GOÛT RUSSE 7 AGRUMES/Palais des Thés

I recently found this tea buried in my yet-to-be-sampled-stash. I don’t know why it took me so long to try it. I probably saw ‘fruit tea’ on the label and disregarded it while wanting a black tea. But in fact, this tea does have a black tea base. It’s a flavored black tea.

Gout Russe 7 Agrumes from Le Palais des Thés hails from a delicate recipe that combines black tea with the tart flavors of 7 citrus fruits: lemon, lime, sweet and Seville oranges, grapefruit, bergamot, and mandarin.

Many of us have had orange flavored black teas but this takes it to the next level. It wasn’t an Earl Grey type flavor – just a straight up citrus of all sorts type flavor. I really enjoyed it. It’s terrific hot but delightful iced, too!

Gout Russe 7 Agrumes from Le Palais des Thés…I give it two thumbs up. If I had 3 thumbs…I would give it 3 thumbs up!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Palais des Thés

Description

An outstanding blend of black teas, evoking lemon, lime, sweet orange, bitter orange, grapefruit, bergamot and mandarin. Created by Le Palais des Thés during its first years of existence, this cocktail of 7 citrus fruits was later added to different base teas. An exclusive recipe. Can be served hot or iced.

Different of the teas produced in Georgia, Russian blends are the ones that have been drunk regularly in Russia since the 17th century. These latter teas, which in the beginning were blends of black Chinese teas, became more diversified at the end of the 19th century by the introduction of Indian teas at the Russian court, most notably Darjeeling. Since then it has been the custom to refer to all blends of Darjeeling and different Chinese black teas as Russian blends teas, whether or not they are scented with natural citrus extracts.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Blueberry Black/Tea Sparrow

Organic Blueberry Black by Tea Sparrow is a blueberry black tea (shocking!) comprised of organic black tea, organic dried blueberries, organic blackberry leaves, and certified organic blueberry flavor.

I have had this tea once before, cold steeped in lemonade. That time, the drink tasted mostly of lemonade but had a bit of a blue candy sweetness added in. Like those gummy sharks that are meant to be blueberry but mostly just taste sweet.

This time I made the tea as a plain hot brew, letting 1.5 teaspoons of leaves steep in 10 ounces of 200F water for 3 minutes. The hot tea definitely tastes a lot more like blueberry than the tea lemonade. However, it is not like the fruit so much. It also isn’t much like blueberry gummies. Instead, I would say this tastes similar to blueberry pie filling as it has the blueberry essence with a whole lot of rich sweetness as well. The base tea gives this a thickness that compliments that gooey filling flavor, but it can also be a little brisk at times (for my tastes, at least).

I was surprised at how this captured blueberry flavor, even if it wasn’t quite true to the berry. Tea Sparrow has mostly been a lot of misses and though the brew of this cold steeped in lemonade wasn’t bad, it didn’t really scream blueberry to me. This hot tea is definitely blueberry-inspired and it is a nice dessert-like treat.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Tea Sparrow

Description

Tea Sparrow is a tea subscription service. Check out the site below.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Walnut Green Tea/Aromatica Fine Teas

Monthly subscription boxes can be hit or miss. I have tried several along my tea journey including subscriptions by Amoda, A Quarter to Tea, Handmade Tea, myteabox.ca, Sips By, and Tea Sparrow. Some, such as the A Quarter to Tea box, offers selections from one company whereas others, such as the Sips By box, offer teas from a variety of different vendors in each box. The former is good if you know you like a certain company whereas the latter is fun for when you want to try and discover new things. Sometimes you discover gems, sometimes you discover disasters, and sometimes you find new things that are simply unremarkable.

I received the Tea Sparrow box as a gift. The teas are a variety of Tea Sparrow blends and blends from other vendors. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a tea that really stands out to me from this box which has so far put this subscription in the “unremarkable” category. With that said, one of teas in my Tea Sparrow subscription is this Walnut Green Tea by Aromatica Fine Teas. I have tried another Aromatica Fine Tea before, Ginger Cream, courtesy of my Amoda subscription. I really enjoyed that tea so my hope was I’d enjoy this as well. Moreover, this tea is also the first place winner of the 2011 North American Tea Championship so hopefully that means it’s a good one.

When I read the brewing instructions for this tea, it suggested steeping the leaf in “almost boiling” water for 2.5 minutes. Almost boiling is my least favorite temperature because it is so ambiguous. As a result, I decided to steep one cup for 2.5 minutes in 175F water (the “Green” setting on my kettle) and another cup in 200F water (what I would consider almost boiling to be) for 1.5 minutes. I figured I had the leaf so it could be interesting to experiment how different brewing parameters impact the tea flavor.

First cup I drank was the cooler cup, the one brewed at 175F. Lookswise, this cup was much lighter than the tea brewed at a higher temperature, a bright-ish yellow versus a deeper brown-gold. To me, this tasted like liquid brittle. Nutty and sweet with more walnut flavor than almond. No vegetal/grass flavors from the base tea and no pineapple or coconut in sight.

The second cup, brewed with a little more leaf and at 200F, is a lot more buttery though still tastes of brittle. I think more coconut comes through when brewed like this but less walnut which is really meant to be the focus in light of the tea’s name.

This tea is made of chinese green tea, sencha, brittle, coconut rasps, candied pineapple pieces, walnut pieces, flavor, and almond pieces. Given that list, I was surprised that not much of the base nor pineapple was part of the taste of either cup. Personally, I think I preferred the tea brewed at 175F just because it was more distinctly walnut and thus more true to its name though the two were fairly similar flavorwise. Overall I found the tea to be unique and good, definitely one of the better options provided in my Tea Sparrow subscription, but ultimately I just don’t reach for nutty blends or green teas all that quickly. As such, while I can appreciate this as a good tea, an award-winning tea even, I just don’t feel the need to keep it around all the time.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Aromatica Fine Teas

Description

Chinese green tea, sencha, brittle bits (sugar,hazlenuts), coconut rasps, candied pineapple bits, walnut pieces, flavour, almond pieces.

“What a fantastic and sophisticated profile for a blended green tea!”

Michael Menashy, Tea Sparrow

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cherry Bakewell/Bird & Blend Tea Co

This Cherry Bakewell tea by Bird and Blend Co. has been sitting in my stash since January and I keep looking past it and grabbing other options. I am not sure why but this isn’t a flavor that makes me stop in my tracks to brew it. However, when I saw it posted on Instagram with the caption “This is dessert in a cup without being too sweet or artificial tasting”, it definitely piqued my interest. Now I don’t actually know what a cherry bakewell tart is but dessert in a cup sounds good to me.

The tea, which is made of Chinese white tea, almond, cranberries, hibiscus, rosehip, apple, currants, blackcurrant, and red and blue cornflowers, brews up a shade of pink that makes me worry that the hibiscus and rosehips might be in charge.

Though there is a that typical tartness from the hibiscus and rosehips, that is not the main flavor component but rather a topnote. The strongest flavor in my opinion is the almond. The almond and the white tea which makes for a nutty/buttery combo that does help create the idea of a tart shell. That tart shell transitions into a red fruit quality from the cranberries and currants, not a distinctly cherry flavor but alright nonetheless. However, that hibby/rosehip tartness then pops at the back of your throat and really takes you out of the the whole idea of a tart.

It definitely pushes towards dessert but it is not overly sweet or fake tasting. So, in that sense, the instagram posted that inspired me to take this out of the drawer was definitely correct. However, I just wish there was less tart and more cherry. Personally, I could also do with a little more sweetness since the blending of the tart shell and filling can be slightly one-note at times.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Bird & Blend Tea Co.

Description

Bakewell Tart is the classic tea time treat with juicy cherries and sweet almond. This luxury white tea blend is bursting with the same fruit juices and hints of sweet almond nuts, making it the perfect afternoon tea choice.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Creme Brulee Grey Black Tea/Plum Deluxe

Earl Grey tea is black tea with bergamot flavor, and there is a huge difference in natural bergamot – a type of sour orange – and artificial. Some people think they don’t like Earl Grey because they tried either a tea made with a poor substitute for the real deal or a base that too lemony and astringent to take on sour orange. Others love the stuff, any old way.

Enter Creme Brulee black tea. Plum Deluxe has blended a strong black tea base with orange peel, jasmine flowers (<3), blue cornflower, bergamot oil, vanilla extract, and….here I quote the package…love and gratitude.

This tea is STRONG. I don’t mean strong, in-your-face bergamot. I mean they didn’t wimp out on us for the black tea base. It is quality stuff. The first cup has deep, dark, rich color. The bergamot flavor is strong enough to please an Earl Grey lover, and balanced enough with the other ingredients to please the reluctant. The addition of vanilla adds a nice creaminess, and jasmine sweetens it. The aftertaste leaves a brisk tingle on the tongue.

To stretch my sample, I made a second steep. It was good, and sufficiently strong! In future, I would blend the two steeps together at the outset and double my tea dollar. The price is reasonable for a blend of this quality, but more money equals more tea! I was smitten with their Reading Nook blend, so I want to get the most bang for my buck so I can get all the teas I love and share them, too.

I checked out their accessories page and saw quite a few items that would make great gifts…or treats for me! I was rather taken with the pewter dragonfly strainer, but the Victorian infuser was really nice as well. This is also one of the more reasonable subscription boxes. Take a look!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe

Description

Creme Brulee Earl Grey was the winner in our recent customer appreciation month vote – it won by a landslide, which tells you how good it is. The creamiest of cream earl greys, the brisk bergamot notes balance nicely wonderful rich cream notes. It makes a dandy London Fog (earl grey latte) or just enjoy it with your favorite tea cookie or biscuit.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!