I’m back with a new box (the March box) from Tea Box Express. When I think of March, I think of Easter (can’t help that, even though Easter is the 1st day of April this year, Easter stuff is still everywhere I go) and I think of St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t really think of Earl Grey – even though Earl Grey is a classic fave of mine. I absolutely ADORE bergamot – so long as it’s done correctly, mind you! I have had my share of Earl Grey gone wrong (perhaps even more than my share), but we’re not here to talk about that today. Today, we’re talking the Tea Box Express for March!
This box seems to be all about the Earl! It starts with a slight twist on the classic tea – with Green Earl Grey from BeauTea Studio on Etsy – an online shop that offers not only organic loose leaf tea but also some gorgeous vintage teacups and handcrafted botanical skincare and soy candles – which leads to the second item in this month’s box: an Earl Grey Lotion Bar – also from BeauTEA Studio! Even more than the tea, I love this bar. It smells amazing (because – bergamot!) and it feels even more amazing when smoothed over my skin. I tend to get very dry hands and a quick swipe of this bar over my hands leaves them feeling smooth and silky without them feeling wet or greasy. And the best thing about the bar is it’s portability, it makes this the perfect lotion to tuck inside my purse without worry that it’ll accidentally open and ‘moisturize’ the entire contents of my purse. So right into my purse it goes!
I wish I could say that I’m just as excited about the Green Earl Grey tea (also from BeauTEA Studio). In my many years as a ‘tea taster’ and reviewer, it’s been my experience that when green tea is flavored with bergamot, it results in a somewhat perfume-ish taste. Understandable, I suppose, since bergamot tends to be a favorite scent amongst those that manufacture fragrances – but as delightful as bergamot is to smell, I don’t know anyone who wants to actually drink perfume. The fragrance is where this tea shines: it smells amazing! But to my palate, the flavor ends up tasting too much of perfume and not enough of tea for my liking. Perhaps it is – as I alluded to earlier – the green tea base. Because green tea tends to have a softer, lighter flavor than a black tea base, the perfume-y qualities of the bergamot tend to come forward a lot more. This just isn’t working for me at all – I couldn’t even finish the cup. I’m sure that there are those that probably love this stuff – me, not so much.
The last three items in this month’s box are not so much “Earl Grey” as they are just fun! There’s a small packet of brown rock sugar from Tea & Spice Merchants along with a pair of sugar tongs to sweeten the tea. The tongs are adorable – but unfortunately, I don’t have a link on them. Finally, as a sweet treat to accompany the tea, there’s Lemon Lavender Chocolate Bark from Ticket Chocolate. While this chocolate is delicious, I was a little disappointed (at least initially) that the curator of this box didn’t go the extra mile and seek out some type of Earl Grey flavored chocolate – hey, I know they’re out there because I’ve indulged once or twice! But that disappointment didn’t last long because – wow! This is an amazing bit of chocolate! The chocolate is rich and creamy with light notes of lemon and lavender. This chocolate is just the *ticket*.
Overall, I’m happy with the contents of this month’ box even if the tea didn’t exactly do it for me. I had thought that I might end the subscription after the initial 3 months, but I might keep it going because I’ve been pretty happy with everything (with a few exceptions) that I’ve received from Tea Box Express thus far.
Here’s the scoop!
What is it: A subscription box from Tea Box Express
Where to Buy: Tea Box Express
Description: Each month brings a new selection of whole leaf tea and artisan treats.
Some of my holiday wishes have definitely come true, with lots of delicious holiday tea blends in my cupboard. I was even lucky enough to get a tea advent calendar this year (mine is from Plum Deluxe). With plenty of festive tea brewing in my mug, my tea dreams now turn towards tea accessories.
I feel like I’m taking more pictures of tea than ever (and tagging them with #365daysoftea). My tea leaves would get to show off their color and shape in a clear glass teapot like this one from Bluebird Tea or this one from Teaposy. There’s always something cozy about my favorite ceramic teapot, but having a clear glass teapot would make my tea shelf more elegant, and make for more eye-catching tea pictures in the new year.
Daruma Good Luck Canister
I was looking into fun tea storage options when I came upon the Daruma Good Luck tea canister— with a face! Apparently these canisters have a tradition where their eyes are blank at the beginning. When you first get the canister, add one eye and set a goal for yourself. When you achieve the goal, you can add the other eye. It’s never too late to learn more about tea-related traditions. As we enter the time for resolutions, setting a goal seems like the appropriate thing to do. Maybe I will get some extra motivation from setting the goal with a Daruma’s eyes.
Fortune Telling Teacup
Fortune telling and tea leaves have a long history, but I wasn’t aware of just how many teacups are made just for that divining purpose. There are some great fortune telling teacups on Etsy. I’m enchanted by the aesthetic of these teacups. Some cups are laid out with playing card designs, others have zodiac symbols, some have mysterious pictographs I don’t recognize, and some of the fancier ones have full illustrations. I would probably need some tea-reading lessons along with the teacups before I can really look into my future and plan ahead for the new year.
Whether or not I’ll be telling fortunes in the new year, I will definitely continue brewing tea!
So I might have a small collection of Kitten and the Bear jams because they are awesome. And I obviously have a not-so-small collection of tea. So when I found out that three amazing Toronto businesses teamed up to make beautiful chocolate truffles filled with jam and tea infused ganache, I was all over it. After all, what is better than tea and jam? Tea, jam, and truffles, of course. So from the minds of Chocolates x Brandon Olsen, Kitten and the Bear, and Sloane Fine Tea Merchants, I introduce you to The Jam & Tea Collection.
Black Plum, Darjeeling Tea: I decided to start with this truffle as it seemed to be the simplest of the bunch. At first taste, I got a bright plum flavor from the jam but the ganache simply tasted like a rich chocolate. The aftertaste had a lingering bit of spice that is reminiscent of darjeeling
Lemon, Lavender, Citron Calm Tea: This truffle has a great citrus pop from both the tea and the lemon of the jam, though it is balanced by the chamomile-like apple in the ganache. The lavender was very subtle, which for me is a plus but some might find it lacking.
Orange Marmalade, Ginger Twist Tea: Dark chocolate and chunky orange marmalade combine with the ginger in a chocolate ganache. I am not a chocolate orange kinda girl and this reminds me of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, but the ginger, gently flavoring the ganache, adds a nice depth to the whole experience.
Strawberry, Raspberry, Heavenly Cream Tea: This is one of the truffles I was most excited about because it is one of the truffles where I have tried and enjoyed both the jam and tea being used, surprising given I am not a fan of Earl Greys. This truffle DEFINITELY delivered. It is amazing. Both the jam and tea are sweet and creamy and that is exactly how one would describe this truffle. The earl grey flavor is most prominent and smooth but it is complimented beautifully by a rich vanilla and the sweet strawberry, raspberry, cream jam. This is crazy sweet and screams dessert.
Classic Strawberry, Marrakesh Mint Tea: Strawberry and mint, a wonderful combination and done perfectly in this truffle. For my personal tastes, I would prefer if this were not a dark chocolate since the mint is already very strong and the dark flavors together make this more of an after-eight treat than a bright strawberry and mint yum. Nevertheless, the richness of the other two components make the sweetness of the jam really stand out.
Palace Chai Caramel: Well this was a surprise. Rather than a layer of ganache and a layer of jam like the other truffles, this is just filled with a thick and creamy salted caramel. But not just any salted caramel, a chai caramel with a great dash of cinnamon warmth.
Blackberry, Plum, Violet, Cassis Vanilla Tea: This is a floral truffle. Juicy berry flavors with a bit of crunch from the seeds in the jam. There is not as much vanilla as I would have hoped but the other flavors are present and delightful.
Banana, Jasmine Pink Lemonade Tea: Hello banana jam! How I love thee. That coupled with a sweet and floral jasmine pink lemonade infused ganache. The jasmine obviously is what contributes the floral note but the ganache also has a pink grapefruit flavor that really rounds things out nicely. A little sweet. A little floral. A little tart. All enrobed in dark chocolate.
Pear, Maple, Lapsang Souchong Tea: I saved this for last. Why? The lapsang. I thought the smoke might leave quite the aftertaste and I didn’t want it to affect the other truffles. This is another truffle I was excited to try because unlike Strawberry, Raspberry, Heavenly Cream, this truffle uses a jam I really wanted to try but sold out before I got to it so luckily this was my chance. This truffle is like a sweet campfire. Smoke takes over while the maple coats the tongue. Pear pieces add texture and a bit of flavor but its the maple and lapsang that take over. If you’re not one for smoke this will not be for you but if you’re open to it, it is a great flavor duo done beautifully.
These truffles make for a great treat and I mean really what else would you expect when three renowned Toronto businesses work together.
Here’s the scoop!
Where to Buy: CXBO & Kitten and the Bear & Sloane Fine Tea Merchants
I believe it was about a year ago that DAVIDsTEA introduced tea-infused chocolate to their store selection. Since then I have tried a few different varieties but have found them to be rather hit or miss. Plus, with the hefty price tag they boast of about $6 per chocolate bar, I find they are often not worth what I am paying.
The thing is in order to make their bars unique and different from the countless chocolate offerings in their world, DAVIDsTEA has put the actual loose leaf tea into the chocolate. This sometimes works as it not only provides flavor but also gives the chocolate a fun crunch. And sometimes it doesn’t work because the pieces of tea are a little too big and a little too hard and leave me a little fearful that the crunch will be more of a crack.
Well, the other day I was out for dinner with my sister and came across a DAVIDsTEA I had never been in before. Since there were some newly released teas I decided to go in and grab a few samples. While there I realized they still had quite a bit of their holiday offerings on sale, including their mini chocolate bars. At $2 a piece, I figured the price was right and grabbed a couple to try – this and the Blueberry Muffin tea-infused white chocolate bar. The Blueberry Muffin tea was one of those teeth-cracking bars that mostly tasted of white chocolate. This bar is significantly better.
The milk chocolate is rich and creamy which highlights the silky custard-like texture you get with good french toast. The tea imparts a great deal of that eggy flavor that is standard in the breakfast classic and one of the components I enjoyed the most when it came to this tea blend. There is also a nice dash of cinnamon to really round things out and help conjure up the illusion of the delectable breakfast treat that inspires the tea and this chocolate. I will say the chocolate drowns out the cardamom that was so prominent in the actual tea. Personally, I don’t mind this since I am not a lover of cardamom but I feel it is worth mentioning for those who might be bothered by its lacking.
All in all, this is one of the better DAVIDsTEA chocolate bars I have tried. Unlike other bars, the tea is distinctive in flavor while not being too present in the texture. In the past, some of the bars have simply tasted like other chocolates you could find in stores for much cheaper than they were being sold at DAVIDs. This bar is unique and definitely worth the price tag as it highlights the best parts of the tea that inspires it.
Here’s the scoop!
Where to Buy: DAVIDs Tea
This candy bar is not available online but may be available in stores.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Here at Sororitea Sisters we are trying to do more and more product reviews. That is reviews of tea-themed or tea-related products and/or items that tea fans might be interested that aren’t just tea to sip on. Today I’m sharing with you…a Product Review: Red Hair Girl Walking a Dog on Orange Damask Tea Tin.
This is a fun and youthful tea tin with a French twist that is perfect for storing your loose leaf tea and/or just displaying in your kitchen, craft room, workplace, or to take with you on the go!
This tin can hold about 2 oz (60g) of a typical green tea, a little bit more of black tea and less for white tea. The Tea Tin Measurements are Height: 4” (102 mm). Diameter: 2.5” (62 mm).
As you can see the design is a light yellow-orange color Damask pattern with a Anime character walking her dog on the face of the tin. Whether the character is walking, jogging, running, skipping, or shuffling thru the Autumn Leaves that is up to you and your imagination.
I LOVED this tin and the design on it because I enjoy throw back trendy Anime characters similar to Sailor Moon. I also chose this as one of my favorite designs because of the reddish hair the girl has here. It reminds me of a shade of red I dyed my hair years ago! That – and you can’t go wrong with cute little puppies, eh!?
I will cherish this tea tins for years to come but will also show it off on my desk at work, too!
Here’s the scoop!
Where to Buy: Tea & Tins
Tea tin with a French twist! Perfect for storing your loose leaf tea.
This tin can hold about 2 oz (60g) of a typical green tea, a little bit more of black tea and less for white tea.
Height: 4” (102 mm). Diameter: 2.5” (62 mm)