Lemon Peel Infused Artisan Sugar from Beach House Teas . . .

Adding sugar to tea is something I do from time to time.  For the most part, I thoroughly enjoy enjoy my tea without sweeteners but every once in a while to shake things up I do like to add in honey or agave.  The other day I was enjoying a lovely white tea that just didn’t have the pizzazz I was looking for.  Then I remembered I had received some amazing sugars in the mail from Beach House Teas and I knew I had the answer to liven this tea up.

Lemon Peel Infused Artisan Sugars is a combination of organic pure sugar cane mixed with organic lemon peel granules.  The smell, well think lemon shake up from your county fair.  This sugar is handcrafted and I might add- handcrafted with love.  The presentation of this sugar is gorgeous too!

Sprinkled into my tea- this sugar completed the white peach tea I was drinking beautifully- adding in a smooth but sweet crisp citrus undertone that gave this tea exactly what it needed. Not too    I also tried my hand at a lemon shake up with using just water, ice, and a spoonful of sugar- I was in heaven!

For someone who drinks tea as plain as possible, I can’t imagine not having this sugar around to add in here or there.  I’m excited to pick up some more and bring to a tea party baby shower I”m throwing in a few weeks. I know my aunts will love adding this sweet treat into their teas and coffee!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy:  Beach House Teas
Description

Flavor-infused sugars make amazing gifts, great for when friends stop by unexpectedly for tea, when you just want to curl up under a blanket and cozy up with a cup of something warm, wow your guests with savory sweetness on the rim of cocktail glass or want to add some amazing flavors to your cooking and baking. These sugars make a dramatic statement on a drink or cocktail. Not only are they beautiful, they taste amazing!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Peeps from the Necessiteas

Two of our Sisters recently reviewed My Peeps from The NecessiTeas. . .here is the first one!

Springtime is historically the season for Peeps: those iconic, yellow sugar-coated marshmallow chicks.  The company behind Peeps has done quite a bit of branching out since those original Easter Sundays.  Now Peeps come in every seasonal shape and color, pumpkins and frankenstein heads for fall, snowmen and gingerbread men for winter, and more flavors and kooky combinations than you can imagine. 

I’m partial to marshmallows, whether big soft marshmallows in my hot cocoa, mini marshmallows in my Lucky Charms, or marshmallow-coated snowball cakes– you name it.  And yes, I like Peeps too.  The Necessiteas captured the sweet whimsy of marshmallow peeps in this delicious tea blend.  

This decaf honeybush blend is super jam-packed with strong vanilla, almost caramel flavors.  In both smell and taste, the foremost flavor in the blend is the beyond-vanilla buttercream frosting, meant to be ultra-reminiscent of marshmallows and marshmallow cream.  It’s hard to imagine exactly what flavors make marshmallows so distinctive, but the sugary sweetness with clean vanilla are a close match.  The honeybush is a great tea to use as a base, the leaves being gentle enough not to overpower the marshmallow flavoring.

Just in case the flavor alone wasn’t enough to entice you to try a cup of this brew, the loose leaf have mini marshmallows and pink sugar crystals to add sweetness and cuteness in equal measure.  


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Honeybush
Where to Buy: The Necessiteas

Easter just would’t be the same without peeps. In fact, you could say that peeps are to food what ugly Christmas sweaters are to clothing. You know whether you prefer chicks to bunnies, fresh to stale, or plain to chocolate-covered. I personally prefer slightly stale pink bunnies! When it comes to peeps, you either love them or you hate them. Their sugary, marshmallowy sweetness is enough to make your teeth ache, and I’m ok with that! I decided to make a healthier version of my favorite Easter treat by blending naturally sweet honeybush with mini marshmallows, pink sugar crystals and organic flavors. The outcome? Same sweet, marshmallowy goodness, minus the toothache!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Brown Sugar Organic Oolong by Tea Leaf Co.

BROWN_SUGAR_OolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Tea Leaf Co.

Tea Description:

A wonderfully bold and smooth organic tea blend of dark oolong and maple, a perfect pairing. While the oolong is bold, full-bodied, and lightly smoked, the maple is light, aromatic, and sweet. The combination of the two flavors results in a well-balanced, featured favorite maple tea blend.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve been drinking quite a lot of Oolong recently, and some of it has really challenged my assumptions about the variety. I thought for a long time, for example, that I didn’t like Oolong at all. Then I realised that mostly what I don’t like are dark or roasted oolongs, but lately I’m even beginning to wonder whether that’s true. Mostly because of teas like this one! The dry leaf smells good – just like opening a fresh packet of brown sugar. It’s a mild toffee, molasses-like scent. Sweet and delicious. The leaf is fairly thick and wiry, with red safflowers. So pretty! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. The resulting liquor is a bright golden brown, the scent heavily vanilla.

All of this gave me very high expectations, but I’m pleased to say that the taste more than lived up to them. This is a truly delicious tea. While drinking it, I almost completely forgot it was an Oolong because the flavour is so strong and accurate. The initial sip is hard to describe. It’s like taking a spoonful of brown sugar and letting it sit on your tongue – there are notes of toffee and vanilla, with a deeper, richer, molasses flavour running underneath. The mid sip is beautifully buttery and smooth, and reminds me a little of toffee popcorn. The flavour lingers long in the aftertaste, fading slowly and gradually into a fudgey, sweet, sugary ghost. I think this is as close to drinking brown sugar as it’s possible to get, and obviously so much healthier! I can hardly taste the base tea at all, which is a good thing in my book when it comes to flavoured teas. I want to be convinced by the flavours I’m drinking, and on this occasion I really, really am.

I think it’s easy to tell that I loved this one. I’d drink it again and again if I could – and I’d unhesitatingly choose it as a desert island tea if it ever came to that. It’s desserty decadence — pure deliciousness in a cup!

Brown Sugar Organic Oolong Tea from Tea Leaf Co.

BROWN_SUGAR_OolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tea Leaf Co. 

Tea Description:

A wonderfully bold and smooth organic tea blend of dark oolong and maple, a perfect pairing. While the oolong is bold, full-bodied, and lightly smoked, the maple is light, aromatic, and sweet. The combination of the two flavors results in a well-balanced, featured favorite maple tea blend.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Mmm!  This Brown Sugar Organic Oolong Tea from Tea Leaf Co. is the first from this new-to-me tea company that I’ve tried, and it’s a good one!

The maple flavor is strong but I like that it’s not overpowering the Oolong tea.  Tea Leaf Co. has managed to strike a really delightful balance between the sweetness and rich flavor of the maple and the Oolong tea with its fruit notes and hints of smoke.

The base tea possesses notes of stone fruit (peach) and I taste wisps of smoke.  I like this delicate smoky note and how it plays to the notes of the sweet maple.  Nutty flavors develop as I continue to sip and I like how these interact with the maple notes as well.  This is a full-flavored Oolong, it’s rugged and has notes of wood and earth.  It’s a strong flavor that doesn’t wimp out behind the sweetness of the maple.  The contrasts in flavor from the woodsy, earthy, nutty and smoky flavors help keep the maple in check and keep it from becoming too cloying a drink.

The maple notes are sweet and pleasant.  They don’t taste chemical or artificial.  It tastes like someone drizzled a drop or two of real maple syrup in my teacup!  Quite delectable!

A real treat – this “Brown Sugar.”

Product Review: Caramel Chai Tea Latte from International Delight

CaramelChaiProduct Information:

Where to Find:  Where International Delight products are sold.

Tea Description:

Exotic flavors of cinnamon, clove & ginger blended with notes of sweet caramel & fragrant black tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Rarely do I go into the grocery store and think that I’ll find something tea-like in the dairy section.  I find milk (of course) and half and half and I do use these products in my teas to make a latte on a rare occasion.  Occasionally, I’ll see a ready-to-drink iced tea in the dairy section, but it’s my experience that most of these drinks taste more of sugar than they do of tea.  So, I generally cast a disproving look toward those products and move along without giving them a second glance.

But this product earned a second glance from me because while I’ve seen many iced coffee latte drinks in the dairy section, I’ve not found a lot of chai latte drinks in the dairy section (except for in the high end grocery stores like Whole Foods).

My husband has become a fan of chai lattes lately so after checking the label to make sure that it was made with real milk and also to make sure it didn’t have any artificial sweetener (I’m allergic to aspartame), I decided to put it in the cart and give it a try.  If nothing else, it would offer an affordable offering to my husband who wants to stop at Starbucks frequently to pick up a chai latte now.

Yes, I can make a chai latte, but, he doesn’t seem to like mine as much as he likes those horrible, sugar laden ones from the coffee shops.

The labeling shows serving this one iced but also suggests trying it hot which is how I prepared it for myself.  I simply shook the carton vigorously for about 15 seconds or so to make sure that all the spices and stuff that no doubt have settled to the bottom of the carton are well incorporated and then poured about six ounces of the creamy beige liquid into my teacup.  Then I zapped it for about a minute.

This is tasty.  Now, granted, this is a very sugary drink.  It’s very similar to what I’d get from one of those aforementioned coffee shops but without the frothy top.

If you want that frothy cap, you could probably achieve it with a frother.  Mine is no longer functional so I just had to imagine that I had a frothy top.

But the lack of frothy cap aside, this tastes a lot like what I’d get if I ordered a Caramel Chai latte at one of the coffee shops.  But the price for a whole carton of this costs about half of what a large chai latte would cost from that coffee shop.

It’s warmly spiced but not what I’d call spicy.  I find myself missing the cardamom so the spices do leave a little to be desired.  But I can taste the luscious caramel notes which are very nice and I can also taste the black tea and that’s something that I often don’t taste in those coffee shop chai lattes – so this might actually have an advantage over one of those concoctions.

Note:  not all coffee shop chai lattes are created equal.  Some are better than others.

Sugary, yes.  But it’s also creamy and rich and has a pleasant flavor.  And if you happen to have a mate who prefers a coffee shop latte over a superior chai brewed from loose leaf tea and spices like I do, this could present you an agreeable substitution for those pricey drinks at the coffee shop.