or jasmine (or any other ingredient in this herbal tisane).  But I don’t mind – I like sage and rosemary!

To brew this, I placed one sachet in my teacup and poured 8 ounces of near boiling (195°F) water over the sachet.  Then I allowed it to steep for 6 minutes.  The brewed tisane is a golden hue and smells pleasantly of sage and rosemary with hints of flower and subtle notes of lemon.  Similar to the dry tea – the fragrance is primarily rosemary and sage but more of the fruit and floral notes are coming through now.

The flavor is interesting.  I can’t say that I’ve ever tasted a tea or tisane quite like this.  That’s not to say I’m not enjoying it.  To be honest, I think I need another minute or two of writing about it before I figure out if I really do like it!

I taste sage and rosemary – not surprisingly based upon my experience with the aroma – but I also taste rose.  I appreciate that even though the sage and rosemary are dominate fragrances in this tea, their flavors do not overwhelm the cup.

I’m kind of surprised that the name of this tea is “Lemon Jasmine Cleanse” but of the ingredients in this blend – jasmine, rose, lemon verbena, alfalfa, sage, rosemary & lemon peel – the lemon and jasmine are not very prominent flavors in the cup.  The only thing I taste less than the lemon and jasmine here is the alfalfa.

I really can’t recall ever having tasted brewed alfalfa – I very well may have in another tea in my years as a tea reviewer, I just can’t recall having tasted it.  So, I wouldn’t know what to look for in the flavor here as an identifying note for the alfalfa.

As I continue to sip, I notice more jasmine and lemon notes, but they never really offer a strong presence in this drink.  Despite this, I’m finding this to be an enjoyable tisane.  It’s certainly different, but in many cases, different is good!  And it certainly has proven that to be the case with this.  I’d be happy to sip on this again!

Vintage Earl Grey from New Mexico Tea Company


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  New Mexico Tea Company

Tea Description:

A sophisticated twist to an undeniably sophisticated black tea. Vintage Earl Grey adds the subtleties of rose and lavender to the familiar well-loved tradition of Italian orange bergamot for a smashing afternoon delight. Enjoyed with an intimate circle of friends or in your own personal retreat time, this soothing and lively combination will stir memories of pleasant times well spent.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Vintage Earl Grey blend from New Mexico Tea Company is a very interesting combination of flavors … a really unusual but tasty twist on a classic favorite!

My first thought when I saw so many floral notes plus bergamot was that this would end up tasting like one of those fancy body washes that you might find in a specialty shop in the mall.  And while I’ve not actually picked up a bottle of body wash and chugged it, I think I can still say that this does not taste like body wash … or soap … or perfume!

It is one of the more unique Earl Grey blends that I’ve encountered.  The flavor is at once citrus-y/bergamot-y, rose, lavender, and rosemary, with a background of black tea flavor.  The black tea base is rather subtle and even a tad overwhelmed by the presence of so many strong flavors … but that does not mean that I do not taste the black tea.  It just means that it is not as prominent as it would be in a traditional Earl Grey blend.  While it doesn’t stand out and say “Here I Am” to the palate, it comes through in the background.  There is only a wee bit of astringency and no bitterness with this tea.

In one sip, I notice notes of rose, lavender, bergamot, resin and pine, plus a backdrop of black tea.  The rose is the first flavor that I notice immediately.  The bergamot then comes through, offering its distinctive citrus-y, tangy flavor.  The lavender takes a few sips to really be recognized … and I think this has something to do with the other ingredients actually “altering” the usually distinguished flavor of lavender … it took me a little while for me to recognize the flavor as lavender … whereas if this had been a straightforward lavender scented black tea, I would have noticed the lavender immediately because of the lack of other ingredients to taint the lavender’s presence.

The rosemary is there too, and I like the sharp, pine-ish flavor that it offers the cup.  It really does give this a ‘vintage-y’ kind of flavor together with the rose and lavender.  It’s quite remarkable.

I really enjoyed the way this tea came together.  It is indeed DIFFERENT, but, different isn’t always bad.  In this case, different is definitely GOOD, and it was unique and interesting enough to keep me sipping!

Citrus Spice White Iced Tea from Nature’s Tea Leaf

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Nature’s Tea Leaf

Tea Description:

Citrus Spice White Iced Tea is an exclusive iced tea blend that combines choice White Peony tea with real pieces of spicy ginger, zesty lemon and fragrant rosemary herbs. Our specially blended iced tea allows the brightness and tanginess of the lemon to soften the distinctive piquant bite of the ginger while allowing the aromatic essence of natural rosemary to shine through. This perfect balance of sweet, spicy, citrus and savory is a taste sensation you will want to experience again and again by the glass or by the pitcher.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I hot-brewed this and allowed the tea to cool to room temperature before chilling it, but I admit to taking a quick sip or two of it while it was still hot to see how I liked it served hot. And while I did enjoy this as a hot tea, I agree with Nature’s Tea Leaf:  this tea excels as an Iced Tea!

And yet, this is quite unlike any iced tea I’ve ever tasted … and I mean that in a very good way.  That is not meant to slight any tea that I might have tasted in the past, only to say that this is so refreshingly DIFFERENT.

The white tea offers a soft, creamy undertone to the bright, sunny citrus tones and the SAVORY spices.  Yes, that’s right, I said savory.  This is not a chai … which is immediately what I think when I see “spice tea” … and that is what makes it so different.  The ginger tastes zesty and peppery, but it lacks a certain heat that you might ordinarily experience with ginger because it doesn’t have other exotic spices like cinnamon, cloves or cardamom to enhance the spicy-heat of the ginger.  Instead, the ginger tastes a bit more mellow – peppery, yes, but without the heat.

The rosemary is what allows these flavors to translate into a more savory kind of taste.  The rosemary enhances the citrus-y tones while bringing in a delicate pine-like taste (and aroma!) to the cup.  So the tea does indeed have an exotic kind of taste to it, but, not a spicy-hot-chai kind of exotic.  Instead, it is more of a balanced taste with its bright citrus notes, sweet white tea, warmly spiced ginger and savory rosemary.

This is not only wonderful because it is so different, but it also gets BONUS POINTS for being incredibly soothing.  With winter time right around the corner and with it comes the cold-and-flu season, this is the kind of tea that you want to have on hand when you’re feeling a touch under the weather.

Very refreshing … deliciously different.  I like this very much!  OH… and it tastes great cold-brewed too!