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 The chocolate flavor seems to have melded with (and mostly been superseded by) the oolong butteriness.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

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!

Get that Wild West feel with Wild Chicory Joe from The Tea Spot

When I think of chicory, I think of my favorite western TV shows and movies.  Why?  Well there wasn’t always a good supply of coffee out on the dusty trail, so chicory would be brewed as a substitute.  Chicory and coffee have a long history together, with chicory stretching or replacing coffee when the latter is hard to come by, from Napoleonic France to the American Civil War.  After these coffee-sparse times, some cultures developed a taste for chicory and still brew it alongside or with their coffee today.

I got a chance to try a cup of Wild Chicory Joe from the Tea Spot.  I’m both a coffee fan and a tea lover, so I can appreciate both sides of this story.

Wild Chicory Joe brewed up super fast, as quick and dark as coffee.  The brew was immediately full and fragrant, smelling like savory toasted grains or roasted nuts, over an undertone of more bitter, dirt-road earthiness.  The first sip was a bit daunting: it’s not coffee, it’s not tea, and my taste buds were not sure what to expect.  As I moved onto a second and third and fourth sip, the flavor grew on me.  Beyond the roasted notes, there were flavors like caramel and malt, and a touch of true coffee on the aftertaste.

I could understand how chicory got its start as a coffee replacement.  This brew is dark and bitter, but with a touch of the bright, citrus notes you find in a blond coffee roast.  Unlike coffee, the chicory isn’t oily, instead it brews up with a smooth mouthfeel and a more herbal flavor.

Maybe I’m channeling my favorite westerns, but this cup is distinctly masculine, with nothing floral or astringent, just deep, bold, bitter – pow!  All that said, the chicory does mellow out with some milk and sweetener so you can mix it like your favorite coffee or tea.  And since the chicory is decaf, you can make a latte at any time of day or night.
If you’re looking to switch  from coffee to chicory, this won’t be an easy transition, the chicory isn’t a perfect coffee replacement (not to mention, you’ll be craving the caffeine).  But if you’re bored with your tea or need a break from your coffee, Wild Chicory Joe will be a fascinating cup to try.  A cup of chicory might just be the perfect accessory to have on hand when watching your favorite western or reading your favorite wild west novel.  Happy trails!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: The Tea Spot

Hold onto your hats, coffee lovers! This natural coffee replacement is so darn delicious, you won’t believe your taste buds. Our Wild Chicory Joe brews into a boldly deep herbal tea that masquerades as a strong-brewed cowboy coffee, without any acidity. The roasted chicory root creates a dark espresso base while the chocolate barley malt adds cocoa notes and the fennel adds a little sweetness. Drink it straight or as the bold caffeine-free base for a latte. You might even trick some coffee fanatics into enjoying this cup of herbal tea. Giddy-up and grab some Joe!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Vanilla Nut Herbal Coffee Tea Bags from Teeccino

I’ve been wanting to try Teeccino for quite awhile, but I could never find it at any groceries, even health food stores. Teeccino is a caffeine free coffee alternative made with chicory root and other herbs and flavors. Some blends have carob and dandelion root as well. It’s something a lot of coffee drinkers switch to when they’re trying to lower their coffee intake. A box of Teeccino practically hopped off the shelf at Natural Grocers, and I just had to try it. I chose vanilla nut. The vanilla nut has carob, chicory, and also dates and almonds!

As the weather cools, I crave black teas more, and I try to watch my caffeine intake, so this is perfect. I made myself a cup as soon as I got home. First of all, it looks just like coffee. And while it doesn’t smell exactly like coffee, it definitely has a tempting, rich and deep smell. And I could smell the vanilla right away. I let the bag steep for around five or six minutes, and added a little raw sugar, and a little coconut milk. It tastes so vanilla-y with a little nutty taste in the background. I love it, and this will be a staple in my life in these upcoming cooler months

As someone who was a serious coffee addict, I would recommend this to anyone who might be trying to cut back. It hits that sweet spot that comes from a coffee craving. I can’t wait to try their other flavors!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Teeccino 


The creaminess of vanilla accented by golden roasted almonds, dates & figs.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate Cherry Latte Oolong Green from A Quarter to Tea

chocolatecherrylatteTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong/Green

Where to Buy: A Quarter To Tea

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. What could be a better start to the morning?

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

A Quarter to Teas is a fairly new tea store selling on Etsy that feautues seasonal and limited edition blends such as the blend I’m trying now and many other unique flavours like Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa. The owner, Lauren, was kind enough to send a few samples my way. I have to say my email correspondence with Lauren was incredibly impressive – she was so prompt in replying to my messages and very pleasant overall. Without even taking a sip of tea yet, I’m already impressed with the company on the grounds of their customer service alone.

That said, getting into the tea itself this smells AMAZING. I was totally expecting more of a coffee/chocolate with a subtle cherry because most blends that attempt to do cherry blends in which the cherry isn’t the sole flavour never really nail it. Instead, the smell is indicating this will be the opposite: cherry tea with more subtle coffee and chocolate. I am SO on board with that idea!

And I am so gleeful right now because the taste of the infused tea IS very strongly cherry! And it’s not some kind of gross cough syrup cherry either! Instead it’s sweet, dark cherry. So yummy and indulgent! Of course, there’s more going on here aside from the cherry even if that is the element of the tea which I’m most excited about. The chocolate notes come through well too and the pairing is a match made in heaven. However, it’s a little thin and I think that’s probably because this blend uses chocolate chips. If I could make one suggestion it’d be to use either cocoa nibs or shells instead. I think that’d kick the chocolate factor up a lot and also make the mouthfeel a little cleaner. Finally, the “coffee”. Personally I think this is the mildest element of the blend but I’m more that ok with that. As much as I don’t hate coffee and am cool with the flavour being in my tea I still prefer the tea itself to be the most dominant flavour. On that note I definitely taste the hojicha more than the oolong. I really love the idea of pairing the hojicha with the oolong as well; it ups the roasty notes up quite a bit and adds a whole new layer of flavour into the tea.

This tea is absolutely phenomenal! I’m very impressed, and I really look forward to trying the rest of my samples from Lauren. As far as first impressions go, this was a really good one.

Nutty Mocha Mate Blend from ArtfulTea

nuttymochamateTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  ArtfulTea orArtfulTea on Etsy

Tisane Description:

The indulgent taste of chocolate and hazelnut, plus mellow chicory, give this mate blend a rich, roasted, mocha flavor. Yerba mate is an herbal infusion, but unlike most herbal teas, mate contains a stimulating caffeine-like compound. 

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve had some Yerba Mate, and this is a great tisane to get myself back into it!  This is really quite tasty!

It actually reminds me a lot of a tisane that I used to make back in my blending days!  I made a mocha flavored Mate, mostly because I was looking for something that would satisfy my craving for coffee back then because I was still missing coffee.  As I’ve said before I couldn’t drink coffee any longer, but there were still times when I missed the flavor of coffee.  I certainly didn’t miss the sick feeling I’d get a few hours later though!

Since that time, I’ve come to really love tea more than I ever loved coffee.  That’s probably pretty obvious, huh?  But I still love it when I find a tea or tisane like this one that offers a taste that is reminiscent of that rich, roasted flavor of coffee that I used to enjoy.

And this satisfies that craving!  This tastes very much like a rich, delicious mocha that you might find in one of those super expensive coffee shops, complete with the sweet, nutty flavor of hazelnut and even a touch of chocolate.  I am wishing there was more chocolate flavor to this, though.  It’s got some chocolate, but as I have been known to say, more chocolate is always better, and that’s true with this tisane too.

As it is, though, I found this to be quite enjoyable and I’m really glad that I got to try it.  Another tasty offering from ArtfulTea.