Chocolate Cherry Latte Oolong by A Quarter to Tea

Steeping at 190 degrees for 4.5 minutes as recommended, I prepared this tea with one tablespoon of leaves and around 10 ounces of water.

The high-quality oolong leaves swell and uncurl while steeping–something I always find fascinating (in addition to comforting because I know it means I’m about to drink some excellent tea!)

Once the steeping gets going it smells strongly of chocolate and cherry, which I take as a good sign! Actually it smells almost overwhelmingly of cherry while steeping, but after steeping that abates somewhat. The cherry flavor still hits your nose first but as you keep inhaling you can dig down and find the grounding, comforting chocolate smell too. It’s rounder and creamier. and the oolong lends butteriness and a floral note to the scent.

First sip: The butteriness from the oolong and the sharper floral, also from the oolong, and the fruity cherry notes hit all at once. The chocolate flavor seems to have melded with (and mostly been superseded by) the oolong butteriness. The chocolate itself is more of an aftertaste now. And yet sometimes you can detect it mingled with one of the other flavors.
Color: the tea is dark, but brown-tinted. Mahogany, perhaps; not really chocolate-colored though.

 

With milk: the cherry and the creamy oolong flavor come to the front along with a green-tea flavor (possibly from the houjicha?), the combination of which really reminds me of a matcha latte (not a bad thing at all). It’s not too astringent this way and not at all bitter.
A Quarter to Tea has come up with a great flavored blend here, and the company has great values too; not only do they use vegan ingredients but they also avoid using gluten, and try to avoid using potential allergens as well. While this blend is fun and satisfying, chocolate is not necessarily the dominant flavor here, so it’s important to be aware of that and enjoy this tea for itself rather than feeling like you’ve been tricked into drinking a not-chocolatey-enough tea. <3

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

Roasty enough to appease the coffee lover in you! The blend of hojicha and oolong makes a robust, coffee like base without the jitters. Mellowed out with chicory, chocolate, and cherries.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Black Cherry Berry from Celestial Seasonings. . . . .

I’ll admit it, tea-ple– I can be a bit of a tea snob. I’ll pretty much try anything once, but give me a weak English Breakfast or a watery-looking bagged tea, and I’m probably going to politely chuck it in the nearest flower-pot while no one’s looking, all the while dreaming of my cabinet of tea delights at home.

It’s gone so far that when my lovely fiancé offers to take me out for a cup of tea at our local chain coffee joint, I am purely going because he is sweet and wonderful, and usually wondering if there’s a way I could just bring *my* tea and have them hand me a cuppa hot water to brew for myself rather than choose from some ‘meh’ bagged options. I AM HORRIBLE, I KNOW.

But let’s get to the point: when I saw this sample bag of Celestial Seasoning’s black cherry herbal, I was… skeptical. Bagged tea? And not even bagged loose-leaf, bagged… tea shavings? But every-committed to my reviewing duties, I thought, hey! This sounds like it’d make a tasty iced tea, and into my big ol’ cold brew pitcher they went.

They almost immediately turned the water a lovely, saturated pink (hello, hibiscus!), and after a chill 12 hours in the fridge, it was ready to sip! While I’m impressed with the ingredients in this blend (rosehips, roasted chicory, blackberry leaves, and of course: hibiscus, first and foremost), there’s that “natural cherry flavor” that I wish would’ve come from cherries itself. And while it’s a tasty, fruity, obviously-berry brew, I can’t say that I’d have immediately recognized the flavor as “cherry” so much as “general berry-ish” without the cue from the name. Does it make a delicious iced tea? Yup. Is it even yummier with a splash of lemonade or plain seltzer? Heck yes. Am I going to become a bagged tea convert and spurn my beloved loose leaf anytime soon? Probably not. But let me be the first to admit my snobbish ways would’ve made me miss out on a yummy summer treat if I hadn’t given this one a try– I’m glad I did!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy:  Celestial Seasonings

Description

Reminiscent of nostalgic fruit punch, this tea combines a burst of cherry and berry flavors with tart, ruby-red hibiscus and other herbs. Delicious hot or iced.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Easy as Pie: Black Cherries and Sweet Cream from A Quarter to Tea

It’s getting to be summertime and cherries are in season.  You can see them in a glorious, burgundy bundle at the grocery store or the farmer’s market.  With summertime cherries on my mind, it seemed like the perfect time to try Black Cherries and Sweet Cream tea from A Quarter to Tea.  

The dry tea leaves and the first minute of steeping was all about the cream, wafting sweet waves of vanilla out of my mug.  As the tea cooled and I got my first taste, the cherries started to shine.  This tea is named for black cherries specifically, and you can taste the dark, full, fruit flavor in the tea.  This is certainly not the red cherry flavor of chewy candy or medicine, nor the syrupy maraschino cherry that goes on top of your sundae.  This blend truly tastes like fresh black cherries and a dollop of cream.  Even without milk and sugar, this blend is smooth and decadent, though it never gets too sweet.  

There is a distinct tartness in this brew, both from the natural fruit notes and from a tanginess to the cream. This tartness goes well with the astringent black tea base, matching the bright and sharp tone of the tea leaves.  This blend reminds me of the taste of fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, with vanilla yogurt and burst of black cherries.  The vanilla is creamy, but has enough complexity to remind me of true frozen yogurt, or even a slice of cherry cheesecake.  

This is a great dessert blend to go with a cherry pie at that summer barbecue!  


Here’s the scoop!

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

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!

Cherry Cordial from The NecessiTeas. . .A Hand Blended Treat!

Growing up, my brother was obsessed with video games. Obsessed. He used to drag my mom out to the stores for midnight releases and then pretend to be sick the next game so he could stay home and play the games. I never understood it…until now. Is it weird I feel that way about tea? Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury of skipping work though so I spent the day thinking about my NecessiTeas haul sitting at home. More specifically, I spent the day thinking about this tea.

I wish I had the words to describe the smell of the dry leaf because it is beyond amazing. Truly awesome. And realistically, what could be bad. Cherries? Chocolate chips? Marshmallows? It all sounds pretty darn delicious to me.

And delicious it is. At first I got a bit of astringency from the base but now that it has cooled a bit, I am getting black cherry perfection. Sweet, rich and distinctive, this is certainly one of the better cherry blends I have tried. No cough syrup here. Add to that a fluffy marshmallow note floating on top contributing creaminess that is only further accentuated by the velvety smoothness of the melted milk chocolate. It’s all there and its all delightful.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Black Tea
Where to Buy: The NecessiTeas
Description

The combination of a sweet liquid cordial center with a milk chocolate coating is truly divine. Try with a splash of milk and rock sugar for an even more decadent treat!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!