Organic Vanilla Chocolate Delight Pu-erh Tea from Spicely Organics

vanillachocolatepuerhTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Spicely Organics

Tea Description:

A perfect dessert-like cup of tea! The tea is delicious as is and can be enhanced with a touch of sweetener or milk. It boasts cacao nibs, cinnamon sticks and vanilla; the perfect combination for a cup of decadence. INGREDIENTS: Organic Pu-erh Tea, Organic Cacao Nibs, Organic Cinnamon Sticks, Organic Vanilla Nibs, Organic Stevia Leaf

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about the Spicely Organics Monthly Tea Membership here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m not usually excited to try pu-erh, but, I’m usually more than excited to try chocolate.  So, when it came time for me to try this Organic Vanilla Chocolate Delight Pu-erh Tea from Spicely Organics, the excitement and happiness over chocolate trumped my lack of enthusiasm for the pu-erh.

When I brewed this blend, I did a quick rinse of the leaves to help remove some of the strong earthiness of the pu-erh, hopefully without sacrificing any chocolate or vanilla flavor in the process.  After a quick fifteen second rinse, I then brewed the leaves for 2 1/2 minutes in 190°F water.

The result?  A really interesting and tasty cup of tea!

The cup is rich and chocolate-y.  I like how the earthiness of the pu-erh accentuates the earthy notes of the chocolate and cinnamon.  While I am usually somewhat put off by the earthiness of pu-erh, here, it works.  And the sweet, creamy aspects of the chocolate are complemented by the sweet and creamy notes of the vanilla and the cinnamon not only offers a contrasting note of spice but, also enhances the overall sweetness.  It’s sweet … but not too sweet.  It’s earthy … but again, not too earthy. Everything plays together in a pleasing, harmonious way.

I enjoy the rusticness of this tea.  I think that the pu-erh brings out the rustic, smoky notes of the vanilla that are often hidden in other tea blends.  This is a very clever blend, it is as though each ingredient was carefully considered to bring out the most in the other ingredients and to create a very satisfying cup of tea.

The one thing I am wishing wasn’t present in this tea blend is the stevia, and I know that I’ve addressed this previously with other blends that contain stevia.  I don’t like it when a sweetener of some sort is added to a tea blend because I want to be the one who decides just how sweet – or not sweet – my cup of tea will be.  That said, the stevia doesn’t add an overwhelming amount of sweetness, and similar to the other ingredients of this masterfully crafted blend, the sweetness it does add enhances the overall cup.

This is good served straight but I think I prefer it with a splash of warmed milk to create a latte.  So creamy and dessert-y!  A really nice way to end a meal, and it is suggested that pu-erh aids in digestion – bonus!

Creamy Cacao Delight from Hale Tea Company

Creamy-Cacao-DelightTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green & White Teas

Where to Buy:  Hale Tea Company

Tea Description:

Creamy white cacao pretty much sums it up! Lingering white chocolate flavour and notes of vanilla bean meld naturally with subtle hints of the green and white tea at its base. This is a velvety soft tea that’s surprisingly light.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.

Taster’s Review:

Amoda Tea has made some changes with their monthly Tea Tasting Box, and it sounds to me like these changes may be for the better!  First of all, the amount of tea will be less per tea – which is fine by me because I am more of a taster than one who likes to keep large amounts of tea on hand.  Second … the cost of the monthly box is less!  I can live with that!  Ha!  Finally, Amoda will no longer be selling the tea to the public … oh, they’ll still assemble the boxes, but if you want more of any particular tea after sampling it, you’ll be forwarded to the tea company that sells the tea to order directly from them.

So far, I’m really happy with these changes!

For the month of September, the featured tea company is Hale Tea Company.  The first tea that I chose to sample from this company is Creamy Cacao Delight, because … well, did you happen to see the word Cacao in the name?  Yeah, I like that word.  That word says to me that this tea will be a yummy, chocolate-y tea.  And that brings a big smile to this chocoholic’s face!

The aroma of the dry leaf is deliciously creamy with vanilla top notes and notes of chocolate.  My mouth started watering the moment I opened the pouch!  Once brewed, I notice less of the vanilla tones and more of the chocolate-y notes.

The flavor … oh my goodness!  This is yum.  As I’ve mentioned before (even in this article!) I’m a chocoholic.  But, white chocolate … doesn’t always do it for me.  I’d much rather have dark chocolate.  I generally find white chocolate to be too sweet, and I enjoy the contrast of bitter and sweet in a darker chocolate.  But … I’m liking the sweet creamy notes here just fine!

There is a lovely balance between vanilla and chocolate notes to provide a very rich, creamy, decadent taste.  The white tea and green tea provide a nice base for the chocolate flavors, because it doesn’t overwhelm the chocolate, but it’s also not allowing itself to be overpowered.  I taste both teas – the green tea is fresh and vegetative and the white tea has a crispness to it, as well as a hay-like note that tastes really quite nice with the white chocolate tones.

And as the description above suggests, the overall tone to this cup is light.  It isn’t a heavy feel on the palate, and this I like because even though it’s white chocolate … it’s a flavor that I often find “too much” because it is a very sweet form of chocolate-y taste.  The lightness allows the goodness of white chocolate to come through without all that heavy sweetness.

This is a light, sweet, delicious way to experience a balance between vanilla and chocolate.  YUMMY!  And … this one must be resteeped!  The chocolate-y flavors really intensify with the second steeping.

Organic White Delight from The Rabbit Hole

White-DelightTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  The Rabbit Hole

Tea Description:

White chocolate melts into juicy raspberries to deliver a smooth and creamy drop. This tea is delicious hot or iced and is a refreshing alternative to fat filled desserts.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh wow!  YUM!  This Organic White Delight tea from The Rabbit Hole is true to it’s name, it is definitely a delight!

The dry leaf looks really appealing with its large shreds of coconut and dried raspberries tossed with white tea leaves.  It brews up very light in color, but certainly NOT light in flavor!

Yes, it is a delicate tea (most white teas are!) but, that doesn’t mean it’s flavorless … just the opposite!  There is a whole lot of yummy going on in this teacup!  The overall flavor is sweet and creamy, with notes of chocolate (YES, chocolate!) and raspberry.  The coconut adds more of a creamy tone to the cup than a strong, distinctive coconut taste.  That is to say that this doesn’t taste strongly of coconut … although if I really focus on the sip I can taste a very faint coconut-y taste.  Instead, the coconut seems to enhance the creaminess of the cup.

The chocolate is distinct, however, and you know me … I like it when the chocolate is THERE.  And it’s there!  The description suggests a white chocolate flavor … and yes, I do taste white chocolate, but, the chocolate tastes just a little richer than white chocolate.  Imagine white chocolate with creamy milk chocolate.  That’s what I taste here.  And it’s delicious!

And you might be thinking that the white tea is overwhelmed by these other flavors – but it isn’t!  I taste the creamy, sweet, slightly vegetative notes of the white tea here.  There is a really lovely balanced taste with this tea.  It is flavorful while maintaining its light, refreshing taste.

This is really good served hot, but I allowed some of it to cool because I was in the mood for some iced tea (It’s getting warmer!) and it tastes AMAZING iced!  This tea is a winner.  I’m not surprised – The Rabbit Hole seems to offer nothing BUT winners!  If you love chocolate teas – add this one to your shopping list!

Chocolate Delight Black Tea Blend from Just Add Honey


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black & Green Tea

Where to Buy:  Just Add Honey

Tea Description:

warm, earthy, and decadent, this tea densely aromatic and flavorful black tea combined with cocoa beans, vanilla, barley, and yogurt bits produces a hearty and balanced cup that feels like an indulgence. best enjoyed with milk to enhance the notes of both the tea and cocoa.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The first time I brewed this Chocolate Delight Black Tea Blend from Just Add Honey, I did so without reading the website description or the ingredient list, and I did not realize that this was yet another black tea blend from Just Add Honey that also included green tea (a genmaicha, it would appear!) so I brewed this as I would a usual black tea – using boiling water.

And prepared this way, it doesn’t taste bitter.  It tastes rich and chocolate-y!  It tastes YUMMY!  That said, I don’t taste any real “green tea notes” here, or even anything that would indicate to me that there is genmaicha in this blend.  I taste a rich black tea base with a strong chocolate essence.  There is a distinct creaminess to this cup (courtesy of not only the chocolate but also the yogurt!)   I do taste the barley and it definitely accents the chocolate, giving it a depth and an almost “malty” kind of richness.

Now that I’m more than halfway through the cup, I notice an earthy roasty-toasty-ness to the cup … which I guess can be attributed to the genmaicha (after all, it is a roasty-toasty kind of tea!) but that could also be attributed to the barley.  I have to admit that I REALLY like this, just the way it is, even if I’m not tasting much of the green tea’s contribution to the cup.  When it comes to chocolate, I mean, what can I say?  Tasting the chocolate is of utmost importance, and because I can taste it here – and I’m really liking what I’m tasting! – I’m a happy chocoholic!

Given how good this is prepared using boiling water for 2 1/2 minutes, I was rather reluctant to brew a second pot using a more gentle method for the green tea.  But I did … for no other reason than for the purposes of this review.  And I have to admit that while I do taste more of the green tea, more of that sweet, vegetal flavor from the green tea … I do not like it better than I did the first pot of tea when I tasted more of a rich, earthy, deep chocolate flavor.  This cup is lighter and less chocolate-y, and when it comes right down to it, for me, it’s all about the chocolate!

So, if you do decide to try this chocolate tea (and you should!) try brewing it both ways to see which way suits your fancy … and let me know what you think!

Swedish Delight from sTEAp Shoppe

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  sTEAp Shoppe

Tea Description:

High grown Organic Ceylon Flowery Orange Pekoe Black tea with Swedish delights like organic wild Lingonberry, Cardamon and Orange make for a full flavored unique black tea. First you are taken with the aroma of Cardamon then the flavors of Lingonberry and a full flavored robust Ceylon black tea with just a touch of orange citrus. The flavor of Lingonberry lingers on the tongue for a spectacular finish.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Wow!  This flavored black Ceylon tea is quite unlike any other that I’ve tried.  It is – indeed – truly unique.

The cardamom and the orange notes work very harmoniously together, but I don’t think that these two ingredients is what makes this blend so unique.  There are quite a few orange spice blends out there.  What makes this stand out is the lingonberry.

Lingonberry is a fruit that I have very limited experience with, and most of that experience is limited to my visits to IKEA.  They have a cafeteria there, and when we shop there and start to feel hungry, we often visit the cafeteria.  The food is decent and the prices are good.  I usually order the meatballs that are served with a bit of lingonberry sauce on the side, and for a drink, I usually choose the lingonberry soda.  So… yeah, like I said, my experience with lingonberry is pretty isolated … I think I may have tried one other tea with lingonberry in it.

And I am LOVING the lingonberry in this blend.  From what I understand, the raw lingonberry is quite tart, but I’m not finding this blend isn’t overwhelmingly tart.  It does definitely have a tarty tingle to it toward the tail, and a sweet-tart kind of flavor throughout.  The cardamom adds a hint of warmth to the cup – just a touch of spice that offers a nice contrast to the overall flavor.

These three ingredients –  orange, cardamom and lingonberry – present themselves in a really stunning way that is smooth yet pleasantly tart and sweet.   This delivery is facilitated, no doubt, by the black tea base.  The organic black tea used in this blend is a Ceylon and I think that this was a perfect choice for this particular blend.  The Ceylon is smooth and medium-bodied and manages to make itself part of the overall flavor of the blend without disrupting the unique combination of lingonberry, orange and cardamom.

This blend is a real winner.  It has some comforting similarities to a autumnal/winter-y orange spice blend but with the added flavor of lingonberry it becomes really quite unique.  This would make a great alternative to the usual holiday blend!