Pumpkin Chai/Laughing Tree Tea

As a tea addict I am constantly on the hunt for tea. I mean literally every store, event or venue I go to I check to see if tea is present anywhere. I suppose some folks shop for clothes, others for gadgets and gizmos but I shop for tea. So when I was at the Freight House Farmer’s Market in Davenport I of course went in search for tea. I was surprised that there were several stands selling everything from kombucha to matcha to loose leaf. Tea was well represented here!

After walking around a bit I stumbled upon Laughing Tree Tea’s vendor stand. I must admit the free sample of peach green tea got me. I am a sucker for samples. But the sample was very nice so I decided to scope out the offerings. There were a lot of teas to smell and different sizes of tea to purchase. I do appreciate when companies offer sample packs of tea because honestly I am drowning in tea reserves. I often times want to sample a tea but don’t want to commit to a whole 2 ounces. Plus my husband tells me I might have to rent a storage pod if I continue to add to my collection. At any rate i purchased 4 samples to try.

Like a kid in a candy store I ripped open the first sample as soon as I got home! The first one I have tried and am reviewing today is Pumpkin Chai.

Laughing Tree Tea (try saying that 3 times fast) is a hand blended and locally sourced company that sells their tea in their cafe in Waterloo, IA but also at various farmer’s markets in the area. I smelled the sample of Pumpkin Chai in the vendor stall and immediately loved it! The scent is spicy, sweet and a bit nutty. I steeped my sample up at 212 degrees for 3 minutes. I felt that the tea could actually benefit for a slightly longer steep time so I let it steep an additional 2 minutes after my first sip. The base of this tea is black tea with rooibos. I enjoyed the mix of teas as the rooibos lends a nutty and sweet dimension to the blend. The traditional chai spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and black pepper are present as is coriander. I absolutely love coriander, it gives such a warm distinct flavor to blends. Also, almond, orange, flower petals and nut oil are added.

I really loved this tea. The spices blend so well together without being too spicy. There is a slight hint of pumpkin so I am suspecting that is contained in the natural flavors that are added. I loved this tea on its own but did find that adding a bit of soy milk enhanced the flavor. I suspect this will make an amazing latte.

This is an excellent blend and I have high hopes for the other 3 tea samples that I picked up. It seems that so often we hear about the large tea companies out there but the smaller companies like Laughing Tree Tea are doing some amazing things with tea that deserve to get noticed!

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Laughing Tree Tea

Description

Warm up with this with this pumpkin flavored chai. If you like pumpkin this is your chai. Offered seasonally be sure to pick up your brew. Chai is traditionally served sweetened and this fun tea is pre-sweetened with ghost and pumpkin candies.
Ingredients: Tea, Cinnamon, Apple & Rosehip pieces, Ginger, Cardamom, Black & White pepper, Candy, Hibiscus & Calendula & Sunflower petals, Clove, Nutmeg, and Natural flavors.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sweet Tea O’Mine from the Goat Tea . . . .

It is always a thrill to find a new favorite fall tea.  With so many sweet caramel pumpkin teas or apple-pie-spiced blends, Sweet Tea O’Mine from The Goat Tea was a wonderful new take on the pumpkin spice tea.

This is a honeybush and rooibos based tea, which makes it naturally caffeine free and perfect for late night brewing.  Along with the herbal leaves, there is puffed rice like a traditionally green genmaicha tea. I have a soft spot for the starchy, almost savory genmaicha teas with puffed rice, so I was thrilled to find a new tea with this ingredient.  The honeybush and puffed rice compliment each other’s nuttiness, making for a rich and warming flavor combination.

Meanwhile the familiar autumn spices are still there, nutmeg and mace to name the key players.  This makes the tea have plenty of that pumpkin spice taste, but with a pleasant woodsy undertone from the herbal leaves.  I also appreciate that the blend isn’t too sweet or artificial. There is a medium sweetness with lingering flavors like brown sugar or molasses.

With its roasted wheat and toasted rice flavors this tea captures all the best parts of corn mazes and hay bales and gets me suitable excited for the upcoming 2019 fall season.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: herbal
Where to Buy: The Goat Tea
Description:

Who says Pumpkin can only be for one season? Enjoy a cup of this sweet tea, swirling with the taste of pumpkin, caramel, and cinnamon. It is like fall in your mouth.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

It’s that time of the year when it is still very much Fall so pumpkin is every which way you turn. You can’t go two minutes without seeing pumpkin this and pumpkin spice that. However, we are near enough to Christmas that those holiday flavors are popping up too. Just two days ago I enjoyed a Gingerbread Lindt Truffle while trying my first ever Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. It is a flavor experience that I am delighted to try again.

As per usual, A Quarter to Tea has just that combination with one of their teas, Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle, a flavored black tea with notes of pumpkin, gingerbread, and custard. I steeped this up for 3 minutes in 200 degree water as per the recommended parameters.

The smell as I take my first sip is 98% gingerbread and 2% pumpkin sweetness. It’s got a great spice to it and I am disappointed that flavorwise, it is not as strong. There is still a gingerbread flavor but it is not as sharp as in the scent due to the stronger pumpkin flavor. Tastewise it is like a sweet pumpkin (not to be confused with pumpkin spice) drink with a ginger kick lingering in the background. The aftertaste has the baked good flavor of a gingerbread cookie. Custard seems to be lacking but between the other components there is enough going on that it isn’t missed.

Personally I wish there was more gingerbread and less pumpkin but I can’t fault it for delivering what’s promised due to my personal preferences. It is a nice tea even if it is a little unsure whether it wants to be sweet or spicy. Fall and the holidays are one in this tasty cuppa.


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Genmaicha from 52Teas

Genmaicha was a type of tea that I came to later in my tea-drinking life.  I didn’t yet understand the toasty magic of having puffed rice brewed alongside a nutty green tea.  Since then I’ve been on the genmaicha train and I don’t plan to leave. 52Teas has a great variety of genmaicha teas, like banana marshmallow or rice pudding.  This time I’m trying Pumpkin Spice Latte Genmaicha from 52Teas.

In addition to the expected green tea and puffed rice, this blend contains pumpkin pieces, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  The peppery allspice and herbal nutmeg make this tea smell specifically like autumn and not just your everyday chai spices.

Brewed, this blend is exceptionally well-balanced.  There are the sweet flavors of a pumpkin spice latte, and a little warmth and depth from the spices, but they don’t drown out the toasty comfort of the original genmaicha.

As much as I love pumpkin spice everything, this might be one of my favorite takes on the flavor.  The brew is creamy without being cloying, spicy without feeling generic, and the genmaicha base makes me feel so cozy and easygoing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be ordering those PSL coffee lattes when they come back on the menu, but I’ll also be rooting for 52Teas to reblend this genmaicha beauty just in time for pumpkin season.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: 52Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Peach Crostata from a Quarter to Tea

What is a crostata?  Apparently, it is a type of tart or pie, or it might even include a crumble-like dessert.  Either way, imagine buttery crust, sugar and spice, and plenty of fruit.  This tea blend looks to capture the the essence of a peach crostata, with sweet stone fruit and warm pastry.

The tea leaves are yunnan black tea, but they were so tightly rolled I almost mistook them for oolong leaves.  Brewing this blend, the tea is dark and rich and brews up quickly.  Both the dry leaves and the hot tea are very fragrant with natural peach flavor.

When taking my first sip, my nose is full of fruity peach, but the brew is much more robust.  The taste of the tea has more roasty, caramel notes than it does fruit, and its boldness overshadows the peach.  The tea is smooth at first, finishing with a tart, mineral dryness in the aftertaste.  It’s possible the boldness of the tea has to do with my brewing techniques, so I would brew this a little cooler and shorter next time.  I found that adding milk helped make the brew more gentle, which brought out the best of the peach notes.

Even if this wasn’t my favorite tea lately, I’ve had other blend from a Quarter to Tea that I absolutely loved, like their Carrot Cake or Peeps Krispies genmai cha teas.  Give any of their flavors a try for a quality brew.


Here’s the scoop!

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

A take on a late medieval version of a peach crostata, with warming spices and a rich peach flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!