Psychocandy from August Uncommon. . . .

I made this Psychocandy tea by August Uncommon a while ago with the intention of writing a SororiTea Sisters blog review about it. At the time, I had high hopes for this tea because it smelled so decadently of caramel that I couldn’t help but be excited. Unfortunately life got in the way and not only was I unable to review the tea but I didn’t even get a chance to drink it until it cooled right down. By the time I could take a sip it had gotten so sickly sweet that it didn’t even taste like anything and most of my mug got dumped down the drain.

At that time I noted that perhaps hot, it would be better. I am happy to report that my suspicions were spot on. Though this is still very sweet, you can actually make out flavors here that give this more depth and keeps things interesting. Caramel is certainly present and harkens back to the caramel syrup, made by Smuckers, which somehow just appeared in the family cupboard and was used to make DIY sundaes at home. That caramel syrup that was just a little sweeter than it should have been but you were a child and thus didn’t care. Yet there is more than just caramel. There is vanilla here too. One that might get lost among the other, stronger flavors but every so often pops through with some creaminess. Pumpkin is adding yet another layer of sweetness here which is true to actual pumpkin flavor, a welcome alternative to the more typical pumpkin spice found in pumpkin teas. Plus, with just a bit of focus, apple can also be tasted floating about.

This tea was very well received by many of my tea friends and honestly I can see why. First of all, it is a pumpkin tea that has ACTUAL pumpkin, something that is much rarer than you’d expect. Plus it actually highlights that pumpkin by focusing on its naturally sweet flavor as opposed to hiding it under spice. Second, it is a unique tea in that it combines ingredients in such a way that they are familiar and comforting and yet the combination is still new and fresh. Third, the ever-hated rooibos base is nicely hidden underneath all the sweet, only slightly contributing to the overall flavor but in a way that helps to ground everything. And finally, the mouth-watering scent of caramel is just so good and it lingers in the air as if someone was creating tasty confections in your kitchen all day.

With that all said, this does have sweet on top of sweet on top of sweet which frankly for some people could be too…well…sweet. Personally, I would remove the sweet blackberry leaf if I could just to remove one element of sweet. Also, this is not a tea I would recommend cold by any means. Like I said before, it cooled down and basically just became a cloying jumble of yuck which ended up getting dumped down the drain. So though I recommend trying this one, I recommend with that warning. Drink it hot and drink it fast and know that you’re basically drinking candy in a glass. At least calories won’t be a concern so this could be a nice way to satisfy even the most insatiable of sweet tooths. And the fact that it is caffeine free means it can be the perfect substitute for a late-night dessert.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Rooibos
Where to Buy:  August Uncommon
Description

Psychocandy is all pumpkin, no spice. We married the creamy sweet depth of real pumpkin flakes with earthy rooibos. Even before you taste it, the heady aroma will intoxicate you. Each sip has a long lingering caramel finish that remains long after the cup is empty. Adding milk turns the creamy sweetness up to 11. Makes a knockout tea latte.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Leafy Black Colombian Tea from Simpson and Vail. . .

This Organic Leafy Black Tea from Simpson & Vail is the 2nd tea that I’ve tried (that I know of) that hails from the Bitaco Tea Estate. This is a lovely loose leaf tea that features large, twisted leaves. When steeped, this tea yields a cup that’s sweet and mellow with a soft fruity character at the end of each sip.

I did have a little time to play around with this tea, however, and it can be a versatile cuppa if you want it to be. What I mean by that is if you double the amount of loose leaf and cut the steep time in half it gives off a different flavor than described on the companies website. With this steeping method I’ve noticed it’s a much more heartier, and bold brew with a fair amount of maltiness, too!

I think I mentioned this in another tea review recently but this tea is what we call a chariTEA…

Bitaco Tea not only cultivates exceptional teas, they also are committed to their community. They created the Agricola Himalaya Foundation to develop and improve programs focusing on education, especially for local children. Activities focus on the improvement of infrastructure, recreational opportunities, local culture and access to technology.

So not only is it a good cup – it’s a good cause! An all-around feel-GOOD tea!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

From the mountainous region of Colombia, in an area steeped in biodiversity, along the western slope of the Andes, is the Bitaco tea estate. The gentle mist from the mountains, rich soil, and ample rainfall all stimulate the growth of the tea bushes, producing a tea with unique characteristics.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Assam Marangi Estate Black Tea (FTGFOP1) from Simpson and Vail. . .

Many of you know I start each and every day with a Black Tea and then move on to the other tea bases from there and sip on different teas all day long…but…I have to say that Assams are generally among my favorite!

May I introduce you to a new offering from Simpson & Vail? Assam Marangi Estate Black Tea (FTGFOP1).

This lead me to my own personal research and enrichment on the Marangi Estate. The Marangi Estate is located in the Golaghat district of north-eastern Assam south of the Brahmaputra River. This district’s economy is agriculture in nature, with crops of tea, rice and sugar cane its major crops. Tea is the largest agricultural crop grown here with over 63 large tea gardens as well as many small scale tea-growers. 63 LARGE tea gardens? Yes, please! While this is a small estate, with approximately 250 hectares in cultivation, Marangi is a well respected garden that produces very high quality Assam black tea. After sipping on this tea I would completely agree! This estate seems to be the definition of QUALITY over quantity!

This Assam – that I am sipping on again while typing this review – is from the Marangi Estate and has black and golden leaves and is graded as a FTGFOP (finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe). It brews to a rich, amber colored cup with a slight cocoa aroma with floral and woodsy notes. Taste-wise it is malty with a balanced astringency and a smooth, slight cocoa finish. I have to say that malty and cocoa type Assams are among my favorite of the Assams!

This might have to go on my Top Ten Teas of this year so far! YUM!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

This tea from the Marangi Estate has uniform black and golden leaves and is graded as a FTGFOP (finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe). It brews to a rich, amber colored cup with a slight cocoa aroma with floral and woodsy notes. The taste is malty with a balanced astringency and a smooth, slight cocoa finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Maple Creme Oolong from Adagio Teas. . . .

One of my coworkers slipped me a baggie with 3 servings of this as I walked in this morning, so I obviously had no choice in the matter but to try it. It’s just me, the new Florence and the Machine album, and tea. Obviously the key ingredients for a great morning for this graphic designer.

The first thing I noticed about the tea was how strong it smelled. I could suss out that creamy maple through a Ziplock bag held at arm’s length. MAMA LIKEY.

Second, I noticed how ogle-worthy the tea looks. It has pieces in it (likely the apple) and red leaves (safflower) to give off that Canadian feel. Bless those Canadians and their charming accents and dreamy prime minster. What a great bunch of folks.

But what about the taste? Delicious, guys.

When it’s on the tongue, you get spices. It’s like a cider-chai. But then, when you swallow, ahhhhhhhh, syrup. Apples, spices, and maple for DAYS.

BOOM. Suddenly you’re Justin Trudeau’s best friend. He calls you with hot gossip. He invites you on hikes that are exactly at your exercise level. You’re going horseback riding with his mountie friends next week. Also: there’s a sale on flannel at your favorite store, and you will never be cold again.

Thanks, Canada!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas
Description
The delights of maple are no longer bound by breakfast foods. You can now enjoy that delicious flavor you love, minus the sticky fingers! We’ve blended the smooth clean taste of oolong with the subtle sweet flavor of maple and rounded it all off with a hint of creme. Add a touch of your favorite sweetener (we suggest maple syrup!) and all you need to do is decide whether to drink this tea for breakfast or dessert!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rukeri Green / Rakkasan

Have you ever been drinking your cuppa and wondered to yourself, where does this tea come from? What country? What city? What are the practices of the company like? Are they sustainable? Do they have eco-friendly practices?

Many companies don’t answer these questions. Luckily Rakkasan does. This slightly astringent and grassy green tea comes from an estate that practices great eco-friendly operations and is fair trade certified. The taste is amazing like the estate. At first you may find it soft and too watery but as you drink it more the taste really develops on your palette. Fresh cut grass and slight volcanic notes. T

he smell is slightly roasty with a hint of dead leaves (that wonderful fall scent). If you are looking for a good tea and a great company to support check out this one!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Rakkasan Tea
Description:

Our Rukeri Green is a Rwandan steamed green tea, lovely to smell with a taste mildly astringent, but smooth. Grown at an elevation between 5,500 and 6,500 feet, the leaf is hand-picked and harvested only in the mornings. This green tea is rolled in traditional tea rollers using specially selected and seasoned timber tables and battens.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!