My Morning Blend from The NecessiTeas. . . .

This robust tea is made from two simple, quality ingredients: black tea leaves and roasted cocoa beans.  This tea has everything that is good about hot bold black tea, hot chocolate, and coffee.  The black tea gives enough fresh tartness to keep the chocolate from being too sweet, and the roasted cocoa beans add a decadent smoothness that hints at the rich and nutty tones of coffee.  No matter how long I steeped the leaves, the blend stays strong and smooth, with no bitter astringency.

Many black teas in people’s cupboards are English breakfast blends.  I feel like My Morning Blend could easily be called American Breakfast, with all that Hershey chocolate flavor over the top of a welcoming tea brew (if we Americans weren’t already drinking coffee as the breakfast beverage of choice, that is).

I recently tried some cocoa shell tea for the first time, and found it to be a tasty, unique experience, a mix of sweet and salty, almost like chocolate-drizzled popcorn balls.  Cocoa shells are well and good, but as a tea-lover, sometimes I just need that black tea undertone.  My Morning Blend from The NecessiTeas was the perfect fix.

This blend takes milk like a champ, only growing more delicious and creamy with rich chocolate and toasty tea notes. This blend should be an essential on everyone’s tea shelf for those mornings when you want a cup that feels like putting on your favorite sweater and smells like your favorite cookies baking in the oven.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The NecessiTeas

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!

Vibrant Morning Green Tea Blend from Because UR Priceless

VibrantMorningTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Because UR Priceless on Etsy

Tea Description:

Are you having one of those days where you just want to snuggle under the covers and go back to sleep…but you can’t? Are you in the middle of one of those afternoon lulls when you just want to rest your eyes for a wee little bit?

GOOD NEWS! Let the naturally caffeinated green tea found in Vibrant Morning Herbal Tea help put a little pep into your step! You don’t like green tea, you say? Well, to be honest, I’m not a fan of its rather sharp taste either. However, Vibrant Morning’s added combination of lemon verbena, spearmint, lemongrass, and lemon peel will whisk that astringency right away. Whew! Green tea for all!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yes, I’ll get into my review of this Vibrant Morning Green Tea blend from Because UR Priceless in just a moment.  But first, a rant:

I find myself in disagreement with the above description – I am a fan of green tea.  I LOVE green tea!  I don’t find the flavor of it to be sharp at all.  In fact, when brewed properly, green tea is buttery, soft, and silky.  Vegetal, yes.  Most green teas are.  But they’re also beautifully sweet, smooth and complex.

Some green teas are astringent, but I find green teas to be on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to astringency. Sharp or bitter?  No, not if you use a good quality product and brew it properly.

I think that the reason so many people dislike green teas is because either:  a)  they’re brewing a sub-par product, and/or b) they’re steeping the tea incorrectly.

To address matter a):  as with just about anything, you get what you pay for.  If you’re going to the grocery store and buying the cheapest green tea off the shelf, green tea dust and fannings that have been stuffed into teabags and then packaged in boxes that have probably been sitting on that aforementioned grocery store shelf for the last year (or longer!), you know what?  I wouldn’t want to drink that stuff either.  I’m not a fan of that stuff.  Do yourself a favor and find a reputable purveyor of loose leaf green teas.

Which leads me to matter b):  Learn how to brew those loose leaf teas!  Because green tea leaves have not endured an oxidation process the way black tea leaves have, they are more delicate.  They can’t withstand boiling water temperatures because boiling water can and most likely will scorch the leaves.  They don’t need to be steeped as long as black tea either – usually 1 – 2 minutes will do.  Some green teas should only be steeped for 30 seconds!  A purveyor that knows their stuff will be able to tell you the best way to brew the tea to get the most out of it.

VibrantMorning1Now … on to the review!

What a lovely green tea blend!  I love the combination of spearmint and bright, lemony notes!  The green tea offers a soft, sweet background note.

The lemon-y notes are prominent and when I sip this, I find myself thinking:  vibrant.  Sunny.  So … yeah, the name of this tea works.  The burst of lemony flavor is very Vibrant and makes me think of the sunshine in the morning.  I like that the lemon notes are tangy and tart, but not so tart that I’m puckering.  The presence of the crisp spearmint and the smooth green tea help to soften the tartier notes of the lemon.

The spearmint adds a fresh taste to the cup.  I like the choice of the spearmint here, which I find to be a little less aggressive than peppermint.  The spearmint doesn’t overwhelm the flavors.  Rather, it complements the juicy flavor of the lemon.

And the green tea isn’t lost in this blend (and I admit that I was a wee bit concerned that it might be after reading the above description).  I taste the light vegetal notes.  It has a light buttery taste and a silky texture.  And this blend of spearmint and lemon-y herbals would not have the same flavor or mouthfeel without the presence of the green tea.

A very enjoyable, satisfying blend that’s delicious served hot or iced!

Café Latte Tea from Serene Teaz

cafelatteTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Serene Teaz

Tea Description:

A tea for the coffee lover in you. Chocolate chips and roasted coffee beans give this tea and enticing coffee aroma.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

If you’ve read many of my reviews, you probably already guessed that this Café Latte Tea from Serene Teaz gave me reason for hesitation because of the coffee beans.  I’ve told the story numerous times:  I used to drink coffee every morning until I realized that my eleven o’clock sick to my stomach feeling was caused by that morning cup of joe.

So I switched to tea and haven’t had any problems.  So, when someone sent me a sampling of this tea, I was hesitant to try it … but, also curious.  Wondering if it would affect me adversely because the tea DOES have polyphenols in it, which act as the buffers to the effects of caffeine (which is why we get a slow, steady stream of alertness from tea rather than that coffee jolt.)  Maybe … this won’t affect me badly.  Here’s hoping.

I like the flavor.  It is rich and well-rounded.  I definitely taste the coffee in addition to the flavorful black tea.  It tastes warm and roasty and a little bit bitter … coffee bitter.  Which reminds me of another thing that I like better about tea versus coffee:  for the most part, tea isn’t bitter unless it’s been steeped incorrectly.  With a cup of coffee, I always need a teaspoon of sugar … which is not the case with tea.  On occasion, I’ll add a pinch of sugar to a cup of tea to accentuate the flavors, or if it’s a spiced tea because the sugar enhances the spices nicely.  But my sugar consumption has definitely decreased as a result to switching to tea from coffee.

I also taste the chocolate-y notes, which gives the tea sort of a mocha-y taste and makes me think that this would be really splendid with a splash of half & half … so why don’t I go get some?  I poured a little bit of half & half in the cup (about a teaspoon) and the flavor is enhanced significantly.  This tea definitely should be milked and sugared for best taste!  (of course, everyone’s tastes vary!)

Not bad.  I like the chocolate-y notes.  I even enjoy the coffee flavor together with the black tea notes.  It’s an unusual and tasty blend.  I hope that it doesn’t make me sick in a couple of hours, but if it does, I’ll be sure to update the review!

A few hours have passed since I wrote the above review, and I didn’t experience any ill feelings from the coffee beans.  A tasty blend for those of us who can’t drink coffee anymore but occasionally miss the flavor of it.  Don’t get me wrong … I LOVE tea and I’d choose a cup of tea over a cup of coffee any day, even if coffee didn’t make me sick, but, every once in a while, I do miss it.  Just a little bit.  And this is the tea to drink on those occasions!

Scottish Morn Black Tea Blend from Harney & Sons


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Harney & Sons

Tea Description:

This is a strong tea, perhaps our strongest tea. When you stand up your spoon in this tea, it might just stand straight.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

OK, my spoon didn’t do that … that said, this Scottish Morn Black Tea Blend from Harney & Sons is a strong, hefty kind of tea!

The photo above depicts a fine cut CTC blend, and that’s true to what I measured into my teapot this morning.  Generally, when I see a fine cut like this, my personal rule of thumb is to cut back on the brew time by at least 30 seconds, and that’s what I did.  Instead of my normal 2 1/2 minutes, I went with just 2 minutes in my Breville One-Touch, and the result is a cup of near perfection when it comes to a breakfast blend!

When I want a breakfast blend – and I definitely wanted one  this morning, I want a sturdy, stout kind of breakfast blend like this one.  I want something that is sure to get my peepers popped open … and something that will keep them open!  And I’m liking that a lot.

But what I like best about this Scottish Morn is that even though it is a bold, invigorating black tea, it isn’t too edgy.  It’s not overly astringent nor is it veering on the side of bitter.  It doesn’t feel like it’s stripping my tongue of its taste buds.  It’s almost what I’d call … smooth.  Not gentle, not mild or mellow … but, as I sip it, I don’t feel like it’s a full-on assault of my palate either.

It’s a remarkably rich, full-flavored tea with a very pleasing, well-rounded taste.  And I can feel it get to work on my energy levels too!  This is one of the better breakfast blends I’ve tried from Harney & Sons … it gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me.

Connemara Morning Black Tea Blend from Trail Lodge Tea


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Trail Lodge Tea

Tea Description:

One taste and you’ll believe Connemara Morning was mixed up by some leprechauns.It starts with a blend of black teas that a full bodied, rich, malty, and earthy taste. This is combined with Irish cream flavoring that gives it a sweet decadence. Then petals and shamrock sprinkles are added as a bit of whimsy.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I opened the package of this Connemara Morning Black Tea Blend from Trail Lodge Tea, the scent of the Irish cream flavoring took me by surprise.  It’s really quite fragrant!  I really looked forward to pouring my first cup and taking a sip … it smells so good!

The dry leaf is very attractive with the yellow flower petals and the whimsical shamrock candy sprinkles tossed amid the dark tea leaves.  Candy sprinkles are certainly NOT a buying point for me when it comes to tea, personally, I think that teas are better off without them, but I have to admit that they certainly add a pleasing visual appeal to the dry leaf, and as one who used to create my own tea blends, I can see why companies have taken to add these little additions.  Without them, the tea looks pretty much like every other tea out there.  The sprinkles help the tea stand out and give it some interest … and really, even though they do add just a hint of sweetness to the brewed tea (as they do melt and add just a touch of sugar to the tea) their contribution, flavor wise, is really very insignificant.

But what does add some flavor to this cup is the Irish Cream!  Wow!  So good!

The flavor of Irish Cream really marries quite nicely with the rich black tea blend used as the base for this tea.  The two seem made for each other!  The black tea blend is a combination of Indian and Chinese black teas, and based on what I’m tasting, I suspect that there is some Assam in this blend.  It has that rich, malty flavor that Assam tends to bring to the cup.  The blend is very satisfying and provides a very solid taste for the backdrop of this flavored tea.

The Irish Cream tastes sweet and creamy.  Creamy enough, I would say, to be enjoyed without the addition of dairy, if this is something you prefer to avoid, but, it is also quite lovely when served as a latte.  (Just a splash of milk makes this happen)  As I said, I found this quite enjoyable without any dairy, and I think I prefer enjoying the strength of the black tea without the creamy addition.  But if you’re looking for an extra creamy treat … the latte is the way to go!

This flavor of this tea does improve by letting the freshly brewed tea cool ever so slightly before you begin sipping.  The piping-hot cup is delicious, but, let it sit for two minutes, and the flavor of the Irish Cream really develops nicely.  It’s worth waiting for … even though I found myself sitting here, rather impatiently, for that two minutes to lapse, because the scent wafting from my cup was almost too much to resist!

A really lovely cup of tea – definitely worth a try … especially for those who love the flavor of Irish Cream!