Aronia Plumberry from St. Fiacres Farm. . . .

This tea is like the tastiest, plumiest, most perfectly-spiced fruit jam you ever did taste. Now, I could sit here and regale you with how my tastes have been changing to stray away from my heavy, wintry, black tea favorites lately (they have), or how all I want lately is fruity and fresh and bright and vegetal (I have)– but really, all I want to do is tell you how yummy this herbal infusion is.

I couldn’t find much about this tea on St. Fiacre’s website, but let me tell you– the dry leaf here can speak for itself. Big, bright berries pepper this dry leaf, and some of my favorite spices are large, in charge, and immediately visible– spicy cardamom pods, sweet licorice root, fragrant anise seeds– the gang’s all here!

And this blend takes all those unique ingredients and perfectly blends them together. Heavily fruity, but not overly-sweet– the warming spices bring a nice balance to the otherwise sweet herbal blend, hitting all those notes of lightly spiced jam that I just can’t get enough of. Now, if some enterprising tea-drinker would only *actually* turn this tea into a jam for me, we’d be in business. Crumpets, anyone?


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy: St. Fiacres Farm
Description

TEA CLUB OVERSTOCK! Missed out on the Aronia Plum Berry from our VIP Tea Blend in December? We have a little bit left that you can try or stock up on more if you loved it. A spin off the traditional sugar plum which is a candy that has a hard outer coating of sugar… think along the lines of the Jordan almond or an M&M type candy. A sweeter tea thanks to the licorice root, almond extract and vanilla. This tea also features Oregon grown aronia berries, plums and cornflowers

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

My Peeps from The NecessiTeas. . . . . .

What do you do when you have a box of forty teas to taste and review? You hope and pray that there are some caffeine free blends so you can do some of your tasting at night! And if you don’t like rooibos, you pray that there will be some HONEYBUSH BABY!

And hallelujah, my prayers were answered! I don’t think I have had a honeybush tea I didn’t like and this one looks absolutely adorable! Tiny freeze dried marshmallows, pink sugar crystals dotted here and there like sparkling gems, plus brown sugar sweeten this blend, but the main flavor shining through for me is the honeybush base.

Adorable doesn’t cut it by itself. The tea has to taste good, too, and this one tastes like a holiday with a touch of vanilla. We don’t usually add sugar to tea in this house so there was a moment of hesitation as we tried it. But even with three sources of sugar in the blend, the tea is not too sweet. There really isn’t enough of it to turn me off. We made a whole pot, we are drinking a whole pot, and I don’t have to worry about lying awake all night.

Three cheers for My Peeps! Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Honeybush
Where to Buy:  The NecessiTeas
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hot Cross Bun from Bluebird Tea Co. . . .

I was too chicken to order a full supply of this springtime blend, but I did get a free sample so I got to get a taste risk-free.  Hot Cross Bun is one of the Easter flavors released by Bluebird Tea Company. This is a black tea and rooibos tea blend, though rooibos makes up the majority, so you won’t be overloaded with caffeine.

The scent of this blend was vibrant and noticeable right out of the bag.  Some of the black tea was clearly a smoky lapsang souchong, but the smoked flavor was closely followed by a powerful, sweet vanilla scent.  Quite the flavor duo.

Brewed, this tea continued to open up and show off its delicious ingredients.  The smokiness cooled off, and became more like the suggestion of a fire in the fireplace.  The creamy vanilla was heightened to the decadence of buttercream icing. Both flavors were nicely balanced by sweet and tart orange zest to bring it all together.

This is a great tea for those days that you want a sweet dessert blend, but don’t want to feel too much like a pastry chef.  The whiff of rugged lapsang souchong brings a unique boldness to this brew and makes you appreciate favorite flavors like cream and citrus in a new light.  Don’t be a chicken like me and the next time you can-order a full bag of this springtime tea before it’s gone!


Here’s the scoop!

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

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Churros with Dulce le Leche from A Quarter to Tea. . . . . .

Working downtown Toronto is amazing for the foodie in me. Not so amazing for my wallet. However, it is a cornucopia of good eats with new restaurants opening all the time. Most recently, a vegan Mexican restaurant opened around the corner from my office. Like literally around the corner. So when lunching with my vegetarian friend, I figured why not check it out…

Lunch consisted of vegan tacos and flautas and fritters but what really stood out were the churros. Warm and crispy on the outside with the right amount of doughiness on the inside. Plus a chocolate banana dip that complimented the cinnamon flavor perfectly.

With those tasty treats in mind, this Churros with Dulce le Leche tea by A Quarter to Tea got my mouth watering, especially when I cracked open the bag and got a big whiff of caramel icing deliciousness. I brewed this for three minutes in 180F water and left it to cool for a little while.

Drinking the tea, it is certainly an A Quarter to Tea blend. Some companies have distinct flavors and A Quarter to Tea is no exception. Something in the teas has a tendency to lean towards a honey flavor. Though not entirely out of place in a churro tea, it does overshadow some other flavors that should be present instead. For instance, there really isn’t much cinnamon and the touch of cocoa suggested in the description is completely MIA. There is a pastry quality, though not distinctly fried dough. As a whole this is sweet and could be construed as churros but it could also be perceived as other baked goods.

All in all, the tea is nice enough but not exactly what I expected or hoped for. It is sure to satisfy a sweet tooth but that could be said of many other teas and this doesn’t really stand out from that bunch in my opinion. Perhaps my point of comparison is too fresh or too different in my mind but this just didn’t measure up to the real deal.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea
Description

Sweet fried dough dusted with cinnamon, paired with caramel and a touch of cocoa.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Caramel Shortbread from DAVIDs Tea. . . .

I am someone who does not like to add sugar to their tea. No sugar. Definitely no artificial sweetners. And no stevia. So personally, I don’t love when tea companies decide to pre-sweeten my drinks for me. I’m looking at you, DAVIDsTEA! Now don’t get me wrong…sprinkles, caramel bits, ice cream bits, and all those other bits and bobs that go into making a flavored tea fun and exciting, I enjoy. What I do not enjoy is this fairly new trend of DAVIDsTEA adding stevia to everything, sometimes in addition to adding actual sugar. Such is the case with their Caramel Shortbread herbal blend that they brought out (surprisingly early) for the 2017 Holiday Season.

Caramel Shortbread combines apples, raisins, brown sugar, elderberries, willow bark (a new ingredient to me that I am excited to try), almonds, hazelnuts, cherries, raspberries, stevia extract, and flavors. Though I don’t love it, I get adding sugar to capture a certain flavor but why does it then also need stevia? For some people, such as myself, stevia has a cloying and really unpleasant aftertaste so more times than not, its addition completely ruins a tea for me. That is why going into this, I am a bit hesitant.

I brewed this for 4 minutes in 200 degree water. As it steeped, I noticed it smelled a lot like another nutty herbal by DAVIDsTEA, Forever Nuts. It also reminds me of their Caramel Corn blend, which I suppose makes sense given the caramel.

As I drink this, to me, it also tastes like Forever Nuts but with stevia. Nutty and sweet. A bit too sweet but if I look past the stevia, I can kind of see how the sweetness lends itself to a more caramel-like flavor. It is also buttery, which is interesting and brings my mind to the melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies I think DAVIDsTEA is trying to capture. However, I am surprised I am not getting more of the berry/cherry notes given there is elderberries, raspberries AND cherries in the mix. That might be because I am distracted by the stevia but I find those flavors missing completely, which is a shame especially when you consider that without the sour cherries, this could be prepped as a latte.

Ultimately, I can see where DAVIDsTEA is going with this but like so many of their other blends recently with potential, I am completely put off by the addition of stevia. Luckily for many, that won’t be an issue so for those of you who don’t mind this ingredient, this is something worth trying. Also, for those that like Forever Nuts or Caramel Corn, this is in the same family and therefore might be something for you.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Fruit Tisane
Where to Buy: DAVIDs Tea
Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!