Plum Oatmeal Squares Temi Sikkim Tea from A Quarter to Tea. . . .

Buttery oatmeal squares are the simplest comfort food, a warm (healthy) hug. I expected nothing less from this Plum flavored seasonal offering from A Quarter to Tea.

My first impression is strong fructose vibe from ripe plums or berries, almost the scent of a sweet wine? It’s rare that I find plum in a tea, and this reminds me of smelling farmer’s market produce in the fall. Slivers of goodies decorate the dry black tea leaves, including actual oatmeal.

The hot water awakens the blend, the familiar breakfast oats smell emerges then the tannins follow, the strong fruit smell of earlier is now just a hint. Being present for transformations like these, I find myself appreciating the effort the creators put into their products. The plum aroma gets stronger again as the auburn water gravitates through the steeper.

There is a mismatch of acidity in the two flavors which surprises my taste buds, but also somehow balances itself out. These malted and fruity flavors work really well together. The second steep mellows out the tannins and is more of a creamy fruit taste. Delicate with hint of, wow, what is this biting aftertaste? Like most flavored blends, noticeably less intense but still a good amount of flavor. None of the some cinnamon-type spice in here that I would’ve expected, but it’s oatmeal-y enough without it.

It takes a lot of guts to release a rare flavor, and this offering from A Quarter To Tea rises to the challenge, keeping things original, yet still enjoyable.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea

Tea of the Month for November 2016

Temi’s perfect muscatel notes are blended with rich dessert flavors: plum, pastry, and vanilla butter. A warming dessert tea, perfect for this (or any other) season.

This tea is limited run, so once it is gone, it’s gone for the season. It is sold only in 0.5oz quantities.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

My favorite tea is always changing, like a typical Gemini. When I was a teenager, my native Washington Starbucks coffee was forbidden, but I occasionally snuck in a chai latte, so black teas have been my go-to morning drink when I feel feisty.

As an adult, I spent 3+ years living in China and Japan where I learned about green, white, oolong, and pu’er teas origins. I was even prescribed traditional medicinal teas while I was there and that’s a taste you don’t soon forget! But it didn’t scare me away from herbals – I really like cold brewing rooibos and tisanes now because I can share them with my toddler.

I am back in school to become a geologist, and these science textbooks can be difficult to get through without a strong cuppa. When I’m not studying, I love pairing my teas with my BFFL and salted caramel macarons, or having existential chats with my dad.

Jasmine Green Tea from Zesta Tea. . . . .

With how my life is structure, having a tea that I can pop in a bottle of iced water or freshly prepped water is key.  I sometimes need a quicker route to tea than the traditional loose leaf variety.  It sounds silly, but being a mom of 4 with all of the other work and home tasks that need to get done on a daily basis, I find that sometimes time just doesn’t always allow for the prep needed for my beloved loose leaf.  Yes, I know.  Prepping loose leaf tea takes a mere minutes, but sometimes I really do find myself up against the clock to grab shoes and get out the door with kids in two.  This is where Jasmine Green Tea from Zesta Tea has been my hero.

Jasmine Green Tea is a bagged tea variety of one of my beloved teas.  With a gorgeous elephant as their logo, Zesta Tea knows how to do give you a lot of flavor in a tea bag.  Freshly prepped with hot water, this tea gives that familiar and soul loving floral flavor mixed with that brilliant green tea base.  The jasmine flavor really is the star here and the green tea is a bit more gentle.  . .  quite a romantic combination in my opinion.  The tea is smooth and really hits the spot when you need something quick.  I do still enjoy my loose leaf version of jasmine green tea better, but this tea is perfect for those instances where I need to really get a moving.

What I found that I really adore about this tea is how marvelous you can brew up an iced tea.  I fill my water bottle up with ice, water, and a few of Zesta’s Jasmine Green Tea bags.  Stick it in the fridge and in an hour or so, I have wonderful iced tea.  Perfect for those on the go moments that fill up my day everyday.  And this iced tea always compliments whatever lunch I’ve scrounged up for myself.

For a bagged tea, this Jasmine Green Tea has really caught my attention. I’m excited now to jump into the loose leaf teas that Zesta Tea sent us to review along with the other bagged tea varieties.  I see lots of tea tasting sessions in my future this weekend!

I’ve had other bagged tea varieties of this tea blend before and for the most part, have walked away disappointed.  Not the case here.  This may be a tea I need to pick up more of for those busy summer days that are quickly approaching.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy: Zesta Tea

Chinese green tea delicately flavoured by imprinting the leaves with natural Jasmine flowers and allowing the tea to absorb its fragrance. The flowers are then carefully removed by hand leaving behind this exotic tea that can be drunk any time of the day and particularly makes a great accompaniment to food.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

I am a late 30s something mom who loves her family, will be getting married to a wonderful guy and has 4 kids (2 mine-2 his). We have a beautiful life together and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Tea is a passion that quickly turned into an obsession, very similar to my love for polka dots, the horror genre, and anything that is geeky and fun. I drink all kinds of tea and will try a tea twice to make sure I didn’t bumble the first infusion.

Besides SororiTea Sisters, I’m also the blogger and genius (I use that word very loosely) behind CuppaGeek, where I review tea, books, and the horror genre.

Sage Wellness from Plum Deluxe

I love brewing up tea with fresh herbs from the garden or from the kitchen.  With all the turkey and holiday meals in the wintertime, I feel like sage is an especially appropriate herb to be brewing this time of year, so I ordered a bag of Sage Wellness tea from Plum Deluxe.


This is a tea with a green rooibos base, which provides the perfect, gentle background for the other herbs and flavors.  In the dry leaf, there are plenty of fuzzy, grey-green leaves from the sage, a pleasure to touch and smell.  Rose petals and lemon peel add to the dreamy fragrance.


Beyond the rooibos and sage, this blend also features fruit pieces like strawberry and rosehips, and fruit flavoring from strawberries and peaches.  The sage feels like Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing, but the strawberry feels like a summer harvest.  With the two fragrant, flavorful factors of sage and strawberry, the whole blend is reminiscent of a fresh, blooming herb garden.


Not too sweet and not too savory, the fruit and herbs come together to make an atypical take on familiar flavors.  With a blend so beautiful to look at and so tasty to brew, I like to pretend that I was wandering in a fantasy garden, plucking bits of sage and picking perfect strawberries to add to my perfect cup of tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe

Nourish body + soul with the wisdom and healing of fresh herbs and fruits!  Our sage + green rooibos herbal tea artfully blends lemon and orange with a pinch of strawberry and peach to make a delightfully refreshing, flavorful tonic wonderful for when you have those emotional blues or just want a cup of something calm and restorative.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Growing up, I drank herbal teas like fresh ginger tea during New England’s harsh winters and iced blueberry tea during its humid summers. Over time, I was tempted into trying a wider variety of loose leaf teas by the fandom-themed blends available online. I have since gone on to design my own blends, and I greatly enjoy drafting up flavor ideas and drawing tea labels.

When I’m not thinking about tea I can be found reading novels and comic books, playing video games, or watching movies; my favorite genres being history, humor, sci-fi, and fantasy.

Generally, I prefer bold teas: spicy chais, rich black teas, even smoky lapsang souchong on occasion. But I have also dabbled in herbal rooibos, flavored oolongs, and traditional matcha. I’m glad to be expanding my palette by tasting and reviewing new teas and blends.

Find me on Steepster:

Fandom blends:

The Energy for Word Craft – James Joyce Tea Blend by Simpson and Vail. . . .

From day to day we find ourselves taxed with work, school, and the other things that make our life worthwhile. And when we try to sit down to pursue our hobbies, may it be writing, reading, or any other creative venture we find ourselves creatively drained. We either stare at a blank page or a room that holds our craft that refuses to give us the needed inspiration to fuel our venture.

This, my friends, is where I have found myself a lot this month. Balancing school and my desire to put the story, that I have been holding on to for ages, onto paper seems to be a momentous task. But that is where tea comes in.

To be specific James Joyce’s Tea Blend by Simpson & Vail gave me the needed boost to finally put something down on paper. Now, this is tea not alike the others I have tried for this tea is very simple in nature. This cuppa is like Irish/English Breakfast and as a matter of fact, it tastes like a blend of those two. It has that perfect maltiness that I have come to love in Irish Breakfast with a little bit of the robustness that English Breakfast has to offer.

The price of this tea won’t hurt your wallet either for you can get either a 4 oz package for $6.90 whereas if you want the decorative 4 oz tin that will be about $3 extra at $9.75.

Even though this tea didn’t have anything new or different added to the blend I still appreciate it. Drinking this blend brought me back to the days when I first tried hot tea. Calling this tea simple is not negative in this case for a simple cup of tea could be the only thing you need to get you back on track.

See you for the next cuppa!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Simpson & Vail

James Joyce was born February 2, 1882 in a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. He attended a private boarding school until his father’s debts caught up with the family and he and his siblings were forced to leave. He would later attend college and, while he achieved high marks, his views never aligned with the Jesuit professors. A collection of his short stories, The Dubliners, was published in 1914 and introduced Joyce’s dense and atmospheric prose to the world. He would go on to travel Europe, spending most of his productive years in France, where Ulysses was published in 1922. Joyce’s influence continues into the 21st century where his method of conveying the complexity and chaos of random thought as a stream of consciousness is still in use.

For Joyce, tea was an expected part of life and it appears in his works as a routine part of the day. As a man of taste, he enjoyed the finer things in life and, as an article describing a meeting at his house says, “Mrs. Joyce gives us the best tea and the nicest cakes that are to be had in any house in Paris.” Our James Joyce tea blend uses a distinctly Irish mix of black teas to mimic the type of drink he and his friends would have enjoyed.

This delightfully bold blend of teas brews to a golden cup with a malty flavor and a slightly fruity aftertaste.

Ingredients: Black teas from India, Sri Lanka and Kenya.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

I am an old soul and a tea lover and my days are even better when I have a nice cuppa and a piece of classic literature. I have an appreciation for most teas but my most favored ones are of the Earl Grey variety, especially Lady Grey. Even though my tea tastes are more of the classical range, I would not turn down something different. P.S. I am also a lover of video games especially ones of the RPG genre.

Top Leaf from Mellow Monk . . . . . .

Within this past week, I have come down with the slight flu. Resulting in which I couldn’t for the life of me taste anything for my nose was not cooperating in the slightest. So when I became able to taste something that wasn’t my mentholated cough drops I looked to tea for a safe hot beverage to soothe my illness. I turned to Mellow Monk’s Top Leaf tea blend.

This tea is a sort of Sencha (fukamushi, which means deeply steamed in Japanese) and compared to the sencha I have had in the past this tea is a softer variant. It was a nice cup to soothe my stomach and a pleasant change to my taste buds, other than crackers and soup. I would have to agree with the description that is on the Mellow Monk’s site for this blend has a slight earthiness to it but just enough to have a modest sweetness.  Now I don’t seem to catch the grapefruit overtones that is described but that could be because of my previously deadened taste buds.

Now on to the price of this tea. It seems to only come in one size and that is a 100 gram (3.5 oz) bag retailing for $15.95 which is a little over four dollars per ounce. Which I believe that is pretty fair compared that I usually pay $4-7 for an ounce for other loose leaf blends.

In closing, I believe that this is a good blend for any green tea/Sencha lover. It is moderately priced for the amount you get, it is direct from the source, and if this has any leverage with you dear reader Top Leaf won first place in its category in the 2011 North American Tea Competition. As for me, I don’t think I will be picking this up anytime soon but I will definitely keep this blend in mind for the future. I may even explore their other blends from Mellow Monk.

See you for the next cuppa!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Mellow Monk

This is our top-of-the-linehoncha, or traditional green tea. Top Leaf™ Green Tea, a fukamushi (deeply steamed) sencha, is specially pampered in its own separate corner of the tea orchard. Not only does this tea receive extra fertilizer (organic, of course) during the growing season, but at harvest time, the growers pick only the top layer of young tea leaves. The result is a distinctive, more subtle, gentler flavor. This tea is alwaysfirst flush.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

I am an old soul and a tea lover and my days are even better when I have a nice cuppa and a piece of classic literature. I have an appreciation for most teas but my most favored ones are of the Earl Grey variety, especially Lady Grey. Even though my tea tastes are more of the classical range, I would not turn down something different. P.S. I am also a lover of video games especially ones of the RPG genre.