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February 05, 2015


Tea [from] Two: The Collaborative Creation of Tink's Fairy Dust

The first time I tried a cup of Tealee's original blend Tink's Fairy Dust was while attending their first anniversary party last October at Monopolatte, the board game cafe on Somerset. Though I considered myself a pretty big Tealee fan, I had not yet tasted the new blend that Lisa created in collaboration with our mutual friend, Tracey. With my first sip, Tink's Fairy Dust quickly became my new favourite white tea. The citrusy lime and the subtle lavender paired with the Crested Crane Pai Mu Tan give this white tea a smooth, soft flavour that'll take you off to Neverland. I especially like white tea because it is very high in antioxidants but low in caffeine, so I don't feel guilty having more than a cup or two at once.

I spoke with teammates Lisa and Tracey to discuss tea blending, their experiences working together, and why they love Tink's Fairy Dust:

Carolyn: “Lisa, what made you decide to blend a tea with Tracey?”

Lisa: “Tracey is the one who introduced me to tea. The first time I had a good cup of tea was with her at the Tea Party in the Market. It was special for me to be able to blend a tea with Tracey because now, I think about her every time I drink it.”  

Carolyn: “What was the process like?”

Lisa: “We got together and I briefly explained to her the basics of tea and the process I use to blend tea. She dove right into it and tested out a few combinations of different ingredients. We had to tweak the blend a few times before getting it right. At first, we added raspberry to the blend but it didn't jive with the other flavours so we decided to leave it out. It's fun to be able to get creative with tea blending, sometimes your blend comes out completely different than you had first imagined it would taste, but in the best way!"

Carolyn: "Tracey, what inspired you to put these flavours together?"

Tracey: “One of the main selection criteria for the ingredients actually had to do with me wanting it to be purple and green, Tink's colours (Note: “Tink,” short for Tinkerbell, is Tracey's nick-name). So, I played around with whatever I had to work with in that colour scheme and fell in love with lime and lavender”

Carolyn: “And why did you choose the Crested Crane Pai Mu Tan instead of the traditional Pai Mu Tan?”

Lisa: “Tracey knew she wanted to use white tea and at first we tried using the traditional Pai Mu Tan, which is a white tea from China that has light jammy notes, but we found that the lavender and the lime leaves actually worked better with the Crested Crane Pai Mu Tan from Kenya. The malty notes in the white tea complimented the floral notes from the lavender and the citrus notes from the lime leaves so well.”

Carolyn: “How many times would you say that you went back and forth with ingredients before you came to the final mix?”

Lisa: “We made about five or six different blends before getting it just right. It's important not to rush the process, you want to make sure that you've tried a few different recipes and ingredient ratios before you can finalize it, and have fun with it!"

Carolyn: “I love the simplicity of the blend – the smell is so vibrant and yet there are only three ingredients. Was this intentional?”

Tracey: “I wanted something that was natural, wouldn't rely on artificial additives or anything too processed ... I just wanted something simple and real. I've never been much for measuring the perfect spoon or steeping for just the right amount of time and whatnot. I like to keep my teas and tea making simple and smooth”

Lisa: “Don't forget though, to brew the perfect cup of tea it's ideal to steep white tea at 180 degrees fahrenheit for three or four minutes. If you prefer a stronger taste, you should aim for the four minute mark, and the three minute mark if you prefer a subtler tasting tea."

Longtime friends Lisa and Tracey teamed up to create a beautiful, soft white tea blend that will surely add magic to your day. Sometimes it takes two to make a great cup of tea.

Lisa is very excited about her latest collaboration with Zoe from Zoe's Corner Ottawa. Combining Tink's Fairy Dust with the essential oils of lavender and lime, Zoe and Lisa have created tea infused all-natural soaps. The first batch should be ready shortly, so stay tuned for more info!

Carolyn Hebert


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