Tea Witch, Tea Witch, wherefore art thou, Tea Witch!?*
*In English: ‘Where the piggin’ hell you been, you lazy arse features!?’
Greetings Twitchers. There is a reason for my Shakespearean mood today, but first I owe you an apology. I am sorry that I haven’t brought you as much smut, indecent content and – well – tea reviews as of late. I’d like to say that I have been traveling the world, doing charity work in the local communi-tea and/or acting as Christina Hendricks’ human bra, but alas that is not true (the dream is though). Unfortunately, my chest has been de-habilitated – not by much needed enhancement surgery – but acute bronchitis which has left me feeling rather shit. So my rock and roll lifestyle has descended into bed times of 7:30pm (no joke), afternoon naps and the energy levels of an asthmatic sloth. HOWEVER, I am on the mend which means ‘not suitable for work’ posts will be winging their way to your bored computer screens frequently than they have been. Be gentle with me though; I am living on a cocktail of Brew Tea Co. English Breakfast, Berocca and bloody mindedness.
Anyway, on with the Shakespearean show!
The bookish amongst you may be aware that this week (14th March – 20th March) is National Shakespeare Week – GET IN! (It was also National Earmuff Day on 13th March, and will be National Lip Appreciation Day on 16th March – it is a busy week for bullshit celebrations). So in honour of the great bard himself – or herself if you believe the conspiracy theories that all that clever bollocks could only have come from a woman – today’s review of Dandylion Teas will be through the medium of Bill’s top 5 plays. How bloody cultured!
I first came across Dandylion Teas on Hashtag Teaclub’s Twitter Feed, which is where I get most of my knowledge about tea, attractive female celebrities and crap football teams from. I was outrageously jealous that they had sent Michael HT a lovely stash of tea and neglected little old Witchy. Thus, after some Twitter Tantruming and stamping of virtual feet, Dandylion kindly obliged my two year old nature and sent me a wonderful package of samples, including a rather spectacular menu of all the other teas they do and even cocktail recipes too. You can read Michael’s plagiarised but excellent review of the menu here. (All in jest – it’s amusing. How couldn’t it be, he copied me.)
Dandylion sent me five teas to get down me gills: Classic Black, Almond Dragee, Fraiser Cake, Casbah Mint and Blueberry Millefeuille. They also sent me a copy of their National Accreditation for Wanky Tea Names certificate too, which certainly settled my nerves. Their raison d’etre is to make honest brews with a keen eye on the integrity of their ingredients. They scour the world for pure, interesting brews with no artificial flavours and design them to pair well with other yummy things like cheese, pastry or – most crucially – alcohol. The brainchild of New Yaaaawwwkkeerr Francessca Booth, Dandylion are a new brand to the market but have already featured in GQ, Tatler and (probably) a Play Boy ‘open wide’ double page spread. Excellent first impressions.
So, what did I think of these dandies? Let the original Dandy – old Shakey himself – tell you…
Part of Dandylion’s ‘Everyday’ range, this blend of Assam and Sri Lankan tea was a solid, mid-morning brew. Mildly malty with a hint of smoke, I loved its yeasty and hops like aftertaste that made me feel like I was necking a cider to cope with inane email sending. Just like Macbeth is ingrained in everyone’s psyche, will haunt GCSE syllabuses until the end of time and provide work for slightly faded TV thespians, this cuppa should grace the tea breaks of tables and office tea points everywhere. 4 murders out of 5
Not wanting to tea-jaculate too early, this brew was my favourite of the collection. Containing rooibos, almond and caramel, it made for a chilled out evening cuppa. Honey sweet yet robust and nutty with a salted caramel aftertaste, it made me warm and fuzzy in all the right places. I particularly enjoyed the marzipan-like flavours and floral notes too. Similar to Romeo & Juliet, Almond Dragee is romantic, a household favourite and surprisingly complex. 5 balcony scenes out of 5
Now, I hate fruit teas more than I hate homophobia, so this blend was always going to be on the back foot. This infusion of apple, elderberries, lemon, pineapple, strawberry and pomegranate did look pretty, but didn’t turn me on. It had an interesting berry burst in the mouth, followed up by a warming cinnamon like undercurrent and zesty tang. Yet, it simply didn’t tickle my tea spot whilst having a bath – my Lush bath bomb did that instead. Like Prince Hamlet, a well crafted piece but an acquired taste that I found indulgent and a bit depressing. 2.5 skulls out of 5
This concoction of Gunpowder green tea, spearmint, peppermint and pomegranate was a shock newfound love for me. The green tea element gave the pointed mint flavours a more rounded, full-bodied mouth feel and a pleasantly contrasting earthiness, without compromising on how refreshing and ‘clean’ this tea tasted. Ideal after lunch, it is a great palette cleanser and afternoon pick me up. Comparable to The Tempest, it has the look of Caliban and his tender, multifaceted and complex personality too. 4 desert islands out of 5
I hate to end on a sour note, but I found this brew far from a ‘comedic masterpiece’ as Will’s play is alleged to be. Again, I may have mentioned that I am as partial to fruit teas as I am inserting traffic cones up my anus (for the record, not very). So combine this with green tea – something else that I enjoy as much as a kick in the tit – and I’m probably not going to be very happy. This blend incorporated apple, elderberries, lemon grass and green tea i.e my worst traffic-cone-insertion-boob-battering nightmare. Zingy, earthy and way too sharp for my liking, this was a commendably put together blend of ingredients that was just not to my taste. I found it…well, ‘much ado about nothing’. 1 wifely infidelity out of 5
There we go then Mon-tea-gues and Cuppa-ulets. Dandylion Teas are well crafted, high quality blends that have some real corkers in the Almond Dragee, Classic Black and Casbah Mint. Whilst the fruitier blends were not to my taste, I appreciate the fresh and well sourced ingredients; I advise you try them yourself and see Hashtag Teaclub’s review for an informed overview. But…
To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.*
*In English: ‘Soz, can’t lie about how I feel innit, otherwise you think I is murkin’ ya blud.’