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black tea blend

Power Breakfast/Stash Tea. . . .

I received this sample a few months ago and honestly I put off trying it. I just don’t use caffeine to wake up in the mornings. I had mate once or twice before and didn’t care for it much, and I am afraid that if I drink a lot of caffeine at any time besides breakfast I won’t sleep for days.

Today was the day. I had a sweet breakfast planned and an early work schedule. It seemed the perfect time to try it and I figured I could always sip it and toss it if I didn’t like it.

Then I smelled it while it was steeping and said, “Oh, baby!” It smelled like coffee at first and I don’t even drink coffee, nor I am particularly attracted to the smell of coffee. But this was calling my name. Another sniff or two and finally I pulled the bag out and gave it a sip.

Lapsang! That was what my first thought was on tasting it. And I love lapsang as long as the base is nice and strong, instead of smoke laid over weak and watery tea. And this had a solid breakfast tea base.

Maybe a real coffee drinker would not agree, but I get a hint of coffee, lots of lapsang-like smoke, a little toasted nut, and definite breakfast tea aroma.

This was really good, smooth, and very drinkable with no additions but able to take milk and sugar if you like it.

While this isn’t a highly nuanced cup with layers of different flavor notes to tease out, it is a really good, serviceable cup of tea that gets down to business and satisfies.

Because this seems to be unavailable at present on the Stash website, I am linking to a vendor who still has this available. You can still find it here and there online.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black/Mate

Where to Buy:  Stash Tea

Description

Wake up with this tasty brew. The bold, rich flavor of premium black teas is complemented by the smooth taste of yerba mate. Delicious iced or hot, plain or sweetened.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Zombie Cure from Down The Rabbit Hole. . . .

Morning me is a zombie. I feel like I’m rotting internally. I yearn to attack others. My skin looks frightful.

The cure? Tea. Possibly even, specifically, Zombie Cure by Down The Rabbit Hole!

This tea is a blend of different things that sounds complicated: “a blend of orange pekoe, green and Yerba mate. The flavoring is natural and it is vegan but not organic.” But the hodgepodge comes together beautifully. The mate is smooth and full of caffeine. The orange pekoe black is rich; and green perkiness rounds it out. The natural flavoring is sweet and creamy. This blend tastes milky without me having to actually put milk in it. And it’s vegan!

Zombie Cure comes from a cute little shop in downtown Jim Thorpe, PA. Jim Thorpe’s a town with a haunted jail and a lot of cute, hippie-ish stores. Down the Rabbit Hole, specifically, is a spot with eclectic jewelry, coffee, and tea — much of it with a whimsical/Alice in Wonderland sort of theme.

I can’t resist an Alice in Wonderland themed thing, ever. I have an Alice in Wonderland tattoo. I draw Alice in Wonderland illustrations.

Basically, if I lived in Jim Thorpe, I’d be in there all the time. Maybe I’d work there. Or just install myself in a corner and talk to people about tea. Not sure. But I’d definitely be ON THE SCENE.

If you’re not in Jim Thorpe, PA, often (or, uh, ever), they do take phone orders (484-767-3703) or facebook messages. The person I’ve been bothering on Facebook with ingredient queries has been very helpful and quick to reply.

Follow the rabbit to a wonderland of flavor!

(Sorry. I can’t help myself.)


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Down the Rabbit Hole
Description

Even though this store may not have an online presence, check out all their goodies below!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Arabian Nights from Fox Tea Club. . . .

It’s black. It’s green. It’s creamy. It’s buttery. It’s fruity. It’s got complete roses in its blend.

This tea sounds like an indecisive hot mess, I know. The blend’s ingredients sound like someone had a bunch of leftovers and upended them into a vat. (They include, for reference, Black Tea, Calendula, Cornflower, Green Tea, Mango, Pineapple, Rose).

But it totally works. It’s sweet and friendly and flowery. I’m not getting “Arabian Nights” from this (possibly because I’ve never had Turkish delight). I’m getting “Mother Goose.” This tea is a fairytale jumble. All of your favorite stories and flavors, blending together. It’s a dessert potluck. *

* (note: Have you ever had a dessert potluck? Probably the best party I ever threw.)

If you’re in the mood for some sweetness, throw this in your kettle. All the rabbits and sprites in the forest will be clamoring to join you.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green/Black
Where to Buy:  Fox Tea Club
Description

Exotic seductive smoothness and delicate spice aromas float from the cup with each sip of this black and green tea blend, which includes calendula, red rose, and cornflower petals. Remarkable subtle tones of vanilla cream with rich sponge cake recall warm deserts evenings with the crescent moon rising in the starry sky.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Fraser Tea Trappist Monk

An interesting twist on Monk’s blend.

Cherries are one ingredient you don’t see often in tea. Though I honestly don’t taste as much cherry flavor as I thought I would it does produce a nice undertone for the vanilla and caramel flavors.

It has a velvety mouth feel. The wet leaves remind me of the smell of coffee creamer. Go figure. For those who enjoy flavored black tea this is definitely one you need to try. It has unique character with flavors that aren’t too over powering but still deep enough for those who like a little punch with their tea.

If you like to support tea companies that focus not only on quality but sustainability I invite you to check out Fraser. They are a company from Michigan that look to enhance the lives of their framers while providing a truly unique blend of teas.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Fraser Tea
Description

A unique twist on the tradition of Monk’s Blend tea, our Trappist Monk Organic Black Tea melds Michigan cherries with exotic vanilla and sweet caramel organic flavor and is crafted from the highest quality Assam tea. Through bold flavors, that are tempered with zesty orange peel, pomegranate and grenadine, the essence of this tea takes on a rich sweetness. We named this blend after the Trappist monks whose order our father was a member. Choose this organic black tea to help increase alertness and focus, we wish you a healthy mind, body and spirit with each cup.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

English Breakfast Black Tea by Steeped Tea

I steeped this tea for two minutes at 212 degrees, with one heaping teaspoon per cup of water.
So this is another tea company I haven’t tried before, how exciting! Let’s get right to the details of this tea. I guess it’s a blend of black teas, since that ‘s how english breakfast teas are generally made.  It has a nice, hearty, strong fragrance, which is of course exactly the sort of thing you’d expect from a breakfast tea (after all, it’s meant to help you wake up in the morning, right?).
It smells a smidge bitter while steeping, but mainly you notice that strong, robust tea flavor! After steeping, it doesn’t look super dark; instead, there’s a cedar-like, chestnutty color, and it’s very clear rather than opaque. The smell fortunately is less bitter after steeping has ended, and I can detect some malty notes.
The tea itself isn’t noticeably viscous/thickened. At the first sip I notice plenty of astringency combined with a tad of bitterness, but not a lot. It’s not too bitter (not as bitter as you’d expect from how it smelled while steeping), so I’m sure people who like really strong tea (or coffee) would love it, or it would be perfect for if you’re planning to have it with milk and sugar. Or, to avoid the bitterness, I’d consider steeping it a tad cooler next time.
While sipping this I can detect plenty of tannins–it seems to be a highly oxidized tea, which is just what black tea is supposed to be, but it also has an extremely tangy flavor, which I find quite helpful for waking up in the mornings (or even in the afternoons if I’m having a hard time staying awake after lunch).
There’s not much in the way of floral or cocoa notes, although there may be a touch of maltiness deepening the flavor here and there.
Of course I also had to add milk (to test my it-would-be-great-with-milk theory) and discovered that this tea is indeed lovely with milk, and that the milk takes out the bitterness just as I was hoping. With milk this tea has a strong, creamy, and excellent flavor, and I find it to be exactly the sort of tea I enjoy the most. <3

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  Steeped Tea
Description
This classic breakfast tea is fresh, full and flavorful. Traditionally served with milk.
Ingredients: Black tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!