Maple Raisin Oatmeal from A Quarter To Tea. . .

I’m sure you’re familiar by now with the cultural phenomena that is “pumpkin season”. I can’t judge– there certainly was a time in my life where the crack of September first heralded all sorts of pumpkin’ified lattes, baked goods, scented candles– the list goes on and on. But you guys. Does anyone else feel like we are missing out, collectively, on SO MANY other great fall flavors? Cinnamon, apples, oats and smoke and spice and stone fruits and and and– I want it all! Enter A Quarter to Tea’s seasonal blends.

This little beauty popped up in my most recent monthly box from AQTT, and I’ve been properly obsessed. AQTT does unusual flavors magically, and there’s something about her rolled black tea blends that I find myself sipping like a madwoman until my samples are cashed. This blend in particular harnesses all those “outlier” fall flavors, like oatmeal, cinnamon, dried fruits– and whips them all together into a delightful cuppa that is simply made for cool and rainy morning sipping.

Served as a latte, this one captures its namesake even better– the creamy, frothed milk in my mug tastes just like sweet, spiced, fruity oatmeal. The notes of malty bread-iness balance out the dried fruit/cinnamon spice beautifully, and make for a perfectly autumnal treat.

No offense, pumpkin spice, but if this is what you’re up against, you’re gonna have to up your game. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got another cup of fall to brew!

Here’s the scoop!

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

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Plum Oatmeal Squares Temi Sikkim Tea from A Quarter to Tea. . . .

Buttery oatmeal squares are the simplest comfort food, a warm (healthy) hug. I expected nothing less from this Plum flavored seasonal offering from A Quarter to Tea.

My first impression is strong fructose vibe from ripe plums or berries, almost the scent of a sweet wine? It’s rare that I find plum in a tea, and this reminds me of smelling farmer’s market produce in the fall. Slivers of goodies decorate the dry black tea leaves, including actual oatmeal.

The hot water awakens the blend, the familiar breakfast oats smell emerges then the tannins follow, the strong fruit smell of earlier is now just a hint. Being present for transformations like these, I find myself appreciating the effort the creators put into their products. The plum aroma gets stronger again as the auburn water gravitates through the steeper.

There is a mismatch of acidity in the two flavors which surprises my taste buds, but also somehow balances itself out. These malted and fruity flavors work really well together. The second steep mellows out the tannins and is more of a creamy fruit taste. Delicate with hint of, wow, what is this biting aftertaste? Like most flavored blends, noticeably less intense but still a good amount of flavor. None of the some cinnamon-type spice in here that I would’ve expected, but it’s oatmeal-y enough without it.

It takes a lot of guts to release a rare flavor, and this offering from A Quarter To Tea rises to the challenge, keeping things original, yet still enjoyable.

Here’s the scoop!

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

Tea of the Month for November 2016

Temi’s perfect muscatel notes are blended with rich dessert flavors: plum, pastry, and vanilla butter. A warming dessert tea, perfect for this (or any other) season.

This tea is limited run, so once it is gone, it’s gone for the season. It is sold only in 0.5oz quantities.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On Wisconsin from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

There’s a classic scene in Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise’s love interest says “You had me at hello.”

Well, this tea had me at “cow sprinkles.”

My coworker is besotted with it! She had some with almond milk and thinks it’s the bee’s knees. She has made off with my sample. She describes it as “delightful.”

On the other hand, I’m not sure this hit the mark for me. I think this might have been better as a black tea rather than an oolong. The vegetal notes in the oolong are kind of distracting with regards to the “sweet” concept. I tried it both with and without almond milk and couldn’t love it while it was in my mouth.

The aftertaste of this tea is lovely, though. It’s a sweet-splosion.

So while it might not have been for me, through-and-through, it was still a novel flavor, and a molasses-infused treat for the morning.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea

A sweet and creamy jade oolong with sweet honey and cheesecake flavors and cow sprinkles straight from the dairy state.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ginger Spiced Pear Cake from A Quarter to Tea. . . .

If you’re looking for some tea to go with your post-holiday fruitcake, or just some tea that tastes a bit like holiday fruitcake, brew up a cup of Ginger Spiced Pear Cake from A Quarter to Tea.

This black tea smells sweet in the dry left and in the brew.  The taste of the blend is not too sweet, mainly driven by the appropriately clean and tart breakfast black tea base.  There is a hint of juicy pear with each sip, and a touch of ginger heat behind the pear.  The ginger is not too spicy, mainly adding a little herbal flavor and sweetness to make the tea feel festive.  I don’t taste any buttery cake or pastry flavors, just pear and ginger.

It’s possible that my small sample wasn’t at peak freshness or maybe I just needed a bigger serving of tea leaves to get the flavor intensity I was looking for.  I’ll have to keep an eye out for this blend in the future and give it another try.

This is a gently flavored blend, but very drinkable.  There are not many pear teas on my shelf, so this was a nice brew to have in my mug.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White/Black
Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea

Sweet pastry with pear, spicy ginger, and cinnamon and clove accents.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Blood Orange Punch from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

I’ll be honest, friends– green tea and I have a storied history. And the story mostly goes like this: Mary brews green tea, with visions of health and wellness floating in her head. Timer beeps, tea strains, Mary takes a sip and then makes an ‘ick’ face, forgets about tea, lets it get cold, dumps out. THE END.

Needless to say, traditional grassy, herbaceous green teas haven’t been my jam in years past. Now, as the years have gone, I’ve grown my palette for teas a bit wider, and I’ll eagerly at least try greens with something interesting or fun about them (to varying success). Combine that with a post-holiday need to lay off the jittery caffeine and let my body reset itself, I’ve been looking towards teas with lighter caffeine, like some of my oft-overlooked greens and whites.

When this tea showed up in my monthly box from AQTT, I was psyched. Fruity greens in particular are almost always a hit in my book, and Blood Orange Punch (besides just sounding super punk-y and cool) just sounded so delightfully refreshing.

Steeped at below-boiling water for two and a half minutes, this tea brews up beautifully peachy-red-orange, just the colors of blood oranges. The scent is to die for– crisp, citrusy, but still light and smooth. I don’t get too much of the “brandy, rum and cream” that the descriptions heralded, but regardless, I find myself sipping cup after cup of this one. Hot, of course, as it’s been negative eleven billion degrees outside– but with it’s strong, fruity notes, I bet this one would be absolutely to die for as an iced tea come warmer months. A Quarter to Tea, you’ll make a green tea drinker of me yet!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea

A deep orange flavor with hints of brandy, rum, and cream.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!