A Quarter to Tea’s Tea Box. . .

Last year for my birthday I was gifted an A Quarter to Tea monthly subscription for 8 months. When the gift ended, I wasn’t ready to give up my monthly box of delicious so I continued on the subscription myself. In March, I received what I like to call my “Anniversary Box” as I had come to a full year of A Quarter to Tea tastiness being brought monthly to my door.

This box has some great options including Green Velvet Cake, a flavored green tea; Pistachio and Cream Cookie, a flavored white tea; and Whisky Chocolate Truffle and Hot Cross Buns, which are both flavored black teas.

Green Velvet Cake: This is the tea I was most excited to try given my love of cake and all things dessert. First thing I noticed was that the dry leaf and the steeped tea capture the scent of cream cheese frosting perfectly.That frosting comes through in taste too, albeit not as strongly as the smell would suggest. Peeking over the edge of that sweet icing flavor, is just a touch of the kukicha base – slightly grassy yet fresh. Personally I could do without the vegetal input of the base tea and with a touch more actual cake notes. The frosting is nice but it isn’t called “Green Velvet Cake Frosting”.

Pistachio and Cream Cookie: This blend combines white tea, sprinkles, pistachios, rose petals, and natural flavors. Though the “cream cookie” calls to me, pistachio is a flavor I am indifferent to and rose just isn’t appealing. When I had this before, it had a creamy note to it, though today it has less cream. Instead of that cream, this has almost a touch of spice and definitely more rose. There is also more pistachio flavor which comes through clearly and helps sell “baked good”. When I think about it, I can see this as a cookie with a hint of brown sugar, a hint of spice, and the distinct pistachio nuttiness. The rose is what takes me out of that cookie mindset so my preference would be to eliminate that ingredient altogether. However, that is more due to personal preferences than a reflection on the rose’s contribution to the tea.

Whisky Chocolate Truffle: This was the one I was least excited about trying. As cute as the shamrock sprinkles are, whisky just isn’t my favorite and chocolate can be hit or miss, especially when cacao nibs and shells are used like they are in this tea. Other ingredients include marshmallow root, semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, and natural flavors. As I drink this, I know it is not for me. It has a chocolate undertone but one that is more dark and bitter than milky and sweet, which is my preference. There is also a definite alcohol vibe here that again isn’t really to my tastes. Something about this tea overall comes off very dried fruit/raisin/prune to me and though I can see this being nice for others, I am just not part of the demographic this was blended for.

Hot Cross Buns: Comprised of black tea, lemongrass, calendula, raisins, and natural flavors, the steeped tea smells lemony and sweet with a touch of raisins. It is certainly selling the baked good scent with lemon glaze. Now I should say I have never actually had a Hot Cross Bun but if they taste anything like the first sip of this tea, I would devour mountains of them because this. is. good. The yunnan base has a strong bread flavor and the lemongrass tastes like a sweet glaze drizzled on top. The raisin pops up every now and again as an explosion of juicy sweetness, just as a raisin in a bun would explode when you bit into it. Honestly, this tea just captures fresh baked goods perfectly…warm, spicy, sweet, doughy and delicious!

As far as the teas in this box go, Hot Cross Buns is by far my favorite, followed by Green Velvet Cake and Pistachio and Cream Cookie. Whisky Chocolate Truffle was a miss for me but I can appreciate that there is quite the variety here to appeal to all tastes. What worked for me might not work for others and vice versa. That is what makes subscription boxes like this so fun!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Subscription Box
Where to Buy: A Quarter To Tea
Description

The gift that keeps on giving!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

EggNaughTea from The NecessiTeas. . . .

The holidays are fast approaching and that means eggnog. Lots of eggnog. And eggnog means eggnog lattes!!! They don’t say “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” for nothing.

I figured what better tea to make as an eggnog latte than EggNaughTea, a caffeine-free blend of honeybush, nutmeg, marigold petals, marshmallows, and flavoring? However, to be able to discern the tea from the latte, I also decided to make it as a plain tea. Both were brewed in 200F water for a little over 5 minutes.

Sipping on the hot tea, I can tell this is a high quality honeybush base, especially since it is one of the only things I am tasting. Sweet honey flavor. I wish I could say I was tasting the nutmeg, vanilla, or rum that is supposed to be here but alas they are lost on me.

Nevertheless, while I may find it a little lackluster tea plain, this is making for an ah-mazing latte! It boosts the nutmeg and vanilla in the regular eggnog, while the honey of the base makes this scream “decadent dessert”. Think sweet creamy custard deliciousness.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Honeybush
Where to Buy:  The NecessiTeas
Description

This tea is a holiday blend so check out The NecessiTeas site for all of their great holiday blends!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tea 24 Advent Calendar 2018 from Tea Revv. . .

Nothing says holidays like starting each day with a surprise gift. Advent calendars are literally the gift that keeps on giving. Usually they are filled with chocolate but for the tea lover on your list, I recommend checking out the Tea 24 Advent Calendar 2018 by Tea Revv. 

Tea Revv was kind enough to send me a sneak peak of their upcoming advent calendar and just from the looks I was excited. The advent calendar box was smaller than I anticipated but its true when they say good things come in small packages! The box is beautifully designed with geometric snow-capped mountains and two little geometric penguins. It certainly evokes the idea of winter and fun.

Inside are 24 small satchets with 2 cups of loose leaf tea each. The satchets are all stacked on top of each other, with the Day 1 tea on top. One thing I will say is that those who like the surprise of opening a door or scratching off a label to discover what the tea of the day is will not get that here. As you pull out one satchet, the next day’s satchet is right there with all the details of the tea. For me, the surprise factor is not essential and I actually like having all the details about the tea (including ingredients and brewing instructions) conveniently in front of me. In addition, the satchets are sleek and carry the geometric theme throughout with colorful and fun holiday images.

One other face-value perk of Tea Revv’s Tea Advent Calendar is it’s price. Relative to other companies offering advent calendars, Tea Revv is not very expensive and thus a great gift for every budget.

Now, how can I talk about a tea calendar without discussing some of the teas? I pulled out a couple of teas just to get a feel for the different blends the calendar has to offer. There is a lot of black teas and warming winter/holiday ingredients. Chai lovers would certainly be pleased. However, there are also fruit tisanes, rooibos blends, green teas, etc. Something for everyone.

One of the first teas I tried was the Day 1 tea, Frosted Fruit Spice. Frosted Fruit Spice is a black tea with cinnamon, ginger, apple, cloves, cinnamon quillings, amaranth petals, safflower petals, and natural flavors. The dry leaf and steeped tea have a deliciously sweet and spiced fruit smell. It has me thinking of fruit filling in a winter-themed fruit pie. Flavorwise, that spiced fruit pie filling transfers over to the taste though more subtle than the scent would suggest. Mostly that is because there is a floral component that is strongly coming through and conflicting with the pie filling. The floral picks up some of the base tea which gives it a bit of a drying effect. I don’t love that drying but the spiced fruit component is really tasty and the reason I keep reaching for my mug and with a splash of milk that is the flavor that is highlighted with the floral and drying drowned out.

I also tried Ginger Green. Ginger Green is a much simpler blend which simply combines green tea and ginger pieces. I was curious to try something other than a black blend and this is the first non-black tea I grabbed from the pile on my table. Now I should preface this by saying I am not a green tea lover and for that reason this tea will never be my favorite. With that said, I should note that it is actually a nice tea. The ginger has just the right amount of flavor and burn to keep things interesting against the green tea base. The base has a lot of umami flavor. Usually greens are grassy but to me this has more of a seaweed flavor. It took my by surprise but also had a richness to it that is more consistent with the winter theme of this tea advent calendar box.

All in all, I have enjoyed the teas I have tried so far and I am just getting started. I look forward to exploring all the blends this calendar has to offer.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Tea Advent Calendar
Where to Buy: Tea Revv
Description

2018 Blends Include: Chilly Willy Chai, Cranberry Apple, Notorious Eggnog, English Breakfast, Coffee Lover, Spiced Apple, Christmas Cake, Ice Cream Earl Grey, Relax, Ruby Amaretto, Golden Turmeric, Gingerbread Man, Belly Bestie, Pumpkin Pie Chai, Irish Cream Breakfast, Rum Pud, Snowballs, Christmas Eve tea, Breakfast Pancakes, Ginger Green, Chocolate tea, Ruby Chai, Achooo, & Frosted Fruit Spice.

Winter is here. But fear not. Defrost those hands kick back relax with Tea 24.  24 seasonal loose leaf tea blends! Each sachet has its own winter illustration packaged in a beautifully designed box. All designs produced in-house. Each sachet contains enough tea for two cups or one large mug. Brewing advice on front of sachets.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Root Beer Float Black Tea from 52Teas. . .

I am lactose sensitive. I can have some dairy and be perfectly fine but too much and I am sick. This is especially true with ice cream. That is why I was particularly surprised when my mother took me to a restaurant called Jackson’s and happily let me order a Root Beer Float that came with a pitcher of root beer and a pint of vanilla ice cream. She’d been there before and knew what I was getting into…I did not. Needless to say I had to force my stepdad to help me out with the ice cream. Doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it though because root beer floats are awesome!

In light of my enjoyment of root beer floats, I was pretty pleased when this Root Beer Float Black Tea arrived as a sample in one of my orders from 52 Teas. Even more exciting are the delicious sounding ingredients of black teas, marshmallow root, sarsaparilla root, vanilla beans, calendula petals, and natural flavors. I made this as both a latte and a plain hot cup of tea.

My latte, though a bit watered down due to my inaccurate measuring, has a great sarsaparilla flavor. More than just the sarsaparilla which captures the root beer note, the vanilla beans and fluffy marshmallow combine with the milk to create a silky and creamy vanilla ice cream flavor. As a whole, the entire concept of root beer float is expertly captured in this tasty tea latte.

The plain tea is much more root beer than float. Granted there is a nice dose of vanilla and some softness from the marshmallow root, it is more heavily weighted towards the base black tea and the sarsaparilla root.

All in all, this tea (which is not currently available on the site but could be reblended) is a great take on the popular root beer float tea. Though it is good both ways I had it, I personally recommend the latte for a more accurate float. Just add a bit of whipped cream and a maraschino cherry and you got a treat worthy of any soda shoppe or 50s diner (but with much fewer calories :P).


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
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!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

It’s that time of the year when it is still very much Fall so pumpkin is every which way you turn. You can’t go two minutes without seeing pumpkin this and pumpkin spice that. However, we are near enough to Christmas that those holiday flavors are popping up too. Just two days ago I enjoyed a Gingerbread Lindt Truffle while trying my first ever Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. It is a flavor experience that I am delighted to try again.

As per usual, A Quarter to Tea has just that combination with one of their teas, Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle, a flavored black tea with notes of pumpkin, gingerbread, and custard. I steeped this up for 3 minutes in 200 degree water as per the recommended parameters.

The smell as I take my first sip is 98% gingerbread and 2% pumpkin sweetness. It’s got a great spice to it and I am disappointed that flavorwise, it is not as strong. There is still a gingerbread flavor but it is not as sharp as in the scent due to the stronger pumpkin flavor. Tastewise it is like a sweet pumpkin (not to be confused with pumpkin spice) drink with a ginger kick lingering in the background. The aftertaste has the baked good flavor of a gingerbread cookie. Custard seems to be lacking but between the other components there is enough going on that it isn’t missed.

Personally I wish there was more gingerbread and less pumpkin but I can’t fault it for delivering what’s promised due to my personal preferences. It is a nice tea even if it is a little unsure whether it wants to be sweet or spicy. Fall and the holidays are one in this tasty cuppa.


Here’s the scoop!

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

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!