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.

 

Tropical Peach Bellini from A Quarter To Tea. . .

Peach Bellinis were my drink as a young teenager just discovering alcohol. At first I only drank the frozen slush kind that tasted more like candy than it did a cocktail. Then I went to Venice, Italy and tried their take on a Peach Bellini which was a more adult combination of Peach Nectar and Prosecco (if I am remembering correctly).

Unfortunately, the hot tea tastes like neither. It is a sweeter tea and though there are underlying fruity vibes that lean towards peach, the mao fang takes over making this more vegetal than fruit. Also, I hoped for more mango to make this feel tropical but that isn’t coming through very clearly either.

The iced tea is just more of the same. I give this points for consistency but that also means that, like the hot tea, I am left wanting more. More peach. More bellini. More tropical. More of something other than a sort of generic and slightly fruity green tea.

Though the base is nice and the fruity vibes are pleasant, it is not selling the Tropical Peach Bellini flavor I was promised by the name. I wanted to like this one but, for me, it fell a bit flat.


Here’s the scoop!

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

Like a Bellini but better. A touch of mango and mao fang sweetness make this a 2018 treat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!