Omija Berry Blush from Story of My Tea. . .

This tea found its way into my cup on one of those fake-out spring days. You know– it’s April and you’re mourning the fun of spring and are just itching for some green grass, chirping birds, and a pitcher of iced tea?

Except here in the Midwest– the birds have all flown south for the winter, the grass looks like the color of that “green smoothie” (yeah right) you tried to make this morning to bolster your winter blues– and you haven’t made a pitcher of iced tea in MONTHS because hello, it’s cold outside!

And then, you dig through your tea stash and find something fruity and light– maybe not to make iced (you prefer a 24 hour cold brew method, after all, and tea is needed posthaste), but makes such a tart and tangy, sweet and fruity hot cuppa that you’ll allow it?

That was TOTALLY this blend for me, friends. Something about the berry blend used here was just a liiiiittle more fun/interesting than your average herbal bear, too– it was tangy and tart, but not mouth-puckeringly so. The berry flavors were vibrant– a little reminiscent of a fruit-by-the-foot in-a-cup… just sans all that sugar.

In a few months, I bet this one will be DELIGHTFUL iced. Until then, though– pile on those warm winter clothes, hunker down in your cozy bed, get the kettle boiling, and serve it up hot.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Story of My Tea

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!

Tea Product Review: May’s Tea Box Express

teaboxexpressTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White & Black Teas

Where to Buy:  Tea Box Express

Tea Description:

Tea Box Express is a monthly box of tea goodies. Each month brings a new box that always includes
brand-name tea and things to enjoy with the tea. We source quality teas and interesting accessories.
Every month is a surprise!

Learn more about this tea here.

To see past Tea Box Express shipments- click here.

Taster’s Review:

TeaBox1Let me tell you how excited I was to receive a Tea Box Express earlier this week.  This box featured one of my new favorite companies, Plum Deluxe.  I have sang Andy’s (the owner) praises before and I will do it again.  If you haven’t checked out his (& the rest of the crew at Plum Deluxe) tea of the month plan or the teas they offers, I highly recommend that you do.  Their teas are simply beautiful and well balanced.  Besides having two (yes two!) ounces of Plum Deluxe tea (Afternoon High White Tea and Oregon Breakfast Black Tea) there was an adorable flower pot infuser, McTavish Shortbread cookies, and Bee Local honey.  All of these companies are Portland based companies.  Receiving this box was so such a fun experience.  This is something I can really see getting into and looking forward to every month!

Let us first talk about the honey.  The honey is from Bee Local and it is a raw single-origin honey harvested from hives in Oregon’s fertile valleys and farmland.  This specific flavor of honey we received in the box was Williamette Valley.WillametteValley

Williamette Valley Bee Local Honey-Harvested from hives located in the northern portion of Oregon’s most fertile valley surrounded by vineyards, hops, and berry farms; this honey is robust yet complex. It captures the magic of the Willamette Valley.8oz.

This honey, wow, simply incredible and delicious.  I shared this with my boyfriend and one of his sons.  All three of us were enjoying this immensely.  And we were just eating it out of the jar with spoons! Not even sophisticated on cookies or in our teas.  It was a funny sight! The description the site gives this honey is spot on.  This honey is sweet with hints of berry flavoring, probably from the berry farms.  This is a high recommendation from me.  Very high! I wish I hadn’t shared it.  This will be gone in no time at all.LavenderShortbread

The McTavish Lavender Shortbread cookies on the other hand. . .I didn’t care for. But that is just because I do not care for floral flavors.  Casey, one of my boyfriend’s twins, loved the cookies and asked for more.

He finished the entire bag really fast.  The shortbread part of the cookies was very good. Rich and buttery.  The part that got me was the floral part, but if you like floral products like teas or floral honeys, I can see this being a winner to you.shortbread

Next, the tea.  I am very excited about this.  I have a love affair with Plum Deluxe teas.  The only ones I haven’t care for have been the floral ones that have red rooibos in them as well.  For those of you who have read my posts before, you know how much I do not like red rooibos.  I was very happy when I opened this box and saw two teas that I have been wanting to try from Plum Deluxe-Afternoon “High Tea” White Tea and Oregon Breakfast Black Tea.  Both of these teas are available on Plum Deluxe’s online tea shop.

grandmasteapotThe first tea we tried was the Afternoon “High Tea” White Tea.  I even broke out my grandma’s tea pot for this one.  My grandma has been gone for  a couple years now but I know she would have adored this tea.

AfternoonHighThis tea’s description on the site says this is a Peach and Pear tea and that is exactly what you get. Peach and Pear notes with the white floral tea finished that is overwhelming by any means.  The floral notes from the white tea are very subtle and add to the delicate flavor profile this tea has.  At first, I wasn’t sure I liked it but the more and more I drank of it, the more and more I really liked it.  I can’t say this is a tea that I would need again, but I am so glad I was able to try it.  If you are a white tea fan, this one is for you.  (I would love to see this one as a green tea!)

OregonBreakfastThe second tea in this box was the Oregon Breakfast Black Tea- Like a beautiful sunrise, celebrate today with this rich, bright cup of love.  What I adore about Plum Deluxe’s tea is that in the ingredients of each tea I have tried from them Essence, Love, Gratitude are listed.  When a company includes that as their ingredients you know they have the love and passion for tea that you have and it shows in their blends.  This specific tea has been one I have been eyeing on their site for some time now. This tea is described as a hazelnut and orange flavor combination cuppa.  And it surely does smell like hazelnut.  I didn’t get any of the aforementioned orange but the hazelnut is quite delicious and I don’t think I really care that I am missing the orange flavor.

OregonBreakfast2I probably need to shake up the bag a bit and try again.  This tea is outstanding.  I would love to turn this one into a latte during the winter months and an iced tea during the summer.  The boyfriend is loving this one too.  He just looked at me like- you need to order more of this one and declared this tea to be the best tea ever. That is a huge compliment.  Casey also downed this one in no time at all.

flowerinfuserThe infusion that came with this box was adorable.  Being a tea nerd and having several different kinds of strainers and infusers, I can see this fitting in well with the rest of the collection.  I haven’t used it yet, but I am looking forward to.

 

At the end of the day, I had a fantastic tea party and time with this box.  This box is worth the price and I can see this being that special treat you give yourself each month.  We all indulge ourselves in a little something and something from time to time.  Having that something something being a complete surprise is almost a treat in its own.

teabox2

Without this box, I never would have tried the McTavish Shortbread on my own or the Bee Local honey.  I already knew I thoroughly enjoyed the Plum Deluxe teas but I can see myself being a Bee Local consumer from now on.