March 28, 2024

Spring Tea Pairings

As the vibrant hues of spring paint the world, there’s no better time to indulge in the delicate flavors of Simpson & Vail floral teas. With their enchanting aromas and refreshing taste, floral infusions offer a delightful sensory experience that perfectly complements the season’s awakening. But what’s a cup of tea without a delectable companion to elevate the experience? Join us on a journey through the blossoming world of spring tea pairings, as we explore the enchanting realm of floral teas and discover the perfect culinary companions to enhance your tea experience. From light bites to decadent treats, these pairings promise to tantalize your taste buds and awaken your senses. Kashmir Rose Black Tea – Try pairing Kashmir Rose with carrots (savory and sweet (i.e. carrot cake)), apricots, mango, nuts, […]
March 28, 2024
Earl Grey Martini Recipe

Earl Grey Marteani Recipe

Earl Grey teas, traditionally, were blends comprised of varying black teas with Bergamot oil added to them. Today, any tea (green, white, herbal) that is sprayed with Bergamot oil is known as Earl Grey (such as our Emerald Green Earl Grey, Rooibos Earl Grey, etc).  Every tea merchant carries an Earl Grey black tea blend, but they are all very different due to the variations in black teas used for the blend and the quality of the bergamot oil. Earl Grey is also used in a wide variety of recipes – check out our delicious Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies! If baking isn’t for you, Earl Grey pairs well with liquor too. Earl Grey Marteani  Makes one 6 oz. cocktail  Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz. gin  1/2 oz. lemon juice 3/4 […]
March 28, 2024

Unveiling the Triple Crown Trail Tea Gift Box

The Perfect Companion for your next Hiking Adventures Simpson & Vail is excited to announce the launch of this new nature themed tea gift box!  This gift box honors those intrepid hikers who venture off to complete the Triple Crown: the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.   Each kraft package contains approx. ¾ of an ounce of loose-leaf teas and is adorned with a beautiful label that invokes the adventure of hiking.  These are perfect for brewing at home while reading journals of hiking adventures and plotting your next trip.  They make a great gift for hiking enthusiasts and the packages are light and compact which makes them perfect for taking on your next hike.    “There are no shortcuts to any place worth […]
March 28, 2024

Sip Your Way into Enchantment: Exploring the Magic of our New Fairy Tale Teas Gift Box

Put on the kettle and brew up a cup of one of Simpson & Vail’s new Fairy Tale Teas! Simpson & Vail is thrilled to announce the launch of this new fairy tale tea gift box that’s perfect for young and old alike. Soon after the launching of our popular Literary Tea line, I’ve wanted to introduce teas based on Fairy Tales.  It’s taken quite a few years, but we’re thrilled with this new gift box! The fairy tale inspired blends in the box are based off five classics tales: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Rumpelstiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood, Little Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel.   “But Grandmother! What big teeth you have,” said Little Red Riding Hood her voice quivering slightly. “The better to eat you with, my […]
March 28, 2024

Teatime with Cats is Purrfect

There is a strong culture of cat lovers that exists today. If you look up the history and mythology of cats in Wikipedia you’ll find the following: “In ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped, and the goddess Bastet often depicted in cat form, sometimes taking on the war-like aspect of a lioness. The Greek historian Herodotus reported that killing a cat was forbidden, and when a household cat died, the entire family mourned and shaved their eyebrows. … In Japan, the maneki neko cat is a symbol of good fortune. In Norse mythology, Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, is depicted as riding a chariot drawn by cats. In Jewish legend, the first cat was living in the house of the first man Adam as a pet […]
March 28, 2024
Brewing the Perfect cup of tea

How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea

How to Brew the perfect cup of tea: Some things to keep in mind when brewing your tea: The quality of your water is extremely important! If you have any reason to doubt the purity of your tap water, we suggest that you use spring water. When tea brews the leaves will double in size – so make sure that you are using an infuser or filter that will allow the water to circulate around the leaves. Green, white and oolong teas prefer cooler water temperatures. We have recommended temperatures below. If you do not have a thermometer we recommend that you acquire one to insure that your tea does not become bitter from a hotter temperature. Black Tea Hot tea is best made by warming a teapot […]
March 28, 2024
Tea pickers

Tea Processing

The following information is a quick overview of the intricate process that creates high quality teas. Tea plantings begin from propagation (cutting or transplanted root branches) and clonal leaf cuttings. The new plants are raised in a nursery and are transplanted when they reach an average height of 6-8 inches, which takes roughly 6 months. These new tea bushes remain untouched for 2 years and obtain a height of 5-6 feet. At that time they are sheared down to a foot and pruned weekly to keep them at waist height (perfect for picking). These new bushes will not produce a commercial yield for 3-5 years depending on the growing conditions. Once the bushes have reached maturity tea processing begins. The process of creating teas depends exclusively on the […]
March 28, 2024

Caffeine & Decaf Tea Information

Decaffeinated Tea Information Co2 process: Super critical carbon dioxide (co2) uses highly pressurized carbon dioxide, the gas that adds bubbles to mineral water, to dissolve caffeine from tea leaves. At pressure of 250-350 times atmospheric pressure, co2 takes on the density of a liquid and the viscosity of a gas, which makes an efficient solvent. In its pressurized state, co2 is pumped into a sealed chamber containing tea, where it is allowed to circulate to remove the caffeine. From there it is pumped into a washing vessel where water or activated charcoal is used to separate the caffeine from the co2. The purified co2 is recirculated into the pressurized chamber. This process is repeated until the appropriate amount of caffeine has been removed. The major advantages are that […]
March 28, 2024

A Tea Taster’s Glossary

Have you ever wondered what some of the terms mean that are used to describe the taste of your favorite teas?  Below is a glossary to help you navigate the world of tea tasting. AROMA The odor of the tea liquor and the infused leaf, is also called nose or fragrance. A complex aroma is often described as a bouquet. ASTRINGENT The dry, puckering quality of the liquor caused by tannins in the tea. This feeling is refreshing and invigorating. BITE A taste that is lively and brisk. BODY The tactile sensation of weight and substance of the liquor experienced in the mouth. The impression of viscosity is not due solely to the amount of soluble solids, but is accentuated by flavor and pungency. In black teas, full […]
March 28, 2024

Basic Tea Information & Brewing Times

TEA BASICS Everything you need to know to begin your journey into the wonderful world of tea! The word tea comes from the Chinese local Amoy dialect word t’e (pronounced “tay”). In Cantonese it became ch’a (pronounced “chah”)  Legend places the introduction of tea drinking to the reign of Emperor Shen Nung about 2737 BC. The first history book (and handbook) of tea was written in 780 AD, called The Ch’a Ching, by Lu Yu. The most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, tea can be served hot or iced at any time and for any occasion. In the late 1700’s the United States protested high taxes and staged many protests (like the Boston Tea Party). This resulted in tea losing popularity in the US […]