Grace Tea Company
Popular Teas from Grace Tea CompanySee All 19 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
41 years ago my new mother-in-law gave me my first tin of GTC winey keemun. I’ve try dozens of other keemun and English breakfast blends in the years since and never found one that pleases me the way this one does. Perhaps because as my “first,” I simply assumed that all keemun was supposed to be “winey” and so few are. It’s too mellow for me as a breakfast tea, but is sublime in the late afternoon — the perfect cross between tea to go with perfect shortbread and a good glass of wine. Enjoy. And try it with the shortbread.
This morning I experimented with making a homemade chai with just my favorite things in it. I am not a huge fan of turmeric in chai but my Indian acquaintances here put a lot of it, as well as black pepper. Now, it may be sacrilege that I didn’t put any pepper, and maybe I can’t legitimately call this chai, but it was really good.
I add 1/2 tsp. of whole cardamom, a few whole allspice, and a bit of Ceylon cinnamon to two teaspoons of Assam. I simmered this in two cups of water for almost twenty minutes. I strained it into a teapot and added sugar, gave it a good stir, and added some hot milk. It. Was. YUMMY.
For all you chai lovers who like the black pepper and turmeric, I apologize for offending your sensibilities. I will happily call this just “spiced tea” and keep on drinking it. My only regret was that I hadn’t made a larger portion!
I should have gone to bed a long time ago, but it has been a weird weekend. I took a nap this afternoon and that is probably monkeying with me. I didn’t eat supper but just snacked on walnuts and drank some chocolate milk. So at 3 am I decide it is a good time to continue watching movies with the (college) kids and heat up a plate of Asian buffet leftovers. Probably not smart.
I wanted a nice green to go with it, and this was close at hand and fit the bill. I don’t remember how I made it before, but I was in a hurry and just gave it about 90 seconds at 180F. It came out really well and is great with my food. Now I am going to absolutely CRASH and yet I have to get up early to take care of the chickens. Maybe another nap will be in order tomorrow!
We accomplished another sample sip down at tea party time today! Middle daughter made chocolate chip cookies with freshly ground hard red wheat. This was the second tea served. It is my second or third favorite Darjeeling, though I am not yet a Darjeeling connoisseur. It is smooth and fruity and doesn’t have as much astringent bite as some. This was actually the favorite tea of my guest today.
Grace Rare Tea does not offer a great variety of teas, but what they have is excellent. That was their mission.
This was great with my lunch of leftover Asian buffet takeout. The jasmine is fairly light in this one, as in, if you hate tea that tastes like cologne you could drink this. The jasmine is lightly sweet and the green base is a little…gutsy? It doesn’t overpower the jasmine, though.
This is good with food, but for my “cuddle the cup of calm” jasmine tea, I will still take Teavivre’s Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls or Jasmine Silver Needle white tea!
Tea of the morning – and I prepared it without making a mess everywhere! Go me! Smooth, malty, and delicious.
I play at church this morning and then our team has a gig this afternoon in town. Should be a lot of fun. I haven’t worshiped with them in a while – actually years! They don’t watch the clock, so I could be there a while – and trust me with this bunch that is a good thing.
Let me tell you about my morning so far. I started on Facebook complaining about the ads in the middle of the post area of the screen that can’t be closed. A friend agreed then told me to have a Snickers. lol. So then I get a bagel and think I’ll prepare tea. The press is full of spent leaf. Back to the kitchen. The water jug is empty. Back to the kitchen. I remembered the bagel, forgot the press. Back to the kitchen. Had to search for my mug. Filled the scoop with leaf. Flipped on the kettle. I was talking to my wife and watching Destination Truth – nobody doesn’t find monsters better (how could they cancel this show?) – then I grab the scoop and toss it back to storage… except… I forgot to pour the leaf in the press first. Good grief. Yeah, back to the kitchen.
The tea is wonderful and much needed, but I need more Snickers.
Why are the chickens making me crave black tea? Each morning I go outside and watch the chickens we bought Sunday. One of them had laid an egg in the box during the auction. I didn’t expect them to lay for a week or so since they had a major upheaval in their lives, but yesterday both laying hens laid an egg. (One is an adorable pullet, too young to lay just yet.) I am on pins and needles looking for two more eggs to come at about five o’clock. Meanwhile, though, in the mornings I LONG for a pot of black tea even though I haven’t been having tea until afternoons for a long while.
This one sounded good today. It is one of only a few Assams that I can drink and not regret it. Others are too harsh for me and give me an angry stomach. I actually got distracted and steeped this one for over five minutes instead of the 3 1/2 I normally do. I was afraid it would be undrinkable but I took it outside and enjoyed every cup with a bit of Blarney Castle cheese from Kerrygold. Is anyone else excited at the cheese they are carrying at Sam’s Club now? They have some pretty decent ones and I try to buy one or two a month to expand my horizons.
Grace Rare Tea is consistently good for me. They don’t offer a huge number of different teas, but they offer high quality teas and people who have tea at my house generally really like their tea. I have had their Formosa Oolong, Assam, Winey Keemun, and Jasmine Green, and they have all been tasty.
I’ve noticed some slightly smokey notes.
A little lighter on the bergamont than others, so if you like a good Earl Gray but not a whole lot of bergamont, this is for you! But still Grace quality!
Thanks again to Hesper June for this sample — see previous notes for more info.
It’s already been a busy weekend of socializing and art events for me, I needed something to wake my assam up so I can get motivated to be productive. :)
It is cloudy and drizzling and COLD! Well, cold for where I live. For it to be 39F at lunchtime is unusual for us, and running to the recycling can bare of foot wearing short sleeves added to my perception of the chill. Sometimes it is nice to get a little cold so your tea is extra cozy! :)
I am finishing this sample from Hesper June today and I am so glad I picked this one to drink. It is a great cold weather choice, and the Grace Rare Tea Company really delivers high quality tea. This is smokey, but definitely not a Lapsang. It is smooth and delicious, even without additions. And now…it is all gone! Sample sip down!
Sip down! Wow, this feels like a landmark for me, because this very tin is the first oolong I ever bought.
Grace Rare Tea Company does not disappoint. They don’t have a huge catalog because they chose to specialize and committed themselves to finding the best they could of a few types of tea. They have done that very well.
My weekly tea guest who started out as a lover of black tea is very fond of this one. I will most likely restock it one day, but for now I am removing it from my cupboard simply because I have so much tea. I really have reached a point where my own tea collection is a little overwhelming to me, partly because I feel like there are so many things I need to be drinking, but I am always wanting to try something new.
I have given away one box and one bag of teas just to try to gain control of the stash but more needs to be done. I think a weekend long sample sip down is in order, too!
Formosa Oolong – au revoir! Until we meet again!
Thanks to ashmanra my assam journey takes another step. According to wikepedia – so you know it has to be true ;) Irish Breakfast teas are traditionally 100% Assam blends. This is slightly malty in smell and taste. There was something else going on in the background that reminded me more of a hazel nut tea my wife drinks than it does the fruitiness of yesterday’s A Southern Season IB. Not bitter at 3 minute steep but a a little drying. I think this one would hurt me if I drank too much on an empty stomach. At least that is the excuse I used to grab the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies I had with it. Good tea and good cookies!
This is a nice morning tea, courtesy of Hesper June! Assams definitely belong in the “eye-opening” category for me. I am getting lots of malty notes but also a twinge of bitterness. It isn’t the mellowest assam blend I’ve ever had but I seem to remember this is fairly typical for Irish Breakfast teas. I would not say it is “delicate” per the company’s description, but perhaps I will try steeping it for a little less time also.
Overall, not bad but not something I will feel compelled to buy. Thanks again for the sample, HG! Now I must get my assam to work – hee hee!
This herbal blows my mind! This is gorgeously delicious!
It’s a cross between REAL raw lemon juice and lemon balm but with a creamy sort of texture!
I’m enjoying this beyond words – but I’m really trying to elaborate for tasting notes sake. This is excellent hot or cold. Soothing, satisfying, delightful, a real K.I.S.S. sort of tisane.
This exceeded my expectations!
I’m sending the rest to my Sororitea Sista’s Liberteas and Azzrian
One of my favorite stand-alone herbals to date :)
Thanks again to Hesper June for this one. I’d never heard of Grace Tea Company before and went to their website which looks a lot like Mark T. Wendell’s.
Anyway I am living dangerously by having this for breakfast, as it looks quite strong. I’m not a HUGE fan of keemun but I think the lapsang in this blend is quite nice, I like the combination of the two together. For me this is quite a strong cup of tea, I used about 2 tsps. in a big mug of tea so I likely could have gone with less. I’ve had a few Russian caravans and some seem very smoky, while others not at all. I admit I added soymilk to this just for an experiment, although not bad it’s probably better plain.
Recommended if you like a strong cup of semi-smoky tea. I might have to buy myself one of the Grace Tea Sampler packs now! I have so many teas but the straight black ones I drink in the morning disappear the quickest.
I only had a small sample of this and with my previous steep I had it without milk or sweetener. This morning I want something I can chug down to pick me up after sleeping in late whoops. My last cup is being devoured with a splash of milk and sprinkle of demerara.
Not much wine flavour with the added extra’s but it’s definitely more breakfast tea friendly.
Another morning, another breakfast tea. In an odd way I have been craving Keemun, I think it’s because of my love for black tea at the moment (last month it was jasmine tea).
The colour once brewed is earthy browny red and it smells slightly sweet and woody.
This tastes malty, slightly woody and earthy with a hint of sweetness. It’s rather rich and well bodied, great for a morning/breakfast tea. There is also a hint of fermented fruit (which brings forward the sweetness) and dryness which is possibly the winey element.
Overall it’s a nice cup but not extraordinary. My mouth was left bone dry after each sip which I am not a fan of and I was hoping that it was a little stronger and more full bodied. It was nice however to have a change and this tea is still rather nice.
Back in the early loose leaf days when I used to go to A Southern Season and sniff sniff SNIFF pouch after pouch of tea and tin after tin from the Fine Tea Wall, I thought Russian Caravans were pretty much the same thing as Lapsang Souchong. They both smelled really smoky to me and I was afraid of them, and puerh was on that list, too.
I lost my fear as I drank teas that had natural light smokiness, then I had some lovely blends, and then I was finally ready for the real thing. The funny thing was that my youngest child loved smoky tea right off the bat.
So here I am drinking this Caravan and wondering where the smoke is! LOL! There are a number of teas that used to seem so very smoky to me that now just seem hearty. This is very lightly smoky but it is sweet and good. No milk or sugar is needed to make this palatable, and it is comforting and bracing as we look out on yet another gray, rainy day with no sign of sunshine in the near future.
Grace Rare Tea has done what they set out to do. They carry only a few types of tea but strive to carry the best examples they can get of those types. I have never been disappointed by them.
Thank you again, Hesper June, for the amazing box o’ smoky teas! This has been the perfect week to try them all!
I have liked everything I ever bought from this company. Hesper June generously sent me this sample of their Russian Caravan, one of the few of their blends I have never tried.
It was rainy and chilly (for here, fifty degrees is chilly until we get used to it!) today, with flocks of birds mobbing my dogwood trees and stripping them of their berries. Very much a wet, fall day that begs for comfort foods! It stayed gray and overcast all day.
I served this with homemade Snickerdoodles today, but first we had Morgan Blend by Simpson and Vail, which was rich, layered, and smoky, while this tea didn’t smell nearly as smoky, but I guess Russian Caravan teas usually are not as smoky as lapsangs. From the aroma of the two teas, I thought the Morgan Blend was going to take all the awards.
But the first sip of this GRT changed my mind! Yes, it was much less smoky, but the tea base was delicious! And just as complex! My guest, the owner of the puppy we keep every Tuesday, had only had Lipton until a few weeks ago when we asked him to join us for some tea. He has liked everything we have given him so far, and he declared this one his favorite of the day.
What surprised me most was that my youngest daughter, who loves smoky tea, liked this one better than the Simpson and Vail, too. She said the Morgan Blend was very good, but that the Russian Caravan had “personality.” LOL! I think I know what she means.
It was rather like meeting someone that you had no idea you would enjoy talking to, and then you find yourself in lively conversation, surprised at this person not being quite what you anticipated.
What a fun tea tasting we had today!
Thank you, Hesper June! We have several more still to try!