" Come sit by my side and over a cup of tea, speak to me of the goodness of life."
Lady Evelyn Fitzgerald Dodson

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Care True Black

Sometimes you need a quick cuppa, without the usually enjoyable fuss of using loose leaf yea. That's why we'll never be tea snobs here in the parlor. The latest bagged tea we're trying right now is Care True Black tea, distributed by Numi. Numi teas (loose and bagged) are a favorite here, and we hoped Care would live up to Numi standards. We're pleasantly surprised. Care is an extremely affordable organic tea (words not always found in the same sentence) with the added bonus of being fair trade (we always love fair trade) and non-gmo, with another added bonus of having a very pleasant taste and aroma. Smooth, subtle, not strong (we'd never use the word robust), this a lovely, mild cup whose flavor is made more enjoyable by all the other good things that surround it. We love the way tea makes us relax and feel, and we love when a tea manufacturer cares about the planet as much as we care about the taste of the tea we're sipping.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Tazo Iced Citrus Bliss

It's iced tea time here in the desert. Well, actually, it's always iced tea time, anywhere, as far as we here in the parlor are concerned. We have sampled several of the Tazo iced tea blends, and especially enjoyed Citrus Bliss. We usually don't bother to boil the water; we just let cold water brew the tea, even if that takes a little longer. Perfect with grilled fare, nachos, or a sweet dessert.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Steven Smith Teamaker No. 512 Churchmouse Winter

A recent vacation to Bainbridge Island included a visit to Churchmouse Yarn and Teas, where we bought yarn and, of course, tea. We've spent the past two months enjoying Steven Smith Teamaker No. 512 Churchmouse Winter, because winter int he desert can bring freezing overnight temperatures. That's when a strong, hot cup of tea is perfect. This blend of malty Assam and brisk Ceylon with smoky Yunnan is perfect for such a night, smooth and hearty. It's a tea that will warm any hearth. It was perfect with oatmeal and blueberries on a crisp, cold winter desert morning.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Tea of Life English Breakfast

An unfamiliar-to-us bagged tea, Tea of Life was a smooth if uninspired blend. The mellow breakfast blend stood up well to milk and honey, and while it may not have zinged our taste buds, we found it a more than adequate companion at our breakfast table. This would be a good tea to introduce to non-tea drinkers, as it was not astringent nor did it have a strong tannin taste. On the plus side, it was very affordable, and we always like teas that are in a tin that allows for maintenance of freshness.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Teaberry's Vanilla Cookie

This morning we enjoyed a brisk and breezy patio breakfast. We felt like celebrating such fine weather, and what better way than to drink a tea that is almost like dessert? Teaberry is our favorite tea room of all time, and we bought this sample on our last visit there. We can't recommend Teaberry's Tea Room highly enough--delicious food, delicious tea, and gorgeous venue.

Vanilla cookie is a sweet black tea blend, with hints of vanilla, that rolls across the palate. Not an everyday tea for us, because it is a bit on the sweet side, but a lovely scent and a smooth flavor.

Steve Smith Teamaster Churchmouse Winter No. 512

We were very excited to visit Churchmouse Yarn and Tea on Bainbridge Island a few months ago, and yes, we bought both yarn and tea. Yesterday, in honor of the winter solstice and the arrival of winter--finally--in the desert, and our 27 degrees Farenheit temperature, we celebrated with Churchmouse Winter No. 512, blended by Steve Smith Teamaster.

We loved this tea: strong yet smooth, a perfect blend of Yunnan. Assam, and Ceylon. The marketing describes it as having a hint of summer fruit, which we found to be an extremely subtle tinge of sweetness--delightful. No. 512 is one of our favorite teas, and one of our best recent tea discoveries. The perfect tea to warm up with on a blustery winter's morning or after a tromp through frosty fields. This will be a permanent addition to the pantry shelf.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Adagio Brigadoon Breakfast

We love old movies here in the parlor, and are especially fond of musicals, and especially musicals with Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire. Imagine our delight to find a tea last year named after one of our favorite movie musicals, "Brigadoon."

We purchased some Adagio Brigadoon Breakfast in 2016, but like the town itself, our review disappeared. Like the fictional town, it's reappeared when least expected. Adagio has created it's own niche with marketing gimmicks like fandom blends and Earl Grey Bella Luna, only sold on full moon days. Brigadoon Breakfast is the ultimate example of these gimmick teas, available only on Leap Day. And dang, if we didn't fall for the gimmick, and dang, if it we didn't like the tea.

Despite the gimmick, it is a lovely blend of Assam and Keemun teas, two of our favorites here in the parlor, made more aesthetic by the addition of Silver Needle. We were very fond of Brigadoon Breakfast and were very sad when it disappeared into the mists. We are Tommy, wandering the heather and missing what we had so briefly. We will definitely procure a larger amount of tea come 2020 so we can stash some for movie viewing and early mornings when the mist seeps around the heather. Or as close as we can get to that daydream in the desert.

Yes, we fell for the gimmick because in this instance, the tea was very good. If you like a strong, hearty tea, you'll like this one. Sip it while watching Brigadoon and humming "Bonnie Jean."