Downton Abbey® Mrs. Patmore’s Pudding Tea by Republic of Tea

Before I get to my tasting notes I’d just like to mention that Republic of Tea uses eco-friendly packaging to combine the convenience of tea bags with the sustainability of loose leaf tea. The tea comes in a reusable (and surely recyclable) metal tin, prepackaged in super-convenient round tea bags that are:
  • Unbleached
  • Minimalistic (don’t use much material)
  • Biodegradable (well, it’s just a thin piece of paper, and tea leaves are compostable)
  • Chemical-free
  • Glue-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Without extra packaging like staples, strings, or tags

It’s a very clever design and I really appreciate the effort they put into making eco-friendly tea so accessible.

So anyway. I steeped this tea for four minutes. I enjoyed the steeping process as well as the tasting process, because this tea gives off a wonderful aroma as it brews. It’s actually so good that you might end up worrying that the tea won’t live up to its fragrance when you actually taste it. It smells like an excellent dessert, which of course it should since it’s dessert-flavored, and creates the impression that you’re baking something custardy in your kitchen.

After steeping, it’s become a nice medium-dark color; it’s reddish/orange/brown, and the smell has strong notes of vanilla and cream. The first sip definitely has more black tea flavor than you’d expect from the fragrance. There’s lots of pudding flavor too, especially in the aftertaste. A bit sweet on its own (without sugar), and it’s very, very buttery.

With milk, it tastes like a custardy dessert in liquid form– it doesn’t taste eggy, though (which is probably a good thing, because who would want to drink eggy tea? Although eggnog chai is definitely a thing I drink sometimes, but it tastes more of spices than of egg fortunately).

Four minutes is just the right steeping time. If you wanted it more dessert-like, you could add sugar to boost the sweetness. But I’m having it for breakfast, not dessert, so I’m not doing that because it seems plenty sweet enough the way it is. Milk goes very well with this (and adds a slightly sweet dimension while also boosting the creaminess). Especially whole milk. I don’t vouch for creamless milk though. Anyway, the creaminess plays into the pudding illusion, so that’s another positive.

All in all I really enjoyed trying this tea (I loooove having desserty teas for breakfast–it’s great because everyone thinks you’re just having tea rather than dessert!) and I definitely would like to try it again. And I’m very glad to know that if I choose to buy tea from Republic of Tea in future, I’ll be making an Earth-friendly choice!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Republic of Tea
Description

This decadent dessert tea has the homemade flavors of vanilla sponge cake drizzled with rich caramel sauce. The full-bodied base of premium black tea lends itself well to a splash of milk, making it a perfect afternoon tea to partner with puddings, scones and shortbread.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate Mint by The Love Tea Company. . . .

Today we have a wonderfully minty black tea up for review!

This company’s website states that they donate 25% of their net profits to the Flagg Foundation for Mental Wellness, so buying this tea supports a great cause!

Another great thing about this company (in addition to offering great tea) is that their tea comes in cute little plastic canisters that you can either reuse or recycle. This is great if, like me, you’re getting tired of having to throw all those loose leaf tea bags in the trash because they’re made of paper (or plastic) fused with foil so you can’t recycle them or wash them out–or even if they’re just simple plastic bags, your city won’t accept them and you have to somehow recycle them separately (biggest inconvenience ever!). So this company is socially responsible and their tea packaging is eco-friendly (or at least convenient to be eco-friendly with . . . )!

For this tea session, I steeped 1.5 teaspoons of this chocolate mint tea in about 8oz of water (at just under boiling) for about 4 minutes. It smells nice and minty even before steeping, with a smooth creamy undertone from the chocolate.

While steeping, a reddish-brown cloud settles to the bottom of the cup. It starts to smell warmer and chocolatier. By the end of the steeping process, it’s reddish cedar-y in color, darkish but still see-through.

First sip: Very minty–like actual mint tea. There’s a distinct difference between a mint flavor from mint extract/flavoring and the actual flavor of actual mint leaves (mint leaves have some vegetal undertones and the possibility of bitterness if you oversteep, which the “extracts” don’t have). And sure enough, the ingredients list specifies that there are mint leaves in this, so kudos for that–we have actual mint here. And because the tea comes with bits of chocolate in it, this is a very naturally flavored chocolate mint tea.

 The flavor profile is excellent; creamy chocolate flavor is swimming underneath, with the sharp fresh mint above–steeping stronger might make the mint bitter, so be careful about that, but it’s not bitter at this strength. It’s friendly and welcoming, and does the chocolate-mint thing quite well. I can detect a teensy bit of tea astringency and black tea flavor.

With milk: it’s creamy, no surprises here. I use whole milk, which tames the mint quite a bit. It doesn’t bring out the chocolate as much as I was hoping, but it’s still quite yummy. I think next time I’ll need to be more careful to actually include chocolate bits in my spoonful of tea leaves.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this tea and we’re basically friends now. And I really appreciate the Love Tea Company’s social efforts and recyclable tea packaging, not to mention that their branding is really cute–I love the colors! 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  The Love Tea Company
Description

Did you know that February 19th is chocolate mint day?  The combination of chocolate and mint is one of the most delectable pairings known to human kind.   Its origins are unknown, but surely it was created a long, long, long time ago.  This scrumptious Black Tea Blend is a real treat, just don’t steal all of the chocolate pieces before steeping!  Brew up a nice hot pot and add a splash of milk and a dash of sugar and enjoy all of that chocolaty, minty goodness.  Surely February 19th must be the tastiest day of the year!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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

While I’ll try pretty much any new tea that crosses my path, as a tea lover, I’ll always have my favorites. And when it comes to teas from A Quarter to Tea, I can pretty much expect that anything new I try is going to be a knockout.

Every few months, I like to order sampler packs from AQTT to try out new flavors without overwhelming my tea stash. I thought I’d sipped through everything from my previous order, but sure enough, deep in the recesses of my work-tea stash, I found this one hiding the other day and couldn’t wait to brew it up!

The dry leaf is really interesting. Big, noticeable spices and a balance of white and black tea leaves are visible with delightful whiffs of ginger and sweet, warming spices. Brewed, I get a cup like none I’ve really had before. The white tea balances out any possible bitterness from the black, and the black brings a heartiness to the white that I usually find lacking in white tea. I get most strongly the flavors of pear and spice with less ginger than I’d like, but that could be just due to the amount of tea in my sample.

I typically drink all black teas with cream (or coconut milk, in my case), but I’ve been finding myself drawn lately to black teas that don’t need that classic milkyness, and this one fits the bill entirely. Sweet and spiced but not at all bitter, still hearty enough for a morning blend, but not so that it wouldn’t make a wonderful afternoon treat. As usual, another hit from AQTT, and apparently now the end of my sample stash for real– time to stock up again!


Here’s the scoop!

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

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!