Oriental Beauty from Qi Aerista. . . .

Qi Aerista’s Oriental Beauty oolong is so dark I’d probably have thought it was a black tea if I hadn’t been told otherwise by its name.

This tea has a really unique honey-black flavor that comes from, interestingly, its odd chemical makeup. These tea leaves were attacked by a certain kind of bug; so the tea, as a defense, released a chemical to attract its predators. This chemical (or the interaction with the bugs, not sure which) tastes like there’s pollen ground into the rich woodsy earth of the tea. Because it’s a straight black, I’m fairly sure this doesn’t translate into calories. Yessss.

I like this tea a lot. It has a good taste and a cool story. I offer up a thumb pointed to the sky, friends.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Qi Aerista

This tea is no longer offered on the site but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Honey Bee Black from Pekoe Sip House. . . .

Today has been a bit of a lazy day spent inventorying my teas. I can get quite overwhelmed at times and for some reason it is calming to go through my stash, note which teas I still have in large quantities, which are almost done, which have maybe aged past their prime, and so on. It just helps me wrap my head around what’s hiding in my tea drawers and gives me a sense of control for some aspect of my life. Of course, no tea inventorying would be complete without a cup of tea to keep me company.

Honey Bee Black by Pekoe Sip House is today’s companion. It combines black tea, honey, honey bee pollen, vanilla, and caramel flavor. I brewed this per the recommended steeping parameters, letting the tea steep for 3 minutes in boiling water. I gave it a little time to cool and then got to sipping…

The scent of the steeped tea has a clear honey aroma and though that comes through in taste, it is a bit more subdued than the scent would suggest. That is probably because there is more than just honey happening in this cup. The black base comes through loud and clear with a malt that acts as the perfect foundation for the honey flavor. Together, they do bring out notes of vanilla caramel nearing the end of the sip.

What surprises me here is that this is not as sweet as you’d expect. The flavors are all there but none really jump out. On one hand that makes for a smooth tea that is easy to drink while trying to do other things and on the other hand, it can also be a bit boring.

Ultimately there is nothing wrong with this tea. In fact, it can be quite enjoyable. However, it is not something that stands out to me or something that I need to have again and again. It is a solid honey black option that I could see resteeping well but solid isn’t great and when you have the amount of teas I do, great is what you want

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Pekoe Sip House

An unparalleled combination of sweet and malty black tea with honey and honeybee pollen. Sweet and satisfying on the palate for an afternoon delicate or robust enough to enjoy as a morning cup. Add a sweetener and milk of your choice to make it your own perfect cup. We recommend serving hot and tasting with multiple infusions.

Ingredients: Black tea, honey, honey

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Honey Gingerbread Pancake Yunnan Tea from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

Even the name of this tea is downright exciting! It is beautiful to look at, with pearly Yunnan snail black tea as the base. And with pancake in the name, I had to have it for Sunday breakfast with the family!

The dominant aroma is ginger. I also found it to be the dominant flavor. (It really reminds me of fall and Christmas because that is the only time we use much ginger. Note to self – get more near the holidays!) The black tea base is strong enough to come through and not be masked by the added flavors, though. They didn’t skimp there.

I took mine sans additions and found it to be awesome as a breakfast tea, but it would also be very good with afternoon sweets.

My husband sniffed it and said, “It is okay, but you know I don’t care for ginger much and I don’t prefer flavored teas.” He then proceeded to empty the pot by drinking three cups in a row. So I guess that is a thumbs up for this flavored tea. He always adds milk and sugar to black tea and this tea can handle it.

I resteeped and I must say the Yunnan snail base performed beautifully. Of course the added flavors are diminished, but this still has nice, rich color and as much flavor as many teas have on their first steep, making it a wonderful follow-up to sip on through the morning.

Looking at their website to learn more about this tea, I saw and just had to order some Badger Breakfast Tea, too! I can’t wait to get that one and review it! German hops in tea? Yes, please!

Here’s the scoop!

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

A malty, high quality yunnan tea offers a platform for this sweet breakfast treat of cinnamon, ginger, spices, and honey.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!