Earl of Time from A Quarter To Tea. . .

Up to today’s bat is the Earl of Time, a Quarter To Tea blend that blends a black Earl Grey with vanilla and black currant.

I’m not sure why it’s called Earl of Time, but I SUSPECT it’s because Earl Grey got a message from a Time Lord to add these inclusions for a COMPELLING BREW.

Time Lord: “Listen, I’m from 3030, and Skynet just figured out a bangin’ way to make your trademark beverage a little more exciting.” Earl Grey: “My trademark beverage? I just throw a little bit of citrus into my black tea.” Time Lord: “Believe it or not, that’s going to be YOUR THING. You will be known through ALL OF TIME for that one thing.” Earl Grey: “What about my charity work? My metal band? My hand-tatted doilies?” Time Lord: “No.” Earl Grey: “My way with words? The fact that I am an expert cat cuddler?” Time Lord: “None of that makes it to the future.” Earl Grey: “So I’m just… like… a spritz of bergamot?” Time Lord: “And now… some vanilla and black currant. Try it.” Earl Grey: “That’s DELICIOUS! So creamy! That berry flavor, with the slight citrus edge! WOW! I might write a poem about it.” Time Lord: “It’ll be forgotten to the sands of time, but sure, I mean, go ahead.” Earl Grey: “Roses are red / violets are blue / I like this tea / and so might you.”

(illustration by Super Starling herself!)

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

A fun and fruity twist on the classic Earl Grey! This one features black currant, vanilla, with that classical satisfying punch of bergamot.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

Whisky Chocolate Truffle from A Quarter To Tea. . .

Here are two little-known facts about me, friends: I don’t really drink much alcohol if at all (hashtag my bounce-back time is not what it used to be and all that jazz, hashtag old), and I am SO VERY PICKY about chocolate teas. So clearly, when this whisky chocolate truffle tea arrived on my front door step… well, it already had the odds stacked against it, to say the least.

But y’all: I am nothing if not continually amazed at the tea-magic that Lauren at AQTT is able to create in her flavors on a regular basis. This malty black tea is the perfect vessel for both the slight hint of whiskey, balanced by the not-at-all-fakey bittersweet chocolate notes. I’ve had many, many bad chocolate teas in my life– but consistently, AQTT’s chocolate teas are not among them. Rather than tasting like weird, weak hot chocolate, this brew is almost a touch bread-y and a hint savory while still feeling like a decadent, velvety chocolate treat. A splash of cream really takes this one to the next level, and I feel like I’m in college again, with not a care in the world (and the hangover resilience of a 21-year-old).

Almost 30-year-old Mary, though? She’ll stick to her whiskey non-alcoholic, in a tea latte, please and thanks.


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea was part of the subscription plan, click below to find out more!

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!

Cottage Cozy Earl Grey from A Quarter To Tea. . .

TODAY SIMPLY ISN’T HAPPENING, GUYS. THE PARTS ARE NOT COMING TOGETHER TO CAUSE A PLEASING WHOLE.

You know what that calls for? A pleasing new flavor. It’s time to BREAK OUT A NEWBIE.

I’ve opted for “Cottage Cozy Earl Grey” due to its name. “Cozy” is exactly where I’d like to be right now, spiritually. I want that mellow, hygge lifestyle. I want thick socks and a novel.

This blend is a very sweet earl grey, leaning heavily on lavender, which jingles lightly on a smoky assam base. It’s a playful duo.

I’m not getting a lot of the bargamot or the rooibos flavor here, but that might just be the Luck Of The Scoop. (It’s like the luck of the Irish, but for loose leaf tea enthusiasts. Not every scoop has every ingredient in a faithful representation of the whole. This keeps things exciting.)

That said, the lavender and the base are a good duo. They remind me of any classic comedy, with one goof and one straight man. If this were Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, the assam would be our straightforward Steve Martin and the lavender would be the loose cannon John Candy. (Am I old? Is this a hip reference?)

And honestly, I do feel better now. Even a little bit cozy.


Here’s the scoop!

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

Sweeter and more floral than a normal Earl Grey, this is the perfect companion to rainy days and long books. Mellow but brisk.

Like all Earl Grey, takes milk and sugar well.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!