Dessert Tea

Tea Collection Review: Art of Tea Holiday Sampler

Holiday Tea Sampler Pillow Box

Company/Brand Name: Art of Tea

Collection Name: Holiday Sampler includes Cran Marnier, Butterscotch, Santa’s Little Helper and Pumpkin Pie

Category: Various Organic Blends – White, Black, Puerh and Rooibos/Honeybush

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Various

The Leaves: Various

Overall: At first I was a bit disappointed with the four Holiday Sampler teas, because the flavors were quite different than what I was used to, being the black tea lover that I am. So, I had to remind myself that I had purchased the sampler set to step outside the box and try something new.

To fully enjoy the experience, I had to let go of my preconceived taste preferences and allow each tea to speak to me in its own distinctive way. That is when I really started to enjoy each sample and appreciate the nuances of the four unique blends.

As the Art of Tea website states, “This is a great way to expand and engage your palate on teas and beyond. I have to say that I whole-heartily agree.

Tea Review:

Sample 1

Name: Cran Marnier {Available Year-Round}

Category: Tisane; Organic South African Honeybush and Organic South African Rooibos

Cran Marnier

The Leaves: Red rooibos shreds with visible chunks of dried apple and cranberry, plus various spices

Additions: Organic Cinnamon, Organic Licorice Root, Organic Apple Bits, Organic Cranberries, Organic Cloves, Organic Nutmeg, Natural Flavors

Flavor: When I first opened the sample pouch, I noticed that the leaves smelled like orange and spice; I just had to brew up a cup right away.

This caffeine-free rooibos blend had a subtle spiciness that was reminiscent of chai tea, but with a smooth-creaminess that was a bit of a welcomed surprise. Speaking of surprises, if the creamy-spiciness wasn’t enough there was also refreshing, citrusy finish that made for a brilliant cup.

The overall flavor reminded me a bit of Tang Spice Tea Mix that my mom made for us as kids. This mixture had Tang and instant tea in it, plus cinnamon and cloves (if I am remembering correctly). Anyway, it was a tasty treat. But, the Cran Marnier is a much healthier option!

I have to say that out of the four holiday samples, I most enjoyed the Cran Marnier. My cup had plenty of character and each sip was a new delight. Luckily, this tisane blend is available year-round as a dessert tea.

Preparation Tips: As recommended by the Art of Tea website, I used nearly boiling water and let the leaves steep for a full 5-7 minutes. For best flavor, be sure to use one full tablespoon (not teaspoon) of rooibos per cup of water. Also, I Finum Brewing Basket will come in handy to keep all the tiny rooibos shreds separated from your brew.

Sample 2

Name: Pumpkin Pie {Seasonal Only}

Category: Tisane; Organic & Fair Trade South African Rooibos and Organic South African Honeybush

Pumpkin Pie

The Leaves: Red rooibos shreds with bright yellow marigold petals and noticeable chunks of spices

Additions: Organic Cloves, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger, Organic Marigolds, Natural and Artificial Flavors

Flavor: This caffeine-free blend is quite delicate tasting, so much so that I could barely detect any flavor at all at first, except for the rooibos itself.

Once I quieted my mind and focused on my cup of tea, that is when I tasted real pumpkin pie. However, the flavor was quite elusive. Each cup seemed to reveal just one brilliant sip and then the brew became just a gentle swirl of sweet-spiciness with a hint of creaminess.

Overall, I liked this rooibos blend because it made me concentrate on the taste and nothing else. I will often drink a cup of brew will working, only stopping to take a sip, experience the flavor and move onward. But this tisane, demanded my full attention and for that I am grateful.

Preparation Tips: I used one heaping tablespoon (three teaspoons of rooibos) per eight ounces of boiling water and let steep for 5-7 minutes. Due to the elusive tastes in this tea, filtered water is a must. In addition, to keep all the tiny rooibos shreds from sneaking into your cup, consider using a Finum Brewing Basket. I really love mine!

Sample 3

Name: Santa’s Little Helper {Seasonal Only}

Category: Organic Puerh, Organic Black Tea

Santa's Little Helper

The Leaves: Dark chocolate colored leaves punctuated with tiny candy cane and pine tree sugar confections

Additions: Sugar Confections, Natural Flavors

Flavor: When I opened the sample pouch the leaves smelled of mint and dark chocolate, so I was pretty excited to brew up a cup. But, when I took my first sip, there was a musty taste that caught me off guard. If I hadn’t been willing to investigate further, I would have poured the rest of the concoction down the sink because I found the initial flavor to be quite displeasing to my untrained palate.

During my second attempt, the musty taste became more of an earthy flavor, which I assumed was the puerh talking to me. Not entirely dissuaded, I took a third sip and that is when I noticed the bittersweet dark chocolate note, the subtle sweetness and the cool minty finish.

After several more sips, I began to enjoy myself and started to notice the complexity in my cup. Each taste experience was slightly different and as the tea cooled the cocoa note became quite pronounced.

However, the musty-earthy taste continued to linger to the very last drop. This key taste is what will keep me from purchasing the Santa’s Little Helper in the future. But, I’m glad to have given it a try for something different.

Overall, this is a high quality blend, but for my personal tastes it wasn’t a winner.

Preparation Tips: As recommended on the Art of Tea website, I used water at 206F (just under boiling) and stepped the leaves for about 3-5 minutes. In addition, I found one-teaspoon per eight-ounces of water sufficient for a quality cup.

Sample 4

Name: Butterscotch  {Available Year-Round}

Category: Organic White Tea

Butterscotch

The Leaves: Beautiful green leaves with bits of yellow marigold petals, punctuated with round, pink peppercorns

Additions: Organic Cinnamon, Organic Pink Peppercorn, Organic Marigolds, Natural Flavors

Flavor: The leaves have an intriguing aroma, quite similar to butterscotch. I was expectant of a fascinating cup. But, I just never found it. Instead, I got a slightly sweet, light tasting tea that was satisfying, but not extraordinary.

The butterscotch flavor did play the leading role in each cup, but I could find little depth. I have to admit that I am not a connoisseur of white tea and perhaps someone with a better trained palate may find the complexity I was missing.

Although, there were moments when I had steeped the leaves just right and a nuance of creaminess was present. This added some character to the infusion.

I also discovered that if the leaves are steeped too long or in water that is too hot, this resulted in a bitter tasting brew. While it wasn’t displeasing, it was a tad bit annoying because I was trying to find that perfect cup that kept eluding me.

I’m not sure I would purchase this tea again, only because I would want to try other white teas first. But, for a white tea lover this may be a wonderful treat.

As with the other teas in this holiday sampler set, I am glad I stepped outside my comfort zone I gave something new a try, especially since I’ve tried so few white teas this past year.

Preparation Tips: Since there were no directions on the sample pouch other than a steep time of 3-5 minutes, I went to the Art of Tea website for more thorough instructions.

The website recommended a water temperature of 175-185F and a steep time of 1-3 minutes. I followed these instructions, playing around with variations. As suggested, I also used one heaping tablespoon per eight ounces of water; you’ll need this much Butterscotch for maximum flavor.

Art of Tea Sample Packaging

Due to the delicate tastes in this blend, filtered water is a must.

Packaging:

Each blend is packed in a resealable, foil-lined pouch. The four pouches come together in a kraft pillow box with decorative label and brown ribbon.

I love this packaging because not only does it make for a stunning presentation, but it also makes it perfect for gift giving any time of year.

Each sample contains around 1-2 ounces or 15-20 servings.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this holiday sample pack, or any of the other unique tea blends from Art of Tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the Art of Tea main web page. Enjoy!

Art of Tea

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credits: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: The NecessiTeas Cafe Latte

Cafe Latte

Company/Brand Name: The NecessiTeas

Name: Cafe Latte

Category: Black Tea/Coffee Blend

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Twisted black tea leaves with noticeable whole coffee beans and chunks of cocoa beans

Additions: Barley, Coffee Beans, Chicory, Cocoa Beans and Natural Flavors

Flavor: A medium-bodied tea that tastes like java with a hint of sweetness and cocoa flavor

Overall: I love the smell and taste of coffee, but coffee and I don’t get along. As a result, I’ve avoided coffee for years. Until now.

This interesting blend of black loose tea and coffee beans allowed me to enjoy the robust taste of java without the jittery side effects. Plus, the touch of cocoa really rounds out the cup nicely. I would definitely purchase this tea and coffee blend again.

Tea Review:

When I opened the sample package, the first fragrance to hit my senses was the uplifting smell of coffee. Then, I took another whiff and I noticed a sweet aroma, similar to fine tobacco leaves with notes of chocolate. I was definitely intrigued!

As the tea steeped, a sweet-smelling, java-like aroma encircled my teapot tantalizing me to take that first sip.

When I finally poured my steamy brew into a cup and took a drink of the Cafe Latte, I was surprised to find that my tea tasted like coffee. The coffee beans seemed to add just the right amount of java flavor to give my teacup an extra-special zing.

I also discovered a sweet, cocoa note that was malty tasting like Whopper’s Malted Milk Ball candy or instant malted chocolate milk. To bring it all together, there is a slight creamy mouth-feel that makes this tea blend live up to its name.

As I was mindfully drinking my tea in solitude and trying to grasp all the taste sensations I was experiencing, something interesting happened. I had a ghost taste memory. All of a sudden Bailey’s Irish Cream came to mind. But, I wasn’t sure why.

I couldn’t seem to remember ever having consumed Bailey’s Irish Cream. Perhaps, I had smelled Bailey’s in coffee at some point, or had a sip of an “adult drink” during my formative years. Wherever that recognition memory came from, it stuck with me for the rest of my tea session, which made for an intoxicating experience!

Once I reached the last drop of Cafe Latte, I found a lingering aftertaste that was a mixture of java and cocoa with just a touch of tanginess. This final moment reminded me of my premium coffee drinking days.

After my first cup, I indulged in several more before depleting my Cafe Latte sample. I was disappointed it was gone, yet comforted by the fact that I could always order more.

The NecessiTeas Cafe Latte Packaging

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of the Cafe Latte from The NecessiTeas, which came in a thick, silver bag with foil-lining and a clear-plastic cover.

The front of the sample package included a sticker that listed the name of the tea, content ingredients, tea preparation instructions and the vendor’s web address.

Preparation Tips:

On The NecessiTeas loose tea sample package it recommended using one and a half teaspoons of tea with eight-ounces of boiling water. The suggested steeping time was 4 minutes. I followed these guidelines, except that I used my mini-glass teapot, which only holds about six-ounces of water.

In addition, I only used filtered water to brew the Cafe Latte because I didn’t want to run the risk of ruining the taste. I only had a small sample to experiment with, so I repeated the instructions above and didn’t vary from them. Although, I did allow my tea to steep to almost 5 minutes a couple of times.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – I enjoyed drinking this tea after a meal to satiate my craving for some sugary treat. I think this tea and coffee blend would be delicious chilled and mixed with milk, but I didn’t have any milk in the house to give it a try. Maybe next time!

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to The NecessiTeas web page. Enjoy!

The NecessiTeas

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credits: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: American Tea Room Tangier

Tangier

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Tangier

Category: Black Tea Blend

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf:  Sri Lanka

The Leaves:  Stunning ebony leaves punctuated by intriguing orange-colored blossoms

Additions:  Saffron and Apricot Petals

Flavor: A medium-bodied, fruity-floral tea that tastes of apricots, citrus and honey

Overall: The Tangier is delicious both hot and cold, making it an indulgent beverage year round. This has fast become one of my favorite loose leaf teas.

Tea Review:

As the tea steeps it releases an enchanting fruity-flowery fragrance that intrigues the senses. I can’t wait to take my first sip. Then, as the warm liquid wraps itself around my tongue, a feeling of sheer joy washes over me.  I am at the mercy of an intoxicating dance of apricot and orange blossoms.

When I sink deeper into my cup and try to understand all the nuances that the Tangier provides, I find myself even more fully captivated. The apricot taste, which definitely plays the leading role, reminds me of alcohol for some reason, as if there were a drop of apricot schnapps in my tea. Good thing I wasn’t driving!

Next, I notice a hint of sweetness that is both fruity and honey-like.  Then hiding in the wings, waiting for the right moment to make its entrance, is a tart lemon taste that adds a bit of briskness to my cup.

Playing a supporting role, is an earthy, medium-bodied black tea that rounds out the Tangier perfectly.

Lastly, the finish is quite lovely, leaving me with a creamy mouth-feel with notes of apricots and honey that linger for quite some time.

As I sip this tea I am reminded of my days, as a child, in California picking fresh apricots from a neighbors tree. I had forgotten about that delicious memory until this moment. Interesting how certain flavors can bring old memories to the surface; I guess that is one of the reasons I love drinking tea.

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of the Tangier, which came in a well-constructed black bag with foil-lining. I am always pleased to see a foil-lined bag because this indicates to me that the vendor cares about keeping their teas fresh.

The bag was adorned with a helpful and colorful label that included the name of the tea as well as steeping tips. On the downside, these pouches are not re-sealable.

My New Tea Tasting Cup

Preparation Tips:

On the loose tea sample package it recommends using a water temperature of 200F and an infusion time of 4 minutes. I found these instructions to be quite accurate for obtaining the best tasting cup.

Since there were no specific directions about the amount of water or loose tea to use, I used one level teaspoon in my six-ounce glass teapot. I also gave my new tasting cup a spin!

I found that I preferred filtered water, as opposed to non-filtered water (plain tap water), to brew the Tangier tea. There are some beautiful nuances this tea has to provide that chlorinated tap water tends to bungle.

Additional Notes:

Iced Tea – The Tangier tea makes a perfect chilled drink. What’s especially fantastic is that no sugar is needed. This tea has a natural honey-like sweetness that shines through when it’s iced.

Infusions – I found that I was able to obtain two excellent tasting infusions from this tea.

Other – When I tweeted how much I enjoyed this tea, I was rewarded by receiving a tweet from the American Tea Room. They suggested adding some apricot slices and sparkling water to the tea and then let it sit overnight. I haven’t tried this yet because apricots are not currently available in our area. However, I hope to do so this summer!

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the American Tea Room web page for the Tangier tea. Enjoy!

Tangier

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: American Tea Room Grand Yunnan Imperial

Grand Yunnan Imperial

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Grand Yunnan Imperial

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan, China

The Leaves: The leaves are dark-brown to black in color with a sprinkling of golden tips

Additions: None

Flavor: A robust and slightly malty/biscuity brew with plenty of complexity

Overall: As I sit here writing this loose tea review and drinking the last of my sample, I am wishing I had ordered more of the Grand Yunnan Imperial. I really enjoy a strong and multifaceted black tea and this one certainly packs a powerful punch on both fronts.

Tea Review:

At first, I notice the robust-maltiness of the Grand Yunnan Imperial. As I explore further, the complexity of the brew starts to emerge. That is when I notice the unsweetened dark-chocolate note, which gives this black tea a richness that I really like.

Yet, there is something else there, another taste I can’t quite comprehend. Then it comes to me, a slight smokiness further enriches my cup along with a touch of spiciness.

As I finish off the first infusion, a decadent bitter-sweet dark chocolate flavor leaves my palette begging for more.

The second infusion is quite brilliant as well, especially for a black tea. I found that the smoky-spiciness has dissipated a bit and in its place is a honey-like sweetness. Overall, the second cup is mellower, but sweeter.

This is the kind of tea that you really want to savor in quiet contemplation so as not to miss any underlying flavors.

When I sip this tea, I find myself transported to a mountain top far above the din of the world. On that peak I feel one with nature and my warm brew reminds me that I am indeed alive—fully alive.

Sample Packs from American Tea Room

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of this tea, which came in a black pouch with colorful label. The label included the name of the tea as well as steeping instructions. One little annoyance with these bags, however, is that they don’t re-seal. On the plus side, they do have a thick foil-lining to help keep the tea fresh.

Preparation Tips:

On the loose tea package it recommends using a water temperature of 200F and a brewing time of 4 minutes. I found these instructions to be quite accurate for obtaining the best tasting cup.

Because there were no specific directions about the amount of water or tea to use, I decided on one level teaspoon in my six-ounce glass teapot.

In addition, I used filtered water, which doesn’t make a big difference in taste for the first cup, but does impact the flavor of the second infusion.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – For the second infusion, I allowed the leaves to steep for about 5 to 6 minutes. I was quite pleased, but a little surprised as well, that I was able to get two very good cups of tea from a single teaspoon.

Dessert Tea – I found that I really enjoyed this tea in the morning as my wake-me-up brew, but I also found myself craving this tea after eating a rich tasting dessert. It helped to keep me from going back to the kitchen for more chocolate!

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the American Tea Room web page for the Grand Yunnan Imperial tea. Enjoy!

Grand Yunnan Imperial

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: American Tea Room Brioche

Brioche

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Brioche

Category: Black Tea (Organic Blend)

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves:  Beautiful ebony leaves sprinkled with delicate orange-colored blossoms and large, thin slices of almonds

Additions: Sliced Almonds, Safflower Blossoms, Cinnamon

Flavor: A rich black tea blend that has notes of cinnamon, almonds and sweet pastry

Overall: After my first sip, I fell in love with this tea. It’s that good. Period.

Tea Review:

As the Brioche tea steeps, it fills my kitchen with warm tantalizing notes of cinnamon and sweet almond pastries. I can’t wait to take that first sip.  

But, I am a little uneasy. I fear that the taste will be disappointing, especially after experiencing the delicious aroma of the brew. However, I needn’t have worried.

That first sip is absolutely perfect. I actually do a little happy dance inside my head because I am so delighted by the pleasing taste in my cup. It’s love at first sip.

As dive deeper into the flavor and take time to enjoy all the nuances, I find that this tea reminds me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. The taste is sweet with a touch of cinnamon-spice that is complemented by a bakery-like quality.

But then, I a little bitterness comes into play.  This touch of tartness balances the sweetness nicely and gives my cup some robustness and depth.

The aftertaste is bitter-sweet, like any love story ending.

American Tea Room Sample Packs

Packaging:

Unfortunately, the sample-sized pouches are not re-sealable. However, they are constructed of thick material with a foil-lining to help the tea stay fresh longer. Plus, there are handy brewing instructions on the decorative label.

Preparation Tips:

On the tea sample package, it recommended using a water temperature of 200F and an infusion time of four minutes. I found these instructions to be quite accurate for obtaining the best tasting brew.

As with most of my tea reviews, I used my six-ounce glass teapot to sample the Brioche tea. Since there were no specific directions about the amount of water or tea to use, I decided to use one level teaspoon.

I tried both filtered and non-filtered (plain tap water) to brew my tea and didn’t find a significant difference in taste.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – This is such a wonderful dessert tea, especially if wanting to watch calories because it doesn’t need milk or sugar. This decadent and entrancing tea can stand on its own.

Infusions – The Brioche can be infused twice with good results. I found the first infusion to be robust with an enticing sweet note and touch of bitterness.

The second infusion retained the intoxicating sugar and cinnamon fragrance and flavor, but the brew was definitely weaker. Interestingly, there was no bitterness to be found in the second cup, even after an 8-minute steep.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the American Tea Room web page for the Brioche tea. Enjoy!

Brioche

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Rooibos Tea Review: Persimmon Tree Tea Chocolate Banana

Chocolate Banana

Company/Brand Name: Persimmon Tree Tea

Name: Chocolate Banana

Category: Organic Fair Trade Rooibos Blend (Tisane)

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: An interesting display of red rooibos offset by reddish-pink peppercorns and noticeable chunks of chocolate. The aroma of the leaves is sweet and inviting.

Additions: Organic Cacao Nibs, Organic Apple Bits, Organic Banana Chips, Pink Peppercorn, Chocolate, Natural Flavors

Flavor: A sweet treat that tastes of real banana, with a little spice, and just a hint of dark chocolate.

Overall: This rooibos blend is both complex and interesting; it definitely kept me interested cup after cup.

Tea Review:

My first cup of this tea was amazing. I couldn’t believe that the banana flavor actually tasted like real banana. I was quite impressed especially since I was prepared for this tea blend to taste like imitation banana.

Once I got over my initial delight, I found that the Chocolate Banana tea also had a touch of spice to it. Not a lot of spice, just enough to create some depth.

Next, I noticed just a hint of dark chocolate flavor. It wasn’t very pronounced; rather it stood in the background supporting the lead.

Lastly, there is a soft-creaminess that brings it all together brilliantly.

Persimmon Tree Tea Packaging

Packaging:

I really love how Persimmon Tree Tea packages their teas. Each tea is shipped  in a high-quality tin that has the name of the contents, as well as steeping instructions, right on the label. The tea canister even provides iced-tea instructions, if so desired.

I was also impressed by the presentation of the packaging. The tea canisters came nestled in brown paper shred, which made me feel as if I had just received a gift in the mail from a dear friend.

Preparation Tips:

According to the Persimmon Tree Tea canister, 1.5 teaspoons of tea is to be used per cup of water. The recommended steep time is 3 to 5 minutes in water that is 200F.

I usually prefer to use my six-ounce glass teapot for brewing up a single cup of tea. However, because this tea has many small rooibos shreds, I decided to use my new Finum Brewing Basket, which worked like a charm!

I also suggest using filtered water so as not to miss any of the nuances this tea can provide.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – Since this tea provides a low-caffeine cup, it is perfect for the evening when desiring a little something sweet as a nightcap.

Iced Tea – The Chocolate Banana tea is wonderful when chilled; it really brings out the spiciness of the tea.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the Persimmon Tree Tea web page. Enjoy!

Persimmon Tree Tea

Vendor Provided Sample: Yes

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Rooibos Tea Review: The NecessiTeas Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Company/Brand Name: The NecessiTeas

Name: Carrot Cake

Category: Rooibos (Tisane)

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: A beautiful display of red rooibos with noticeable chunks of dried carrot, cinnamon stick, coconut curls and walnuts, with a green cardamom pod or two.

Additions: Real Carrot, Cinnamon, Coconut, Maple Crumble, Walnuts, Natural Flavors (from label on bottom of tea tin)

Flavor: A highly-flavorful, creamy and sweet blend that has just enough spice to pull it all together.

Overall: I am a big fan of real carrot cake, but don’t like the calories. So, when I heard how good the Carrot Cake tea from The NecessiTeas was, I just had to give it a try. I’m glad I did!

Tea Review:

When I first opened the lid of the tea canister and took a whiff, I was spellbound by the sweet and spicy scent. I couldn’t wait to brew up a cup, so I did. No delayed gratification for this girl!

Once I took my first sip, I knew I had made a wise purchase.

At first the fragrant aroma of the brew helps to enhance the sweet taste, which is simply tantalizing. Then the spice kicks in, but not too much, just enough to make this blend quite captivating. To round it all out is an impressive creaminess that gets even more pronounced as the tea cools.

The finish is spicy and creamy. The spiciness leaves a little tingle on my tongue and the creamy texture lingers reminding me of the delicious treat I had just sampled.

The flavor of cinnamon really stood out for me, but I wasn’t able to detect the carrot, walnut and coconut flavors individually. Instead, they seemed to all came together, complementing each other quite brilliantly.

The result is a delightful blend that even won the heart of this hard-core, black tea lover.

As a sip this tea, I am reminded to slow down and enjoy each sip, because just like this Carrot Cake tea, life can be sweet too.

The NecessiTeas Tea Canister

Packaging:

I usually like to “test drive” new teas by ordering a sample size. But, I had read so many positive comments about this tea that I decided to go all out and purchased a 4-ounce size.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that my tea purchase came in a silver canister with stylish label. Sweet!

Preparation Tips:

On the bottom of the tea canister, it was recommended using one heaping teaspoon per 8-ounces of boiling water and a steep time of five minutes. I ended up using about two level teaspoons per cup.

Usually, I use my six-ounce glass teapot for brewing up a single cup of tea, but since this tea has many small rooibos shreds, I decided to use a Finum Brewing Basket. This worked quite well, keeping all the little particles in the basket and all the taste in my cup!

Although, I do recommend filtered water, instead of tap water, to really enjoy all the nuances this tea can provide.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – This Carrot Cake tea is definitely sweet enough for a delicious calorie-free indulgence anytime of the day. Since rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, this blend won’t keep you up at night.

Iced Tea – I also tried this tea iced, just to see how it would taste chilled. The smell isn’t quite as aromatic as when the tea is hot, but it still retains its wonderful sweet and spicy flavor. I think this will make for an interesting treat come summer.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to The NecessiTeas web page. Enjoy!

The NecessiTeas

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credits: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Puerh Tea Review: Persimmon Tree Tea Coconut Cacao

Coconut Cacao

Company/Brand Name: Persimmon Tree Tea

Name: Coconut Cacao

Category: A Flavored Organic Puerh Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: A beautiful display of rich-brown-colored leaves with bits of curled coconut.

Additions: Organic Cocoa Nibs, Organic Coconut Pieces, Natural Flavors

Flavor: A robust blend that is creamy and sweet, flavored with hazelnut and embraced by a warm-earthiness. Underneath it all is just a hint of cocoa and coconut.

Overall: This tea provides a unique arrangement of flavors that intrigue the senses. The overall feel is slightly decadent because of its lush and highly-flavorful taste profile.

Tea Review:

My initial reaction when taking the lid off the tea container was that the leaves smelled a bit like sweet-licorice.

Once I brewed up a cup of the Coconut Cacao, I found the overall taste to be quite unique. The flavor was definitely sweet and rich tasting, but to identify the other flavors was a bit perplexing.

As I explored the flavor profile and took my time experiencing each sip, I discovered that the slight licorice-like smell of the leaves was also apparent in the taste. After further investigation, I realized that it was the hazelnut flavoring I was experiencing. I would have to say that this particular taste really stands-out and plays the leading role.

Nestled behind the hazelnut is just a hint of bittersweet chocolate and an almost vanilla like taste. This is all folded into a rich, yet mellow, earthiness.

Lastly, there is the coconut, which really doesn’t present itself much at all, except to perhaps lend this tea its creamy and smooth texture.

I almost forgot to mention that this tea has a superb finish. After each sip there is sweet, hazelnut taste that lingers for several minutes. This left me feeling as if I had experienced something quite remarkable.

For some reason whenever I drink this tea, I feel as if I’ve been transported to some chic teahouse with a warm, relaxing and unique atmosphere. As I sip my tea, in this cosmopolitan setting, all the mundane and trivial details of modern life seem to melt away. For a few moments I am living a sumptuous life.

Persimmon Tree Tea Packaging

Packaging:

I just love the packaging that Persimmon Tree Tea provides its customers.

Each tea, no matter what quantity ordered, is delivered in an attractive tin with the name of the tea right on the label. This makes it incredibly easy to find just the tea I’m looking for in my not-so-organized kitchen cabinets.

Preparation Tips:

According to the Persimmon Tree Tea canister, 1.5 teaspoons are to be used per cup of 210F water for 3-5 minutes.

Since I tend to like my tea on the stronger side, I steeped the leaves for about 4-5 minutes in my 6-ounce glass teapot. This resulted in the rich tasting brew described in this review.

For larger amounts, I also used my PersonaliTea teapot.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – If desired, this tea can be infused multiple times, but I found that after three infusions this tea started to get a little too weak tasting for my personal taste.

Dessert Tea – This tea has a sweet and somewhat nutty flavor, so perfect for an after dinner treat.

Iced Tea – The Coconut Cacao is quite exquisite when iced, retaining its smooth and luxuriant flavor. It makes for a very distinctive glass of iced-tea that will have the neighbors talking.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the Persimmon Tree Tea web page. Enjoy!

Persimmon Tree Tea

Vendor Provided Sample: Yes

Affiliate Links: None

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: Adagio Black Dragon Pearls

Black Dragon Pearls

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Name: Black Dragon Pearls

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan, China

The Leaves: An abundance of full leaves, with some golden buds. The leaves are wrapped into small, marble-sized balls and are spectacular to watch unfurl as they steep.

Additions: None

Flavor: A wonderfully rich and earthy cup with tantalizing notes of bittersweet chocolate.

Overall: This has become another one of my favorite black teas. Not only does this tea provide an entertaining presentation, it also delivers a sumptuous taste experience that one would expect in a fine dining setting.

Tea Review:

When I first started drinking this tea, I used two pearls per six ounces and received a satisfactory cup. There was nothing extraordinary about the brew, other than a sharp taste I had not encountered before in a black tea.

However, once I discovered three pearls, magic happened.

The sharp taste was no longer there. Instead, I found a well-rounded, robust and earthy brew that had a distinct cocoa note; an ideal combination of flavors that left me feeling rather decadent and certainly wanting more.

For some reason while I was drinking this tea, I found myself transported to a handsome study with huge bookcases filled with leather-bound books. A fireplace is glowing and lights-up the exotic treasures from far-away places that adorn the massive room. I’m sitting in an overstuffed chair and listening to some sultry jazz as I sip my decadent tea. It’s as if all my worries have turned into gold, at least for one brief moment.

Adagio Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I ordered the sample size of this tea, which came in a good-sized, foil-lined pouch with the name of the tea and steeping instructions. The pouch is also re-sealable. Sweet!

Preparation Tips:

I used three pearls in my 6-ounce glass teapot and allowed the leaves to steep for 5 minutes in water that was approximately 200F.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – If desired this tea can be infused at least twice, but I found the first cup to be the best.

Dessert Tea – I really enjoyed this tea after a meal. In fact, it is a wonderful replacement for dessert, especially if you’re looking to save a few calories. Although, if you’re feeling rather indulgent, go for the chocolate. Then put the perfect finishing touch on your meal with a cup of Black Dragon Pearls.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, just click the link below. Enjoy!

Adagio

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: Persimmon Tree Tea Earl Grey Crème

Earl Grey Creme

Company/Brand Name: Persimmon Tree Tea

Name: Earl Grey Crème

Category: An Organic and Biodynamic Flavored Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Beautiful midnight black leaves with bits of delicate cornflowers

Additions: Organic Cornflowers, Organic Oil of Bergamot, Natural Flavors

Flavor: An intoxicating dance of rich tasting black tea, French vanilla and bergamot, with a touch of citrus.

Overall: Not only does this tea have a stunning presentation, it also captivates the senses with a tantalizing fragrance and brilliantly delicious blend of flavors. I have to say that this is the best Earl Grey Crème tea I’ve sampled to date! It’s soooo rich and creamy tasting!

Tea Review:

When I removed the lid, I was immediately enchanted by the perfume of the leaves. Momentarily, I was transported to some far off imaginary place where the warm night air whispers tales of young love and exotic mystery.

Once I came back to reality and got around to actually brewing up a pot of tea, I was not disappointed.

The smell of the brewed tea is just as captivating and beguiling as the dried leaves. Each sip is a dance of robust black tea, warm notes of vanilla and sensuous bergamot. Behind the scenes is just the right touch of delicate citrus to underscore the melody of flavors.

The overall feel is one of sheer luxury.

Persimmon Tree Tea Packaging

Packaging:

First off, I have to tell you that I was swept off my feet as soon as I opened the box that this tea was shipped in.

What met my eyes was a charmingly decorated mini-tea tin nestled in light-brown paper shred. I felt like I had just received a gift in the mail from a very special someone.

For some reason this beautiful display encouraged me to open the tea tin right then and there.

Preparation Method:

According to the Persimmon Tree Tea canister, one teaspoon is to be used per cup of 195F water (preferably filtered) for 3-5 minutes.

I tend to like my black tea on the strong side, so I steeped the leaves for about 4-5 minutes in my 6-ounce glass teapot, which resulted in the luxurious flavor reported in this review.

For larger amounts, I also used my PersonaliTEA teapot.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – If desired this tea can be infused at least twice, but I found the first cup to be the best.

Iced Tea On the tea tin I received with the Earl Grey Crème, there were iced tea directions, so I decided to give this tea a try over ice.

All I can say is that it makes a brilliant glass of ice tea; all the wonderful flavors that this tea reveals when hot are also present when chilled. This is going to be a wonderful treat come summer!

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the Persimmon Tree Tea web page. Enjoy!

Persimmon Tree Tea

Vendor Provided Sample: Yes

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.