Cardamom French Toast from DAVIDsTEA

cardamomfrenchtoastTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:

Something about cardamom just puts us in a festive frame of mind. We love its rich, fragrant taste any way we can get it. One of our faves? The buttery, cardamom-scented Christmas breads popular in Sweden and Finland. And cardamom toast is great,it only stands to reason that cardamom French toast would be out of this world. With black tea, cardamom, cane sugar and cinnamon, this rich, sweet blend tastes just like the decadent breakfast of our dreams. Only this is one brunch item you’ll be wanting all day long.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is one of those teas that is getting quite a lot of positive reviews, so despite my dislike for cardamom (generally speaking), I did want to give this one a go. I have a feeling that the cardamom will be tolerable in this blend because it’s mixed with something sweet. The scent of this tea is delicious! Bready, sweet and a tiny bit of that playful cardamom in the background. I have high hopes!

Sipping… oh this is very nice. This tea has such a great combination of cinnamon, cardamom and sugar. I also taste a little bit of the lemon peel which adds just the lightest tang. The black tea doesn’t really shine at all, though, and prefers to stay hidden behind everything else. I really like this tea and believe it’s the closest I’ve been to tasting french toast in a tea. The aftertaste is a bit weird… I am thinking it might have to do with the lemon and the spices mixing. It’s not really artificial, but is just an odd flavor combination. I would have liked for there to be a stronger custardy, eggy flavor to further enhance the french toast, but it’s pretty darn good without.

If you’re interested in a sugary sweet and lightly spiced holiday tea, I would pop this into your shopping cart. It’s very unique, drinkable and delicious! Yum!

Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea (Red Tea)

Where to Buy: Teabook

Tea Description:

This is a one time purchase of our beloved teabook Subscription box without the renewing feature, makes a great gift! We purposely seek out high-elevation, quality tea from small farms that don’t use pesticides.

Free glass tea tumbler
18 tea packets of two quality selected varieties
1 special collection tea packet

Great tea wherever you go!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook is a great tea.  Whether you call it a Black Tea or a Red Tea it’s sure to impress.  The sample I received from Teabook was perfectly portioned to fit in their tea tumbler that I also received in the box they sent me but the Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook itself also fit nicely into my strainer/steeper to have a regular cuppa as-is, too!

Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook is of Lincang, Yunnan Province, China.  Suggested water steeping temperature was 195 degrees and the loose leaf tea is an impressive, clean black tea (or as they state on the package Red Tea).  Here in the US we tend to call it a Black Tea but many other countries categorize it as a Red Tea.

It has a nice medium strength black tea base that ends a bit sweeter on the end sip.  It also makes a great iced tea.  I was able to get multiple infusions out of it, too!  Wild Black Tea Dian Hong from Teabook is hardy and hefty and stands up to many of my black tea favorites!  Two thumbs up!


Dong Ding Oolong From Tea Ave

DongDingTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong Tea

Where to Buy: Tea Ave

Tea Description:

This is it: the original Dong Ding Oolong, grown on the Dong Ding Mountain in Nantou County in central Taiwan, where Dong Ding Oolong originated. One of the best oolong teas in the world.  A perpetual favorite among oolong lovers, it has a strong, clean flavor and an aroma of ripe fruit. Partially oxidized and lightly roasted, Dong Ding is an approachable tea—a good choice for oolong newbies to whet their taste buds with.

Dong Ding turns an amber color when infused and possesses a sweet, fruity flavor and aroma. Longer infusion times will yield a stronger, more vivid tea, with a fuller body and aroma. Smooth, with a clean aftertaste. Don’t blame us if you develop a Dong Ding habit.

Tea leaves are green and come curled into balls.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Dong Ding Oolong from Tea Ave.  What can I say?  It’s everything you expect in a might-fine Dong Ding Oolong!  It has a strong yet clean flavor and aroma.  The nose and tongue also features a lightly roasted characteristics, too!  The aftertaste has subtle notes of ripe stone fruit.  This will please new Oolong sippers all the way up to Oolong Gurus!

It’s also an extremely versatile Oolong.  What I mean by this is that you can steep it in a tea bag, warm your water in a tea pot and infuse the loose leaf that way, cold brew it overnight, or go with the traditional Gaiwan.

This Oolong is pretty heavy-duty, too, as it offers multiple infusions with optimal flavor.  This is a real winner among Dong Ding Oolongs.  YUP! Dong Ding Oolong From Tea Ave is a goodie!


Tropical Sunshine Green from A Quarter to Tea

TropicalSunshineTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea

Tea Description:

Summer winding to a close, getting you down? Don’t fret — just let yourself get whisked off to the beach. Tangerine, mango, raspberry and coconut make a fruity tropical cocktail that will have you hearing waves and feeling the sand underfoot.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

We’re a long way from summer now, so a tropical themed tea feels a little out of place but just because this might not be the ideal season to drink it doesn’t mean it’s not going to be super tasty! So, when I cold brewed this tea I did my absolute best to be open minded about it. And honestly, it wasn’t hard: the coconut in the blend smells super fresh and yummy and I could see lots of goji berries which are a fruit I’ve really tried to learn more about this year. Both are things for me to get excited about.

Like I said, this was cold brewed because Lauren from A Quarter to Tea specifically said on the tea’s page that it’s great iced. I don’t normally ice teas, but I do cold brew them! I find, if a company is going to specifically point out a way to try their tea I want to take that into consideration.

Mostly; I thought this was just a really nice smooth, vegetal and grassy cold brewed green tea that demonstrated characteristics of both the Chinese and Japanese style greens in the blend. On top of the really enjoyable base, the coconut was quite a dominant flavour. It tastes insanely fresh! It’s a nice balance between tropical “Pina Colada” type coconut and a more confectionery type coconut. It reminds me of DT’s Coconut Grove which is something I haven’t gotten to say in a LONG time since that delightful blend has been discontinued for a while now.

Sadly, none of the fruit really seems to contribute much flavour. I certainly don’t taste the goji and I just barely taste the faintest citrus flavour on the finish of the cup. I’d never be able to identify it as tangerine is I wasn’t reading an ingredients list. I don’t mind the absence of fruit because I get to enjoy the coconut, but I doubt that’s entirely what was intended and if you’re looking for fruit flavour you may be disappointed with this blend.

Regardless, it was a good experience for me.

Orange Grapefruit Herb Blend from Trader Leaf

orangegrapefruitTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Trader Leaf

Tea Description:

This mild creation is given fruity sweetness by the apple pieces and carrot flakes and a touch of freshness by eucalyptus leaves, lemon grass, tangerine bits and a nuance of hibiscus. Beetroot pieces lend their color to the cup along with a slightly earthy note. Dried orange slices are an optical reminder of the fresh citrus flavor of this absolutely perfect composition.

Ingredients: apple pieces, carrot flakes, blackberry and eucalyptus leaves, beetroot pieces, hibiscus flowers, lemon grass, flavoring, tangerine pieces, orange slices.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Being sick is just too much! Especially after having a wonderful wedding and fantastic honeymoon.  The last thing I needed was to come home and get sick. Blah! Oh well! The way she goes boys. . . .  (Any Trailer Park Boys fans out there?)

I was excited to see this blend in my newest box to review.  The only flavor that I have been wanting lately is grapefruit.  Coffee and other teas right now just don’t have that same draw only because of this wicked cough and sore throat I’ve got going on.  This tea sounded like heaven!

Brewed this up with boiling water and allowed it to brew for about 10 minutes or so.  I wanted to get as much flavor as I could out of the sample.

Poured the brew into my cup and just sat and admired the gorgeous pink appearance of the tea.  I took a sip and my heart sang.  This tea tasted so good on my poor throat.  Soothing and refreshing.  I couldn’t pick up all the flavors that are listed in the description but the two that I could really pick up where the citrus flavor and the eucalyptus.  They both had such a soothing and calming manner about them. Such a lovely fruity flavor that stays with you even after your last sip.  I was so pleased and happy!

I’m not sure how I would like this tea when I’m at 100% but this would be a great one to keep on hand for those days where you just aren’t feeling up to your old self.  My cup was gone in no time and I headed straight back into our breakroom to prep more water.  This tea is definitely a keeper! Can’t wait to try this tea when I’m feeling more like myself again.

2010 Spring Kunlu Mountain from Wymm Tea (Ancient Tea Pu-Erh)

Spring2010Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-Erh

Where to Buy: Wymm Tea (Ancient Tree Pu-Erh)

Tea Description:

Kunlu Mountain is located within Ning’er Hani and Yi autonomous prefecture county in Pu’er city. Kun means “valley” and lu means “sparrow” in Dai minority group’s language, together Kunlu means a valley inhabited with sparrows. Kunlu Mountain sits at the end of the Wuliang mountain range, where Lancang and Honghe rivers divide. Kunlu Mountain’s altitude ranges between 1410 and 2271 meters, and is considered one of the higher mountains within Pu’er city region. A combination of early-cultivated and wild-grown trees forms the ancient tea tree forest, which covers 10,122 mu (equivalent to 6.75 sqkm) on the mountain.

Kunlu Mountain once served as imperial tea garden for the Qing emperors over 200 years. After successful bureaucratization of Cheli Xuanweisi in 1729, E’ertai (Ortai), the governor-general of Yunnan-Guizhou-Guangxi tri-province, established a tribute tea factory in Ning’er village, Pu’er Fu (known nowadays as Xishuangbanna). Every year, only the best and most delicate tea buds harvested from Kunlu Mountain in early spring were sent into this factory, in which they were carefully pressed into shapes or processed into paste. These products were presented in front of the Qing emperors after a 6-month, 4100-km route done solely on horseback. These products were carefully supervised by feudal officials and guarded by soldiers.

Taster’s Review:

This 2010 Spring Kunlu Mountain from Wymm Tea (Ancient Tea Pu-Erh) doesn’t appear to be listed on the Wymm Tea shop any longer.  There is, however, a Pu-Erh called Kunlu Sheng Pu-Erh from Ancient Tree 2010 Spring which I can only assume could be comparable.  Don’t quote me on that because I haven’t tried that offering yet.

I mainly wanted to mention this offering from Wymm Tea because it was the very first Pu-Erh experience I had from this company and it was a great one.  This Pu-Erh is right up my alley.  It’s not the muddy-thick-wormy-earthy-tar like pu-erh that I have had from other companies.  This is more of a gentler-earthy yet semi-floral Pu-Erh experience.  I think this is a great Pu-Erh to start with if you are trying them for the first time.  It will NOT scare you away from Pu-Erhs as a whole and will NOT make you pre-judge other Pu-Erh’s but at the same time it’s very pleasing and will set a standard for other Pu-Erh’s.  This is very well-done and I can’t wait to try additional offerings from Wymm Tea!


Giddapahar SFTGFOP 1 CH 2nd Flush 2013, Darjeeling from Lochan Tea Limited

LochanTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Lochan Tea Limited

Tea Description:

This tea is no longer on their website however I can tell you more about the estate. 

About the Tea Estate: Giddapahar is located on a mountain which is just a short drive from Kurseong. The garden is situated at 4864 feet above sea level. The Estate is a small family owned Darjeeling tea estate which is also known as “Eagles Cliff” lying very close to Kurseong town. From the estate, one can view the magnificent site of the mountains which also makes it the perfect site for taking photographs.

Giddapahar is almost 100% covered with pure china tea bushes and has followed the legendary classic grade production of Darjeeling Teas. The tea from Giddapahar Estate is very delicate due to the lower temperatures here and also because the area itself is covered by mist for a good part of the year. Teas are planted and picked by using traditional methods. Due to the temperature, the tea bushes from the estate produce a fine bouquet with great aromatic quality and a delicate floral smell. 

Taster’s Review:

Eventho this Giddapahar SFTGFOP 1 CH 2nd Flush 2013, Darjeeling from Lochan Tea Limited is no longer listed on their site or available for purchase I wanted to give it an honorable mention because it really was a fabulous tea!  As you can see from the description above the Giddapahar estate is a small family owned Darjeeling tea estate that is situated in a zone with lower temperatures which makes teas from this region very delicate.

This specific Darjeeling is mostly floral on the nose with hints of wet woodsy sniffs, too!  The flavor matches the aroma and is first and foremost floral with wet woods on the end sip.  I find this to be a good ‘working tea’ which means (to me) that I enjoying while working or writing trying to reach deadlines (such as this).

Have you had a tea recent that you rediscovered from your personal collection that deserves an honorable mention that may no longer be available for purchase?  If so tell us in comments!


Milky Oolong from ChaTale- A Kickstarter going on now!

milkyoolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: ChaTale

Tea Description:

This debonair drop has all the smooth buttery goodness of an oolong base with a slick creamy aftertaste. 

Support Cha Tea’s Kickstarter campaign here.

Taster’s Review:

I have to start off this review with a comment about the logo and packaging for these teas. They are fantastic! The logo is clean and they use colors that draw you in and are so very attractive.  It is the first thing I noticed about their teas.

ChaTale currently has an active kickstarter campaign running thru December 13. They originate out of the UK and seem to know what they are doing when it comes to tea.  ChaTale will be offering a monthly tea subscription box hoping to steer consumers away from the tea bag and more into loose leaf tea.  That alone makes me happy!

I couldn’t wait to dive into the box and see what fun teas await me.  The first one that caught my eye was the Milk Oolong.  I mean the description alone makes you drool!

Brewed this up like I do my oolongs with water at about 195 deg or so for around 4 minutes. The whole time the tea was steeping, gorgeous vanilla notes were wafting thru the air.  The fragrance almost reminds me of homemade sugar cookies. . . .  and who doesn’t love that smell?

Took my first sip and I am greeted with this amazingly smooth creamy flavor with just a hint of sweetness.  This tea is charming and cozy giving you that feeling that you just want to snuggle up with a good movie or a good book.  So very good and addicting! I’m loving the smooth flavor that delivers from beginning to end of each sip.  You couldn’t ask for a better oolong on a cold rainy day like it is here today.  Rich, creamy, and smooth with a sweetness that really just reminds you of home baked cookies. Yum! Delicious!

I think I need to go back this one on Kickstarter!

Sangria White from A Quarter to Tea

sangriaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea

Tea Description:

Hold on to your summer year round, with this cuppa. Combines the flavors of cherry, apple and blueberries with a hint of rum and wine to make the perfect sangria year round.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is my second sample from A Quarter to Tea! I chose it for a couple reasons; the big one was that the other two samples I picked out were oolongs and I wanted to get to taste at least one of Lauren’s other tea types. However, I was also interested by the fairly unique ingredients. I’ve never seen Sangria with blueberry, for starters. Finally, I wanted to find a Sangria tea that was an improvement on the other two I’ve tried. DAVIDsTEA had a seasonal Sangria blend which I didn’t mind but didn’t love, and Red Leaf Tea has a Sangria flavour of matcha I currently own but don’t particularly like. And the idea of Sangria with a white base sounds awesome, too!

It was hard to form much of an impression of the tea dry: I could see several chunks of the dry ingredients in the blend, but there wasn’t a distinct aroma. Part of that, I feel, is that in the package Lauren mailed to me the Cherry Chocolate Latte was really a dominant flavour and I think possibly may have contaminated the other teas it was packaged with or, at least, “cancelled out” their aromas – which weren’t as potent/strong. Since Lauren suggests on her Etsy page to ice this and since Sangria really is a drink best consumed cold I decided to go with a cold method of preparation. However, instead of icing I went with cold brewing because that style of preparation is a favourite of mine.

I do find this tea to be very mildly/delicately flavoured overall, with softer and less prominent notes of apple and blueberry and a jammy stonefruit quality which I suppose is the cherry. I want to point out that mild and subtle isn’t actually a bad thing, however Sangria doesn’t have a ‘delicate’ flavour to begin with so it’s not reading as the most accurate flavour profile. Plus it’s a little odd for me to neither taste “orange”/citrus which is such a common Sangria flavour or the wine/rum. As such, while I really like the flavour that I do taste, I find it very hard to drink this and think of it as ‘Sangria’ flavoured. The name just doesn’t seem to match, you know?

I’d be interested to see this tea rebranded as another flavour, maybe even some kind of ‘punch’? This is a refreshing, light, fruity cuppa but in my ‘quest’ for the perfect Sangria tea my expectations just haven’t been met.

Snow Day from DAVIDsTEA

snowdayTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:

Got a blizzard on the way? Score! There’s no better excuse to cozy up inside with a great cup of tea. And this all natural chocolate-mint tisane is the perfect way to warm up on a chilly winter day. With peppermint, cacao nibs and dark chocolate drops, it’s sweet, creamy and oh-so comforting. The best part? Cute little snowflake-shaped sprinkles that add a touch of sweetness. Bring it on, winter!

Learn more about this tea here

Taster’s Review:

Not sure if I’m ready for winter yet if I’m honest. I am quite excited for the limited edition and festive holiday teas, though! This one caught my eye because of its herbal base and combination of chocolate and peppermint. I also think the snowflake sprinkles make a cute addition to the blend.

The scent of this tea isn’t that different from other peppermint and chocolate blends I’ve had in the past. It’s a very earthy, minty and sweet scent.. I’m already expecting those familiar flavors to come rushing back. Sipping… wow! I didn’t think that the peppermint would be nearly that strong. It’s certainly got that sinus-clearing strength. The peppermint slides quickly into a sweetness that reminds me of licorice or perhaps stevia without a funny aftertaste. The end of the sip is where the chocolate comes out.. I do detect just a wisp of white chocolate with a thin mouthfeel.

While I do think that this blend is a great addition to a winter collection, the peppermint is too strong for me.. and the sweetness from the peppermint takes over the cup. I would have liked the chocolate to be a bit stronger and creamier as well. If you enjoy peppermint, this is definitely a blend to try this winter.