Canoe Lake Blend

On Canada Day, I was looking for a festive tea to celebrate with when I happened upon this tea…Canoe Lake Blend by Pluck Teas. This tea that Pluck calls “a truly Canadian blend” is made up of black tea, rooibos, sunflower, jasmine, calendula petals, real maple syrup, licorice root, cocoa, safflower petals, cornflowers, and natural flavour. Meant to remind you of campfires and sugar shacks, I thought it was worth a try.

I brewed it at 200F for 4 minutes as the recommended steeping parameters of 5 minutes in boiling water seemed like it might be a bit much. Using my method, this tea definitely has a smokey campfire flavor to it. Smoke and maple sweetness. There is also a thick caramel sweetness here that is almost a bit burnt and a little bit stale. It hits you at the back of the throat and is a little offputting for my tastes if I am being honest.

I am surprised there isn’t more going on here given the list of ingredients that seem odd and out of place. What jasmine and sunflower had to do with a smokey maple/caramel tea is beyond me and though I know licorice root is often used to add sweetness, I am glad I can’t actually taste its cloying flavor. Plus, the cocoa is lost as there is no chocolate to be found, though it may be adding to the offness of the caramel since cocoa can sometimes read dusty and stale in teas.

I think this tea is trying to capture a relatively simple flavor with too many ingredients. Unfortunately, I think it suffers for it. Though it is not bad perse, I certainly found myself disappointed by the flavors promised versus the actual execution of it. It was fun to try but ultimately this tea just isn’t for me.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Pluck Teas
Description

Jennifer’s Tasting Notes
Notes of caramel, maple sugar, and pine smoke interwine in this rooibos and black tea blend. Memories of campfires and sugar shacks… a truly Canadian blend.

Ingredients
Black Tea, Rooibos, Sunflower, Jasmine, Calendula Petals, Real Maple Syrup, Licorice Root, Cocoa, Safflower Petals, Cornflowers, Natural Flavour.

100% natural.
Blended and packed in Canada by real people

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Canadian Breakfast from Blue Hour. . . .

Being Canadian, I was excited to try this tea! I wanted to know what ‘Canadian Breakfast’ blend would taste like.

The dry blend smelled sweet and nutty – a good start in my books! I was surprised when the wet leaves smelled mildly earthy. The golden yellow liquor was very smooth, with roasted notes and mild astringency.

Personally, if I were to steep this again, I would let it steep for 4 minutes rather than the 5-minute max. recommendation. That may tone down some of the astringency.

I admit, I always think of maple syrup as one of the foods that are quintessential to Canadian culture, so I was hoping for a sweeter tea. That being said, the tea lived up to the ‘breakfast’ part of its name and would be great at breakfast – a burst of boldness to wake you up in the morning!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Blue Hour
Description

This is our take on the classic English Breakfast tea. Canadian Breakfast is a delicious and full bodied blend of Indian, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Chinese black teas with a few Calendula flowers for colour. This breakfast blend has a balanced flavour and is excellent with milk but is also enjoyable without any additions. It makes a great tea for breakfast and also works well when paired with scones and finger sandwiches.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Maple Almond Dragon Pearls from A Quarter To Tea. . . .

Sometimes when you do tea swaps with other tea lovers, you find yourself surprised by added teas you did not expect nor ask for. And by sometimes, I mean basically every time. Gotta love the generosity of tea friends!

Well, this particular tea is one of those surprises and I was super excited to try it out. If I am being honest, it was the fact that these were black dragon pearls that appealed to me the most. I just love being able to pop a couple of balls of tea into the mug and watch them blossom. It is calming as the tea opens up and releases all its flavor into the brew. I will say though that I probably should have put these in a filter as opposed to directly in the mug because as fun as it was to watch, the pearl completely disintegrated and I had to strain out the leaves before drinking.

As I sip the tea now, the first thing I notice is the taste of the yunnan base. Smooth and malty which transitions nicely into a light note of vanilla. The almond is also present and adds depth to the tea. Unfortunately, I am not sure how much maple is coming through. As a Canadian, maple is a flavor that I get easily excited about but I have noticed it is a flavor that often isn’t done how I would want it to be. This is no exception because I find myself searching for it but to no avail.

This was a little bit of a miss for me given the lack of maple. That is not to say it was bad since I enjoyed the tea and had no trouble finishing the mug of it. However, I was disappointed that this didn’t exactly deliver on what the name promised.


Here’s the scoop!

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

Rich and malty handrolled tea from Yunnan, China with natural maple, vanilla and almond flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Smoked Maple from Shanti Tea. . . .

When my fiancé and I first started dating, he was a) charmed by my goofy nerdiness (or so I like to tell myself) and b) totally baffled that I had never really eaten smoked meat beyond the occasional barbeque. A few years into our life together now, I’m well acquainted with the intricacies of home-smoked brisket (mainly, how to eat it. YUM), which are the best BBQ joints within a fifty-mile radius, and how to reeeally love that earthy, rich flavor that smoking imparts on food. And on tea. (See! I promise this story had a point.)

This smoked maple tea from Shanti may be more nuanced than a brisket, but man, is it delicious. The dry leaf smells unmistakably maple, and brewed, you get the same delicious sweetness with the addition of classic, almost-floral oolong undertones. While I wouldn’t necessarily call this one abundantly smoky, there are some hints of smoke and spice at the end of the sip that elevate this tea to the next level. With the addition of some coconut milk, it takes on almost a toasted-marshmallow-y goodness.

I may be a relative newbie to the world of smoked-flavors, but this tea hits on all notes for me. Now to figure out if I could pass it off as a compliment to the brisket at my in-laws’ next family gathering…


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Shanti Tea
Description

A lightly smoky blend of dark oolong and maple, a best-selling breakfast Oolong.

Ingredients: Tea (Camelia Sinensis), Safflower, Natural Essences

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Black Maple from Shanti Tea

The holidays are upon us, which means two horrific things: 1) “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” which I STILL have not yet heard, thankfully; and 2) my annual Throat-Destroying Nostril-Apocalypse Cold.

This tea was JUST the thing! It’s organic, which means it’s healthy. Therefore, I chose it this morning to wash down Robitussin and an I-Deserve-It donut (the Breakfast of Champions).

This tea was JUST the thing! It’s organic, which means it’s healthy. Therefore, I chose it this morning to wash down Robitussin and an I-Deserve-It donut (the Breakfast of Champions).

Like, you know how Wolverine is Canadian? That kind of maple syrup ancestry. Wearing a flannel shirt. Brooding a little. Lots of chest hair. Claws.

This is not a Cupcake/Sugar type of tea. It is still, however, very rich and delicious. (Like Wolverine.)

In summary: this is a great tea, I have a crush on Wolverine, and this entire post was brought to you by Tripping On Robitussin.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Black Tea
Where to Buy: Shanti Tea
Description

Try our “Canadian Breakfast Tea”, the sweet flavor of maple with a soft black tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!