Jelly and Ice Cream from Teapigs. . . . .

I recently tried a cheeky box set of tea samples from Teapigs, and their packaging and labels were so cute and irresistible.  One flavor that wasn’t available in the box set was a blend made in honor of the Teapigs 10th anniversary in 2016.  It was meant as a limited edition blend, but it made such a hit that you can still place fresh orders for the blend today.

Jelly and Ice Cream was such an unusual flavor name and profile, I just had to check it out.  This is an herbal blend, made with lots of fruit pieces and natural flavoring.  The dry leaf smells both fruity and nutty, almost like sugary cereal, and brings to mind sticking your nose into a box of Crunch Berries.  The blend brews up as a rich, amber-pink color and tastes much like its scent, only smoother and sweeter.  The great news is that even though the tea is pink, there’s no sour hibiscus petals, so fruity-tea lovers of the world can rejoice that this blend isn’t overpowered by hibiscus tartness.

The flavors are just balanced enough to give me a full taste of both the jam-like raspberries and strawberries, and the sweet-cake tones of vanilla, cream, and biscuits.  Despite the dessert-like name, there’s something bright and breakfast-oriented about this blend, like toast with jam, or fruity cereal in milk.  This blend entices me to make it part of my balanced breakfast! Besides, it makes me feel whimsical and like a kid eating dessert-first.

Not being British, I’m not sure if this tea is based on a type of dessert in real life, but no matter what side of the pond you’re on, it’s hard to argue against flavors like jelly and ice cream and cake.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Teapigs
Description:

In 2006 the Iphone didn’t exist, the Kardashians were not a (big) thing, nobody #HASHTAGGED anything, people asked directions, smoking in pubs happened, Lance Armstrong was liked, Desperate Housewives ruled our lives, Woolworth’s pick’n’mix ruled our kids lives, avocado’s were not cool and teapigs was launched. We celebrate 10 years of great quality tea with this blend of strawberry jelly & ice cream. Grab a mug and raise a Birthday toast to teapigs!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Let’s Go Bananas! Banana-Themed Teas

Tea with bananas?  That’s crazy, right?  Or maybe it’s just crazy delicious.  Let’s take a look at five banana teas I’ve tasted lately.

Grilled Spiced Banana from A Quarter to Tea – Let’s get started with the weirdest banana tea I’ve come across.  Not only does this blend feature bananas, but it also uses smokey flavors to convey the “grilled” part of Grilled Banana.  Brewed, this tea is shockingly creamy, much more like banana creme brule than any overpowering smoky lapsang souchong.  The hint of smoky adds a nice savory note to the sweet banana, like the tasting the sweet-salty shell of fried ice cream.  This is a total underdog combination of flavors, and they really come together.

Banana Peach Green from 52Teas – This green tea is smooth and sweet, with some very forward peach flavors on the smell and taste. The creamy, tropical banana comes through on the aftertaste, rich with real-fruit flavors.  No banana-candy flavors here.  The nuttiness of the tea makes the aftertaste of this blend feel smooth and comforting, like banana bread.

Bananas and Custard from Bluebird Tea – This tea can seem mild at first, with little fragrance in the dry leaf, but when this green tea is brewed at the right temperature, something magical happens.  When brewed this tea truly smells and tastes like banana cream pie.  It nails the fruity, starchy banana flavor, and the creamy-yet-tart vanilla custard.  The gentle nuttiness from the green tea helps keep this centered, but there are plenty of banana-crazy dessert flavors to go around.

Banana Split from A Quarter to Tea – There’s a lot going on in a banana split, there’s vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream, and sauces like marshmallow or pineapple, and the bananas and whipped cream of course.  This white tea is sweet with strawberries but creamy with bananas and has a touch of the starchy, real-fruit banana flavor.  This blend is sweeter than the others thanks to all the strawberry, but who wouldn’t want to taste an ice-cream-themed tea?

Monkey Chops from Bluebird Tea – Wow, what a name!  Monkey Chops has a tart ceylon black tea base with added vanilla flavoring and banana pieces.  Even without milk this brew has plenty of creamy notes and smooth banana flavor, strong enough to compete with the bold black tea base.  This would be amazing with a splash of milk or a dash of cinnamon sugar.

Love them or hate them, banana teas don’t come along every day so it’s worth getting a little crazy and giving them a try!


 

Neapolitan Ice Cream Iced Tea by Southern Boy Teas

NeapolitanIceCreamTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream in an iced tea, from our Southern Boy Teas collection. This is a great blend of finely processed (CTC) Indian black tea blended with organic flavors and sealed in an oversized teabag. Each individually packaged teabag will yield 2-quarts (a full gallon if you re-steep) of the best iced tea you’ve ever had.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about SBT’s subscription service here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s easy to get hooked on these iced teas. They’re just so flavourful and easy to prepare, there’s really nothing not to love. I’ve tried a couple of other “ice cream” flavoured teas, but this one is still by far the best. This one got the standard SBT brewing treatment from me – 2 mins in a 1/4 litre of boiling water, topped up to 1.8 litres with cold water, and into the fridge overnight. The main flavour I can pick out here is chocolate, followed by a creamy vanilla in the background. The strawberry is a little shy and fleeting, but it’s identifiable in the mid sip most of the time. The three combine beautifully in the aftertaste, to give the full neapolitan effect. Amazing!

I’m actually finding it hard not to gulp this one down – it’s so refreshing, and the flavour is absolutely fitting on a warm, just-about-summer day. The black base tea is smooth and unobtrusive, supporting the flavours without ever overpowering them. I’m surprised it took me so long to work out that iced black tea is what I’ve been lacking at work every summer. It’s a lot more refreshing than my usual hot tea, and because it’s black I can get my caffeine fix in as well. Paired with the great flavour, it really is a win-win-win!

This one comes highly recommended. It’s sweet, delicious, and unbelievably flavour-accurate. Your summer needs these teas.

Cookies & Cream Matcha from Red Leaf Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Red Leaf Tea

Tea Description:

A person who has not sampled a Cookies and Cream Matcha delicacy, does not know what they are missing. This is because; this wonderfully creamy delicacy stands a world apart because of its popular appeal irrespective of age or station in life. Cookies and Cream Matcha is a sweet treat that has been tempered by Matcha’s distinct difference and can be enjoyed by the very young because of its creamy resonance and older people because of its Matcha twist. Cookies and Cream Matcha can easily holds its own among the well-loved desert favorites.

Learn more about this Cookies & Cream Matcha here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh My Goodness!  This is SOOOO good!

I feel like I should start out by stating that I’m not a big fan of cookies & cream.  I don’t really like the ice cream flavor, or the candy bar.  I LOVE Oreo cookies, especially the double stuff ones.  Oh… and they have a fudge covered coconut cream Oreo cookie thing that is just incredible.  But usually, I’d prefer my ice cream and Oreo cookies eaten separately, and not have the cookies crumbled up in my white chocolate bar.  I just don’t get that flavor.  It doesn’t translate into YUM for me.

So I wasn’t too sure about ordering it.  But something inside me told me that I HAD to try it.  Not sure why.  Maybe because even though the idea of cookies & cream ice cream doesn’t sound all that appealing to me, the idea of Oreos in my Matcha is very appealing.

And this is amazing.  This really does taste like I might have dipped an Oreo cookie in my matcha … rather than the cookies & cream ice cream that I don’t really care for all that much.  All that’s missing is the cookie texture.  But the cookie TASTE is there … I can taste the bake-y, cake-y, chocolate-y cookie taste as I sip this, along with the rich, gooey cream of the cookie.  This is like liquified Oreo cookie in my Matcha.  And it’s really delicious!

The Matcha tastes sweet and vegetal – and I notice that I don’t taste a lot of the “bittersweet” that I sometimes taste with Matcha.  The only thing I can come up with is that the cookies & cream flavoring have cancelled out the bitterness – and leaving only a sweet, delectable, decadent taste that is dessert worthy!   Seriously, one does not need dessert after indulging in this treat!  And … even better still, it’s a low-fat, low-calorie and HEALTHY indulgence!   Winning!

I ordered this with my “default go-to” settings:  the classic starter/basic Matcha with the distinctive level of flavoring … and this is just perfect.  I don’t think I’d want to have more flavor in this, because as it is, there is a delicious balance between the sweet, vegetative taste of Matcha and the sweet, creamy, cookie taste of the flavoring.  I think that more flavoring would be … too much.  But I don’t think I’d go less either.  Distinctive delivers the perfect balance for me.

However, I do think that this would be interesting to try with some of the other options.  White tea Matcha base, perhaps, or maybe the black tea Matcha base?  I love that Red Leaf Tea offers you all these options, so that you can customize your Matcha experience to be exactly what YOU want … just the way you want it.  And there are SO many flavors to choose from, you’re bound to find something that you’ll like … probably more than just one or two!

This is absolutely awesome.  You’ve gotta try it!

Mango Ice Cream from 52Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

My wife and I have a favorite Chinese restaurant here in Wichita (if you live here or plan to visit, you HAVE to check out Oh Yeah; It really is awesome.  Tell Shu that Frank sent you).  Anyway, the food there is amazing, but I think my wife’s favorite part is the Mango ice cream.  It does strike me as the perfect, sweet, creamy ending to a fabulous meal.  Anyway, it inspired me to make this week’s Tea of the Week.  I hope you enjoy it.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Every once in a while, Frank from 52Teas puts out a tea that kind of makes me go “eh, that sounds alright.”  I don’t get tremendously excited over it, but, at the same time I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

This is one such tea.  I wasn’t all that excited … it seems like everyone has a mango flavored tea these days.  The ice cream aspect, yeah, that changes it up a little bit, but, it’s still basically mango.  But, I like mango, and I’ve loved the other ice cream flavored teas that Frank has developed so I was pretty sure I’d enjoy this.  But this wasn’t something I was super eager to try … I knew I’d like it, but, it wasn’t all that exciting to me.

But then, WHAM!  I taste it, and it blows me away!  This is amazing!

I am sure that Frank’s new black tea base has a little something to do with my enjoyment of this tea – it tastes rich and bold.  He developed a new black tea base back in May, I think.  And it is big improvement over the standard go-to base he was using for most of his black teas. It is slightly astringent, not too much.  No real bitter notes.  Just smooth, pleasant tasting black tea that melds well with the creamy notes and the sweetness of the Mango.

The mango is strong and tastes true to the fruit, deliciously sweet with just a hint of tart.  And the creaminess of the ice cream flavor tastes so smooth and rich.  I find that this particular tea tastes best when it’s cool (this tea is MADE for iced tea!) but, if you just can’t wait until the tea cools off before you try it, do allow it to cool slightly in your cup for a few moments before you taste it.  I found that if I let it sit for just three or four minutes, the flavor is infinitely better than my initial first couple of sips just after I poured the cup.  It tastes creamier, more mango-y, and just … moreish!   (And I have a feeling that if I were to try the mango ice cream that inspired this tea, I’d have moreish feelings about it too!)

A really delightful cup of tea, and a surprising one, too.  I love it when a tea surprises me like this!