Organic Assam Black Tea/OLLTco -Ashmanra

Photo Credit: OLLTco

I received a generous sample of this tea in my box from the Sisters. Many thanks!

I am not usually a big drinker of Assam tea. I liked it when I first started drinking “fine” tea but back then I added milk and sugar.

As I began to take my tea plain, Assam and a few other teas (like really pepper-y Yunnan) were not only a little strong for me but seemed to cause tummy trouble. Some of the high quality ones don’t bother me as long as I steep carefully with a lower temp and shorter time. But I really gravitated toward Chinese black teas, especially Fujian and Qimen.

I have never even heard of this tea company, so naturally I looked them up before writing this. Their “about” info says that they carry carefully curated organic teas that are better for you and better for the environment. I clicked on shop and…there are only two teas for sale! This one and a jasmine green from China.

This one is super affordable. At the time of writing this, it is around $3 an ounce.

I made it to go with breakfast and…well, I’ll be danged. This is really good.

Bracing myself for a puckered mouth, dreading the potential burning stomach later, instead I got a pot of really enjoyable, moderately bracing, good black tea. I even resteeped it, and extra Assam isn’t something I often go after. In fact, I am already a little excited about having it again tomorrow!

There is absolutely no need of milk and sugar but it can take it if that’s how you roll.

This is rich and malty, has good body, lightly brisk without sourness, and really nice with breakfast. Now I am intrigued by that Jasmine Green they sell…


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  OLLTco

Description

Organic loose leaf black tea from Assam, India

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Maple Chai/DAVIDs Tea – Super Starling

Photo Credit: DAVIDs Tea

I have literally no idea how to make a tea latte. I took half water, half oat milk, put it in the microwave for 95 seconds, and then put a tea ball in there to steep. Even if incorrect, this made a very nice result.

The first time I had this, I drank it straight, and I felt that the cinnamon was overpowering. Putting milk or creamer in there does wonders to take the spicy edge off the tea. If you’re a spicy person, by god, feel free to drink it straight-up. You’ll dig it.

This tea is super-sugary (maple syrup is basically sugar). It’s “sugar and spice and everything nice,” basically. It’s India meets Canada. It’s a weird blend but I feel like it works.

There IS a sort of sticky, sweet aftertaste. Sometimes I don’t like this. In the instance of this particular tea, though, it’s kind of like when your friend leaves the room and you can still smell her perfume.

I would liken the overall experience of this to being snowed in, and mulling some spicy cider to keep you company. You’ve got that fire, and that sweet. I’m into it. You might be, too. Throw some milk in there. You’ll see.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: DAVIDs Tea

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!