Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yum! Tea...

I've been trying to buy whatever I need from vendors on Etsy and showcasing them here. Tea is one of my favorite indulgences so I thought this would be a good item to shop for on Etsy. I am a very picky tea person. I do NOT like the teabags as a general rule, particularly those that are just dust particles of tea leaves that look they came from the bottom of some barrrel. There are some nice tea bags lately that are whole leaf and come in biodegradeable bags but that's another post for another day. Also for another day I'll share my favorite brewing methods.

Overall I prefer loose leaf tea and today I received some yummy teas that I ordered from Ivykeep. 

While not a huge selection, I was intrigued by some of the flavored teas. I tend to purchase my green teas and darjeeling teas directly from suppliers who have access to the best of the best. However, I enjoy trying  flavored varieties from new sources. I decided to try the Blood Orange and Smashing Good Tea (described as "A full bodied and robust tea that lends itself well to warming up your winter nights or brewed as an iced tea to complement any summertime bar b que. Fairly traded organic black tea is blended with high quality flavours, including chocolate and orange, to create a taste experience that is anything but ordinary"). I highly recommend this as a dessert type of tea instead of after dinner coffee.
One I did NOT try but is worth mentioning "Bubble Gum Yum" described as "A mixture of fun fruit and tasty blossoms make up the base of this vitamin C infused tisane which is accented with bright bubblegum balls." Yes, bubble gum balls. This is actually a tisane, I'll put descriptions below but here's  the very fun pic.

 I really like that Ivy Keep donates portions of their proceeds to local charities, and are expanding their use of environmentally conscious supplies and materials. Below are some great descriptions from the shop:

FRUIT AND HERB TISANES - A herbal tea, sometimes known as a Tisane, is an infusion made from any plant other than the tea plant, or Camellia Sinensis. This separates them from flavoured tea, where the plant or flower is added to the tea leaf. Made from dried fruit, seeds and flowers, the different variates of herbal tea are practically limitless, and many have added health properties.

FLAVOURED TEA – A flavoured tea is created by adding fruits, seeds or flowers to dried tea leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant. By flavouring the tea, and extra dimension is added to the normal tea-drinking experience as the different flavours are almost limitless. They are also a fantastic choice for people who enjoy herbal tea but would also like a little bit of a caffeine kick!

BLACK TEA – Black tea is the most oxidised variety of tea that comes from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis, also used to make oolong, green and white teas. It is strong in flavour and contains more caffeine than the less oxidised teas. This tea retains its flavour far longer than other teas, and as such has even been used as a form of currency in Tibet, Mongolia and Siberia in the past. Black tea is the most popular tea in Western countries, and is often blended with other leaves to create the much beloved English Breakfast and Earl Grey teas that are so popular today.

GREEN TEA - Green tea is a less oxidised version of the Camellia Sinensis plant which is also used to make black and white tea. Originating from Eastern Asia, it has been used for thousands of years as both a beverage and a herbal medicine. In fact, in Japan it is often referred to “nihoncha” or “Japanese tea” despite it having earlier origins in China. In recent years, it has been more widely used in the West for it's alleged antioxidant properties. Regardless of any possible medicinal benefit, green tea makes for an incredibly refreshing cup.

ROOIBOS FLAVOURED TEA – Rooibos, or “red bush” tea is a variety of herbal tea originating from the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is well known for it's medicinal properties and has been used in South Africa to treat ailments such as infantile colic and asthma. It is also a popular alternative to black and green tea as it is naturally caffeine free. Flavoured Rooibos tea gives that little extra spark to an already sweet, enjoyable evening beverage.

CHAI TEA – Chai tea originates in India, and is made with a mixture of locally grown tea leaves and Indian herbs and spices. Throughout India “Chai Wallahs” or Chai sellers are a common sight, and Chai is now a mainstay of modern Indian culture. Tea plants have grown in the Assam region for hundreds of years, but were considered more of a herbal medicine until the British colonization of India in the 1800s. The East India Company worried about the Chinese monopoly on the tea trade, and greatly increased tea production in India.


  1. Thank you for the post. Our selection of tea will be growing soon. A few new flavours are in the works and many more on the "drawing board" .

    A note about the Bubblegum Yum Tisane. Remove the gum before brewing :)

  2. I don't drink tea but if I did I would so get the bubble gum yum - sounds good!