Organic Cheery Fruit Tea

The blog post below is from our friend Lizz who is an active writer and true tea enthusiast.  Between her blog ‘The Tea Addicts Confessional’ and her community-based tea website ‘Stylin Tea’, she stays quite involved in the industry. We would like to share with you her Tea Sparrow tea reviews, articles, and our all shared daily dramas. One of our company’s greatest prides is in introducing our members to loose-leaf tea blenders that excel in offering quality teas but are hard to find. Lizz experiences this first hand. Check it out.

Organic Cheery Fruit Tea

I tried another tea for the first time today from Tea Sparrow. One of their selections for the month is Organic Cheery Fruit Tea. The blender is Sonnentor from Austria.

As I have mentioned before, Tea Sparrow gathers blends from all over the world. Then they have tea-tasting parties where they overdose on tea and select the best blends from the samples. Without my Tea Sparrow subscription I would never have known about Joy’s Teaspoon, Aromatica or Sonnentor. My world before Tea Sparrow was not void of tea. It just tended to center around a few select vendors and Farmers Markets. And it was predominantly black, white and green. Now the number of tisanes in my cupboard is astounding. Much of it is from my mother and the rest is from Tea Sparrow.

This blend is one I never would have selected on my own. That would have been my loss. This is really a great blend of rose hips, orange peels, rooibos, pears, quince fruit, fennel, dark bitters, and organic vanilla bourbon flavor. If you read the ingredients you wonder if a blender just had a bunch of leftover ingredients and decided to throw them all together and got lucky. This is one tasty, yet subtle blend.

And sadly I only have enough left for one cup. Ordering more could prove to be a bit difficult. They have distributors in more than 40 countries but they don’t have a list of where you can actually buy their tea. I can get a product catalog but it seems they don’t even have a United States Distributor. And if I want to order from them directly in Austria, I have to learn the language. Clearly Tea Sparrow has sent me something amazing and rare.

So, I will drink slowly, infuse often and appreciate every sip. Maybe not being able to find this tea in the United States is a sign that Sonnentor should hire me to open the first United States distribution center in our soon-to-be vacant warehouse at Gloray. Could be a win/win! We send their goods to high-end tea shops and they have a presence in a market that does not even know what it is missing!

Happy sipping!
Lizz Taylor

Tea Sparrow & the Happy Tea Drinker

Tea Sparrow + yoga and health industry = a lot of love for great tea. Right away we found that a lot of yoga bloggers were quite keen on reviewing our tea boxes. Alive in the Fire was one of our first. Rachel took us on a day-by-day adventure as she sampled the selection of teas from her January Tea Box. Her original creative approach to reviewing our product put a smile on my face and I hope it does for you as well.

Thanks again Rachel,

Tea Sparrow & the Happy Tea Drinker

All around the States, people love a good cup of tea.

Whether you’re living in Chicago, New York, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, or the chilly woods of Minnesota… chances are, you like to warm up in the winter months with an exotic chai blend, a light green tea, or perhaps a smooth earl grey.

Well, tea drinkers of the world, I encourage you to check out Tea Sparrow, the latest and greatest online specialty tea company. The company’s motto, “The world of tea to your door,” says a lot about their approach to delivering high-quality tea to monthly subscribers.

I was lucky enough to sample Tea Sparrow’s “mixed” box, which includes their royal blend, earl grey supreme, chai americaine, midsummer night, and red rocks flavors. I loved every one!

Read on for my week-long diary of tea adventures…

Sunday night: My tea box arrives in the mail. I promptly begin dancing around the kitchen and sniffing each resealable bag. I heat my first pot of water and try the earl grey, which I find to be bold with the perfect amount of citrus flavor. I put my feet up, relax on the couch, and plan which tea I’ll try tomorrow.

Monday evening: It’s been a long day and I could use a little rejuvenation, so I steep a mug of midsummer night after dinner. This lightly-caffeinated blend of green tea and oolong perks me right up. Its subtle highlights of jasmine, rose and lotus make me feel at peace. I’m inspired to roll out my mat for a calming vinyasa flow before bed.

Tuesday morning: After noticing how full my tea cabinet is at home, I get a genius idea: I decide to spread the word about Tea Sparrow and share my teas at the office! I promptly pack up my tea selection (except for chai – I’ll save that for me and Hubs since it’s our fave), and bring it along to work. I set out the tea in a central location, send an email to my coworkers, and promptly receive emails filled with exclamation points, big smiles, and thank you’s. By mid-morning, there’s a consensus: Tea Sparrow is a hit!

Wednesday morning: I wear my favorite winter hat, and as soon as I see the little love birds kissing design on it, I’m promptly reminded of my new favorite tea source: Tea Sparrow. Today, I try the royal blend, an English black tea with notes of caramel and rose. I stick my little pinky finger out sipping this one – I just feel so fancy drinking it! 🙂

Thursday afternoon: Today I go for the red rocks blend, a caffeine-free rooibos red tea. This is now officially my favorite so far from the Tea Sparrow box. The calming, earthy taste is perfect for this gray Chicago day. I add some organic cane sugar and half and half, and the mixture is delicious… sweet but not overly so, rich and creamy. Even better than my morning cup of coffee! I don’t even mind the tiny rooibos particles that managed to escape my tea infuser; in fact, I hardly notice them at all. (Note: I recommend a super fine weave on your infuser for this tea since it has itsy bitsy particles; you could also try using the Ingenuitea pot.)

Friday afternoon: I cuddle up on the couch with a cozy cup of chai and my Kindle fire to watch hilarious YouTube videos and read Mockingjay. It’s a perfect, quiet Friday evening at home.

Saturday morning: Hubs and I enjoy more chai with our incredible weekend brunch. We enjoy every sip, and can’t wait to refill our mugs for more of this tasty tea.
Thanks, Tea Sparrow, for a beautiful week of tea sampling! To learn more about how you can sign up, visit Tea Sparrow’s subscription page, or check out their FAQ page. Keep in mind they carry a lovely line of herbal teas, too.

Cheers to all you happy tea drinkers out there!


4th Tea Party

Yes there was a third, just no photographer.

01 Today’s exciting line up includes: Aromatica, Elixo, Hawaii Select, Herbal Republic, T-Buds and Teatulia.

02 Zeta starts out by grouping the teas and getting it ready for the first round.

03 A bit of teamwork gets the party moving.

04 Darcy admires the combination in T-Buds’ Caspian Rose. A mix of black tea, pistachios, cloves and rose petals.

05 While Darcy admires it, I’m absolutely enjoying it.

06 Teatulia’s Lemongrass has a naturally clear colour, with an incredible aroma.

07 Jenny finds love in Herbal Republic’s Holy Tulsi…as we all do.

08 Getting the grade. Darcy is not a big fan of Tulsi teas but this one is great.

Caspian Rose Tea

The blog post below is from our friend Lizz who is an active writer and true tea enthusiast.  Between her blog ‘The Tea Addicts Confessional’ and her community-based tea website ‘Stylin Tea’, she stays quite involved in the industry. In March, we sent her T-Bud’s Caspian Tea. She loved it so much she blogged about it, saying “they pretty much got it right. This tea is delicious. Because of my crazy morning I prepared it in my tea tumbler. But next time I prepare it at home I am going to add cream and sugar and I swear it will be better than any dessert!” But that wasn’t enough. A few weeks later, she wrote on it again.

Now that’s tea love.


Caspian Tea

I know I have reviewed this tea before but it deserves a second post. Clearly Tea Sparrow knew I would love this tea. I know they had their tea testing and wrote down Lizz will give this a 5 out of 5 leaf rating and like it so much she will review it twice! It seems nobody knows my palette better than my Canadian friends. I am going to cry when I run out of this blend.

T-Buds Caspian blend contains black tea, pistachios, ginger root, rose petals, cloves and natural flavors. It smells lovely. It tastes delicious. It makes me want to keep infusing until the water is clear because there is no more tea left.

They describe this blend as “An aromatic blend inspired from the Caspian region which combines pistachio, ginger, rose and cloves to create a carnival burst of flavours reminiscent of a rich seasonal cake.” One of their employees described it as “So floral and calming. Like a marzipan cookie with roses. Just beautiful.”

If it is so good why don’t I just order more? Because this tea came from T-buds. And I have been all over their website and it is nowhere to be found. Maybe it was a blend they were testing before releasing it? I don’t know. I just know that I haven’t been this excited about a black tea blend in a long time. This is the kind of quality, delicious tea I want to carry on our website. Makes me want to run up to Ontario and beg them to let us be their US distributors. Of course they wouldn’t. They would be afraid I would drink them out of business. With tea this good it’s a valid concern;)

Happy sipping!

Lizz Taylor

Blending Tea

How to create your own organic herbal chai. Zeta explores a fun concept by The Gathering Place Trading Company, by blending select spices into a naturally sweet caffeine-free Rooibos tea.

It’s a fun and easy way to introduce yourself into the world of blending tea.



March’s Teas – 2012

The blenders we have had the opportunity to work with so far have delighted my senses with their creativity and expertise. The ingredients and blending techniques have been a source of surprise for me and I am always anticipating the next new cup. I am looking forward to sharing with you our favourite loose leaf blends.

Zeta Newis, Tea Sparrow Family

Rishi’s Blueberry Rooibos

African rooibos and real, wild blueberries in perfect balance provide tart, juicy and naturally sweet flavors that taste great, hot or iced. Blueberry Rooibos is artfully hand-blended in small batches using only 100% naturally caffeine-free botanicals and artisan herbal tea-blending techniques.

Ingredients: Organic Fair Trade Certified™ rooibos, Organic blueberries, Organic schizandra berries, Organic Fair Trade Certified™ hibiscus, natural flavors of blueberry and strawberry.

Jenny Dent, Tea Enthusiast – “Blueberry Paradise. Sweet, iron berry, earthy, tart, goodness. This herbal tea has it all.”

T-Bud’s Caspian Rose

An aromatic blend inspired from the Caspian region which combines pistachio, ginger, rose and cloves to create a carnival burst of flavours reminiscent of a rich seasonal cake.

Ingredients: Black tea, pistachios, ginger root, rose petals, cloves and natural flavours.

Zeta Newis, Tea Sparrow Family – “So floral and calming. Like a marzipan cookie with roses. Just beautiful.”

Joy’s Teaspoon Earl Grey

In 1833, Earl Grey suspended the price monopoly which the East India Company had over the tea trade with China.  The originally pure Chinese tea was lightly flavored with bergamot oil.  This additional fragrance, provided by the Chinese, was intended to protect the tea from the taste of mold and tar which could arise from the long voyage at sea to royal England.  Now, you’ve learned a little something! 

Ingredients: Black tea, natural bergamot flavoring.

Jenny Dent, Tea Enthusiast  – “Ecstasy with milk and honey. Uplifting black soul-fire tea.”

The Gathering Place’s Organic Chai Rooibos

Description: A unique blend of Rooibos and six organic spices produces a calming, naturally caffeine free tea. Hand blended on Cortes Island in small batches with the freshest ingredients.

Ingredients: Rooibos Tea, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, cardamom, cloves and black pepper.

Jenny Dent, Tea Enthusiast  – “Fantastic ginger delicious herbal chai. Add milk and sugar, the best decaf chai I’ve ever tasted.”

Aromatica’s Treasures of Japan

Description: This tea, which is a blend of five elite Japanese green teas, was traditionally served to honour guests.

Ingredients: Sencha, Bencha, GenMai, Cha, Kukicha, Gyokuru, strawberry pieces, red currents.

Darcy McMurray, Tea Enthusiast  – “I love this tea, rich in flavour without too much tannins. The flavour is complex and elegant, lasts on my tongue. Yummy!”

Things I Know Too Much About

Joslyn is one of my favourite characters I have met along this tea journey. She has a natural raw energy tempered with kindness. She got a hold of our January Tea Box and has been a customer since. Joslyn has a wonderful way of taking you through her life and her adventures. So I love that Tea Sparrow found a home in that.

Yeah Joslyn,


Things I Know Too Much About

One of the downsides of being a writer with a naturally curious personality and a wee bit of an obsessive compulsive issue is that I know a real lot about some extremely useless things.

Once, I got in what I’ll politely classify a “discourse” with a barista in San Francisco because he erroneously told me that the mint tea was “decaf.” I felt like it was my moral responsibility to explain to him that, technically, mint tea is not “decaffeinated” because it never contained caffeine in the first place. In fact, mint tea is not tea at all but, rather what’s called a tisane. To actually be tea, it has to come from the camellia sinensis plant, and naturally contains caffeine, whether it is black, green, puehr, or oolong. (And I swear to Christ I did not even have to look this up on Wikipedia.) Otherwise, it’s a tisane, which is what all herbal teas are.

He wasn’t really all that pleased to be schooled on his job and I’m pretty sure he wanted to shoot me in the eye with his espresso spigot. In case you are thinking, I can see where he was coming from, don’t worry, I hate me too. Know-it-alls are real annoying. I try to tone it down.

I really do love tea, though. I’m very, shall we say, particular about tea. I once stormed out of a Whole Foods in L.A. because they only had Twinings tea available at the coffee bar. Not okay, Whole Foods. Twinings is diner tea. At least pony up the Mighty Leaf.

But recently I got turned on to this new company Tea Sparrow, and I was humbled. Tea Sparrow is a tea club. Every month, they send you a variety box of loose leaf teas in these sweet little reclose-able bags. I got my hands on the first box, and dove in to the Red Rocks, which is an herbal rooibus vanilla blend. I’m not usually a big rooibus fan, mainly because it reminds me of a certain South African tea “friend” I used to have who kind of ruined my life a little bit, but this rooibus may have actually turned my life back around. It was that good. The rest of the teas were equally star quality.

Signing up for this monthly tea delivery might have to be my splurge of the year. Unless you count the Italian percale sheets I just bought.  But, you know, those were more of a necessity than a splurge.

Anyway, I really want this new company to succeed because they are doing good things with tea and it’s a fun idea, so if you’re into tea, please check it out:

Joslyn Hamilton

Tea Sparrow
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