Pumpkin Chai/Laughing Tree Tea

As a tea addict I am constantly on the hunt for tea. I mean literally every store, event or venue I go to I check to see if tea is present anywhere. I suppose some folks shop for clothes, others for gadgets and gizmos but I shop for tea. So when I was at the Freight House Farmer’s Market in Davenport I of course went in search for tea. I was surprised that there were several stands selling everything from kombucha to matcha to loose leaf. Tea was well represented here!

After walking around a bit I stumbled upon Laughing Tree Tea’s vendor stand. I must admit the free sample of peach green tea got me. I am a sucker for samples. But the sample was very nice so I decided to scope out the offerings. There were a lot of teas to smell and different sizes of tea to purchase. I do appreciate when companies offer sample packs of tea because honestly I am drowning in tea reserves. I often times want to sample a tea but don’t want to commit to a whole 2 ounces. Plus my husband tells me I might have to rent a storage pod if I continue to add to my collection. At any rate i purchased 4 samples to try.

Like a kid in a candy store I ripped open the first sample as soon as I got home! The first one I have tried and am reviewing today is Pumpkin Chai.

Laughing Tree Tea (try saying that 3 times fast) is a hand blended and locally sourced company that sells their tea in their cafe in Waterloo, IA but also at various farmer’s markets in the area. I smelled the sample of Pumpkin Chai in the vendor stall and immediately loved it! The scent is spicy, sweet and a bit nutty. I steeped my sample up at 212 degrees for 3 minutes. I felt that the tea could actually benefit for a slightly longer steep time so I let it steep an additional 2 minutes after my first sip. The base of this tea is black tea with rooibos. I enjoyed the mix of teas as the rooibos lends a nutty and sweet dimension to the blend. The traditional chai spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and black pepper are present as is coriander. I absolutely love coriander, it gives such a warm distinct flavor to blends. Also, almond, orange, flower petals and nut oil are added.

I really loved this tea. The spices blend so well together without being too spicy. There is a slight hint of pumpkin so I am suspecting that is contained in the natural flavors that are added. I loved this tea on its own but did find that adding a bit of soy milk enhanced the flavor. I suspect this will make an amazing latte.

This is an excellent blend and I have high hopes for the other 3 tea samples that I picked up. It seems that so often we hear about the large tea companies out there but the smaller companies like Laughing Tree Tea are doing some amazing things with tea that deserve to get noticed!

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Laughing Tree Tea

Description

Warm up with this with this pumpkin flavored chai. If you like pumpkin this is your chai. Offered seasonally be sure to pick up your brew. Chai is traditionally served sweetened and this fun tea is pre-sweetened with ghost and pumpkin candies.
Ingredients: Tea, Cinnamon, Apple & Rosehip pieces, Ginger, Cardamom, Black & White pepper, Candy, Hibiscus & Calendula & Sunflower petals, Clove, Nutmeg, and Natural flavors.

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!

Pistachio Ice Cream/DAVIDs Tea

Disclaimer: I have a long-standing love affair with this flavor. I bought it as one of my very first non-grocery-store loose-leaf blends. The combination of its yummy flavor and the general fact that loose leaf is better combined to make this BASICALLY BAE, as the kids say.

So take this gushing with a grain of salt.

Speaking of salt, pistachio has a sweet & salty vibe that’s delicious. It’s a rare tea ingredient, which makes it special. The funkiness of the pistachios is held up by sweet apples, sturdy black tea, and almonds. The result is a cozy, warm, sweet flavor that reminds me of nothing so much as David the Gnome.

If you don’t remember David the Gnome, it was a cartoon show about gnomes who gave each other nose kisses and hustled around the forest, healing animals. It was adorable. It was kind. It made you feel joyous. JUST LIKE THIS TEA.

For a while there, David’s Tea had discontinued this, and I was very sad. I was drinking my depleting stash as a “special treat.”

THEN IT RETURNED.

The world is an unpredictable place. Life is short. Buy the tea.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:

Where to Buy:  Davids Tea

Description

Cool, creamy and out of this world – there’s nothing quite like a bowl of ice cream. Even Roman emperor Nero couldn’t resist its frosty deliciousness. Legend has it he used to send runners into the mountains for snow, which was then flavoured with fruits and nuts. Though he had the right idea, it seems he was missing a key ingredient – pistachios. Sweet and salty, pistachio ice cream is just one of those desserts that keep us coming back for more. And with this nutty blend of black tea and crunchy pistachios, you’ll definitely want two scoops.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl’s Paradise/Bird & Blend Tea

Strawberry and papaya punch up Earl Grey in this tea by Bird & Blend!

Now that it’s the end of summer, I’ve been looking for the Perfect Fruity Morning Blend, and this one’s definitely a contender. If you’re tired of the same-old-same-old Earl Grey, there are plenty of other ones out there with additional flavors. Like this one.

I’m not sure I’d know a papaya if it hit me in the face, honestly. But I imagine it’s tropical. This tea tastes like eating a strawberry and then running under a sprinkler. It tastes like an afternoon in Disney World. It tastes like someone took sunshine, ground it up, and tossed it into a wishing fountain.

I feel like my clothes are going to disappear and I will be left in a yellow polka dot bikini. Which is awkward, because I’m at work.

Send clothes.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Bird & Blend Tea

Description

No one at The Nest (Bird & Blend HQ!) can start the day without a cup of this fruity, refreshing tea. Didn’t think you could improve the classic? We will happily prove you wrong! No words are gong to do it justice, it simply is paradise! Insiders tip: try it without milk for perfection.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Raspberry Lemonade/CuppaGeek Teas

Tea friends, I am BEYOND pumped to review this tea for you today. Why, do you ask? Well, our sweet and wonderful SororiTea-Sister, CuppaGeek, has officially launched her OWN line of amazing teas, and this is the first one I’ve had the opportunity to sip! Nichole is far too humble and sweet to ever brag on her own teas, so let me be the first (and certainly not the last) to do so: THIS WAS AWESOME. As soon as I saw Nichole’s teas go up for sale, I ordered a few goodies, and Nichole generously sent me a few extras to try. Seeing as her teas arrived on one of our many unseasonably warm days lately, I picked the one that sounded the most delicious for cold-brewing, and immediately popped a few teaspoons into a glass mason jar with some water overnight.

The next morning, I had a bright and beautifully pink brew awaiting me. Upon first sip, I knew this is exactly what my dehydrated summer self was craving– tart and a bit sweet, fruity and lemonade-esque while still maintaining the integrity of the green rooibos (my fave) and green tea. I loved that the lemonade in this tea didn’t just come from lemon flavor, but from one of my favorite herbs (lemon verbena), and a host of other delicious fruit and citrus combinations. As delightful as this tea was on its own, with a tiny splash of lemonade, it’s absolutely elevated to the next level. The slightly tart raspberry flavor (bolstered by just a hint of hibiscus) really shines, giving me that summer-fruit deliciousness that I crave from May-September.

Overall, I was BLOWN AWAY by Nichole’s first go at blending her own flavors (seriously, if girl is this good right out of the gate, what’s next to come?). I’m dying to try more in her repertoire– a Doctor Who inspired green earl grey and herbal Cotton Candy fruity blend top my list right now– and am so excited to see what’s next for this new tea company. Help me offer a big and happy congrats to our Sororitea-Sister, CuppaGeek!

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Green/Green Rooibos

Where to Buy:  CuppaGeek Teas

Description

This tea is available by request.  Contact CuppaGeek Teas for more info!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!