Witer White Earl Grey/Harney and Sons

Earl Grey is one of the most well known hot teas amongst the general tea dabbling population. Even non-tea drinkers have heard of it, while staring blankly at you if you mention oolong.

Bit of trivia – Sir Patrick Stewart wanted his character on Star Trek to drink Lapsang Souchong, but producers said no one had ever heard of it and they wouldn’t know what it was. They insisted on Earl Grey being the drink of choice for Captain Picard and now Sir Patrick has Earl Grey out the proverbial wazoo sent to him by fans. For heaven’s sake, someone send the man some Lapsang!

Moving on. I don’t love Earl Grey but I like it occasionally. I especially don’t love Earl Grey made with Ceylon tea as the base because I feel the naturally lemon flavored base is too much when combined with the citrus-y Earl Grey. I prefer a good Keemun under my bergamot. And one does feel so elegant when one is drinking it!

I got curious about this Earl on a white tea base and ordered it. I went with sachets for ease even though I usually do loose leaf.

The bergamot is pretty forward here. I read the occasional review of some teas where it is claimed that the bergamot is light enough not to scare the haters, but this one definitely has it in the forefront. If you hate bergamot, I don’t think you are going to love this. But the white tea base lacks astringency and briskness that could make it overdone, so I find this far more drinkable than most Earls. If you love or even just like bergamot, I think this is worth a try. It gets a thumbs up from me, and the resteep is even better.


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Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Harney and Sons 

Description

A perennial favorite, our Winter White Earl Grey gives an evergreen classic a deliciously light twist. Beautiful Chinese Mutan White tea forms the base of this blend, providing light floral elements and a delicately grassy note. Natural lemony bergamot oil gives deep, multifaceted citrus qualities to the blend. A pleasant blend perfect for enjoying whenever the wish for something a bit different strikes.

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Organic Blueberry Black/Tea Sparrow

Organic Blueberry Black by Tea Sparrow is a blueberry black tea (shocking!) comprised of organic black tea, organic dried blueberries, organic blackberry leaves, and certified organic blueberry flavor.

I have had this tea once before, cold steeped in lemonade. That time, the drink tasted mostly of lemonade but had a bit of a blue candy sweetness added in. Like those gummy sharks that are meant to be blueberry but mostly just taste sweet.

This time I made the tea as a plain hot brew, letting 1.5 teaspoons of leaves steep in 10 ounces of 200F water for 3 minutes. The hot tea definitely tastes a lot more like blueberry than the tea lemonade. However, it is not like the fruit so much. It also isn’t much like blueberry gummies. Instead, I would say this tastes similar to blueberry pie filling as it has the blueberry essence with a whole lot of rich sweetness as well. The base tea gives this a thickness that compliments that gooey filling flavor, but it can also be a little brisk at times (for my tastes, at least).

I was surprised at how this captured blueberry flavor, even if it wasn’t quite true to the berry. Tea Sparrow has mostly been a lot of misses and though the brew of this cold steeped in lemonade wasn’t bad, it didn’t really scream blueberry to me. This hot tea is definitely blueberry-inspired and it is a nice dessert-like treat.


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Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Tea Sparrow

Description

Tea Sparrow is a tea subscription service. Check out the site below.

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Bonfire Toffee/Bird and Blend Tea Co.

When it’s raining cats and dogs out, the sky is dark, and the lightening is bright, there is nothing quite like a latte made with a warming dessert tea. Normally, that warmth comes from a spice like cinnamon or clove but this time I decided to go a different way and picked out Bonfire Coffee by Bird and Blend Tea Co., a smokey black tea with caramel and apple.

I brewed up the tea rather strongly, steeping 4 perfect teaspoons in 8 ounces of boiling water for 4 minutes. I topped the steeped tea with 8 ounces of frothed 1% milk.

The first thing I noticed when drinking the tea was the smoke from the Lapsang Souchong black tea. No surprise there given that Lapsang is always one strong tea.With that said, the milk sat atop the smokiness making for a smooth and creamy smokey flavor, as opposed to a more harsh smoke, until the end of the sip when the smoke just broke free and lingered in the aftertaste. The aftertaste is also where I most noticed the presence of a caramelized sugar/burnt caramel quality that was intermingled with the milk and Lapsang throughout the sip but came through more clearly in the aftertaste. Apple was missing in the latte but my guess it was drowned out by the more prominent flavors of the milk and the Lapsang.

It’s a nice tea but definitely not for the faint of heart. If you are not one for smoke, stay away from the Bonfire.


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Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Bird and Blend Tea Co.

Description

Travelling tea merchants used to carry tea from east to west,all the way across Russia… well, their horses did anyway! It’s said the campfire smoke would infuse into the loose tea leaves at night creating smoked teas. Add some caramel, apple and toasted cinnamon and you get a spectacular Bonfire Night treat!

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Tropical Twist/The NecessiTeas

When I was younger, I used to love Coca Cola. Regular coke. I would easily drink a can a day. Then I was talking to a nutritionist who recommended I cut back to one can a week. However, once I stopped drinking coke so often, it started to taste weird when I started drinking it again so I mostly stuck to water. With that said, sometimes it is nice to have something bubbly and sweet and that’s when tea pops make for a great choice.

Personally I like using fruity teas for tea pops. NecessiTeas makes some awesome fruit teas that make for some tasty tea pops. Tropical Twist is among some of their delicious options.

Tropical Twist is a tropical fruit tisane made with apples, dried cherries, shredded coconut, freeze dried kiwi, coconut chips, freeze dried cherries, freeze dried cranberries, and natural flavors. It tastes just like a delicious jolly rancher!

As a tea pop, Tropical Twist is bright, juicy and tropical. Shocking, I know. It has a bright candy-like flavor that’s a little tart/sour and a whole lot of sweet. It is creamy from the coconut but not in a lotion-y way, as some coconut teas tend to be. For an extra little boost of sweet, I like to add a splash of grenadine to really play on the cherry and cranberry flavors. Yum!


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Leaf Type: Tisane

Where to Buy:  The NecessiTeas

Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for more teas.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Raspberry Kissed Coconut Green Tea/52Teas

Raspberry and coconut is a tea combination I overlooked for a very long time but one that I loved when I finally tried it. My tea journey started with DAVIDsTEA and I quickly made my way through most of the teas on their wall. One that I always seemed to skip over was Fantasy Island. For whatever reason, it just never appealed to me until a friend sent a sample over in a swap. One taste was all I needed to get hooked. The combination of raspberry and coconut was magical and it left me all the more heartbroken when the blend was discontinued.

Thankfully Anne, the genius behind 52 Teas, blended up a raspberry coconut tea, Raspberry Kissed Coconut Green Tea. The tea combined fair trade single estate zomba green tea, organic coconut, organic raspberries, and organic natural flavors.

Unlike Fantasy Island which was a black tea, this has a green tea base and that green tea is imparting a vegetal flavor. This is a coconut green tea through and through. The raspberry is present but a secondary note to the coconut, adding some brightness to the drink. For a raspberry coconut tea, it is not as sweet as you might expect. It’s a rather mellow tea which makes it nice in the warmer months when you want something light.


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Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas 

Description

This tea is no longer available but click below to see the current green tea lineup.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!