Big Easy from August Uncommon Tea. . . .

Big Easy by August Uncommon is a sweet sencha green tea with lemongrass, pineapple and barley. It is said to taste like pineapple cake, caramel beignets, and dried lemon peel. Well…here goes nothing…

I cold brewed this for almost 24 hours and since I had some left, I also steeped about 1.5 teaspoons in 12 oz of 175F water for 4 minutes.

Sipping on the hot tea, the first thing I notice is the sweetness. Yes, the pineapple is sweet but there is more to it than just pineapple. I was surprised that there is a caramel-like sweetness akin to what I remember a Werther’s Originals tasting like. Upon further investigation, it would seem there is caramel in the ingredient list so that caramel is meant to be there and not my mind playing tricks on me. Anyways, the two sweet elements combined manage to not be overwhelming while also capturing pineapple cake. I think it is the lemongrass that reigns in the sweetness and perhaps the tiny bit of rosehips. In addition to the gentle herb-citrus quality of the lemongrass, there is a brighter orange note that underlines the sip. All the while, I think the barley gives this body and helps capture a breadiness/cereal note that provides a solid foundation for the other flavors.

The cold brew is a little less complex than the hot tea. The pineapple really takes over with a sprinkling of citrus throughout. The caramel is more just sweet than distinctly caramel and the barley is gone entirely. It is not bad but can border on cloying and mostly just feels familiar and done before. As a hot tea, it feels more unique.

All in all, I enjoy this tea, though my preferred method of brewing it would be hot. It is an interesting tea but given it has a fairly distinct flavor, at least as a hot tea, it is one I can see enjoying for a while but growing tired of it overtime. That is the problem with something that is so different flavorwise…it is fun for a while but easy to grow bored of. Still worth trying and enjoying at least for a little while.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  August Uncommon Tea
Description

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

Strawberry? Yum. Champagne? Yum. Cupcake? YUUMM! So when A Quarter to Tea put those all together and made it basically calorie-free, you can bet your Aunt Fanny I was all over it.

The dry leaf is interesting because somehow the smell, though mostly smelling of strawberry candy, also manages to capture the sparkling effervescence of champagne. Don’t ask me how you can smell effervescence because I honestly have no idea but trust me, you can.

Because of the scent of the dry leaf, I was all the more excited to try the tea itself. At first sip, I was in love as the bright strawberry flavor burst in my mouth. However, my excitement might have led me to be a bit hasty with my affections because as I continue to drink, I have to admit that I am actually underwhelmed. Turns out the strawberry, though slightly present in the flavor of the tea, is far more noticeable in smell. The white tea is a little buttery but also floral and other than that, the only hint of “cupcake” I can detect is a fluffiness from the marshmallow root. Unfortunately, no champagne to be found.

The nice thing about this tea is that it manages to only be slightly sweet for a tea with a name like “Strawberry Champagne Cupcake”. However, that is also it’s downfall as it doesn’t exactly deliver on what’s promised.


Here’s the scoop!

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

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey Creme from Bluebird Tea Co. . . .

Back in January I treated myself to a huge Bluebird Tea Co order and like so many other companies my package arrived with a couple of extra samples to try. One of those samples happened to be this tea, a teabag of Earl Grey Creme (EGC). This is not one I would have picked for myself in light of my tumultuous relationship with bergamot but it arrived and I am happy to give it a try.

Alas it seems this has fallen victim to the astringency that often accompanies bergamot. Between the black base tea and the crisp citrus, this tea is a touch too brisk for my personal tastes. Often with ECGs, this astringency is drowned out by the vanilla or “creme” component but that is not the case here. With that said, there is a vanilla creaminess lingering beneath the bitter that is trying to break through.

In an effort to drown out the sharpness of the bergamot, I added a splash of half and half cream, which I do not like to do. However, even that isn’t toning down the briskness so ultimately I would say this tea just isn’t for me.

I should note that I brewed this not using my usual variable temperature kettle or mugs which might seem like it doesn’t matter but I have found that such things can impact the flavor of a tea. Moreover, I am in a different country on vacation and something as simple as a different composition of the water could be at play. So in fairness to this particular tea, which happens to be a winner of the 2013 Great Taste Award, my dislike could be because of my preference against bergamot or because of the different elements at play rather than a fault with the tea itself.


Here’s the scoop!

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

Don’t we wish prime ministers today were as good as the ones in the good old days? Take PM Earl Grey, he was the cream of the crop. Not only did he help abolish slavery and reform the House of Commons, he also invented the legendary Earl Grey tea! So we’ve created this creamy tribute just for you old chap!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Magic Moon from Tealyra. . . .

Black green blends, such as this tea, Magic Moon by Tealyra, are always a bit perplexing to me. Should I brew them more aggressively like I would a black? Or would it be better to let cooler waters prevail as they would when making a green? Do I split the difference? Well with this particular tea I decided to steep it in 185F water for 2.5 minutes.

This one is interesting. No bitterness from the green or black but also not much flavor. It does have a fuller body than a green tea alone would and yet not as full as a straight black would be. Flavorwise it is mild and fruity, though not the typical fruit flavors of apple, orange, berries, etc. Instead it has a slight tropical fruit/passion fruit vibe which is quite nice. Also, thankfully, the rose hips don’t make this tart at all.

This is gentle and sweet but in the big scheme of things, maybe not one I will remember. Plus, for my personal preferences and though I can appreciate the benefits of a blend, I think I would prefer either a green tea or a black tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black/Green Tea Blend
Where to Buy: Tealyra
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Breathless from August Uncommon . . . .

August Uncommon is churning out some very unique blends. Some…amazing! Others…not so much (I’m looking at you, Black Lodge!). Yet with each new August Uncommon tea, it is clear that you are about to experience something different, at least something different from other tea companies and this tea, Breathless, is no exception.

*PSA:* If you’re already intrigued and want to check out the tea, please note that the images on the Breathless page might be a little NSFW if you are employed in an uppity office like I am. Just saying. You’ve been warned.

Anyways, back to the tea…

The smell here of the brewed tea is creamy and dessert-like thanks to the white chocolate and hazelnut brittle. That creaminess comes through in taste as well with the overarching flavor being the brittle. There is also a booziness here that blends seamlessly with the stonefruit flavors that make up the body of this tea. At first it feels like a rich and creamy dessert, a little bit boozy and a lot sweet. However, I will say the more you drink, the nuttiness builds and it almost begins to take on burnt quality that I just don’t enjoy.

This is a nice tea, though probably best in smaller doses. It has a nice flavor and one that you won’t find anywhere other than August Uncommon. For that reason, it is a fun tea to try, though maybe not one I personally will keep stocked.


Here’s the scoop!

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. It’s 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!