Where To Buy:
Origin: India, Sri Lanka, Kenya – Ingredients: Luxury Black tea – Good flavor tempered with flowery character and malty notes. 50%+ Ethical Tea Partnership, 50%+ Fair Trade Tea.
It had been a while since I had a Queen Mary tea and the last time I was in the Buffalo area I stopped by my new favorite store front…TeaLeafs. It was just a quick stop to get more of their beloved Fig Formosa Oolong that both hubby and I LOVE. But I bought two other teas, too! This was one of them! TeaLeafs’ Queen Mary Black Tea is bold, a bit brash, malty, and a semi-crusty floral type flavor to it especially in the aftertaste. The more it cools at room temp – it gets even more malty…both in taste/flavor and texture. This is a beautifully bold tea to wake up to! This was VERY MUCH worth the drive – which for me – was about 2 hours!
Organic Apricot Brandy Flavored Black Tea from ArtfulTea
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: ArtfulTea or ArtfulTea on Etsy
Organic apricot pieces and natural brandy flavor give this black tea blend a delicious full flavor and luscious sweetness. An aromatic and visually appealing tea.
Ingredients: organic black tea, organic apricot pieces, organic calendula and osmanthus petals, natural apricot brandy flavor. Produced in accordance with the Ethical Tea Partnership.
Learn more about this tea here.
When I placed my samples order with ArtfulTea, this was the first sample that I selected. I’m not sure what it was about this tea that allured me, but at the moment when I was shopping something in my head thought: “Oh, that sounds good!” when I read the words Apricot Brandy.
The aroma is a perfect representation of Apricot Brandy! The dry leaf smells of apricots, brandy and black tea. (No big surprises!) Once brewed, the tea smells similar, but I think I smell more black tea now. It’s a wonderful fragrance – the kind of scent that gets the taste buds excited and the mouth watering!
And it tastes as good as it smells! Mmm!
I can taste notes of apricot: sweet, juicy and reminiscent of the flavor of a tree-ripened apricot. When served hot, this is especially true (I guess because tree-ripened fruit is always a wee bit warm, you know?)
I taste the black tea next and it has a pleasant flavor. It’s a smooth, mild-tasting black tea. The website doesn’t indicate what type of black tea is used in this blend, but if I were to wager a guess I’d say it’s a Ceylon, because it has that moderate, even-tempered sort of flavor that is typical of a Ceylon. It’s an enjoyable black tea base, not bitter and not overly astringent. There is some astringency, slightly dry toward the finish, but it’s not a strong astringency. I’d categorize it as a light astringency.
As I sip this, I can’t help but wonder how apricot flavors would fair with Assam tea. I think those caramel-y, malty notes of an Assam would taste delightful with apricot!
The brandy flavor is – happily – not an overpowering flavor. I like the way it balances with the other tastes in this cup. Sometimes with alcohol-inspired teas like this one, I find myself concerned that the alcohol notes will be overwhelming, and because I’m not much of a drinker of brandy or any other alcoholic beverage (I’m a tea-totaler!) I generally am not all that excited about teas that taste strongly of an alcoholic drink.
This has more of the sweet, delicious apricot than it does brandy, and the two meld together in a very delightful way. The flower/petal additions don’t add a strong floral note to the cup, but, the osmanthus does enhance the apricot nicely.
Overall, a really enjoyable cup of tea! I’m very happy with this cup. It tastes good hot, and it’s also nice as the cup begins to cool, suggesting to me that this would make a tasty glass of iced tea as well.
Vanilla Cream from The English Tea Store
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: The English Tea Store
A delicious synergy between excellent high grown tea, rich fresh vanilla and a lovely cream character.
This is a naturally flavored black tea. We use natural high grown Ceylon tea from estates at more than 5500 feet above sea level. We add natural flavor to give a clean true taste with no chemical aftertaste.
Packaged in a vapor proof triple layer bag. Product of Sri Lanka.
98% or more of this tea comes from estates that are part of the Ethical Tea Partnership. The ETP is an initiative started within the tea industry to monitor and regulate living and working conditions on estates around the world.
Learn more about this tea here.
Another fine tea from a friend at Steepster.
A creamy delight. I find this tea not to be excessively creamy or excessively vanilla flavored – meaning – not artificially flavored. There is such a distinct difference between teas that are blended with natural ingredients and those that are not. It takes time to appreciate the difference I believe, I know it has for me. I can appreciate both types as there is a place for both types however when I get a tea this good that has no additives and is part of a Ethical Tea Partnership, I just swoon.
The mouthfeel is on the heavy side from the creamy flavor – more thick than heavy I suppose, as the tea base is nice and light yet bold enough to carry the “weight” of the cream and vanilla flavors.
I could see this taking very well to a milk or cream, as well as sugar if you cared to add more sweet to it but truly it does not need any of those elements whatsoever – its just perfect on its own.
Now for the record, this is not my all time favorite from The English Tea Store as they carry a couple of my perma stash teas such as Angel’s Dream and Lady Londonderry, however this is a very lovely tea and I am so thankful to have tried it!