When I heard that Providence Perfume Company was introducing a new line of organic perfumed teas, I knew I was in for a treat, since I already love Charna Ethier's creative natural fragrances, and when I received them for testing I was not disappointed. All six varieties of these “A● Poth● A● Care” loose teas are outstanding, and very different in character; there is something for everyone in this lovely selection.
Perhaps the gentlest of the group is Green Pearl, a classic green tea that is presented in the traditional rolled “gunpowder” style. It is so easy to drink and as smooth as one could wish for. When a tea is as unadorned as this it has better be of top shelf quality, and this is some of the best green tea I have ever come across, with a hay-like aroma and none of the astringency one might expect of this style of tea. Drink this when you are in a meditative mood, or when you need a calming influence.
I sampled Yuzu Breakfast when the weather was still very warm, and it's just perfect for a summer morning. The formula is a little twist on the tried and true orange spice formula – the tea is the bold black pekoe found in the major supermarket brands and such teas as Constant Comment®, but the citrus component here is orange peel and the amazingly aromatic Japanese yuzu fruit peel, which lies somewhere between grapefruit and bergamot and is very zesty and exhilarating. No other flavoring is needed, and you will really look forward to waking up with this in your cup.
Orange Blossom Oolong is so delicious I was wishing that it also came in perfume form while I was drinking it – maybe I can persuade Ms. Ethier to make some? I have always been a fan of the subtle yet complex flavor of oolong tea, and the other ingredients in the blend enhance it without masking its essential delicacy. It has a sublime orange flower and jasmine aroma and a soft, creamy personality. I am sure this one will be a favorite with true tea connoisseurs.
I have been an Earl Grey tea purist for almost as long as I have been a tea drinker, which is a very long time. I was a little bit skeptical of messing with the basic formula, but Earl Grey & Lavender won me over very easily. The lavender in the mix is very refined and sweetly floral, not at all soapy, and it's a perfect partner for the lively freshness of the bergamot. This is also a green tea version of Earl Grey instead of the usual black tea, which may be a concern to other purists, but it really works here.
For those who like a richly flavored tea with a fruity character, look no further than Brambleberry Rose. I really love this one, which combines fine black tea with locally grown organic rose petals, raspberries, strawberries, cocoa nibs and Madagascar vanilla. The result is a deliciously jammy rose tea, rich and incredibly fragrant. (It seems like most companies that make a rose tea just can't resist adding hibiscus, which makes the tea too puckery, but that's thankfully absent from this formula.) This is the perfect thing for high tea accompanied by delectable desserts and strawberries with cream, and another one that should be a perfume too!
Last but certainly not least is Violetta, which is just ridiculously good. Green tea leaves that have been dried with night blooming jasmine to impart a floral quality are blended with Tahitian vanilla bean, violet extract and blue cornflowers. It reminds me very much of those violet-scented pastille candies, but without the chalkiness those can sometimes have. The sweet violet scent is true and so very pretty, like a breath of early spring on the breeze, and the flavor is truly unique. This is a strong contender for my favorite along with Brambleberry Rose, but thankfully I don't have to choose. You just can't go wrong with any of these.
Image credit: Violetta tea label art by permission of Providence Perfume Company
Disclosure: I received my samples directly from Providence Perfume Company.