Peach Crostata from a Quarter to Tea

What is a crostata?  Apparently, it is a type of tart or pie, or it might even include a crumble-like dessert.  Either way, imagine buttery crust, sugar and spice, and plenty of fruit.  This tea blend looks to capture the the essence of a peach crostata, with sweet stone fruit and warm pastry.

The tea leaves are yunnan black tea, but they were so tightly rolled I almost mistook them for oolong leaves.  Brewing this blend, the tea is dark and rich and brews up quickly.  Both the dry leaves and the hot tea are very fragrant with natural peach flavor.

When taking my first sip, my nose is full of fruity peach, but the brew is much more robust.  The taste of the tea has more roasty, caramel notes than it does fruit, and its boldness overshadows the peach.  The tea is smooth at first, finishing with a tart, mineral dryness in the aftertaste.  It’s possible the boldness of the tea has to do with my brewing techniques, so I would brew this a little cooler and shorter next time.  I found that adding milk helped make the brew more gentle, which brought out the best of the peach notes.

Even if this wasn’t my favorite tea lately, I’ve had other blend from a Quarter to Tea that I absolutely loved, like their Carrot Cake or Peeps Krispies genmai cha teas.  Give any of their flavors a try for a quality brew.


Here’s the scoop!

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

A take on a late medieval version of a peach crostata, with warming spices and a rich peach flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Easy as Pie: Black Cherries and Sweet Cream from A Quarter to Tea

It’s getting to be summertime and cherries are in season.  You can see them in a glorious, burgundy bundle at the grocery store or the farmer’s market.  With summertime cherries on my mind, it seemed like the perfect time to try Black Cherries and Sweet Cream tea from A Quarter to Tea.  

The dry tea leaves and the first minute of steeping was all about the cream, wafting sweet waves of vanilla out of my mug.  As the tea cooled and I got my first taste, the cherries started to shine.  This tea is named for black cherries specifically, and you can taste the dark, full, fruit flavor in the tea.  This is certainly not the red cherry flavor of chewy candy or medicine, nor the syrupy maraschino cherry that goes on top of your sundae.  This blend truly tastes like fresh black cherries and a dollop of cream.  Even without milk and sugar, this blend is smooth and decadent, though it never gets too sweet.  

There is a distinct tartness in this brew, both from the natural fruit notes and from a tanginess to the cream. This tartness goes well with the astringent black tea base, matching the bright and sharp tone of the tea leaves.  This blend reminds me of the taste of fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, with vanilla yogurt and burst of black cherries.  The vanilla is creamy, but has enough complexity to remind me of true frozen yogurt, or even a slice of cherry cheesecake.  

This is a great dessert blend to go with a cherry pie at that summer barbecue!  


Here’s the scoop!

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

Luscious black cherries with a medium body darjeeling base, paired with heavy notes of cream and vanilla. Decadent enough to make a magister proud.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Coconut Cream Banana Black Tea from Murchie’s Tea & Coffee

coconut-cream-bananaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Murchie’s Tea & Coffee

Tea Description:

Murchie’s Coconut Cream Banana Tea combines fine black teas with coconut and bananas. This cup of tea is ripe with the flavour of the islands and is as decadent as banana cream pie!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This one comes from a tea friend of mine on Steepster; the store it comes from is located in British Columbia, and not one I’ve had much experience with – just tried different samples in various tea swaps. Their website seems quite nice though, and pretty easy to navigate!

This one definitely has a very banana heavy smell with somewhat of a pudding like quality to it; so I guess that comes from the ‘cream’. I cold brewed this one ‘cause that’s just what I do; it definitely was a lot like I expected it to be but did have a few surprises.

The banana was certainly one of the stronger notes, and very candy like. In addition to having somewhat of a pudding like flavour it reminded me quite a bit of those banana marshmallow candies that you can find in convenience stores for five cents. People tend to have polar opinions on those; you either love or hate them. Personally, I can’t get enough. If you put a big bowl of them in front of me I would lose all self control and eat every last one, and probably get really sick as an added bonus.

The coconut is also very strong, though it tastes a touch off. It has an almost oily or greasy buttery flavour to it, which I find is something I’ve come to associate with shredded coconut that’s just starting to turn bad. Despite not totally meshing, it did sort of work with the tea though; that buttery flavour I dislike tied in a bit with the banana marshmallow vibe to create something that kind felt a little more confectionery instead causing me to feel wary.

I didn’t like the black base a whole lot either; I felt like it was noticeably a lower quality base with a lot of flavourings intended to cover that up – some I kind of observed with another flavoured black from this company, though it wasn’t as noticeable with that blend. And, something about the use of it here reminded me a little bit of ash. Only very lightly; but that’s still not a flavour you necessarily want to be experiencing with a “Banana Cream” tea. As for the all spice, that’s actually one thing about this that I felt pretty neutral about; it was barely present but what I could taste was nice and meshed fairly well with everything else going on. Though, I don’t think an absence of the allspice would have really affected the flavour either.

But I’m honestly probably making this out to seem a lot worse than it was in reality. The truth is I drank the entire 25 oz. cold brew with very little complaint or criticism until after finishing it and it wasn’t all that difficult to just tune into the fun, sweet banana notes. Overall, this probably balances out to be a relatively average tea. Wouldn’t necessarily recommend or serve it, but it’s not like I’d deliberately avoid it either.

Lemon Meringue Mao Zhen Hair Needle from 52Teas

Lemon-Meringue-Mao-ZhenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Tea Description:

Wow, that’s a mouthful. And this tea is a mouthful of deliciousness. This organic Chinese green tea is sweet with just a hint of almost salmon-like butteriness. I’ve paired it with lemon verbena, marshmallow roots and lemon-, marshmallow- and pastry- organic flavors. Be prepared to have your socks knocked off with this one..

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Lemon Meringue in a cup. . sign me up! I adore this tea.  It really tastes like a slice of lemon meringue pie.  I loved it so much I actually just picked up 3 more packs.  When I first saw this one the site, I knew I would like it and automatically added it into my cart, just didn’t realize how much I would love it.

The dry leaf smells exactly like a homemade slice of lemon meringue pie times ten.  The smell is almost overwhelming but amazing. I  had people stopping by my desk and asking me if I had a lemon candle on my desk while the tea was brewing. The green tea is there and provides a fantastic richness.  I think I’m going to have to order some Mao Zhen Hair Needle on its own and see what that tastes like.  I think its the first time I’ve had this particular green tea and am wondering what all it is adding to the flavor.

I’m loving this one and will be sad when my stash is gone. Reminds me of my mom’s amazing lemon meringue pie.  So Good! And crazy helpful for when I’m craving something pastry like while I’m on this diet of mine.

Strawberry Pie Iced Honeybush Tea from Southern Boy Teas

SBT-HONEYBUSH-Strawberry-PieTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy:  Zoomdweebies

Tea Description:

Our premium organic caffeine-free honeybush blended with organic strawberry, cinnamon, brown sugar and pastry flavors. A delicious caffeine-free treat. Don’t miss your chance to grab one.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

From the moment that I tore open the pouch of this Strawberry Pie Iced Honeybush Tea from Southern Boy Teas, I knew I was in for a treat!  I could smell the strawberry right away!  And the berry with the cinnamon produced an aroma that was absolutely irresistible!  YUM!

And this really is yummy.  The nutty, honey-sweet honeybush with the notes of buttery pastry, earthy cinnamon and sweet brown sugar notes create a really delightful ‘pie-like’ flavor.  The strawberry tastes sweet with hints of tart, just like the real thing.  It tastes like the glazed strawberries in a strawberry pie (or a strawberry shortcake!)

It makes a really refreshing iced tea.  It tastes a lot like I remember the “My Sweet Honeybush” version of this flavor tasting:  sweet and delicious.  I think that ‘hot tea’ version of this tea also had more of a vanilla-y taste to it.  I do taste some vanilla-ish flavor to this, like a creamy sweetness, but it’s not as strong as my taste buds want to remember based on reading my past review.

However, I don’t feel like I’m missing that vanilla note in this tea because I rather like that this is about the strawberry and the pie.  Very refreshing, pleasantly sweet and dessert-like.  Nice!