Isla de Coco from Pacific Tea. . . . .

Isla de Coco from Pacific Tea just conjures images of tropical islands, palm trees, and coconuts.  While there is coconut in this blend, it’s not the pina-colada herbal tea you might expect!

Isla de Coco has an unusual mix of spices, with chai flavors like ginger, cardamom, and clove, as well as more dessert-like flavors like cocoa shells, cocoa beans, and licorice root.  The result is an amazing, sweet and savory, cookie-flavored blend.

The cocoa shells are surprisingly nutty, almost salty like the sweet-and-salty mix of caramel corn.  These flavors pair especially well with the buttery coconut pieces.  As for the other spices, there is a little heat from the ginger on the back of each sip, and the licorice and cloves add their own herbal sweetness and silky mouthfeel.

Despite all the cocoa shells and cocoa beans, this blend is not dominated by chocolate.  There is just a hint of cocoa powder, mainly adding to the warming, bakery notes of the overall blend.  In fact, vanilla almost ends up being the strongest flavor, between the creamy coconut and smooth vanilla bean.  No milk or whipped cream needed to get that smooth vanilla taste (though, you can’t really go wrong with adding whipped cream to a tea latte).

This is a great blend when you’re tired of the usual chai, but still want a fun herbal tea with a variety of herbs and spices.  Not to mention it has a much-need hint of chocolate to reward yourself on those especially long days.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Pacific Tea
Description: Live life a little less ordinary with a grounding melody of coco-cocoa, vanilla perfection. This caffeine-free herbal blend entices with ‘natural-sugar, spice and everything nice’.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate Candy Cane from PaperBoxGoodies

Just because the holiday season is behind us doesn’t mean that the time for holiday-themed teas is over!  In the spirit of keeping the good holiday vibes going, I brewed up a cup of Chocolate Candy Cane from PaperBoxGoodies.  I don’t see this flavor listed on the PaperBoxGoodies Etsy shop so I’m not sure of the ingredients, but it looks to be an herbal blend with mint, chocolate chips, and licorice root.

 

I was excited about the herbal nature of this blend.  I love candy cane teas, but they all seem to have a black tea base which makes it hard to drink when I don’t need all the caffeine.  Having an herbal decaf option was just the tea I needed when relaxing and recovering from the busy end of the year.

 

Brewed, this blend is smooth, sweet, and minty.  The dry crispness of the mint is lessened by the licorice root.  Any herbal harshness that sometimes comes with pure mint teas is lessened by the rich chocolate chips.  Minty candy cane is the main flavor, followed by a mild cocoa aftertaste.  The licorice root doesn’t impart a specific flavor, but adds a natural sweetness and a smooth mouthfeel.

 

This is one of those teas that would benefit from a strong brewing and then made into a latte with whipped cream.  I didn’t quite have enough in my sample to go the whole latte route, so I’ll have to try it next time.

 

Overall this was a great decaf candy cane blend that I would try again next holiday season.

 

 

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: herbal

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cacao Shell Trio from Oliver Pluff. . . . .

The Oliver Pluff tea company focuses on colonial-styled teas, like those leaves thrown into Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea party.  But is also has a variety of other products like mulling spices, pressed tea cakes, and more. Being both an American history-lover and a tea-fanatic, I’ve had my eye on Oliver Pluff products for a little while, and this post-holiday shopping season seemed like the time to give them a try.

I ordered the Cacao Shell Trio from Oliver Pluff and it arrived promptly at my doorstep. The tins were as sleek and stylish as they appeared online, with nicely embossed, heavy paper labels, and dark metal lids.  Careful when opening– these tins were filled to the brim!

According to Oliver Pluff, cacao shell tea was a big hit with our first First Lady, Martha Washington.  Neither black tea nor coffee, cacao shells make for a roasty blend with chocolate overtones.  I’ve reviewed other cacao shell tea on SororiTea Sisters before, and I’ll reiterate that I think they taste like chocolate-drizzled popcorn.  The cacao shells are surprisingly more buttery and savory than you would expect.  (Also, be aware that while the cacao shells don’t contain caffeine, they are technically stimulants, so make sure you brew this at a time that works around your sleep schedule).

The Cacao Shell Trio has three different blends, plan cacao shells, cacao and mint, and cacao citrus.  The plan cacao shells were comparable to other cacao teas I’ve tried in the past, a nice change of pace for the coffee-lover, or a lower-calorie take on a warm, chocolate beverage.

In the cacao mint blend the mint was very strong, like a less-sweet peppermint mocha.  It was a great blend to drink around christmas time, when everything is flavored like candy canes.  I would advise not over-steeping this blend, or else the mint really takes over.  Keep the steep times short to let the cacao shine through.

The cacao citrus  blend had both cacao shells and orange peels.  This was my favorite blend of the trio.  The orange peels were mild, but helped add dimension to the chocolate cacao.  This reminded me a bit of those chocolate oranges that come out around this time of year, or like some chocolate and orange pu erh teas I’ve tried in the past.  The buttery cacao shells were a nice pair with the tart and fruity orange peels.

Overall this trio was a great purchase and I’ll have to give more Oliver Pluff products a try in the future.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Oliver Pluff
Description: Martha Washington enjoyed steeping the shells of roasted cocoa nuts from the cacao tree for the interesting flavor and health benefits.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

My Morning Blend from The NecessiTeas. . . .

This robust tea is made from two simple, quality ingredients: black tea leaves and roasted cocoa beans.  This tea has everything that is good about hot bold black tea, hot chocolate, and coffee.  The black tea gives enough fresh tartness to keep the chocolate from being too sweet, and the roasted cocoa beans add a decadent smoothness that hints at the rich and nutty tones of coffee.  No matter how long I steeped the leaves, the blend stays strong and smooth, with no bitter astringency.

Many black teas in people’s cupboards are English breakfast blends.  I feel like My Morning Blend could easily be called American Breakfast, with all that Hershey chocolate flavor over the top of a welcoming tea brew (if we Americans weren’t already drinking coffee as the breakfast beverage of choice, that is).

I recently tried some cocoa shell tea for the first time, and found it to be a tasty, unique experience, a mix of sweet and salty, almost like chocolate-drizzled popcorn balls.  Cocoa shells are well and good, but as a tea-lover, sometimes I just need that black tea undertone.  My Morning Blend from The NecessiTeas was the perfect fix.

This blend takes milk like a champ, only growing more delicious and creamy with rich chocolate and toasty tea notes. This blend should be an essential on everyone’s tea shelf for those mornings when you want a cup that feels like putting on your favorite sweater and smells like your favorite cookies baking in the oven.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The NecessiTeas
Description:

If you are looking for a wake-me-up, perk-me-up cup in the morning, that’s off the beaten path of coffee, look no further. This strong black tea has the smoothness of chocolate, and the boldness of roasted cocoa beans. Doctor it as you would a cup of coffee, with milk and sugar to start off your day!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jump Start You Day with This Blend from Adagio Teas

Jump start your car with a blast of electricity.  Jump start your brain and your day with this high caffeine cuppa!  For tea lovers everywhere, it’s no secret that mate tea is a powerful pick-me-up, and often cited as a great alternative to coffee.  Well Jump Start blend from Adagio teas has toasted mate and so much more.

There’s not just mate, there’s traditional black tea in the blend as well, a staple of every breakfast blend around.  But let’s take this caffeine level a step further:  kola nuts.  Kola nuts are caffeine-containing tree nuts, previously used as an ingredient in sodas, hence where we get the term “cola.”  So there’s caffeine from the mate, from the black tea, and even from the kola nut inclusion.  This tea should come with a warning, like roller coasters: don’t brew this tea if you have a heart condition.  You’ll be rocketing out of your socks in no time!

So how do all of these ingredients taste?  The toasted mate brings roasty, earthy, dry hay notes, which serve as a compliment to the more traditional boldness of the black tea.  With additions like smooth, sweet cocoa nibs, and warm, spicy cinnamon bark, it’s hard not to imagine the kola nuts adding their own kind of cola sweetness.  I brewed this blend black, how I take most of my tea, but it is bold enough to hold up its flavor, even if softened with a bit of milk.

This will be an amazing tea for those of you who just can’t seem to get enough caffeine.  Skip your espresso-laced red-eye cold brew coffee, and just brew a cup of Jump Start instead!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Herbal
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Description: Mate, Kola, and Black tea make up this well-caffeinated blend to make your mornings deliciously efficient.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!