Hiya folks! Today’s post was supposed to be something else entirely, but I’ve decided to do something very near and dear to my heart instead. With the chaotic state of the world, my favorite tea place, Jolie Tea Co. in Salem, MA, has temporarily closed, and I want to support them in whatever way I can, so today, we’re reviewing my two favorite teas from them! I literally drink Rhapsody every Monday & the Glenburn Earl Grey every weekend, and here’s why you should, too.
Ingredients: Chinese black tea, blackberry pieces, raspberry leaves, blackcurrant essence, blackberry essence, raspberry essence
Look, I’ll be the first to admit that I used to be a huge bagged tea fan. When I was in college, the flavored Lipton green teas were the most accessible thing to me, so I bought a ton and drank only that for the longest time. When I finally started experimenting outside of Lipton, it was with Tazo teas, and eventually, after years of experimentation, I found the triple berry black tea. Guys. It was one of the best teas I’ve ever had, and I drank it religiously every single Monday for about a year until Tazo suddenly took it off the shelves, and I was left bereft.
What in the world was I going to do?
I walked into Jolie, nearly weeping with sorrow, and asked for help. “I need a black tea with lots of berries and nothing else.”
“We got you,” they said, and promptly pulled Rhapsody off of the shelf to have me sniff it. Right there, from that very first smell, I knew I was going to be okay. I just didn’t realize how much more amazing my Monday mornings were about to be. Because GUYS. Jolie’s Rhapsody tea is not just another level, it’s eighteen levels above any other black berry tea I’ve ever tried. It’s got that dark, thick taste that’s common with black tea, but then it’s undercut by the sharp tang of blackberry and the sweet rush of raspberry. It’s a surprise for your taste buds with every single sip. This is, hands down, my favorite tea of theirs. And if you don’t believe me, I just bought $21 worth of it in their biggest tin so that I always have it handy.
Glenburn Earl Grey
Ingredients: Assam black tea from Khongea province with bergamot extract
I could tell almost the same exact story for the Glenburn Earl Grey. Fun fact: I started drinking Earl Grey because I’m a massive James Bond fan, and I wanted to be like Q. It was a lot of trial and error because most boxed Earl Grey kind of tastes like cardboard or dirt, but once I started experimenting with the loose leafs, oh boy. Same kind of story, though–I was in love with an Earl Grey from Two Leaves and a Bud, and they sadly switched over to bagged, which I had bad experience with for Earl Grey, so I slouched into Jolie, fell across the counter, and gasped out my need for an Earl Grey.
“I’ll just take whatever the standard one is,” I whispered as I began the slow descent to my doom.
“WAIT!” I heard hollered from the back. (This part is not an exaggeration, this part actually happened, and it’s amazing.) One of the owners rushed out to the front, having recognized my voice, and said, “We have several different Earl Grey blends. Let’s find you the perfect one.”
Seriously, the staff at Jolie are top notch.
She took me through four different blends–the standard, the green, the organic, and the Glenburn. The standard was excellent. I had it to go that day, and I absolutely adored it. The green & the organic smelled like they would knock me flat off my feet, so I decided to go with the Glenburn, and wowowowowowowowowow.
It has that distinct bergamot flavor, but in a way you’ve never experienced before. It’s one of the few very unique Earl Greys I’ve had before in that it’s still definitely Earl Grey, but there’s something special about it that makes it stand out. It sits, hidden, in the corners of your mouth so you’re thinking about it for the rest of the day and just sighing about how good your life is. This is another tea that I got the largest possible tin for because duh.
I’m a tea lover, through and through. It’s my favorite thing in the world. Recently, a friend sent me a meme that was something along the lines of “if I had a TED talk, what would my topic be?” and her answer for me, among others, was “tea: mostly water, but better,” and she’s so right.
And not only is tea the best, but Jolie is beyond even your wildest dreams. They’re my favorite shop in Salem, my favorite tea shop just in general, and the staff is some of the kindest people I know. They’ve taken such good care of me over the years, and I’m so grateful to them for their knowledge & passion about tea.
So, if you’re looking to support a small business during all this upheaval, check out Jolie! They’re still doing online orders, and they deserve your love!