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!

Original Earl Grey (TE10)/Upton Tea Imports -VariaTEA

Photo Credit: Upton Tea

I don’t really like strong bergamot flavor. Every now and then I’ll reach for an Earl Grey Cream or a flavored Earl Grey but a straight Earl Grey has never been my thing. However, a friend was kind enough to share a sample of Upton Tea Imports’ Original Earl Grey (TE10) and so I figured it was at least worth a try. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t going to try and make the best of it so I found a London Fog recipe online and got to prepping.

I steeped 3 perfect teaspoons in 8 ounces of boiling water for 4 minutes per the company’s steeping parameters. I used the 3/4 of cup of leftover coconut milk in my fridge, topped with some 1% milk to get to 1 cup. I frothed the milk with 2 teaspoons of honey and one removed from the heat I added 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract. This got poured over the steeped tea.

This is a super creamy latte with a whole lot of coconut and vanilla flavor. Coconut milk is always very rich but to me it is always a touch heavy and seems ever-so-slightly savory (for lack of a better word and maybe because I associate it with thai food more than anything else). I am glad I diluted it down with the 1% milk as well. The honey comes through as a nice balance to the coconut and vanilla, adding some sweetness but not as much as I expected, which is preferable for my tastes.

Of course, how could I talk about a London Fog without mentioning the earl grey itself. I actually am happily sipping away at this one because the bergamot is very nicely balanced. It adds a freshness and a nice citrus flavor but one that is more suited to the cool fall weather. Whereas lemon and lime are typically bright and zingy and make for a nice and refreshing tea in the spring and summer, London Fogs are more cozy. This definitely fits that description.

Unfortunately given all the other ingredients I can’t definitively say that this tea is good or bad but as a base for a London Fog, this tea is perfect. It’s got enough bergamot flavor to push through everything else in the mug without being too harsh or overbearing. Furthermore, from what I can taste, I would say this is good quality given the base is not bitter or astringent either. I still have a fair amount of leaf left in the sample but with this new recipe, courtesy of the Nourishing Gourmet .  I am sure I will make quick work of it.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Upton Tea Imports

Description

China Black tea base with bergamot flavor. Produced for the British market, this tea has less bergamot than some American counterparts.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Maple Sugar Shack/Tease Tea -skysamurai

When I first heard the name I thought it would be full of sugar or flavoring but decided to take a peek at the ingredients anyway because I love maple syrup. I don’t guzzle it like a certain Elf we all know and love but I find it tasty and the process of making it fascinating.

Low and behold no crappy stuff!

So of course I ordered a bag. I was still a bit pensive of how the flavor was going to turn out but it has not disappointed. The loose leaf is gorgeous dry and wet.

The aroma has floral notes and also a hint of sweet red wine. The liquor has a unique hint of brandy mixed with maple and floral notes. It is great hot but also very good cold.

Will also have to try as a latte at some point when it’s not at a temperature in which I can cook an egg on the concrete.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tease Tea

Description

This blend is no longer available but click below for blends that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

(Sad) Sipdown #4- Mom’s Birthday Cake Black Tea/52 Teas -CuppaGeek-

Sipdown #4 on my sipdown/tea time journey for 2021 and what a sad sipdown it is.

52Teas is a beloved tea company to many tea enthusiasts.  However, the both awesome and sad part about 52Teas is each of the teas are a limited edition in their own way and typically if you fall in love with a blend- you have to ration yourself or your tea loving heart might be broken.  Reason is- 52Teas literally blends up a tea a week throughout the year so there is always new and fun teas to try but on the flip side- restocking on a blend that you adore doesn’t always happen.

That is why this is a sad sipdown.  This blend may actually be my favorite 52Teas blend ever edging out Graveyard Mist ever so slightly, more than likely due to my new love of black teas.  This blend literally has it all- a little sweet, a little spice, and a little sass. And no matter how you brew this gem, the flavors are always spot on.

Today for my “me tea time”, I prepped up water at 212F and allowed the tea to steep between 3-4 minutes and cool for a moment or two. This tea is just such oh sooo good..   The black tea notes hang in the background while the orange, dates and ginger mingle together in perfect harmony.  There is a sweetness that I think is supposed to be the cake part but I’m getting more vanillaish notes than anything else.  I paired this tea with a stroopwaffle and was truly enjoying my me moment today.

I’ve enjoyed several tea pots of this lovely and sadly, this is the last of this blend in my stash.  I do spy with my little eye another cake blend currently available on 52Teas so I might just try that one out but if you ever hear of a reblend for this one, I encourage you to check it out. . .or maybe I don’t. . .more for me (haha).


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Description

This blend is no longer available but click below for blends that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!