Pumpkin Chai/Laughing Tree Tea

As a tea addict I am constantly on the hunt for tea. I mean literally every store, event or venue I go to I check to see if tea is present anywhere. I suppose some folks shop for clothes, others for gadgets and gizmos but I shop for tea. So when I was at the Freight House Farmer’s Market in Davenport I of course went in search for tea. I was surprised that there were several stands selling everything from kombucha to matcha to loose leaf. Tea was well represented here!

After walking around a bit I stumbled upon Laughing Tree Tea’s vendor stand. I must admit the free sample of peach green tea got me. I am a sucker for samples. But the sample was very nice so I decided to scope out the offerings. There were a lot of teas to smell and different sizes of tea to purchase. I do appreciate when companies offer sample packs of tea because honestly I am drowning in tea reserves. I often times want to sample a tea but don’t want to commit to a whole 2 ounces. Plus my husband tells me I might have to rent a storage pod if I continue to add to my collection. At any rate i purchased 4 samples to try.

Like a kid in a candy store I ripped open the first sample as soon as I got home! The first one I have tried and am reviewing today is Pumpkin Chai.

Laughing Tree Tea (try saying that 3 times fast) is a hand blended and locally sourced company that sells their tea in their cafe in Waterloo, IA but also at various farmer’s markets in the area. I smelled the sample of Pumpkin Chai in the vendor stall and immediately loved it! The scent is spicy, sweet and a bit nutty. I steeped my sample up at 212 degrees for 3 minutes. I felt that the tea could actually benefit for a slightly longer steep time so I let it steep an additional 2 minutes after my first sip. The base of this tea is black tea with rooibos. I enjoyed the mix of teas as the rooibos lends a nutty and sweet dimension to the blend. The traditional chai spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and black pepper are present as is coriander. I absolutely love coriander, it gives such a warm distinct flavor to blends. Also, almond, orange, flower petals and nut oil are added.

I really loved this tea. The spices blend so well together without being too spicy. There is a slight hint of pumpkin so I am suspecting that is contained in the natural flavors that are added. I loved this tea on its own but did find that adding a bit of soy milk enhanced the flavor. I suspect this will make an amazing latte.

This is an excellent blend and I have high hopes for the other 3 tea samples that I picked up. It seems that so often we hear about the large tea companies out there but the smaller companies like Laughing Tree Tea are doing some amazing things with tea that deserve to get noticed!

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Laughing Tree Tea

Description

Warm up with this with this pumpkin flavored chai. If you like pumpkin this is your chai. Offered seasonally be sure to pick up your brew. Chai is traditionally served sweetened and this fun tea is pre-sweetened with ghost and pumpkin candies.
Ingredients: Tea, Cinnamon, Apple & Rosehip pieces, Ginger, Cardamom, Black & White pepper, Candy, Hibiscus & Calendula & Sunflower petals, Clove, Nutmeg, and Natural flavors.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Aged White Tea (Shou Mei)/TeaBook

As my appreciation for tea grows as does my curiosity in different tea manufacturing methods. It is amazing how slight variances in processing can result in completely different flavors.

Likewise, the aging of tea can also create completely different tastes. I was so excited to get my hands on a package of Aged White Tea (Shou Mei) from TeaBook. I have wanted to try TeaBook for a while and the white tea was very interesting to me. This tea is aged 5 years which gives it a unique and complex flavor not generally expected from a white tea. I steeped the tea at 200 degrees for 2 minutes.

The tea steeps a lovely light golden color. It has a slight fruity smell. I was so excited after my first sip. The tea is light on the tongue but has a creamy, slightly floral taste. I can also detect a hint of honey in this. I was able to re-steep this 4 times, each time different aspects of the flavor stood out more to me. I really loved this tea, so much so that I want to read up more on the processing of Shou Mei.

I highly recommend this tea to anyone who is wanting to broaden their tea palette. Although the flavor is complex it is still very approachable and so it is a great option for tea virgins just starting to find out what they like in a tea.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  TeaBook

Description

This Aged white tea is a unique but luxurious production, looking a little close to Bai Mu Dan but with more silver haired tips. The dry leaf invites you in with hints of honeydew melon and when brewed, an aroma of sweet bread and blackberry pie emerges.

The light gold liquor has flavor notes which dance between shortbread, biscuits with sweet cream and even hints of rose. This is a full-bodied white tea that enters round and is smooth throughout.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey Cupcake/52Teas

I am picky when it comes to my Earl Grey teas. I like them to be balanced. So often the bergamot is too strong, the cream flavors too artificial tasting or the black tea base is too weak.

Almost every tea manufacturer puts out their version of an Earl Grey and sadly I have a box full of Earl Grey teas that just didn’t make the cut. What is the point of drinking something that you don’t love?

When I saw that 52 Teas was again offering their Earl Grey Cupcake tea I really was interested. The tea itself is very pretty, full of star-shaped sprinkles. The smell of the dry leaf is very heavy on the bergamot so I was at first worried that the bergamot would be too overwhelming.

I steeped the tea for 3 minutes. The instructions on the packet indicate that the tea flavor develops as the tea cools, about 10 minutes. I am happy to report that this tea is lovely. The black tea base is solid, it is malty with very little astringency. The bergamot is perfect, not too strong at all, and the back end of the taste is a delightful vanilla flavor. The vanilla is not artificial tasting, it is a nice, natural flavor.

I did try the tea at the 10 minute mark and I do agree that the vanilla becomes much more prominent as the tea cools. I have been so pleased with all of the teas I have tired thus far from 52 teas and this tea is no exception. I highly recommend this tea if you love Earl Grey.

This probably would rank in my top 5 Earl Grey teas of all time and that is saying a lot as I have tried many!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

This tea is currently not available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rated R/T By Daniel. . . .

As a tea addict I go through periods where I am obsessed with certain types of tea. My current obsession has been raspberry flavored teas. So, in my typical tea addict fashion, I have been scouring all of the tea companies I could think of looking for raspberry teas. This brought me to T by Daniel. I have heard great things of the company and the teas for some time now but when I saw that they had a raspberry tea named Rated R, called that as it is “rated R for raspberry content,” I knew that I it was time to give the company a try. T by Daniel is a Canadian company however shipping to the Midwest was very fast. I love that they included a handwritten thank you note to personally thank me for my purchase. I really appreciated this little touch.

I ordered several tea varieties but Rated R was the tea that really prompted my order. Lets begin with the smell. This tea has such a bright and robust raspberry smell. It reminds me of those little gumdrop raspberry candies. Not only does the tea smell amazing but the dry tea is very pretty. It has a black tea base with white coconut flakes, large white gumdrops, red raspberries and pink rose petals peeking out. Also, the flavorings added are all natural. This is very remarkable to me to have such a strong raspberry smell with all natural flavors

I steeped this tea up at 212 degrees for 3 minutes. It has a very smooth and enjoyable black tea base that hits the tongue first followed by a lovely natural raspberry flavor on the back side of the taste. The raspberry flavor does not get lost in the black tea taste, rather it compliments it very nicely. The coconut adds a touch of creaminess to the blend to round it out. I am very pleased with this tea, it has become my “gold standard” of raspberry teas.

I have now tried several teas from T by Daniel and have to say I am very excited by what I have tried. They have a cool, hip vibe to their company that I love and the owners, a husband and wife team, are very engaging. I really think that they are up and coming and I look forward to more great teas from them!

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  T by Daniel

Description

No, this is not a scary movie…but this tea is so downright delicious we just had to rate it R, for raspberry content of course!
Sit back and relax and relieve that day toy day stress with this creamy raspberry black tea….It’s so good, it’s BAD.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Peach Mai Tai from DAVIDs Tea. . . .

Peach teas can be hard to get right. They often times come off as artificial tasting or just tasting off. Because of this I have a love and hate relationship with peach teas. I love the idea of them because when done right they are amazing. But, so often I am let down because the peach taste is just not up to par. So, when I saw that Davids Tea was releasing yet another peach tea (yes, they release a lot of these sort of teas) I was interested.

Peach Mai Tai is based on the popular tropical mixed drink of the same name. The dry leaves smelt like peach and also had a nuttiness to it which is odd but perhaps something in the artificial flavors is contributing to that smell. I steeped the tea at 212 degrees for 3 minutes and served it over ice. The first taste is a very mild, mellow black tea. I do wish that Davids Tea would list what black tea is used as I am always curious about that. After the initial black tea taste the peach flavor pops up followed by a very subtle ginger back-taste. The peach in here is good. Although the ingredients have artificial flavors added peach is listed in the ingredients and I think that is why the peach is coming off tasting more genuine. I expected to taste the candied ginger in this more but overall nothing overpowers here, the black tea, ginger and peach are all in balance resulting in a very nice glass of iced tea.

I do like this tea, Davids Tea did get the peach flavor right. My only criticism is that this tea is very similar to Lady Marmalade that was released last year. As a tea addict I am always looking for something fresh and new and this tea, although very tasty, has been done by Davids Tea before.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  DAVIDs Tea
Description

Be a peach and pour another glass of this juicy and energizing black tea. With its mouthwatering tiki punch of peach, ginger and marigold blossom, you know you won’t want to share yours. Try it straight up for a bold and crisp iced tea. Or class it up by adding a splash of prosecco and fresh peach slices. Don’t forget the cute little cocktail umbrella!

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!