Considering I couldn’t choose just one Studio Ghibli movie for my menu this month, it’s not that surprising that I couldn’t make just one tea either. I mean, I felt I HAD to make a Totoro tea since Totoro is so awesome, but I also couldn’t stop thinking of how fun it would be to make a tropical Ponyo tea…or a tea based on the cake from Kiki’s Delivery Service! But which one to choose?
All of them. I chose all of them. And I’m not even a little bit sorry. 😉
I actually designed this tea almost a year before I read the book A Little Princess. I’ve loved the movie for ages, so I thought it would be fun to make a tea inspired by it!
Masala chai originated in India, so I knew it would be the perfect starting point for my tea. But how to make it unique? I decided to blend it with chocolate chai to add some sweetness to the spice. Then I added a touch of vanilla to even out the flavors, and voilà:a chai reminiscent of spicy hot chocolate, perfect for a little girl like Sara Crewe! 🙂
Today we’re continuing our Star Trek menu with a trio of Trek-themed teas. Anyone familiar with the show might be expecting Captain Picard’s signature “tea, Earl Grey, hot,” but Adagio Teas (the site were I blend my teas) has ten versions of Earl Grey that are all super delicious. I honestly didn’t think I could improve them, so instead I decided to make three teas, each dedicated to one of the three service divisions in Star Fleet! The flavor profile of each tea is themed on its division’s signature color: Command Red, Sciences Blue, and Operations Gold.
Ready to boldly go where no tea drinker has gone before? 😉
Arrietty’s cherry tree has always stood out to me as one of the most iconic objects from The Borrowers. It’s in full bloom when she goes outside for the very first time, and it’s where she meets her first friend, the Boy! Of course, I knew as soon as I started planning a Borrower tea that it would be cherry tree themed. I think Arrietty would approve! 🙂
It’s time to premiere our Series of Unfortunate Events tea! When brainstorming ideas for this tea, my first thought went to Esmé Squalor, the Baudelaires’ guardian in the 6th Unfortunate Events book. Esmé is obsessed with all things “in,” and this obsession leads her to drink crazy concoctions like parsley soda and aqueous martinis—all in the name of fashion. Of course, there was NO WAY I was making a parsley tea, so I set my sights on the martini. In truth, the aqueous martini isn’t really a martini, since alcohol was “out” when it was created Instead, it’s simply ice cold water in a martini glass with an olive. I liked the idea of something crisp, simple, and classy, so I used that as my inspiration. Channeling the cucumber and mint infused waters I’ve been seeing at parties lately, I went with a white cucumber base and added spearmint to make it extra refreshing. The results make a perfect iced tea!
You may recall I had trouble deciding what flavors to use in my X-Files tea last month, but with this tea I had no such problem. A tea based off The Three Musketeers book HAS to taste like a 3 Musketeers candy bar, right? I’m sure there’s a law about it somewhere. So I combined Adagio’s Tiger’s Eye, Chocolate, and Caramel teas with cocoa nib and cinnamon inclusions to make the ultimate chocolate caramel tea. You’re welcome. 😉
All for One and One for All Tea
Seriously, guys, this is the tea equivalent of a 3 Musketeers bar, and it’s AWESOME. Tiger’s Eye tea is a chocolate-caramel blend from Adagio, and I used that as my base, adding extra chocolate and caramel flavored teas until I reached the desired balance of the two. Then I kicked it up a notch with cocoa nibs to intensify the chocolate flavor and cinnamon…because cinnamon makes everything better! The final result is rich and sweet, which I think is fitting. With some milk and sugar, it makes a perfect dessert tea!
Making an X-Files themed tea can be tricky. Should I stick with something green in honor of little green men? Go with a blend meant to encapsulate the personality of one of the characters—but if so, which one do I choose? In the end, I decided to make a tea inspired by Fox Mulder’s perpetual tendency to keep an eye on the sky. I combined two aptly named Adagio teas, Lemon Cloud and Foxtrot, into a tea fit for everyone’s favorite spooky FBI agent. 🙂
The Truth is Out There Tea
This blend brings the delicate flavors of chamomile, mint, and lemon together in a flavorful yet soothing rooibos-herbal tea. Rooibos is a red tea with a taste all its own (warm and slightly earthy, brightened by its natural sweetness). It’s ideal for mixing delicate, herbal flavors that would get lost in a strong black tea. In this tea, I combined Rooibos Lemon Cloud with Foxtrot. Lemon Cloud is a straight rooibos with a lemony twist, and Foxtrot combines rooibos with chamomile and peppermint. I love the way the faint lemon undertone complements the gentle mint flavor. It’s also caffeine free, which makes it a perfect bedtime tea. I can just imagine Mulder and Scully sipping this during a stakeout!
P.S. I’m curious how this would taste with just a little more lemon flavor, so I’m going to make a test version that includes lemon grass. If I like the change, I’ll make it a permanent addition to the blend. 🙂
Our King Arthur tea is here at last! I’ve been itching to introduce it all month, and now it’s FINALLY time! Last year I introduced new teas at the end of each month as part of my hint post, but writing the posts got more difficult as I struggled to tie in tea with my otherwise unrelated monthly news. I decided to remedy this by giving each new tea its own premiere post. Huzzah!
The Once and Future Tea
I love this blend! It’s simple and light, with the faintest hint of fruit and flowers. I’ve had my eye on Adagio’s eternal spring tea for ages, and an ancient king borne away to an ageless isle seemed like the perfect opportunity to include it in a blend. Eternal spring uses a white tea base with all kinds of dried fruit: mango, pineapple, apple, cranberry, and blueberry, plus some rose petals and hibiscus for good measure. The scent is intensely fruity, but since it’s a white tea, all the flavors are more airy and subdued. I mixed in snowbud, another white tea. Snowbud is made with the newest leaves and buds harvested in early spring, which results in the gentlest flavor. The mix of the two is a delicate tea with a mystical, ethereal effect. It definitely reminds me of Avalon!
Now that we’re starting a fresh new year, I want to give you guys a heads up on some changes you can expect to see around here:
DOUBLE THE POSTING, DOUBLE THE FUN. I’m planning on expanding my schedule and posting twice a week. In addition to my usual weekly recipe, I’ll also post monthly reading kits, Top Ten Tuesday linkups, new tea overviews, and one random post per month. Huzzah!
AN UPDATED THEME AND TEA PAGE. You may remember that some unexpected side effects from a theme update had me shopping for themes last August. I love the theme I found (Tweak Me by Nose Graze), but I want to change the colors and fonts, plus add an awesome header a friend made for me. Some time this month I’ll shut the site down for maintenance for a day so I can make all the updates. In the process, I’ll update our tea page so that, instead of a gallery with just names, there will be paragraph descriptions and food pairings for each tea (much like the format of our 2015 tea review).
WHAT DO WE WANT? A CONSOLIDATED PINTEREST PAGE. WHEN DO WE WANT IT? …PROBABLY SOME TIME TODAY, ACTUALLY. Originally I organized my Pinterest profile by having a board for each menu, but now there are just too many boards. Some time this week (maybe even before this goes live), I plan to condense all my menu boards down to one.
I WILL FIGURE OUT YUMMLY. I SWEAR ON A STACK OF A MILLION COOKBOOKS. I signed up for Yummly last August and was all excited about it, since it was a streamlined way for me to add printables to all my recipe posts. Unfortunately, I’ve been having trouble getting my posts to upload. When I submit my post to the Yummly database, weeks go by before it’s processed (and sometimes it never gets processed at all). I’ve been working on the problem on and off since I signed up, but now it’s time to buckle down and truly devote myself to solving it. I’m determined to fix it soon…because you beautiful Wonderlings deserve printables! 🙂
Happy 2016, folks! Is there a change you’d like to see that I didn’t mention in the list?
Leave it in a comment below, and I’ll take it into consideration! 🙂
It’s December 31st! The year is ending, and with it our Little Women menu. It’s been a fun year, folks! I’m excited to start a new one with you tomorrow, so today I decided to post something I’ve been working on for MONTHS: a full review of all of the teas we’ve made on AWR!
Back in August, I invited my friends Laura and Mary from The Twins’ Guide over to perform a very serious task: review our Alison’s Wonderland Teas. The goal was to see how the teas hold up across a range of different palates and get some ideas about which ones could be improved. There are a few teas in this post that weren’t reviewed at the party because I hadn’t created them yet (like the chocolate mocha tea). For these, I brewed them several ways over the course of weeks to be sure they created a balanced cup each time.
Below you’ll find a picture of each tea followed by its name, description, a food pairing, and notes from the review. The pictures and titles link to the page on Adagio.com where you can order each tea. Enjoy!
P.S. These are all loose teas. To brew, you can place them in a tea infuser or paper tea filter…or you can drink your tea like Professor Trelawney and brew the leaves loose in the teapot! 🙂