Fig Formosa Oolong from TeaLeafs #VeganMoFo2016

Here is today’s contributing post for Vegan MoFo.  Today’s prompt is “Close To Home”  This means we are to make a food from our own country, state, or hometown.  Because SororiTea Sisters is featuring vegan teas for Vegan MoFo I thought I would feature Fig Formosa Oolong from TeaLeafs for a few different reasons.

TeaLeafs is a wonderful tea shop in Williamsville, NY, which is near Buffalo, NY, all of which are my old stomping grounds.  I was born and raised in and around Western New York and will visit whenever possible.  Years ago I stop in at TeaLeafs and have been HOOKED ever since!  They have over 200 loose leaf teas in stock and LOTS of teaware and collectibles!

As for this specific tea – Fig Formosa Oolong from TeaLeafs – I can’t say enough GOOD things about it!  It’s an intensely fig flavored oolong tea.  When we bought it the first time we had it iced and since my husband was with me we HAD to put natural rock sugar in it since he likes it sweet.  Since I don’t usually put sweeteners in my teas I will say that I have had it BOTH ways and it’s EXCELLENT straight-up and stand alone – as well as – with natural rock sugar in it if you choose!  Fig Formosa Oolong from TeaLeafs is also tremendous BOTH hot AND Cold.  They sure don’t skimp on the fig flavoring and it’s SUPER TASTY!  Fig Formosa Oolong from TeaLeafs is really AWESOME!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: TeaLeafs
Description:

Origin: Taiwan
Ingredients: Oolong tea, Cornflower, Poppy Flower, Natural flavor

A full, whole leaf base with a rich taste of Smyrna figs.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Miss Figgy from Tea and Tins

So, I have to say this first: the piggy sprinkles are DEATH-DEFYINGLY cute! (I think that’s a thing?) Also, I appreciate the fact that this is an extra-punny tea: not only is the name a pun, but the tea itself is both figgy AND filled with sugar-based figgy piglets. (Yes, the sprinkles do absorb fig flavor over time. I checked.)

miss_figgy_-_spoon_largeAlthough you can smell the sweet flavor of figs through the packet, it gets even better while steeping. After steeping, the tea is a nice hazy cedarish amber color. The overall taste is a bit less figgy than I expected from the smell, though the flavor does build up towards the end of each sip. This tea is sweet enough to not need sugar, although it’s good with sugar too! And it’s quite smooth, with no more than a teeny hint of astringency.

For best flavor, I recommend adding a pinch of sugar and some milk (but you know me, I recommend that for basically all teas). I also recommend using generous amounts of leaf. The first time I sampled this tea, I used a heaping teaspoonful for about 10 oz of water. I tried it and found myself wondering if it would be even better in a stronger infusion, so the next time I tried two heaping teaspoonfuls in about 8oz of water and found the flavor much improved. Again, it’s a matter of taste, so go with your instincts and feel free to experiment!
I really enjoyed drinking down my sample of this tea, and it’s made me consider adding a figgy tea to my regular rotation. (I’m also considering buying some of this tea as a Christmas present for my little sister. It’s both cute and yummy, and thus it’s likely to be an instant little-sister favorite.) If you’re a serious fig fan, you might have to steep this tea especially strong to get as much fruit flavor as you’d like; still, if you’re looking for a nicely fig-flavored black tea with the cutest sprinkles EVER, this is most certainly THE one for you.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:
Where to Buy: Teas and Tins

logoDescription

Loose leaf black tea, nicknamed Miss figgy!

Ingredients: black tea, fig taste with dried figs and pink pig sprinkles.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cherry Fantasy Tea from TeaLyra

cherry-fantasy-792Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black, Green, Roiboos, Etc.

Where to Buy: TeaLyra

Tea Description:

Imagine bowls full of juicy plump cherries, a summer breeze and easy living, ahh, a Cherry Fantasy! Top quality black tea provides the perfect base to our favourite cherry black tea! We think our blend has the best combination of both sour cherries, and sweet acerola cherries, offering a truly balanced cherry flavour! This brews a robust black cup, with bright cherry notes and a subtle ginger flavour.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Cherry Fantasy Tea from TeaLyra is the tea of the day filling my cup!  Right off the bat I will tell you that I am overjoyed this doesn’t have hibiscus in it!  I find that hibiscus is overdone in fruity teas like cherry for example and often power the rest of the flavor.  So…thumbs up…already!

Black tea, sour cherries, freeze-dried Acerola cherries, freeze-dried fig pieces, and freeze-dried sour cherry pieces are the ingredients of this tea.  I love that they used freeze-dried fruit in this, too!

Cherry Fantasy Tea from TeaLyra is nicely done and can be enjoyed hot or cold as-is.  The Cherry Trio is at the prefect flavor intensity.  I have to say that this is one of the best (if not THE best) cherry flavored black teas I have had to date!  This one really surprised me and I am very happy about that!  If you are a fan of natural cherry give this tea a try!

 

Apple & Fig Crumble Tea from Tea Blendz

AppleFigTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Tea Blendz

Tea Description:

This tea is no longer available for purchase on their site.

Learn more about this company here.

Taster’s Review:

Apple & Fig Crumble Tea from Tea Blendz is no longer available for purchase on their site but I thought it was still worth a mention especially this time of year!  Apples and Figs and Crumbles…oh my!  I hope I am able to sample more teas from this company because they have some really interesting flavor combos and flavor names.  Here at Sororitea Sisters we drink a LOT of tea and it’s always nice to come across a name and/or flavor combo we haven’t tried before.  If you are from a company that has some interesting, different, or just plain crazy ones let us know!

As for this Apple & Fig Crumble Tea from Tea Blendz it’s pretty darn tasty!  In the dry loose leaf itself I can SEE the black tea leaves, the dried apples, the dried figs, and perhaps some stray cinnamon and/or cacao nibs but I could be wrong.  As I continued to taste the tea I can taste a bit of cinnamon so I’m thinking my assumption is correct there!  The apple, fig, crumble, and spice ratios could not be more perfect!  This Apple & Fig Crumble Tea from Tea Blendz is very well done!

 

Miss Figgy Black from The East Indies Tea Company

EastIndiesTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: The East Indies Tea Company

Tea Description:

Fig taste with dried figs and pink pig sprinkles.

Learn more about this on Steepster.

Taster’s Review:

Despite being pretty much over my ‘sprinkles in tea’ phase, this tea drew me in with the combination of pig sprinkles in the blend and the fun, whimsical name and the promise of fig flavour. In my humble opinion, there aren’t nearly enough fig blends and any chance I have to try a new one is one I’m going to take!

However, when I cracked open my sealed 2 oz. package of this blend I was hit with something I hadn’t been prepared for; the strong, piercing aroma of lavender! The lack of comprehensive ingredients lists on East Indie’s website it definitely a valid criticism; while a super generic blurb has worked out in my favor in the past in this case I feel like I was failed – I cannot stand lavender, and had I known this blend had so much of it I’m sure I would’ve been persuaded against this tea despite wanting to try ‘all the fig’.

Regardless, I cold brewed myself up a mason jar worth of tea because you never really know how a tea is going to taste for sure until you try it, so despite major reservations there was still a chance this could be alright. Sadly, I just couldn’t get over that concentrated lavender flavour. It was floral in a soapy, artificial way that made me feel like I’d licked all of the counters and shelves in a Bath & Body Works store. Any fig that was in this blend, and I know there was because I could see the dried out pieces in the leaf along with the adorable pig sprinkles, was completely masked. I was not impressed.

My overall opinion is that personally I found this blend as irksome as the puppet it’s playfully named for – and if you’re looking for fig look elsewhere. However, if you’re a fan of lavender and want to try a strong lavender blend over a black base you’re in luck.