Rainy Day Pu’erh from Plum Deluxe. . . . .

This pu’erh chai blend is recommended by Plum Deluxe to counter “literally a rainy day or just some emotional dark clouds.”

I really like the phrase “emotional dark clouds.” Plum Deluxe has this cute, holistic, meditative quality to their writing. They take into consideration the human response and culture surrounding tea.

And what might be the solution to such a dark day? A corresponding dark tea. Something strong enough to withstand a battle. If this were Lord of the Rings, maybe a sturdy dwarf warrior with a raven-colored beard would do.

When I steeped this, the leaves’ darkness whooshed into the water immediately, settling onto an amber that descended into brown over the next few moments.

The resulting flavor is very earthy and rich, with little spice notes, and a sweetness that’s a bit reminiscent of molasses. It’s strong, and it’s just what you need to blaze forth into your day with a little more fire.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Puerh
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

Whether it’s literally a rainy day or just some emotional dark clouds, our sweet-n-spicy puerh blend is just what you need for a comfort kick.

We use a rich, earthy puerh as the base, add in the cinnamon bark, ginger, and other spices, then pair them with a sweet cinnamon oil reminiscent of brown sugar. It brings sweetness while keeping it balanced — just what a rainy day calls for!

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Climber’s High from The Tea Spot. . .

Though working out isn’t my favorite activity, I can understand the uplifting physical feeling that comes with good old-fashioned exercise.  With a name that refers to an athletic euphoria, it’s no surprise to me that Climber’s High tea from the Tea Spot has yerba mate in the blend.  Yerba mate is technically an herbal tisane, not made from the same stuff as black tea, but it contains a high amount of caffeine and is often cited as a better caffeination choice than coffee, with fewer jitters and crashes.

Yerba mate on its own has a dry hay, fresh-mowed-field fragrance, and a gently earthy taste.  This blend is no exception, with the dried grass scents mellowing out as smooth and earthy in flavor.

This blend also has its fair share of chai spices like licorice root, black pepper, fennel, tulsi, and cardamom.  I love spicy chai teas so I made sure to scoop a big cardamom pod into my cup. That said, the spices are understated, very gentle and unassuming.  Personally I would have liked a little more pop, but I understand that spicy teas aren’t for everyone. Don’t be discouraged by this ingredients list if you aren’t into chai teas, this might just be the right blend for you.

I don’t always need the caffeine kick that yerba mate provides, but if you’re looking for a powerful alternative to coffee or black tea, Climber’s High is a great blend to check out.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Yerba Mate/Herbal (caffeine)
Where to Buy: The Tea Spot
Description:

A super-charged blend of teas, spices and herbs formulated to provide a refreshing daily lift for people with active, high-energy lifestyles. Climber’s High is a high-powered way to increase your intake of beneficial antioxidants such as flavonoids and catechins, as well as a host of healthy vitamins, trace minerals, beneficial phyto-constituents, and caffeine. It was originally conceived to assist people in adjusting to higher altitudes. This spiced yerba mate chai tea is both good for you and a pleasure to drink.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Queen of the Underworld from Malfoy Tea Emporium. . .

I bought a huge lot of samples on Etsy a few months ago, and then tripped and fell down a rabbit hole of Endless Workweeks and forgot to post about tea for like two months. True story. Now I have clawed my way out of this hole, gasping, covered in mud, and disoriented, and this tea is no longer for sale, but whatever, I’m reviewing it to the best of my ability, even though I can’t look up what’s in it or any of its specs any more.

This tea from Malfoy Tea Emporium’s Goddess Collection was a black tea with cinnamon and pomegranate/berries in it. I’ve had about 4 cups now and this is the final bit of my sample. Let me tell you, I’ve been loving the HECK out of it in my frenzied interim. It’s just the right balance of sweet and tart. It’s sassy. It’s pretty. It tastes like someone snapping their manicured fingers at you to row the canoe across the River Styx a LITTLE faster, please.

It instantly brews up a dark amber that’s very alluring. If this is meant to emulate Aaliyah’s final role as Queen of the Damned, and this is sort of a blood thing, it nailed it. If that wasn’t the intent (I can’t seem to read the Etsy listing any more), well, uh, you failed at getting something else right.

I’m not sure if this is going to come back, but if it does, you should get on board. It’s the catty sorta-chai you’ve been waiting for.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Malfoy Tea Emporium
Description

This tea is currently not available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the Rebound – Teavana-Styled Rebound Teas from Adagio Teas. . . .

Late last year, Adagio teas offered a free set of “rebound teas” for recent customers of David’s Tea and Teavana.  While David’s Tea isn’t going anywhere as far as I know, Teavana has been closing its doors and sold out of the final stock in its online shop.  Adagio’s rebound teas were blended to be familiar to tea lovers from those other shops in the hopes of encouraging these tea-fanatics to try out more teas from Adagio’s selection.

Now, I am a little biased because I got my loose-leaf start with Adagio, but I feel as though different tea suppliers have different specialities, and I’ve enjoyed tea from both David’s Tea and Teavana.  David’s Tea and Teavana tend to have more specialized themed blends.  They are a great choice when you want a tea that tastes like a peanut butter cup or an over-the-top tropical peach iced tea. Not to mention, they have some very cute tea tins, mugs, and accessories to jazz up your tea shelf.

Adagio’s Rebound Sampler featured 5 teas (though they are adding new rebound blends all the time, see their listing of comparable teas here)

Teavana had a few popular peach teas, so this sampler has two peach teas of its own: Peach Bellini and Peach Serenity.   They are subtly different, with Peach Bellini focusing on more tropical flavors like mango and papaya, and Peach Serenity with more herbal ingredients like lemon verbena and chamomile.  In both blends, the strong peach flavoring drives the smell and taste.  I think these would be best suited for cold brews, where the sweet candy peach flavor can add sweetness without sugar.  These teas are great if you are a fan of peach rings candy.  I’m always in favor of having more herbal blends, but I think I prefer the more subtle peach taste in Adagio’s peach black tea or peach oolong.

Raja Oolong is an oolong blend with lots of delicious inclusions like chicory, ginger, and cocoa nibs.  Likewise, White Ayurvedic Chai  is a white tea with a long list of flavorful spices and fruits, like cloves, pineapple, lemongrass and cinnamon.  Despite the varied ingredient listing for both blends, the strong cinnamon flavoring takes over.  These teas would be great for fans of Adagio’s hot cinnamon spice tea, or for fans of Hot Tamales candies.  I’m all for a spicy tea, but I wish there was more variety in the spice.  It would be great to have some sweet ginger heat or herbal black pepper spice share the spotlight. I would recommend trying Adagio’s original White Chai blend as another take on the white tea and spice combination.

Samurai Mate is a sweet and tropical mate blend, with lots of sweet papaya flavoring.  The fruit pairs well with the green yerba mate, but it is a little one-note.  This might be more subtle when iced, not to mention a cold brew would suit the tropical fruit theme.  Not the blend for me, but a very striking fruity blend.

If you were able to take advantage of the rebound deal, I hope all the Teavana and David’s Tea fans out there enjoyed your first taste of Adagio.  I think Adagio’s strengths lay with their more naturally flavored or unflavored teas. Let’s not forget their lively fandom blends where customers design themed flavors using the tea blender tools.  If there’s a discontinued tea flavor that you’re missing, why not try your hand at creating a signature blend of your own to bring it back?

Here’s to a healthy rebound in your loose leaf tea life!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Adgaio Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Orange Spice from PaperBoxGoodies. . . .

One of my favorite things with the cold weather is being able to add spice to everything: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, the more the merrier!  One of the best partners to all this spice, is juicy orange and citrus flavors. I love the idea of decorating my home with clove-studded oranges for the holidays to release their sweet and spicy aromas throughout the house.  Not to mention, a nice slice of orange is the perfect garnish for a chai-based hot-toddy, with honey and lemon.

These are all the delicious orange and spice combinations I think of when brewing a cup of Orange Spice from PaperBoxGoodies.  I’m not entirely sure what all is in this brew, since it’s not currently active on the PBG Etsy shop, but I believe it is an herbal blend from its amber color and sweet taste.

The best part of this blend is that the dry leaf does not contain hibiscus, so the tangy, pink herb can’t take over the blend.  The orange is the main ingredient, adding plenty of sweet and tart flavor.  This fruity, juiciness is balanced by a large helping of cinnamon, adding its warm, herbal tones.  I think I see bits of ginger in the dry leaf, but the flavor is very gentle in the actual brew.

Juicy orange is the main flavor, closely followed by warm cinnamon.  Neither ingredient gets too tart or too spicy, and they don’t overpower each other.  It’s hard to go wrong with a classic taste combination like orange and cinnamon, so support a special tea Etsy shop and give one of the PaperBoxGoodies teas a try today.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: PaperBoxGoodies Etsy shop

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!