Tea review: Reading Nook Blend black tea from Plum Deluxe

When I saw this tea’s ingredients, I frowned in puzzlement. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it. I couldn’t see how those flavors would work together and couldn’t picture a blend. I’m always hesitant when it comes to lavender, anyway, because I love the smell, but the flavor reminds me too much of laundry detergent.

Plum Deluxe’s website boasts that this is their best-selling tea. After having my first cup, it’s easy to see what makes it so popular. It’s well named, for one–the flavor really did make me want to curl up with a book, which is pretty much exactly what I did while drinking it.

Plum Deluxe Reading Nook Blend

For another, it’s probably one of the prettiest teas I’ve ever seen. Black tea mingled with rose petals, lavender, and chamomile. I was surprised and delighted when I got myself a teaspoon for my infuser and discovered the chamomile flowers were whole, beautifully preserved, and still on the dainty stem. That something so delicate would be intact in this tea makes it clear that a lot of care goes into mixing these blends.

The tea brewed with a slightly spicy scent that surprised me, soothing and welcoming. The black tea base is mild, letting the sweet, fruity-floral taste dominate a straight cup. There was no bitterness, a warming flavor, and a delightful spiced note that reminded me of everything I like best about chai teas.

The addition of sweeteners brings out the floral tones, downplaying the hints of spice, letting the tea through a little louder. And the addition of milk mellows it out, making the flavor milder, less floral, but bringing back just enough of the spice notes to make a really soothing drink.

Pleasant in every form, I’d drink it straight in the evenings to unwind, or first thing in the morning with a bit of milk and sugar for a delicious but not overpowering breakfast tea.

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