Cripple Creek from Swallowtail Tea. . . .

The package for Cripple Creek black tea from Swallowtail Tea (the same makers as Red Rooster Coffee) features a picture of iced tea with slices of oranges and a swallowtail butterfly perched on the rim.  The label was so enticing on this warm day, that I had to give this new tea try.

This is a Ceylon tea.  Usually I associate a mouth-puckering sharpness with Ceylon teas, but Cripple Creek is surprisingly smooth and mellow.  There is still a brightness to the tea, just a wisp of citrus or fig, but the focus of the flavor is much more malty, and almost toffee-like.

This reminds me of some of my favorite breakfast black tea blends from other suppliers.  It is robust without being too earthy or smoky, and tart without being bitter. Cripple Creek is well-balanced and serves you well for a hot breakfast cup or a traditional iced pitcher.  Besides, the label is so pretty, I’d want a tin on my shelf just to show it off.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea (Red Rooster Coffee)
Description: Sourced from the Dilmah Estates in the Southwest region of Sri Lanka, this tea goes great on its own, or with milk and sugar. Harvested between the months of March and July Ceylon is the most popular tea in Sri Lanka and beyond due to its smooth and balanced flavor, with notes of malt and allspice.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Perfect, Cold-Weather Cup: Boisahabi Estate Assam from Capital Tea Ltd

Assam teas are known for their fuller, malty feel and flavor, distinctly different than the tart zing of Ceylon black teas.  This Assam from the Boisahabi Estate from Capital Tea Ltd., is a high grade tea (STGFOP (SPL) ) with a mix of black tea leaves and the highly-prized golden tips that bring the complex and delicious flavor.

In the dry leaf, this tea smells comforting and slightly spicy, like cinnamon sticks and fresh wood.  Brewed, the tea becomes surprisingly fruity, with lush muscatel flavors like pear and plum.  Beneath this fruitiness, the black tea is smooth and full, with toffee tones.  Overall, the tea feels very pleasant to drink, with a texture that fills my mouth with a warm, fuzzy feeling, without being too cloying or too sharp.

In the winter season, I seem to be drawn to all the crazy dessert-flavored teas like pumpkin pie or gingerbread cake, but while those teas are fun, their flavors are certainly enhanced by artificial flavors or added sugars and sprinkles.  There’s a time and place for those tasty flavored teas, but this Assam from Boisahabi Estate really took me by surprise and felt more flavorful and festive than those other blends.

This tea has a beautiful balance of both bold and delicate flavors, with the lighter, garden-like flavors of stone fruit, and the rich caramel and black tea undertones.  Even without sugar or milk, there is a smooth and comforting natural sweetness to this brew, which speaks to the quantity and quality of the golden tips and the tea leaves as a whole.

When you want a mature cup of tea with comforting yet complex flavors, brew a cup of Assam black tea from Boisahabi Estate from Capital Tea Ltd. and stay cozy in the chilly weather.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Capital Tea Ltd

Sweetly aromatic attractive deep brown Assam leaves with plenty of golden tips. These leaves infuse to a rich, full bodied, and intensely flavourful tea liquor with prominent notes of candy-malt and toffee. Highly recommended as a breakfast tea to drink with milk

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Brown Sugar Organic Oolong by Tea Leaf Co.

BROWN_SUGAR_OolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Tea Leaf Co.

Tea Description:

A wonderfully bold and smooth organic tea blend of dark oolong and maple, a perfect pairing. While the oolong is bold, full-bodied, and lightly smoked, the maple is light, aromatic, and sweet. The combination of the two flavors results in a well-balanced, featured favorite maple tea blend.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve been drinking quite a lot of Oolong recently, and some of it has really challenged my assumptions about the variety. I thought for a long time, for example, that I didn’t like Oolong at all. Then I realised that mostly what I don’t like are dark or roasted oolongs, but lately I’m even beginning to wonder whether that’s true. Mostly because of teas like this one! The dry leaf smells good – just like opening a fresh packet of brown sugar. It’s a mild toffee, molasses-like scent. Sweet and delicious. The leaf is fairly thick and wiry, with red safflowers. So pretty! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. The resulting liquor is a bright golden brown, the scent heavily vanilla.

All of this gave me very high expectations, but I’m pleased to say that the taste more than lived up to them. This is a truly delicious tea. While drinking it, I almost completely forgot it was an Oolong because the flavour is so strong and accurate. The initial sip is hard to describe. It’s like taking a spoonful of brown sugar and letting it sit on your tongue – there are notes of toffee and vanilla, with a deeper, richer, molasses flavour running underneath. The mid sip is beautifully buttery and smooth, and reminds me a little of toffee popcorn. The flavour lingers long in the aftertaste, fading slowly and gradually into a fudgey, sweet, sugary ghost. I think this is as close to drinking brown sugar as it’s possible to get, and obviously so much healthier! I can hardly taste the base tea at all, which is a good thing in my book when it comes to flavoured teas. I want to be convinced by the flavours I’m drinking, and on this occasion I really, really am.

I think it’s easy to tell that I loved this one. I’d drink it again and again if I could – and I’d unhesitatingly choose it as a desert island tea if it ever came to that. It’s desserty decadence — pure deliciousness in a cup!

Chocolate Toffee Crunch from theBeesTeas

ChocolateToffeeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black.

Where to Buy: theBeesTeas

Tea Description:

You’ll be amazed at how decadent tea can be when you try this delicious blend. The best part about it (well, besides the taste)? You won’t feel guilty after having it! Tea contains a trace amount of calories, therefore you can have all the flavor without all the calories! In this black tea blend you will enjoy the flavor and aroma of chocolate, toffee, and hazelnut. This tea is caffeinated more than white tea or green tea, yet still a considerable amount less than coffee. Add a splash of milk for a real tasty treat

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I recently discovered an adorable shop on Etsy and picked up a sampler or two of the teas they offered.  So far I have enjoyed all that I have tried. Since I am really trying hard to break out of my box I find myself in (always drinking green or herbal teas) I thought I would try a few new styles for me.  This one really takes me outside my typical tea comfort zone just with the simple fact that it has chocolate in it.  And not just chocolate.

This tea truly is a decadent tea.  Toffee bits, black tea, hazelnuts, cocoa beans, cocoa rice rice, and carob chips.  Basically chocolate lovin’ in a cuppa.  The dry leaves smell like a chocolate marshmallow rice krispie treat.  My mom used to make those when I was a kid with Coco Krispies.  They were so good.  It was just about the only chocolate treat I would eat when I was younger.

Brewed up like a traditional black tea in my Breville, I could smell the tea in the other room.  The chocolate toffee like aroma filled up the kitchen telling me the tea was almost done.  Filled up my cup and sat down with my new paranormal book from the library.  Took a sip and wow.  This tea is like a chocolate dessert of some kind.  The chocolate isn’t the overly sweet kind.  It has a raw cocoa taste to it, which I enjoyed.   I didn’t pick up the hazelnut or the toffee but those flavors could just be adding to the deep rich coca base I’m getting.  Almost dark chocolate like.  I almost wish the smell of the tea would have transferred over to the taste.  I would love to have a chocolate marshmallow krispie treat tea.  Yum!

If I played around with it more, I might be able to bring out more of the flavors or maybe it was because I didn’t shake up the bag enough to get an equal amount of each flavor into the teapot.

All in all, I enjoyed my tea with this tea.  I think others may enjoy it more than me since my true love is peanut butter and not chocolate.  I think I may have to send this to our Liberteas for her to have a taste of it and see what she thinks, along with a few other tea pals.

Chocolate Toffee Black Tea from 52Teas

52teas-Chocolate-ToffeeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Zoomdweebies

Tea Description:

Here’s our premium black teas blended with cacao nibs, marigold petals and organic chocolate and toffee flavors. This is a rich, decadent treat.

Learn more about this blend here.

Learn more about 52Teas’ subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh yum!  Yum, yum, yum!

Well, I had no doubt whatsoever that I’d enjoy this blend.  Chocolate and Toffee in a tea?  Oh, yes, please!  And I’m happy to say that the chocoholic in me is even satisfied with the level of chocolate-y-ness in this blend.  Oh, sure, more chocolate WOULD be better but I’m quite happy with what I’m tasting.

I brewed this in my Breville One-Touch, measuring 2 bamboo scoops into the basket and adding 500ml of water to the jug.  Then I set the temperature for 205°F and the time for 2 1/2 minutes.  This produced a very delicious cup – well, actually, I fill my favorite mug twice with the 500ml of brewed tea – and bonus!  The Breville keeps the tea warm for me.  No tea cozy needed.

The black tea base is prominent and that just may be why I find this tea so enjoyable.  I like it when I taste the tea base of a blend (especially when it’s actually TEA and not rooibos or honeybush.)  The black tea here is a solid, full-flavored tea.  It tastes rich and there is a hint of malt to it and this complements the toffee notes.  This is a bold enough tea that this would make a really nice first cup of the day.  (A little treat for breakfast?)  There is some astringency to this, but I’m not finding it to be a strong astringency.  It falls somewhere between very mild and moderate.

The chocolate notes are really nice here.  As I said, I’d love to have more chocolate, but I find that the level of chocolate to be good here.  I think that’s because there is a really good proportion of flavors.  The black tea is the most prominent flavor, with the chocolate and toffee notes standing at about equal levels – maybe just a little more chocolate than toffee.

The toffee is sweet and buttery.  The combination of the chocolate and the toffee here is incredibly decadent.  This may just be one of Frank’s best “confectionery” type of teas yet.  This is really yum.  It reminds me a lot of a gourmet chocolate toffee candy like these from Valerie Confections, all that’s missing is that crunch.  And these might even be a little bit BETTER because there’s also tea.  And tea always makes things better.