Earl Grey from Zest Tea

“Mombie”  Noun; a parent who is so overcome by sleep deprivation that their appearance looks more and more like a zombie each day.

Oh how I wish this Zest Tea were around when I had a 6-month-old with jetlag. 150 mg of caffeine per cup. Oh how that would have prevented my choking down overpriced coffees. Oh how I would’ve cherished those early mornings easier with a hearty cuppa. If only my local store carried it then, as it does now.

Fortunately now all I have to deal with is the daily grind of a toddler, and this power packed Earl Grey is a perfect mid-day bolster. And who needs a seista when there’s never-ending muddy laundry to be done??

With Sherlock Holmes gracing the teabag’s packet, I know I’ll be ready to go at a moments notice, but still come across refined… or crazy… either works. I imagine Prince William with his 3 kids now, still having to attend royal functions but maybe with those glazed over eyes and a bit of nodding. (Please tell me I’m not the only one reading those tabloids) Perhaps the Duke would’ve benefitted from this nice cuppa Earl, eh!

Real talk, you need to be careful brewing this one — The excess caffeine can easily create a bitterness if over brewed. And the wonderful floral, bergamot aftertaste just won’t cover up a sloppy steep.  I propose an overnight cold brew – two birds, one stone!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: flavored Black Tea bags
Where to Buy: Zest Tea

Earl grey has been a popular blend since it was introduced to the British Earl, Charles “Chaz” Grey, in the 1830’s. Most Earl Greys are made with low-quality base teas, but not ours. Zest’s Earl is made with premium Nilgiri Indian black tea blended with a delicious bergamot essential oil. Don’t thank us. Thank Chaz.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Orange Pekoe Special from Swallowtail Tea

When the tea has “special” in the name, it starts with a lot of expectations to live up to.  Good thing Orange Pekoe Special from Swallowtail Tea truly is a special mug of tea.

Right away, I was taken in by the scent of the dry tea leaves.  This is a pure black tea, not flavored, not a chai, and yet the leaves smelled sweet and earthy and strongly of cinnamon.  It was so comforting and flavorful it was hard to take my face out of the bag.

When I brewed this tea, the cinnamon took a backseat and more of the traditional black tea flavors came to the forefront.  The tea was bright and crisp, with just a touch of citrus that says to me it would be delicious if served with a wedge of lemon.  All of these forward flavors were quickly chased by smoother, toasted tones, almost malty and starchy like a not-too-sweet dessert.

The brewed tea smelled like crushed leaves and old wood, with just a whiff of woodsmoke.  The more I drank the tea the more the smoky notes came forward. This isn’t full-on chimney-bacon smokiness like you find in some lapsang souchong teas, this was more delicate, like the appealing sugar char of a creme brulee, or the faded campfire smell after the logs have long gone out.

All these natural flavors like wood and smoke and leaves in Orange Pekoe Special really put me in the mood for fall.  With a beautifully illustrated tin and such a rich flavor experience, this is now the tea I imagine when I think of someone stumbling upon a cabin in the woods and the owner pulls out “the good tea” for a special occasion.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea
Description:

Grown at the base of the Himalayas, this tea was first discovered growing wild in the jungles during the mid 1800’s. Assam is known for its deep, burgundy-red cup and pungent but sweet-starchy flavor. This is India’s most popular variety because of its intense flavor and ability to mix well with milk and honey.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Raspberry Jam from Perkse Tea

I’ve been on a berry kick lately. I just can’t get enough of that sweet, tangy, juicy goodness.

Today’s pick comes from Perkse Tea, a shop I found on Etsy when I typed in “tea sampler.” (Yes, this is how a LOT of our posts come to you. We tea reviewers can’t resist a sampler kit. So many new things to try and report back on!) They’re a Canadian company that encourages you to “embrace a positive mind-set and live a beautiful life.” Hard to find fault with that plan!

This tea really nails that raspberry vibe. It’s sweet and a little bit tart, just like chomping on the real thing — minus those aggravating seeds. There’s also a touch of blueberry and rose floating along to vary and deepen the flavor profile. The base is robust enough to hold up these flavors without losing itself. This reminds me of the base of a delicious cobbler. Throw some crunch and cream on there and you’d be SET. I’m currently out of my Almond Breeze, but I think that this tea would take it with aplomb.

I feel like I’ve fast-forwarded to a season of late outdoor dinners. There are citronella candles everywhere and I’m eating off a red gingham-check tablecloth on a picnic table. There are friends, and maybe even their kids, chatting and laughing. Dogs sitting at our feet. Like a country music video depicting good ol’ Amurrrica.

Oh man. This tea is SUMMER at its BEST.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Perkse Tea
Description

A deliciously hardy black tea infused with freeze dried raspberries cultivated from California.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey Sun AKA Earl Grey Mandarin from TeaLeafs

Earl Grey Sun – or Earl Grey Mandarin – I believe they are one in the same – but I could be mistaken.

When I last bought this tea it was labeled Earl Grey Sun but the only one I can currently find on their website is Earl Grey Mandarin but I think they are the same tea because I can distinctly remember the lovely orange notes of the flavored Earl. But it was more than just your standard Bergamot. And more than your common Orange. I’m pretty sure the glorious ray of sunshine in the flavored black tea – flavored Earl Grey (more specifically) was that of the might mandarin.

Regardless – this was a fantastic cup! One of the more impressive flavored Earl Grey’s I’ve had to date. And probably in my Top 5 teas offered at TeaLeafs.

The black tea base itself is that of a High grown Ceylon tea and it’s sturdy and tasty in its own right.

This is surely a tea that has brightened my day and I hope you are able to try it at some point because I think you will, too, be a fan!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Tea Leafs
Description

Ingredients: Black Tea, Bergamot, flavoring from Germany, Mandarin

High grown Ceylon tea with Bergamot and Mandarin

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pancake Breakfast from 52Teas . . . .

Oh my god, you can taste the dough, and the maple sweetness, and like maybe a little hint of spice. It’s an all-encompassing deep sweetness, not saccharine or cloying. Your teeth don’t hurt. The taste has gravitas.

This tea is really well-named. It tastes precisely like sinking your teeth into a delicious breakfast at a diner.

Imagine the scene: it’s 10 a.m. on the weekend. Maybe you’re a little tired from whatever you did yesterday, even if it was just Netflix bingeing. You and your friends/family have been waiting in line at the mom and pop diner downtown, and you finally get in, and you see waffles are on special. OBVIOUSLY you are going in on that. The food is wicked fast coming out. You are gobbling that stuff down like it’s air. The waitress is calling you “hon” and asking if you want more coffee. You are in HEAVEN. You are a member of the Clean Plate Club.

If this sounds like a blast, good news! This is part of 52Teas’ permanent collection! Most of 52Teas’ offerings are “GOOD GOD GRAB IT NOW BEFORE IT IS GONE”, but this one is here to stay. Wake up and hop over!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

Because the love for this tea is so strong, we stuck closely to the original recipe.

One difference is that we’re utilizing different teas in our black tea base.  I think you’ll notice the difference and I’m confident you’ll feel this was a change for the better!  We’ve made a really yummy thing even better!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!