Organic Athena’s Lemon Olive Leaf Blend from Simpson and Vail’s Monthly Subscription Box. . .

Who doesn’t love a subscription box? I know I love them – especially tea subscription boxes.   For a while I was getting 52Teas, BlendBee, and Plum Deluxe subscription boxes (which I loved) but I wanted to try out a few different companies this go around. So last week I decided I would give our friends at Simpson and Vail’s subscription box a go.  Simpson and Vail have a lot of different offerings when it comes to teas so I was hoping by signing up, I would be able to experience some of their teas that I haven’t gotten around to picking up.  Athena’s Lemon Olive Leaf Blend was one of those blends and I was so excited to see it in my first box.

Athena’s Lemon Olive Leaf Blend is a blend of olive leaf, lemongrass, and ginger root.  So think of your traditional lemon ginger tea with a slight twist.  Brewed with water at boiling and allowed to steep for 5 minutes plus (I actually got a phone call and couldn’t get to the tea right away), this tea hits the spot on this cold midwestern blustery day.  Solid lemon notes, that sweet and spicy hint of ginger, along with this almost herbaceous olive oil finish delivers a solid soothing and comforting cuppa.  (Yep.  There is a slight hint of an olive oil flavor in my cuppa.  And you know what I love it.  )

Smooth crisp spiced lemony goodness . One of those blends where the ginger and lemon are balanced out perfectly and gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling.

This tea is giving me all the loving I need while still battling this awful cold I’ve had for the last few days. One of the better herbal blends I’ve had in a while.  Really digging it and am on my fourth cup as I write this review up.  Can’t wait to enjoy this as a cold brew!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

The aroma of fresh lemon greets your nose as you sip this delightful blend. The golden cup explodes with a lemony goodness that lingers on the palate refreshingly. This all organic brew is great hot or iced.

Ingredients: Organic olive leaf, organic ginger root, organic lemon mytle, organic lemon peel, organic lemongrass

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Whisky Chocolate Truffle from A Quarter To Tea. . .

Here are two little-known facts about me, friends: I don’t really drink much alcohol if at all (hashtag my bounce-back time is not what it used to be and all that jazz, hashtag old), and I am SO VERY PICKY about chocolate teas. So clearly, when this whisky chocolate truffle tea arrived on my front door step… well, it already had the odds stacked against it, to say the least.

But y’all: I am nothing if not continually amazed at the tea-magic that Lauren at AQTT is able to create in her flavors on a regular basis. This malty black tea is the perfect vessel for both the slight hint of whiskey, balanced by the not-at-all-fakey bittersweet chocolate notes. I’ve had many, many bad chocolate teas in my life– but consistently, AQTT’s chocolate teas are not among them. Rather than tasting like weird, weak hot chocolate, this brew is almost a touch bread-y and a hint savory while still feeling like a decadent, velvety chocolate treat. A splash of cream really takes this one to the next level, and I feel like I’m in college again, with not a care in the world (and the hangover resilience of a 21-year-old).

Almost 30-year-old Mary, though? She’ll stick to her whiskey non-alcoholic, in a tea latte, please and thanks.


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea was part of the subscription plan, click below to find out more!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread from A Quarter To Tea. . . . .

Most summers growing up were spent helping my mom tend to our vegetable garden. Beaming proudly at my over-run chives, measuring my height by the sunflowers, plucking tomatoes from the vine and popping them into bowls with a hefty sprinkle of salt, warm from the sun. But nothing was more ubiquitous than our zucchini plants. Come late summer, we were literally swimming in zucchini. Try as she might, my mom could hardly keep up with our producing plants, and was finding every possible way to work them into our daily repertoire. Who knew all she needed to do was turn them into tea??

This chocolate zucchini bread tea from A Quarter to Tea perfectly captures the flavors of one of my favorite iterations of our garden spoils– a warm, gooey, chocolatey loaf that was just as healthy as it was tasty (okay, maybe not the abundant chocolate chips sprinkled on top. But you gotta live a little, right?). Somehow, this blend manages to make the zucchini flavors prominent while keeping them from being gross– balanced with the cocoa, it’s almost reminiscent of a hot chocolate (and with a splash of maple syrup and coconut milk, it’s nearly a dead ringer). The walnuts bring a warmth and roundness of flavor that are simply delightful, and the malty, bread-y-ness impressively captures the pasty-like quality of such a dessert without feeling heavy or overwrought. If you have nostalgic garden dreams from childhood like I do, this is a great blend to pick up for your afternoon cuppa. Particularly when paired with a snack of some zucchini bread.


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea was part of the limited monthly subscription.  Click below to learn more.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Oriental Beauty from Dachi Tea. . . .

These long twists, amber and brown with white tips, are stunning. They are also sort of difficult to measure out with my “perfect teaspoon.” So what you’re getting with this review is a BEST GUESS at how this should have been made.

Regardless, this is a sweet little number tastes like white grape juice. It tastes like sugar, and flowers, and grapes, and candy, and ribbon-dancing.

Do you remember ribbon-dancing? There was a product called Ribbon Dancer.  

My mom wouldn’t let me have it, so I took a stick, tied some braided-up yarn to it, and made do.

This tea is like if I’d RECEIVED a Ribbon Dancer. I would have been the most graceful ribbon dancer of all time. This tea is has an airy, swishy ballerina vibe to it. I might have under-leafed it a bit, but I genuinely think that it’s meant to be delicate. (It says “delicate” on the bag. I’m cheating a little bit here.)

You can’t buy this tea directly from Dachi’s site, but you can take a moment to look around the site. (And consider a subscription!) The site has graphics that show not only the tea itself but what it tastes like. Which is a wonderful way for a visual learner like me to discover the properties of different tea. I mean, look at this.

I daresay that’s the Ribbon Dancer of tea photography.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Dachi Tea
Description

Premium-grade, single-origin, direct-trade tea delivered to your desk or door, month after month.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hazelberry Pu’er from Simple Loose Leaf. . . . . .

Valentine’s Day has come and gone but this tea feels like it would have been a perfect fit  for such a sweet, romantic day. This tea contains cocoa nibs,hazelnut flavor and strawberry flavor. The hazelnut flavor is what I taste the most, with a finish of chocolate and strawberries. It also has a slight roasted, earthy flavor from the pu’er tea itself which goes really really well with the other ingredients. I used to love hazelnut lattes back when I drank coffee, so this tea is a real treat. I tasted it plain before adding anything, and it’s pretty sweet on it’s own. It also has natural cream flavor, so it’s got a little bit of sweet and creamy all on it’s own.

I decided to gild the lilly and add a little coconut sugar and coconut milk and sipped away. It was heaven. This would be an amazing tea to have with breakfast, or even a delicious dessert tea. When I closed my eyes and sipped, I almost felt like I was drinking a chocolate covered strawberry!! This tea really is perfectly balanced, because it would be really easy for these flavors to be cloying, but they so aren’t. They make for a nutty, fruity slightly chocolate-y tea that is pretty dang close to perfection. I loved every last drop of this tea, and can’t wait to have another cup.

Whether you make it for a loved one or yourself, it is a delicious, tasty treat!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Pu’er
Where to Buy:  Simple Loose Leaf
Description

This tea is no longer available on their site but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!