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Natural Flavors

White Chocolate Samoa by The NecessiTeas

Yay, a white chocolate coconut tea! With caramel! And it’s caffeine free, so it’s great as a nightcap.

I approximated the steeping instructions for this tea, noticing as I did so that there’s plenty of coconut visible in the dry tea. It has a sweet creamy smell even when dry. Once the tea is steeped, it turns out to be about the color of apple cider, but a bit darker. It has a light, pleasant flavor and fragrance from the very first sip. I found it to have a creamy flavor and aftertaste (presumably from the coconut).

 As the description says, it’s more of a “spin” on the idea of a Samoa cookie than a total reproduction of the cookie flavor, since it does have honeybush, which is noticeable in the flavor profile (and not present in the original cookie). The honeybush does add a nice touch, though; it complements and melds with the sweetness and creaminess of the coconut, and the caramel flavor adds even more sweetness. I think it’s a great flavor combination overall. As usual, I can’t single out the white chocolate flavor here, but maybe it’s not supposed to stand out.
Both the aroma and the flavor of this tea are lovely. It’s very very sweet (like a cookie) meaning it’s great as a dessert tea. I also tried it with milk, although I decided it’s already sweet enough without sugar. The milk brings out the coconut creaminess and the honeybush tang (almost like acidity or astringency) but muffles the caramel.

Altogether I found this tea very enjoyable, although I don’t think it’ll end up in my rotation for daily drinking. It’s very heavy on the coconut (since it contains both actual coconut and coconut flavor) and on the sugar factor, so it’s a sure winner if coconut is your favorite flavor ever and you take lots of sugar in your tea!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Honeybush/Herbal
Where to Buy: The NecessiTeas
necessiteas-logoDescription:

Growing up I was a Girl Scout and I was great at “selling” cookies. I would polish off a box of Samoas after school while working on my homework. Chock up another “sale” my parents had to chip in for. Gone are the days when it was okay to eat an entire sleeve of cookies. So here’s my guilt-free version of the classic Samoa. As always, I like to put a spin on things so I used white chocolate instead then added sweet caramel and toasted coconut to recreate an old favorite.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Summer Rain Tea from Art of Tea

summer_rainTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White Tea

Where to Buy: Art of Tea

Tea Description:

The taste of fresh sliced melon washes the palate and refreshes the spirit. A special blend of organic white tea fully infused with the fresh essences of cantaloupe and jasmine. Perfect as an iced tea or after a meal.

Caffeine Content: Medium

Tasting Notes: Fruity, Crisp, Light

Learn more about this tea here. <– Update this link to the vendor’s product page. Don’t forget to remove this instructional text!

Taster’s Review:

Summer Rain Tea from Art of Tea is a wonderful delight!  This loose leaf white tea is fruity, crisp, and light in touch, feel, smell, and taste.  The dry leaf smells very much like cantaloupe and when you add the hot water the natural jasmine aroma comes into play a bit more.

I have enjoyed this tea both hot and cold.  The thing I find almost as fascinating as the flavor is the sight of this tea once infused.  This is one of the darker white teas I have seen to date!  Just by looking at it in the cup you may mistake it for a light to medium strength black tea instead of a white tea.

Summer Rain by Art of Tea makes me want to get back into the white tea phase of my tea drinking days!  It helps warm these winter moments and promote dreams of summery weather once again!  Two thumbs up on this white tea – Summer Rain – from Art of Tea.

 

Cinnamon Apple Crunch from Steep City Teas

Cinnamon Apple Crunch from Steep City Teas
Cinnamon Apple Crunch from Steep City Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: Steep City Teas

Tea Description:

Wonderfully tasty! This green tea blend will bring back memories of your favorite apple pie, sweet and warm with a cinnamon crunchy texture. The perfect tea cup for kids and grownups. It is perfect for a tea party, tea in the afternoon or as a special drink for the holidays!

Green tea, apple pieces, natural flavors, cinnamon pieces, safflower, and rose petals

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Cinnamon Apple Crunch from Steep City Teas is a nice departure from the norm. It has a light summer time apple flavor with just a light enough floral undertone to make you feel like laying back in the green summer grass and catching some rays! The cinnamon is subtle and I like that. I love a little cinnamon in tea but often times the cinnamon can take over a blend, diluting the other lovely ingredients.

While this could surely be a lovely holiday time drink, with its apple pie flavor and sweetness, I actually prefer it more in the summer as an iced tea. The sencha base adds a wonderful buttery flavor and mouthfeel which absolutely support the flavors in this blend. I feel that it adds to that “crunch” flavor. It reminds me of that crumble on top of an apple strudel. I love that oversteeping this tea is nearly impossible even with the green tea base. Trust me, I gave this tea a good test in that area, by error of course, but even when steeped for a good long 7 minutes it was still amazing!

Wether you enjoy it warm, or cold, you will appreciate the versatility of this scrumptious blend. I also agree that people of all ages will enjoy this tea. It is not too sweet but just sweet enough, naturally, so that the kids will enjoy it. Speaking of naturally, there is no a bit of artificial flavor to this tea. It tastes like fresh juicy apple, not some nasty artificial flavoring. The floral note comes from real rose petals, not a perfumery substance that imparts bad flavor in the tea.Another winner from Steep City, but then every tea I have sampled from them has been delightful!

Vanilla Sky from Steep City Teas

Vanilla Sky from Steep City Teas
Vanilla Sky from Steep City Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Steep City Teas

Tea Description:

“Just remember, the sweet is never as sweet without the sour, and I know the sour ”-Vanilla Sky.

Well, we know the sour, so we only bring you the sweets. Inspired by the movie’s frozen picturesque sky, this blend will leave a smooth, soft, velvety vanilla note wrapped with a slight grenadine touch. It really is a beautiful vanilla sky for your taste buds to behold.

Ingredients: Black tea, calendula, sunflower petals, and natural flavors.

 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Vanilla Sky from Steep City Teas is their version of what many of you may know as Monk’s Blend.

There is a trick to this tea however, and it fairs far better when iced. I do not find this to be as true with Monk’s blend from a couple other companies I have tried, but with Steep City’s Vanilla Sky it is so much better when you let it cool to a room temp or even slightly cool. The vanilla flavor comes out so much stronger, and the grenadine is more present as well.

This is not a tea for everyone, I have seen many reviews for other companies Monk’s Blend get varied reviews – more of a love it or hate it, to middle of the road, meh type of tea. What I have found however may change some people’s opinions of this blend. Also I have seen that many people just don’t care for grenadine. Regardless if you have this tea, from Steep City or another vendor in your stash, give it a try cooled, or even iced or cold brewed in your fridge.

For me, Monk’s Blend was one of the first teas that I was introduced to loose leaf with so it holds a special place in my heart, I also do like grenadine. Vanilla Sky from Steep City Teas is a nice cup, with plenty to offer in the vanilla aspect with just a hint at grenadine, so for those of you who do not know if you care for the grenadine or not, this is a good one to try.

I will say, this is by far, not my favorite tea from Steep City Teas, they have some blends that are out of this world, but I can see why they would want this in their offerings, because it is a rather well known blend.

If you really want to indulge in some of Steep City’s amazing teas I suggest:

Cinnamon Apple Crunch

Miami Mango

and

Yaya Strawberry 

 

Just to name a few.

You can also check out all the Steepster reviews on their teas here.

Sacher Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Sacher Blend from Upton Tea Imports
Sacher Blend from Upton Tea Imports

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Upton Tea Imports

Tea Description:

Inspired by the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, this is a traditional blend of Darjeeling with a hint of Ceylon. The blend is then lightly scented with oil of Bergamot and a hint of genuine Bourbon vanilla. The result is a floral Darjeeling surrounded by soft, fruity, citrus notes. A new formula which we find especially pleasing.

Ingredients: black tea, natural & artificial flavor

Origin: USA

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Sacher Blend from Upton Tea Imports, which can also be found on their website by item number TE22S, has a surprisingly mild flavor considering all the flavoring components listed in the description.

The bergamot is extremely light, barely noticeable, but the vanilla is what shines in this cup.

This is a black tea with a very smooth heavy mouthfeel, rich and robust, and I could see where a coffee drinker would very much enjoy this tea.

I tasted absolutely no bitterness nor astringency even after a rather long steep.

This is a remarkably smooth tea.

It may lack some of the promise the description eludes to especially if you are expecting much from the Bergamot notes, but if you have a sensitive palate you will taste it.

I think it is rather nice, and I personally love it because I prefer my Earl Grey to be light on the bergamot. I like bergamot but I too often find that bergamot is all I can taste in most Earl Grey. I think this blend is unique for those of us who only want a light EG flavor, and let us remember, this is not being sold as an EG.

I do wish that it did not contain artificial flavors, as I see no need for them. I would think that bourbon vanilla and bergamot should easily be able to obtain without artificial flavoring, I know it can be, so this is my only complaint about this blend.

Outside of that, unless you are expecting an EG flavor from this tea with a splash of vanilla, you should like it, just keep in mind this is far more a bourbon vanilla flavored tea with a splash of bergamot!

The flavors pop more as the tea cools. Would be excellent iced.