photo credit: Khuroshvili Ilya
Gary's Kilty Pleasure (A Scottish Breakfast Tea)- This is my go-to tea from my favorite tea bar. I drink it at least once a day. It is perfect for the mornings to reinforce you and for those rainy days you need warmed from the inside out. Plus, it is blended on sight at the store, and all their tea is fair-trade. Here's what Red Lodge Books and Tea had to say about it: "Gary's Kilty Pleasure is a Scottish breakfast tea blended from Assam and Kenya black estate teas...known for its maltiness and astringency. Gary chose a nice, malty Assam from the Khongea Estate for this blend.The Kenya black tea from the Lelsa Estate balances out the blend, producing a smooth, bright breakfast tea that tastes good with milk, but doesn't require anything."
Mr. Excellent's Post-Apocalyptic Earl Grey Tea- This tea has been smoked, and so tastes like a campfire smells in the early morning. Which, admittedly, is a very specific taste and one I reserve for special moods or days, rather than my typical morning cup of tea. But its unique tea and I've never really seen its like before. It is perfect for a pensive mood and a reminder of nature's majesty. It has a complex taste best described by the Red Lodge Books and Tea: "...the bergamot is the first thing to hit the nose, cutting through the smokiness of the lapsang souchong. When you take the first sip, the bergamot all but disappears, leaving the pine smoke flavor, which fades into the base tea (an organic black Yunnan) as it swirls through your mouth. After you swallow, the bergamot returns, blending with the smoke to create a lingering aftertaste."
Lady Londonderry- The Townshend's Tea Company advertises the tea by saying that "Rumor has it this was Princess Diana's favorite tea. Flavorful smooth black tea with a hint of strawberry and lemon." And I'll admit that I was intrigued to know what made this a royal favorite; my secret celebrity radar tingled! But the tea did not disappoint. With many fruits in tea, they tend to overpower the palette; not so here. The strawberry and lemon show only in subtle hints of flavor, making it so I prefer this tea straight, with no cream or sugar.
Roasted Chestnut- I am obsessed with this tea and before one could order it online from Nicole's Bakery, I would get several tins each time I visited the Fargo area. This tea has a delicate, nutty flavor quite unlike anything I've ever tasted before, but which compliments anything choose to serve the tea with. Interestingly, it actually doesn't contain any chestnuts, but it is made with sliced almonds, so those with tree nut allergies should be aware of that fact.
Lady Greystroke- Earl Grey tea in general is a favorite with me, but my very favorite variation of it is this, A lavender infused Earl Grey tea. "A smooth, mellow Earl Grey with wild lavender, a bit of rooibos, and just a touch of vanilla to add a touch of creaminess," is how the Red Lodge Tea Company describes their brew. The lavender is most strongly noticable in its scent; I've seen ladies make sachets out of this tea, in addition to drinking it, for their clothing drawers. But if you are drinking it, it is a delicate tea that doesn't really need cream, though Lady Greystroke does make for a delicious Tea Latte as well. Plus, it is named after Tarzan's wife, so the literary allusion makes it extra fun to buy!