A long time ago, at a convention not so far away…
A tea shop called Friday Afternoon said, “Try my teas!” I, of course, could not refuse. I even bought one to take home to my tea connoisseur of a husband.
I got the teas home, proudly showed them to my husband, and we brewed a couple of cups. I had already tried the teas I brought home, so I thought I was home free.
I was wrong. My husband took one sip and decided the ingredients weren’t to his taste.
“HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO REVIEW THESE TEAS FAIRLY IF YOU DON’T LIKE THEM AND I DO?!” I exclaimed.
The answer came to me after many, many weeks of mulling it over and staring at the bags of tea on my counter:
Have a geeky tea tasting!
This was a new endeavor for myself, as I am not the pinkies-up-pretty-pink-dresses type of girl. So, I found a flavor wheel, invited a bunch of geeky people who like tea, and headed to a friend’s house who was equipped to host such an event (yea, I don’t even own a teapot).
The reviews that follow include: a picture of the tea; a graph for each individual tea smell, color, and flavor; and an interesting quote from a taster regarding the tea. The ratings are a 1-10 scale where 10 is best and 1 is least favorable.
Friday Afternoon Teas were the first batch my awesome friends tested. Corrina had a couple of teas to try out of the Hogwarts line of teas. I had the others, plus an additional tea I picked up for my husband.
Ingredients: Black tea, lemon peel, and honey.
Badger’s Blend is the Hufflepuff tea. It was certainly a favorite among the Friday Afternoon Teas we tried this afternoon.
Ingredients: Green tea, lime peel, lemongrass, and natural apple flavoring.
The Slytherin House representative was not a favorite with our testers, but my husband and I didn’t have a problem with it.
Ingredients: Rooibos, Assam black tea, orange peel, marigold, and natural flavorings.
Testers of the Lion’s Blend, the Gryffindor tea, seemed to be evenly split. They either really liked it or they really didn’t. I fell in the “really liked it” category, while my husband didn’t. This is the tea that spurred the entire party idea.
Ingredients: Black tea, marigold petal, and natural irish cream flavor.
The Pirate King blend, though unrelated to the Hogwarts line of teas, was among the favorites from Friday Afternoon. It was simple, but had enough extra to offer that it can be made by the pot and guzzled.
In order to have a proper tea tasting, I figured we needed more than four flavors to try. I searched the web and snuck a peek at Corrina’s post on where to find geeky teas. After looking at several different options, I ended up purchasing the Doctor Who Fandom Sampler. We found a favorite out of this bunch, too—who would have thought the 9th Doctor would be an overwhelming favorite?
Ingredients: Black tea, Assam melody tea, Ceylon sonata tea, gunpowder, and natural chestnut flavor, accented with aniseed and cinnamon.
Everyone really liked this tea. This may have been the favorite out of all of the teas we tried that day. We will be getting more! If you can tell, that little pile has white around it because that is all we have left! It was complex, but didn’t try too hard to be complex. It was just amazing.
Ingredients: Black tea, Ceylon sonata tea, Assam melody tea, cocoa nibs, and natural chocolate flavor, accented with chocolate chips and marigold flowers.
The tea representing the 10th Doctor was a huge disappointment. Have you ever wanted hot chocolate, gone to make a cup, and found that you only have one scoop of powdered goodness remaining instead of the four the directions say to use? Then, because you want hot chocolate so badly, you just use the one scoop and suffer through, only to be disappointed to the point of gagging because the chocolate is so weak it is like water was poured in a cup where chocolate wasn’t quite rinsed out from the last drink? Ya, that is what this tasted like. You can see the chocolate in the picture, but it certainly did not transfer to the taste.
Ingredients: Black tea, Assam melody tea, natural vanilla flavor, natural coconut flavor, and dried coconut.
The 11th Doctor tea had a good showing. No one really had anything bad to say about it. It seemed to fall in the category of a good tea to have on hand.
Ingredients: Assam melody tea, Ceylon sonata tea, green tea, and natural vanilla flavor.
Rory’s tea provoked a reaction along the same lines as the 10th Doctor’s: It was just too weak. There was a lot of green tea here, and not a lot else. It was sad and disappointing.
Ingredients: Black tea, rooibos tea, cinnamon bark, ginger root, orange peel, cloves, cardamom, raspberry leaves, natural cranberry flavor, natural vanilla flavor, cranberries, and natural orange flavor.
I am going to have to give Amy another try sometime. Its ingredients are similar to that of a chai, which have a better flavor if the water and tea are cooked together and not just steeped. I have a feeling if we would have done that, the rating for Ms. Pond would have been much different.
Ingredients: Black tea, rooibos tea, orange peels, blue cornflowers, natural vanilla flavor, lemon grass, natural bergamot flavor, natural creme flavor, marigold flowers, natural lemon flavor, natural coconut flavor, and dried coconut.
Hello, sweetie. Your tea is a solid okay. I thought it was pretty good, but then again I like (tea) Earl Grey (hot).
Ingredients: Green tea and toasted brown rice.
Not geeky, per se, but one of my husband’s favorites. You see those outliers in the graph? That 6, 3, and 1? Ya, those are me. I hate Genmaicha tea. Because I was so far removed from the other people who tried this tea, I did not include my quote, but it was along the lines of feeling like all of the moisture had been sucked out of my mouth and nose so that I was left with an aftertaste of burned rice and ash. It was not pleasant to me at all.
What would a tea party be without cookies? We dug out the Star Wars cookie cutters, so my husband could whip up some sugar cookies for us to nibble between teas. Overall, I was quite happy with how the party went and I am excited that everyone was willing to give their input on the teas so I could provide you with geeky over-the-top graphs and non-biased opinions.
Friday Afternoon Hogwarts teas provided for review purposes. All other teas were chosen and purchased by me.