Chocolate Cherry Latte Oolong by A Quarter to Tea

Steeping at 190 degrees for 4.5 minutes as recommended, I prepared this tea with one tablespoon of leaves and around 10 ounces of water.

The high-quality oolong leaves swell and uncurl while steeping–something I always find fascinating (in addition to comforting because I know it means I’m about to drink some excellent tea!)

Once the steeping gets going it smells strongly of chocolate and cherry, which I take as a good sign! Actually it smells almost overwhelmingly of cherry while steeping, but after steeping that abates somewhat. The cherry flavor still hits your nose first but as you keep inhaling you can dig down and find the grounding, comforting chocolate smell too. It’s rounder and creamier. and the oolong lends butteriness and a floral note to the scent.

First sip: The butteriness from the oolong and the sharper floral, also from the oolong, and the fruity cherry notes hit all at once. The chocolate flavor seems to have melded with (and mostly been superseded by) the oolong butteriness. The chocolate itself is more of an aftertaste now. And yet sometimes you can detect it mingled with one of the other flavors.
Color: the tea is dark, but brown-tinted. Mahogany, perhaps; not really chocolate-colored though.

 

With milk: the cherry and the creamy oolong flavor come to the front along with a green-tea flavor (possibly from the houjicha?), the combination of which really reminds me of a matcha latte (not a bad thing at all). It’s not too astringent this way and not at all bitter.
A Quarter to Tea has come up with a great flavored blend here, and the company has great values too; not only do they use vegan ingredients but they also avoid using gluten, and try to avoid using potential allergens as well. While this blend is fun and satisfying, chocolate is not necessarily the dominant flavor here, so it’s important to be aware of that and enjoy this tea for itself rather than feeling like you’ve been tricked into drinking a not-chocolatey-enough tea. <3

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

Roasty enough to appease the coffee lover in you! The blend of hojicha and oolong makes a robust, coffee like base without the jitters. Mellowed out with chicory, chocolate, and cherries.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Energy Pu-Erh from Komo Tea

The dry leaves are colorful with a strong berry fragrance. The look and smell make me feel very confident in the health value of this tea. A lot of the Chinese ingredients, I hadn’t tried before.

Naturally Pu-Erh has caffeine, then there’s an herbal boost from being hand blended with adaptagen herbs (which I totally googled, I’m not THAT granola. They’re good for stress).

This cold brewed up to be a deep maroon but the mouthfeel was very smooth. At first sniff I thought I couldn’t handle the flavor, but the cinnamon balances the fruit really well, like Dean from Supernatural eating a cherry pie. Very doable.

Overall, I believe this is a great tea, at the same time, one of the ingredients is more of an acquired taste… that I just haven’t acquired yet.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Pu-Erh
Where to Buy:  Komo Tea

Organic pu-erh tea from Yunnan Province, China is hand blended with adaptogen herbs – nature’s miracle anti-stress and fatigue fighters – producing fruity and spicy flavors that invigorate body and mind. Whether you’re looking for a mid-morning pick me up or a power boost before a workout, Energy gives you the endurance to power through when it counts.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tree House of Tea from Adagio Teas. . . . #TeaRex #MonsterBrew #RocketFuel

Beyond the wonderful madness of custom fandom blends on Adagio Teas’ website, they do have a few blends and custom sets of their own.  I tried one of their more whimsical sets, the Tree House series. The vibrant, attractive designs of dinosaurs and monsters on the tins was enough to sway me into giving these teas a try.  The Tree House series are all herbal decaf teas, and meant to be kid-friendly in style, contents, and taste.  Fair warning: these teas brew up strong, fast, so feel free to keep the steep times shorter than you expect.  It’s easy to stop the steep time as these teas are all already in silk, pyramid teabags.

Tea-Rex

This tea smells like Adagio’s Valentine’s blend, though this is a decaf version.  The smell and taste are full of rich cocoa and dark berries.  Even though cherries are a strong element of this blend, it does not taste like medicine.  This tea is dark and full-bodied, almost makes you think it’s a black tea or a mate, but it’s all herbal.  If you’re not into chocolate dessert teas, this might not be your favorite.  But if you’re looking for a decaf version of the Valentine’s blend, this will be a winner.

Monster Brew

In the tin, this tea smells the most distinct from the three teas in Adagio’s Tree House series.  This green rooibos blend focuses on orange and berry.  It’s sweet with raspberry and blueberry flavors, but it never gets too syrupy, thanks to the bright citrus notes.  Smooth, playful, and easy to drink.  This blend has the perfect balance between sweet and sour fruits, and the right balance of a nutty rooibos base with more saturated berry flavors.

Rocket Fuel

The strongest flavors in Rocket Fuel are apple and hibiscus.  The hibiscus is subtle, but present, so don’t worry about it overwhelming the blend, but be cautious if you hate the flavor.  The hibiscus adds pink to the brewed color, and gives a little pucker to this decaf berry blend.  Luckily, there’s enough apple to keep the tea sweet and fresh without getting too tart.  Apple is so often paired with cinnamon and spice, it was nice to just taste the crisp fruit and its natural sweetness.

This set is a great gift for a young tea-drinker, or a lover of fruity-decaf teas.  Or just a nice gift to yourself– the colorful, illustrated tins will brighten anyone’s tea shelf!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal and Rooibos/Green Rooibos
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Description:

Every cup of tea represents an imaginative journey. Our Tree House gift set helps build creative minds one cup at a time. Become an astronaut, scare away monsters hiding in your closet, and roam dinosaur inhabited lands without leaving your home.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nature’s Candy – Coconut Chamomile from Petali Teas

Fruit is nature’s candy– a phrase I heard said by many health-nut, earth-loving parents.  But it might just be true in the case of Coconut Chamomile from Petali Teas.  I got a taste of this blend from my Amoda Tea subscription. With rainbow colors and fun shapes, this tea almost feels like a handful of candies.  It includes green kiwi pieces, pink hibiscus, red rose hips, yellow apple pieces, almost-purple cherry slices, and bright white coconut.

The fragrance of this tea blew me away as soon as I opened the bag, giving me a strong whiff of the fruity, sugary, pop of cherries and berries.  There are huge slices of dried cherries, bright curls of coconut, and the little round blossoms of chamomile.  This blend smells like sour cherry straw candy, or even a bit like traditional, pink bubblegum.  The fruit flavors are very forward, but the chamomile base and some creamy coconut help smooth out the tartness into something super sweet and relaxing.  The only downside is that this tea is best when brewed with lots of leaves, so I only got two cups out of my sample.
Part of me wants to make sure I always have this blend on hand, like the omnipresent dish of hard candies at grandma’s house.  Something simple and sweet to offer the occasional passerby that gets stuck for a while in my living room.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Amoda Teas
Description:

A beautiful herbal tea with large pieces of fruit you almost want to eat! Floral flavours of chamomile, delightful fruit, hints of coconut and a perfectly sweet finish. Sip this in the evening and let the chamomile relax you.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sangria White from A Quarter to Tea

sangriaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea

Tea Description:

Hold on to your summer year round, with this cuppa. Combines the flavors of cherry, apple and blueberries with a hint of rum and wine to make the perfect sangria year round.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is my second sample from A Quarter to Tea! I chose it for a couple reasons; the big one was that the other two samples I picked out were oolongs and I wanted to get to taste at least one of Lauren’s other tea types. However, I was also interested by the fairly unique ingredients. I’ve never seen Sangria with blueberry, for starters. Finally, I wanted to find a Sangria tea that was an improvement on the other two I’ve tried. DAVIDsTEA had a seasonal Sangria blend which I didn’t mind but didn’t love, and Red Leaf Tea has a Sangria flavour of matcha I currently own but don’t particularly like. And the idea of Sangria with a white base sounds awesome, too!

It was hard to form much of an impression of the tea dry: I could see several chunks of the dry ingredients in the blend, but there wasn’t a distinct aroma. Part of that, I feel, is that in the package Lauren mailed to me the Cherry Chocolate Latte was really a dominant flavour and I think possibly may have contaminated the other teas it was packaged with or, at least, “cancelled out” their aromas – which weren’t as potent/strong. Since Lauren suggests on her Etsy page to ice this and since Sangria really is a drink best consumed cold I decided to go with a cold method of preparation. However, instead of icing I went with cold brewing because that style of preparation is a favourite of mine.

I do find this tea to be very mildly/delicately flavoured overall, with softer and less prominent notes of apple and blueberry and a jammy stonefruit quality which I suppose is the cherry. I want to point out that mild and subtle isn’t actually a bad thing, however Sangria doesn’t have a ‘delicate’ flavour to begin with so it’s not reading as the most accurate flavour profile. Plus it’s a little odd for me to neither taste “orange”/citrus which is such a common Sangria flavour or the wine/rum. As such, while I really like the flavour that I do taste, I find it very hard to drink this and think of it as ‘Sangria’ flavoured. The name just doesn’t seem to match, you know?

I’d be interested to see this tea rebranded as another flavour, maybe even some kind of ‘punch’? This is a refreshing, light, fruity cuppa but in my ‘quest’ for the perfect Sangria tea my expectations just haven’t been met.