Fall Blend Alert! Cranberry Autumn from Harney & Sons

Ah, fall. Cooler weather signals the slow switch from iced or cold brewed teas to hot cuppas throughout the day. I find myself excited about teas that are fruity but earthy, deeper but still bright. Happily, Cranberry Autumn from Harvey and Sons perfectly fits that description.

Cranberry Autumn has light, citrusy notes from the orange as well as a good bit of tartness from the cranberry and hibiscus, but the base tea keeps the other flavors grounded. It has a good bit of depth with a slight woody note that works well with the other flavors.

This tea is a fall go-to for me. It’s something I will happily steep in my cup again and again as the days get shorter and my need for something to warm my hands and spirits gets stronger. Cranberry Autumn has earned its place in my tea cabinet.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Black Tea
Where to Buy: Harney & Sons

Ideally sweet and tart, our Cranberry Autumn is a black tea artfully blended with cranberry and orange flavors. You’ll find it a full bodied brew that is exceptionally smooth and delicious in fall, or anytime if you’re a cranberry fan. Kosher.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Crackling Fire from Beacon Hill Tea Company

BeaconHillTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Beacon Hill Tea Company

Tea Description:

This myriad of autumn flavors simply smolders.  Grab a blanket and warm your soul with this spiced blend.  Ingredients: honeybush tea, apple pieces, aniseed, lapsang souchong tea, cocoa nibs, rose hips, cinnamon, red peppercorn, orange peels, cloves, natural cinnamon flavor, natural orange flavor, safflower, natural hazelnut flavor.

Learn more about Beacon Hill’s Monthly Subscription Plan here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m running a little behind in my reviews lately, but I’m glad I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in regards to my November teas.  Crackling Fire was an offering the Beacon Hill Tea Company’s November box.  The tea itself has such a lovely description.  I took one whiff of it tho and I knew this tea and I were not going to be the best of friends.

This tea has a rather rich smoky flavor.  One that I just couldn’t get behind, but I wanted to give it a try anyway.  The rest of the tea sounded amazing.  I brewed the tea up per the packaging instructions (212F-5 min) and took a sip.

If you are one of those that love that campfire smokey flavor. . .this tea is for you! The honeybush and apple pieces bring a sweet and tanginess to the tea while the hazelnut and cocoa nibs give this tea real definition.  I wanted to like this tea so much but the smoky flavor just kept hitting me wrong.   If that smokey flavor was just a bit less, I can see this being an insanely amazing tea.  But for me, it just doesn’t work.  All of the other flavors are fanastic, tho and for a flavored smokey tea I would have to say this is one of the better ones I’ve had.  But-that’s ok that I didn’t like it.  This is the first tea from Beacon Hill Company that I haven’t really liked.  You can’t like them all and to each his or her own cuppa!

Spiced Apple Tisane from DAVIDsTEA

spicedappleTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Tisane

Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:

What does comfort mean to you? It might be a favourite sweater, an old family recipe or a perfect cup of tea. For us, it’s all about capturing warm and cozy flavours – like this sweet and spicy blend of apple, figs and chai spices. Laced with cinnamon and star anise, it brings back memories of apple picking, piping hot cider and fresh-from-the-oven pies. Basically, it’s like a hug in a cup. And whether you pair it with a good book or some great company, we guarantee it’s as comforting as it gets.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Spiced Apple was DAVIDsTEA’s September Tea of The Month though from the looks of it this tisane could seamlessly blend in with the Fall Collection. As it stands, every season is seems like DT finds a way to incorporate yet another new apple tea into the mix (this season Honeycrisp Apple). Personally, I feel like that’s a played out idea and each new one that they come up with excites me less and less. This season in particular feels especially saturated; but nonetheless here I am trying this newest tea regardless so I suppose I can’t complain too much.

Dry; this tisane smells more like those little cinnamon heart Valentine’s candies to me more than anything else – but I get apple too; it’s like some kind of mulled cider but heavy on the cinnamon. I wish I could smell the clove more. I can tell it’s gonna be sweet; star anise kind of instantly does that to tea. Now to try the hot brew.

Oh! Instant cinnamon hearts. Now that I’ve gone there mentally it’s hard to taste something else. With the level of anise-y sweetness and concentrated cinnamon (but not hot or dry cinnamon) you’d expect the liquor to look as bright, vibrant red as those little candies leave your tongue looking. I can taste clove, but it’s secondary to cinnamon and by quite a lot. The more I’m drinking, the more I taste the other components of the tea: apple, anise, and sort of a cardamom note too. I’m not really getting and distinctly fig tasting notes, and lowkey that’s what sold me on this tea in the first place.

I have to say, it started out alright but the flavour of both the ‘cinnamon hearts’ and apple cider really builds as my mug gets emptier and by the time I was on the last few sips I was already sick of this tea: it gets very cloyingly sweet despite having spicy elements working against that. I could never justify adding sweetener to this. I’m wondering how to best finish off the sample I got – currently I’m leaning towards cold brewing because that’s just what I do. My theory is that cold brewing would balance the flavours a little better.

Not bad, though. Certainly worth a try and worth taking the time to tweak it.

Doke Thunder Second Flush from Rare Tea Republic

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Rare Tea Republic

Tea Description:

Ripe apricot, butternut squash, sweet finish.

A juicy ripe apricot aroma leads to an exceptionally flavorful liquor with vegetal undertones of cooked butternut squash and a lingering finish. .

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I bought a sample of this, along with about 12 others, from Rare Tea Republic a week ago and today I picked it from my grab bag of RTR teas to taste.

This is an Oolong? I had to check three times to be sure. I was extremely sleepy when having this as my morning wake up cup, I thought perhaps because I generally have a black tea in the morning, and that is what I thought I had grabbed I thought that I must have been mistaken when I went to Rare Tea Republic site and saw it was an oolong! Surely that was a mistake on their site. To me, this tastes like a black tea.

I am even a little surprised by the flavor palate of this tea – again to me it rings more true to a black tea.

Regardless, letting go of all that and just allowing myself to sink into the tea itself, submersing my distractions of what this tea is supposed to be and just appreciating the tea in and of itself I could not be more pleased.

This tea reminds me of walking through our local fruit farm in the fall. Today’s weather here in my town could not be more perfect. Its like the weather had planned my tea selection this morning. Its cool and crisp outside, leaves are gently blowing around, my yard is the neighborhood’s catch all for fallen leaves, and I LOVE it! The aroma and flavor from this tea are fresh butternut squash, apricots that are a bit over ripened and reduced for quick sale, (the juiciest), autumn leaves, moist air and wet leaves, all indicative of the weather we are having today. Yesterday it was sunny, balmy, and hot, but hey I live in Kansas, as they say if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes, it will change! My local fruit farm which is down the road from me, is chalk full of the very things this tea evokes at this time of year.

Also there are wonderful flavor notes of syrup, and malt. This is like no other oolong I have ever experienced! The astringency is even aligned with a quality black! I can’t get past the fresh squash note. It is so spot on, so perfect. What a lovely treat on this cool October morning!

Surprised, yes, but delighted for sure! This is one enjoyable cup with wonderful flavor notes that are sure to please!

Honey Malt With Chocolate Malt Tea from Malt Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Grain Tea

Where to Buy:  Malt Tea

Tea Description:

This tea mixes the intense sweetness and honey aroma from Honey malt with the extra roasted coffee flavor from the Chocolate Malt. Be Advised: Chocolate Malt gets it’s name from the dark brown color that is similar to the color of dark chocolate. It does not taste like chocolate!
Ingredients: Whole Grains

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

A long time ago I used to do home brewing, so when I saw a tea company offering whole grain teas I had to try it! When I saw the price for this tea, and all the others on the site I was floored at how inexpensive the teas were, and could not help but getting one of their sampler packs! I am so very happy that I did.

I will say this “tea” may not be for everyone. First of all its not technically tea. It is different, and hearty, robust even. This particular grain tea should not be confused with a chocolate flavored tea, be it naturally flavored or otherwise. It does not taste like chocolate. As the tea description says, it is simply called chocolate because of the deep chocolate color of the malt in this tea. It is however decedent, like chocolate.

This tea would be perfect for anyone trying to get off the coffee kick, anyone who appreciates home brewed or crafted beers, or anyone who appreciates a very unusual, sweet, yet savory drink.

I find that this tea is similar for me to genmaicha, which is also sold on the malt-tea site. When I crave it, I CRAVE it and nothing else will satisfy me. I find myself longing for this tea as the weather becomes cooler and cooler heading into autumn, and once winter is here I know I will be keeping a steady supply of this tea around!

There is a very distinct honey flavor to this tea. You can’t get away from that so if you do not care for honey this would not be the best tea to select, however there are other non-honey grain teas you can choose from.  The mouthfeel is full and broth-y and reminds me of an asian soup I had recently in a very nice Japanese restaurant – a mushroom like flavor. Of course it also tastes like malt, very good malt. While some may reckon this malt flavor to say, Ovaltine, and I have had my share of Ovaltine flavored teas, from pure experience I have to say this malt is by far superior to that malt taste.

As you swirl the tea in the mouth you find the honey notes dancing playfully around your palate while the malt notes sit more politely and well behaved on the top of the tongue carpeting it in warmth. The after taste is not very lingering which only makes you want to hurry to the next sip.

I will be headed out to the Renaissance Festival over the weekend and this tea makes me feel like taking it along with me! It would fit perfectly into that atmosphere and I fear I won’t find a better drink while there since I don’t indulge in alcohol anymore.

I do feel this tea would also be excellent iced in the summer.

This is the second tea I have tired out of my sampler pack which by the way is adorable! It comes with two samples, in bags, of five different teas. All of their materials are recycled. The box is cute and wrapped in thin twine. The labeling is very simplistic and they include a nice quote as well.

My quote said: “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evently, without rushing toward the future. – Thich Nat Hahn

I like this quote and will drink my Honey Malt with Chocolate Tea as such.