Leland Tea Co
Popular Teas from Leland Tea CoSee All 18 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Another apology to donors because of my disorganization…swaps and samples have gotten a little jumbled in my messy kitchen, but I think this was a treat from Lori.
At any rate, this is the closest approximation to homemade baked goods I’ve ever tasted in a tea. Makes me think of sugar cookies more than snickerdoodles, but now I have a severe craving for both. Splashed in just a little skim milk and yummy-doodle!
Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act IV scene 2
“I have no other but a woman’s reason:
I think him so, because I think him so.”
The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act I scene 2
I had forgotten about this tea, and yet it was one I had been very excited to try. With that name — how could I resist? Unfortunately it got lost amongst my books and when I went to grab the Rose Keemun I ended up with this in my hand instead. Woohoo! Surprise tea!
I expected this tea to be dark and brooding, and as it steeped I started brainstorming evil Shakespeare characters. I wasn’t sure what this tea was, so I tried looking it up on the Leland website: no dice. The leaves are such a mixture of browns, greens, and some yellow (sorry my picture washed out the subtle shadings). The dry leaves hadn’t really smelled like much, and when I poured the tea I kept thinking that one of the smells reminded me of something. This tea drove me crazy!
I really enjoyed the first half of this cup, the second half was fine but at that point I was really sitting there and loudly slurping and smacking this tea around in my mouth. My poor cat ran for cover not knowing what on earth I was doing. Is this sweetness an oolong thrown in with an Assam? Is there a bit of lychee? What is that sweetness? As the cup cooled it got more “yeasty.” This tea really starts to remind me of Golden Moon’s Persian Melon (for me, not a good thing). The second steep was “eh” and very much like the Persian Melon with a musky melon sort of yeasty taste but pretty light.
Surprisingly I consider this tea a comedy (regardless of its forboding name): The Two Gentlemen of Verona. A fun play, with some very funny moments, but overall one of Shakespeare’s less remarkable plays (if there is such a thing). NE
Part of Doulton’s Nabokov Prize!
I see Doulton’s on a mission, here. Clearly. ;) And it looks like she’s winning more converts with every steep!
The first thing I got was smoke, but warm, comforting smoke. And dulce de leche. Smoky dulce de leche, then. Like smoky, comforting, familiar trenchcoat. Which is appropriate! The smell and taste are both classic. The colour is a rich, warm amber that suggests maple syrup.
The most this needs is an eensy bit of raw sugar. I’m talking tiny. The thing about sugar is, like salt, it’s a flavour enhancer more than anything else. It shouldn’t dominate (well, OK, except in sugar cookies and rock candy); it should only compliment. Don’t add cream, whatever you do. I did, thinking a tiny drop would enhance the creaminess, but it was too much. It overwhelmed the lovely delicacy of this tea.
Before the cream, it was a lovely, sinuous, wafting thing. Like a smoking jacket belonging to someone who only smoked really nice tobacco in a pipe for years, perhaps taking it in the library after dinner with a snifter of single-malt.
Trenchcoat, smoking jacket. I’m sensing a theme. No fedora, though. Definitely no fedora. ;)
Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act II scene 3
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
The Tempest, Act IV scene 1
Oh, how this tea has been calling to me ever since Doulton’s box arrived. This was the main smell that I experienced when I opened the box. This is what’s been fragrancing my room. It’s sort of an intense vanilla/hazelnut tea smell. It sorta intimidated me.
Oh, this is good. I’ve only ever had hazelnut as a syrup in a latte (not my favorite) so I think that my mind picked up on the vanilla more. But wow. I think “hug in a cup” isn’t just something that Leland flippantly put in its description in order to sell more tea. It does seem like a holiday tea, but I’d take it a step further: this is more like the warm loving heart of most holidays. And Stephanie nailed the description of the second infusion: a cinnamony snickerdoodle!
This was the highlight of my day by far. I even kept the leaves for a final steep after I got home from work. Yes, three is definitely this tea’s limit. And usually I love contemplating where one of these teas fits in Shakespeare’s cannon, but this one was on the verge of infuriating. It’s not a tragedy and it should be one of his better plays. Could I call a tea “Shakespeare” the man? That didn’t sit well with me. Then I looked up a play that I’m not too familiar with: The Tempest. Aha! It’s got the family drama of many holidays but ends well. Many critics have even speculated that the character of Prospero was the embodiment of Shakespeare himself.
And then it happened. I was looking at this quote on one of the websites that I’ve relied heavily upon for these notes (enotes.com) and I read the commentary and almost fell out of my chair. They refer to Bogart’s famous last line in The Maltese Falcon: “The stuff that dreams are made of” and how Bogey had suggested this line himself (as far as anyone knows the misquote was unintentional). Well, I shall misquote intentionally: “This tea is such stuff as dreams are made on.” TG
I’m letting myself be inspired by the Steepsterites and trying this one tonight, also a Doulton tea
this smells absolutely lovely. It reminds me of these biscuits that my mother bakes for chirstmas, but it doesjn’t actually smell jparticularly christmassy, which is kind of weird when you think about it considering the biscuit-y smell. Supposedly if you blend it with laspang souchong the description says that it will supposedly become ‘a coffee lovers dream of tea’.
Errrr….. Right. Except coffee isn’t smoky and lapsang souchong flavour =/= coffee flavour. STOP MIXING UP COFFEE AND TEA, THEY ARE TWO VERY SEPARATE THINGS, ARGH! I’m getting a bit weary of many tea-drinkers’ snobbery that coffee-drinkers are somehow inferior because they “only” drink coffee. ‘Drink what you like and like what you drink’ they say and then they do their utmost to make the coffee-drinker see the light. Attend a coffee tasting. Coffee is just as diverse and interesting and with just as many details for the nerd as tea.
But that was a bit of a tangent. Where was I? Oh yes, aroma. After steeping it’s even more cake-y and a bit chocolate-y. Or maybe more Nutella-y than chocolate-y. Or, no, not Nutella. LU Bastogne. That’s it. Do you get those out there in the Big Abroad? A sort of syrup-y cinnamon biscuit.
What a surprise to taste! Again, Bastogne, definitely. Also reminds me of that chocolate pu-erh from Numi, it’s a very very similar flavour.
I like this one better though, and I’m in a funny sort of situation where having one tea is forcing me to go and dock points from another tea. It feekls strange.
Also in spite of the rant up there, I also want to try and mix it with some lapsang souchong.
Oh…so you want to be center of attention!? Oh…you want to be the leading man? Well, let’s just see what you’ve got, sir!
This has a bit of nose trickery going on! At first sniff it reminds me of a chai. 2nd sniff it changes it’s mind and resembles a perfect wintery-type blend. Then…just when you think you’ve figured it out…the individual components smack you in the face! You are quite bold, mister! I can smell Cinnamon, Vanilla, and almost a buttery-creme in there with a bit of nuttiness.
The color is a rich brown.
My first sip was very slippery…yes, slippery! Smooth and buttery cream-like tones. The after taste is reminding me of Hazelnut. The 2nd taste…still slippery with the cinnamon popping out more. As I continue to sip I inhale at the same time to be presented with an ever-so-slight smokey scent that passes just like a breeze.
This is an interesting cup to say the very least.
Almost a competition for the leading role? Perhaps. I’m so happy Doulton let me “bogart” some of this from her stash! (har, har)
I have a cat named Mrs. Palmer, who has an enormous crush on my oldest son. Mrs. Palmer looks at me with disdain and superiority (which I love—every cat lady loves a superior cat) and she tolerates my husband. When my son comes around she gets this goofy dazed crazy happy expression on her face that I call “Spring Awakening”.
Leland Tea’s Bogart has given me “spring awakening”. I am a somewhat cautious tea drinker—I prefer to start out with a small sample at 1 or 2 bucks. Then I might buy more. Untasted, sight unseen, nothing known about Leland Teas, I purchased not one but two full orders of Bogart (and quite a few of their other blends). I ordered on April 12 and today, April 19th my tea has arrived. Very good record, considering that I also got teas today that were ordered on April 3rd.
Upon first sniff I fell in love; first taste confirmed the love, and I think that the explanation is that Leland Teas uses some Lapsang Souchoung in the blend. If you don’t like smoke, you would barely notice it, however. The predominant taste is the hazel nut, followed by the vanilla and the cinnamon. The nuttiness is divine and the vanilla is excellent. The cinnamon wisely remains a back-up player and does not try to take over the show.
I’m ready for more and I still have that “spring awakening” expression on my face. The question is will I be able to stop and try other teas? I have, from Leland, “Tiffany,” and “Garbo’s Peachy Blend” and “Kisses!” and more!
On the second steeping, this smells like a snickerdoodle cookie—a very cinnamony snickerdoodle.
The good thing is is that this can be steeped for a very long time without bitterness! But I would say that the flavor only lasts up to three steeps. And beyond that, it tastes only like warm sugar water.
Just a little tasting note blurb….nothing really useful to add except that I can’t stop drinking this, it’s so good! It’s like I have to have at least one cup everyday.
This is my first hazelnut flavored tea—I wonder if they all taste similar to this or if everyone uses their own propietary flavorings? I wonder, is there one kind of hazelnut flavoring that’s sold that all tea blenders use? It would be neat to find out.