Creepy Cake/Evil Tea -CuppaGeek

Photo Credit: Evil Tea

Taste buds are a super funny thing.  Over the last few months, my taste buds have been all over the place.  There was even a time frame where I couldn’t even drink tea.  Everything tasted off and not even my favorite teas tasted right.  Right around the same time when I noticed my taste buds going wonky, I was starting to notice other health issues so I decided just to take a break from tea all together, hoping that eventually my taste buds would right themselves again.

Recently I felt the urge to have a cuppa tea and I was delighted when not only did the tea taste amazing but my taste seemed to be sharper.  Like I was able to pick up flavors I wasn’t able to before.  Which was so exciting! I quickly shuffled through my tea stash and got to work enjoying cuppa after cuppa of teas that had not had a lot of attention for a while.  After making some headway in my stash. . I decided it was time to check out my friends at Evil Tea once again.  I had tried their teas before and enjoyed them but never reordered or nabbed any of their latest blends.  After seeing a Halloween promo of theirs, I decided to indulge and pick up a few of their blends.  And then a few days later, picked up a few more. . .because. .I was a bit hooked.

I couldn’t wait to try this blend again.  I had tried this blend a bit ago and while it was good and I enjoyed the cuppa, with having so much tea in my tea stash- I was trying to still sip a few more down before I ordered again.   This morning I was super excited to get home, get the kettle prepped and get this tea a brewing.  I was a bit leery about the 5 minute steep time- so I went with a 3 min steep time with freshly prepped 212F water.

First sip in and straight away you are hit with a delicious dessert like note of vanilla that doesn’t really scream straight out vanilla but almost like that soft vanilla like note you would get from a really upscaled cookie or cupcake.  The aroma hits you in the same fashion.  Just a solid lovely not overdone sweetness that keeps you grabbing for you cuppa and enjoying every sip.  This is a Ceylon based blend and there is a slight briskness or astringent note towards the end of each sip that rounds out the sweetness perfectly.  There are also adorable sugar coated fennel seeds that I’m not really picking up but that is probably because I didn’t stick with the 5 minute steep.  I’m a big fennel fan so I will have to try for that 5 min steep to see if the fennel notes come across stronger.

All in all, just a perfect lovely cuppa that I can only imagine would make an insanely good latte with a spiced oat cream or even a lovely adult beverage with a touch of bourbon cream, which I will be trying later this evening.   I’ve always been a fan of my friends over at Evil Tea since they combine two of my favorite loves- all things dark and spooky and tea.  Can’t wait to steep up the other blends to see if they hit the spot like Creepy Cake does.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Evil Tea

Description

Ingredients: A blend of Ceylon Teas with Creme Brulee Flavoring and Sugar Coated Fennel Seeds

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Death’s Morning Cuppa/Call Me Sweetea – stephenia

Photo Credit: Call Me Sweetea

There is just something so comforting about curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea, especially when it starts to feel like Fall outside. It is very therapeutic for the soul, at least to me. I love when the worlds of tea and books come together. Call Me Sweetea is a new tea company to me that is doing just that, bringing tea and books together. They are creating unique blends that capture the essence of a particular book. Blends are made to coordinate with popular reads but if you are not a fan of the book that is the tea inspiration no need to worry, the blends are fantastic and can be enjoyed alongside any book.

Today I tried Death’s Morning Cuppa, a unique spin on an earl grey. Any guesses on what book inspired the blend? I am an earl grey addict so I was especially interested in this tea and it didn’t disappoint. The base is comprised of China black tea and assam along with bergamot oil, orange peel, cassia chips, cornflowers and orange extract. I absolutely loved this tea. The addiction of orange peel and orange extract along with the bergamot gives this a more complex citrus edge while the addition of cassia chips imparts a warm, earthy cinnamon flavor. I especially love the combo of orange and cinnamon in this blend, it gives the tea a holiday vibe to me. I really loved this tea and look forward to trying more teas from this small company. And, needless to say, I will be sipping on this tea the next time I curl up with a good book! Harry Potter perhaps?


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Call Me Sweetea

Description

Do you believe in the Deathly Hallows? And if so…what do you think Death likes to drink before gathering folks for the journey to the other side?

Death’s Morning Cuppa is a bright, yet earthy earl grey blend that will wake you up and soothe you at the same time.

You might enjoy this blend if you:

  • Seek Hallows over Horcruxes
  • Find magic in the ordinary
  • Intend to greet Death as an old friend and go with him gladly when your time comes

Ingredients: earl grey (organic China black and organic assam tea, organic bergamot oil), orange peel, cassia chips, cornflowers, orange extract (alcohol, orange oil)

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Monk’s Meditaton/Piper and Leaf -ashmanra

Photo Credit: Piper and Leaf

This was gifted to me by a friend who was curious about the blend but who isn’t really into black tea much anymore. She tried it and passed it on for me to taste.

It smells wonderfully fruity and sweet in the pouch!

I tried it hot first, and….wow. I actually did a slightly short steep of four minutes but this hits hard. The black tea is strong, builder’s tea strong, and might be just right for someone who adds milk and sugar, but I (and my friend) do not. To be fair, I have yet to meet a Monk’s Blend style tea that I liked, as they all came out too astringent or bitter for me, even with the fruit flavors. I love certain Ceylon teas, but others are a “no, thanks” for me.

I have never had catnip by itself but I read that it is woody and strong, and eventually minty notes will steep out. Maybe the catnip is also lending some bitter edge to this.

The grenadine is delightfully fruity, though, and with food this was okay. It is too astringent for my tastes to try to drink it without food – or sugar – to mitigate it.

Most tea of any decent quality can be manipulated to be at least drinkable no matter what your personal preferences are. I decided to cold steep this and see how it goes as a fruity iced tea.
I made simple syrup so we could each add sweetness to our iced tea as we like.

This is the way to go on this one for me! It cold steeped well in the fridge, and after about four hours of chilling and releasing those lovely grenadine notes, I poured it into mason jars and took it to the patio with a hearty dollop of simple syrup in each serving. Very nice this way, and might be just right for lovers of Monk’s Blend teas!

I will be saving some to pass back to my friend so she can try it cold steeped. It is really is the way to go with this one for me!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Piper and Leaf

Description

Ingredients: Ceylon Black Tea, Catnip, Organic Grenadine Flavor, Calendula Petals

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sakura & Berry/Lupicia -Stephenia-

Each year Lupicia Tea, a Japanese tea company, comes out with a Sakura collection to celebrate cherry blossom season. The collection changes each year and for 2021 the theme is traditional Japanese culture that has been handed down through the generations, such as crafts and traditional Japanese patterns. The collection is well balanced and features a green tea, a decaf tea, black tea, rooibos, even a sakura matcha! The tins this year are beautiful and feature a lovely floral motive. I have wanted to try teas from Lupicia’s Sakura collection for some time so I decided this year that I would order a few.

The first one I am reviewing is Sakura & Berry. This has a black tea base with salted cherry leaf, rose petal and flavoring. The description says that this has a “sweet strawberry flavor.” The dry leaf smells amazing and actually made me think of when my mom would make me strawberries and cream oatmeal as a kid. I steeped the tea up at 212 degrees for 3 minutes.

I really love this one. The first taste is a nice fruity strawberry flavor, nothing too strong. It actually has the same strawberry flavor as strawberries and cream oatmeal but without the cream aspect. On the second taste I get a hit of the black tea base, it is smooth and mellow. I had hoped that I would get taste of the salted cherry leaf however that didn’t come through in the flavor.

Overall this is a tasty strawberry tea in a beautiful tin and certainly worth trying if you love strawberry-flavored teas. I really enjoy Lupicia tea, in fact their rooibos-based honeydew melon tea is in my top 5 favorite teas of all time! If you are interested in the Sakura collection I would not wait as fulfillment for the US comes from the online Hawaii Lupicia store and they get very limited amounts of inventory on these special edition collections.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Description

We are happy to announce the arrival of our seasonal SAKURA & BERRY tea: A blend of Darjeeling and Nilgiri black teas with salted cherry blossom leaves, mixed with sweet strawberry flavor and aroma. Popular as a hot or iced tea, try it with a bit of milk! A LUPICIA Hawaii staff favorite. (Only available in limited quantity)

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

TeaLady Grey/Rare Tea Company – Stephenia-

I admit it, I am obsessed with earl grey tea. Every morning is started with a cuppa of earl grey and many times I end my day with a caffeine-free rooibos version. I literally have over 40 different varieties of the stuff from all sorts of companies in my tea collection but I am always looking for THE holy grail earl grey. I think I may have actually found it!

I recently saw that Rare Tea Company released a new version of earl grey. If you are not familiar with Rare Tea Company it was founded by Henrietta Lovell. She wrote a fantastic book called Infused which recounts how tea has shaped her life and has been a constant companion through times of trouble. I can’t recommend the book enough, especially if you love tea! At any rate she created a new blend called TeaLady Grey. I was immediately drawn to it because of the addition of lemongrass. Lemongrass is perhaps one of my absolute favorite herbals and I especially love when it is added to earl grey. It helps to deepen the citrus notes of the bergamot. I ordered the tea during one of their free ship events. Make sure you are subscribed to their email because free ship events are offered several times a year.

The tea begins with a beautiful base. And really, a tea blend is only as good as the base used with it. I find so many companies start with an inferior base in hopes that the other ingredients will mask the fact that the tea leaves are not good. The base is black tea from the Shire Highlands of Malawi. It is a smaller cut leaf typical of teas from this region. The base is strong, malty and a perfect tea to carry the Sri Lankan lemongrass, Malawi lemon verbena and Italian bergamot. Because Henrietta has such a great relationship with her tea farmers she is able to secure the highest quality and freshest ingredients which translates to an exquisite tea experience. This is an absolutely perfectly blended tea and on par with all the other great teas I have had from Rare Tea Company. The layering of the citrus notes from the bergamot, lemongrass and lemon verbena create a perfectly bright and well rounded cup. If you are a fan of earl grey I highly recommend this version. This blend checks all the boxes for me and then some on what I am looking for in a perfect earl grey.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rare Tea Co.

Description

This tea is our Rare Tea Lady’s (founder Henrietta Lovell) riff on a traditional Earl Grey; a more delicately herbaceous and distinctly lemon blend.

Instead of containing just black tea and the essential oil of bergamot that composes a traditional Earl Grey Tea – we’ve built up the lemon notes, not with more citrus but uniquely with delicious lemon herbs.

Rich yet elegant black tea from the Shire Highlands of Malawi blended with Italian Bergamot, Malawi Lemon Verbena and Sri Lankan Lemongrass.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!