Breathless – August Uncommon Tea

I need to stop looking at Facebook at 2 in the morning. It causes me to make sleepy purchases. One recent middle of the night purchase I made was from August Uncommon tea. I kept seeing adds on Facebook for August Uncommon and had been very interested in their unique blends. I saw that they were offering free shipping and many of their teas are available in sample sizes so I decided to order a few at 2 am. I am so glad that I did! The samples arrived very quickly and included an information card on the company. Their premise is that August is “like no tea you’ve ever tasted before. Our tea is wild, intense, and radically different.” I don’t know if I would say that the tea blends are “radically different” as I have seen a lot of unique blends in my tea journey. I will say though that the blends are interesting, fun and very flavorful.

One of the teas that I purchased is called Breathless. The description of the tea is “boozy black tea, white chocolate and prune.” This is an interesting combo for sure. The package indicates that the tea is gluten free and non gmo. I appreciate that August also includes tasting notes to let the consumer know what we should be tasting. In the case of Breathless it should taste like armagnac, prune, dark cherry and whipped cream. Interesting. I had to look up what armagnac is as I am not up on my liquors. It appears it is a brandy.

I will say that one aspect I appreciate on their packaging is that in the ingredient panel August actually tells us what type of black tea is being used in the blend. Often companies just simply put black tea down in a blend. August goes one step further and indicates it is an Indian Assam black tea. Other ingredients include hazelnut brittle (yum), sweet blackberry leaf, white chocolate, dried plum and flavoring. The package does not make any distinction if the flavoring is natural or artificial.

The first sip of the tea is nice, I get the initial hit of a pretty malty black tea base then the fruity plum develops followed by an ever so slight creaminess in the back end of the taste. I can certainly see where why they say that the this tea tastes like dark cherry because the plum notes coupled with the malty black tea gives a dark cherry flavor.

I really like this tea. It is very complex, dark and enjoyable when drinking straight. When I added a splash of soy milk the creamy notes developed more and gave a very dessert-like quality to this tea.

Overall I am very impressed with all of the samples that I purchased from August Uncommon. I think that they are doing a fantastic job of reinventing what the basic perception of tea is. They have left the safe confines of a traditional earl grey or english breakfast and are branching out to offer unique and interesting flavor combinations. I think they are certainly worth checking out!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  August Uncommon

Description

This tea has a boozy aroma with soft tannins, and a touch of fruit and leather. It is inspired by our favorite ice cream flavor in the world: Agenaise. This is a luscious ice cream laced with armagnac-soaked prunes made by the incomparable Parisian brand Berthillon. White chocolate gives it a super silky mouthfeel and a creamy finish reminiscent of ice cream melting over hot pie. This tea practically begs for milk to turn up the richness of its flavors.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

12 Teas of Christmas 1-6 from 52Teas. . . .

52 Teas 12 Teas of Christmas 1-6 (SPOILERS) While I’m a huge fan of 52 Teas and their creative blends, I’ve never before ordered their ever-so-popular 12 Teas of Christmas countdown sampler. This year, I decided to treat myself! After a shipping snafu (anyone else find themselves ordering online goodies six months after moving and not until you’ve hit purchase do you go– “DANGIT, that’s being sent to my old address!” Just me? Cool.) that Anne and her team went above and beyond to fix for me, I was EXTRA pumped for these goodies to come my way. I’m going to break these mini-reviews into two, so you’ll get a 1-6 and then a 7-12 installment as I drink these tasty treats in real time! Now: let’s get sipping!

Day One: Foggy Coconut Black – Let’s just say I am… a less-than-enthusiastic earl grey drinker. I’ve recently been introduced to the concept of “blergamot” (i.e. bergamot in tea makes you go “blerg!”), which hit the nail on the head for me. But while I was skeptical when I opened this package, its delightful creaminess was intriguing. I’m so pleased to say that this is one Earl Grey I’ll be enthusiastically sipping! Like my favorite London Fog lattes, the creamy coconut and vanilla balance out the floral and blerg-y undertones of traditional earl greys, making this one a winner– especially as a latte!

Day Two: Candy Cane Marshmallow Green – Ever since becoming pregnant (baby tea lover, due June 2019!), I’ve been… off my tea drinking game. Most teas just haven’t been sounding good to me! But peppermint has totally been the one element that ALWAYS sounds good to me in this pregnancy, so I was thrilled to see this one in the mix. It’s a delightful, creamy Genmaicha, with light minty notes in the background. This preggy peppermint-lover would have adored the peppermint flavor to be more of a POW, but if you’re looking for a gentle, creamy mint holiday tea, this one is a winner.

Day Three: Raspberry Almond Cookie Honeybush – I opened this package, and was immediately sold by those tart, mouthwatering raspberry notes. Brewed, the raspberry loses some tartness, but is balanced really wonderfully by some beautiful, creamy marizipan-esque undertones. Delightful with cream!

Day Four: Ginger Cola Black – I was Skeptical-with-a-capital-S of this one (cola?! In my TEA?) but friends, it is KILLER on ice. I’ll admit I haven’t tried it hot yet (warm cola is not sounding great to this mama-to-be), but it’s spicy and cola-esque without all that syrupy sweetness. I can see why this one is a popular blend!

Day Five: BlackBerry Custard Tart Green – While some teas haven’t sounded great to me this pregnancy, berry teas have sounded delightful across the board. This one hit all its promised notes– fresh and fruity berries, creamy custard and flaky pastry. I (gasp!) served it with some milk and found it brought out ALL the flavors even further, while muting some of the green grassiness. Yum!

Day Six: Banana Pancake Black – I have shocked myself in recent months with a love for banana flavored teas. I’m pretty neutral on bananas themselves, and even more negatively-skewed on banana flavoring, but for whatever reason, I cannot get ENOUGH of them in tea lately. This blend delivers on the banana and bready, malty, maple-y pancake goodness of a breakfast treat, all whilst not being overtly banana-in-your-face (think banana bread, rather than banana candy). I served this one with a touch of maple syrup and cream, and had to stop myself from chugging the whole cup. Delightful!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

The majority of these 12 Teas of Christmas are sold out but some of them are still available below.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Carrot Cupcake from David’s Tea. . .

I am trying this tea in front of an audience. I’m currently in the middle of a cabin with 15+ friends/kids, and everyone got excited when they sniffed this. I made several cups for everyone; I kept the last for myself.

Before I had a chance to even sip my cup, one of my friends slid up to me. “The tea you gave me is delicious,” he whispered.

“What did your kids think?” I asked. His three-year-old had sniffed the tea and kept following me around whispering “tea.”

“I haven’t given them any,” he said. “I’m keeping it all for myself.”

“That’s COLD,” I replied.

When I finally had a cup, I saw what he meant. This is a carrot/apple/spice mix with a bit of a cream/marzipan sweetness (as opposed to a powdery, shrill, hyper-sweet flavor). As I sipped, the spiciness increased. (Possibly the spices are heavier and sit further down in the mug?) I liked the flavor better back when it was sweeter at the beginning of the cup. I think that this would be sweeter and more consistent iced, and I think that’s what I’m going to try next.

Unlike my friend, I’d let my kids try this. I’d spread the joy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy:  David’s Tea
Description

This decadently creamy rooibos blend tastes just like your favourite carrot dessert. You’ll love its natural carrot sweetness and the extra zing of warmth from cinnamon and ginger. Plus it’s caffeine and calorie-free, so you can sip it all day every day. Still not convinced? The rich cocoa shells and whipped cream will change your mind. Yeah, we knew you couldn’t resist…

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tropical Peach Bellini from A Quarter To Tea. . .

Peach Bellinis were my drink as a young teenager just discovering alcohol. At first I only drank the frozen slush kind that tasted more like candy than it did a cocktail. Then I went to Venice, Italy and tried their take on a Peach Bellini which was a more adult combination of Peach Nectar and Prosecco (if I am remembering correctly).

Unfortunately, the hot tea tastes like neither. It is a sweeter tea and though there are underlying fruity vibes that lean towards peach, the mao fang takes over making this more vegetal than fruit. Also, I hoped for more mango to make this feel tropical but that isn’t coming through very clearly either.

The iced tea is just more of the same. I give this points for consistency but that also means that, like the hot tea, I am left wanting more. More peach. More bellini. More tropical. More of something other than a sort of generic and slightly fruity green tea.

Though the base is nice and the fruity vibes are pleasant, it is not selling the Tropical Peach Bellini flavor I was promised by the name. I wanted to like this one but, for me, it fell a bit flat.


Here’s the scoop!

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

Like a Bellini but better. A touch of mango and mao fang sweetness make this a 2018 treat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Winter Spice / Tease Tea

Whole Star Anise!

What a surprise it was to open the 30g pouch and find that!

It makes it a bit more festive. The dry aroma is faint. Somewhat creamy, spicy, and nutty. My first cup of this was a bland mess but I didn’t want to give up. It’s a unique tea blend; slight creaminess hinted once the tea enters your mouth which turns into a peculiar spicy flavor; which I’m assuming comes from the ginger and the cinnamon. Calming is generally not a descriptor I use when talking about black tea, however, with the chamomile this tea has a nice calming effect.

Everything in this tea blends well together and yet I’m finding myself somewhat underwhelmed. Perhaps because they say spice in the name I expected more kick. The first cup was steeped between 2.5 and 3.5 minutes so the next cupping was upped to 5 minutes. I’m currently on a third cup also brewing 5 minutes but adding a 1/2 tsp more of tea. The first taste at 5 minutes was the same as the second cup so the brewing time was upped to 7 minutes. Unfortunately, this removed the creaminess and the spices seemed to have disappeared altogether. The tannins have taken over a bit more and there is a definite astringency in the after taste.

Overall, a nice blend but one that needs at least 4 minutes for full flavor and is not suggested for those who don’t appreciate a light tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tease Tea
Description:

This festive favourite is back for a limited time! A naturally flavoured black tea featuring notes of cinnamon, spice & everything nice. The perfect way to get into the winter spirit!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!