Spicy Chocolate Chai/Fraser Tea

This tea was totally not what I expected – and I couldn’t be happier!

I have had a number of spicy teas, as in jalapeno spicy, and I have never been a fan of that kind of spice. Odd how it works out, because three of my children love spicy food, the hotter the better, but I have never been able to handle it.

I don’t drink much real chai spice tea, because I am not crazy about black peppercorns in tea, though I know it is good for you and many people love it. This has pink peppercorns, which I prefer. Also, I love cardamom in tea. And cocao nibs!

What I got with this tea was a silky smooth cup that reminded me of Mexican hot chocolate, only better. Did I say silky and smooth? Because that is my strongest impression from this tea. The spices are just so spot on. This is comfort food in a cup. The ginger is well behaved and doesn’t bite. AND IT IS ORGANIC!

Instead of Spicy Chocolate Chai, my pet name for this tea might be something like “Chocolate Cinnamon Daydream.” Or how about “Tea for Reading on a Rainy Day.” If you are afraid of the words “spicy” or “chai”, don’t be afraid of this blend.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Fraser Tea

Description

Spicy Chocolate Chai Organic Pu-erh Tea is a fusion of cocoa nibs, spicy chili peppers, and delicate, sweet oranges combined to craft a flavor sensation with maximum health benefits. Striking a delicate balance between heat and sweetness, spicy chocolate chai is a smooth and flavorful tea that supports weight management and wellness.  Enjoy any time.  Try it as-is or add milk and sugar.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Blueberry Black/Tea Sparrow

Organic Blueberry Black by Tea Sparrow is a blueberry black tea (shocking!) comprised of organic black tea, organic dried blueberries, organic blackberry leaves, and certified organic blueberry flavor.

I have had this tea once before, cold steeped in lemonade. That time, the drink tasted mostly of lemonade but had a bit of a blue candy sweetness added in. Like those gummy sharks that are meant to be blueberry but mostly just taste sweet.

This time I made the tea as a plain hot brew, letting 1.5 teaspoons of leaves steep in 10 ounces of 200F water for 3 minutes. The hot tea definitely tastes a lot more like blueberry than the tea lemonade. However, it is not like the fruit so much. It also isn’t much like blueberry gummies. Instead, I would say this tastes similar to blueberry pie filling as it has the blueberry essence with a whole lot of rich sweetness as well. The base tea gives this a thickness that compliments that gooey filling flavor, but it can also be a little brisk at times (for my tastes, at least).

I was surprised at how this captured blueberry flavor, even if it wasn’t quite true to the berry. Tea Sparrow has mostly been a lot of misses and though the brew of this cold steeped in lemonade wasn’t bad, it didn’t really scream blueberry to me. This hot tea is definitely blueberry-inspired and it is a nice dessert-like treat.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Tea Sparrow

Description

Tea Sparrow is a tea subscription service. Check out the site below.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Chocolate Roasted Banana/A Quarter to Tea

I don’t know what happened to me, friends– but I’ve gone from banana-tea-hater to banana-tea-OBSESSED lately. And it’s all thanks to A Quarter To Tea! After receiving a banana pudding tea in last month’s subscription box and gulping it down so frequently that I bought two– count ’em– TWO backup bags, I was thrilled to see this iteration of more banana goodness in one of their boxes.

This roasty oolong is sweet and creamy, with just a touch of decadence from the white chocolate. This tea takes a splash of milk nicely, and brings to mind a refined, grown-up banana split in flavor (sans cherry). While this one won’t be replacing my banana pudding tea anytime soon as my favorite yellow-fruit-flavor, it’s a solid choice for my fellow banana tea lovers.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  A Quarter To 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!

Watermelon Oolong/Fraser Tea

Watermelon oolong has just the right name to pull me in while thinking of a hot summer day here in the South. I was a little skeptical about the watermelon part because I thought it might be super subtle or not very authentic.

Quite often my daughter joins me when I am I tasting teas for reviews. I like getting another person’s impressions and opinions to consider.

She took one sip, looked up, and said, “This is going to be a problem.”

“How so?” I asked. “Because this sample is all we have?”

“Because this sample is all we have and something has to be done about that.”

I sipped. Yes, it is that good. It is that watermelon-y. She likened it to Jolly Ranchers. I don’t think I have ever had those so I likened it to my homemade watermelon ice. Thank goodness for the sake of family harmony, our sample resteeped very, very well. Full on watermelon flavor like one of the best melons of summer, rich and sweet.

My order should be here next week. I expect I will be having this hot, iced, and maybe even as tea popsicles. Already some of my daughter’s friends are clamoring for a taste.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Fraser Tea

 

Description

A virtual summer picnic in your glass, Watermelon Oolong Organic Oolong Tea combines fresh berries and tropical fruit flavors together with lemongrass for a crisp and refreshing taste.  This superior grade organic oolong tea offers numerous nutritional benefits including weight management, diabetes management, and mental health.  Think wellness; embrace flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Walnut Green Tea/Aromatica Fine Teas

Monthly subscription boxes can be hit or miss. I have tried several along my tea journey including subscriptions by Amoda, A Quarter to Tea, Handmade Tea, myteabox.ca, Sips By, and Tea Sparrow. Some, such as the A Quarter to Tea box, offers selections from one company whereas others, such as the Sips By box, offer teas from a variety of different vendors in each box. The former is good if you know you like a certain company whereas the latter is fun for when you want to try and discover new things. Sometimes you discover gems, sometimes you discover disasters, and sometimes you find new things that are simply unremarkable.

I received the Tea Sparrow box as a gift. The teas are a variety of Tea Sparrow blends and blends from other vendors. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a tea that really stands out to me from this box which has so far put this subscription in the “unremarkable” category. With that said, one of teas in my Tea Sparrow subscription is this Walnut Green Tea by Aromatica Fine Teas. I have tried another Aromatica Fine Tea before, Ginger Cream, courtesy of my Amoda subscription. I really enjoyed that tea so my hope was I’d enjoy this as well. Moreover, this tea is also the first place winner of the 2011 North American Tea Championship so hopefully that means it’s a good one.

When I read the brewing instructions for this tea, it suggested steeping the leaf in “almost boiling” water for 2.5 minutes. Almost boiling is my least favorite temperature because it is so ambiguous. As a result, I decided to steep one cup for 2.5 minutes in 175F water (the “Green” setting on my kettle) and another cup in 200F water (what I would consider almost boiling to be) for 1.5 minutes. I figured I had the leaf so it could be interesting to experiment how different brewing parameters impact the tea flavor.

First cup I drank was the cooler cup, the one brewed at 175F. Lookswise, this cup was much lighter than the tea brewed at a higher temperature, a bright-ish yellow versus a deeper brown-gold. To me, this tasted like liquid brittle. Nutty and sweet with more walnut flavor than almond. No vegetal/grass flavors from the base tea and no pineapple or coconut in sight.

The second cup, brewed with a little more leaf and at 200F, is a lot more buttery though still tastes of brittle. I think more coconut comes through when brewed like this but less walnut which is really meant to be the focus in light of the tea’s name.

This tea is made of chinese green tea, sencha, brittle, coconut rasps, candied pineapple pieces, walnut pieces, flavor, and almond pieces. Given that list, I was surprised that not much of the base nor pineapple was part of the taste of either cup. Personally, I think I preferred the tea brewed at 175F just because it was more distinctly walnut and thus more true to its name though the two were fairly similar flavorwise. Overall I found the tea to be unique and good, definitely one of the better options provided in my Tea Sparrow subscription, but ultimately I just don’t reach for nutty blends or green teas all that quickly. As such, while I can appreciate this as a good tea, an award-winning tea even, I just don’t feel the need to keep it around all the time.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Aromatica Fine Teas

Description

Chinese green tea, sencha, brittle bits (sugar,hazlenuts), coconut rasps, candied pineapple bits, walnut pieces, flavour, almond pieces.

“What a fantastic and sophisticated profile for a blended green tea!”

Michael Menashy, Tea Sparrow

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!