Andy Hayes, the founder of Portland, Oregon’s Plum Deluxe Teas, reached out to me the other week and asked if I would like to try some of his custom tea blends. I do enjoy tea quite a bit, and agreed to try and share his teas. What is Plum Deluxe and the story behind this company?
Hi, I’m Andy, founder of Plum Deluxe and chief tea maker. I’d like to walk you through the process I use to create the unique tea blends you’ll find at Plum Deluxe.
While you maybe envisioning lab coats and a giant factory with stacks of ingredients and curious equipment, the Plum Deluxe studio in Portland, Oregon is decidedly more low-key.
I start with an intention in mind – tea great for reading with a book, a tea perfect for cheering on a holiday celebration, tea perfect after a big meal – and then use my own intuition and the plethora of culinary resources I have gathered over the years to blend up 2 or 3 different test teas that might achieve the desired result.
Then I steep, sip, review, adjust, repeat. Teas that pass muster often go out to a small group of “insiders” for further testing, and only the best teas are hand-blended in larger batches for sale.
While I can’t guarantee you’ll love every single tea you purchase from us (taste is such an individual thing), I promise that everything we make is blended with love, positive intentions, and lots of gratitude for you being a Plum Deluxe customer.
We purchase all of our ingredients from USDA Organic & Fair Trade Certified vendors. Using organic ingredients ensures you get fresh flavors, not lingering pesticides, in your tea blends. Buying from fair trade vendors ensures the workers on the farms we buy our tea from are fairly compensated for their hard work. Plum Deluxe teas have no sulfites, no artificial chemicals, and are non-GMO. from http://www.plumdeluxe.com
image from http://www.plumdeluxe.com/about
- $10.00/monthly ~ One 1 oz of tea each month (approx 15-20 cups)
- $18.00/monthly ~ Two 1 oz of tea each month (2 blends, approx 30-40 cups total)
Both subscriptions offer the following benefits
- Tea club member benefits (free shipping on teas & tea bags, 15% savings on tea accessories, monthly special partner discounts, and more)
- Access to private tea lover’s community
- Monthly tea pairings, recipes & tip guides
- Tea of the month blends are all limited-edition, hand-blended just for subscribers.
Personally, I wish they would offer more of a sampling of their teas, as I love different flavors ~ they do offer “Tea Tasting Flight” for $4.00, which you will received 2 samples of teas of your choice ~ Each tea tasting flight includes 2 samples of 2 teas. Most of their teas you can steep twice, making this a 4-8 cups total.
So, without further ado, here is what Plum Deluxe sent me to review
I received 2 1 oz teas which are packaged in recyclable plastic baggies, enclosed in a cute muslin bag with Plum Deluxe’s logo. Both of these are currently available in their shop as I did not receive their monthly tea club selection.
Mindful Morning Black Tea (caffeine) ~ “A fresh take on earl grey. Pairs well with quiet moments and good conversation“. Because of the orange peels, the scent reminded me of one of my favorite treats ~ Panettone ~ an Italian sweet bread. Look how beautiful this tea is ~ with the blue cornflower laced throughout the dark deep brown-black of the main ingredient, Ceylon black tea. Steep 1 teaspoon in boiling water for 3 ~5 minutes.
Ingredients: All Organic: Cream Black Tea, Orange Peels, Blue Cornflowers, Bergamot Oil, Vanilla Essence
Yes, I added cream ~ I actually like my black teas prepared as “milky” tea, whereas all other types of tea, I like plain or just with lemon. This does have a nice smooth flavor, strong but not bitter. The cream tea, vanilla and orange scent and taste lend this blend to be special tea. It went very well paired with my cherry crostata.
Self Care Blend Herbal Tea (no caffeine) ~ “Feel energized, loved and supported with this warming, healing blend of herbs”. My little girl cat actually came up, sniffing the air and actually tried to leap up to where I was taking pictures of the tea, and spooning out this one. There must be some cat-attractor in this tea, because she has never done that before! ahaha This smells like apricots to me, so my human nose must be quite different from kitty’s nose ~ or she likes ‘cots too! Maybe it is the marigold….Will have to find out now, as I am curious why she was so attracted to this tea. You can see the apple chunks and marigold petals. Steep 1 teaspoon in boiling water for 3 ~5 minutes.
Ingredients: All Organic: Honeybush Tea, Elderberries, Apricots, Apple Pieces, Marigold, Apricot Essence
This tea is delightful! It has a beautiful red-orange color and I can really taste the sweetness of the apricots and apples, with the tart taste of elderberries. Honeybush tea is actually not a tea, but an shrub that is part of the Fabaceae family, which is commonly known as the bean/pea/legume family. It also has a natural sweetness to its taste. This is a very refreshing tea and I can see using it for ice tea, as its herbal blend lends itself nicely to that.
I decided, based on the wonderful teas I received and how much I enjoyed them, to sign up for their $18.00 plan, as I do love both types of tea ~ and since the teas in the monthly club are limited editions, I may not get a chance to purchase them if I miss out on one or the other (FoMO is real….) I figure that I spend a lot of money in the grocery and drug store, picking up boxes of different tea flavors and I probably spend more than $18.00 a month on that! This club subscription will enable me to have a month’s worth of tea and I can get free shipping on any teas at their online shop, so I probably will try out their samplers too!
Have you tried Plum Deluxe Teas? Are you interested in trying them? Click on the below links to learn more about:
If you join their Tea of the Month Club, it looks like they will include a free Tea Moments Journal, a $5.00 value, which will ship with your May 2015 order. If you subscribe, please let them know that you found out about it from here 🙂
[ descriptions in italics from plumdeluxe.com ]
[ goods were provided and accepted free for the purpose or review ]