Pumpkin Spice Chai from Art of Tea. . . .

Repeat after me: “There is no time of year that pumpkin spice is inappropriate.”


All right. Now that we’ve covered that important subject, we can get into the Art of Tea’s Pumpkin Spice Chai.

I’m coming down firmly “pro” on this tea. It tastes, more than anything, like a pumpkin pie. It’s got sweetness to balance the spiciness. There are some creamy notes here that I’m really digging. I can ALMOST taste the turkey and cranberry* to go along with it!

* (Cranberry and turkey, by the way, are ALSO year-round foods, by the way.)

Unfortunately, like Thanksgiving, this tea is only available seasonally. It’s not in stock at the moment, but it could come back! Keep an eye out for it. It’s worth snapping up.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Art of Tea

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Strawberry Apple Green from Teavana. . . .

After getting swallowed whole by Starbucks, I thought Teavana would disappear off the face of the earth. Starbucks would stick it into its maw and digest it utterly.

But I was wrong! Starbucks turned the company from a high-ish-end tea company into a pre-brewed in-store product.

Today, I tried the unsweetened Strawberry Apple Green Tea because I was in a hurry and, franky, lazy. (Making iced tea is pretty easy.)

I was also intrigued by the promise of “a mosaic of lush fruit flavor and lively lemongrass” “for a cool, crisp taste.” This tea’s ingredients are green tea, apples, rose hips, licorice, hibiscus, lemongrass, “natural flavors” (????), and citric acid. It contains zero calories.

Unfortunately, the flavor tasted like zero calories, too. It was a little bit sparse. I wanted to love it, but the other flavors fell behind the apple, which wasn’t holding forth very well, either. The result was a watered-down apple juice sort of experience. It was a “mehhhh” moment.

As I was talking about the tea to a coworker, another jumped in. He’d tried a different Teavana one (a black tea) and said it was also disappointing.

Feel free to try these while you’re out and let us know if you have a different experience!

Or, if you want iced tea, please keep in mind that it is, in fact, really easy to make your own.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Teavana

This bright blend combines refreshing green tea with a mosaic of lush fruit flavor and lively lemongrass—all without any added sugar for a cool, crisp taste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ruby 18 from American Gongfu. . . .

This tea tastes like… and I might be crazy here… a gingersnap. It has a malty, almost sweet thing going on. The site from which it came, American Gongfu, is currently down, so I have no way of checking whether I am a madwoman or a genius.

This is a very smooth straight black with some very crisp notes. I’m thinking that it’s got a French café vibe. You’re outside; it’s crisp dawn; and there are people going by clutching baguettes. It’s morning-bread time. There is a farmer’s market opening up, and you can see them setting up produce and baked items. People are wearing aprons and long skirts unironically. There are mimes, riding bicycles, dinging their little bells and scooting along.

The day is beginning, and you’re now awake and ready to take on your day of, uh, working in a bibliothèque or what-have-you. Yum.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  American Gongfu

Organically grown in Nantou, this hong yu (紅玉) black tea, affectionally known as Ruby 18 for the cultivar name and number, is delicious.  Notes of brandy, candied fruit and spice characterize this pick

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Vietnamese Ancient Tree from Tea Runners. . . .

My eyes are bugging out of my head with how much I like this tea. I just thought I’d let you know that, straight away, without preamble — you know, how a newspaper article puts the most important bit first.

This is a malty, malty, malty rich black tea. It was plucked from an old tree in Vietnam that’s apparently hundreds of years old. I cannot verify the age of the tree, but this cup does have a throaty wisdom about it. It’s a Gandalf/Dumbledore tea. It has a good spirit about it.

If it were possible for a cup of tea to have a nice chuckle, this tea would. “Kids these days. Chasing rings and riding brooms into the whomping willow. What malarkey. What can you do?”

I feel like this is the archetype of what a black cup of Asian tea might be. This wild black tea thing might be my new favorite straight tea. It’s gaining momentum in my heart.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tea Runners

This majestic and highly unusual black tea brews to a rich and hearty cup dripping with notes of molasses and malt. This tea gets its name from the wild, ancient tea trees bearing its leaves in the north Vietnam province of Yen Bai.

These trees have been tended for hundreds of years, and you can taste the expertise and care that goes into the harvesting of these beautiful long, dark leaves.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Coconut Warrior from Wise Ape Tea Company. . . .

Wise Ape Tea company has some hella-cool branding.

Its logo is a three-eyed ape. The site says things like “Wise ape is more than just a tea; it’s a tribe of like-minded individuals who are focused on self-motivation and an altruistic attitude.” The pop up-ad asking you to subscribe to their newsletter says: “We welcome you to join our growing community of health hackers, zen warriors, and legendary tea drinkers. We require nothing but an open mind. Drink healthy and stay wise.”

I mean, like, HECK YES. Was that MADE FOR ME, or what?

When I spotted the samples the SororiTea Sisters received on Instagram , I begged for a few. (This is also a plug for our Instagram. We have one! Follow us!)

Here’s my first sample. . . 

Coconut Warrior is a perfectly-balanced mix of sweet (coconut) and a little bit spicy (tumeric/bark). The flavor is a bit like a chai — one that doesn’t have that runaway spiciness that I find exhausting. It helps that the base is assam, not darjeeling, which is a bit spicier by its very nature. Assam is a good “straight man” companion to hold up a flavored black tea.

It’s good, y’all.

I can’t really tell you if it’s going to reduce your inflammation, “repair,” or “regenerate.” But it WILL “revitalize.” This sweet & lightly spicy little number will put a little pep in your step. It might even open your third eye to exciting new possibilities of the day.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Wise Ape Tea Company

A revitalizing blend of assam black tea, coconut and turmeric, combined with wildcrafted pau d’ arco bark to heal your human temple. This legendary elixir is designed to mitigate inflammation and defend your body from the inside-out.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!