#6 on our 12 Eat Drink Be Local Gifts for Christmas is from Teafarm, a small, organic farm in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. Since two is better than one, we’ve included two tins of their 23 original recipe, hand-crafted teas and herbal infusions in to our basket of 12 Eat Drink Be Local Christmas Gifts of 2012.
Cowichan Caravan is a black tea blend that contains assam, Ceylon, keemun, oolong, lapsang and lavender. A quick whiff of the tea leaves and you can tell the smokey flavour is going to be dominant in the tea.
It’s the lapsang in the tea that gives it that smokey flavour, while the assam gives the tea a slight malty mouthful, and the keemum a slightly floral and bitter taste. The Ceylon contributes to the golden color of the tea. The lavender is subtle as the smokiness is overpowering. Because of this tea’s strong flavour, you can get at least two or three steeps out of it depending on what your water/leaf ratio is.
I’d be interested to use this tea as a rub for chicken or salmon to add that smoky BBQ essence on a cold, winter day while adding a bit of crunch.
Mysteaque is an herbal blend of peppermint, lemongrass, licorice root and calendula. Unlike the invigorating feeling that the Cowichan Caravan gives you, this tea is quite soothing and, like most mint teas, acts as a great digestive aide after a big meal.
The nose is strong in peppermint, making me feel like I was breathing in a bag of crushed up candy canes (possibly influenced by the season). When drinking the tea though, you’ll notice the peppermint and licorice root aren’t prevalent as you swirl it in your mouth, but linger after you swallow. I find that the lemongrass and calendula are actually the stronger flavour in the initial mouthful, reminding me of chamomile tea. This further emphasizes the “drink this before bed” feeling I get from it. A rich chocolate brownie or torte would taste delightful with Mysteaque.
Note: With any tea be mindful. Take your time to smell it, sip it and savour it. And if you can, try to think of how it got from the farm to your cup.
For the tea lover on your Christmas list, be sure to check out Teafarm.
You can win two tins of Teafarm’s loose tea, included in a basket of our 12 Eat Drink Be Local Christmas Gifts of 2012 (valued at $300+) beautifully packaged by Saul Good Gift Baskets just in time for Christmas by entering our giveaway below.
1. You MUST sign in to the entry form below and complete the tasks for eligibility.
2. As you complete each entry, confirm you completed it using the entry form below.
Contest ends December 20 at 12:01 am. Two winners will be drawn at 9:00am on December 20, 2012. Contestants must be over 19 years and a resident of British Columbia, Canada to be eligible.