Earl’s Paradise Black Tea by Bluebird Tea Co.

earl_s_paradiseTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Earl Grey loose leaf tea blend with a papaya + strawberry twist. No one at The Nest (Bluebird HQ!) can start the day without a cup of this fruity, refreshing tea. Didn’t think you could improve the classic? We will happily prove you wrong! No words are gong to do it justice, it simply is paradise! Insiders tip: try it without milk for perfection.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Bluebird Tea Co. kindly provided a 2-cup sachet of this tea as a sample with my last order. Naturally, I was instantly curious! It’s a fruity Earl Grey with Ceylon as the base tea, and I can imagine the citrus notes Ceylon can possess working well here. The dry leaf is in reasonably small pieces, and mostly a fairly uniform black although there are a few lighter, reddish-brown, leaves scattered throughout. The fruit here is papaya and strawberry, and I can see tiny freeze-dried pieces of both in the dry mix, although not in quantity. It’s literally just a piece here and there. There are also a few lime leaf pieces, which add an extra hint of colour. Dry, the scent is typical Earl Grey, with sharp notes of bergamot. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a medium red-brown. I made no additions, although judging from the colour of the brew, I can imagine this one standing up well to milk after perhaps a 3 or 4 minute steep.

To taste, this one is deceptively fruity! It’s hard to imagine, from the scent and appearance of the dry leaf, but it is the case! The initial flavour is all strawberry, and it’s deliciously creamy. It almost reminds me of strawberry milkshake! It’s a fairly candy-like strawberry, and not as natural tasting as some, but it steers well clear of artificial. There’s a hint of jasmine in the mid-sip which adds a heady richness, although fortunately it remains on the right side of floral for my tastes. The bergamot emerges mostly towards the end of the sip, and it is quite sharp. This is not a tea for bergamot haters, by any means! There’s also a bite of astringency from the Ceylon base, and together the combination is rather jarring, especially when contrasted with the sweet, creamy, fruitiness of the initial sip. That’s a slight disappointment to me, because I rarely have trouble with astringency when drinking Ceylon – it’s one of my favourite black tea varieties for that reason. As the tea cools, however, some of the astringency wears away and it becomes more palatable. This being the case, I’m starting to think that Earl’s Paradise might work better as a cold brew. At the very least, it needs to cool a little before drinking for the best experience. Possibly milk would help to smooth the edges on this one, although some Earl Grey purists might disagree. The other disappointment with this one is the lack of papaya – I just can’t taste it at all. The strawberry is so nice that it’s not a huge problem, but it is a little one-note. More so than perhaps it was intended to be.

This is a love/hate cup for me. There are things I adore about it (creamy strawberry, yes please!), and things I could really do without (astringency, intense sharpness of the bergamot). For this reason, I’m not wholeheartedly behind it. I think the idea of a fruity Earl Grey is a really nice one – it’s different, for sure. I’m just not sure that Bluebird have quite managed to pull it off. It’s close, but it’s not perfection. One tea can’t please everyone, though, and this blend does have a lot to recommend it. It’s definitely one for Earl Grey (and strawberry!) lovers to try.

Key Lime Ceylon from Fusion Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Fusion Teas

Tea Description:

Transport yourself to warm, summer days with the next best thing to a slice of key lime pie. This is a pleasing and healthful black tea blend of lime leaves, lime juice, lime pieces, and sweet candied pineapple. Delicious hot or cold.

Ingredients:organic black tea, black tea, pineapple, natural flavors, lemon peel, lime leaves, stevia, lime juice, lime bits

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Normally when I have a tea with lime flavors in it I end up with an off putting after taste, but that is not the case with this tea from Fusion Teas. To be honest I had lowered expectations for this tea because of that.

Instead what we have is a bright cheery cup of cake like lime goodness. Yes I do realize it is Key Lime PIE blend but to me there is a creaminess I always associate with cake rather than pie but it does have a creamy pie flavor to it.

When you let it cool … oh the real party begins! The flavors just pop and I even detect a slight whipped cream flavor!

I feel that Fusion Teas has really done well with mastering a lime blend that does not leave that funny flavor lingering on my taste buds causing me to make the pucker ick face!

Another issue I often have with blends using stevia is that the sweetness is over done – again not in this blend! Fusion Teas also masterfully blended this so that the sweetening agent does not take over.

The added kick of pineapple may be the key to this wonderful tropical feel. It adds a delicate but not cloying sweetness that is so nice. It is truly refreshing! I will be taking what is left of my sample from my SororiTea Sister Anne, and doing a cold brew.

I plan to stock up on this for summer, while the cold winter months are incoming in my area, it is nice to have something fruity to remind us of the sweet summer sun.

That is what this tea is – sweet summer sunlight, in a cup.


Tropical Island Black Tea from Kally Tea

Tea Type: Black Tea

Where To Buy: Kally Tea

Product Description:

“Arrrgh, Hoist the main sails matey.” We are off on a sailing ship in the Caribbean. Pirates abound, treasure hunting, we land on a secluded shore, and notice the varied fruits and flowers on the islands. A thought hits us… let’s combine these tropical fruits with some tea in the hold! As the rum is ignored for the much more exciting and healthy tea blend of freeze dried pear, blackberry, lime leaves, sour sap fruit flavorings, the pirates are calmed and life is good. Let’s sneak off with the new found “treasure”… Arrrgh!

Ingredients: Black Tea, Freeze Dried Pear, Blackberry & Lime Leaves, Natural Flavors.

Tasters Review:

Some people think that it’s strange that I have a Word or Taste Association with some teas.  Well, this is one of those teas.  Here’s why…

When I was little I was in Girl Scouts and each summer we would go to Girl Scout Camp.  During Girl Scout Camp one of the many highlights of the day for me was Arts and Crafts Time.  We did many “Make & Takes” but the class was outside near a tree line and wooded area.  This flavored black takes me back…and it’s all to do with the aroma.  I remember – to this day – how that nook of the woods smelled!  The aroma was very unique and memorable – much like this tea.  I remember smelling sweet wood and blackberries.  On the other side of the Craft area where the tables were set-up was the kitchen.  I remember them making HUGE tubs of “bug juice”.  When I was in Girl Scout Camp – “Bug Juice” was basically Kool-Aid or some form of juice.  No…it didn’t actually have Bugs in it! LOL  Anyhow… our Bug Juice was usually a flavored Kool-Aid, Lemon or Lime Aid, or GatorAid.  The most memorable one, for me, was the LimeAid.  Pair the Lime with the Blackberries, sweet-wood, and other fresh fruits from the kitchen – this flavor and aroma combo was what took me back with this tea!

I have fond memories of Girl Scout Camp because it was near my hometown…shortly after that last summer we moved…and I  missed camp for years to come.  This aroma reminds me not only of those good times, the wonderful outdoors and nature, but the aroma of the woods and surrounding smells of camp from my childhood.  So there is just a little back story for ya.  Maybe I am partial…because I have these fond memories or this Word/Tea Association from my past – but I DO like this tea!  It’s greatly flavored!  I can primarily taste the blackberries and lime but the floral and sweet wood flavors play in the background along with the pear.

This is great hot or cold.

Kally Tea is really wonderful!  I have to point out how much I am LOVING their website!  It’s user-friendly and the colors and layout are very pleasing to the eye.  That could be the web design (of past) in me, too!  Not only is this a memorable tea but their website is just as memorable because of the eye-catching colors and feel.  Their customer service is wonderful, too!

If you haven’t checked out this company yet – please do so!  They are top-notch!