“Oh! You are a great deal too apt, you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in anybody. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in your life.”
Elizabeth Bennet to Jane Bennet, in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”
No one can deny that Jane Bennet is a sweetheart. The eldest sister of the beloved Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice, she’s kind, soft-spoken, and patient, an optimist who sees the best in people. Maybe it’s no surprise that Jane caught Charles Bingley’s eye – she’s an angel, in both demeanor and physical beauty.
What would an angelic character’s tea taste like, then? If you ask Bingley’s Teas, their answer would most likely be Sweet Jane Bennet from their Jane Austen Tea Series. This blend of black and green tea combines sweet vanilla with hypnotic jasmine. I already like both flavors alone, but I’ve never tried them together. That’s what Tea Time is all about, though – discovering new teas and flavor combinations. So, let’s discover Sweet Jane Bennet together!
Bingley’s Description: “Sweet Jane Bennet. The sweetest temper and the greatest beauty found in a strong vanilla Ceylon and floral jasmine tea. Is it any wonder Bingley fell for this Angel? Absolutely essential for any cream tea of scones and delicate desserts!”
Ingredients: Ceylon black tea leaves, green tea leaves, vanilla flavoring, jasmine flavoring, and jasmine petals
Steeping Instructions: Use 1 tsp of tea for every 8 oz of water. Heat water to boiling (205 – 208 degrees Fahrenheit / 96 – 98 degrees Celsius) and steep for 3 to 4 minutes.
Multiple Brews?: No
Bagged or Loose Leaf?: Loose leaf
Caffeine Level: Medium-high
At first glance, it’s hard to tell the difference between Sweet Jane Bennet’s black and green tea leaves. You have to look very closely when you scoop out each serving. Dark green leaves are mixed in well with the brown-black leaves, with a few twig-like bits and occasional white jasmine petals.
But there’s no mistaking what Sweet Jane Bennet smells like. I notice the vanilla and jasmine bouquet with the first sniff, as well as hints of brisk Ceylon and grassy green tea. It’s not a cloying burst of perfume, though it’s heady if you take a concentrated inhale. And… it’s different. Not in a bad way, though. Vanilla and jasmine are unique fragrances on their own, but they complement each other pleasantly.
For Steep #1, I brew Sweet Jane Bennet as directed for 3 minutes. The tea comes out a dark copper color, and smells more strongly of vanilla tinged with jasmine. It tastes that way, too. The vanilla and tart Ceylon push to the forefront, with green tea and jasmine glimmering in the background. The texture, though –ohhhhhhhh. Vanilla has this uncanny ability to turn tea in liquid velvet. Its inclusion in Sweet Jane Bennet does exactly that, giving the cup a creamy texture that billows in your mouth.
A fresh 4-minute brew of Sweet Jane Bennet brings out more of the black tea’s characteristics. It’s more tannic and richer in texture; and the vanilla still subdues the jasmine flavor to a trickle. So, it’s not a whole lot different from the first cup. I’m disappointed by the jasmine’s muted presence, though. It’s one of my favorite tea flavors, and I wish I was able to taste it a little more here. Maybe vanilla is naturally the stronger flavor of the two?
I also try Sweet Jane Bennet with additives for curiosity’s sake. If you prefer your teas sweetened, use a squirt of honey to play up the green tea flavor, or sugar to accentuate the black tea’s presence. I wouldn’t recommend adding milk, though. A splash of it enhances the creamy texture, but tones down the vanilla and jasmine notes.
The more I drink this tea, though, the happier I am about this review’s timing – because Sweet Jane Bennet reminds me of the holidays! It balances the bold and bright with the soothing and luxurious. I can see myself enjoying a cup with breakfast on Christmas morning. Of course, that’s if I can make my sample last until then!
Well, I like Sweet Jane Bennet from Bingley’s Teas quite a bit. It delivers a smooth, full-bodied cup with the right amount of comfort for first thing in the morning, afternoon tea, or relaxing by the fire at night. The vanilla-jasmine flavor profile is lush and aromatic, though it could be more balanced. I wouldn’t say this tea “matches” my impression of Jane Bennet. She strikes me as a more delicate, unassuming character; and white tea might be a more appropriate reflection of this. That said, Sweet Jane Bennet is still a lovely tea, and one that would complement scones, pastries, or desserts delectably.
Grade: 8 / 10
- Tea Drinkers Who: Like black or vanilla-flavored teas, or are fans of Stash Tea’s Christmas Morning blend
- Time of Day and Year: Late morning year-round
- Possible Book Pairings: How about some stories that take place during Christmas? Sweet Jane Bennet makes a satisfying cuppa for classics like Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, or more recently published novels like Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief and Mackenzi Lee’s This Monstrous Thing.
You can purchase Sweet Jane Bennet directly from Bingley’s Teas here.
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In addition to being a tea enthusiast, Sara Letourneau is an avid reader and a writer who… well, enjoys writing! Currently she’s working on a novel, and she writes book reviews and articles on the craft of writing. She’s also a published poet with works available in various print and online publications. Visit Sara at her personal blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
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