It’s been a Minute since I reviewed some tea, and I actually totally forgot that it was a thing I’d done at all until I was scrolling through my posts trying to find something for another post, and I scrolled right past two tea reviews. All of my tea reviews have been for Jolie Tea Co. in Salem, MA, and this one is also going to be that because I’m obsessed, and I will never not be. I’m also drafting this before my tea bar reservation, but it’s going up after, so I might have to add a postscript at the end of me just screaming. Anyway, I’ve reviewed their Alice in Wonderland & Harry Potter lines, a beautiful trip into Versailles, and Rhapsody & Glenburn Earl Grey, my two most favorite. Thus, today, we’re talking about two of my favorite non-black blends–Secret Garden & White Christmas!
Ingredients: Japanese sencha green tea, Chinese green tea, jasmine petals, cherry pieces, rose petals
I first found Jolie’s Secret Garden blend because of their Wonderland one. For a while, I was a pretty standard tea drinker. I’ve talked about it before, but I started out with Lipton, of all things, and kept on with bagged tea for years (and years and years) before I finally switched over to loose leaf, and now, I’m such a tea snob, and I don’t care. But, because of all the years of bagged tea, I was mostly a black tea with not a whole lot of craziness going on kind of drinker. I liked berries in my tea, and I was starting to figure out that I liked lemon. Earl Grey was probably one of the biggest steps I took outside of my very limited palate, which is stupid because Earl Grey is such a standard tea, but bergamot is a flavor and a half that makes your taste buds go OH HELLO THERE! As such, I’d never really experimented with green tea. The ones I liked were very lightly flavored, and I was nervous about the idea of it being too floral because most people in my life hate floral tea, and I was still trusting those people?
Look, I figured it out eventually, and now, I am a fully realized tea drinker, and I will go to town on something that tastes either like flowers or soap. (Aside: one of my favorite things ever is that, whenever I take people to Jolie and flail at the macarons, I usually warn them that the lavender honey macaron tastes like soap. Edible soap, and really good, but still soap. Most people–and by most, I really mean about 98%–swerve right away from it after that, but one of my friends swerved right into that and ended up loving it. So soap is good if it’s edible, folks!) I love my teas one of two ways–dark & robust or just straight up out of the earth.
And gosh, the Secret Garden blend. After I’d had the Wonderland blend, I knew that I needed more floral teas, and this was everything I was hoping it would be. It should be impossible, that a tea can evoke, so clearly, the way your imagination creates the scenery from a book, but this tea tastes so much like how I picture the garden that Mary discovers. And yes, rose petals should be in this tea, but they’re so perfect for this because of the roses that Colin’s mother used to grow, and this tea is just–how?? What is this magic!
Ingredients: Chinese white tea, Chinese green tea, jasmine petals, peppermint leaves, jasmine blossoms
White Christmas is definitely along the same vein as Secret Garden, but it’s also definitely more mainstream. I gift this to friends a lot (unless I know they don’t like mint) because it’s a very standard flavor profile, but it’s also just delightful. Which, hey, those two things can exist at the same time! I don’t know why there’s a but in there! I really love how Jolie creates their White Christmas tea, too, because you can only get it half of the year. I mean, I’m sure you could get it all year if you really wanted to, but, as summer rolls around, they switch it out for Ocean Breeze, and the only change in the blend is that they add chrysanthemums to try to emulate the white cresting of ocean waves, which is just the most aesthetically pleasing thing I’ve ever heard.
This is such a refreshing, relaxing tea, too. Next time I go, I’ve got to get a huge tin of it because I probably drink it two or three times a week. It’s similar to the Slytherin tea in that it’s also green & minty, but the switch with white tea instead of oolong just does something beautiful to this. That may be me, too, because I’m discovering I’m not a super oolong fan, unless it’s buried beneath other things, but, even then, I vastly prefer the Chinese white tea in this to the oolong in Slytherin.
I’m getting off topic. I love the quiet, subtle way this tea just takes everything that’s happened in the day and says shhhhhh to it. It feels like a lullaby, honestly, like I’m just slowly drifting on a cloud of gentleness and ease. This is definitely one of my top favorite Jolie teas, and I’m absolutely going to drink some tonight when I get home.
This was way back at the beginning of the pandemic, when Jolie had just opened for curbside pickup of loose leaf tea, and, since then, they’ve officially moved into their new location, and they’re starting in-cafe pickup of loose leaf!