Breathless – August Uncommon Tea

I need to stop looking at Facebook at 2 in the morning. It causes me to make sleepy purchases. One recent middle of the night purchase I made was from August Uncommon tea. I kept seeing adds on Facebook for August Uncommon and had been very interested in their unique blends. I saw that they were offering free shipping and many of their teas are available in sample sizes so I decided to order a few at 2 am. I am so glad that I did! The samples arrived very quickly and included an information card on the company. Their premise is that August is “like no tea you’ve ever tasted before. Our tea is wild, intense, and radically different.” I don’t know if I would say that the tea blends are “radically different” as I have seen a lot of unique blends in my tea journey. I will say though that the blends are interesting, fun and very flavorful.

One of the teas that I purchased is called Breathless. The description of the tea is “boozy black tea, white chocolate and prune.” This is an interesting combo for sure. The package indicates that the tea is gluten free and non gmo. I appreciate that August also includes tasting notes to let the consumer know what we should be tasting. In the case of Breathless it should taste like armagnac, prune, dark cherry and whipped cream. Interesting. I had to look up what armagnac is as I am not up on my liquors. It appears it is a brandy.

I will say that one aspect I appreciate on their packaging is that in the ingredient panel August actually tells us what type of black tea is being used in the blend. Often companies just simply put black tea down in a blend. August goes one step further and indicates it is an Indian Assam black tea. Other ingredients include hazelnut brittle (yum), sweet blackberry leaf, white chocolate, dried plum and flavoring. The package does not make any distinction if the flavoring is natural or artificial.

The first sip of the tea is nice, I get the initial hit of a pretty malty black tea base then the fruity plum develops followed by an ever so slight creaminess in the back end of the taste. I can certainly see where why they say that the this tea tastes like dark cherry because the plum notes coupled with the malty black tea gives a dark cherry flavor.

I really like this tea. It is very complex, dark and enjoyable when drinking straight. When I added a splash of soy milk the creamy notes developed more and gave a very dessert-like quality to this tea.

Overall I am very impressed with all of the samples that I purchased from August Uncommon. I think that they are doing a fantastic job of reinventing what the basic perception of tea is. They have left the safe confines of a traditional earl grey or english breakfast and are branching out to offer unique and interesting flavor combinations. I think they are certainly worth checking out!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  August Uncommon

Description

This tea has a boozy aroma with soft tannins, and a touch of fruit and leather. It is inspired by our favorite ice cream flavor in the world: Agenaise. This is a luscious ice cream laced with armagnac-soaked prunes made by the incomparable Parisian brand Berthillon. White chocolate gives it a super silky mouthfeel and a creamy finish reminiscent of ice cream melting over hot pie. This tea practically begs for milk to turn up the richness of its flavors.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Apero Spritz from Davids Tea. . . .

Every year Davids Tea releases a Cocktail Collection with teas designed to be mixed with spirits in summertime party drinks. I love the idea of these teas! If you are like me and don’t drink spirits these teas are equally as fun made with sparkling water or simply served over ice.

One of the teas being offered this summer is Apero Spritz, a fruit infusion featuring bitter orange rind. The smell of this tea is amazing, the vibrant orange and passionfruit really stand out. I steeped this at 212 degrees for 5 minutes and served it over ice. It steeps up a beautiful deep reddish-orange color, talk about a pretty tea for a party! The first sip is faintly familiar to me, similar to a passionfruit juice drink I have had in the past. This tea is sweet and tropical tasting, the passionfruit is very rich and flavorful. The back end of the taste has a lovely bitterness, much like the bitterness one encounters when drinking grapefruit juice. I would not steep this longer than 5 minutes as I feel that the bitterness could become magnified with longer steep times.

Davids Tea released a You Tube video showing how to make several mixed drinks with this tea. They all look good but this tea is equally tasty prepared simply as an iced tea.

Overall I love this tea! I think that the bitter note really adds a unique depth making this tea stand out from the normal summer tropical teas soon to be released in a few months.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Fruit
Where to Buy:  Davids Tea
Description

What to do when you’re lounging in the late afternoon sun? Sip this refreshing apéritif-inspired fruit infusion – a sweet and vibrant sunset-coloured blend with grown-up notes of bitter orange rind. It’s light, juicy and will leave you feeling bubbly all over. For an elegant treat, serve it chilled in champagne flutes with a delicious assortment of cheese and fresh fruits. Cheers!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Strawberry Lavender Fields from Socra Tea Detroit. . . .

I was very interested to try Strawberry Lavender Fields tea. Not only does this tea fuse three very distinct flavors, (strawberry, peppermint and lavender), but it starts with a black tea and honeybush base, two of my favorite types of tea! The dry leaves had a light strawberry and mint aroma and were actually very pretty with the purple lavender pieces peeking through the black tea leaves. I steeped the tea with boiling water for 2 minutes per the package directions.

The blend of China, India and Ceylon black tea was the first thing that really came through in my initial sip. There was a bit of astringency with the black tea and I can understand why they suggested just a 2 minute steep time to keep the tea from becoming too astringent. A blast of peppermint follows the initial black tea taste, nothing too intense but a nice, fresh mint flavor. Unfortunately the strawberry gets a bit lost between the black tea and mint. The fruit is there however it is extremely light. I didn’t pick up on any honeybush at all. A very subtle floral note from the lavender dominates the aftertaste.

I suspect that this tea would do well cold brewed as that may help to enhance the berry flavor. Overall I did enjoy this blend and am anxious to try it iced, however, I do wish that the strawberry was a bit more prevalent.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Socra Tea Detroit
Description

By popular demand! This is a complementary blend of sweet, musky & floral for hot or iced beverages.

Ingredients: Black tea from China, India, and Ceylon, strawberry pieces, peppermint leaves, MICHIGAN GROWN English Lavender & honeybush.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Asha Teapot With Flowering Teas from Primula. . . .

I was so excited to get tea mail containing a blooming tea set from Primula tea to review. Primula, in case you are not aware, is a drinkware company. According to the website the companies “reputation is founded on creating quality products that make people happy to use or gift” The set includes a very large 60 oz teapot, Primula’s largest glass teapot, along with 3 flowering teas. The teapot is delicate but sturdy and I love the green leaf accent on the lid. It includes a green glass infuser. The infuser has small lines cut into the glass to allow the tea to diffuse into the water. While I love the aesthetic of the glass infuser I find that they are not always the best for tea making. The slotted lines can allow smaller teas such as those with rooibos to escape into the water. Overall I think that this is a lovely teapot that is a perfect size to accommodate a larger tea-drinking group and works well to showcase flowering teas.

The teapot also came with three of their flowering teas. Unfortunately there was not any literature included regarding the teas which I found to be a bit odd. I took a look at their website and discovered that the flowering teas have been with Primula since they started the company in 1991 and they continue the product line-up because of the popularity of the teas. All of their display teas are hand-crafted in China from AA grade green tea and flowers. Because the set didn’t come with any information on the tea I was able to deduce that the star-shaped flowering tea I enjoyed was a jasmine-scented green tea. According to their site the green tea is blended with jasmine five times to fully immerse the green tea in the Jasmine scent. There are 12 different types of jasmine green flowering teas offered however it is not clear what the name of the tea was that I tried so I can only identify it as the star-shaped tea.

I steeped the tea at a green tea temp, 175 degrees, for around 5 minutes, the time it took for the flowering tea star to fully unfurl. I am conflicted with this because I tend to enjoy my jasmine green teas with short steep times, around a minute. The longer the star steeps the more intense the jasmine becomes. Not to say this is a bad thing, it just develops and becomes more floral. Overall I liked the flavor of this tea. It was light, slightly vegetal with an underlying sweetness and a heavy jasmine scent. I was worried that a novelty tea like this would be lacking in flavor but I was pleasantly surprised.

I think that a flowering tea and a clear glass teapot are items that every tea connoisseur should have in their tea collection. If you are in the market for either of these items I would certainly give Primula a try!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Teapot with Flowering Teas
Where to Buy:  Primula
Description

The Primula Asha 60-oz. Glass Teapot is our largest glass teapot; it was designed with entertaining in mind. Made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass with a decorative glass leaf lid, this glass teapot includes a glass infuser in a beautiful contrasting hue, designed for steeping your favorite loose tea blend. The Asha Teapot includes three flowering teas, making this an ideal gift for tea lovers.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!