Maple Vanilla Earl Grey from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

Today I got to thinking about fun ways to make teas. Lately I have been experimenting. Cold brewing in chocolate milk. Topping iced teas with lemonade. I have been having fun playing with my teas. So when I had a Vanilla Frosty in my freezer from Wendy’s that seemed daunting to eat on its own, I thought to myself, “what can I do with this?” Well, an affogato came to mind.

For those of you that don’t know what I am talking about, an affogato is an Italian dessert that typically takes the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream topped with a shot of hot espresso. Mine, on the other hand, took the form of two scoops of Vanilla Frosty topped with tea. Maple Vanilla Earl Grey tea by A Quarter to Tea to be specific. Why that tea? Well all recipes I looked at online suggested using strong flavored teas like chais or earl greys. I went with what I had readily available and the Maple Vanilla Earl Grey Affogato was born.

Since I have never had an affogato made by someone who knows what they’re doing I am not sure if this is right but I am sure it is good. It’s more a drink than a dessert you could eat with a spoon but there is a little ball of frosty still present. The liquid is so rich and creamy. Obviously it has a ton of silky vanilla flavor given both the frosty and the tea have vanilla flavoring. More than just the vanilla, there is a distinct maple sweetness that is a little more earthy than the vanilla but still very sweet as well as a little bit of a honeyed quality coming from the rooibos. The bergamot, for those that don’t like it very much, is actually really lovely here because it just adds a bit of brightness to counteract the other sweeter elements while the black tea base and cinnamon work to do the same thing in their own ways by adding some spice and some softer tea flavors. It’s really quite delightful because you get both the flavor of the frosty and the tea distinctly but at the same time they work together so nicely making for a delectably creamy and flavorful treat.

All in all, I would say this was one successful experiment if for no other reason than the affogato was gone in under five minutes. Seriously, i just kept drinking and actually finished the affogato before I finished the review. Oops.

Ultimately I am not sure how successful this tea would be on its own as I used the whole sample I had for the affogato but used the way it was here, this tea was certainly a home run.


Here’s the scoop!

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

A brisk cup of Earl Grey, mellowed with the sweetness of maple and the smoothness of vanilla with still giving you that satisfying bergamot punch that makes Earl Grey so special

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lime Jello from 52Teas. . . .

A friend of mine won a giveaway hosted by 52 Teas awhile ago. The perk of my friend winning the giveaway is that I still got to try the teas she won without adding too much to my ever growing stash of teas. Among her winnings was this Lime Jello Green Tea.

Lime Jello Green Tea is made up of a blend of green teas, lime leaves, limes, pineapples, marshmallow root and natural flavors. It smells like…well, lime jello. Now I have never been the biggest jello fan but the smell of jello powder, with its artificial and candy-like fruit scents, has always appealed to me so this tea captured my nose and with that, my attention.

As I drink the tea, I definitely get lime candy though it is not as in-your-face pungent as the smell of the dry leaf would suggest. Then again, the taste of jello is never as strong as the smell of the powder so I can’t be too upset about that. In addition to the lime, I get a touch of bitterness from the green tea base that I feel keeps this grounded while the marshmallow root makes this come off light, like any jello-inspired tea should be.

One thing that surprised me about this blend is that there is a creaminess here that I wasn’t expecting. Even more surprising is how this tea manages to stay light even with the creamy element, which is much more commonly found in heavier/richer dessert teas.

Lime Jello is not something I would have ever thought I wanted made into a tea but now that I have had it, I will say that I approve. It is bright and fun and a great treat for warmer days.


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!

12 Teas of Christmas 1-6 from 52Teas. . . .

52 Teas 12 Teas of Christmas 1-6 (SPOILERS) While I’m a huge fan of 52 Teas and their creative blends, I’ve never before ordered their ever-so-popular 12 Teas of Christmas countdown sampler. This year, I decided to treat myself! After a shipping snafu (anyone else find themselves ordering online goodies six months after moving and not until you’ve hit purchase do you go– “DANGIT, that’s being sent to my old address!” Just me? Cool.) that Anne and her team went above and beyond to fix for me, I was EXTRA pumped for these goodies to come my way. I’m going to break these mini-reviews into two, so you’ll get a 1-6 and then a 7-12 installment as I drink these tasty treats in real time! Now: let’s get sipping!

Day One: Foggy Coconut Black – Let’s just say I am… a less-than-enthusiastic earl grey drinker. I’ve recently been introduced to the concept of “blergamot” (i.e. bergamot in tea makes you go “blerg!”), which hit the nail on the head for me. But while I was skeptical when I opened this package, its delightful creaminess was intriguing. I’m so pleased to say that this is one Earl Grey I’ll be enthusiastically sipping! Like my favorite London Fog lattes, the creamy coconut and vanilla balance out the floral and blerg-y undertones of traditional earl greys, making this one a winner– especially as a latte!

Day Two: Candy Cane Marshmallow Green – Ever since becoming pregnant (baby tea lover, due June 2019!), I’ve been… off my tea drinking game. Most teas just haven’t been sounding good to me! But peppermint has totally been the one element that ALWAYS sounds good to me in this pregnancy, so I was thrilled to see this one in the mix. It’s a delightful, creamy Genmaicha, with light minty notes in the background. This preggy peppermint-lover would have adored the peppermint flavor to be more of a POW, but if you’re looking for a gentle, creamy mint holiday tea, this one is a winner.

Day Three: Raspberry Almond Cookie Honeybush – I opened this package, and was immediately sold by those tart, mouthwatering raspberry notes. Brewed, the raspberry loses some tartness, but is balanced really wonderfully by some beautiful, creamy marizipan-esque undertones. Delightful with cream!

Day Four: Ginger Cola Black – I was Skeptical-with-a-capital-S of this one (cola?! In my TEA?) but friends, it is KILLER on ice. I’ll admit I haven’t tried it hot yet (warm cola is not sounding great to this mama-to-be), but it’s spicy and cola-esque without all that syrupy sweetness. I can see why this one is a popular blend!

Day Five: BlackBerry Custard Tart Green – While some teas haven’t sounded great to me this pregnancy, berry teas have sounded delightful across the board. This one hit all its promised notes– fresh and fruity berries, creamy custard and flaky pastry. I (gasp!) served it with some milk and found it brought out ALL the flavors even further, while muting some of the green grassiness. Yum!

Day Six: Banana Pancake Black – I have shocked myself in recent months with a love for banana flavored teas. I’m pretty neutral on bananas themselves, and even more negatively-skewed on banana flavoring, but for whatever reason, I cannot get ENOUGH of them in tea lately. This blend delivers on the banana and bready, malty, maple-y pancake goodness of a breakfast treat, all whilst not being overtly banana-in-your-face (think banana bread, rather than banana candy). I served this one with a touch of maple syrup and cream, and had to stop myself from chugging the whole cup. Delightful!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: 52Teas
Description

The majority of these 12 Teas of Christmas are sold out but some of them are still available below.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lava Licorice Spice from St Fiacres Farm. . .

I’ll start off by saying this. Lava Licorice Spice surprised me. Normally, licorice root is one of my no-go ingredients. I don’t like it, it usually comes off as sickly-sweet to me and I can’t drink it. However, this tea from St. Fiacre’s farm is unlike any other licorice tea I’ve ever had.

I steeped this one up hot, for about five minutes. It did have a sweet taste, but it wasn’t overpowering. The licorice root doesn’t sit at the back of your throat as it sometimes does with similar teas. The oolong, licorice and ginger come together to round out this unique blend that is really pleasant overall. This isn’t one that I feel the need to stock up on, but if you like spicy teas, this could be a good choice for you. It is worth noting that this tea is a little dry, and not everyone will enjoy that mouthfeel.

Nonetheless, if you’re a spicy tea lover or a licorice hater, I encourage you to try this. It was unexpectedly good. Teas from this company are also all natural, organic and hand-blended. I could tell that everything from the packaging to the tea itself that it was crafted with care.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  St Fiacres Farm
Description

Licorice Spice and everything nice! This black tea is paired with our Herbal La Pine Licorice tea for those who are looking for the extra kick that black tea has to offer. Perfect for sipping on a cold winter day and naturally sweet from the licorice root. Paired with lovely spices such as fennel, clover, ginger, cinnamon and anise this yummy tea uses only 100% organic ingredients. Take to the mountains with this bold warming tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Cap Chai from Beach House Teas

White teas have not always been my favorite kind of tea, but they have grown on me with every new flavor I try.  Since I already like chai teas, I was predisposed to enjoy White Cap Chai from Beach House teas.

This is a wonderful take on the lighter side of chai.  The white tea is earthy and smooth, and gently floral. It makes for a vegetal chai without being grassy like green tea.  I was thrilled to find a new low caffeine option for chai that isn’t based in rooibos teas.

I adore the mix of spices in this tea, especially the addition of fennel.  Fennel occupies that space between sweet spice and savory herb, and brings a new layer to the expected spices like cinnamon or ginger.  Added peppercorns also play into the more savory earthiness of the flavors.

Despite some big chai spice players like cloves, anise, and cardamom, the spices themselves are gentle enough to still allow you to taste the white tea and more understated peony flavors.  This kind of balance with a spicy tea really shows that the blenders at Beach House Teas know their stuff.

I will have to stock up on White Cap Chai to help balance out all the other black tea or rooibos chais I’ve got in my cupboard.  White Cap Chai is versatile and unexpected, perfect for the changing of seasons or for my ever-changing palette for tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Beach House Tea Co.
Description:

White Cap Chai is a lighter version of the traditional chai making it delicate and unique. This beautiful chai is made with 100% organic white peony tea leaves and organic spices. It’s a modern twist on a sweet and spicy classic. The chai gives you a smooth, mellow taste with subtle layers of flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!