Blueberry Custard customized from

Confession: I’m completely fine with drinking alone…. Tea, of course 😉 But drinking with friends offers some undeniable benefits – laughter and memories made, more importantly a spread of tastebuds that offers better insight than just one picky tongue.*

There are so so many beautiful ingredients in this custom Blueberry Custard from Blendbee, I needed all the help I could get to do it justice! First off, I highly recommend using a clear brewing system (gravity steeper or mason jar) to be able to fully enjoy the making of this majestic Purple infusion. (Fortunately I had just cleaned the hard-earned tea patina off mine with baking soda and vinegar, so it was even more beautiful than my usual cuppa!)

Between the three of us sipping, only one added sugar and it really took away from the innate sweetness of this mix, hmmm better off just trusting the blend maker on this one. Some of us were crazy about this tea, but others found the herbals to be unpalatable. So we looked into what exactly were imbibing…

With Blendbee, you can create your own mix weighing anywhere from 1 oz to ½ pound. You start with a choice from 15 tea bases, and here they chose the China Green tea.

Next there are over 90 categorized ingredients to choose from (though it’s recommended to stick below 8). Must be a tough decision from all those options!  This blender chose 7:
Earthy and pungent category: yarrow flower;
Mild and fruity category: elder berries;
Herbaceous herb category: strawberry leaves;
Mild and nutty category: ashwaganda root;
Mild and herbal category: agrimony herb, and coriander seed;
And one uncategorized, marshmallow root.

Next the website offers additional extracts and flavors (up to 3 per blend). Here the blueberry and custard flavor extracts were used. (It was argued at one point that this put the ingredient count to 9, above the recommended 8, but that person is a stickler for semantics and didn’t like the tea anyway, so read that with a grain of salt).

Some of these herbs strike me as acquired tastes, beyond that, I would’ve preferred having actual blueberries instead of the extract, though I didn’t see it as an option (yet) and the extract probably consistently offers more flavor in a smaller space.

This organic blend featured so many different flavor profiles, it was a… memorable… experience for well-developed sippers, and newbies alike.

*The best part of sharing with friends is finding a loving home for leaves that aren’t your favorite (yet). Thanks H.R.!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: BlendBee

Create custom teas, with more than a hundred quality and organic ingredients to choose from.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

English Breakfast Black Tea by Steeped Tea

I steeped this tea for two minutes at 212 degrees, with one heaping teaspoon per cup of water.
So this is another tea company I haven’t tried before, how exciting! Let’s get right to the details of this tea. I guess it’s a blend of black teas, since that ‘s how english breakfast teas are generally made.  It has a nice, hearty, strong fragrance, which is of course exactly the sort of thing you’d expect from a breakfast tea (after all, it’s meant to help you wake up in the morning, right?).
It smells a smidge bitter while steeping, but mainly you notice that strong, robust tea flavor! After steeping, it doesn’t look super dark; instead, there’s a cedar-like, chestnutty color, and it’s very clear rather than opaque. The smell fortunately is less bitter after steeping has ended, and I can detect some malty notes.
The tea itself isn’t noticeably viscous/thickened. At the first sip I notice plenty of astringency combined with a tad of bitterness, but not a lot. It’s not too bitter (not as bitter as you’d expect from how it smelled while steeping), so I’m sure people who like really strong tea (or coffee) would love it, or it would be perfect for if you’re planning to have it with milk and sugar. Or, to avoid the bitterness, I’d consider steeping it a tad cooler next time.
While sipping this I can detect plenty of tannins–it seems to be a highly oxidized tea, which is just what black tea is supposed to be, but it also has an extremely tangy flavor, which I find quite helpful for waking up in the mornings (or even in the afternoons if I’m having a hard time staying awake after lunch).
There’s not much in the way of floral or cocoa notes, although there may be a touch of maltiness deepening the flavor here and there.
Of course I also had to add milk (to test my it-would-be-great-with-milk theory) and discovered that this tea is indeed lovely with milk, and that the milk takes out the bitterness just as I was hoping. With milk this tea has a strong, creamy, and excellent flavor, and I find it to be exactly the sort of tea I enjoy the most. <3

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  Steeped Tea
This classic breakfast tea is fresh, full and flavorful. Traditionally served with milk.
Ingredients: Black tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Snickerdoodle from 52Teas. . . .

I am a fan of dessert blends, regardless of what the tea base is. Whether it’s caffeinated or not, I always tend to prefer something sweet & unique. 52 Teas definitely has some unique blends so they are usually my go-to. This particular tea, Snickerdoodle, is a Honeybush/Rooibos blend which means that it is caffeine free and perfect for a guilt-free after-dinner treat to warm you up on a cold rainy evening!

Smelling the dry leaf on this one, the cinnamon and cookies really shines through. Even more so once the tea has been steeped. Snickerdoodles are not my favorite cookie, i’m more into hot chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the over with a cold glass of milk! However, the flavors involved in a Snickerdoodle (cinnamon & sugar) make for an excellent cup of tea. Not only is this warm, cinnamon-sugary, and comforting but there is an actual “cookie” flavor to the cup. The Honeybush/Rooibos blend is subtle and smooth so if you tend to dislike rooibos you should still give this one a try!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Honeybush/Rooibos
Where to Buy:  52Teas

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate Cherry Latte Oolong by A Quarter to Tea

Steeping at 190 degrees for 4.5 minutes as recommended, I prepared this tea with one tablespoon of leaves and around 10 ounces of water.

The high-quality oolong leaves swell and uncurl while steeping–something I always find fascinating (in addition to comforting because I know it means I’m about to drink some excellent tea!)

Once the steeping gets going it smells strongly of chocolate and cherry, which I take as a good sign! Actually it smells almost overwhelmingly of cherry while steeping, but after steeping that abates somewhat. The cherry flavor still hits your nose first but as you keep inhaling you can dig down and find the grounding, comforting chocolate smell too. It’s rounder and creamier. and the oolong lends butteriness and a floral note to the scent.

First sip: The butteriness from the oolong and the sharper floral, also from the oolong, and the fruity cherry notes hit all at once. The chocolate flavor seems to have melded with (and mostly been superseded by) the oolong butteriness. The chocolate itself is more of an aftertaste now. And yet sometimes you can detect it mingled with one of the other flavors.
Color: the tea is dark, but brown-tinted. Mahogany, perhaps; not really chocolate-colored though.


With milk: the cherry and the creamy oolong flavor come to the front along with a green-tea flavor (possibly from the houjicha?), the combination of which really reminds me of a matcha latte (not a bad thing at all). It’s not too astringent this way and not at all bitter.
A Quarter to Tea has come up with a great flavored blend here, and the company has great values too; not only do they use vegan ingredients but they also avoid using gluten, and try to avoid using potential allergens as well. While this blend is fun and satisfying, chocolate is not necessarily the dominant flavor here, so it’s important to be aware of that and enjoy this tea for itself rather than feeling like you’ve been tricked into drinking a not-chocolatey-enough tea. <3


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea

Roasty enough to appease the coffee lover in you! The blend of hojicha and oolong makes a robust, coffee like base without the jitters. Mellowed out with chicory, chocolate, and cherries.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Vanilla Bean from Storehouse Teas. . . . . .

I love vanilla in teas. I feel like if I was a tea-blender, i’d probably add a dash of vanilla to just about everything. I feel like it just gives this yummy warmth and sweetness to the blends and it also goes well with just about everything else! There is a difference between regular old “vanilla” and “vanilla bean”. Vanilla bean, in my experience, tends to be just a tad bit stronger and richer. When I saw this one in my little sample box I immediately scanned the ingredient list. I was wondering whether this would just be plain vanilla flavored tea or if maybe they added a little something-something to it. Well, I saw rose petals on there and I immediately thought to myself “okay, okay this is probably going to be good.”

And yes, it was good. I was right! Definite yum. I liked this blend so much that i transferred it from my tea-tasting cup to my good cup immediately! (it’s all about the mugs, people) I could smell the vanilla bean filling my kitchen and it smelled like cupcakes. The black tea was really mellow and smooth, not overpowering or astringent. The rose petals were not too floral or in-your-face, they were also very mellow and just added a little something on the aftertaste.

This blend was creamy, and I didn’t even add milk or cream to my cup. I did, however, add a spoonful of agave, and that just made it all the more better. I feel like this was cake in a mug. Vanilla cake speckled with rose and calendula petals. So, so, good. I will for sure be finishing my sample and buying some more. This is a perfect tea for mornings and afternoon tea time. I really suggest trying it if you like vanilla.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy:  Storehouse Teas

Our exquisite blend of rich black tea and world class organic orchid grown vanilla bean is smooth, naturally sweet, aromatic and comforting. Wonderful at Breakfast or any time of day to satisfy your sweet tooth, best served hot or chilled as an iced tea latte. Black teas may be helpful in reducing cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!