Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

It’s that time of the year when it is still very much Fall so pumpkin is every which way you turn. You can’t go two minutes without seeing pumpkin this and pumpkin spice that. However, we are near enough to Christmas that those holiday flavors are popping up too. Just two days ago I enjoyed a Gingerbread Lindt Truffle while trying my first ever Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. It is a flavor experience that I am delighted to try again.

As per usual, A Quarter to Tea has just that combination with one of their teas, Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle, a flavored black tea with notes of pumpkin, gingerbread, and custard. I steeped this up for 3 minutes in 200 degree water as per the recommended parameters.

The smell as I take my first sip is 98% gingerbread and 2% pumpkin sweetness. It’s got a great spice to it and I am disappointed that flavorwise, it is not as strong. There is still a gingerbread flavor but it is not as sharp as in the scent due to the stronger pumpkin flavor. Tastewise it is like a sweet pumpkin (not to be confused with pumpkin spice) drink with a ginger kick lingering in the background. The aftertaste has the baked good flavor of a gingerbread cookie. Custard seems to be lacking but between the other components there is enough going on that it isn’t missed.

Personally I wish there was more gingerbread and less pumpkin but I can’t fault it for delivering what’s promised due to my personal preferences. It is a nice tea even if it is a little unsure whether it wants to be sweet or spicy. Fall and the holidays are one in this tasty cuppa.


Here’s the scoop!

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

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

The Holiday Season Approaches!

 

ChristmasLogo1This isn’t a review but an advertisement (sorry guys!)  No, we don’t usually advertise here on this site – this is an anomaly – but because one of the founding SororiTea Sisters is now the Mad Tea Artist behind 52Teas, she gets the privilege of deviating from the norm.

And 52Teas has a Holiday Pre-Sale going on right now on Kickstarter!  This isn’t a typical “fundraising” Kickstarter campaign, instead, this is a chance for you to get some Christmas shopping done early while it helps us keep things just a little more organized by keeping our pre-sales separate from our day-to-day sales activity.

52Teas is offering 5 unique, limited edition teas for this promotion – these teas will be available only during the season and once they’re sold out, they won’t be reblended until next Christmas!

Here’s the specs on those five VITs (Very Important Teas):

  • Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire – This is a special blend of black teas with a hint of Lapsang Souchong to give it that smoky touch that you’d experience from an open fire.  Flavored with chestnut and caramel and just a hint of spice to give it that winter-y kind of appeal.
  • Gingerbread Houjicha – I love the flavor of gingerbread and I think that the roasty-toasty, nutty flavor of houjicha would offer a delightful base to these flavors.
  • Eggnog Chai – A Chai blend (black tea with a touch of honeybush) flavored with notes of custard-y eggnog with an extra dash of nutmeg to enliven the cup.  This would make a great latte to serve Santa on Christmas Eve!
  • Cranberry Orange Cider – A blend of red and green rooibos that’s been flavored with cranberry, orange and apple with a medley of holiday spices.
  • Peppermint Marshmallow Melting in Hot Chocolate – For this blend, I chose a special black tea blend (crafted with teas from our friends at Verdant Tea) for the base that has a rich, natural cacao flavor with hints of malt.  Peppermint, marshmallow and even more chocolate-y flavor to create a deliciously delightful cuppa.

YUM!  So please take a moment to visit the 52Teas Kickstarter Holiday Pre-Sale and get some of that early Christmas shopping done early!  The campaign closes on October 27th so your card won’t be charged until that date, and the teas will be shipped in plenty of time for gift giving!

Thanks for taking a moment to read this . . . now let’s get back to the reviews!

Product Review: Gingerbread Chai Latte from Coffee Revolution

coffeerevolutionlogoProduct Information:

Where to Buy:  If you live in Vancouver, WA:  Coffee Revolution.

Taster’s Review:

As I’ve said before, I don’t stop in to my local coffee shop(s) often.  Here in Vancouver, Washington – and pretty much anywhere in the Pacific Northwest – there’s a coffee shop at street corner, it seems.  My husband and I often joke at the number of Starbucks that there are.  If you happen to pass by a Starbucks, you don’ t need to turn around and go back, just keep going and there will be another one coming up on the next street corner.  In Portland, I understand there’s a Starbucks inside a Starbucks.

So I was less than impressed a couple of years ago when Coffee Revolution appeared in Vancouver at a location not far from my house.  I don’t usually go to the coffee shop, why would I go to this one?

But they hooked me in with their fancy digital billboard sign outside of their shop.  It beckoned to me:  Gingerbread Chai.  How do I resist that?

As it turns out, I wish I would have.  Essentially, this is the original Oregon Chai concentrate that’s been enhanced with Gingerbread flavored syrup.  The result:  an overly sweet concoction that tasted like gingerbread (with gobs of extra icing).

Yeah, I taste the chai.  I don’t really taste much of the ‘black tea’ that is supposed to be in the Oregon Chai concentrate.  When I’ve tried this brand of chai concentrate in the past, I didn’t taste the black tea either, so it’s not the sickeningly sweet gingerbread syrup’s fault that I can’t taste the tea.  It’s the concentrate’s fault.

The good:  I can taste the gingerbread.  If this were not as sweet, I’d be a lot more pleased with it though.  As it is, it’s just too sweet.  It’s cloying.  It’s so sweet that if I were a diabetic, I’d be worried about diabetic coma at this point.

On another note, I do feel bad.  Because as I was standing there, waiting for the very cheerful barrista to finish with my latte, I’m sure she could see just how disgusted I was that my chai was coming out of a carton.  It wasn’t her fault.  She was just doing her job.  So, if she happens to be reading this, I’m sorry if I came off as a tea snob.  I am, in fact, a tea snob and I don’t apologize for that, but just because I’m a tea snob doesn’t mean that I should be rubbing others the wrong way with it.  Sorry.

Gingerbread House Genmaicha Tea from 52Teas

Gingerbread-House-GenmaichaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

With marshmallow root, orange peel and a touch of peppermint blended into our Japanese Genmaicha, we tried to infuse a whole gingerbread house (gingerbread, orange gumdrops and spice drops, creamy frosting and all) into one tea. I think we did pretty well, but you’ll just have to find out for yourself.

Learn more about this blend here.

Learn more about 52Teas’ subscriptions here.

Please check out my campaign to take over 52Teas here!  Please help me keep 52Teas alive and kicking out those teas every week!

Taster’s Review:

I really liked that when I opened the pouch – I could smell GINGER!  I like my gingerbread to be heavy on the ginger flavor, I like that punch of ginger flavor, but all too often when it comes to gingerbread, I’m of the opinion that there just isn’t enough ginger to call it gingerbread.

So I was happy that I could smell ginger here.  The brewed tea smells a bit less like ginger (or gingerbread) and a bit more like brewed genmaicha with it’s nutty, toasty essence.  There are some warm notes of ginger, the fragrance of the ginger is just not as strong as it was with the dry leaf.  I’m also picking up on some sweet, cakey notes in the scent too.  It smells quite yummy.

Even though I like to let the tea cool a bit before I start writing a lot about it, I couldn’t stop myself from taking a little sip while it was still quite hot.  Mmm!  I have a really good feeling about this tea.  It’s going to be a cupful of yum!

And it is!  I like that the ginger is dominate, but it isn’t overpowering the other flavors.  This tastes the way I want my gingerbread to taste – with a strong ginger note.  I can also taste notes of creamy, marshmallow-y icing and notes of orange.

These flavors don’t overwhelm the genmaicha tea which is sweet and nutty with a really nice pleasant roasty-toasty flavor.  I like the way these flavor of the genmaicha taste with the gingerbread house flavors.  It’s sweet but not too sweet because the nutty flavors add some dimension to it to make it not so candy or cake-y that it ends up tasting cloying.

It’s a really fun flavor.

This one resteeps well too.  The flavors are less distinctly “Gingerbread House” and more like a gently spiced cookie.  It’s still quite tasty though and definitely worth the effort to resteep it, so hang on to those leaves!

I see that this tea has sold out, so I am hoping that other customers have enjoyed this tea as much as I did so that when it comes time to vote for reblends – this one will eventually get reblended!

Gingerbread Flavored Iced Honeybush Tea from Southern Boy Teas

SBT-HONEYBUSH-GingerbreadTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  Zoomdweebies

Tea Description:

This is a crowd pleaser. Order this today and offer your Thanksgiving dinner guests an awesome caffeine-free treat with organic flavors of gingerbread and a hint of cream cheese frosting. This is a real treat and likely to go fast. Do not miss out on this one.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

Gingerbread is not something I eat often.  I like some gingerbread, but most that I find tends to be a little on the wimpy side with no real ginger flavor.  An exception to that is the gingerbread that I’ve tasted from Nikki’s Cookies.  Good stuff.

But a lot of the gingerbread that you can buy in the grocery stores (about a month ago, you couldn’t walk into a grocery store without seeing a “gingerbread house kit.”  And most of that stuff tastes like it was made from cardboard.  No real ginger flavor – it’s as if the ginger that they use in the recipe is ground ginger that had been sitting on the shelf since Christmas in 1990.  Boring flavor with no ginger kick.

So I’m hoping this tea will give me the kind of gingerbread flavor I want!

I hot-brewed this tea.  I brought a quart of water to 195°F and dropped the sachet into the kettle and let it steep for 9 minutes.  Then I strained the liquid into my favorite half gallon iced tea pitcher and repeated the process:  heated a quart of water – 195°F – and put the same sachet into the kettle.  This time, I let it steep for 11 minutes.  Then I let the pitcher come to room temperature before I stashed it in the refrigerator to cool overnight.

Today, I have a pitcher full of gingerbread tea!  Well, I guess I should say, I did have a pitcher full of gingerbread tea.  Now I have about 1 glassful of tea remaining at the bottom of the pitcher and that glassful will be consumed soon!

This has a nice ginger flavor.  The ginger is subtle but present in every sip.  It doesn’t have a strong, peppery zing from the ginger, but there’s enough ginger in there to know that you’re tasting ginger.  And there’s a pleasant sweetness, almost molasses-y, and that’s something I want to taste with gingerbread too.

This is sweet and enjoyable without being cloying.  The ginger cuts through enough of the sweetness to keep it from tasting too sweet.  The honeybush is a good base for the gingerbread flavors because the nutty and honey-esque flavors of the honeybush really tie in well with the overall gingerbread concept.

If I’m to offer any “complaint” about this tea, it would be that I want a little more “buttery/pastry” like flavor.  That – it would seem – has become a common complaint of mine about some of the baked good flavor teas that 52Teas/Southern Boy Teas/Zoomdweebies has been producing as of late.  I’m just not getting the buttery/pastry-like flavor that I’ve come to love from some of 52Teas’ classic flavors like their Pancake Breakfast tea.  I think that would make this taste more like a gingerbread cookie.

That said, I found this iced tisane to be enjoyable.  I like the flavor of the ginger and the molasses notes are quite delightful.  It’s not my favorite iced tea selection from Southern Boy Teas, but it’s tasty and refreshing.  The fact that the half gallon pitcher is nearly empty after it being in the refrigerator for less than a day should be testament to the fact that I enjoyed the flavor and it is very easy to drink.

Please take a moment to check out Frank’s Kickstarter campaign!  He’s looking to take Southern Boy Teas to new heights and the fundraising effort will help get him started in the right direction!  Please help this small business!