Tag Archives: Teatime

Quick Review: Cambridge & Thames Earl Grey Tea

 

Cambridge and ThamesAbby says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: @ 212, boiling
Steeped: Left tea bag in the cup
Served: Nothing added

Just a super fast review for you all this week:  I happened upon this Cambridge & Thames Earl Grey tea in my office kitchen and decided to try it out. Though touted as Earl Grey tea, you will be hard pressed to find even a hint of bergamot flavor. None could be found in my cup. That was a bit disappointing, but the tea flavor itself was good – a nice strong black tea with high astringent notes. Sadly there was also a strange floral, bordering on perfume, note to this tea. Maybe I steeped it too long? Maybe this is the bergamot? It was enough for me to notice, but didn’t change my feelings of love for the rich tea.  The mystery remains, I guess. I wouldn’t recommend this tea for Earl Grey lovers, but if you find yourself in my office kitchen (because, where else can you get this tea?) give it a try, it makes a decent cuppa.

Pro tip: You could use this tea for making Almond Earl, a super easy tea cocktail! Check it out here.

Taste: 3 of 5 – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

 

Review: Finest Kind Tea Mixers & Modifiers *Giveaway*

UPDATE: The giveaway has now ended. A winner will be notified shortly. Thank you!

 
Finest Kind Tea Finest Kind Tea Mixers & Modifiers Giveaway! Just comment for a chance to win. (see below)

Mandatory Entry:  (comment to tell us) This tea is a concentrated brewed tea to use hot, iced, or as a mixer 🙂 How would you take your Finest Kind Tea? Hot, iced or in a cocktail? (One Extra Entry for Each, please comment once for each entry to let us know!)

– Share your idea for a cocktail using Finest Kind Tea Mixers & Modifiers !
-Follow @Delecteable on Twitter.
-“Like” DelecTEAble on Facebook
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-Share this giveaway via Twitter or Facebook. (Once Daily) Feel free to copy/paste: I entered the @Delecteable giveaway for a chance to win @FinestKindTea! You can enter too! http://bit.ly/1DYZAPb #giveaway

Remember, each entry must be left in a separate comment. A winning comment will be chosen at random. The winner has 48 hours to reply and claim their prize before a new winner is selected. Only U.S. residents can win but others are welcome to comment. Note this post is set to auto publish at noon on 4/19. The comments will be closed and a winner will be chosen at 9PM EST Tuesday 4/28

*This giveaway is sponsored. We were given enough product to sample & giveaway from Finest Kind Tea Mixers & Modifiers.

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Our Review & Overall Rating: 1753 Green Tea, Hibiscus & a Touch of Honey
Overall rating:
Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

 

Abby says:
Tea Type: Bottled 
Temperature: Over Ice
Served: Nothing added

Finest Kind Mixers & Modifiers makes fun, stylish and tasty mixers and modifiers using a tea base. Sounds good, right? Yep. The 1753 is my favorite of the blends we tried. I love it because it isn’t sweet at all. This allows the mixer to lend itself well to a variety of different drink styles. I sampled this one just over ice because I really wanted to be able to taste the blend and all it has to offer. I liked it a lot and found it flavorful, tart and easy to drink. The hibiscus keeps it interesting without being too flowery or tasting like perfume. It compliments the green tea nicely. The honey is very light, thankfully! I didn’t taste it in every sip, but it keeps the mix from being too tart. Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa! Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Katie says:
Tea Type: Bottled
Temperature: Over ice
Served: as iced tea at first, added a touch of honey to sweeten more

I liked this tea, the hibiscus gives it a very unique taste. I did want it to be a bit sweeter so I added a touch of honey. The hibiscus flavor was nice, but I felt that it overpowered the green a bit. Like Abby I tried an iced tea version of this drink and found it very refreshing. I think this would make an excellent mixer with an herbal liquor like St. Gremain. Or, if you like cocktails, try it with this Elderflower tonic.

stgermain-bottle-ko

Since I am currently pregnant I didn’t test out the alcoholic cocktail recipe. If you do try it please let me know how it is!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa.

Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Finest Kind Tea

Our Review & Overall Rating: 1960 Black Tea, Lemon Juice, Cane Sugar
Overall Rating:
Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

 

Abby says:
Tea Type: Bottled 
Temperature: Over Ice
Served: Nothing added

The 1960 blend from Finest Kind is the most similar to what you would expect to find in an “iced tea” mixer. Don’t worry, it’s much better than what you typically find, but it’s a blend of the traditional black tea, lemon and sugar. After following the directions of 1 part mixer to 7 parts ice water, I found it a little too sweet for me. To even it out I added a touch of fresh lemon juice and it was perfect for me. If you like sweet tea, you’ll love it as is. Again, I sampled it over iced to get the full flavor. it was a bit too sweet for me in that form, but I suspect that the extra sweetness would work well when using this as a mixer for a tasty cocktail! The black tea, lemon and sugar match each other pretty well and a smooth blend of all three. On a side note: I just LOVE the tiny glass bottles our tea samples arrived it and have been trying to think of good ways to repurpose the bottles since all of the tea is long gone. Then I remembered Katie’s post about tiny tea-party flowers and found my use – tiny wild flower vases! Love!

 

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves: A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

 

Katie says:
Tea Type: Bottled
Temperature: Over Ice
Served: As directed, diluted with water over ice

I think this tea is fabulous! I tired it iced, loved it, and must acquire a big bottle ASAP. Since my sample bottle said it makes 2 servings I let my co-worker Justin try some and he also thought it was delicious, no modifications needed! I find the strength of the black tea to be perfect with just the right amount of lemon and sugar. This iced tea is perfectly yummy! Also, do note that Abby and I have very different tastes when it comes to the sweetness of tea. While this is a sweetened iced tea I did not find it to be overly sugary. It’s a New England version of sweetened tea. If southern sweet tea is your thing your thing then you’ll want to add a bit more sugar.

*Please note that we are just as critical of free teas as the ones we purchase. If we get a sample we don’t like we won’t include it on our blog.

Review: Golden Tips India’s Original Masala Chai and Okayti Silver Needle (White Tea) Darjeeling

Please note that while we were sent free samples of this tea to review we are just as critical of free tea. If we receive something we don’t like we give an honest review or skip it all together!

Golden Tips India’s Original Masala Chai Overall rating: 

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves: Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added, then as a latte

Chai is one of my favorites. I just love spicy and warming it is. I like to drink it black with nothing added (unusual, I know) and of course, I love a good chai latte. Because of my chai love affair, I was especially excited to try this tea. We reviewed another Golden Tips tea recently and really liked it. This gave me high hopes for their chai.

This tea smells amazing while it steeps. It gives off a spicy and inviting aroma that fills the room with the ginger and clover really standing out. The taste is just how you imagine, strong tea black tea flavors mixed with bold spices. For me it tasted great without anything added, but for fun I decided to make a latte for my second cup. Using frothed skim milk and a touch of honey, the chai latte was just as good. The milk toned down the spices somewhat, but it was still very flavorful. I would certainly recommend this chai to any chai-lover such as myself.

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves: Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: With milk & honey

Real chai has a very different texture than other loose leaf teas with tiny little bits of tea and cardamom pods. As soon as I opened this tea I could tell it was the real deal. This is a delicious and authentic chai. In India it is poured back and fourth or from a kettle hight up to a cup on the ground to create a nice frothy drink. I love most black teas with cream and sugar but chai is extra delicious this way. If you like a traditional chai I highly recommend this one!

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves: Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 4 of 5 — this tea requires very little effort.

 

 

Golden Tips Okayti Silver Needle Darjeeling White Tea Overall rating: 

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3.5 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 175-180 below boiling
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Maybe it’s all the snow we have piling up around here, but I have a serious thing for white tea right now. I’ve always loved white tea, but it has become my go-to style these days. This means that I was super pumped when Golden Tips sent us a white tea for review. I’ve never tried a white tea darjeeling tea before. In fact, I’m not sure I knew it was really a thing. It is!

This tea is beautiful with long thin green leaves and it steeps to a pretty light yellow. It has a light floral and slightly grassy flavor that makes it very easy to drink. It tastes great on its own and because it’s mild it will also pairs well with many foods. I first had this tea in the morning with a breakfast of chocolate-chip zucchini bread (recipe to come shortly) and I thought it was a perfect match for a cold winter morning. White tea is lower in caffeine, so give this tea a try if you are caffeine sensitive or if you a looking for a nice light tea to drink anytime of day. Be careful not to steep it for too long! Like green tea, white tea can become bitter quickly if steeped for too long.

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

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 175-180 below boiling
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: with honey

Some white teas are so light in flavor that they have almost no flavor at all. That isn’t the case with this white tea. I really love the rich floral notes in this tea! The only difficult part for me is that it is so easy to over steep both from leaving the leaves in the cup too long or from a temperature that is too hot. Be careful with this delicate tea and it will be well worth the trouble!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Review: Golden Tips Gopaldhara Gold Darjeeling

Happy Valentines Day! You know what pairs well with chocolate? Tea! Please note that while we were sent free samples of this tea to review we are just as critical of free tea. If we receive something we don’t like we give an honest review or skip it all together!

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Overall rating: 

Taste: 4.5 of 5 tea leaves — quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 — this tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 3.5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

First things first, I was impressed with how this tea is packaged. It arrived from India in air-tight black packages with all of the tea information readily available on the label.  Not only does the label provide the expected information about the tea, like tea type and steeping times and temps, but it also has much more detailed information as well such as the date of picking, the estate and the tea grade. For the average tea drinker this information isn’t necessary, but I think it’s pretty cool anyway and it provides a lot of insight about the tea.

Secondly a note about Darjeeling tea. You haven’t seen much from us about this type of tea, so I thought I’d give you a quick rundown before moving into the review. Darjeeling tea is known as the “Champagne of tea” not only for its flavor, but also because Darjeeling tea only comes from the Darjeeling district in Northern India just as champagne only comes from Champagne France. Darjeeling is typically a lighter black tea with terrific flavor that you can drink all day long.

OK, review time.  Golden Tips Gopaldhara Gold Darjeeling tea steeping to a pretty light brown with a roasted coffee or cocoa aroma. The taste was earthy and flavorful with a slight sweetness. There were hints of fruit and flowers in each sip. Though it is a black tea, it isn’t strong or robust. Instead it’s lighter and easier to drink. I found the flowery notes to be very interesting and kept me sipping.  I did steep this tea for a second time for five minutes. The second steep tasted different from the first, as expected. I note more black tea flavor and less sweetness, but it was still a tasty cuppa!

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves — quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 — this tea requires very little effort.
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Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 3.5 minutes
Served: with a touch of honey

First off, ditto everything Abby said about the packaging. It arrived wrapped in cloth looking very mysterious and exciting to open.

Darjeeling tea is not your typical black tea. These teas are intended to be light-bodied and are popular as “afternoon teas” for this reason. If you’re looking for a rich dark tea that holds up to milk and sugar keep looking! However, if you are in search of a nice light yet flavorful tea try this! I like my tea sweet and this tea holds up well with a touch of honey. Don’t let the light coloring fool you, this tea has an earthy almost bittersweet chocolate richness to it. It’s good for a 2nd steep. Another nice thing about this tea is that it’s good hot or iced. If you find your nearly-full cup of tea abandoned and cold (as I often do with a toddler at home) just pour over ice and it’s just as nice! (Couldn’t resist the rhyme)

Head on over to Golden Tip’s website to order some for yourself! A quick note about our ratings. Taste is pretty self-explanatory, but Steepability tells you how easy the tea is to make. This tea isn’t tricky, but we’re giving it a 4 instead of 5 because loose-leaf teas require the extra step of an infuser but are SO worth it! Just look at those big beautiful tea leaves!

Taste: 4.5 of 5 tea leaves — quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 — this tea requires very little effort.

More Golden Tips reviews coming soon!

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Chai Spice Creme Brulee at Fuel Restaurant

Chai Spice Creme Brulee

For my birthday a couple of weeks ago my husband took me out to dinner at Fuel in Lewiston, Maine. It was our first time there, but we had been hearing great things about this spot for a while now. Our dinner was amazing from the start, but what really got me was the dessert! Chai spice creme brulee served with a snickerdoodle cookie. I love chai spices. I love creme brulee. I love snickerdoodle cookies. Obviously I was excited to try this dish.

Believe it or not, it was better than I anticipated. The top was perfectly crunchy and needed a good smack from the spoon to crack. Oh, how I love to do that! Under the sugar was a perfectly decadent creamy and spice custard. Every bite was incredible. Even the snickerdoodle cookie was wonderfully snickerdoodly!

Fuel Dessert Menu

If you find yourself in the area of Lewiston, Maine, do yourself the favor of checking out Fuel. You will love it! In addition to the beautiful dessert we also had the fondue for two and the coq au vin. Both dishes were delicious, and over the top. The fondue was creamy, salty, garlicy and fun!  The coq au vin was rich and savory, with wonderful complex flavors of chicken, wine, butter, mushrooms and bacon.  Hungry yet?!  I can’t wait to get back to Fuel for another meal (and dessert) and hope you make it there soon.

Review: The Spice and Tea Exchange Decaf Earl Grey

Earl Gret Decaf

Overall rating: 

Taste: 2.5 of 5 leaves –  This tea is just ok.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing at first, then a tiny bit of honey

This tea, The Spice and Tea Exchange Decaf Earl Grey started out on a high note, but fell from there. Before steeping this tea, I noticed how pretty it was with dark black tea leaves mixed with orange peels and cornflowers and as a dry tea it smells great with a strong bergamot aroma. It steeped to a deep brown and still had that nice citrus aroma you want from earl grey. Then I tasted the tea and was let down. It was just OK.

With decaf tea, I have come to expect a weaker tea, so I was prepared for that. The black tea flavor was there, but not as strong as a caffeinated tea. That’s OK though, we expect that and I could still taste the tea. What I didn’t anticipate was the vanishing bergamot! I can smell it, but I can’t taste it.

Taste: 2 of 5 leaves –  This tea is just ok.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

 

Usually we really like teas from the Spice and Tea Exchange. Check out some of their other teas that we love:

Mystic Dragon

Hazelnut Cookie Tea

 

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: With milk & honey (Only use a little or you’ll overpower this mild tea)

As Abby commented, and as is true with most decaf teas, this one had a pretty weak flavor. If anyone out there finds a nice, strong, decaf black tea please let us know! The trick to this one is to put in a LOT of tea. I use double the amount of loose tea that I would normally use for another variety. It is only with this double strength trick that I really like this tea. Double strength brewed & it’s got some nice hints of black tea and bergamot that will stand up to a little milk & honey. If you use a normal amount of tea, it’s really not that great. The flavors get lost, especially if you like milk & honey in your back tea as I do. I don’t hold it against the spice and tea exchange that this tea is mild, since most decaf teas tend to be. Do be sure the click the links above to see some teas from them that we’ve loved!

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea. (When brewed at double strength)
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Review: Allegro Fine Tea Organic Decaf Black

Allegro Fine Tea

Overall rating: 

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

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged tea
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served: Nothing added

This is my first taste of Allegro tea and sometime I find it hard to judge a decaf tea when I haven’t first had the caffeinated version yet. I have to say, though, that I was pleasantly surprised by my experience!  No caffeinated version needed, obviously I need to check my tea-review self and be reminded that tea that tastes good, is tea that tastes good – end of story. This Organic Decaf Black steeped to a nice dark brown as any black tea should and the aroma was nice and lively. The flavor was good too!  This tea really does taste like a good strong black tea – and without the caffeine, how nice! There are dark chocolate and nutty hints along with a touch of sweetness.

As I always say when I review teas – I LOVE that it’s organic!  Tea you can feel good about drinking.

Try this tea if you are trying to lighten-up on the caffeine, but can’t part with the bold black tea flavors.

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

Allegro black tea

Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged tea
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 4 minutes
Served with milk & honey

I like a good strong black tea! That being said, this is a pretty darn good substitute. I bought this, and drank it quite a bit while pregnant. As Abby said, if you are trying to cut back on caffeine this is a really good choice. Most decaf black tea tastes like dirty water but this one has some nice tea flavor. It’s certainly weaker than a regular black tea, but of the decaf I’ve tasted this is the only one I keep in my tea stash! Be sure to keep it on hand for whenever you want black tea taste without thee caffeine.

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

TeBella Tea Company

TeBella Tea Co

On a recent trip to Tampa, FL I stopped at a terrific tea shop, TeBella Tea Company in Davis Islands. The main street that TeBella sits on is just the cutest thing. There are shops, bars and restaurants all of which are well maintained to give you a unique neighborhood feeling as you take it all in. We also stopped at Yeoman’s Road Pub for a pint, but that’s a story for another day. Now… more about the tea!

TeBella Tea Co

Look at all that tea! A dream come true. There were tons of beautiful teas to choose from and the staff was friendly and knowledgeable about the teas they had to offer. They were also very patient and let me see and smell many, MANY teas before I settled on my favorites. Thank you friendly tea folks!

Tea

One of the teas that I took home with me is their White Coconut Dulce (pictured above). A beautiful tea with bright white coconut shavings mixed it.  It smelled and looked amazing.  Hopefully you will find a review of it posted here soon. Spoiler alert: it was delicious.

Chocolates

They also had the gorgeous chocolate made by locally by William Dean Chocolates.  For some of these chocolates TeBella tea is used. Almost too lovely to eat, but not quite.

Chocolates

After drooling over the tea and chocolate offerings we finally made our selections. Opting for hot and iced teas. BTW, Tampa has wonky weather in February. Then we made out way into the pouring rain and quickly flooding streets, off to our next adventure in Tampa. Cheers!

Tea Cold and Hot

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11/20/2013 #WordlessWednesday

#teatime

Om Beaker Glass Teapot

Saw this on Design Sponge. What a cool teapot from CB2!