Lavender Dream from Dave and Solomons Tea

Dave and Solomons are a mother and son tea blending company, currently selling their indie creations on their Etsy store. I hadn’t come across them before this sample arrived with me, but it’s always nice to discover a new tea company, if a little dangerous for the bank account!

lavender-dreams2Lavender Dream is a fruit and herbal blend, combining the sweet fruitiness of peach with the light floral of lavender. It sounds a little odd to begin with, but I was pleased to discover that they’re actually two flavours which work incredibly well together. The dry leaf itself is incredibly pretty, with dark pink rose petals, bright blue cornflowers, and purple lavender buds, plus large (1-2cm square) chunks of dried papaya.

I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 5 minutes in boiling water. The result is a medium orange-brown liquor, which smells wonderful and which filled the entire kitchen with the scent of fuzzy peach.  To taste, it’s very much as you might expect. The peach isn’t particularly natural-tasting, hence “fuzzy” peach, but it’s strong and incredibly juicy, and I’m more than happy with that. The lavender is definitely playing second fiddle here, not really making itself known until very much the end of the sip. When it does, it’s a pleasant counterpoint to the sweetness of the peach, adding a delicate floral flavour, and just a hint of perfume.

I expected this one to be a lot heavier on the lavender, given that it’s called Lavender Dream. Having tasted it, I feel Peach Dream lavenderdreams3would be a much more appropriate name, because it is primarily a peach flavoured tea. I’m not the biggest fan of floral teas, particularly when they’re herbal blends, but in this case it shouldn’t put you off. The lavender really isn’t very prominent, but the contribution it makes is balancing one, and pleasant to boot.

As  this is a  caffeine free blend, it’ll likely be making a regular appearance in my evening rotation for a good long while to come. I love the juicy peach notes, and I’d actually like to try this one iced (although I might have to wait until summer, or a rare warm day, for that now.) I’ll definitely be trying more blends from Dave and Solomons Tea in the future on the strength of this experience. There’s certainly some skilled blending going on!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Fruit/Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy: Dave and Solomons Tea
Description

Yummy peach cubes with organic lavender, rose petals, marigold & cornflower petals. MMMM Soooo good!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Summer Rain Tea from Art of Tea

summer_rainTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White Tea

Where to Buy: Art of Tea

Tea Description:

The taste of fresh sliced melon washes the palate and refreshes the spirit. A special blend of organic white tea fully infused with the fresh essences of cantaloupe and jasmine. Perfect as an iced tea or after a meal.

Caffeine Content: Medium

Tasting Notes: Fruity, Crisp, Light

Learn more about this tea here. <– Update this link to the vendor’s product page. Don’t forget to remove this instructional text!

Taster’s Review:

Summer Rain Tea from Art of Tea is a wonderful delight!  This loose leaf white tea is fruity, crisp, and light in touch, feel, smell, and taste.  The dry leaf smells very much like cantaloupe and when you add the hot water the natural jasmine aroma comes into play a bit more.

I have enjoyed this tea both hot and cold.  The thing I find almost as fascinating as the flavor is the sight of this tea once infused.  This is one of the darker white teas I have seen to date!  Just by looking at it in the cup you may mistake it for a light to medium strength black tea instead of a white tea.

Summer Rain by Art of Tea makes me want to get back into the white tea phase of my tea drinking days!  It helps warm these winter moments and promote dreams of summery weather once again!  Two thumbs up on this white tea – Summer Rain – from Art of Tea.

 

Tropical Sunshine Green from A Quarter to Tea

TropicalSunshineTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea

Tea Description:

Summer winding to a close, getting you down? Don’t fret — just let yourself get whisked off to the beach. Tangerine, mango, raspberry and coconut make a fruity tropical cocktail that will have you hearing waves and feeling the sand underfoot.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

We’re a long way from summer now, so a tropical themed tea feels a little out of place but just because this might not be the ideal season to drink it doesn’t mean it’s not going to be super tasty! So, when I cold brewed this tea I did my absolute best to be open minded about it. And honestly, it wasn’t hard: the coconut in the blend smells super fresh and yummy and I could see lots of goji berries which are a fruit I’ve really tried to learn more about this year. Both are things for me to get excited about.

Like I said, this was cold brewed because Lauren from A Quarter to Tea specifically said on the tea’s page that it’s great iced. I don’t normally ice teas, but I do cold brew them! I find, if a company is going to specifically point out a way to try their tea I want to take that into consideration.

Mostly; I thought this was just a really nice smooth, vegetal and grassy cold brewed green tea that demonstrated characteristics of both the Chinese and Japanese style greens in the blend. On top of the really enjoyable base, the coconut was quite a dominant flavour. It tastes insanely fresh! It’s a nice balance between tropical “Pina Colada” type coconut and a more confectionery type coconut. It reminds me of DT’s Coconut Grove which is something I haven’t gotten to say in a LONG time since that delightful blend has been discontinued for a while now.

Sadly, none of the fruit really seems to contribute much flavour. I certainly don’t taste the goji and I just barely taste the faintest citrus flavour on the finish of the cup. I’d never be able to identify it as tangerine is I wasn’t reading an ingredients list. I don’t mind the absence of fruit because I get to enjoy the coconut, but I doubt that’s entirely what was intended and if you’re looking for fruit flavour you may be disappointed with this blend.

Regardless, it was a good experience for me.

Sangria White from A Quarter to Tea

sangriaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea

Tea Description:

Hold on to your summer year round, with this cuppa. Combines the flavors of cherry, apple and blueberries with a hint of rum and wine to make the perfect sangria year round.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is my second sample from A Quarter to Tea! I chose it for a couple reasons; the big one was that the other two samples I picked out were oolongs and I wanted to get to taste at least one of Lauren’s other tea types. However, I was also interested by the fairly unique ingredients. I’ve never seen Sangria with blueberry, for starters. Finally, I wanted to find a Sangria tea that was an improvement on the other two I’ve tried. DAVIDsTEA had a seasonal Sangria blend which I didn’t mind but didn’t love, and Red Leaf Tea has a Sangria flavour of matcha I currently own but don’t particularly like. And the idea of Sangria with a white base sounds awesome, too!

It was hard to form much of an impression of the tea dry: I could see several chunks of the dry ingredients in the blend, but there wasn’t a distinct aroma. Part of that, I feel, is that in the package Lauren mailed to me the Cherry Chocolate Latte was really a dominant flavour and I think possibly may have contaminated the other teas it was packaged with or, at least, “cancelled out” their aromas – which weren’t as potent/strong. Since Lauren suggests on her Etsy page to ice this and since Sangria really is a drink best consumed cold I decided to go with a cold method of preparation. However, instead of icing I went with cold brewing because that style of preparation is a favourite of mine.

I do find this tea to be very mildly/delicately flavoured overall, with softer and less prominent notes of apple and blueberry and a jammy stonefruit quality which I suppose is the cherry. I want to point out that mild and subtle isn’t actually a bad thing, however Sangria doesn’t have a ‘delicate’ flavour to begin with so it’s not reading as the most accurate flavour profile. Plus it’s a little odd for me to neither taste “orange”/citrus which is such a common Sangria flavour or the wine/rum. As such, while I really like the flavour that I do taste, I find it very hard to drink this and think of it as ‘Sangria’ flavoured. The name just doesn’t seem to match, you know?

I’d be interested to see this tea rebranded as another flavour, maybe even some kind of ‘punch’? This is a refreshing, light, fruity cuppa but in my ‘quest’ for the perfect Sangria tea my expectations just haven’t been met.

Chocolate Cherry Latte Oolong Green from A Quarter to Tea

chocolatecherrylatteTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong/Green

Where to Buy: A Quarter To Tea

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. What could be a better start to the morning?

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

A Quarter to Teas is a fairly new tea store selling on Etsy that feautues seasonal and limited edition blends such as the blend I’m trying now and many other unique flavours like Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa. The owner, Lauren, was kind enough to send a few samples my way. I have to say my email correspondence with Lauren was incredibly impressive – she was so prompt in replying to my messages and very pleasant overall. Without even taking a sip of tea yet, I’m already impressed with the company on the grounds of their customer service alone.

That said, getting into the tea itself this smells AMAZING. I was totally expecting more of a coffee/chocolate with a subtle cherry because most blends that attempt to do cherry blends in which the cherry isn’t the sole flavour never really nail it. Instead, the smell is indicating this will be the opposite: cherry tea with more subtle coffee and chocolate. I am SO on board with that idea!

And I am so gleeful right now because the taste of the infused tea IS very strongly cherry! And it’s not some kind of gross cough syrup cherry either! Instead it’s sweet, dark cherry. So yummy and indulgent! Of course, there’s more going on here aside from the cherry even if that is the element of the tea which I’m most excited about. The chocolate notes come through well too and the pairing is a match made in heaven. However, it’s a little thin and I think that’s probably because this blend uses chocolate chips. If I could make one suggestion it’d be to use either cocoa nibs or shells instead. I think that’d kick the chocolate factor up a lot and also make the mouthfeel a little cleaner. Finally, the “coffee”. Personally I think this is the mildest element of the blend but I’m more that ok with that. As much as I don’t hate coffee and am cool with the flavour being in my tea I still prefer the tea itself to be the most dominant flavour. On that note I definitely taste the hojicha more than the oolong. I really love the idea of pairing the hojicha with the oolong as well; it ups the roasty notes up quite a bit and adds a whole new layer of flavour into the tea.

This tea is absolutely phenomenal! I’m very impressed, and I really look forward to trying the rest of my samples from Lauren. As far as first impressions go, this was a really good one.