Strawberry Shortcake from The NecessiTeas . . . .

There’s something about strawberry shortcake that makes me think of summer, or at least makes me think of flowery tea parties.  Maybe it’s just the fact that strawberries are at their height in the summer, or the fact that strawberry shortcake is often served with everyone getting their own little cake on a doily or saucer.  Either way, drinking Strawberry Shortcake tea from the Necessiteas felt like the right thing to do on a beautiful summer day.

This tea smells decadent even in the dry leaf, with lots of strawberry and vanilla fragrance.  The scent is supremely sweet, almost like strawberry Starburst candies.  The blend brews up gold in color, and continues to be berry-sweet and incredibly fragrant.

In taste, the most forward tastes are strawberries and cream, with a bit of the earthy white tea to balance all the dessert-flavors.  There are yellow cake notes at the back of each sip, reminding me of birthday cake ice cream.  These cake flavors combine with the white tea, bringing an almost buttery, savory feel to the tea that gets creamier as the brew cools.

Three things go into strawberry shortcake: berries, cake, and cream, and this blend has all three essential elements in tea form.  This is a must-try blend for any dessert-tea fans, or for any fun summery, strawberry occasions in your schedule.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: The NecessiTeas
Description: Angel food cake perfectly combines with a light layer of sweet cream and juicy strawberries to create this guilt-free dessert. Enjoy hot or poured over ice.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Passion Berry Jolt from Tiesta Tea. . . .

With a name like Passion Berry Jolt, I almost expected an electrifying yerba mate tea, but this is a black tea blend from Tiesta Tea.  Don’t worry, it still packs plenty of caffeine to wake you up on those early mornings.

This blend pairs black tea with passion fruit, pineapple, and raspberry.  The juicy raspberry and passionfruit flavors come forward the most, reminiscent of breakfast black tea with breakfast jam on toast.  The pineapple is more noticeable as the tea cools, or on the aftertaste, bright and tropical.

I must applaud this tea for being bold and red-berry without any hibiscus.  There’s a time and a place for that herb, but it gets mixed in to so many tea blends and takes over the flavor, it is refreshing to see a fruity tea without dominant hibiscus.

While there are tropical fruits in this blend, the raspberry keeps the flavor naturally sweet and grounded.  The passionfruit can offer its more subtle tartness, and the pineapple its golden deliciousness. This would make a great tea to experiment blending with sangria or lemonade to compliment or enhance its juicy flavors.

Passion Berry Jolt is one of those super-drinkable all-purpose blends, no need for sugar or milk, and tasty hot or iced.  A great fruity tea to keep in your tea cabinet for any occasion.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tiesta Tea
Description:

Packed with passion fruit and raspberry, this black tea blend gives you a jolt of pineapple energy to keep you charged.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hot Cross Bun from Bluebird Tea Co. . . .

I was too chicken to order a full supply of this springtime blend, but I did get a free sample so I got to get a taste risk-free.  Hot Cross Bun is one of the Easter flavors released by Bluebird Tea Company. This is a black tea and rooibos tea blend, though rooibos makes up the majority, so you won’t be overloaded with caffeine.

The scent of this blend was vibrant and noticeable right out of the bag.  Some of the black tea was clearly a smoky lapsang souchong, but the smoked flavor was closely followed by a powerful, sweet vanilla scent.  Quite the flavor duo.

Brewed, this tea continued to open up and show off its delicious ingredients.  The smokiness cooled off, and became more like the suggestion of a fire in the fireplace.  The creamy vanilla was heightened to the decadence of buttercream icing. Both flavors were nicely balanced by sweet and tart orange zest to bring it all together.

This is a great tea for those days that you want a sweet dessert blend, but don’t want to feel too much like a pastry chef.  The whiff of rugged lapsang souchong brings a unique boldness to this brew and makes you appreciate favorite flavors like cream and citrus in a new light.  Don’t be a chicken like me and the next time you can-order a full bag of this springtime tea before it’s gone!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black and Rooibos
Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea Co.
Description:

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Just Elderflower from Plum Deluxe

The elderflower flowers look like micro chamomile blossoms, yellow and spherical.  Though the elderflowers are so tiny, it almost like a bag of pollen. The small blossoms are a golden color and very fine in texture.  When brewing this tea, be sure to use your infuser with the finest mesh or smallest holes.

Brewed, this tea is surprisingly earthy and savory, and not very floral.  The tea has a woodsy fragrance like crushed dried flowers or cut hay. Some of the flavor notes remind me of the brighter pu erh teas I’ve tried, so if you aren’t a floral tea fan, this blend might just be your favorite exception.

The taste of the brew continues to support the earthy, dried grass tones, but coupled with a new, buttery flavor.  The taste is a bit more vegetal than the scent, with a crisp, celery note. As the brew cools, and the more I drink, the more I detect a sweeter, brown sugar undertone.  Plum Deluxe recommends the brew with a bit of sweetener, which helps bring forward the toasted sugar or brown butter flavors even further.

Just Elderflower is a unique blend in appearance and taste, making for a thoughtful and flavorful one-ingredient brewing experience.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe
Description:

Just Elderflower is part of our “just” line of thoughtfully-source, single ingredient herbal teas.  Elderflower is a curious, floral, and fragrant tea ingredient. Despite its delicate nature, it steeps up for a wonderful, calming, curing beverage.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate from Pu-Erh Numi Teas. . . .

I’ve found that sometimes pu-erh teas can be a bit complicated, there’s a lot of history and process that’s worth knowing if you take your pu-erh seriously.  However, I had a completely different experience with Chocolate Pu -Erh from Numi, which is one of the most approachable pu-erh teas I’ve tried.

Pu-erh teas are known for their exceptionally smooth mouthfeel and their earthy taste.  Adding chocolate to that combination sounds like a great idea. This Chocolate Pu-Erh came in an easy-to-use sample tea bag, not in a big tea cake, so no special tools or teapots were necessary.  Just add hot water and a mug. The dry tea smelled a little sour with a hint of vinegar. However, once I brewed the tea, the flavors were far more inviting, with a strong fragrance of cocoa and roasted nuts.

This tea had a forward chocolate flavor, but it was rounded out by the more savory, earthiness of the pu erh tea underneath.  There is a hint of fermentation flavors that I expect from pu-erh teas; a subtle undertone, almost like wet leaves or flowers, slightly sweet and slightly sour.  The richness of the pu-erh leaves and the decadence of the chocolate are only enhanced by the creamy, velvety mouthfeel as I sipped this tea.

If you are tired of the bright and biting flavors of breakfast black teas, try a pu-erh tea like Chocolate Pu-Erh from Numi.  The rich, smooth, taste and texture are a completely different experience that may open the door to a new world of teas to try.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Pu erh
Where to Buy: Numi Teas
Description: This velvety infusion combines black Pu∙erh tea and organic cocoa. Accented by whole vanilla beans and sweet orange peel, this decadent blend is rounded off with nutmeg and cinnamon for a spicy finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!