Banofee/A Quarter To Tea – VariaTEA –

I feel like it has been forever since I wrote a review and that mostly has to do with the age of my stash. Majority of my teas are now two or more years old and I don’t want to review blends that are likely past their prime. However, while I have been trying to save money and work through the teas I own, A Quarter to Tea announced they were closing their business for an undetermined duration and there were just some blends I needed prior to that happening. Some of my friends felt the same way so we ordered together. My one friend ordered Banofee from A Quarter to Tea and I snatched a sample from her before passing on the teas because Banofee is a flavor that is nostalgic for me and I had to try it.

I actually never heard of a Banofee Pie until my sister went with her husband (her boyfriend at the time) to visit his grandmother in Calgary. We had heard horror stories about her husband’s family’s cooking abilities so when my sister returned with a new dessert recipe courtesy of his grandmother, we were all a bit hesitant to try it. That recipe was for Banofee Pie. Since we trust my sister though, we decided to give it a try and thank goodness we did because it was delicious and became a favorite in our household. In fact, it is one of two things my brother requests for his birthday meal.

This tea captures that same deliciously caramel banana smell that her pies have. Literally a mouthwatering scent. I wish I had it as a candle because it is that good. That scent transfers into the flavor of the tea but the flavor has more going on. For instance, the delectable caramel banana scent is the flavor that hits your tongue first but then the caramel extends past the banana and lingers above the black tea base which causes the caramel to be a bit less sweet than I would want. The black base also comes through throughout the sip and adds a touch of leather to the flavor profile. While the base isn’t offensive, I wish it was more of the caramel banana because the base detracts from the sweetness and banofee should be sweet.

This tea is good. Very good. But not exactly what I hoped it would be, which is good for me because it means I am not utterly heartbroken that I won’t be getting more than just this one cup. A Quarter to Tea has a way with banana teas and this is no exception. It’s a shame they are going on hiatus but should they return, this could be a great tea to revisit.

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea


This company has taken hiatus but we hope they come back soon.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pistachio Ice Cream/DAVIDs Tea

Disclaimer: I have a long-standing love affair with this flavor. I bought it as one of my very first non-grocery-store loose-leaf blends. The combination of its yummy flavor and the general fact that loose leaf is better combined to make this BASICALLY BAE, as the kids say.

So take this gushing with a grain of salt.

Speaking of salt, pistachio has a sweet & salty vibe that’s delicious. It’s a rare tea ingredient, which makes it special. The funkiness of the pistachios is held up by sweet apples, sturdy black tea, and almonds. The result is a cozy, warm, sweet flavor that reminds me of nothing so much as David the Gnome.

If you don’t remember David the Gnome, it was a cartoon show about gnomes who gave each other nose kisses and hustled around the forest, healing animals. It was adorable. It was kind. It made you feel joyous. JUST LIKE THIS TEA.

For a while there, David’s Tea had discontinued this, and I was very sad. I was drinking my depleting stash as a “special treat.”


The world is an unpredictable place. Life is short. Buy the tea.

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:

Where to Buy:  Davids Tea


Cool, creamy and out of this world – there’s nothing quite like a bowl of ice cream. Even Roman emperor Nero couldn’t resist its frosty deliciousness. Legend has it he used to send runners into the mountains for snow, which was then flavoured with fruits and nuts. Though he had the right idea, it seems he was missing a key ingredient – pistachios. Sweet and salty, pistachio ice cream is just one of those desserts that keep us coming back for more. And with this nutty blend of black tea and crunchy pistachios, you’ll definitely want two scoops.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cinnamon Squirrel/Totem Tea

Hi Tea Friends! Today I will be reviewing Cinnamon Squirrel from Totem Tea which is an apple and cinnamon Rooibos blend. This particular sample is bagged though it is also available as loose leaf. Let’s just take a moment and mention the packaging, how adorable! It’s an orange smiley squirrel face that makes me smile with the cuteness overload. The teabags are pyramid shaped biodegradable bags.

Totem Tea guarantee that all of their teas are: • Certified Organic • Whole Leaf • Ethically Sourced • Vegan Friendly • Free from artificial flavourings • All packaging is eco friendly

A little more on that packaging, what does eco friendly mean these days? Well Totem Tea state that the cellophane bags, pyramid bags and the pouches are all biodegradable. Plus as always the paper labels can be recycled and are actually made from recycled paper. Not only that but all orders are packed in recycled materials such as cardboard boxes and paper packing materials.

Now that is what you call eco friendly! How fantastic!

Back to the tea. Opening the bag (which we now know is biodegradable) I can smell a strong yet sweet cinnamon, Rooibos and fruit blend that bursts with sweetness. It was actually the strongest of the three samples I received l, or at least the first one that caught my attention. I couldn’t tell it was apple fruit wise but it clicked once I read the ingredients.

Ingredients: Rooibos, apple, mango pieces, cinnamon sticks, fennel, clove, liquorice root and natural flavouring.

One bag in my tea cup will steep for 9 minutes thanks to the steeping information on the back of the cute squirrel face.

Once steeped the resulting orange tea bares a sweet Rooibos scent that is somewhat thick with a hint of cinnamon. Less sweet and fruity than the raw form. The first sip reveals a delicate Rooibos flavour that thickens in the after taste, leaving a well of creamy apple and just a hint of cinnamon.

The Rooibos is dominant of the flavours but it’s clean tasting and not too powerful, though there is some dryness in the after taste. It’s also got a refreshing feel which is possibly the clove and licorice root coming into play.

It’s a pleasant blend that is rather inoffensive, and in personal taste I find this a drinkable Rooibos blend for someone that tends to dislike it. Rooibos has always been hit or miss with no in between for me but perhaps the organic nature and flavour of this blend makes it more likeable due to its soft nature.

I can only ponder, but for now I will admit this was a nice blend that I know will happily be added to my tea cupboard. Look out for two more Totem Tea reviews coming very soon!

Until then, happy steeping!

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:   Totem Tea


This naturally caffeine-free rooibos has been blended with real pieces of apple and cinnamon sticks. Just like a scrumpious home-made baked apple pie…in a cup!

12 biodegradable pyramids, freshly hand prepared for optimal scent and taste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Carrot Cake Pancakes from 52Teas

I am a carrot cake fiend. I also love me some pancakes. And before I found this magical tea hybrid of the two, I found actual carrot cake pancakes…or perhaps it was pancakes carrot cake? Basically it was a cake sold in a deli in Montreal that looked like 20 pancakes stacked, with cream cheese icing in between the layers. It always fascinated me but I never got to try it so this tea is my chance to give it a go.

The first thing I noticed while drinking this tea is that it has the nice spice that I love in a good carrot cake. The cinnamon is definitely strong, though smooth, with a touch of nutmeg and a dash of allspice. It is a nice rounded spice flavor that is kept in check by the sweetness of the carrot. With that said, the black tea has a touch of thickness in the mouthfeel that is bringing to mind a denser pancake as opposed to a fluffy/light cake.

At first when I finished the cup I was sad that there was no semblance of a cream cheese icing. With that said, I can definitely see this as carrot cake pancakes, as in pancakes inspired by a carrot cake recipe as opposed to the carrot cake that looked like 20 stacked pancakes layered with icing. So no cream cheese icing but this does taste like a pancake with carrot cake spices and some carrot sweetness. If you want carrot cake, this is not the tea to go with but if you want carrot cake pancakes, then give this a try.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  52Teas

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Fig Formosa Oolong Tea from Stylin’ Tea Blends

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Stylin’ Tea Blends

Tea Description:

Full whole leaf quality Taiwanese oolong is the perfect base for the rich taste of Smyrna fig. The addition of cornflower and poppy flower petals add rich color and a natural sweetness enhancing the visual and taste character.

This blend is a complete departure from your typical cup of dark oolong tea and a pleasurable experience whether served hot or cold.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Fig Formosa Oolong from Stylin’ Tea Blends is a tea that I should have tried a long time ago. This lovely blend is soothing my tired soul today!

I have been on an oolong kick lately.  This one caught my eye with the flavoring of the fig promise.  I have to say, the promise delivers but in a different way than expected.

First off, lets chat about the dry leaf. The dry leaf is a lovely sweet candy like aroma.  Almost like candied figs.  That was the first thought that came to my mind.  So did this tea deliver on the promise of the sweet candied figs? Yes and no.

This tea didn’t exactly have a fig like flavor but what this tea does deliver on is an almost earl grey like oolong.  I know, peculiar, but that is what this reminds me of. There is a resemblance to earl grey that is just too hard to ignore.  I can’t say I pick up beramot oil per say.  But if I didn’t know better, I would think this was an earl grey oolong! (Which I typically don’t care too much for. But this was is simply brilliant!)

The tea has a sweet yet floral like flavor that swirls on your tongue and plays with your senses.  The oolong has a silky buttery feel that really lets the other flavors become the star.  Really lovely. A great mix of a sweet yet floral tea with a lush decadent background that leaves you wanting more.

Like I said, this tea is really soothing my soul today and giving me all the warm feels!