Passion Fruit Na Pali from Hawaiian Islands Tea Company. . . .

Hello from the ISLANDS, friends! It’s me! Sipping delicious passionfruit tea from under a flowering palm! Attractive, tattooed men are fanning me! I’m going to ride a dolphin later!

Oh wait, I’m in Pennsylvania, and it’s raining.

Sad but true: I’ve been sitting on this sample for, like, a month. I haven’t reviewed it because the word “Hawaii” makes me sad. One of my best friends moved to Hawaii half a decade ago and basically disappeared from my life altogether. I miss them so much that, like, seeing a reference to Lilo and Stitch feels like a laceration to my spirit.

But hey — YOU don’t have a weird thing about Hawaii! It didn’t steal any of YOUR pals! You probably like Hawaii (on principle — who can afford to fly there?).

And oh gosh, this tea really is tasty. No joke. It’s juicy and ripe and fruity and has a very robust black base. Wow. It genuinely is one of those beefy beach boys showing up with a platter of fruit. Thanks, Mr. Muscles, for this lovely dish. SAVORY.

This tea is so delicious it’s ALMOST making me forgive the entire state.

Almost.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Hawaiian Islands Tea Company
Description

Anyone who’s traveled to the Na Pali coast of Kauai understands the majesty of the mountains standing against the pounding of the sea. It is this boldness that inspired the name of our bold and practically perfect passion fruit tea.Made with classic Camellia Sinensis tea leaves and natural flavoring. Rich in polyphenols (antioxidant), our Passion Fruit Tea has lasting flavor, even after prolonged storage.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Carrot Cake Pancakes from 52Teas

I am a carrot cake fiend. I also love me some pancakes. And before I found this magical tea hybrid of the two, I found actual carrot cake pancakes…or perhaps it was pancakes carrot cake? Basically it was a cake sold in a deli in Montreal that looked like 20 pancakes stacked, with cream cheese icing in between the layers. It always fascinated me but I never got to try it so this tea is my chance to give it a go.

The first thing I noticed while drinking this tea is that it has the nice spice that I love in a good carrot cake. The cinnamon is definitely strong, though smooth, with a touch of nutmeg and a dash of allspice. It is a nice rounded spice flavor that is kept in check by the sweetness of the carrot. With that said, the black tea has a touch of thickness in the mouthfeel that is bringing to mind a denser pancake as opposed to a fluffy/light cake.

At first when I finished the cup I was sad that there was no semblance of a cream cheese icing. With that said, I can definitely see this as carrot cake pancakes, as in pancakes inspired by a carrot cake recipe as opposed to the carrot cake that looked like 20 stacked pancakes layered with icing. So no cream cheese icing but this does taste like a pancake with carrot cake spices and some carrot sweetness. If you want carrot cake, this is not the tea to go with but if you want carrot cake pancakes, then give this a try.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pomegranate Oolong from Harney & Sons. . . .

The first word that comes to mind while drinking this tea is “zesty.” Pomegranate — aside from being a difficult word to spell — is a complex flavor. It’s sweet, but it’s also got that sassy tang. The oolong flavor — slightly vegetal, a little bit nature-y, but nothing horribly strong — makes it seem thoughtful. I’m getting a “literature” vibe from the oolong.

For some reason, this tea is reminding me of Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. At first, you’re getting all that sparkly, fruity zest. Then you sip further and you realize, hey, there’s a little bit of something “extra” here. Maybe this girl could, you know, go to Harvard Law and start winning cases. YOU NEVER KNOW.

This tea is delicious hot, but I don’t recommend it cold. The green gets a little weird. It’s a hot-tea. Don’t try to go off-book.

Of course, now that I’ve said that, you’re all going to try it cold. You’re going to try to paint me as a restrictive-rules monster. I’m not! I’m cool! Not as cool as Elle, but, you know, modestly cool.

Now, ladies, Bend. Snap. Brew. Enjoy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Harney and Sons
Description

Deliciously silky and full of complex flavors, our Pomegranate Oolong tea blends large Ti Quan Yin leaves—also known as Iron Goddess of Mercy—with the tangy, sparkling flavor of pomegranate. The result is a luscious and fruit-forward brew with a toasty aroma and ample flavors of bright pomegranate. Brew hot to enjoy its smooth, silky texture and sweet aroma at its finest.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Heirloom Bartlett Pear from Harney and Sons. . .

I get really excited when Harney and Sons announces new teas. I got my introduction to whole leaf tea with their Royal English Breakfast, Paris, and Golden Monkey. I almost feel like they should let me know FIRST when they are adding something to their catalog. So I was super excited when I got an email a while back about four new flavored teas.

I love my single plantation pure teas, but I also love flavored teas and serve them to guests often. Of the four new teas, I was most captured by the description of this one – silvery Mutan leaves, pieces of pear, apple, and peach, plus nutmeg and two kinds of cinnamon.

The golden tea smells warm and rich. Even though it is desperately hot outside right now, the nutmeg aroma puts me in a holiday mood and makes me dream of serving this in fall and winter this year. As I drink it, I hear the wind blow in a cold front, and leaves crunching underfoot, then I see the table set for Thanksgiving, and hear the chatter of people gathered for Christmas. Bliss.

They say this tastes of crisp Bartlett pear, and I supposed it does, but even on a good day pear is a very, very mild flavor to me. The apple serves to enhance the pear flavor but I simply can not discern the peach, which is good because I would rather pear tea taste like pear tea. The nutmeg is fabulous, just right, and perfectly balanced. The cinnamons are not overpowering but give the impression of a perfectly spiced warm cobbler. And yet the white tea flavor doesn’t get buried in all this!

If you have tried white tea and thought it just tasted like a cup of hay water (which I happen to like), I would encourage you to try this tea and change your mind. There are wonderful layers of flavor here, and this is a definite re-purchase for me.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy: Harney and Sons
Description

Heirloom Bartlett Pear tea is a fruit-filled lovesong to the light, sweet leaves of Mutan white tea and crisp flavors of Bartlett pears. The silvery white and green Mutan leaves mingle with delicately succulent pieces of pear, apple, and peach. Spice notes of nutmeg and two kinds of cinnamon add a touch of zing. The result is a multifaceted, beautifully layered infusion that’s light and warming in every cup.

Ingredients:
White tea, pear pieces, apple pieces, peach pieces, pear flavor, nutmeg, cinnamon, white cornflowers, peach flavor. Contains natural flavors.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Huckleberry Zen from Perkse Tea . . . .

At first I thought this tea was named after Huckleberry Finn, and it was some kind of literary blend. But it turns out the huckleberry is an actual plant (the state fruit of Idaho) that’s kind of blueberry-like. So I’m ignorant. (Surprise!)

This blend tastes like tart berries and sweet rose petals. Rose isn’t always my favorite, but I think that it works here to balance out the berries.

The blend is described by Perkse as “country chic,” which feels meaningless to me, but I suppose I could imagine drinking it in the morning on a rocking chair on a porch. Blanket over lap. Old dog at feet. Waving at neighbors as they amble about their morning walks to the post office and nickel-and-dime store.

Like huckleberries, I don’t know much about country life, obviously.

But if you’d like to try the combination of berries and roses, this might be the one for you!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Perkse Tea
Description

A deliciously smooth and suckle black tea with notes of fruity huckleberries. Our huckleberries are sourced from Europe and blended to make a wonderful black tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!