Raja Oolong Chai/Adagio Teas

As a chai, I expected strong cinnamon but didn’t know what to expect with a chai based around an oolong base. What I ended up with was a well-balanced blend which is a flavorful reminder of the fall.

When I opened this package, there was an immediate smell of cinnamon and chicory. I’m always waiting for fall to come back, not for the pumpkin spice, but because I’m waiting for the chicory to come back! The chicory and cinnamon balance in this cup is beautiful. My cup did have some flavor that settled to the bottom of the cup; so, if you’re not a speedy drinker, have a spoon ready to keep the tea mixed and the flavor evenly distributed. In addition to the cinnamon and chicory that I’m in love with, there are also hints of ginger and cardamom that blend to create the chai that anyone who enjoys Indian chai will recognize. These flavors are milder in the raja oolong when compared with an Indian chai, but this is a great compliment to those flavors.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong/Chai
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Description

A blend fit for royalty, this Indian inspired chai is a cinnamon lover’s dream. The rich complexity of oolong tea lays a smooth foundation for a majestic cup, packed with savory spice notes and hypnotic aroma. Elements of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, chicory and cocoa nibs harmoniously blend together creating an exciting, yet truly satisfying chai that is sure to tickle your taste buds.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bonfire Toffee from Bird and Blend Tea Co.

Bonfire Toffee tea from Bird and Blend should be part of everyone’s fall and winter brewing. A full bodied black tea is sweetened with the brown sugar and butter notes of caramel and toffee. The blend stops from being too sweet by the addition of crisp apple and smoky lapsang souchong.

If you aren’t into smoky teas, give this one a try. The smoke is mostly in the scent of the brew, and gets lost beneath black tea and toffee tones in the taste.

This tea feels like taking a walk in the fall. The robust black tea is wrapped around you like a wool scarf, and you can smell the pleasant char of your neighbor’s wood stove on the air. Take a bite out of a fresh apple and follow it up with something sweet, like holiday caramel candy.

I had been curious about trying Bonfire Toffee for its blend of sweet and savory, and the tea does not disappoint. Brew up a cup for your next leaf-peeper trip, or your next winter bonfire.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Bird and Blend
Description:

Traveling tea merchants used to carry tea from east to west,all the way across Russia… well, their horses did anyway! It’s said the campfire smoke would infuse into the loose tea leaves at night creating smoked teas. Add some caramel, apple and toasted cinnamon and you get a spectacular Bonfire Night treat!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Orange Cookie from Fox Tea Club

This is my first tea from the Fox Tea Club, and it has such an enticing name: Orange Cookie!

This black tea is blended with cardamom, cinnamon, and big beautiful slices of dried orange.  In the dry leaf, the tea smelled like a sweeter chai, with lots of bright citrus and cozy cinnamon.  Brewed, this scent continued, making this tea seem like the halfway point between bright, citrusy breakfast black teas and warm, spicy, chai teas.

Brewed, the black tea base really comes to the forefront with orange and spices lingering at the back of each sip, and in the scent.  The black tea is earthy and robust, with a smooth mouthfeel that reminds me of a pu erh tea.

Maybe I just have a sweet tooth, but I’m not getting the cookie flavors in this tea.  I think it would pair very well with some cookies, but on its own it is much more traditional and subdued.  To make it more cookie-like, I would brew it with more sweetener and milk next time. If you’re not into dessert teas, don’t let this name discourage you, this might just be the well-balanced orange and spice black tea that you’re looking for!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Fox Tea Club
Description:

Dried orange rind and aromatic spices will surely make this tea a favorite black tea to sip with good friends by the fire on a snowy winter evening. Hints of cinnamon and cloves balance the richness of the black tea. A spiced orange pomander in a cup!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Christmas in September: Winter Cheer from Virginia Tea Company

I’m a bit out of season to review Winter Cheer from Virginia Tea Company, but today is a grey and dreary day so a cup of tea with “cheer” in the name feels like a good fit.

This blend features black tea, peppermint, and cinnamon.  Even in the dry leaf you can smell all three distinct flavors.

Having peppermint and cinnamon in the same blend is like sitting in a snowbank next to a campfire: there are both cooling and warming elements happening at the same time.  I enjoy blends that make use of these flavors. Beyond their flavor profiles, both peppermint and cinnamon bring their own type of sweetness.

Peppermint has a creaminess beneath all its icy mint, almost tasting like vanilla.  Cinnamon has a more earthy, herbal sweetness, more in line with cloves or licorice.

With both of these flavors set against the robust backdrop of black tea, you get a full-bodied brew with a very tactile mouthfeel, both cooling and warming. This is a fresh take on the “spiced black tea” trend that pops up every fall and winter.  The mint and cinnamon together really make this unique and festive.

I’m feeling full of cheer already!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Virginia Tea Co.
Description:

Sit back and relax with your family this holiday season while sharing this delicious, guilt-free tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Full Moon Chai from Plum Dexlue. . . .

I often find chai a little bit too aggressive. It’s SO. MANY. SPICES. It’s sometimes bitter, or overbearing with the cinnamon. Many people seem to agree, since mixing milk into chai is the typical approach.

Plum Deluxe wondered: What if chai were combined with… cream? Naturally? Without you having to add sugar or milk in yourself?

As a dessert tea aficionado and someone who travels around a bit, let me tell you, I am ALWAYS on board with such a notion. I don’t always just HAVE milk on me. Sometimes I want to throw some loose leaf in a travel container and GO. I want that sweetness, but not that effort.

This is a good solution to a problem you may have not considered. I’m really happy that this happened. Give it a whirl!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

Full Moon Chai was one of our original blends, now back with even more creative energy.  We’ve taken our classic, signature masala chai and added a splash of vanilla butternut extract. This simple twist adds a depth, warmth, and vibrancy to your traditional chai, and also gives the flavor a hint of sweetness and creaminess without having to add lots of sugar or milk (though we do like this blend prepared as a traditional masala chai or chai latte).

It makes a great pairing for those indoor days where you need something warm and comforting.  It’s also a lovely companion for those moments when you need a high-caffeine blend to give you focus and momentum, and it’s even good for a delicious chai cocktail or three!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!