Organic Fruit Jam from Tea Sparrow. . . .

When it comes to getting me gifts, my friends and family often turn to one of two things: mugs or tea subscriptions. One such subscription that I received as my Secret Santa gift this past holiday season was several months of tea from Tea Sparrow. If I am being honest, as someone who loves really out there flavors, I have been underwhelmed by the more basic options I’ve been receiving.

With that said, this Organic Fruit Jam tea did catch my eye. It has the usual fruit tea ingredients such as apples, hibiscus, rosehips, and strawberries but it also has more exciting flavors like barley malt, cream extract, etc.

I made this iced in light of the potential for tartness thanks to the hibiscus and rosehips. Unfortunately, despite the unique ingredients, this tastes a lot like many of the other fruit tisanes I have had before, tart and with a vague fruitiness. It also has a sharp tart note atop the rest of the tartness that hits the back of your mouth near the end of the sip. Alas there is nothing here that says “jam” to me.

I also brewed this hot and intended to try it that way to compare it with the iced tea but life got in the way and the mug cooled before I got to it. However, the hot brewed tea which has then cooled is smoother than the iced tea. It also is a bit less tart than the iced tea which makes more room for a muddled fruit flavor to come through. Still not a “jam” tea to me but this cup is definitely closer to that desired flavor than the iced tea given there is more sweetness here.

Ultimately, I just feel like I’ve had this tea time and time again. The hibiscus/rosehip tartness is overwhelming with a generic fruitiness taking a back seat. The unique ingredients that intrigued me in the first place add nothing or if they do, their addition is drowned out. It’s not bad per se but it just doesn’t stand out at all in a world filled with tea.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Tisane
Where to Buy: Tea Sparrow
Description

With your Tea Sparrow subscription, you’ll receive 4 select loose-leaf teas each month: one black, one green, one rooibos and one herbal tea. You can expect about 35 cups of tea per month: more than enough to spread the love or completely hoard for yourself.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Limoncello from The NecessiTeas. . . .

When I started up the kettle I had a plan. I was going to brew up Magic Potion by DAVIDsTEA, get a cool timelapse video for my #365daysoftea challenge, and write a kickass review about the tea and its magical color changing effects. Although I can say that it was pretty to see the rich blue of the butterfly pea flower give way to a deep purple when mixed with lemon juice, I have to say everything else was a bit of a mess. The timelapse wasn’t all that interesting and the tea was undrinkable as a result of my distaste for stevia. I scrapped my first tea plan and went for something else I thought I might enjoy more…Limoncello by the NecessiTeas.

I steeped two perfect teaspoons of the dry leaf in a 16 ounce mug. I brewed the tea for 5 minutes in 200F water, per the recommended steeping parameters.

I have to say, after the disaster that was Magic Potion, this tea felt like making a new friend after being stood up on a first date. My first attempt at a tasty evening tea may have been a bit of a disaster but this tea was there to pick up the pieces.

The lemon is front and center – crisp and true to the fruit without being bitter or overly sour. I think that is due to the combination of lemongrass, which is a bit more savory than lemon, and lemon peels which bring the bright lemon zest flavor. What surprised me as I drank is that this tea has a lot more body than just a typical lemon tea. I think the addition of the brown sugar gives this an almost baked good vibe and that is where the body and richness is coming from. Moreover, the tea has a bit of a vanilla creaminess. I should say that in light of my description, this tea that has body and cream is not at all heavy and in that sense “lemon meringue” feels like an accurate description.

All in all, I quite enjoyed this tea. It is both new and different from teas I’ve had and yet at the same time it feels very familiar. I would most definitely classify this as a dessert tea but not one that is overly sweet, which is surprising given there is sugar right in the leaf.

Ultimately, this tea might have been the second tea I grabbed but it is by no means anyone’s second choice.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green Rooibos
Where to Buy:  The NecessiTeas
Description

The Italian dessert drink has made its way into a tea. Imagine lemon meringue teasing your taste buds, while sweetly melting in your mouth with a blend of vanilla and brown sugars. The lemony brightness shines through with lemongrass and a sprinkling of golden marigold petals, all topping a green rooibos tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Peppermint Marshmallow Melting in Hot Chocolate from 52Teas. . ..

Let me just start by saying that this is one of my favorite teas. I love it soooo much!! Unfortunately it is not currently available on the 52 Teas website but if it is offered as a reblend make sure you stock up because this is ah. may. zing!

Alright, now that we got that out of the way we can discuss the awesome new method of enjoying this tea and so many others that I have learned of recently. What’s that method you ask? A latte! Not just any latte though…a CHOCOLATE MILK latte. Honestly, it is life-changing. So simple and yet I never thought of it until a tea friend mentioned it. It takes the latte to a whole new level. Try it. You won’t regret it!!

For instance, this particular tea, 52 Tea’s Peppermint Marshmallow Melting in Hot Chocolate is all the more true to its name when made this way, and I didn’t even think that was possible because even plain this completely tastes like its namesake. However, the heating of the chocolate milk and the mixing of that and the base tea gives a more dark chocolate vibe that elevates this to a richer and more sophisticated treat. That dark chocolate note intermingles wonderfully with the peppermint which comes off more crisp in comparison. It’s almost like a liquid After Eight but with the perfect amount of marshmallow fluffiness to add a pleasant lightness to the overall drink.

It truly is a revelation. That applies both to the tea itself and to chocolate milk lattes.

 


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!

Raspmonade from TeaTaxi. . . .

This has been the first day in a while that I have had the opportunity to relax. To me, that means sitting by the fire while drinking cup after cup of tea. Now, as much as I like to say I am not impacted by caffeine, I know it is good to switch it up a bit. To that end, I like to mix in a rooibos, honeybush, or herbal infusion amongst all the mugs of black tea, green tea, and oolong.

I brewed up my entire sample packet (5 grams) of this Raspmonade tea by TeaTaxi as a hot tea, steeping it in near boiling water (200F) for 3 minutes, 2 minutes shorter than the recommended steeping parameters as the rooibos began to smell quite strong.

As I drink now, the rooibos is strong but more so because the other flavors are so subtle which leaves little to taste other than the base. I get some berry flavor from the raspberry leaves but lemon comes through mainly in scent.

I don’t know if my understeeping is at play here but this lacks the flavor I was looking for when I brewed this up. I wanted sweet raspberry and bright lemon and I got generic berry rooibos. Definitely not what I was hoping for but still fun to try something new.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Red Rooibos
Where to Buy:  Tea Taxi
Description

Delight in this amazing concoction of raspberry flavored with lemon. A fruity euphoria you can drink hot or cold!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Peppermint Creme Brulee from A Quarter To Tea. . .

I am a creme brulee fiend. It is one heck of a tasty dessert and it is one of those flavors that always ends up in my shopping cart. So when this tea (complete with glitter balls and cute candy cane sprinkles) showed up in my monthly subscription box, I was all too excited to give it a try.

I steeped it per the package directions, in 185F water for 3 minutes. The brewed tea filled the entire kitchen with the smell of bruleed sugar deliciousness.  Flavor-wise, there is definitely a sugar sweetness but as much as I thought peppermint would be a great addition, I feel it is a bit too medicinal for this tea. It takes over and though there is a sweet mint aspect, there is also a burn that is far too distracting. With that, any hope of caramel from a bruleed brown sugar aspect or any creamy custard notes are drowned out.

I had high hopes for this one but it was a bit of a miss for my personal preferences.I want more brown sugar. More custard. Less herbal mint.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
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!