Bingley's Teas is a small company owned and operated by Ms. Julia Matson, tea sommelier and fellow Minnesotan. She describes the Jane Austen Tea Series as her "way of fusing my two great interests, and hopefully, [it] will be seen as doing so with respect to both of them. In this way, I hope to share good teas with my fellow Janeites and to support my habit of traveling to other countries, learning more from others."
In the Jane Austen Tea Series, Julia has crafted a variety of teas in honor of Austen characters, like Elizabeth Bennett and Marianne Dashwood, as well as memorable places or turns of phrase, like Longbourn Wedding Tea, or my favorite tea name of all time, Compassion for Mrs. Bennett's Nerves.
I spent quite a while browsing through all the offerings before finally settling on four: Miss Elizabeth (black), Sweet Jane (green and black), Wicked Wickham (white), and Longbourn Wedding Tea (white). They've all been marvelous!
To be honest, this is my first real, consistent foray into steeping loose leaves rather than using prepackaged teabags. Julia offers first-timers like me a guide on the back of each box, called Respecting the Leaf. It lists exactly how much tea to use for your cup and what temperature the water should be for black, green, and white teas, as well as fruit and herbal tisanes. The results have been brilliant. I certainly still enjoy a quick cuppa from the shop down the road, but there's something very special--and dare I say magical--about these teas.
Yet what impresses me about Bingley's Teas just as much as the quality of the blends is the sweet personality and obvious passion of the owner, Ms. Matson. It was clear as soon as we started talking that Julia thoroughly knows and loves her work. She's a fresh inspiration to me during my own career journey, and it's a real pleasure to give her business.
So next time you're in the market for tea, I hope you'll remember the name of dear Mr. Bingley, always so affable, and give these teas a try!