I received a list of tea reviews that really got to me. The teas had names like Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Lemon Chiffon Pie, Coconut Cream Pie and Root Beer Float. All I could think is – Have we gone nuts?! If tea is the flavor of everything else, aren't we losing the essence of tea? Tea on its own certainly has enough different flavors. Think of the differences in Gyokuro, Dragon Well, Darjeeling, Ceylon. Even if tea is scented, there should be the taste of the tea under girding it. I need time to recover. I shall go and have some Yunnan, which tastes exactly like what it is – Yunnan tea.
In the meantime, I want to call your attention to a seller of quality teas, herbs and other good stuff for cooking and food/tea storage. This is Frontier Co-Op, selling all-natural, organic, fair trade goods. I have dealt with them for years and have found them to be good reliable merchants. The only problem with the teas is that many of them can only be purchased by the pound, although they have more and more of which you can purchase a small amount. They have very nice metal tins for tea storage. Check them out at http://www.frontiercoop.com/ I am in no way connected to them except as a satisfied customer. If you do buy herbs from them in 1 lb. lots, beware – it can be a huge amount. For example, a pound of oregano is about the size of a stuffed pillowcase.
Another merchant who also sells teas as part of an overall line of organic, fair trade items is Mountain Rose Herbs. Some things are not organic, but they are labeled. They have a small selection of teas and tisanes that are worth looking into. One of the nice things they have are reusable muslin tea bags in both small and large sizes. I have used muslin tea sacks – complete with a metal ring and handle and they do a great job for infusing tea. They have a huge selection of other things and you may want to order a paper catalog. I always do because I prefer them. I order herbs and essential oils to add to my teas and for other things, like potpourri. If you have pets, they even have some goodies for them, including super catnip. They may be found at http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/
My friend, Mary does a huge amount of entertaining, mostly for folk in need of comfort. She likes to make things attractive for them and always uses her nicest china and silver. One idea I borrowed from her I will pass on to you for a tea party. She adds a few spoons of multi-color sugar to her sugar bowl and stirs it up. This is just the sugar you'd put on cookies. It's just a small touch, but it indicates thoughtfulness and care, and it adds a small bright note to the day.