Doing Everything Right – A Tea Tasting Adventure

Doing Everything Right – A Tea Tasting Adventure

The David’s Tea Summer Collection I received for my birthday last year had a bonus attached to it; a coupon for 25% off tea purchases until the end of July. I’m always on the lookout for new teas and this seemed the perfect opportunity to find my next staple. Especially since I had just started plumbing the depths of loose leaf tea, and Adagio is still slightly inaccessible due to international shipping costs. I took my coupon into the local store at the mall, presented it to the workers on duty and asked what I could buy with it.

Let me tell you; that was a really freaking good day.

For some context, I was about to release my first paperback. Island of Lost Forevers had been available in digital format for about three years. The third book in the trilogy was just about a year old, and I had finally met someone with experience in producing paperbacks who flung me over the edge into making my own. I had been stressing over the money spent on that first advertising campaign, pulling my hair out to get everything done on time, and this trip occupied a rare moment of tranquility before the other shoe dropped.

I had no idea that I was going to walk into the local David’s Tea and discover my people. I was just hoping to find one new tea I might end up falling in love with. But I spent about half an hour talking with the tea expert, browsing their tea library, sniffing all the various options available. And I happened to mention, sometime between discussions of which tea flavors I like most, that I’m a writer. That my first paperback was coming out. That I was scared as hell about it.

I get a lot of different reactions to the revelation that I’m a writer. Some people smile patiently and nod. Some people get excited enough to ask about what I write. But this time, the tea expert looked me dead in the eyes and said, “How does it feel to be doing everything right with your life?”

When you’ve just spent the last three months wondering if you’re doing anything right, those words are powerful. They carried me through the rest of the month, that’s for sure! And as a bonus, I came home with four brand new teas to taste.

Buddha’s Blend – Zen in a Cup

The first tea I settled on was Buddha’s Blend. The name alone was enough to catch my interest but the smell! This tea smells like a sweet and subtle fruit punch – but there’s not a single fruit in it! The ingredients include white and green tea, jasmine pearls and white hibiscus blossoms. The label boasts we’re pretty sure we just found the key to achieving nirvana. Whoever made this tea was right; it’s pure zen in a cup.

When I have a rough day, or when I need to focus, I brew myself a cup of Buddha’s Blend and all my troubles seem to melt away. This tea is light but it has a rich flavor, delicate, floral and – yes – fruity. Best of all this tea doesn’t need anything to enhance it (though I do sometimes add a drop of honey, depending on my mood). This has become my writing tea, perfect for getting the muse moving on any afternoon (rain or shine). I hope to keep a constant supply in the tea cupboard.

Green Passionfruit – a Tangy Sensation

My second selection was Green Passionfruit. This was a tough choice. I love pretty much every green tea I’ve ever sipped, but my husband hates pretty much every green tea with equal strength. Also, I worried this tea would be too similar to the Buddha’s Blend. Not that they smell the same (they don’t), but this tea has an obviously fruity scent. But I’m a stickler for teas with light fruity flavors (such as the now discontinued Berry White, Countess of Seville and even Adagio’s Green Rooibos Bonita. And of all the fruity teas I own, this one is unique because it boasts both passion fruit and pineapple as ingredients.

This tea has a unique, tangy taste, but it isn’t overpowering or tart. Like the Buddha’s Blend, it doesn’t need any additions to taste spectacular, though a touch of honey really makes the fruity flavors shine. I would describe this tea as fun and cheerful, perfect to lift your spirits when they’re low. And the real kicker? My husband actually likes this tea, despite his hatred of all teas green!

Caribbean Crush – My New Favorite Iced Tea

I didn’t intend to come home with four different fruity teas. But that’s kind of how it worked out. I initially dismissed Caribbean Crush – I’m not a huge fan of papaya and cranberry, and the Green Passionfruit also contains pineapple. But I kept coming back to the smell. It didn’t smell like pineapple or cranberry. It almost smells like fruit bubblegum, if I’m honest. It was the height of summer and I kept thinking how fantastic this would taste iced. So we decided to go ahead and get some. Oh boy, am I glad we did!

I’m not a fan of drinking this tea hot. It’s tart, quite similar to Adagio’s Berry Blues. You can tame it a touch with honey, but I’m not big on drinking pie filling. Iced however, iced this tea is amazing! It’s sweet and subtle. It doesn’t need anything to sweeten it. I actually sweetened our first batch with a little bit of sugar and it was too much. None of the fruits in this tea are overpowering, but they all blend together to make you feel like you’re relaxing on a beach. I’m especially fond of this tea with a small splash of lemonade. I expect it to be a staple of our fridge this upcoming summer!

Power Berry – A Powerful Punch

I did not choose this tea; my husband did. Considering how excited I got with all the tea presented to me, I thought it was only fair that he get to choose one of the teas we took home. He likes fruit-flavored teas, and he seems to like the tart and tangy a lot more than I do. Plus this is a mate tea, which means it has a strong hit of caffeine – which he really likes his teas to include. Smell wise, it reminds me of a cross between grape juice and fruit punch. It’s got a lot of rich, dark fruits in it like black currant, elderberry, raspberry and blueberry.

Taste wise, this tea is okay. It’s not my favorite but I don’t dislike it. It’s not too tart for me, which is great, but it’s a little too fruit-punchy for me. I’d like to try it iced at some point, but haven’t had a chance yet. On the other hand, my husband loves this tea. And since he once refused to drink a single drop of the stuff, I’m not going to discourage him from a taste he loves. It all works out in the end, since I’m not keen to share my Buddha’s blend – I drink most of that one and he drinks most of this one!

Overall it was a satisfying haul and I can’t wait to go back and try more!

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