No Obligations Decaf from Plum Deluxe. . .

My brother described the smell of this as “the inside of Bed Bath and Beyond… no, the other one. Bath and Body Works. That one. WITH THE SMELLS.”

The strong and enthusiastic odor of this blend is definitely one of its defining characteristics. It smells sweet, nutty, vanilla-like — which is, as it turns out, precisely what it is. It tastes like the illustrations from the original Candyland look: rounded and bright and lip-smacking.

 

Kids like playing Candyland. It’s easy to learn, it takes a while, and anyone can win. Everyone has a chance.

Like Candyland, this tea doesn’t live in the land of adults. Due to its sweetness and decaffeinated status, it is accessible to children, too! Share it with yours today.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black (Decaf)
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

Given the state of world affairs, we thought you could use a good cup of something with no expectations attached — hence the aptly named No Obligations blend. We use a fresh, vibrant decaf Ceylon black tea for the base and add both hazelnut and almond extracts with some spiced cinnamon, a pinch of cocoa nibs, and a creamy vanilla.

The result is a cup that will wrap around you tighter than your granny’s arms. Sip and relax, knowing that you’re doing the best that you can and that taking a moment for yourself is always a great idea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Country Chai Spice from The Cozy Leaf. . . .

Country Chai Spice from The Cozy Leaf already made me feel warm and relaxed just from the name.  Makes me think of being under a quilt out at a cabin, maybe beside a warm fire. Beyond the name, this tea had a surprisingly pleasant long list of spices in its ingredients list.  Cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, I expect, but not all chai teas comes with cloves and anise, and the never seem to come with fennel. What a lovely change of pace.

Brewed, this is a sweeter chai, thanks to a hearty serving of anise and cinnamon.  The anise isn’t strong enough to make this a black jelly bean chai, but it does add its token throat-soothing, candy-like properties.

Much to my surprise, the ginger and clove take a back seat in this tea, subtle enough that you might miss them if you’re not paying attention.  The fennel and cardamom are gentle and earthy, and add a much needed almost-savory pairing to the anise and cinnamon.

Just when I’ve thought that I’ve tried every chai tea I can think of, I find something new.   I look forward to getting cozy with another cup of Country Chai Spice from the Cozy Leaf sometime soon.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The Cozy Leaf
Description:

Full-bodied black tea chai made with real chai spices of rich cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, and sweet anise and clove for a healthy and delicious treat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chai Houjicha / 52 Teas

This tea is no longer on the 52 Teas website.

For those of you unfamiliar with 52 Teas they specialize in doing weekly unique teas. Like Kumquat Cucumber Chutney Black Tea.

Very unique flavors. Chai and hojicha aren’t really unique but combined they are.

This is the first I’ve seen of this type.

Also for those curious, even though the leaf doesn’t look like it, Hojicha is considered a green tea because of how it is processed. It ends up being a little nutty with some flavors you won’t find in other green teas.

Which makes it perfect for chai! This would make a great chai latte.

While I generally prefer a spicy chai the nutty and barley notes of this tea combined with the spices of the chai are a perfect fit that doesn’t need the spicy.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
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!

Chinese Five Spice from 52Teas. . . . .

I love spicy teas, so when I saw that 52Teas has a special spiced blend for the Chinese New year, I had to try it.  Chinese Five Spice from 52Teas is one of my favorite chai blends I’ve tried in a while. In the dry leaf, you can smell the Szechwan peppercorns, adding a little heat and a little tingly, earthy ground pepper scent.

The peppercorns are well-balanced with the sweeter spices like anise and ginger.  The orange peels are specifically mandarin oranges, and there’s something distinct in the citrus flavor that makes it feel different than the usual orange notes. Finally, there are also plenty of cloves that add their own sweet-spice, almost making the dry tea leaves have a fragrance like Dr. Pepper or Moxie soda.

Brewed, the black tea really shines and shows off its quality, tippy tea leaf origins.  Somehow both smooth and tart, it makes the pepper and orange pop on my tongue but without any spicy after-burn on my throat.  There is still a very full-flavored scent in my mug with cloves and ginger, but it’s not sweat-inducing spicy in taste, very drinkable.  No honey or milk needed (though you can always add them if you love it), the blend is well-balanced right out of the bag.

I ordered the sample size but I’ve already finished it, so I’ll have to put the full size bag in my shopping cart soon.  This is a tasty, unique chai for spicy tea lovers everywhere.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description:

Since China is a very important part of what I do (since most of my tea comes from China!), I decided it was important to do something to celebrate the ringing in of the Chinese New Year this year (The Year of the Dog)! I started with two black Yunnan teas – a Yunnan Black Gold and a tippy Assamica grown in the Yunnan Province – and added dried mandarin wedges and the whole spices of a Chinese 5 Spice blend: Cinnamon, Cloves, Star Anise, Fennel and Szechwan peppercorns. Then I added just a wee bit of ginger to enhance the peppery notes just a little. The result is a cuppa that is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory and a little bit spicy! It’s a really nice, round flavor! The mandarin orange flavor is bright and adds a nice touch to the spices here. It’s kind of like an orange flavored chai – Chinese style! I’m really happy with how this one came out – the spices are strong enough to be inviting but don’t blow out the taste buds with the spice – and the mandarin is really lovely: sweet and juicy!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Easy Like Sunday Morning from Plum Deluxe. . . . .

A love letter to this delightful, chocolate-y lavender tea, from Mary (a fan).

Dearest chocolate-lavender honeybush, you unexpectedly tricky surprise. Prior to our first meeting, did I think you might be a little much? Perhaps– and yet, I added you to my tea order regardless. And when you arrived, did I not shove you to the kind-of-back of my tea cabinet, purposefully ignoring you a little bit until the time was right? YES. And YET: when your brewing time arrived, did I know we’d soon fall in tea-sipper-and-tea-leaf love? Certainly not. Did I assume your notes of chocolate would be that strange combination so often found in chocolate teas, that of overwhelming, fake, and flat– all at once? Did I doubt that you’d be the one in a million to change my mind and actually make me believe that could chocolate tea could be delicious? I mean– I hoped. But I was skeptical.

(Interlude: I’m well aware that if this were a REAL love letter, there sure would be a lot of caveats in my profession of love. Let’s be grateful that tea isn’t a sentient love-letter-recipient.)

OH, but you chocolate lavender tea– you are just perfect. You’re mild and sweet, comforting and cozy and rich just as a chocolate tea should be, but rarely is. You require no added sweetness, but you’re a match made in heaven with a dollop of decadent coconut cream on top. You’re the standard I now hold all other chocolate teas against– this is now a much, much higher bar than it ever had been before.

Dear chocolate lavender honeybush tea, you truly are as easy as a Sunday morning. And any Sunday that involves chocolate is a win by me. Mmm.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

When we launched our line of hot chocolate blends, we found our favorite flavor was chocolate and lavender.  The rich decadence of the chocolate was enhanced by a tiny flourish of floral calm.  So that’s when we realized it would make the perfect herbal tea!

Everything feels easier after a calm cup of this blend.  Honeybush tea and cacao nibs are paired with fresh Oregon lavender to make a dreamy cup of perfection.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!