Earl Grey de la Creme from Tiesta Tea. . . .

This tea was available in the bulk section of my local grocery store! I couldn’t believe it. I’d seen tea before available in bulk, but I’d never seen blends so I had to try this blend for myself. The name “Earl Grey de la Crème” made me immediately think of a latte and I wasn’t sure how a tea without crème would accomplish the expectation I had drawn from the name.

The blend is a mix of Earl Grey, cornflower, and other natural flavors. I’ve always found that cornflower with Early Grey truly helps create a milder bergamot aftertaste, and I’ve never found and Earl Grey and cornflower blend that I didn’t like. This particular blend gives a high tea to cornflower ratio so if you are a fan of cornflower, this is an amazing blend. Earl Grey de la Crème is considered an energizer tea from Tiesta Tea which means the blend contains mate and black teas which help deal with fatigue by giving an added mental and physical boost. There is definitely a hint of vanilla in this blend which makes it a perfect tea to drink straight or to turn into that latte that the name lends itself to!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tiesta Tea
Description

A unique addition of vanilla and blue mallow flowers create a richer, creamier version of an old favorite to keep your mind fog-free.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hot Chocolate from The NecessiTeas. . .

Every so often I like to make tea packages for my friends. I go through a bunch of my teas and try to share samples of teas they might not otherwise come across themselves. Oftentimes that means I share my NecessiTea teas because NecessiTeas does not offer sample sizes so I have a lot to share and it allows my friends the opportunity to try the teas before they commit to a larger amount.

While packaging this Hot Chocolate tea to share, my mouth began to water at the smell of the dry leaf. I figured there was no better time to give it a try than when I already had the tin out and the teaspoon in hand. So, I got the kettle started and brewed this up both as a plain teas and as a concentrated version topped up with some vanilla almond milk to make a latte.

I was all prepared to get to drinking and blogging…and then food delivery arrived 20 minutes early. So by the time I got to trying the tea, I was completely stuffed from my meal, and the teas had cooled more than I intended. I only mention this because that may or may not have played a role in how I tasted the tea and I wanted to be completely transparent.

The plain tea was very murky, which was to be expected from all the various ingredients in the dry leaf including black tea, apples, cocoa beans, chocolate, barley, yogurt, freeze dried marshmallows, natural and organic flavors. The mouthfeel was surprisingly smooth for such a murky blend but the flavor was lighter than I hoped it would be. The chocolate flavor was present though it was more like cacao than a smooth milk/dark chocolate meaning it was an earthier flavor. The barley blended with that earthiness and gave it a more grainy flavor. Like chocolate cereal…in water. The smell really had me excited but this is weaker and less silky than I would have expected or hoped for from a Hot Chocolate tea.

The vanilla almond milk latte just latched on to that grain flavor from the barley and combined it with the nuttiness of the milk to give this an even earthier vibe than the plain tea. It almost tastes like unsweetened oatmeal. The chocolate is completely drowned out and honestly, it is a little bit chalky. I blame the almond milk more than the tea though because I haven’t had much success using it in lattes. Basically I am pretending like this didn’t happen because it just was not good.

All in all, the smell of this tea is amazing but a little misleading. It seems like it should be rich and creamy but I found this had a much lighter/weak flavor than one would expect. It has so many amazing ingredients and yet I didn’t get much of them. I wanted more from the marshmallow. More from the yogurt. Those flavors would have helped as they would have contributed some much needed sweetness and creaminess into this blend.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  The NecessiTeas
Description

What’s not to love about hot chocolate? It’s hot, sweet and chocolate-y goodness never does me wrong! The best part is licking the creamy marshmallows that have turned into a thick frothy cream! And that’s where my idea for this tea blend came about.. I combined flavorful black tea with cocoa beans, decadent chocolate, a touch of vanilla and topped it with mini marshmallows.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Black Cherries in Sweet Cream from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

This Darjeeling, cherry, and cream tea is profoundly decadent. This blend tastes like a dessert that’s melty and gooey. The cream is so creamy that I feel like a farm where it came straight off the cow. Like, a fancy French cow.

A Quarter To Tea has a good grasp on cherries. I never liked cherries until their Chocolate Cherry Oolong showed up in one of my sample packs. It was a game-changer. So much so that my hopes were high for this one — and it succeeded.

When I went to this tea’s site, I discovered that this tea was inspired by Game of Thrones:

“Illyrio smiled as his serving men spooned out bowls of black cherries in sweet cream for them both.” (Dance with Dragons)

In case you forgot Illyrio (I did), he was the one that took care of the Targaryens while they were in hiding. If this is what he was serving people, well, I might hide out there, too. Does he have any space available?


Here’s the scoop!

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

“Illyrio smiled as his serving men spooned out bowls of black cherries in sweet cream for them both.” (Dance with Dragons)

Luscious black cherries with a medium body darjeeling base, paired with heavy notes of cream and vanilla. Decadent enough to make a magister proud.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Coffee or Tea? from Tea Taxi. . . . . . .

You know the Old El Paso taco shell commercial where they’re trying to decide between hard shells and and soft shells for tacos and then the cute little girl comes along and asks “Why not both?” and the whole city celebrates this great revelation? That is what coffee-flavored teas make me think of – someone trying to bridge the gap between the coffee camp and the tea camp, bringing us all together with one hybrid beverage. Such is the case with this Coffee or Tea? drink from TeaTaxi.

This blend is made of black tea, broken cocoa bits, brittle pieces, chocolate chips, roasted coffee beans, and free-dried yogurt granules. I set up half my sample (about 1-1.5 tsp) in vanilla almond milk yesterday to cold brew overnight and the rest was steeped per the package directions, 3 minutes in almost boiling water.

Now I don’t drink coffee so I am probably not the best person to determine accuracy of flavor but the hot tea definitely has the taste of the roasted coffee beans (at least it reflects how they smell) combined with chocolate. It is a medium-bodied tea with strong flavor which makes for easy drinking. It is a touch bitter but that is balanced by the slightest bit of brittle peaking through. It is by no means a cup of coffee but it does have more coffee to it than the other coffee flavored teas I have tried.

This cold brewed in vanilla almond milk is not my favorite. I think the vanilla of the almond milk is just far too strong and it butt heads with the more roasted quality of the coffee beans. I thought it might make for a sort of coffee with cream vibe but instead the two flavors just don’t blend at all and the vanilla drowns out the chocolate that worked so well with the coffee in the hot tea. So this was a bit of a fail, more because of the flavored almond milk than a reflection of the tea itself.

I am definitely a member of the tea camp and though coffee-flavored teas catch my interest, I am usually never a fan. Though this is not one I intend to stock anytime soon, I will say it is one of the better coffee-flavored teas I have had. The combination of the coffee and chocolate with the hint of brittle in the hot tea reminds me ever so slightly of a more roasty coffee crisp bar or perhaps dark chocolate covered coffee beans.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Tea Taxi
Description

This chocolaty black tea with a high caffeine content offers the best of both worlds.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Brisbane Breakfast from T2. . . . . .

My love of tea is obvious which means that my friends and family all know an easy gift for me: tea or teaware and I am happy. This works in my favor especially when my friends and family go traveling and bring me new things to try from all over the world. People have brought me tea from London, Paris, Sri Lanka, Kenya, South Africa, Israel and most recently Australia.

One of my friends from work traveled across the globe and returned with three specialty blends from T2 in Australia, including this tea, Brisbane Breakfast, a mango flavored black tea.

As a breakfast blend, this is brisker than the teas I usually drink but at least it is brisk with only a little astringency. The astringency that is present blends into the mango flavor, coming off a touch floral. The mango is sweet and true to the ripe fruit, which pairs nicely with the slightly malty black base.

This tea has the body of a breakfast tea that can help wake you up in the morning. Yet it also has a sweet fruity flavor that gets more pronounced as the tea cools, which is nice as a treat during the day. Flavorful enough to be captivating while remaining simple enough that one won’t easily bore. With teas like this, it is no wonder why the beverage is such a large part of the culture.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  T2
Description

This tea is not on the website but click below to see teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!