Maple Vanilla Earl Grey from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

Today I got to thinking about fun ways to make teas. Lately I have been experimenting. Cold brewing in chocolate milk. Topping iced teas with lemonade. I have been having fun playing with my teas. So when I had a Vanilla Frosty in my freezer from Wendy’s that seemed daunting to eat on its own, I thought to myself, “what can I do with this?” Well, an affogato came to mind.

For those of you that don’t know what I am talking about, an affogato is an Italian dessert that typically takes the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream topped with a shot of hot espresso. Mine, on the other hand, took the form of two scoops of Vanilla Frosty topped with tea. Maple Vanilla Earl Grey tea by A Quarter to Tea to be specific. Why that tea? Well all recipes I looked at online suggested using strong flavored teas like chais or earl greys. I went with what I had readily available and the Maple Vanilla Earl Grey Affogato was born.

Since I have never had an affogato made by someone who knows what they’re doing I am not sure if this is right but I am sure it is good. It’s more a drink than a dessert you could eat with a spoon but there is a little ball of frosty still present. The liquid is so rich and creamy. Obviously it has a ton of silky vanilla flavor given both the frosty and the tea have vanilla flavoring. More than just the vanilla, there is a distinct maple sweetness that is a little more earthy than the vanilla but still very sweet as well as a little bit of a honeyed quality coming from the rooibos. The bergamot, for those that don’t like it very much, is actually really lovely here because it just adds a bit of brightness to counteract the other sweeter elements while the black tea base and cinnamon work to do the same thing in their own ways by adding some spice and some softer tea flavors. It’s really quite delightful because you get both the flavor of the frosty and the tea distinctly but at the same time they work together so nicely making for a delectably creamy and flavorful treat.

All in all, I would say this was one successful experiment if for no other reason than the affogato was gone in under five minutes. Seriously, i just kept drinking and actually finished the affogato before I finished the review. Oops.

Ultimately I am not sure how successful this tea would be on its own as I used the whole sample I had for the affogato but used the way it was here, this tea was certainly a home run.


Here’s the scoop!

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

A brisk cup of Earl Grey, mellowed with the sweetness of maple and the smoothness of vanilla with still giving you that satisfying bergamot punch that makes Earl Grey so special

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey from Zest Tea. . . .

Zest Tea’s claim to fame is the amount of caffeine each cup carries: the same as an amount of coffee, but with “calm and steady alertness” instead of coffee-jiggers. These tea-heads (“sorta like deadheads but with different plants”) won “best new product” at 2015’s World Tea Expo.

How does this “high-octane tea” hold up?

I tried a sample of the Earl Grey, which depicted Sherlock Holmes on the bag. (They’re already currying my favor. It’s like they knew I was coming). This Earl Grey is based on an Orange Pekoe Darjeeling instead of an assam, which gives the mix a kicky, citrus-y base. There are also hints of leather/smoke. Plus, of course, bergamot, thanks to Charles “Chaz” Grey.

It’s genuinely a rugged kick in the butt. Boom. You really ARE awake. The

I’m not sure about the difference between tea-caffeine and coffee-caffeine, but I do think that they affect me differently. The idea of having high-caffeine tea that’s as awake-inducing as coffee is amazing, and I’m glad someone is filling this niche.

Someone funny, no less. If you get bored, you should explore their site. It’s very funny. They deserve recognition almost as much as I deserve caffeine.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Zest Tea
Description

Earl grey has been a popular blend since it was introduced to the British Earl, Charles Grey, in the 1830’s. Most Earl Greys are made with low-quality base teas, but not ours. Zest’s Earl is made with premium Nilgiri Indian black tea blended with a delicious bergamot essential oil.

Natural Ingredients – Certified Non-GMO

Ingredients: South Indian Flower Orange Pekoe Black Tea, Bergamot Flavor, Natural Caffeine

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Creme Earl Grey Yerba Mate from Fusion Sweets. . .

What kind of day is it? The kind where I try my first ever earl grey maté. I’ve tried black (obviously), green (sure), and even a rooibos, but never a maté on this theme. WHO IS READY FOR EXCITEMENT?

For those of you who haven’t tried maté, it’s a caffeinated South American leaf that’s not, technically, the same type of plant as tea. It has a smooth taste that’s, in my opinion, closest to a green/coffee flavor. It’s an underdog of the tea world, a feisty up-and-comer that doesn’t quite fit in.

This earl grey creme is VERY creme-y. It’s got oodles of vanilla, almost enough to wash out the tang of the bergamot and the mate, but not quite. The sweet-vs-tangy battle is an interesting taste experience and the backbone of the flavor profile. They manage to coexist, but my brain flicks back and forth between the two like kids on a see-saw. They’re both present in the aftertaste.

All in all, while I enjoyed this tea’s kicky nature, its duality is a bit overwhelming. I’m not sure that this is the one for me. But it’s totally worth trying, especially if you’re an Earl Grey afficianado and want to complete the “set.”

Fusion Sweets has an option on its site where you can order a sampler.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Mate
Where to Buy:  Fusion Sweets
Description

Similar to Earl Grey tea with the creaminess of vanilla but without the astringency of black tea.

We’ve scented yerba maté with Italian oil of bergamot and sweetened with vanilla beans.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl of Time from A Quarter To Tea. . .

Up to today’s bat is the Earl of Time, a Quarter To Tea blend that blends a black Earl Grey with vanilla and black currant.

I’m not sure why it’s called Earl of Time, but I SUSPECT it’s because Earl Grey got a message from a Time Lord to add these inclusions for a COMPELLING BREW.

Time Lord: “Listen, I’m from 3030, and Skynet just figured out a bangin’ way to make your trademark beverage a little more exciting.” Earl Grey: “My trademark beverage? I just throw a little bit of citrus into my black tea.” Time Lord: “Believe it or not, that’s going to be YOUR THING. You will be known through ALL OF TIME for that one thing.” Earl Grey: “What about my charity work? My metal band? My hand-tatted doilies?” Time Lord: “No.” Earl Grey: “My way with words? The fact that I am an expert cat cuddler?” Time Lord: “None of that makes it to the future.” Earl Grey: “So I’m just… like… a spritz of bergamot?” Time Lord: “And now… some vanilla and black currant. Try it.” Earl Grey: “That’s DELICIOUS! So creamy! That berry flavor, with the slight citrus edge! WOW! I might write a poem about it.” Time Lord: “It’ll be forgotten to the sands of time, but sure, I mean, go ahead.” Earl Grey: “Roses are red / violets are blue / I like this tea / and so might you.”

(illustration by Super Starling herself!)

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

A fun and fruity twist on the classic Earl Grey! This one features black currant, vanilla, with that classical satisfying punch of bergamot.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey Black/Zest Tea

Earl Grey and I have an uneasy relationship. I like good Earl Grey. Not so good Earl Grey? I will have a glass of water, thank you.

Off the table for me are strong bergamot layered on super fruity Ceylon, and artificial bergamot flavor. Too sour! Both of them!

What a nice surprise this Zest Tea Earl Grey is! Zest is all about caffeine, which is the opposite of important to me. I don’t need it. I don’t really want it. But sometimes people do want it or need it. And getting it from tea gives you the added benefit of L-theanine.

Since this is supposed to have more caffeine than a cup of coffee, I expected it to be harsh. I gave the sachet a sniff when I opened the individually wrapped pouch (+1 for freshness) and it was a delightful, uplifting bergamot aroma.

The steeped tea is definitely toned down aroma-wise from the sachet, as is expected, but the tea is still bright and sparkling with cheerful bergamot. The Nilgiri base is pretty smooth with just the right amount of briskness. Most remarkable to me is how balanced the base and the bergamot are.

I drink my tea plain, but I bet this could take milk and sugar if that’s how you roll. Caffeine warriors, rejoice! This tea may be your new love! So I take it back. Zest isn’t all about caffeine. They are all about providing good tasting, good quality tea with extra caffeine kick, smoothed by L-theanine.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Zest Tea
Description

Earl grey has been a popular blend since it was introduced to the British Earl, Charles Grey, in the 1830’s. Most Earl Greys are made with low-quality base teas, but not ours. Zest’s Earl is made with premium Nilgiri Indian black tea blended with a delicious bergamot essential oil.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!