Psychocandy from August Uncommon. . . .

I made this Psychocandy tea by August Uncommon a while ago with the intention of writing a SororiTea Sisters blog review about it. At the time, I had high hopes for this tea because it smelled so decadently of caramel that I couldn’t help but be excited. Unfortunately life got in the way and not only was I unable to review the tea but I didn’t even get a chance to drink it until it cooled right down. By the time I could take a sip it had gotten so sickly sweet that it didn’t even taste like anything and most of my mug got dumped down the drain.

At that time I noted that perhaps hot, it would be better. I am happy to report that my suspicions were spot on. Though this is still very sweet, you can actually make out flavors here that give this more depth and keeps things interesting. Caramel is certainly present and harkens back to the caramel syrup, made by Smuckers, which somehow just appeared in the family cupboard and was used to make DIY sundaes at home. That caramel syrup that was just a little sweeter than it should have been but you were a child and thus didn’t care. Yet there is more than just caramel. There is vanilla here too. One that might get lost among the other, stronger flavors but every so often pops through with some creaminess. Pumpkin is adding yet another layer of sweetness here which is true to actual pumpkin flavor, a welcome alternative to the more typical pumpkin spice found in pumpkin teas. Plus, with just a bit of focus, apple can also be tasted floating about.

This tea was very well received by many of my tea friends and honestly I can see why. First of all, it is a pumpkin tea that has ACTUAL pumpkin, something that is much rarer than you’d expect. Plus it actually highlights that pumpkin by focusing on its naturally sweet flavor as opposed to hiding it under spice. Second, it is a unique tea in that it combines ingredients in such a way that they are familiar and comforting and yet the combination is still new and fresh. Third, the ever-hated rooibos base is nicely hidden underneath all the sweet, only slightly contributing to the overall flavor but in a way that helps to ground everything. And finally, the mouth-watering scent of caramel is just so good and it lingers in the air as if someone was creating tasty confections in your kitchen all day.

With that all said, this does have sweet on top of sweet on top of sweet which frankly for some people could be too…well…sweet. Personally, I would remove the sweet blackberry leaf if I could just to remove one element of sweet. Also, this is not a tea I would recommend cold by any means. Like I said before, it cooled down and basically just became a cloying jumble of yuck which ended up getting dumped down the drain. So though I recommend trying this one, I recommend with that warning. Drink it hot and drink it fast and know that you’re basically drinking candy in a glass. At least calories won’t be a concern so this could be a nice way to satisfy even the most insatiable of sweet tooths. And the fact that it is caffeine free means it can be the perfect substitute for a late-night dessert.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Rooibos
Where to Buy:  August Uncommon
Description

Psychocandy is all pumpkin, no spice. We married the creamy sweet depth of real pumpkin flakes with earthy rooibos. Even before you taste it, the heady aroma will intoxicate you. Each sip has a long lingering caramel finish that remains long after the cup is empty. Adding milk turns the creamy sweetness up to 11. Makes a knockout tea latte.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Honey Bee Black from Pekoe Sip House. . . .

Today has been a bit of a lazy day spent inventorying my teas. I can get quite overwhelmed at times and for some reason it is calming to go through my stash, note which teas I still have in large quantities, which are almost done, which have maybe aged past their prime, and so on. It just helps me wrap my head around what’s hiding in my tea drawers and gives me a sense of control for some aspect of my life. Of course, no tea inventorying would be complete without a cup of tea to keep me company.

Honey Bee Black by Pekoe Sip House is today’s companion. It combines black tea, honey, honey bee pollen, vanilla, and caramel flavor. I brewed this per the recommended steeping parameters, letting the tea steep for 3 minutes in boiling water. I gave it a little time to cool and then got to sipping…

The scent of the steeped tea has a clear honey aroma and though that comes through in taste, it is a bit more subdued than the scent would suggest. That is probably because there is more than just honey happening in this cup. The black base comes through loud and clear with a malt that acts as the perfect foundation for the honey flavor. Together, they do bring out notes of vanilla caramel nearing the end of the sip.

What surprises me here is that this is not as sweet as you’d expect. The flavors are all there but none really jump out. On one hand that makes for a smooth tea that is easy to drink while trying to do other things and on the other hand, it can also be a bit boring.

Ultimately there is nothing wrong with this tea. In fact, it can be quite enjoyable. However, it is not something that stands out to me or something that I need to have again and again. It is a solid honey black option that I could see resteeping well but solid isn’t great and when you have the amount of teas I do, great is what you want


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Pekoe Sip House
Description

An unparalleled combination of sweet and malty black tea with honey and honeybee pollen. Sweet and satisfying on the palate for an afternoon delicate or robust enough to enjoy as a morning cup. Add a sweetener and milk of your choice to make it your own perfect cup. We recommend serving hot and tasting with multiple infusions.

Ingredients: Black tea, honey, honey

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lime Jello from 52Teas. . . .

A friend of mine won a giveaway hosted by 52 Teas awhile ago. The perk of my friend winning the giveaway is that I still got to try the teas she won without adding too much to my ever growing stash of teas. Among her winnings was this Lime Jello Green Tea.

Lime Jello Green Tea is made up of a blend of green teas, lime leaves, limes, pineapples, marshmallow root and natural flavors. It smells like…well, lime jello. Now I have never been the biggest jello fan but the smell of jello powder, with its artificial and candy-like fruit scents, has always appealed to me so this tea captured my nose and with that, my attention.

As I drink the tea, I definitely get lime candy though it is not as in-your-face pungent as the smell of the dry leaf would suggest. Then again, the taste of jello is never as strong as the smell of the powder so I can’t be too upset about that. In addition to the lime, I get a touch of bitterness from the green tea base that I feel keeps this grounded while the marshmallow root makes this come off light, like any jello-inspired tea should be.

One thing that surprised me about this blend is that there is a creaminess here that I wasn’t expecting. Even more surprising is how this tea manages to stay light even with the creamy element, which is much more commonly found in heavier/richer dessert teas.

Lime Jello is not something I would have ever thought I wanted made into a tea but now that I have had it, I will say that I approve. It is bright and fun and a great treat for warmer days.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jasmine from Arbor Teas. . . .

Arbor Teas is a family business based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan which is surprising to me as I did not take Ann Arbor as a town with a tea scene. Nevertheless, Arbor teas is sourcing some of the world’s finest organic teas for those looking for organic options.

My Sororitea Sisters were kind enough to send me a sample of Arbor Tea’s Jasmine tea. Normally I would not pick a jasmine tea for myself but I am happy to try anything once and this tea is no exception. I was given just enough for a hot cup of tea and an iced cup so I got to brewing per the company’s suggested brewing parameters.

The hot tea tastes like most other jasmine teas I have had, dark and floral with an intense briskness that comes off almost drying. The iced tea is more of the same with that drying floral flavor that tastes as if potpourri is what was steeped and not tea.

Basically this is like all other jasmine teas and by that I mean it is not for me. People who like this flavor can always give this a try but nothing stood out to me as distinct or particularly unique so unless you like this flavor and are placing an Arbor Tea order, it might be better to go with a more easily accessible option.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Arbor Teas
Description

This organic, Fair Trade Certified Jasmine Green Tea offers a wonderful jasmine fragrance backed by a fuller-bodied organic chun mee green tea base. This is acquired by picking the jasmine flower late at night when the blossom is in full bloom. The flowers are layered upon the organic tea leaves to impart their fragrance and create the most exquisite jasmine green tea experience around! By morning, the jasmine fragrance has transferred to the organic Chinese tealeaves and the blossoms are then discarded. This process is carried out on multiple successive evenings to impart the superior flavor and aroma of this specially selected organic green tea.

Ingredients: organic Chinese green tea

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On Wisconsin from A Quarter To Tea. . . . Part Two

I have actually written a previous review about On Wisconsin by A Quarter to Tea, the tasty honey cheesecake tea. For that reason, this review is more about a tea experiment I did with On Wisconsin as opposed to the tea itself.

For a while I have been obsessing over iced lattes. I have tried and tried but can never get my iced tea lattes to be as rich and creamy as the ones you get at places like Starbucks (though I think that because Starbucks uses whole milk loaded with syrup). Instead mine are almost watery. As a result, I have been searching the internet, reading recipes and watching YouTube videos, trying to get new and inspiring ideas for iced lattes. I came across one video by The Domestic Geek called 5 Fave Iced Coffee Hacks  which has 5 tasty looking ideas that could easily be adapted for iced tea lattes.

One hack that really caught my attention was the third hack for Inside Out Lattes. For this hack, The Domestic Goddess made ice cubes out of coffee and chocolate syrup. She filled a mug with the coffee ice cubes and topped it with milk. Since I don’t drink coffee, I followed her lead but made my ice cubes out of a concentrate of On Wisconsin tea. I made the cubes by steeping the tea per the recommended parameters but using about 3-4 times the amount of leaf suggested. I then poured the concentrate into the ice cube tray and left them to set in the freezer overnight.

Once the cubes were set, I took the hack a step further and decided to blend my tea ice cubes with the milk. I used about 5 cubes to about a 1/2 a cup of milk but it was too thick so I added about another 1/2 a cup of milk. Then something weird happened as the icy milk foam separated to the top of the glass and the milky tea separated to the bottom. After some aggressive stirring to combine the foam and the tea, I was still surprised at how loose the tea tasted. I expected a smoothie-like or iced Aroma type consistency and instead it tasted like cold, milky tea. Personally I blame my ratio of cubes to milk but also the use of the On Wisconsin tea which has a strong honey flavor that competes with the milk as opposed to mixing with it.

Ultimately the experiment turned out good but not great. I think next time I need less cubes but also I think a different tea would improve the results drastically. My guess is a chocolate tea would suit this type of thing better. Though this is definitely an improvement from other iced lattes I have tried in the past as milky tea in an iced latte is better than watery tea in an iced latte so at least I am working in the right direction.