While in Traverse City recently I visited a wonderful tea shop – the Spice & Tea Merchants shop. It’s a cozy little store with wonderful smells of spices and teas. I probably could have spent hours just gawking at all the tea.
I bought a couple of teas while there, one of which was a “Canadian Ice Wine” black tea blend. The tea blends ice wine, black tea, white tea, and freeze dried grapes. I’ll admit I bought it just because it seemed very different and it was Canadian based even though it was being sold at a shop in the US.
The tea really smells strongly like grapes. The taste is a bit more subtle – the black tea is fairly prominent and is complimented by a fruity undertone. It’s an interesting combination. I’m not sure it would start buying it in bulk but I’m definitely glad I tried it.
Oh the puns! This white tea is fruity smelling and fruity tasting. The punny name comes from the honeydew melon in the tea it is accompanied by Apple, pineapple, mango, rose petals, natural watermelon flavouring.
The rose petals struck me as a little odd in this fruit heavy mix but I didn’t notice their taste when drinking the tea. The mango and pineapple are also pretty subtle with the honeydew and apple being the main taste of the tea. Despite the fruit content the tea isn’t overly sweet, which is nice.
I think this would be good steeped cold in the summer, it has a light taste and the fruity notes would transfer well to a iced tea. This might be because the tea flavouring is pretty mild in this, it tastes more like a fruit infusion than a white tea. Tasty though.
Anything with the name Buddha in it has a tendency to remind me of the Laughing Buddha in Sudbury and the tasty pizza that could be procured there. Today’s tea, Buddha’s Blend, is a mixture of white tea and green tea with jasmine pearls, white hibiscus blossoms, and natural and artificial flavouring.
The tea smells sweet, juicy, and a bit like peach. It has a floral smell and the floral note seems to be the strong point in the taste of the tea. I think you need to be really careful of how long you steep this tea – less would be more in this case – or else you’re going to end up with a floral, perfume tasting beverage that isn’t particularly enjoyable. The more bitter aspects come out in the tea came out as it cool, so I’d recommend not leaving the tea to sit while you do other things around the house…as I normally do.
But if you like floral or the fake peach flavour that was so common the peach fountain drinks of our childhood, this is probably you a good tea for you. Otherwise I’d recommend doing a very light steep as the taste is a bit overpowering.
Cherry Blossom Tea.
As soon as I saw the name of today’s tea I figured it would be one I didn’t enjoy. I don’t tend to like fruity teas. Though I was intrigued by the fact that Cherry Blossom was a white tea and not a herbal tea – maybe there was hope?
Cherry Blossom is a mixture of white tea, green tea, cherries, coconut chips, rosebuds, natural and artificial cherry flavouring. I anticipated the tea being red in colour from the rosebuds and the cherry flavouring. The dry tea is pretty neat looking with pops of colour provided by the rosebuds. Surprisingly when brewed it’s an off white shade and the smell is a mixture of floral and cherry, it doesn’t smell like cough syrup like most cherry teas tend to.
As predicted I wasn’t a huge fan of this tea. The cherry wasn’t overpowering but it provided a bittersweet flavour to the tea that I didn’t enjoy. I’m also not a huge fan of hidden coconut so no surprise that this isn’t going to be added to my preferred tea list.
Day 2: Mango Madness
Mango Madness. A nice alliterative name. The name also reminds me of a descriptive crayon name for shade of yellow.
Today’s tea surprise was mango madness, a white tea with low caffeine. The smell is overwhelmingly mango but the taste is a more subtle fruit blend. It’s apparently a mixture of mango, orange, and pineapple.
The tea is a bit on the sweet side and might be good as a mid afternoon break. I found the sweetness a bit much first thing in the morning.