William Shakespeare's Black Tea Blend

Tea type
Black Tea
Bergamot Oil, Lavender, Rose Petals, Rosemary
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Nicole
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 9 oz / 266 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

From Simpson & Vail

Gardens, herbs, and flowers appear in many of Shakespeare’s plays and oftentimes play a critical role in his stories. Our William Shakespeare tea blend is a combination of a few of the many herbs he references: lavender, roses, rosemary. The wit and playfulness of his verse means that Shakespeare’s plays can still be enjoyed today, ideally with a warm cup of tea.

This black tea and floral blend brews to an amber cup with a sweet, floral taste. The slightly earthy and woody notes are rounded out with the citrus taste of bergamot and sweet rose petals.

Ingredients: Rose Congou black tea, lavender petals, rose petals, rosemary and bergamot oil.

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6 Tasting Notes

3706 tasting notes

I had to buy the lovely literary sampler gift box from S&V. Sadly, the box doesn’t come with adorable mini versions of the awesome big tins…. but handy pouches of the teas will do. I’m glad to sample them anyway! (And each sample pouch comes with a few teaspoons or more.) Today seemed like a very Shakespeare day… not sure why. The blend features a Rose Congou black tea with rose petals, rosemary, lavender and bergamot. I hate to say it though, but this blend seems a lot like S&V’s Victorian Earl Grey blend because I am probably too overly familiar with their wonderful offerings. To be fair, I haven’t actually tried their Victorian Earl Grey blend, so don’t take my word for it. But this blend is great. A light black tea with plenty of floral flavor, with a hint of fresh, bright bergamot. A great combination.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 minute steep


I’ve tried both. There’s very little difference between the two, if any at all. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s a lovely tea, but it’s still pretty much Victorian Earl Grey repackaged.

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19 tasting notes

This was a surprising tea. I was expecting something like an extra-floral Earl Grey but this is something different. It has a range of floral notes, not unexpected from the ingredients list, but is extremely well-blended! There is a perfect range of floral notes, it’s not just a flowery punch in the face. The black tea is a perfect backdrop. I expected a thrown-together tea that was a cute gimmick for book stores, but now I’m regretting the fact that I only purchased this flavor!

Flavors: Flowers

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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206 tasting notes

This tea inspired me to write a very long piece (mostly a digression) about the duality of Shakespeare’s work. If you are interested in my typing at length about what traits a Shakespeare tea should or should not have, depending on your Shakespeare preferences, you absolutely should read the post I wrote for SororiTea Sisters.

Same Starling Ranting, slightly different Starling channel (every once in a while):


I just think it’s an advertising gimmic. Like naning a Subway aub after a famous football player.

Super Starling!

Adagio Teas has these “fandom blends” that are supposed to channel different characters. I’ve totally bought a bunch of them because I wanted to know what the characters tasted like. (Okay, that sounded dirty, but you know what I’m saying). I also want to try Vampyre Teas’ Bela Lugosi’s Ashes for that same reason. We’re all suckers for our fandoms. (No pun intended about vampires. That just happens to be sometimes).


Awww. Look at you blogging at sororiteasisters. So cool. :)

Super Starling!

Mitch, the posts are just as bonkers as they are here. Then I go look around at the other posts and I’m like “these are adults that have earned their spot at this table.” And I try to hunker down. But I honestly forget where I am midway through all of my posts and start stream-of-consciousness talking about the pros and cons of Batman Forever or whatever. (You might be thinking: does she actually do this? Yes. In one upcoming post, I do this.)


Haha. I wouldn’t expect anything less. You’re the rainbow sprinkles of the tea reviewing world.

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54 tasting notes

Our Guest Blogger SuperStarling reviewed this – check it out! Even some of her artwork within the post!


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790 tasting notes

This is very floral. The scent is really nice and natural, not artificial smelling like perfume, but like flowers. Rose and lavender were the foremost notes in the liquor, bergamot took midrange for me and the rosemary I’m not sure about. I prefer this before it cools. After cooling, it takes on an unwelcome sweetness with the pure floral notes fading. The tea base blends well with the florals, a mild strength black tea. Going to experiment a bit with steeping parameters. It was good enough to drink it all, but I feel like there is more to be had from this tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

One of my weaknesses — literary inspired tea blends! Floral, too!


I’ve been pondering whether I’d associate floral flavors with Will. (Ale, yes; tobacco and musty theater, yes; roses…hmmm? :)


I agree! Maybe if it was individually themed to each play, eg. one of his romances – rose would be more appropriate – but I would definitely go for something more malty or smokey, haha.


Black – ink coloured!


While tobacco and malt would go well with a theater atmosphere, he actually used flowers very frequently in his works. There is a small park inside Central Park in NY that is a Shakespeare garden with flowers and herbs he mentioned. Here are just a very few of my favorites. :)

From Midsummer Night’s Dream: I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight.

From The Winter’s Tale: Here’s flowers for you;
Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun
And with him rises weeping: these are flowers
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age.

From Hamlet: There’s fennel for you, and columbines: there’s rue
for you; and here’s some for me: we may call it
herb-grace o’ Sundays: O you must wear your rue with
a difference. There’s a daisy: I would give you
some violets, but they withered all when my father
died: they say he made a good end,—

And of course, one of the most famous:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

I love the tragedies and histories best so when I think of the Bard I think of metallic tang of weapons, coppery scent of blood and smoke of burning buildings. Not the most appealing of flavors to put in a tea, I imagine, though. :)


(Adding to my reading list!!!!) Love the Winter’s Tale passage.

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