Malfoy Tea EmporiumEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This unique tea was sent to me by Mastress Alita. It’s definitely strong! I first tried it with just sugar, and got a strong taste of rooibos followed by black tea with a whisper of butterscotch underneath. I immediately added milk, and wow that really brought it all together. It tastes caramely and butterscotchy, and you can’t taste the rooibos anymore, it just supports the other flavors. There’s no bitterness. This one is very, very good. I would drink this all the time if I had more!
Autumn Harvest! Aww yes, time to dive into my favorite of the harvest staple foods, pumpkin! This was another of the Harry Potter teas from when I did the House Cup… of Tea! last September, a sampler of the Pumpkin Pasties from Malfoy Tea Emporium, an original small batch tea-blender on Etsy.
The scent of the tea leaves is a lot more subtle than I was expecting, especially compared to most pumpkin teas I’ve tried, which tend to have a stronger spicy scent. I’m getting a milder sweet pumpkin smell here, with just a hint of cinnamon.
The steeped tea is a rich brown color like warm molasses, and it had an inviting pumpkin aroma, with hints of cinnamon and a sweet scent that reminded me of maple syrup. The taste of this tea is a bit different than other pumpkin teas I’ve tried, which tend to be quite heavy on the spice; this one had a bit sweeter pumpkin flavor and a hint of a spiciness to the aftertaste, but I wasn’t noticing a heavy spice note mid-sip, so if you aren’t a fan of spicy teas or tend to find pumpkin teas too overwhelming on the spice aspect, this one may be exactly what you are looking for. The black tea base was solid and seemed to adjust easily to different strengths depending on the amount of leaf used, so it was easy to adjust based on taste to a lighter, medium, or darker strength brew. I prefer my blacks as a medium brew and found the flavor was noticable but not overwhelming of the bas prepared this way.
It was a warm and satisfying cup. As a chai fan I do like the spice in my pumpkin spice, but at the same time, I appreciated not having my pumpkin tea just taste like chai like they so often do, and getting to taste something a bit different for a change.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Malt, Pumpkin, Sweet
Trick or Treat! I bought this tea a year ago when I was doing a Harry Potter theme for my old tea blog, and I’ve had this tea stashed away in my cupboard since then, to savor on supposed “special occassions,” like the way a grandmother stashes away her good china for “special occassions.” Eh, it fits the month’s theme, so that seems special enough to me…
Honestly, sipping on this again now, I remember why I’ve been so sparing with this one… it is just so good. I’ve tried other “butterbeer” teas, trying to find something that has a match in taste but isn’t so expensive for the leaf as this particular Etsy seller, but I just can’t find anything that compares to this! It’s like liquid caramel syrup. The caramel flavor is sooooooo rich and decadent, I have no idea exactly what flavoring and in what quantity this Etsy blender is using, but it is perfect. This tea is a blend of black and rooibos, and I find those can be really finicky, but this one just works. It has body and a bit of boldness, but at the same time is more sweet and honeyed without so much harshness or astringent bite. And did I mention it is just so full of caramel goodness? Waaaaaah! My favorite way to drink this is to make a stronger infusion (which actually would be a bit on the bitter side to drink plain, but it is over-leafed a bit!) and then add a bit of warm vanilla almond milk and then whisk it together (typically 1/4 part milk and 3/4 parts tea), and it just makes it absolutely divine; the caramel shines through nicely, the vanilla notes in the milk make it taste extra butterscotchy, and it becomes so thick, rich, frothy, creamy, and sweet!
Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Honey, Malt, Sweet
Sampler Sipdown September! And the final tea from my samplers for the Harry Potter House Cup… OF TEA!
This tea is also from Malfoy Tea Emporium, and this blend is Malfoy representing House Slytherin! (Which, for the record, is my House… bet you thought all librarians were Ravenclaws, right? I’m just that sneaky.) This is a green tea blend with some spearmint, lemongrass, and spices. The dry leaf aroma is very minty, but the clove is also very noticable!
The tea steeped up a pale yellow with some subtle greenish tones, true to its green tea base. The distinct vegetal flavor of green tea isn’t noticeable in this blend, however, so those that typically don’t like green tea could still appreciate this as an herbal offering, so long as they don’t mind the caffeine. This is a light tea with a strong minty flavor, the spearmint making up the dominant note of the tea. I find the spearmint gives the flavor just a bit more bite than typical mint. Unlike the Weasley tea where I felt the added spices where lost in the flavor profile, that is certainly not the case here! There is a slightly spicy hint to every sip that tickles on the tongue, and the clove especially lingers right at the back of the tongue. It isn’t overpowering, but it is a flavor that certainly makes itself known. The spice is quite subtle in comparison to a chai, but gives a certain pleasant kick to the soothing mint green base.
This tea actually resteeps quite well, increasing the steep time by a few minutes. The color was still full without the green tea going bitter, and the original flavors held up amazingly well! The spearmint flavor was still very flavorful on a second steep, and while the spices were a little less powerful, I continued to get some clove and cinnamony notes lingering in the aftertaste. I am impressed at this leaf’s ability at self-preservation… but would I expect any less of a Slytherin? Of course not. That deserves a bonus point!
I’ve never had a spicy mint green tea, not even a subtle one, so this was certainly a new experience for me! I have been a fan of Moroccan Mint teas and chais for some time, so this was almost like an odd blending of elements of both. And in many ways it really worked for me. I was surprised how well the clove and spearmint complimented each other. It is a thoroughly satisfying cup. I give this tea four out of five points for flavor.
I’m a bit happy to see this tea isn’t just a dark as mud black tea, because really… hasn’t the whole “Slytherin is dark and evil!” thing been done to death? In fact, those green leaves, and the slight greenish hues in the brewed tea reminded me of the House color and brought a little grin to the face, much the way the red steep of the Weasley tea did… I think I’m going to have to award Slytherin a presentation bonus point for that!
The dominant flavor of this tea, spearmint, is an herb known for helping with cognitive ability such as learning and memory, which is why when tasting this tea, one of the blind tea tasters guessed this tea may be the Ravenclaw tea (not a bad idea!). Though in many respects I can see how these mind-stimulating properties would be advantageous to such resourceful, ambitious, cunning individuals. The green tea base also provides mild caffeine and L-theanine which provide stable mental energy and are known to improve brain function. The minty green tea base plays into the clever and cunning side of Slytherin quite well.
The spices in the tea give the blend a sharp, lingering bite; it makes the tea a bit edgy and unlike any mint green tea I’ve ever tried, and I can’t help but feel it is dabbling just a bit outside the rules here… like a Moroccan Mint hiding a secret. This, too, seems to give the blend just a bit of charm. It’s a green tea that leaves just a bit of a spicy heat on the tongue. At first taste, it’s a soothing spearmint, but the aftertaste leaves a slight lingering “burn” on the tongue. I feel that the spices indicate that darker side, without needing a blatant dark flavor. In fact, it’s more sneaky this way, which I find even more fitting!
On a scale of 0-5, I’m awarding 5 points to Slytherin in this category.
Like the Hufflepuff tea, while I feel the tea embodies the qualities of the House of its namesake character well, I don’t think it embodies its namesake all that great. There are aspects of it that work, but many that just don’t quite hit the mark.
Draco is one of the most intelligent and quick-witted students around, making the mental-stimulating properties of that green tea and spearmint combination work well, but the spearmint flavor is also just a little too cool, in that soothing sort of way, for me to really associate with such a brass, arrogant character. The spices, however, do help make up for this a bit, since they leave that slight hot bite on the tongue, and if anyone has a bit of a bite to him, it’s Draco!
This is a case where I think a bit of black tea really would be appropriate; the blend just has too light of a mouthfeel for a character with dark complexities and that descent into recklessness. I think a more appropriate choice for Draco would be a nice pu-ehr, a dark, complex tea, but accented with the same spice choices that are in this blend, that hint of cinnamon and that thick clove, to give it that hot, biting edge.
There are certainly some qualities in the blend that work, but some that fall flat for me, so I give this tea three out of five points in this category.
The participants of the library blind taste test rated the Malfoy tea with scores of 3, 3, 2, and 2, for a total of 10 House points!
If any participants rated their teas with the same score (for example, gave multiple teas a rating of “3”) I asked them to rank the teas from least to greatest preference. The tea ranked as their greatest preference would then score a bonus point. This was the case for one participant (who rated two teas with a “3”) but ranked the Slytherin tea the highest, so it scores a bonus point!
Participants were also asked to guess which tea belonged to which House, after sampling all four teas. If any participants managed to guess a House correctly, it would score bonus points! One participant guessed the Slytherin tea correctly, so that’s 5 bonus points to Slytherin! (For the record, one person in the blind taste test guessed all four Houses correctly… the director of the library where I work! I was impressed! I will also note that none of my blind taste testers are tea drinkers… though they are Harry Potter fans and I appreciated them playing along!)
Here is the score:
Flavor Profile Score: 4
Representation of House Virtues: 5
Representation of Character Personality Traits: 3
Blind Taste Test Scores: 10
Bonus Points: 8
It was a fair try, Slytherin!
So the winner of the House Cup… OF TEA! is House Hufflepuff! Congratulations! You get… a magical imaginary awesome teacup and now everyone knows I have no life and this is the kind of shit I do in my free time. Woo!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Menthol, Mint, Spearmint, Spicy
Sampler Sipdown September! The third sampler of the Harry Potter teas for the House Cup… OF TEA!
This is another of the Malfoy Tea Emporium blends, Lovegood representing House Ravenclaw, and this tea is a fruity pina colada blend with a rooibos/black tea base, vanilla and creme flavoring, and topped off with sprinkles. The dry leaf smells like creme soda and pineapple!
The tea steeps up a warm caramel color. The scent of the brewed tea still reminds me a lot of creme soda, though now I’m getting a lot more of a coconut aroma from the brew. The rooibos and black tea create a base that is somewhat sweet, somewhat malty, and quite pleasant. The flavor of the tea is naturally sweet without being overbearing, and reminds me a lot of the Creme au Caramel Rooibos by Metropolitan Tea Company in body and flavor. The main difference between the two teas comes in the finish, as that tea left very distinct toffee notes on the tongue, and this tea has a pina coloda flavor that lingers with every sip. It isn’t hard to pick out the notes of pineapple in the tea and the sweet coconut flavor that lingers on the tongue.
A resteep just didn’t really hold up for me. The flavor extracts still had a bit to give, but the creamy, somewhat malty base was just so much weaker, even after an extra long steep, that the flavors just felt without a home suspended in a cup of weaksauce tea.
I loved the flavor of this tea! I’ll admit that I’m a fan of pineapple and coconut, so this was a flavor combination that simply worked for me. I enjoy sweet teas that require no sugar, and this tea has such low caffeine content it would make a nice late evening treat. I would happily enjoy having this tea in my collection, if it weren’t for the high price of the leaf. It’s sweet and creamy and the flavors balance nicely, truly a small indulgence in a cup. While some tea drinkers may not enjoy sweet brews like this, for me, I score this tea five points out of five for flavor!
This tea is a little too light, sweet, and lacking in ingredients that I would associate with stimulating the mind (one of the blind tea tasters actually guessed a different tea as the Ravenclaw tea for including mint, since it is a natural mental stimulant, which honestly was a very well thought-out guess!) to remind me very much of the House virtues of Ravenclaw. The black tea added to the base isn’t even enough to give the blend much of a stimulating effect to make this blend effective as a pick-me-up for a late night study session; it really is a relaxing dessert tea. And a relaxing dessert tea just doesn’t really make me think of wit, wisdom, and intellect. In this regard, I think a good mind-stimulating herbal blend mixed with some yerba mate for a bit of a caffeine-kick would’ve been a good choice.
But I can say that this tea blend is very creative and original in creating the flavor profile that it is after, and if there is any House that celebrates such talents, it is Ravenclaw. Blending the rooibos with just a touch of black tea created this perfect base that was naturally sweet but not overbearingly so, that pinch of black mellowing it just a bit and creating just a bit of maltiness. Adding the cake sprinkles gave the tea just the right sweetness so no other sweeteners were necessary. The ingredients seemed to be carefully chosen so their flavors would blend together to create that pina colada taste in a base reminescent of creme soda. There was certainly a lot of thought put into the selection of the blend, and that certainly doesn’t go unnoticed!
On a scale of 0-5, I’m awarding 2 points to Ravenclaw in this category.
As far as representing Luna Lovegood, parts of the blend seem to capture her eccentric nature, such as mixing two completely different types of tea together to create such a unique base, or including cake sprinkles in the blend, but other parts of the blend seem so carefully crafted to create just the right flavor with the use of both dry ingredients and natural flavoring, with far too much thought and planning to be considered an eccentricity at all. But then, perhaps that is just it; there is far more logical sense behind what seems an oddity or quirk.
The flavor is very sweet, and I can see this with Luna’s overall unfazed and accepting demeanor of those around her and her ability to comfort others. I can get an impression of her dreamy disposition from the creamy, carmelly tea. I think the only thing that would sell this more is if the pineapple added an edge of tartness to the blend, as Luna had a sense of loyalty that could bring out a bit of steel in her otherwise nonplussed demeanor.
Out of five points, I’m scoring Ravenclaw a 4 in this category.
The blind taste test results with the library staff rated the Lovegood tea with scores of 4, 4, 4, and 1, for a total of 13 House points! (One person in the blind taste test thought this tea was “way too sweet”… proof that everyone has very different tastes! This tea was my favorite, tastewise, of the bunch!)
Participants were also asked to guess which tea belonged to which House, after sampling all four teas. If any participants managed to guess a House correctly, it would score bonus points! Two participants guessed the Ravenclaw tea correctly, so that’s 10 bonus points to Ravenclaw! (One of the participants in the blind taste test, a Ravenclaw, liked this tea the best of the four sampled, so simply marked this tea as his House as a result and was right. Bonus points are bonus points no matter how they are gained!)
Here is the score:
Flavor Profile Score: 5
Representation of House Virtues: 2
Representation of Character Personality Traits: 4
Blind Taste Test Scores: 13
Bonus Points: 10
Amazing, House Ravenclaw! Only one more tea to go!
Flavors: Caramel, Coconut, Cream, Pineapple, Sweet
Sampler Sipdown September! I don’t exactly hide I’m a bonified geek (I love going to fandom conventions whenever I can!) so for me, September (the start of the new Hogwarts school year) is the perfect time for a House Cup… OF TEA! So I’m going to go through my Harry Potter themed samplers and see which one comes out on top!
Most of these teas came from Malfoy Tea Emporium on Etsy, a small batch original tea blender. One I had to get from Adagio, because Malfoy Tea Emporium didn’t have a tea I could use for Hufflepuff (poor Hufflepuff!) This first tea is Weasley, representing House Gryffindor. This is a chocolate-cherry black tea, and the aroma of the dry leaf was quite nice, like chocolate-covered cherries with some notes of sweet rose.
The tea steeped a bright red color, and I have to say that at least the striking color deserves a bonus House Point. The taste on the other hand… leaves much to be desired. It’s rather light-bodied and naturally sweet, with very strong cherry notes. They aren’t particularly medicinal, but they are strong enough that the tea doesn’t really have much of a chocolately flavor and I can’t really make out any of the spices present in the blend. There are only very subtle hints of cinnamon and ginger that linger on the tongue after you’ve taken a sip.
For a really flavorful cup, a double teaspoon produced a very red brew! The black tea base was heavier and more flavorful, but unfortunately was also a bit more bitter/astringent as well. The cherry tones were still quite flavorful, but some of the overbearing sweetness was toned down a bit by the brew being a bit more hearty. The spiciness in the finish also lingered longer. I had very little tea in the sampler, so I was only able to make one cup using a double teaspoon of leaf, which, with just a dash of honey, I think improved the tea quite a bit.
As much as I love chocolate-covered cherries, the flavor of this tea didn’t impress me too much. The chocolate notes made the brew a bit lighter-bodied and sweeter but not particularly chocolately to me, and while it was definitely a nicer cherry flavor than I’ve seen with a lot of teas and I would definitely recommend to folks looking for a good cherry-flavored tea that doesn’t feel like drinking a bottle of cough syrup, it just didn’t strike me as the sort of thing I could imagine myself drinking to cozy up by the fireplace in the Gryffindor common room. The finish also left me wanting, as the spices that are apparently in this blend are all but impossible to taste. I found the tea a bit more palatable using double leaf, but I don’t particularly think a tea should need to use extra leaf to really enjoy it, and even then it came out just a bit stronger than I typically like. Somewhere between the two extremes would’ve been my preference. Out of five points for flavor, I’m scoring this one a two.
As far as House virtues, I’d say that first cup honestly displayed none of them. Being a black tea, I would’ve expected a much heavier brew for a House characterized by bravery, daring, nerve, and chivalry; a hearty tea that takes a bit of grit to drink, not something so light, sweet, and… well… dainty. I mean, it would’ve been fine as an accompaniment with some cherry cheesecake at an Afternoon Tea…
But the cup made with the double leaf was an entirely different experience. It was strong and had a bit of a bite. My tongue tingled a bit with just a bit of a spicy and tart aftertaste that reminded me of the House element, fire. There was still a bit of cherry-flavored sweetness, but overall the tea was far more hearty, the black tea flavor more defined, and I found myself having to add a bit of sweetener to the cup to round it out a bit. This cup of tea was far more bold than what I had tasted previously, and changed my impression a lot!
On a scale of 0-5, I’m awarding 4 points to Gryffindor in this category. The loss of one point is due to needing a double batch of leaf in order to achieve this result!
And how much does the Weasley tea remind me of its namesake? Perfectly, actually! That first cup was so warm and sweet, and even though the flavor profile of the tea just didn’t quite mesh with me, I couldn’t help but find the tea comforting in its own awkward way. Ron is so warm and friendly I can see why a tea trying to mimick chocolately cocoa, but that brews the color of that cherry-red hair, might be exactly what the tea blender was going for!
But not only is the tea warm and sweet with a somewhat awkward flavor profile, that second brewing with double leaf produced a much stronger, bolder cup… it was much like seeing how the character progressed over the series, his sweet side and his darker side. The Weasley tea, in my opinion, does a good job representing the character! On a scale of 0-5 points, I give Gryffindor 5 points in this category!
I also had members of the staff at the library where I work participate in a blind taste test of these four teas, which were simply labled as Hearts, Clubs, Spades, and Diamonds (they are librarians and thus Harry Potter geeks, so I didn’t want their own House biases to impact their rankings of the flavors!) They were instructed to sample each tea and simply rate them from 0-5 based on their personal preferences of the flavor. So how did this one do in the taste test? The participants rated the Weasley tea with scores of 3, 3, 1, and 4, for a total of 11 House points!
Participants were also asked to guess which tea belonged to which House, after sampling all four teas. If any participants managed to guess a House correctly, that House would score bonus points! Two participants guessed the Weasley tea correctly, so that’s 5 bonus points for each correct guess! One participant who ended up guessing this tea (and only this tea) correctly remarked, “Those Gryffindors, they’ll always find a way to sneak in a few bonus points!” Hahaha, indeed!
Here is the score:
Flavor Profile Score: 2
Representation of House Virtues: 4
Representation of Character Personality Traits: 5
Blind Taste Test Scores: 11
Bonus Points: 11
Nicely done, House Gryffindor!
Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Cocoa, Spices, Sweet
Happy National Library Week! This is the tea I bought for the ocassion this year (well, technically, I got it for the ocassion last year, but since Etsy is made-to-order, it wasn’t going to be done in time, so I had to get the Adagio one last minute instead, and I’ve had this one in my cupboard, sadly waiting, for nearly a full year). Finally the time has come! Hopefully it will be worth it.
Malfoy Tea Emporium is a custom blender on Etsy that does (surprise surprise) Harry Potter inspired blends, among others. At the time I ordered this blend I didn’t even like bergamot, but now I’ve adapted my palate to it, so maybe this was a case of things happen the way they do for a reason. I have a feeling I’ll enjoy this tea much more now than I would’ve a year ago!
The base of the tea is a very rich black with some slight astringency in the aftertaste. Touches of bergamot play across the tongue, but it is not strong or overwhelming (which is actually surprising to me; there is a lot of other flavor in this tea, and one of my main problems with bergamot is that in most cases, it completely takes over a tea). The bergamot mixes with a strong presence of spearmint, which dominates the forefront of the sip, creating a minty flavor with a slightly citrusy edge, but the finish of the sip is more of a sweeter blueberry flavor; a hint of the blueberry and vanilla flavors come out right at the end, after the stronger mint and bergamot notes have cleared the mouth, and don’t really make themselves known until you notice it there in the aftertaste.
It’s a very strange tea. I can see why it’s called “haunted,” because it is like some of the flavors pop up unexpectedly, like a ghost of a flavor, that was lingering in your mouth but is only going to make itself known when you aren’t looking for it. I don’t think I’ve really ever had that experience with a tea before. It’s an odd concoction but fascinatingly enjoyable at the same time. I think the only part I don’t really like is the astringent aftertaste of the black tea base itself, which is just a personal taste of mine that I’m rather sensitive to, and I feel adding milk to this cuppa might ruin the overall subtleties of the flavor experience.
Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Blueberry, Cream, Malt, Spearmint