I thought that this would be a fun idea for Tuesdays, to either review a new tea discovery, or some fun tea time recipes (cucumber sandwiches, yum yum), or even a bit of history regarding tea and the different practices in serving it around the world. Who doesn't find the Japanese tea ceremony fascinating?
Anyway, I recently discovered the most charming tea shop in Granville, Ohio - Petali Teas. Even more lovely is the owner's bulk store which is opened on the weekends, where you gain access to over three hundred hand crafted tea blends. Heaven!
Naturally, I stocked up. What makes Petali Teas even more fantastic are the tins they use to package your tea. If you bring an empty tin back to the store, you receive a discount for recycling it for your next purchase. And, they have a loyalty club, where you get punches per purchase (bigger tin = more punches), and a free tea every ten or so.
All this means I stocked up, and have become hooked on all manner of amazing, delicious loose-leaf teas I had never before discovered. In my excitement, I attempted to have a tea tasting for The Boyfriend, as he hadn't experienced anything beyond Southern style sweet tea.
The Boyfriend: It all just tastes like dirty water.
Me: You Philistine.
Just look at that tea! How can you not be intrigued?
Anyway, in all seriousness, I need to rave about two of my favorite teas from Petali. The first is Edinburgh Caramel Puerh. I had never even heard of Puerh tea before, and picked it solely based upon its heady caramel scent. Puerh tea is fermented dark tea known as black tea in China, which is not to be confused with Western style black tea. It's a much stronger taste and somewhat reminiscent of coffee. It's rich and slightly bitter, which when combined with the sweet and salty tang of caramel, makes me feel like I'm enjoying a Snickers bar. It's heaven in a cup when I'm jonesing for my three o'clock snack, and there are no sweets to be had in the office.
My other new favorite is an herbal tea called Lapin Jardin. (That's roughly 'bunny garden' en Francais - Mme. Barbour from AP French should be proud!). Lapin Jardin sounds like it might just taste like dead grass. By rights, it probably should. But somehow, this blend of carrots, alfalfa, dried strawberries, dandelions, and other fun nibblies straight from the garden turns into a light, refreshing, semi-sweet tea that is fantastic hot or iced. My tastebuds love the frolic through Mr. McGregor's garden, and I feel a little bit smug and holy each time I drink it - rather like having a big kale juice, but that's another story. Don't let the green and vegetable bits deter you, it really is light and pleasing, with no grassy taste at all!
If you're looking for a tea that doesn't taste like tea, then these two would be a solid bet. One has the potential to cure me of Starbucks cravings, and the other just might help my terrible eyesight. Win win, am I right?