Should have looked this up on Steepster before I brewed this as my morning, erm afternoon tea. I thought it was just a black tea along the lines of golden monkey and the company was just being clever with the name (later I realized this is Red Leaf and while they certainly do clever, it’s cleverly flavored blends) as this came in a little baggie compliments of Tunes&Tea thank you! It didn’t smell flavored in dry leaf form, maybe just a touch savory but when I added the hot water I was surprised to find a very fruity aroma rising out of the cup, oh dear, wine tea, in the morning, ahem afternoon. Oh well, I’ll grab a cookie and go with it.

First sip, oh hey this is spicy, hmmm is that cinnamon in my wine, err tea? Mulled wine tea. I like it! I’ve had several wine inspired teas (mostly from Teavana), though never a wine infused tea and never with a black tea base. I don’t mind the musty note others speak of and I think my wine loving aunt would really like this, I got her and her wife a cast-iron pot last year and some aforementioned wine inspired tea, but I think this and a “bottle” of vintage tea works would be good to send along.

The only thing I find weird and I mean really really weird is that when I bite in my Christmas cookie (husband’s grandmother’s recipe, nice and thick and soft and normally oh so delicious) it tasted like a chicken biscuit. Oh dear, is this my subconscious at work (chicken Marsala) or are the tea and cookie really playing off each other this way? Several more bites of Christmas chicken cookie confirm, they really are. I think I’m going to make some pasta for lunch. Thank you Tunes&Tea fr the wild monkey morning, erm afternoon (okay so the toddler and I slept in and then stayed in bed for a long time)!

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Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.


Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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