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Café Latte Tea from Serene Teaz

cafelatteTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Serene Teaz

Tea Description:

A tea for the coffee lover in you. Chocolate chips and roasted coffee beans give this tea and enticing coffee aroma.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

If you’ve read many of my reviews, you probably already guessed that this Café Latte Tea from Serene Teaz gave me reason for hesitation because of the coffee beans.  I’ve told the story numerous times:  I used to drink coffee every morning until I realized that my eleven o’clock sick to my stomach feeling was caused by that morning cup of joe.

So I switched to tea and haven’t had any problems.  So, when someone sent me a sampling of this tea, I was hesitant to try it … but, also curious.  Wondering if it would affect me adversely because the tea DOES have polyphenols in it, which act as the buffers to the effects of caffeine (which is why we get a slow, steady stream of alertness from tea rather than that coffee jolt.)  Maybe … this won’t affect me badly.  Here’s hoping.

I like the flavor.  It is rich and well-rounded.  I definitely taste the coffee in addition to the flavorful black tea.  It tastes warm and roasty and a little bit bitter … coffee bitter.  Which reminds me of another thing that I like better about tea versus coffee:  for the most part, tea isn’t bitter unless it’s been steeped incorrectly.  With a cup of coffee, I always need a teaspoon of sugar … which is not the case with tea.  On occasion, I’ll add a pinch of sugar to a cup of tea to accentuate the flavors, or if it’s a spiced tea because the sugar enhances the spices nicely.  But my sugar consumption has definitely decreased as a result to switching to tea from coffee.

I also taste the chocolate-y notes, which gives the tea sort of a mocha-y taste and makes me think that this would be really splendid with a splash of half & half … so why don’t I go get some?  I poured a little bit of half & half in the cup (about a teaspoon) and the flavor is enhanced significantly.  This tea definitely should be milked and sugared for best taste!  (of course, everyone’s tastes vary!)

Not bad.  I like the chocolate-y notes.  I even enjoy the coffee flavor together with the black tea notes.  It’s an unusual and tasty blend.  I hope that it doesn’t make me sick in a couple of hours, but if it does, I’ll be sure to update the review!

A few hours have passed since I wrote the above review, and I didn’t experience any ill feelings from the coffee beans.  A tasty blend for those of us who can’t drink coffee anymore but occasionally miss the flavor of it.  Don’t get me wrong … I LOVE tea and I’d choose a cup of tea over a cup of coffee any day, even if coffee didn’t make me sick, but, every once in a while, I do miss it.  Just a little bit.  And this is the tea to drink on those occasions!

Toasted Nut Cafe Black Tea from Simpson & Vail

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Simpson & Vail

Tea Description:

For some people, desserts can only be served with coffee. For others, desserts and tea are perfectly complementary. With our Toasted Nut Café you don’t have to be one or the other! This blend combines black tea, almonds, coffee beans and flavors to produce a hearty cup that has a toasty coffee flavor. The black tea flavor comes through with the coffee and toasted nut flavors as an aftertaste. A perfect beverage to accompany a wide range of sweets: truffles, tortes, pies, cakes and more. Or enjoy as is or with a little sweetener and a dollop of cream.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I was a little nervous as well as excited to try this new tea.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve had quite a tumultuous history with the coffee bean.  There was a time when I really enjoyed coffee and drank it every morning, but, by about eleven in the morning I would start to feel sick to my stomach.  It didn’t take too long for me to realize that it was my morning coffee habit that was causing the nausea, so, it was at that point that I switched to drinking tea.  I don’t regret that switch, of course, because I have fallen deeper in love with tea than I ever felt for coffee.

But that being said, there are still times when I miss coffee.   Specifically, I miss that bold, rich fragrance of coffee, and I do also miss the robust flavor – but not so much as I miss the aroma.  Tea aroma is – of course – amazing, however, there is something that is very eye-opening about the smell of coffee.  I miss that sometimes.  But I certainly didn’t miss it this morning when I deeply inhaled the bouquet of this tea!  It smells rich and delicious with notes of coffee and almond.  The faintest smell of black tea is there too, but the coffee notes do overwhelm it just a bit.

My first thought when I smelled it was YUM!  Then, thoughts of dismay came to me … what if this makes me sick just like coffee did.  I know I’ve had this thought before with other coffee flavored teas, and I think that this will always be a worry whenever I encounter a coffee flavored tea.  I guess, when a person goes through that … that always stays with them, right?

Anyway… after brewing, I took a tentative sip, but, was very pleased by the flavor.  Yes, it tastes of coffee!  Rich, bold coffee notes are the strongest that I taste, followed by a hint of toasted almond that sort of weaves its way through the sip, but is most noticeable toward the finish and in the aftertaste.  The tea flavor is there too, and it adds a nice complexity to the cup.  I find that this coffee-ish tea is much more flavorful than I remember my morning cup of coffee ever being – even when I’d splurge and indulge in a mocha!  The tea really seems to bring out more of the complex notes with hints of dark cocoa, and a smooth earthiness.

Overall, the cup is rich, smooth, and delicious. There are hints of a savory bitterness from the coffee, a sweet undertone from the tea as well as the almond flavors, and a very roasty, toasty sort of feel that is invigorating.  It’s really very good.

The word is still out on whether or not this will leave me feeling sick in an hour or two… but, after that time has lapsed I’ll come back and edit this post to add the update!

UPDATE:  Well, it’s about four hours after finishing a cup of this tea, and I’ve experienced no nausea.  Yay!  A great alternative to those who need to steer away from coffee, but still want to experience that flavor every once in a while.  This tea gets two enthusiastic thumbs up!

Carolina Honey from Argo Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Argo Tea

Company Description:

A black tea blend featuring honey and lemon for the perfect combination of sweet and tart.

Taster’s Review:

I couldn’t find this tea on the Argo website, thank goodness for  Steepster!  I received a sampling of this tea from one of my Steepster friends.

The aroma of this tea is quite pleasant – when I opened the package I could smell the honey fragrance with light notes of lemon.  The honey is very strong!  The scent of the brewed liquor is a bit softer than the dry leaf, but, it is still very rewarding.

The black tea base is a strong, bold tea.  I am not getting much in the way of astringency from this tea, just a very bright, crisp flavor.  It is not bitter (although, as with any tea, I wouldn’t try to over-steep it).  It holds its own among the strong honey flavor.

The honey flavor takes a few sips to really develop on the palate.  The first sip was a little bit of a disappointment because I wasn’t getting much honey flavor or lemon flavor, but as I continued to sip it, I found the honey flavor becoming more pronounced.  It is sweet and sumptuous.

The lemon notes are quite delicate, yet provide a very pleasing contrast to the sweetness of the honey.

This is a tea that would be very comforting when feeling under the weather.  I found it really enjoyable as a hot tea on this chilly autumn day, but, I think it would also make a very refreshing iced tea.

This is the first tea that I’ve tried from Argo, and based upon this really positive experience, it makes me eager to try more!  I’m off to explore the Argo Tea website!