Orange Dreamsicle from Wise Ape Tea Co. . .

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were hit by the literal plague (okay, fine– influenza. But there was a moment there that I was certain it was the end for me. #dramaqueen). After the first week or so of having no taste for tea (who am I?!), I finally started to feel well enough again to crave my favorite, comforting hot treat. A fresh stash of tea samples arrived at my front door, with this one sitting tantalizingly right on top. My husband loves chamomile when he’s sick, and I love a tea with a fun twist, so I knew this one would be perfect to cure our sick day blues.

Wise Ape’s teas hit the sweet spot of what I love in a good herbal (or traditional tea) blend– interesting, health-supportive herbs, but not at the expense of great flavor. Too often, herbal teas can fall into the all-the-same category– this one certainly did not. Packed with great, sleep-supportive herbs like valerian root, chamomile and skullcap, this blend still boasted deliciously creamy, dreamy orange flavors that felt like heaven on my sick-y throat. The perfect cup to wind down with (and clear those lingering flu-y sinuses) while still feeling like a little treat, this one was a total hit for both my coffee-loving hubs and myself.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy:  Wise Ape Tea Co.
Description

A dreamy blend of chamomile flowers with subtle hints of orange and cream, combined with adaptogenic super-herbs to support your nightly zen. This relaxing elixir is designed to calm the mind, ease the body, and help you sink into a restorative night’s sleep.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Fireside Spice from Tiesta Tea. . . . ,

The holiday season means– okay, well, a lot of things. But one of them is definitely INDULGENCE. And frankly, friends– it gets a little exhausting after a while. My body needs a break from all the sugar and carbs and alcohol and parties and and and– well, you get the picture.

Enter this tea. A delightful hibiscus (don’t run away, hibiscus-haters– it works here!) based with loads of fruit and spice, it’s a perfect ringer for actual mulled wine, but without that liver-taxing alcohol. Even just the dry leaf is impressive on this one: loads of spices, huge bits of cinnamon sticks and fruit all suspended in a beautiful, bright red hibiscus base. Rather than the off-putting and overwhelming tartness that make so many dislike hibiscus, the strong flavors of the spice are actually the perfect balance, and can totally stand up to that infamous pink flower. The tart actual mimicks wine here, giving you that same mouthfeel so ubiquitous with a plummy red.

All the indulgence of the holiday season with none of the negative consequences– sign me up!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Tiesta Tea
Description

This tea is no longer available but could come back for the holiday season.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Whisky Chocolate Truffle from A Quarter To Tea. . .

Here are two little-known facts about me, friends: I don’t really drink much alcohol if at all (hashtag my bounce-back time is not what it used to be and all that jazz, hashtag old), and I am SO VERY PICKY about chocolate teas. So clearly, when this whisky chocolate truffle tea arrived on my front door step… well, it already had the odds stacked against it, to say the least.

But y’all: I am nothing if not continually amazed at the tea-magic that Lauren at AQTT is able to create in her flavors on a regular basis. This malty black tea is the perfect vessel for both the slight hint of whiskey, balanced by the not-at-all-fakey bittersweet chocolate notes. I’ve had many, many bad chocolate teas in my life– but consistently, AQTT’s chocolate teas are not among them. Rather than tasting like weird, weak hot chocolate, this brew is almost a touch bread-y and a hint savory while still feeling like a decadent, velvety chocolate treat. A splash of cream really takes this one to the next level, and I feel like I’m in college again, with not a care in the world (and the hangover resilience of a 21-year-old).

Almost 30-year-old Mary, though? She’ll stick to her whiskey non-alcoholic, in a tea latte, please and thanks.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea
Description

This tea was part of the subscription plan, click below to find out more!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bates’ Brambleberry Black Tea from Republic of Tea. . .

This isn’t the first time this surprising little treat has found its way into my tea sample pile, and frankly, I am elated every time a new bag shows up. Beyond my affinity for all things British (and most things Downton Abbey), this tea is a pleasant surprise for your standard pre-bagged tea, serving up a hearty black tea in a seemingly ho-hum round filterbag. Balancing out the base are beautiful berry notes– but nothing artificial, this feels as if Bates himself freshly squeezed some berries into his morning cuppa. (Side note: fellow Downton fans, do we really feel like Bates would be the one to take the time to slip berries into his tea? He seems like more of a straight-English-breakfast man to me. But I digress.) Perfect to toss in your bag when you need some tea from your emergency stash, or a great, un-finnicky brew to keep at your desk: this one can handle varying temps and lack of elaborate home brewing setup.

Perhaps the flavor doesn’t scream Bates to me, but its no-fuss-no-muss simplicity and tastiness certain seem right on par with everyone’s favorite unassuming valet. Now if you’ll excuse me: I’ll be heading to the downstairs for tea with the rest of the service crew.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Republic of Tea
Description

This tea is no longer on the website but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Super Nettle from Republic of Tea. . .

So, let’s talk about what I know about nettle. (It’s not much, but bear with me here.) 1. It’s an herb (shocking, I know) 2. It’s chock full of minerals. 3. It’s great for when you need hydration. Annnnd 4. It’s kinda bitter.

(Quick disclosure: I’m not a doctor. Of herby things or otherwise. Over and out.)

So you’ll imagine my surprise when I brewed up this cup and found it to be… buttery? Smooth, a little sweet. Not bitter in the slightest. Upon some further research, I found that this brew is blended with some peppermint and vanilla, perfectly rounding out any herbal-ness that could have been too… herbally. Dare I even say it tastes a little bit like a treat? Nothing added, and it’s the perfect dessert-y nightcap that’s actually good for you!

This pleasant surprise of a cup is a great way to get more yummy herbal teas in your diet without them being (well, let’s face it)– icky. Nicely done, Republic of Tea!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Republic of Tea
Description

Nettle leaves have been known to support the body in a variety of ways. Studies have shown that it can help reduce joint inflammation and can help support kidney function.* Nettle tea has also been popular as a tonic for centuries to help women through all phases of life, from menstruation, through pregnancy and breastfeeding, to menopause.* A touch of mint and vanilla makes this tea a joy to sip.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!