Category Archives: black
Many, many months ago (I’m ashamed to count how many) my friend Ana brought me a few bags of Tea-Historic tea that she had picked up at a local festival. I pulled them out for sampling in the next few weeks and went to the website to do more research and learned that Tea-Historic is closing up shop! That will teach me to delay in reviewing.
The first tea I wanted to review was Tea-Historic Cretaceous Cinnamon. From the package, Cretaceous Cinnamon contains Assam black tea, and cinnamon sticks.
Tea-Historic teas are available in 1oz increments for $6 per ounce.
When I opened the package I was interested to see big chunks of cinnamon sticks in with the black tea. The tea itself smelled wonderfully of cinnamon, both before and after brewing. It was a delightfully strong black tea, with the taste of warm (but not spicy) cinnamon. It was perfect for a mid-afternoon cup.
My husband knows me so well. He wanted to buy me some tea for Christmas so he checked out Adagio Teas where he found a whole sampler set of 12-teas for fans of Critical Roll. I photographed them all for fun, and I’ll be sampling a few over the next few weeks on the blog.
Each of the teas in Cri-Tea-Cal Role is named for something from the game, and tea creator Stephanie Traylor chose from all the Adagio ingredients to create her own signature blends.
Today I’m reviewing Inspiration which is a blend of black and oolong teas, apple pieces, passionfruit flavor, vanilla, marigold flowers, ginger root and flavor, and finally rainbow sprinkles.
I received the sampler tin as part of the set, but the tea is also available singly as a sample for $5.00, 3oz pouch for $12.00 or 5oz tin for $24.00.
When I first opened the package, aside from being delighted by the sprinkles, I loved the tropical smell of the tea. As it brewed I mostly got the passionfruit aroma. Sipping it I get more of the vanilla, passionfruit and apple. I don’t taste much ginger, but it probably keeps the tea balanced, especially with the sweet sprinkles. I picked this one for today because I like both black and oolong teas quite a bit, and I’m always up for a little tropical tea on a Friday afternoon. I enjoyed this blend and look forward to sampling the others!
Adagio’s Gingerbread blend includes black tea, gingerbread flavor, cinnamon bark, orange peel and ginger root.
Gingerbread is available in a variety of sizes: sample for $2.00, 3oz for $7.00, and 16oz for $24.00.
When I first opened the package I got the strong smell of molasses and gingerbread. Once brewed it was a little milder, but I got hints of the gingerbread and the orange. I really enjoyed this one and it would be amazing with ginger snaps. I’ve never made them, but maybe it’s time to learn.
From the ingredients list, David’s Breakfast Tea contains organic black tea from India and Nepal.
It comes in multiple increments of 2 oz. for $8.98 per 2 oz.
When I first opened the package I got a bit of a smoky aroma. I brewed it nice and hot, with just a touch of sugar. It was definitely smoky, but it was still super smooth and not terribly bitter like some black teas can be. I enjoyed it with a slice of banana bread and it was a good kick start to my day.
From the website, the Capital Blend is a blend of Assam, Kenyan and Ceylon teas. They consider it a Scottish Breakfast Blend.
Capital Blend is available in 1oz increments for $3.00 per ounce.
When I opened the package I smelled a good strong black tea. Once brewed, the tea was a smooth finishing black. I brewed it strong for my morning kickstart, and added just a touch of sugar. It was full bodied without a bitter finish and I really enjoyed it. I would definitely order more.
From the website, T2 Chai includes black tea, cloves, cardamon, star anise, cinnamon, ginger, natural and artificial flavor.
Chai comes in two sizes: a 100g cube for $13.00 or 250g for $31.00.
When I opened the package I was quite impressed with the tea. Not only did it smell amazing, but there were full pods of cardamom and star anise in the tea. This one didn’t disappoint – it was quite strong and spicy which is just the way I like Chai. I’ll definitely be keeping this one on my list of favorite Chais for the future and would highly recommend it if you like strong spicy tea.
From the website, Creme Brulee contains Black tea, natural and artificial flavor, and hazelnut praline (sugar, hazelnuts).
It is available in a variety of sizes: 100g/3.5oz for $13.00 and 250g/8.8oz for $31.00.
When I opened the package, the warm smell of caramel was the first thing I noticed. The tea brewed up smooth with a sweet finish. I got bits of caramel and vanilla. This one was a nice dessert tea, but I also enjoyed it at breakfast sometimes as well.
Kenyan Black Tea is black tea grown in Kenya.
Kenyan Black Tea is available for $10.00 for 3.5oz/100g of loose leaf tea or for $9.00 for a box of 20 teabags. All profits from sales of Ajiri Tea are donated to the Ajiri Foundation, which pays school fees for orphans in western Kenya.
When I got this tea I wasn’t sure whether I would like it. Primarily, I was surprised that it was almost the consistency of coffee grounds. I used a paper filter to brew up a cup and I was pleasantly surprised that it was delicious. It was a good strong black tea without a bitter finish. I added a bit of sugar to mine, and I suspect this one would be excellent with a bit of milk or cream. This was a really great find for Tea Runners and I suspect I’ll be trying more of Ajiri’s teas in the future.
From the website, Secret Garden contains Pai Mu Tan, Darjeeling and Chinese green teas, sencha, dragonwell, gunpowder, jasmine jade pearls, candied mango bits, candied pineapple bits, orange peels, strawberry bits, red currants, sour cherry bits and apricot bits.
Secret Garden is available at $6.50 per ounce in 1oz, 2oz, 4oz, 8oz and 1lb packages.
When I first opened the package, I got the overwhelming tropical scent of the mango and pineapple. As it brewed I also detected the cherry and strawberry scents. The tea itself was light and fruity. The blend didn’t taste strongly of any of the actual teas: I didn’t get a black tea feel from it, and the green tea was very light and not grassy. Overall, it was a really nice light fruity blend. I think it would be fantastic iced and I really enjoyed it.
From the website, Snow Flake contains black tea, almonds and coconut rasps.
It is available in a variety of sizes: 1oz for $3.25, 2oz for $6.50, 4oz for $13.00, 8oz for $26.00 and 1lb for $52.00.
I was interested in trying this blend because there is another Snowflake tea that I’m quite fond of and I wanted to see how this one compared. This one smelled quite good – I got a lot of coconut and almond aroma right away. Once brewed, the tea was quite smooth with a lot of coconut flavor, but I didn’t get as much of almond flavor as I wanted. The tea was still quite good, and would be a great dessert tea.