Petit Macaron/Whittard’s of Chelsea -Ashmanra

Photo Credit: Whittard of Chelsea

When I first tried this tea, I didn‘t know the difference between a macaron and a macaroon. Macaroons are far more common here! I have now been introduced to macarons, which I much prefer, but that’s just me! The two are very different.

This tea does have lots and lots of coconut pieces and the coconut flavor is as noticeable as the pastry like scent, the caramel, and hazelnut flavor, with hazelnut being the lightest element here. There isn’t a lot of oil floating on top like some coconut flavored teas have, nor is coconut overpowering to me.

The main thing is noticed was that as much as I loved the flavorings in this one, they did not obliterate the taste of the tea base. Quite often, flavorings will utterly mask the tea base, and tea lovers can feel a little let down. We want TEA. Here we have equal strength in the cup of tea, coconut, caramel, hazelnut, confection…how did they accomplish this?

I think the key is that over a third of the leaves in this blend are Sencha, a green tea from Japan that boosts the actual tea presence to keep it from being masked. It’s has a bit of edge that some black teas don’t have, and you end up tasting both the black and green, with the black tea lending a luscious, rich base for all the other ingredients.

I often pair sweets with unflavored black tea, usually from China, but this is a flavored tea that goes well with most sweets or serves as a decadent and chic afternoon treat on its own.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black/Green

Where to Buy:  Whittard’s of Chelsea

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Christmas Morning/Stash Tea -teaequalsbliss

Photo Credit: Stash Tea

I realize I might be a little late to the party here, but, us TEA LOVERS usually don’t mind sipping on seasonal teas just about any time of year. Enter…Christmas Morning from Stash Tea.

This is a blended base of Black Tea and Green Tea. And that’s it. No other ingredients. Nothing else added. Which was strange to me at first sip because it really tasted like there was something else there. Perhaps it’s just because it’s was technically a Jasmine Green Tea, I guess.

I agree with the company description and claims saying that this tea has multiple layers. To me, it proved to be a nice pick-me-up while offering that brisk, and bright taste I was looking for.

I really don’t see why we couldn’t or wouldn’t sip on this year-round. It’s decent for a bagged tea and I think it’s one of Stash’s more memorable offerings.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black/Green

Where to Buy: Stash Tea

Description

Remember the excitement on Christmas morning when you were a kid? The warm feeling, the energy that rushed through your body, and anticipation of what the day would bring? This blend captures all that special holiday cheer with flavors that grow in intensity with every sip. When you brew it, the full-bodied aroma of brisk black tea with a hint of floral jasmine are the first clues that a special day is on its way. But what is it that makes this a great choice for your holiday morning treat (or for any morning)? Let us share with you a well-known black tea benefit: caffeine. With this blend you will get a well-deserved and welcomed boost that will help you keep up with those who didn’t stay up late playing Santa Clause.

This is called a Christmas tea, but you don’t have to limit yourself to one day a year. As our reviewers say: this is not just a tea to drink during holidays. Stock up with a case of our seasonal tea bags and enjoy it all year round. It’s great as an iced latte, or hot with sweetener and a little creamer for a decadent warming treat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Charlotte aux Fruits Rouges/Damann Freres- Ashmanra

Photo Credit: Dammann Freres

My first “gourmet” flavored tea was by Dammann Freres, and it felt like a whole new wonderful world had been opened up to me. It astonished me that they could put so many flavors into a single tea without them competing and turning it into a pure mush in which one flavor could not be distinguished from another. I remember seeing “biscuit” flavor listed and thinking, “Hah! How can you make tea really taste like biscuit? It probably just tastes like vanilla!” And then I sipped and my eyes widened and I said, “OOOOOOOOH! It tastes like biscuit!”

Not flour-y buttered biscuits from the good old Southern USA, but a lightly sweet European biscuit. They NAILED it. Oh, delightful pastry, how I love thee!

That first tea had lots of different flavors, but this one boasts of just biscuit and four red fruits. They have achieved marvelous balance with this tea, as the sweetish biscuit flavor rises hand in hand with the fruit flavors in a perfect blending. I detect mostly strawberry, not tart but not candy sweet.

The biscuit flavor keeps it feeling like a decadent grown-up tea and not a candy tea for a children’s tea time. The base has nice heft. I steeped it just below boiling and at about three minutes. (I have found that I prefer those parameters for almost all black French teas.) I definitely made nommy noises. We all cried, “Encore!” when the pot was finished.

The good news is that the second steep was just as good as the first. Bravo, Dammann.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Damann Freres

Description

A blend of black teas with the delicious scents of red fruits, combining the aromas of cherry, strawberry, raspberry and red currant for an irresistibly fruity tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Four Red Fruits/Kusmi- Ashmanra

Photo Credit: Kusmi Tea

I love Kusmi’s packaging, I love Kusmi’s muslin tea bags, and I am loving Four Red Fruits!

I have tried a few Kusmi teas that ended up on my “must order” list. I can add one more now.

Four Red Fruits must be a “thing” overseas because I have had other teas and jams by that name, all of them from French companies.

First impression when I steeped this was….dark, rich aroma. Hallelujah, the tea base is going to be good on this one. I can tell by the smell! And it is.

It is so disappointing to get a great smelling tea and then find that the base is inferior and the tea tastes like watery disappointment with flavors added.

No disappointment here! The base has heft. I know I am drinking a good black tea.The company description talks about the pairing of sweet fruit against bitter black tea base, but I wouldn’t call this bitter. It is a great black tea with the nice, dark undertones you find in Keemuns and such. And it is the perfect foundation for adding these beautiful fruit flavors. They are not tart and not too sweet, just perfectly balanced. I can taste the tea and I can taste the fruit.

I have been disappointed that my favorite strawberry tea of all time was discontinued a few years ago. Now I can say I have found a tea that fills that void, even though there is more than just strawberry here. This is delightful, and I can see myself having it at breakfast and for tea time, or even with a late night snack as I am doing right now. Time to update the desert island list…


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Kusmi

Description

An organic black tea with red fruit flavors that will remind you of your favorite pastries!

If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise!

If you go down to the woods today… you’ll be picking strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, and cherries!

We certainly didn’t beat around the bush when choosing these red fruits! We wanted them to be indulgent and delicious, delicate and refined… Then we combined them with an intense organic black tea to showcase their full flavors.

In a word, we went the extra mile – and it was worth it! Get ready for an organic Four Red Fruits black tea straight from the oven! Or almost… This tea is even better with a pastry or a biscuit for your afternoon snack.

Organic tea available loose because it’s good for the planet, and in teabags for when you’re on the go.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bukit Cheeding No. 53/BOH Tea -VariaTEA

Photo Credit: BOHTea

The fun thing about tea is that there are so many different varieties from all over the world. I have had tea from Zimbabwe, tea from China, tea from Israel, tea from the UK, tea from Sri Lanka and the list keeps going. Today I get to add to that list with a tea from Malaysia, BOH Tea’s Bukit Cheeding No. 53, a full-flavored Broken Orange Pekoe breakfast tea.

I have never been one for breakfast teas. I like the more smooth and sweet dessert teas as opposed to the robust breakfast ones. This tea is certainly in the latter category. In fact, it’s description highlights the robustness of this tea when it says “Its strong, brisk character stimulates the mind making it a perfect start to the day”. This is not a tea I would have picked for myself but my SororiTea Sisters were kind enough to send me a sample so the least I could do is give it a try.

My first sip really woke me up. When they say strong, robust, brisk, etc., they mean it. It’s certainly an orange pekoe with its sharp citrus zest flavor atop a drying and slightly astringent base. Normally I like my teas plain but I took BOH’s advice and added just a splash of milk. They also suggest adding sugar but I think that might take me too far outside my comfort zone.

The milk helps with the drying aspect of the tea. It’s creamy and has a nice citrus flavor, albeit more pithy than bright. It is still brisk.

This truly is a morning tea and for those who enjoy a great breakfast blend, this could be a nice one to try, especially if you’re a milk and sugar type of person since this tea can hold up to all additives.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  BOH Tea

Description

Robust and full bodied. Strong and brisk for breakfast.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!