Chinese Five Spice from 52Teas. . . . .

I love spicy teas, so when I saw that 52Teas has a special spiced blend for the Chinese New year, I had to try it.  Chinese Five Spice from 52Teas is one of my favorite chai blends I’ve tried in a while. In the dry leaf, you can smell the Szechwan peppercorns, adding a little heat and a little tingly, earthy ground pepper scent.

The peppercorns are well-balanced with the sweeter spices like anise and ginger.  The orange peels are specifically mandarin oranges, and there’s something distinct in the citrus flavor that makes it feel different than the usual orange notes. Finally, there are also plenty of cloves that add their own sweet-spice, almost making the dry tea leaves have a fragrance like Dr. Pepper or Moxie soda.

Brewed, the black tea really shines and shows off its quality, tippy tea leaf origins.  Somehow both smooth and tart, it makes the pepper and orange pop on my tongue but without any spicy after-burn on my throat.  There is still a very full-flavored scent in my mug with cloves and ginger, but it’s not sweat-inducing spicy in taste, very drinkable.  No honey or milk needed (though you can always add them if you love it), the blend is well-balanced right out of the bag.

I ordered the sample size but I’ve already finished it, so I’ll have to put the full size bag in my shopping cart soon.  This is a tasty, unique chai for spicy tea lovers everywhere.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

Since China is a very important part of what I do (since most of my tea comes from China!), I decided it was important to do something to celebrate the ringing in of the Chinese New Year this year (The Year of the Dog)! I started with two black Yunnan teas – a Yunnan Black Gold and a tippy Assamica grown in the Yunnan Province – and added dried mandarin wedges and the whole spices of a Chinese 5 Spice blend: Cinnamon, Cloves, Star Anise, Fennel and Szechwan peppercorns. Then I added just a wee bit of ginger to enhance the peppery notes just a little. The result is a cuppa that is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory and a little bit spicy! It’s a really nice, round flavor! The mandarin orange flavor is bright and adds a nice touch to the spices here. It’s kind of like an orange flavored chai – Chinese style! I’m really happy with how this one came out – the spices are strong enough to be inviting but don’t blow out the taste buds with the spice – and the mandarin is really lovely: sweet and juicy!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Chocolate Tiramisu from Fava Tea. . . .

I accidentally left this in the steeper far too long — which you aren’t supposed to do with green — but it’s still really tasty, so that’s a sublimely positive thing for us scatterbrained tea enthusiasts.

This tea tastes like white chocolate, nuts, and caramel. It’s supposed to taste like Tiramisu, but I’m not sure I’m getting that. Tiramisu, to me, mostly has coffee notes. That said, who cares, a tasty tea is a tasty tea. This is SO creamy and delicious and sweet. It’s a slick mouth-feel (ew, the phrase “mouth-feel” is horrible) that really coats the inside of the mouth.

I feel like I’m in a French patisserie with this tea. Everything is Marie Antoinette pastel. I have a tiny purebred dog upon my lap. My pinky is up. I’m with all of my friends. We’re wearing blush and having a scintillating conversation that focuses on fine arts and gossip.

We might enjoy ourselves so much that we oversteep the tea. But that’s okay. This tea doesn’t mind.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black & Green
Where to Buy:  Fava Tea
Description

This is a green and black tea blend with almonds, coconut, and cocoa pieces. If you like the darker, creamy, savory teas, this is one for you! A popular dessert tea. Blends well with rock sugar. Try Vanilla Rocks, Chocolate Cream Rocks, or Strawberry Rocks, for starters!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Birthday Tea from Adagio Teas. . . .

Just looking at this tea makes me happy. The sprinkles bring in a touch of festive fun that drew me to this blend. Cream, caramel, and vanilla flavored black teas accompany the sprinkles to create a tooth-ache worthy blend. Yum!

Both dry and steeped, this tea smells sweet! Just as if you had added some sugar to your cup. Upon taking a sip I was greeted with a taste that made me feel nostalgic. It was as if I was eating frosting straight from the spoon. This blend is delightful. I never knew a tea could taste so much like cake.

The one thing that I will say is that I find that this tea’s flavors may not be very well balanced. The black tea comes in as a sharp flavor right behind that sweetness. It quickly cuts through. It’s worth noting that I generally don’t add any cream or sugar to my teas. I think that this blend may benefit from some sugar or honey to help the sweetness last all the way through the sip.

Having said that, I will be happy to finish up the rest of this sweet sample! It’s a perfect treat for your birthday (or any time of year, for that matter)!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas
Description

A treat for any day of the year! A tasty blend of vanilla, cream, and a touch of caramel. The inclusion of rainbow sugar sprinkles adds a festive note and makes this tea perfect for celebrating your special day.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jane Eyre from First Edition Tea Co. . . . . .

Something about the fall/winter months that makes me want to read Jane Eyre. I want deep, spooky, atmospheric, dramatic love stories, sweeping drama, chilly breezes and of course– good tea.

Of course, this likely has something to do with the fact that I first read Jane Eyre in an October, a few years ago– and everything makes me crave tea, frankly. So you can imagine my delight when this lovely little Jane-themed sample popped up in my sample stash while the air was still crisp and cool outside.

Jane Eyre is a black tea filled with autumnal like delights– currants, cranberries, cinnamon, fennel, licorice– all things reminiscent of a dark and spooky night. Brewed, it’s hearty and dark, but not pitch black– a fall tea that’s still light enough that it could be as appropriate when sipped at an apple orchard as it is with a book in your hand, next to the fire. The spice is the most prominent flavor here for me, though the cranberry/currant notes find themselves onto my palette as well, making this tea almost-reminiscent of a liquid fruit cake. I just have an inkling that Jane would’ve been a fan of this brew, friends.

Reader, I drank it. (and it was gooooood.)


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  First Edition Tea
Description

Shop is currently taking a break but should be returning soon.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Queen of the Underworld from Malfoy Tea Emporium. . .

I bought a huge lot of samples on Etsy a few months ago, and then tripped and fell down a rabbit hole of Endless Workweeks and forgot to post about tea for like two months. True story. Now I have clawed my way out of this hole, gasping, covered in mud, and disoriented, and this tea is no longer for sale, but whatever, I’m reviewing it to the best of my ability, even though I can’t look up what’s in it or any of its specs any more.

This tea from Malfoy Tea Emporium’s Goddess Collection was a black tea with cinnamon and pomegranate/berries in it. I’ve had about 4 cups now and this is the final bit of my sample. Let me tell you, I’ve been loving the HECK out of it in my frenzied interim. It’s just the right balance of sweet and tart. It’s sassy. It’s pretty. It tastes like someone snapping their manicured fingers at you to row the canoe across the River Styx a LITTLE faster, please.

It instantly brews up a dark amber that’s very alluring. If this is meant to emulate Aaliyah’s final role as Queen of the Damned, and this is sort of a blood thing, it nailed it. If that wasn’t the intent (I can’t seem to read the Etsy listing any more), well, uh, you failed at getting something else right.

I’m not sure if this is going to come back, but if it does, you should get on board. It’s the catty sorta-chai you’ve been waiting for.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Malfoy Tea Emporium
Description

This tea is currently not available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!