My Morning Blend from The NecessiTeas. . .

Drinking tea for me has two phases: the morning ritual of a cup of black tea, often with cream and sugar and the mid-day or evening cup which relaxes and centers me. My Morning Blend from The Necessiteas is a beautiful blend for your morning routine! It has a sweet floral aroma, and smells nothing like your standard “breakfast” or morning blends, but provides a bold pick me up for the start of your day

I recommend brewing this in either a t-sac or an infuser with very small openings. Though the leaves are large, there are some leaves that can get through the infuser, so this will be a preference for each person. Once brewed, this tea had a beautiful smooth finish rather than the bold and bitter flavoring you typically get with morning teas. This blend features roasted cocoa beans, and the chocolate taste is present, but not overpowering. If, like me, your morning cup consist of cream and sugar, this tea supports those additions beautifully. With cream and sugar, the boldness of the black tea is still present, but the chocolate aftertaste is enhanced.

Overall, I think this is a tea that black tea drinkers will truly enjoy. It adds some sweet and floral variety to standard breakfast and flat black blends. This is a great way to change up your morning routine flavor profile without having to give up your morning cup of black.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  The NecessiTeas
Description

If you are looking for a wake-me-up, perk-me-up cup in the morning, that’s off the beaten path of coffee, look no further. This strong black tea has the smoothness of chocolate, and the boldness of roasted cocoa beans. Doctor it as you would a cup of coffee, with milk and sugar to start off your day!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Climber’s High from The Tea Spot. . .

Though working out isn’t my favorite activity, I can understand the uplifting physical feeling that comes with good old-fashioned exercise.  With a name that refers to an athletic euphoria, it’s no surprise to me that Climber’s High tea from the Tea Spot has yerba mate in the blend.  Yerba mate is technically an herbal tisane, not made from the same stuff as black tea, but it contains a high amount of caffeine and is often cited as a better caffeination choice than coffee, with fewer jitters and crashes.

Yerba mate on its own has a dry hay, fresh-mowed-field fragrance, and a gently earthy taste.  This blend is no exception, with the dried grass scents mellowing out as smooth and earthy in flavor.

This blend also has its fair share of chai spices like licorice root, black pepper, fennel, tulsi, and cardamom.  I love spicy chai teas so I made sure to scoop a big cardamom pod into my cup. That said, the spices are understated, very gentle and unassuming.  Personally I would have liked a little more pop, but I understand that spicy teas aren’t for everyone. Don’t be discouraged by this ingredients list if you aren’t into chai teas, this might just be the right blend for you.

I don’t always need the caffeine kick that yerba mate provides, but if you’re looking for a powerful alternative to coffee or black tea, Climber’s High is a great blend to check out.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Yerba Mate/Herbal (caffeine)
Where to Buy: The Tea Spot
Description:

A super-charged blend of teas, spices and herbs formulated to provide a refreshing daily lift for people with active, high-energy lifestyles. Climber’s High is a high-powered way to increase your intake of beneficial antioxidants such as flavonoids and catechins, as well as a host of healthy vitamins, trace minerals, beneficial phyto-constituents, and caffeine. It was originally conceived to assist people in adjusting to higher altitudes. This spiced yerba mate chai tea is both good for you and a pleasure to drink.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Perfect, Cold-Weather Cup: Boisahabi Estate Assam from Capital Tea Ltd

Assam teas are known for their fuller, malty feel and flavor, distinctly different than the tart zing of Ceylon black teas.  This Assam from the Boisahabi Estate from Capital Tea Ltd., is a high grade tea (STGFOP (SPL) ) with a mix of black tea leaves and the highly-prized golden tips that bring the complex and delicious flavor.

In the dry leaf, this tea smells comforting and slightly spicy, like cinnamon sticks and fresh wood.  Brewed, the tea becomes surprisingly fruity, with lush muscatel flavors like pear and plum.  Beneath this fruitiness, the black tea is smooth and full, with toffee tones.  Overall, the tea feels very pleasant to drink, with a texture that fills my mouth with a warm, fuzzy feeling, without being too cloying or too sharp.

In the winter season, I seem to be drawn to all the crazy dessert-flavored teas like pumpkin pie or gingerbread cake, but while those teas are fun, their flavors are certainly enhanced by artificial flavors or added sugars and sprinkles.  There’s a time and place for those tasty flavored teas, but this Assam from Boisahabi Estate really took me by surprise and felt more flavorful and festive than those other blends.

This tea has a beautiful balance of both bold and delicate flavors, with the lighter, garden-like flavors of stone fruit, and the rich caramel and black tea undertones.  Even without sugar or milk, there is a smooth and comforting natural sweetness to this brew, which speaks to the quantity and quality of the golden tips and the tea leaves as a whole.

When you want a mature cup of tea with comforting yet complex flavors, brew a cup of Assam black tea from Boisahabi Estate from Capital Tea Ltd. and stay cozy in the chilly weather.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Capital Tea Ltd
Description:

Sweetly aromatic attractive deep brown Assam leaves with plenty of golden tips. These leaves infuse to a rich, full bodied, and intensely flavourful tea liquor with prominent notes of candy-malt and toffee. Highly recommended as a breakfast tea to drink with milk

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Grey Creme from Bluebird Tea Co. . . .

Back in January I treated myself to a huge Bluebird Tea Co order and like so many other companies my package arrived with a couple of extra samples to try. One of those samples happened to be this tea, a teabag of Earl Grey Creme (EGC). This is not one I would have picked for myself in light of my tumultuous relationship with bergamot but it arrived and I am happy to give it a try.

Alas it seems this has fallen victim to the astringency that often accompanies bergamot. Between the black base tea and the crisp citrus, this tea is a touch too brisk for my personal tastes. Often with ECGs, this astringency is drowned out by the vanilla or “creme” component but that is not the case here. With that said, there is a vanilla creaminess lingering beneath the bitter that is trying to break through.

In an effort to drown out the sharpness of the bergamot, I added a splash of half and half cream, which I do not like to do. However, even that isn’t toning down the briskness so ultimately I would say this tea just isn’t for me.

I should note that I brewed this not using my usual variable temperature kettle or mugs which might seem like it doesn’t matter but I have found that such things can impact the flavor of a tea. Moreover, I am in a different country on vacation and something as simple as a different composition of the water could be at play. So in fairness to this particular tea, which happens to be a winner of the 2013 Great Taste Award, my dislike could be because of my preference against bergamot or because of the different elements at play rather than a fault with the tea itself.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Bluebird Tea Co.
Description

Don’t we wish prime ministers today were as good as the ones in the good old days? Take PM Earl Grey, he was the cream of the crop. Not only did he help abolish slavery and reform the House of Commons, he also invented the legendary Earl Grey tea! So we’ve created this creamy tribute just for you old chap!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

French #7 from Blue Hour Tea. . .

Don’t let the flowers fool you: this Earl Grey blend is POWERFUL. It’s packed to the gills with the Earl’s trademark bergamot, plus lavender and cornflowers. This blend packs a punch. DO NOT OVERSTEEP IT.

Tired? The smell itself is so strong that it will wake you up immediately. Cranky? The flavor will get your gears in motion. Dead on the inside? The caffeine will give you a shove.

This is like Earl Grey’s spunky hippie sister got into his tea stash and started messing around with it

“I picked these today,” she whispers, dropping a handful of blossoms into the mix. “These will make it pretty AND align his chakras. He’s so UPTIGHT sometimes.”

And then the Earl gets in there and he’s like “OH MY GOD, MOONBEAM, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”

Then he sips it and says, with a sigh, “Oh. It’s pretty good.”

And goes back to bureaucracy or whatever it is Earls do all day. She’ll wander back into the fields, going on a walkabout, not to return until the winds and the moon usher her back to the castle. He never knows when she’ll drop by, but he’s secretly glad when she does. She keeps him on his toes.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Blue Hour Tea
Description

This is by far our most fragrant tea, just one sniff and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the beautiful streets of Paris! Our French No.7 blend uses a base of rich Earl Grey tea and has been mixed with a generous portion of lavender & cornflowers to create its wonderful floral aroma and flavour.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!