Do you like tea? I sure do. I keep a tin of assorted teabags handy in the kitchen for enjoying year-round, and I’m always on the lookout for new brands and flavors to add to the collection, because I like to change it up. With the cooler weather creeping in (thank goodness), I’ll be reinstating a seasonal practice of enjoying an afternoon cup of hot tea on days I work from home, because tea is a marvelous drink. The timing could not have been more perfect then for a sample of The Whistling Kettle loose teas to arrive at my door for review consideration. Let’s check it out!
The Whistling Kettle isn’t just an upstart venture trying to hijack the tea-drinking trend; they’ve been in business since 2004! As you might expect, they have a fun backstory which I am going to tell you now. Proprietors and married couple Kevin and Meaghan Borowsky debuted The Whistling Kettle luxe loose-leaf tea brand 20 years ago, leaving their life and high-profile careers in NYC for new adventures upstate. Unlike conventional entrepreneurial growth stories, where a successful brick-and-mortar business leads to an online store: here, the couple popularized their distinct tea brand online with such success that it supported their first tea-focused restaurant in New York’s destination village of Ballston Spa (just south of Saratoga Springs).
Three additional tea-centric cafés located upstate offer a modern interpretation of the traditional afternoon tea, and each includes a retail shop with a Great Wall of Tea featuring over 100 varieties! In 2023, they opened a new tea bar and retail shop at their headquarters in Albany, NY. Suffice to say, they know their tea!
I received four different varieties of loose tea to sample, as follows:
Kettle Iced Tea Blend (Black Tea from Sri Lanka and China)
Description: Brew a cup of this full-bodied tea for that traditional Southern taste. Our Kettle Iced Tea Blend is a robust and versatile black tea that works great for sweet tea, or combined with lemonade.
Vineyard Peach Strawberry
Description: Think of the sweet taste of fresh strawberries in summer and ripe peaches off the tree. These are the types of memories that Vineyard Peach Strawberry tea elicits. Real fruit juice concentrate adds authentic flavor to this black tea, along with delicious strawberries and tangerine.
Strawberry Guava (Caffeine Free)
Description: Bursting with flavor, Strawberry Guava tea works well both hot or iced. Fresh summer strawberries and tropical guava dance together in this naturally caffeine-free fruit tea. Sweet with a hint of tartness, this tea hardly needs added sugar.
Purple Papayaberry (Caffeine Free)
Description: The Purple Papayaberry tea is a delightful herbal infusion with a fruity flavor and signature color. Butterfly pea flower gives this tea a unique hue, which will change if you add a bit of lemon juice. Naturally caffeine free, this tea is an ideal summer thirst quencher. Papain, an enzyme found in papaya, aids in digestion.
You can see that these loose teas are loaded with fruits, flowers and spices! These caffeine-free fruit teas are perfect for enjoying before bedtime as well.
They also sent me a generous supply of Loose-Leaf Paper Tea Bags, like those pictured above (100 tea bag filters /$9.00), which are great to have on-hand if you don’t already have a diffuser, or if you want to make a pot of tea.
Now, watch me make cup of tea in my favorite mug that I bought during lockdown!
Since I am still thinking of summer peaches and how much I love them, I chose to brew a cup of the Vineyard Peach Strawberry tea. The package suggests using 1 teaspoon of loose tea to 8 ounces of water, with a steeping time of 4 to 6 minutes.
I measured one heaping teaspoon of tea, dropped it into the tea bag, and sealed the bag by pulling the drawstring as directed. Pretty easy!
Next, drinking time! I enjoyed the very peach-forward flavor of this tea, and in the future I will add even more loose tea for a bolder flavor, or perhaps fill the bag with enough loose tea (1 heaping tablespoon?) to make a pot that I could enjoy over the course of the afternoon. Don’t forget to help save the planet by tossing the teabag into the composting bin when you’re done! I’m looking forward to trying the other flavors I received!
The Whistling Kettle teas’ in-house team actively sources tea from small farms all over the world to blend their unique and continually-evolving array of flavorful teas. Most importantly, The Whistling Kettle supports the mission of creating luxury teas sustainably, and at a fair price. Meg and Kevin have grown their brand in successful tea-based restaurants when so many of their competitors have failed, and they’ll soon be bringing The Whistling Kettle brand into grocery stores. Visit The Whistling Kettle’s vast selection of delicious and unique teas and tea accessories– for gift giving or just for yourself — at This Link!