Some people enjoy fine wine, but that’s an expensive hobby. Gourmet tea is an affordable luxury. You can travel the world through your tea cup by sampling teas from China, India, Africa and South America as well as unique herbal teas (tisanes). When I lived in Boston, I was a regular customer at TeaLuxe, and I frequently shop at Teavana. Recently I’ve become a fan of the Language of the Leaf’s gourmet teas after meeting their owner Neeta Khanna who sent me a wide variety of her teas to sample.
Language of the Leaf is a mom-owned business which started after Neeta and her husband traveled to India to visit a relative and master tea blender for Fortnum & Mason and Twinings. During her trip, had the chance to stay in the top three Darjeeling tea-producing gardens, and she became fascinated by the tea crafting process. This family vacation inspired her to start her own company and to bring exclusive tea blends to the North American market. Neeta explains:
“After this incredible experience, tea became an important part of my life, and I was so passionate about what I discovered that I needed to find a way to share it with everyone. I knew that people who strive to live a healthier lifestyle would love these naturally blended teas as much as I did.
At that moment, Language of the Leaf was born. Our goal is to elevate tea from an everyday cup to an affordable luxury. Focusing on flavourful blends and aromatic herbs, we wanted to offer a line of gourmet blends that you could enjoy no matter what the occasion.”
Language of the Leaf’s exclusive tea blends are available in silken tea bags and as loose teas. With over 100 blends available, there’s a delicious tea for all tastes at Language of the Leaf. For many blends, Language of the Leaf is the only supplier in North America to offer them. Many of her teas are organic, and all of them are made with only natural flavorings for a superior taste. I tried about 20 different teas, and I really enjoyed them all. But here are a few of my favorites:
- Earl Grey: I know Earl Grey sounds boring since you can find Earl Grey tea everywhere. I’ve tried many many brands of Earl Grey. But this exclusive Earl Grey blend is the BEST I’ve ever tried. It has a hint of vanilla. Unbelievably good! (Here’s the official tasting notes: This blend of fine Ceylon Black tea has a fragrant citrus aroma and a hint of vanilla. It gets its well balanced taste from a judicious scenting with natural oil of bergamot.)
- Queen of Siam: Light & elegant blend. I really enjoyed this. (Here’s the official tasting notes: Flavorful Sencha green tea scented with lemon grass, ginger and chamomile with an elegant lemon-ginger finish at once calming and uplifting – a blend worthy of a Queen!)
- South Pacific: Yum. The scent of this tea was amazing. My husband really likes mango and tropical fruits, and he loved this tea. (Here’s the official tasting notes: Green Sencha & Assam teas infused with fragrant mango, passion fruit & pineapple, blended with hibiscus & chamomile. Evocative of the scent of an island paradise.)
- Calm: Really relaxing tea. Perfect to drink before bed or when mommy needs to calm down. (Here’s the official tasting notes: Organic SPA Blend Judiciously composed of Organic Peppermint, Chamomile and Rooibos, this SPA blend is soothing, restful and at once refreshingly calming. It is a harmonious herbal tea blend with mellow honey notes ending with a cool mint finish.)
- Summer Fling (Iced Tea): This is the best iced tea I’ve ever had! I’m not kidding. It was sweet without being too sweet. I served it alongside a light summer salad and chicken salad sandwiches. Everyone loved it. (Here’s the official tasting notes: Wonderful for those hot summer days, we use a high-grown Ceylon tea blended with juniper berries, black currants and cranberries and the result is refreshingly delicious, reminiscent of summer and all its possibilities.)
- Biscotti: When I really want a cookie but know I shouldn’t have one, I reach for this tea. Yummy and perfect if you have a sweet tooth. (Here’s the official tasting notes: Ceylon tea with comforting almond cookie overtones, adorned with cinnamon and almond slivers.)
- Wedding Blend: I make this is a clear glass teapot because it is just so pretty. Then I pour it into teacups using a little silver tea strainer I found at a flea market. If you’re looking for something to impress a guest, this tea is it. (Here’s the official tasting notes: The Wedding Blend is a delicious and beautiful White tea infused with peach nectar and adorned with pink rosebuds, representing new love’s promise. It is a delight to the palate and senses.)
- Chocolate Dream: It tastes like chocolate. That’s good enough for me! (Here’s the official tasting notes: Chocolate and tea? This combination may seem counter-intuitive, but remains a popular choice with chocolate loavers. The smooth chocolate flavour is emphasized nicely by cocoa bits. Perfectly balanced and sinful, but in a nice, delicious sort of way.)
- Spa Sunset: I’m a type-a person, but this tea relaxes me. It’s a nice blend of citrus and chamomile without being too-chamomile. (Here’s the official tasting notes: A relaxing counterpart to our SPA Sunrise, this ‘after dark’ herbal tea has soothing citrus-chamomile notes. Composed of Chamomile flower heads (calming), nana-mint, refreshing lemon grass and hibiscus among other herbals. The overall effect calms the nerves, alleviates tension and eases you gently into a state of quiet contemplation.)
I’d definitely recommend trying a few different blends to find your favorite. Neeta gave me some free samples, but I’ve since become a paying customer.
Get a free gourmet tea sample from Language of the Leaf. (Just sign up for her email list and select the tea you want to try.)
You can order teas in pretty decorative tea tins (perfect for gifts), silken tea bags (for convenience) or in air-tight pouches for the lowest price. If you’re order loose teas, you can either use your own tea strainer or infuser or buy a Smart Tea Maker or single-use paper filters for a fool-proof cup of tea.