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loose leaf flavored tea

Sakurambo/Lupicia – ashmanra –

Photo Credit: Lupicia

A good friend surprised me with a box containing a Lupicia green rooibos blend and two sample sachets. I couldn’t wait to try them all! This was first pick.

A quick peek at google to find out whether it was a black or green tea so I could set the kettle to the proper temp told me it was cherry scented and I did not look any further. But it was a conundrum. Go ahead and make a fruity tea even though I was having waffles and maple syrup for breakfast, or rummage through my stash to find a plain black? My experience with Lupicia was that their fruity teas are SUPER fruity and it might all be too sweet together, but I decided I really wanted to try these sooner rather than later!

Then rats rats rats! I tasted the waffle before sipping the tea! I like to try a new tea unadulterated to get the full flavor. Nevermind, a few sips would clear the palate to give me the true taste.

And that’s where it got confusing.

Nice black tea base…yes, a hint of cherry but not super fruity, rather…..smokey? What is that? What is happening? Not smokey….SAVORY. And then…..warmth from a little spice starts to glow. Is that pepper? I don’t like peppery chai and this wasn’t offending me so what was it? Was the syrup messing with the true taste of the tea too much?

Here is where I had to stop everything and look up the tea to find out what was going on. The savory was coming from rosemary! And the spice was pink peppercorns, which I couldn’t see in the sachet at all but when I tore it open it was there. If there is going to pepper in my tea, I highly prefer pink peppercorn to any other kind.

This tea was a great pairing with the sweet syrup and waffles. The rosemary gave deep herbal notes and enhanced the black base while the pink peppercorns gave warmth and spice and a nice, lingering aftertaste that cut the sweetness of the food without the raw heat of black peppercorns. The cherry wasn’t cough syrup cherry or candy cough drop cherry, but a nice, realistic Japanese cherry that was not too sour.

This gets a thumbs up from me! In future I would buy it loose leaf so I could see those adorable bright pink/red peppercorns looking like tiny cherries!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Description

SAKURAMBO is A fresh, intriguing blend of black tea scented with juicy Japanese cherries, one of our best-selling flavored teas of all time. The tea is topped with crisp rosemary and pink peppercorns imitating the ripe fruit. Visually appealing, this tea will make a great gift. Try its delicious sister product, SAKURAMBO VERT, which is a green tea blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

(photo credit:  Lupicia)

Bubblegum/The NecessiTeas – Ashmanra-

It is hot and humid and hasn’t been a very fun day. Harrumph. I looked to my samples stash to find something light to cheer me up. Bubblegum sounded perfect!

This is a green tea with long, lightweight leaves and my second teaspoonful had a REAL GUMBALL in it! Be sure you scoop enough leaf for this one or go by weight instead of spoonfuls, leaving the gumball off the scale!

The instructions says to use water “just under boiling” but I went with my usual green tea temp and used 175F water for three minutes. Of course when I retrieved the infuser basket from the pot, I had to check to see what happened to the gumball! The color and hard coating were gone and a smaller sticky globe was there. Perhaps hotter water would have melted it entirely.

I drank a cup of this hot, and it was good, fruity, but not really screaming GUMBALL at me. It was just a pleasantly fruity green tea with a very light sour or brisk edge barely there. I didn’t add anything to it.

I put the rest of the tea in the fridge to chill for supper. I think I like it even better this way. The edge I tasted when it was hot is gone, and I am left with a light, refreshing, fruity green tea. I have enough leaf left for one more pot, and I will go unsweetened iced tea all the way with the balance of it.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: The NecessiTeas

Description

We all remember that sweet pink bubblegum flavor as a kid. Contests with your best friend to see who could blow the biggest bubble and then having it pop and stick to your entire face. Chewing it for hours until our jaws ached or falling asleep with it in our mouth which meant waking up with a big sticky mess in our hair! This blend takes me back to all those childhood memories and will be loved by adults and children of all ages. Feel free to steep the actual gum balls or pop one in your mouth and work on your bubble blowing skills while your tea is steeping!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

*gifted in exchange for review*

Caramel Brownie/T2 – Super Starling –

I grabbed this bad boy in a T2Tea shop in a bougie bit of Boston. One sniff and I was smitten. It smells like fudge. I added it to my pile. (My husband generously and diplomatically did not comment this pile’s financial end-sum.)

The tea itself, upon brewing, becomes a nice cloudy light brown and still smells great. That’s exciting. I let the anticipation build.

T2Tea promises that the brew is “so mouthwatering it rivals Mum’s homemade brownies!” I mean, how charming is that? “Mum”? They’re Australian.

All right. Time to try it.

Oh my! The caramel! The chocolate! It DOES taste like my Mom (not “mum”) might have made it. It’s warm, gooey, and moist (it’s a hot liquid, so obviously). It’s smooth. It’s basically, yes, hot chocolate; the insides of a cookie; or one of those brownies you stab and the goo comes out.

My American Mom makes her brownies from a box, but let’s not knock the box. There are food scientists calibrating that box. Those are good, brave, hardworking people with focus groups and academic credentials. They uncringingly use the word “mouthfeel”.

They do a great job, and so does T2. Nice work, guys. I like this one!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: T2

Description

A baker’s blend of rich chocolate and gooey caramel – so mouthwatering it rivals Mum’s homemade brownies!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Vanilla Comoro/Harney and Sons

Drinking this today, a friend asked me why it is called Vanilla Comoro. I told her that the Comoro Islands are a source of vanilla, sugar, ylang ylang, cloves, and spices. Can you imagine what that place must smell like? And although it isn’t publicized on the label, this is a decaffeinated tea. Harney and Sons makes a tea called Vanilla Black that is not decaf and is very similar, but to me it is not quite the same flavor as this one.

When I poured the tea, my friend mentioned that it didn’t look very dark. She had already sipped and swooned, so the news that it was decaf hit her with a shock! “What? It’s so rich and good!”

A lot of decaf tea goes wrong. A decaf tea can be disappointing and even sometimes disgusting. This tea? Love love love. I don’t ever resteep this one, but the price is so reasonable that I don’t need to. It needs no sugar, no milk. Even though it is decaf, a little maltiness builds up as you drink – a lovely foil for that sweet, rich vanilla.

Fair warning and this is my opinion – I have had this tea in bags, sachets, and loose. I will probably never buy it any way but loose again. I don’t know why, but it is so much richer tasting to me. But if you have to have it convenient for on the go, my preference would be the sachets. To each his own, and try them all and see what you think!

If you see bits in the bottom of your teacup, have no fear. Those are not dregs, those are VANILLA BEAN SPECKS! We sometimes jostle to get the last cup from the pot so we can have all the yummy vanilla bits at the end.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Harney and Sons

Description

We’re pleased to offer Vanilla Comoro, our popular decaffeinated version of Vanilla Black tea! Now you may enjoy our favorite vanilla dessert tea to your heart’s content, and still get a good night’s sleep.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

The Cake Is A Lie/Geeky Teas

“The cake is a lie” is a video game reference, specifically Portal. If you aren’t a gamer, do yourself a favor and watch someone play through and enjoy. It is a fun little game. Tell Wheatley I said hi.

There are sprinkles in the blend, which makes the morning start with a little smile, because who can resist smiling at sprinkles?

The tea is a nod to cake, and the aroma captures it pretty well. I don’t fall all over myself in astonishment shouting, “Wow, this is just like cake!” But the aromas of the vanilla and cream flavors call it to mind if you already know what they were aiming for. There is caramel flavor, which I don’t immediately associate with cake but definitely with dessert so it has that going for it, which is nice.

While eating breakfast, this was a good companion. When the food was all gone, the tea became a tad more astringent than I care for, because the black tea base has a little fruitiness on the tart side, like the way lemon tingles your tongue.

I don’t usually add milk and sugar, but for the remaining sips of this mug I added the tiniest splash of milk, which brought it back into my comfort zone. Having tried it that way, I wondered if a sprinkle of sugar would increase the cake element of the tea, but since I don’t care for sugar in my tea, it really didn’t float my Borealis.

If I had this again by itself, separate from a meal or snack, I would definitely go with a splash of milk right up front. No sugar needed for me. With food, it is sufficiently companionable as is and I expect the briskness means it is a good breakfast tea and would please those who like milk and sugar in the morning or just like brisk tea.

Of the two Geek Teas I have tried, I prefer Bad Wolf. But if you like brisk breakfast tea, this one is worth a try for you.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Geeky Teas

Description

Black tea, natural vanilla flavor, candy sprinkles, natural creme and caramel flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!