Our Teas and Accessories with comments by Lorraine...
(Silk pyramid bags)
Darjeeling (Margaret’s Hope)
You can’t go wrong with a Margaret’s Hope tea bag. When you’re on the go or in a hurry, but don’t want to sacrifice your tastes, this bag is for you. (Also available loose)
Green Tea Mango
Lovely, simply lovely…. This tea bag is great hot or cold – very smooth with a great mango flavor. (Also available loose)
English High-Grown Leaf Blend (English Breakfast)
This is my favorite breakfast tea bag. It makes a nice “cuppa” first thing in the morning – a little kick to help wake you up, but not bitter. Takes milk and sugar well. It’s great as iced tea, too. (Also available loose)
Fine Lung Ching (Dragon’s Well)
This famous tea is produced in the Zhejiang Province, in a village called Dragon Well. It is appreciated by many, especially anyone who does not drink a lot of green tea. It is good all day, and many recommend it as an after dinner drink that aids digestion. Light yellow in color. It has a sweet flavor and a nice bouquet. It is good all day, hot or iced.
Assam is located in far northeast India, approximately 120 miles from the Darjeeling region. However, the Assam tea is quite different from Darjeeling. Assam tea is full-bodied with a fruity/malty flavor and a deep amber color. It is good throughout the day and takes milk well.
Assam – House Blend
This house blend is a great Assam – it is very smooth. You can drink it all day. It also makes great iced tea. For hot tea, bring the water to boiling, add a teaspoon for each cup (and one for the pot), and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your preference.
Sri Lanka is an island nation a short distance off the southern coast of India. Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon before 1972. Most of the tea gardens are situated at elevations between 3,000 and 8,000 feet in the southwest area of the island. Ceylon teas traditionally are known for stronger teas with an intense flavor and are best with a little milk.
Kenilworth is located in the Dimbula region. Kenilworth teas are long, wiry beautiful leaves with a lot of body. It is usually served with milk as an afternoon tea.
Darjeeling teas are my favorites… I need to tell you that right away. I could get carried away with descriptions, but for now, I’ll stay brief.
Darjeeling is in northeast India in the foothills of the Himalaya mountains, about 6,000 feet above sea-level. The growing season for Darjeeling is short, due to the high elevations, and therefore, has a very limited harvest period. The first new shoots of the plants are the “First Flush,” which are harvested in April. “In-Between” Darjeelings are gathered later in April and May. “Second Flush” Darjeelings are picked later in May and June. “Autumnal” Darjeelings are gathered in October and November. Darjeeling teas are generally known as the champagne of teas. Characteristically, Darjeeling teas are described as fragrant, with a sweet muscatel flavor.
I usually do not drink Darjeeling in the early morning, but enjoy it in late morning and throughout the afternoon. It is known as an afternoon tea that goes well with food. Drink without milk. Also, don’t use too much tea – go with a little less – a scant teaspoon for each cup. Most of the time, less is better. Adjust to your personal tastes.
First flush Darjeelings are usually fresh, flowery, and extremely aromatic. They are good to drink with food and can be quite expensive. The tea develops different characteristics depending on the plantation and weather conditions each year.
Goomtee is ranked among the top plantations every year. This Darjeeling is rich, smooth, and with a hint of fruitiness. (No milk, please)
Makaibari tea estates have won several prizes for their teas. This plantation has also incorporated several earth-friendly practices. This Darjeeling has a fresh, fruity flavor. (No milk, please)
Puttabong is in the Ghoom area of Darjeeling. This area has a wonderful track record for producing some of the best Darjeelings around. It is a little more full-bodied than most first flush Darjeelings, with a great bouquet and flavor. Top notch…
Margaret’s Hope Darjeeling
Margaret’s Hope plantation has become famous for producing consistently great teas. This second flush is a little bolder and less astringent than many first flush Darjeelings. The color is also a little darker. It’s a great tea any time of day and goes well with food. As usual, no milk…
This second flush Darjeeling seems a little fruitier than the first flush, but it isn’t a case of one being better than the other. They are both great teas. This one is a little darker than the first flush.
A good quality oolong with long, large, dark leaves. It has a smooth, fruity flavor. No milk or sugar
Ti Kuan Yin
A high quality oolong that comes from the Fujian Province. It has stout, crinkly leaves and the tea is brownish green with an aromatic flavor. No milk or sugar.
Most of the following green teas are from China. Although we have recently added some green tea blends, which includes tea from Japan.
Gunpowder Special Grade
The name is said to come from the shape of the tea leaves after they have been processed. They roll into tight little balls – also called pearls. This is a higher grade gunpowder and does not exhibit the harshness that is sometimes found in lesser grades. The water should be below the boiling point for most green teas. This green tea brews a little darker than many other green teas. It is good hot or iced, and good with lemon and/or sugar.
Lung Ching Organic- (Dragon’s Well)
This famous tea is produced in the Zhejiang Province, in a village called Dragon Well. It is appreciated by many, especially anyone who does not drink a lot of green tea. It is good all day, and many recommend it as an after dinner drink that aids digestion. Light yellow in color.
Fine Lung Ching Organic – (Dragon’s Well)
This is a higher grade Dragon’s Well. It has a little sweeter flavor and a nice bouquet. It is good all day, hot or iced.
Green Tea w/Mango
A blend of fine green teas flavored with mango. It is good all day, hot or iced.
Green Tropical Cyclone
This is a wonderfully smooth tea. It is a combination of fine green teas flavored with mango, passionfruit, and pineapple flavor, hibiscus, rose and sunflower petals, blue mallow and cornflower blossoms, and English Chamomile. It is great hot or iced.
Makaibari Green Org/Fair Trade (Origin India)
All the benefits of a green tea with the characteristic Darjeeling floral note. Beautiful long leaf. Naturally sweet, very easy to enjoy! Certified Organic, biodynamic & Fair Trade.
Blended Black Teas
Blended teas are created to keep a consistent flavor over time by blending tea leaves from different regions.
English Breakfast High-Grown
English Breakfast teas are traditionally strong and robust – ideal for waking you up in the morning. They take milk and sugar well. This English Breakfast blend is a wonderful combination of high-grown Ceylon, Assam, and Nilgiri teas. It’s very nice – very smooth.
Five O’Clock Tea
This tea has been developed for a consistent flavor in an afternoon tea. This tea is a very light and elegant blend that includes highland Ceylon, Oolong, and Darjeeling teas. It goes well with a meal. No milk please…
The Irish like their tea strong. This is a nice blend of mostly Assam teas with a bold, full flavor. Good with milk and sugar.
Earl Grey Blends
This is a well-known blend that traditionally includes black teas and essential oil of bergamot. With Earl Greys, most people either love them or hate them. It doesn’t seem like there is a middle ground for this tea.
Fine Earl Grey
This is a lovely classic blend of China black teas and bergamot.
Darjeeling Earl Grey
This is a nice blend of Darjeeling and black teas with bergamot. It is slightly more elegant and light. Does not take milk well.
Flavored Black Teas
The following black teas are a blend of fine black teas and natural fruit flavorings. These are all very good hot or iced.
Ginger Peach Apricot
This is has all the elements of a typical Chai, which include ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and cardamon - but it has an exceptional flavor. It is recommended to brew it strong and add lots of milk and sugar. I prefer to brew it on the lighter side and still add milk and sugar. Its a great cool weather drink.
The following blended black and green teas are all decaffeinated using carbon dioxide. The teas have amazing flavor – definitely worth trying, regardless of if you need to reduce caffeine or not. However, please note that decaffeinated teas still have a small amount of caffeine. The amount is minimal and some people may disagree with this statement, but I believe it to be true. Most people will not notice an adverse effect of the caffeine, primarily because it is so slight.
Decaf English Breakfast
Just like the real thing, only decaffeinated.
Decaf Black Tea w/Apricot
Blended black teas with apricot. This has a nice sweet/tart taste – just right. Good hot or iced. I never add milk or sugar to my flavored teas.
Decaf Black Tea with Cinnamon Orange Spice
Blended black teas with cinnamon, orange, spices, and citrus peels. This is a wonderful blend. It is hard to believe it is decaffeinated.
Decaf Black Tea w/Mango
Blended black teas with mango. This is nice and smooth. Good hot or iced.
Decaf Black Tea w/Peach
Blended black teas with peach. This one is a winner if you like peach. Good hot or iced.
Decaf Green Sweet Lemon Tea
Blended green Sencha teas with lemon grass, lemon peels, and flowers. Everybody loves this tea. It is so smooth. It's wonderful in the evening when you want a nice, calming cup of tea without caffeine.
Decaf Green Sencha Tea
Sencha tea is a good, everyday green tea. It keeps its flavor even after decaffeination.
As you probably know, herbal teas are not “real” tea. They do not come from the Camellia Sinesis plant. Herbal infusions are commonly called teas – so we’ll go along with the crowd. Here at The Birds and The Teas, we have a long way to go with herbal teas. It is not that we don’t like herbal teas, we just want to make sure we find the best available. Also, many people drink herbal teas for health reasons, so it seems even more important to take our time. Personally, I do not drink a lot of herbal infusions – but many of the teas I drink, and offer for sale, have herbs blended with teas. It is a personal preference.
Even though I said I do not drink a lot of herbal infusions, I make an exception with Chamomile. I love it. It is so soothing – and it tastes great. This Egyptian Chamomile was chosen for its superior taste and qualities. It is great in the evenings to help you decompress after a hectic day. It is wonderful hot, but it is good served as an iced tea as well. Add honey if you must, but this is so good, you won’t need it.
Rooibos is from the South African Red Bush - so technically this is not a "tea" from the Camillia Sinensis bush. However, this "tea-like" drink has become very popular. Our Rooibos Awakening is a wonderful blend of rooibos with sweet vanilla, citrus, and blue flowers. It makes a nice rich cup - very tea-like, but no caffeine. It is very satisfying beverage.
Tea Accessories and More...
Chatsford Pots are my all-time favorite teapot. I bought my first one over ten years ago and the infuser is still in great shape. They are a great functioning teapot – they pour well, clean easily, and are fairly lightweight. They come in wonderful, cheery colors – blue, green, brown, yellow, and white. (Blue is my favorite). We have 2, 4, and 6 cup pots.
If you don’t have enough pots with infusers, if your pot's infusers are inferior, or you want something you can throw away (or into the compost pile), please give these paper infusers a try. They come in a couple of sizes, easy to fill and with extra long handles.
Finum Paper Tea Filters for Mugs - large (100/Box)
Finum Paper Tea Filters for Pots – extra large (60/Box)
These Finum permanent tea filters are great. I love the design. They have a great shape with a lid that doubles as a drip tray when you remove it from the mug or pot. They are wonderful.
Finum Tea Brewing Basket (medium)
Permanent Tea Filters for Mugs or small pots
Finum Tea Brewing Basket (large)
Permanent Tea Filters for Pots
BISCUITS, SCONES, CURDS, & HONEY SPOONS
McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits
These are a staple at my house. We love them. If you haven’t tried them, you don’t know what you’re missing. If you’re a regular McVitie’s fan, please buy them from us… (I plan to add more McVitie’s products in the near future)
We offer 6 flavors of scone mixes from Darie’s Gourmet. I am so glad I found out about these scone mixes – they’re the best. I have tried a lot of mixes – some were good but they can’t compare with Darie’s mixes. And, they are so easy to make. My favorite thing is that I prepare a batch or two (mix, flatten out, cut into shapes), then I freeze the uncooked scones on a cookie sheet. After they’re frozen, I transfer them to a freezer bag and when I want to make scones, I just pop them in the oven and add a couple minutes to the baking time. Another thing I love about these scones is that they are good even after they have cooled off. Some scones are only good when they are hot but these are fine all the time.
The flavors are Sweet Cream, Cranberry Almond, Southern Cinnamon Pecan, Southern Sweet Potato Pecan Pie, Albuquerque Green Chile Cheddar, and Pine Nut Basil Pesto. Choose any of them or choose them all, you won’t be sorry.
I have 3 flavors of curd – lemon, apple with cinnamon, and raspberry. They are made in the UK in small batches and they are fantastic. I had never had raspberry curd until I tried this. It is the perfect
compliment to a scone or biscuit.
We have four flavors of honey spoons – Clover Honey, Tupelo Honey, Honey w/Lemon, and Pomegranate Honey. They are fun at teas or to give as gifts with tea. The handle is wood and the spoon is honey. Stir them in your hot tea or eat them like a sucker. They melt slowly so take your time and enjoy…