Strawberry Champagne Cupcake from A Quarter To Tea. . .

If you’ve been around here for a minute, you know that I have a pretty high bar for white teas (as in, I don’t really like most of them, I’M SORRY, please don’t hate me). But when this little beauty showed up in one of my AQTT monthly tea boxes, I couldn’t wait to dive in. Having just come out of my own wedding season, a strawberry champagne cupcake sounds just like the kind of treat I would’ve been enjoying over some sort of bridal celebration, but now that I don’t have the celebratory caloric excuse to eat whatever treats I want at these amazing parties thrown for my dude + me, it’s probably best drank rather than eaten.

The dry leaf on this one is unusual, but absolutely tantalizing. Not necessarily filled with the candy-sweet strawberry scent that other berry-flavored teas have, but this one is decidedly fruity, with wisps of vanilla marshmallowy notes not far behind. And while those traditional, floral white tea notes are certain present in the brewed cup, they’re balanced well by the fruitiness of the berry, and the pillow-y marshmallow root. If you’re a fence-sitting white tea drinker like I am, give this one a try– it might be just the thing to convince you! And bonus: you can drink as many cups as you’d like (whether it’s at a bridal shower or in your backyard), and all those cute clothes you bought for your honeymoon will still fit in the morning!

Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea is not available bu click below for white teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Strawberry Blonde from Perkse Tea. . . .

I ordered these samples such a long time ago that I’ve been ripping them open without quite remembering their contents. This morning I ripped open “strawberry blonde” hoping it’d be some kind of strawberry-vanilla black tea, but it’s a strawberry green. Even though I prefer black tea in the morning, I was committed.

This is an adorable number! What a light, sweet blend! The green is a tingling non-vegetal one, which allows the sweet strawberry to hop into the limelight. This flavor is so rich that it tastes like this tea should have calories.

(Speaking of which, why does anyone drink apple or orange juice when they could just drink flavored tea? Or herbal tea? Don’t they know how easy tea is on calories? Straight tea without sugar/honey/whatever is ZERO WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS, guys.)

This is supposed to taste like a strawberry crumble, but I’m not getting anything that tastes like a graham cracker or granola. That said, I don’t particularly care about it being a crumble. I think this stands on its own as just a nice strawberry experience. I suspect that it’d be pretty good iced, too.

I’m a brunette, but I feel pretty included in this blend!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy:  Perkse Tea

❤ A deliciously light green tea with smooth traces of strawberry delight! We source our strawberries from Niagara Region in the province of Ontario.

Our luxury loose leaf teas are carefully blended & packaged by hand within 24 hours prior to shipping. We source directly from farmers/cultivators/tea merchants. Our teas are packaged in an air tight resealable pouch to ensure freshness.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Golden Monkey from Tea N Joy. . ..

I’m not always the right tea taster for the special harvest, unflavored tea samples, as much as I wish I were overjoyed about a pu erh cake or a shade-grown green tea.  That said, I’ve definitely come to enjoy black teas with golden tips, so I was excited to brew up a cup of Golden Money from Tea N Joy.

It’s hard to resist an animal-inspired tea name.  I’ve tried oolongs called “Monkey-Picked” because of the treacherous areas where the trees grow. Golden Monkey sounds like a tea named for a beautiful blond-haired monkey.  This tea is actually named for the golden tips of the tea, and the fact that the leaves are sharply curved, like monkey claws.

Brewed, this tea is smooth and chocolatey, even after only a short brew.  The tea doesn’t taste exactly a chocolate bar, but there is a distinct sweet herbal flavor that brings to mind dark chocolate.  On my second steep, I gave the leaves a longer steep time, and even with the added brew time, the strength of the cacao notes don’t overpower the silky, mellow black tea base.  This tea is full and rich, very drinkable with lots of subtle sweet flavors that open up the more you drink.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a tea connoisseur, do yourself a favor and try a cup of Golden Monkey from Tea N Joy.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Tea N Joy
Description: Golden Monkey Tea is hand-processed each spring with a careful plucking of only one leaf and one bud. It is among the finest Chinese Black Teas available today. A rich, full-bodied Tea. The name comes from its unique appearance: the leaves resemble monkey claws. Sweet and very ‘nosy’ with the aromas of: savory roasted apples, cocoa and spice notes that linger as you sip. Rich, coating texture and very smooth, soft mouth-feel. Delicate, almost indistinguishable astringency.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Almond Cookie from The NecessiTeas . . .

Despite the eventual turn of the season towards something warm, there are still plenty of cold, grey days.  On those days, it’s time to brew up something comforting and sweet like Almond Cookie tea from the NecessiTeas.  Opening up the bag of tea, the blend has a very forward amaretto-like scent, sweet and fragrant and strong, like baked goods with almond extract.  This smooth and silky flavor carries over into the smell of the brewed tea and its taste.

Just beneath all the sweet marzipan is something more creamy and buttery, clearly the “cookie” part of this Almond Cookie blend.  This butteriness almost reminds me of coconut, though it’s not so tropical. NecessiTeas had a great idea combining almond and cookie together.  A marzipan-driven tea can be a but too overwhelming on its own, so the nutty, butter-cookie taste is the perfect pairing against the almond flavors.

Writing this review I almost thought I had talked about this tea before.  Last time I reviewed Coconut Almond Macaroon from the NecessiTeas, which is similar though it has a green tea base and stronger coconut tones.  If you liked that blend, definitely try this Almond Cookie blend as well. My mug is almost empty and there are still clouds in the sky, so it’s time to brew another cup!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The NecessiTeas
Description: This bakery-style blend of black tea, sweet almond and creamy coconut is sure to satisfy your inner “cookie monster”.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

The Dancing Flavors of Sun Moon Lake Tea from Taiwan Leaf Tea. . .

There is a form of hypnosis caused by watching water move – At once it’s both calming and playful, it invites us to stay and watch stories unfold. My folks often invite us over to the lake house, and as much as we can cause a raucous, I take a simple pleasure in just watching the light dancing over the rippling lake. I am doing this as I steep the Sun and Moon Lake tea from Taiwan Leaf Tea.

There are deep chestnut colored, thick, loosely twisted leaves with a hint of apple chips smell to them. They yield a sumptuous auburn colored tea that now smells of rose and honey. Wow, this is so unexpectedly beautiful. I find that as my eyes take in the visual symphony on the water, the medium-bodied mouthfeel of this tea provides an equally stimulating journey for my taste buds. The more I drink it, the more I find to like about it.

Though there are no added flavors, I find a natural hint of sweetness but the tiniest incidental Granny Smith crisp to it, hmmm but without any tart pucker face. I’m torn between adding sugar to bring the flavors out more or leaving it as is. A sip ends with a short, smooth yet robust aftertaste. Nope, that sugar didn’t do anything here to enhance those subtle flavor nuances. On its own, it’s a well-rounded, meditative tea.

One of my favorites from this whole review box, Definitely a keeper. Would be great for sipping during an artistic event – figure skating at the Olympics comes to mind, or even just a walk past the new spring blossoms peeking out lately.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black loose leaf tea
Where to Buy: Taiwan Leaf Tea

Premium Taiwan Sun Moon Lake Black Tea (Tea # 18) is rare black (red) tea from Central Taiwan (Yuchi, Nantou County).

Sun Moon Lake is located in Nantou County in Central Taiwan. It is surrounded by mountains. Average temperature is very stable during the whole year and humidity is very high. These all enable tea leaves grow rich and intense.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!