Digestive biscuits aka “tea cookies”

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Just last week we posted about Delecteable’s 3rd birthday. It’s pretty cool that we’ve been blogging for that long! In that time we’ve reviewed a lot of tea! Abby and I still plan on reviewing new teas, but we’ve decided to change it up a bit too. Some of our most popular posts have been tea recipes for baked treats. So, we’re doing more of what our followers like: recipes & tea reviews. This blog will still be about all things tea but we’ll be adding in recipes & reviews of things that are perfect for teatime: foods to pair with tea. We hope you enjoy the new direction, but don’t worry, we’ll keep the tea reviews coming too!

Katie says:
Digestive cookies are a British staple. These chocolatety biscuits pair perfectly with a strong black tea. I like that they’re made with wheat flour. The biscuit part is not sweet and the hint of bitter dark chocolate is really tasty with a sweetened cuppa. I’ve posted the amazon link below but if you have a local British imports store I highly recommend a trip there. While you’re there, pickup a nice strong black tea like Yorkshire Gold.

Abby says:
These cookies are the bomb! They aren’t too sweet, too big, or too complicated. They’re juuuust right. A simple crumbly cookie with a layer of not-too-sweet chocolate. Yum! I agree with Katie, these cookies pair well with a strong black tea like Tea Forte Breakfast or Joseph Wesley 04 (Dian Hong Congfu).

Review: David’s Tea Chai Guarana

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Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.75 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: Nothing added to start

I first tried this tea on a Monday morning after a very busy weekend. Needless to say, I was looking for a pick-me-up and was hoping David’s tea Chai Guarana would do it. Guarana, a berry from South America contains one of the highest concentrations of caffeine of any plant. If that’s not a pick-me-up, I don’t know what is.  And don’t say “five-hour energy”, gross. Anyway, looking at the tea – it was very pretty as most chai teas are and the little berries made it even prettier. The Chai Guarana smelled great too, both and after steeping, like a good chai should, strong and spicy.

The first thing I noticed after a few sips was the cinnamon. I tasted a lot of cinnamon, but in really good way. It was spicy, but didn’t have any of the fake/candy cinnamon flavor that tea sometimes has. It tasted like real, delicious, cinnamon. The other spices like ginger and anise blended to give the hallmark chai flavor. However, the taste of the tea was not lost. There is a distinct earthiness present from the tea and maybe the guarana (not sure what that tastes like on its own). There is also a defined astringent mouth feel that often comes with strong black tea. As far as the caffeine hit, yeah, this is a strong tea. After one cup I felt like I had at least two! If you are looking for a strong tasty chai tea, give this one a try!

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

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Katie says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: tired with cream and sugar but liked it with just a touch of sugar best

Check out all of those big chunks of cinnamon after steeping! (see above) This is a strong tea with lots of cinnamon-flavor. What the heck is Guarana? David’s tea tells us: “Guarana is a highly stimulating tropical berry, making for a delicious way to wake up and get energized.” And they are right. Wow, this tea has some real ZIP! I really enjoyed that it’s strong, and had nice tea flavor, but for me there was a little too much cinnamon and less other spices for this to be a chai. I love traditional chai with milk and honey, but this tea is really nice with just a little sugar. So i like this tea, I just wish it was called “cinnamon guarana” instead of chai. If I didn’t feel like the name was a bit misleading I’d give it an even higher ranking.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Delecteable!

Black tea cake with lemon buttercream frosting

Today is our third birthday! Wow, that time has passed quickly.  Just think of all the tea we’ve tried and written about over the past three years. To celebrate, we’ve made a delicious black tea cake with lemon buttercream frosting! Happy birthday to us! To give credit where credit is due, we found the recipe for this awesome cake over at Freutcake! Follow the link to get the recipe for yourself and to see the beautiful photos of Leah’s version of this tasty cake. Or, just look at the sweet photos I took, though they aren’t nearly as cool.

Ingredients - cake

The ingredients! I was skeptical about how much tea flavor would come through in the cake, but the cake REALLY tastes like tea – I promise!  The frosting is bursting with lemon flavor as well.  As we all know tea and lemon are great friends, so this works so well!

Black tea cake with lemon buttercream frosting - batter

The batter was much thinner than I’m used to, but it turned out just fine. I tried the batter before it went in the oven, it tasted great!

Black tea cake with lemon buttercream frosting
The bottom of the first cake coming out of the pan – looks like a bear print! Fun!

Black tea cake with lemon buttercream frosting

Make sure the two cakes are COMPLETELY cooled before trimming and adding the frosting, otherwise the cake with  tear and the frosting will separate and melt – no fun :(

Before we sign off to go enjoy our birthday cake, we just wanted to shout out a huge THANK YOU to all of our readers, supporters and tea companies who have kept us going all this time.  We love our blog and have so much fun adding to it, but it would be nearly as much fun with out all of you!

SLice

 

Newport, RI Tea Shops

Empire Tea and CoffeeWhile in Newport, RI recently we were on the hunt for a good cuppa! Lucky for us, we found some at Empire Tea and Coffee on the conner of Bellevue and Memorial. We tried the Cream Earl Grey (with milk added) and the White Tea Pomegranate (with a bit of sugar). It was down pouring all day, so nice hot tea really hit the spot! BTW, I snapped the above photo about 2 nanoseconds before the clouds opened up. How awesome am I?

We also stumbled across Teas and Javas down by the water on Thames the following day, but didn’t get a chance to stop in.  Its on the list for next time!Tea and Java
A note about other tea options: A while ago Katie wrote about her teatime trip to Spring Seasons Inn.  A great spot if you are looking for a sit-down tea. On the flip side, The Spice and Tea Exchange on Thames has moved downstairs to a new location. We have reviewed several of their teas. One of our favorites is the Mystic Dragon.

Oh yeah, we also stopped by The Breakers while we were in the neighborhood…
The Breakers

Review: David’s Tea Organic Cream of Earl Grey

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Overall Rating:

Taste: 4.25 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added to start, then added a splash of milk

This tea is so pretty!  I love the dry dark black tea mixed with flecks of blue cornflower and yellow marigolds and steeped it is a dark amber brown. It smells pretty too, like sweet creamy caramel. Thankfully, it doesn’t taste as sweet at is smells. Everyone knows I don’t drink really sweet tea. The taste has slight bitterness at the front with a lovely sweet aftertaste. For me, it doesn’t taste like earl grey, but like a great creamy black tea.  After trying a few sips black the addition of milk cut the bitterness and dryness of the tea and made the perfect cuppa!

This tea re-steeps well too. For the second steep I left if for about six minutes. This time around it was less sweet and the cream taste was more muted, but it still tasted great to me.  No milk or honey was added for the second steep.

Taste: 4.5 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Katie says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added to start, then added a splash of milk & honey

 I LOVE LOVE LOVE my tea strong and with cream and sugar.  So naturally just the name of this tea instantly appealed to me. Also, as you can see from the photo above, it’s a beautiful tea! The only bit that was slightly unappealing for me was as this the scent as it was steeping; it had a sort of fake cream smell. The taste, however, was quite nice. You can tell that this is a high quality black tea. I liked this tea with added in cream & sweetness for something different. I do agree with Abby that I taste cream and vanilla but not much bergamot. Thanks Abby for introducing me to this fun new tea! This is great for anyone who likes a cream tea like galloway cream tea.

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Review: The Persimmon Tree Honeysuckle

The Persimmon Tree Tea Company was kind enough to send us tea samples for us to review.* Thank you!

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Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.75 of 5 leaves –  A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: Nothing at first, then added honey

The aroma of the dry tea was somewhat off-putting. However, this mostly went away after steeping. It steeps to a pretty, rich brown with a much more pleasing smell. I found that the flavor was mild, but a nice light black tea blend with a hint of honeysuckle. The slightly bitter earthiness of the tea and sweetness balanced one another well. I ended up adding a little bit of honey at the end which helped to pull out the honeysuckle flavors and sweetness in the tea. Try this tea if you are looking for something that is familiar, but a somewhat out-of-the-ordinary.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves –  A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

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Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: with honey

I totally thought I was tasting a black tea, but it turns out that this is a pu-erh. Tricked me! I will say I was surprised when the tea was so dark in color. It was in fact, so deep red-brown that I needed to take it outside to get enough light to really see it’s depth. Abby said hers was lighter, perhapsI over-packed my infuser but I got a very rich tea. I like it STRONG!

The info on the website about this tea was particularly interesting.

Presimmon Tree says:

This pu-erh is cooked and has been aged for about 4-6 years. Often referred to as the “Wonder Tonic” and the “Medicinal Tea,” Pu-erh loose-leaf tea has been hugely popular in China for over 1700 years. The health benefits of our Honeysuckle puerh tea include: Aiding digestion, Lowering cholesterol, Helping to ease a hangover, Increasing metabolism, Controlling diabetes, Reducing fat in the system, and Boosting blood blow and aiding circulation”

Pretty good, right? I loooooove aged tea. Tea certainly gets better with age. If this helps a hangover AND increases metabolism who doesn’t want some? Above, Abby put it delicately, but this tea kind of smells like fish. Yeah, I know, but don’t be grossed out, it tastes quite good! Do note that I still have it a rating of 4. Without the fishy smell it would likely be a 4.5 or maybe even more. I really enjoyed the robust deep earthy notes in this tea. With the name honeysuckle I was prepared for a light fruity black tea and instead I got a rich powerful tea with some nice sweetness. Yum!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves –  Quite a good cuppa
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

*Please note that we are just as critical of free teas a we are of ones we purchase. If we receive a tea we can not rate at least 3 or better we sill simply not review it!

Homemade Bubble Tea

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I love bubble tea. We have a coffee/tea cart at work and I’m sort of an addict. When I get to the front of the line the owner, Yen Chen, says: “Hi Katie, bubble tea?” Um…yeah. Me again. Another bubble tea please. Which lead me to look into making it at home. And, I was happy to discover that it was easier than I thought!

You start with these, that you can get on Amazon:

They get boiled kind of like pasta (simple directions on the back of the package) and then mix with a little honey and set aside. (shown below)

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 I used Joseph Wesley Tea for the iced tea portion. I love this tea so much that I always do a second steep, let is sit for a while, and then stick it in the fridge to use for iced tea.

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To properly enjoy Bubble Tea, you’ll need Fat Straws! (shown above) Enjoy & have fun! While traditional tea & teacups are proper there is not really much that is lady-like about chewing your tea. And, well, sometimes you want to have a silly, fun, un-lady like teatime!

Review: Green Terrace Teas Ali Shan Oolong

Green Terrace Teas

Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.75 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make

Abby says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Ali Shan Oolong from Green Terrace Teas is light with a fresh earthy smell.  Dry, this tea is just so pretty with the full-leaf leaves rolled tiny little pieces.  The flavor is traditional oolong with hints of flowers and a slight sweetness. The light sweetness and flowery touches made this tea fun to drink.

I later resteeped this tea for another 6 minutes. I think it tasted even better that second time around. On third steep (for 7 minutes) the tea still had nice flavor and held up well.

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Green Terrace

Katie says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Tea parties are awesome. Sometimes Abby and I get together to taste new tea samples. Of the three Green Terrace Oolong teas Ali Shan was by far our favorite. This tea had a jasmine scent. It was light in color and had slightly earthy notes. There is a slight bitterness which made me prefer it with touch of sugar.

What stood out to me the most was how after steeping our tea we looked at the leaves and uncurled FULL leaves! Check it out :)

 

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Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

 

Strawbery Iced Tea

Attending a 4th of July party? Bring iced tea! You can brew hot and pour over ice or refrigerator brew your tea. When it’s cooled add sliced strawberries. The berries will make the tea sweet so you may not want to add any extra sugar. Try adding strawberries AND blueberries for an extra festive pitcher of tea!

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I used half TeBella Key Lime Sublime Tea and half Republic of Tea English Breakfast for a strawberry-lime tea that was to die for!

Review: Tebella Tea Company Key Lime Sublime Iced Tea

Overall rating:

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — This tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: Cold, over ice
Steeped: 3mins at about 200 degrees, then poured over ice
Served: Honey added while still hot after steeping

Tebella Tea Company Key Lime Sublime is a unique take on a citrus blend tea. This blend is very different from what I’m used to with black tea blends, that at first I wasn’t sure if I liked it, but after a few sips I was hooked! Instead of the traditional lemon or orange added to black tea, this tea has key limes and pineapple. Switching up the citrus gives this tea a margarita flavor that I love!  It works so well for an iced tea because it’s both festive and refreshing. Typically, I don’t add much sweetener to my tea, but some honey balances the sourness of the limes.

Our friends over at Tebella also recommend using this tea mixed with vodka for a tasty summer cocktail.  Sounds good to me!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 — This tea requires very little effort.

TeBella Key Lime SublimeIced

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: Cold, over ice
Steeped: 3mins at about 200 degrees, then poured over ice
Served: Honey added while still hot after steeping

I really enjoyed this quirky little iced tea! As Abby said, at first glance & sip it seemed a bit odd but it really grew on me! Thus is a great alternative to pricier bottled iced teas. Plus, it’s nice to be able to control the sweetness to my own taste. Which is, ahem, considerably sweeter than Abby likes her teas! ;) Our different tastes, however, are what makes us a great reviewing pair!

I didn’t see the tea cocktail recommendation until I read Abby’s part of the review. You BET I’ll be trying that this weekend!

 

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 — This tea requires very little effort.

*Iced tea hint. If you like sweetened iced tea but are cold brewing add honey or agave nectar as a sweetener. They dissolve much better in the cold tea than granulated sugar.