Tea brings people together, whether in reality or virtually, tea gives us something in common and something to share. In my experience, the virtual tea community is such a warm and inviting place. The people truly care and want to share their opinions on teas and tea companies while getting to know a little bit about each other.
By the tea community, I mean those out there online talking about tea on Facebook groups, Instagram, YouTube, blogs, and more. When you find a tea you love you want to talk about it, share it with others and learn about their opinions on that tea and others. When you want to learn more about different brewing methods, tea history, or tea making, people are out there to help. I feel like I have developed some very nice friendships through chatting with people in comments or private messages and also through watching videos, reading blogs and making my own.
One of the sweetest members of the tea community that I have met is Jann over on Tea With Jann on YouTube and Instagram. She loves tea, cats, and talking about and celebrating happy things. She has a series on her YouTube channel called Tea News With Jann, where she only shares good news about tea and tea related things. This season of the tea news she has also been hosting giveaways from various tea shops.
I happened to be lucky enough to win one of these giveaways and won two free teas of my choice from Monarch Tea Co. I had been super excited and wanting to try out Monarch since seeing Jann’s interview with the owner, Katie, so I was over the moon about winning and getting my chance to try some tea. I chose their Niagara Peach Pie and Silk Road Spice for my two teas. The peach because I thought it would be lovely in the coming warmer months and the spice because it is their newest release and the base is genmaicha, which I adore.
I had to wait a bit anxiously for the mail system to get my teas here from Canada, but finally they arrived and I got to see that beautiful packaging in person.
I went with the peach first and tried it hot steeped. The irresistible smell opening that bag helped me to instantly know I made a good choice. It steeped up a nice golden yellow color and I tried it first without anything added. It was pretty good with subtle notes of flavors but then I added in a little honey to try and get the peach notes to really shine. The green tea base is definitely the dominant flavor, but the peach and floral notes do come out well, making it the best peach flavored tea I’ve had. It was quite enjoyable but I got the impression that this tea may be best iced, so I moved on to experiment with that next.
Iced, the peach tea was quite lovely. I think the green tea was still the dominant flavor, but you do get a nice peach taste in the background. I think it could make a great picnic accompaniment, especially with some fresh peach slices in it, or to help keep it cold and not dilute it, use some frozen peach slices.
The second tea, hands down won the favorite slot. It is their Silk Road Spice and it is phenomenal. The inspiration was a blending of Japanese and Indian tea traditions, taking a genmaicha base and adding chai spices. Now I am really not a fan of chai, but I adore genmaicha and felt I had to try this tea. It is so good and has me rethinking my opinions on chai.
The base genmaicha flavor is very clear and recognizable, then the warmth of the spices blend in and add these lovely pops of uniqueness. This tea is very nice plain, but a tiny bit of honey livens it up a little more and it becomes spectacular. There is a nice comfort feeling to it, making it ideal for a chilly or rainy day. The blending is so on point making sure nothing overpowers. The spice is more warm than sharp and mixes perfectly with the toasty genmai. I have a feeling I will be needing more of this tea, especially when the colder months return.
So far I am very impressed by Monarch Tea Co. I am also signed up for their virtual tea blending class next month and am very much looking forward to that. Another post will be coming late May to tell you all about the class.
Until then, I have several fun ideas brewing, including some tea recipe experiments I will be sharing with you soon. Make sure you are following so you do not miss anything. Thanks for reading!