Alice’s Tea from Alice’s Tea Cup. . . .

I grabbed a bag of this loose leaf tea from Alice’s Tea Cup in New York, New York when I was visiting in August. If you are not able to go to New York to pick up your cuppa, they also do loose leaf tea orders online. Be sure to check back frequently because (1) they are moving their primary location so their loose leaf tea orders are on hold and (2) their menu and blends change frequently. The only difficulty with their blends is that when you’re in the store, some of the teas on their menu have different names when you get to the store so be sure to use the amazing knowledge of your tea staff at each location to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want.

The Alice’s Tea blend is a great light morning cuppa. This is a mix of both black and green teas with hints of floral. What is beautiful about this particular blend is how easy it is to see each of the blend’s ingredients. Full blossoms of flowers and large green tea leaves are beautifully blended with a traditional black breakfast tea. I’m typically the type of person who adds cream to just about all of my black teas (I lived with a lot of Britts in my early 20s), but this particular breakfast blend doesn’t require cream or sugar. I would almost say that the addition of cream takes away from the blend’s characteristics and this might be due, in part, to the green tea that is blended in as well.

If you enjoy tea, try to stop into Alice’s Tea Cup if you’re ever in New York. Even if you’re not in the area, it is absolutely worth the time on their online store. The quality of the blends is exceptional. You may want to be prepared with a tea storage solution at home though because the most recent shipment I received came in bags that did not seal very well. Hopefully, they will be working on finding a new bag supplier soon.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black/Green
Where to Buy: Alice’s Tea Cup
Description

Unfortunately this tea shop is currently down but keep a lookout for their online reopening!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Raja Oolong Chai/Adagio Teas

As a chai, I expected strong cinnamon but didn’t know what to expect with a chai based around an oolong base. What I ended up with was a well-balanced blend which is a flavorful reminder of the fall.

When I opened this package, there was an immediate smell of cinnamon and chicory. I’m always waiting for fall to come back, not for the pumpkin spice, but because I’m waiting for the chicory to come back! The chicory and cinnamon balance in this cup is beautiful. My cup did have some flavor that settled to the bottom of the cup; so, if you’re not a speedy drinker, have a spoon ready to keep the tea mixed and the flavor evenly distributed. In addition to the cinnamon and chicory that I’m in love with, there are also hints of ginger and cardamom that blend to create the chai that anyone who enjoys Indian chai will recognize. These flavors are milder in the raja oolong when compared with an Indian chai, but this is a great compliment to those flavors.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong/Chai
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Description

A blend fit for royalty, this Indian inspired chai is a cinnamon lover’s dream. The rich complexity of oolong tea lays a smooth foundation for a majestic cup, packed with savory spice notes and hypnotic aroma. Elements of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, chicory and cocoa nibs harmoniously blend together creating an exciting, yet truly satisfying chai that is sure to tickle your taste buds.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Yule Fuel from For Tea’s Sake. . . . .

Scent is one of the strongest senses tied to memory, and there is something distinct for all of us about the holidays! There are the cinnamon pine cones in every store, you start being able to use you fireplace, and everything smells like apples. Yule Fuel by For Tea’s Sake is hands down the best holiday tea I’ve ever had. It smells like the holidays with cinnamon and cloves immediately confronting your senses. One encounter with the aroma of this tea will make it obvious that it is aptly named.

I brewed this black tea at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (110 degrees Celsius) for five minutes as directed. It brewed into a nice rich color. The cinnamon and cloves which are prominent in the aromatic profile of this tea are reduced to supporting, but important, players when brewed. The flavor that comes out in the brewing process is a lovely vanilla which helps remove the bitter aftertaste that is common for black teas and often puts people off of drinking black teas without sugar or cream. Saying this is a smooth black tea may be an understatement for this blend. This blend needs no assistance from sugars or cream, but I suspect that the addition of either would create a lovely flavor profile as well.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about this blend. From the aroma to the flavor profile that is presented once brewed, this tea is one that you need to have in your collection.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  For Tea’s Sake
Description

This is a holiday blend tea so if interested click below right around the holidays to see if the blend is coming back!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Old Tree Black Tea from Old Ways Tea. . . .

If you want to support a family business, tea from Old Ways Tea offers you an opportunity to do just that. The owner of Old Ways Tea is originally from the Wuyi mountains in China, but lives in the US. The only tea sold is based upon what the family farm in China is able to produce that year. If you watch the site regularly, you can also sign up for the newsletter to provide you updates with harvest season!

Visually, the Old Tree Black Tea looks like your standard black tea with large leaves for brewing. Old Tree tea is picked from trees that are allowed to grow much larger than most tea crops. Since they are so large, their roots extend far into the soil and are able to bring a different layer of minerals and nutrients to the leaves which impact the flavor profile. For Old Ways Tea’s Old Tree tea, the additional minerals have resulted in a nice smooth flavor. It is lighter than most black teas, and it would be great as a starter black tea if you are more of a white or green tea person. My morning cuppa almost always consist of a black tea and I found the Old Tree Black Tea was best with no alteration from sweeteners or cream. Though I did enjoy it with sugar and cream, it tasted best straight from the teapot. For me, this was a tea that was best enjoyed hot.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Old Ways Tea
Description

This is black tea produced from older wild style trees. The trees are allowed to grow as they wish getting much bigger than normal. The trees are different in two distinct ways. First since they are older trees the roots have reached past the upper soil into the rocks below and can access a broader mineral content than young trees; providing additional flavor complexity. Secondly the wild style trees are denser which provides a micro-climate influencing the lichen, leaves, and shading of the tree.

This old tree black tea comes from the village of Masu (麻粟) high in the mountains above Tongmu village, in Wuyishan City, China. The farms are small and located at an elevation of 1250 meters. The soil is very rocky and the clear cold streams fast flowing. The trees are said to be roughly 60 years old; although with matters of age it can be hard to verify the claims. I am satisfied and happy to offer this tea for your enjoyment.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey de la Creme from Tiesta Tea. . . .

This tea was available in the bulk section of my local grocery store! I couldn’t believe it. I’d seen tea before available in bulk, but I’d never seen blends so I had to try this blend for myself. The name “Earl Grey de la Crème” made me immediately think of a latte and I wasn’t sure how a tea without crème would accomplish the expectation I had drawn from the name.

The blend is a mix of Earl Grey, cornflower, and other natural flavors. I’ve always found that cornflower with Early Grey truly helps create a milder bergamot aftertaste, and I’ve never found and Earl Grey and cornflower blend that I didn’t like. This particular blend gives a high tea to cornflower ratio so if you are a fan of cornflower, this is an amazing blend. Earl Grey de la Crème is considered an energizer tea from Tiesta Tea which means the blend contains mate and black teas which help deal with fatigue by giving an added mental and physical boost. There is definitely a hint of vanilla in this blend which makes it a perfect tea to drink straight or to turn into that latte that the name lends itself to!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tiesta Tea
Description

A unique addition of vanilla and blue mallow flowers create a richer, creamier version of an old favorite to keep your mind fog-free.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!