Tuesday Tea - Dark Chocolate Chai and Earl Grey de la Créme - Steeped Tea

About Steeped Tea

Several months ago I was contacted by Christa Jones, a consultant for Steeped Tea. I was unfamiliar with this Canada-based company so Christa urged me to take a peak at their seasonal brochure. I was absolutely fascinated by their offerings. Not only do they stock a full range of teas, but they also carry cute teaware, and edibles like Chocolate Chai Muffin Mix and Matcha Mousse. 

Steeped tea isn't your typical tea business. While they do offer ordering online, they're actually structured more like Mary Kay (makeup) or PartyLite (candles) and use direct sales to spread the word about their teas. The idea of a house party may not be for everyone, but it is a great way to share your love of tea with others. According to their website "this company began as a passionate search for the perfect cup of tea. Along the way we discovered that the secret was who you shared it with." Well Steeped Tea, I couldn't agree more.

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Dark Chocolate Chai

Tea Description:

Enjoy the taste of rich chocolate in this favorite chai blend.

Ingredients: Black Tea, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, white chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, milk ingredients, soya lecithin, vanilla extract), spices, natural flavors. Contains milk and soy.

Other Information:

Leaf Type: Chai/Black

Suggested Brewing Tips:

Serving Size: 1 teaspoon per 8oz serving

Water Temp: 212°F 

Steep Time: 3 - 5 minutes

Review:

The end of September is here and this morning there was a definite bite to the air when I woke up. It had me immediately reaching for a thick pair of socks to ward off the chill from our tile floor as I stumbled out of bed and towards the stove to make breakfast. Chilly weather calls for one thing and one thing only, a nice cup of hot tea. This morning it happened to be a dark chocolate chai from Steeped Tea.

I've had the opportunity to sample a lot of chai over the past few years, but this was one of the most disappointing I've come across in recent memory. Traditionally chai is prepared with milk and sugar, but I found that this chai didn't hold up well to traditional preparation methods. Instead of being greeted by the bright, bold flavors from the various spices this blend was incredibly flat and bland. Even after increasing the amount of loose leaf I used during my preparation (from 1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon) I had difficulty tasting the spices. There was an add aftertaste present, perhaps from the chocolate, that seemed to stick with me and get strong the more I drank. In the end I dumped out several cups of this tea, some prepared with milk and others without. I've decided to fix something else to get me going this morning.

My Rating: 19/100

Would I order this again?No. This blend has a very odd aftertaste to it.

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Earl Grey de la Créme

Tea Description:

The tea that started it all! This Earl Grey blend is celebrated for its creamy taste.

Ingredients: Black tea, cornflower petals, natural flavors.

Other Information:

Leaf Type: Black (flavored)

Where to Purchase: 

Suggested Brewing Tips:

Serving Size: 1 teaspoon per 8oz serving

Water Temp: 208°F

Steep Time: 2-3 minutes

Review:

The truth is that I've rarely met an Earl Grey Créme tea that I didn't enjoy, which is why I decided to save this blend for last. The combinations of citrus and vanilla is pretty high up on my list of favorite flavor combinations, so much so that I've begun to experiment with the combination more in the kitchen. Eventually I'd like to try my hand at Earl Grey Créme Macaroons, but that is a project for when I have more time. First I have to learn how to make macaroons.

It's well established that Earl Grey Créme is my favorite tea and go-to blend when I don't want to put much thought into my selection, but that doesn't mean I don't put just as much thought into reviewing this type tea as I do others. It's fun to compare and contrast each new blend with my favorite. Earl Grey de la Créme from Steeped tea is very heavy on the vanilla, giving it a pleasantly sweet flavor (perfect for those of you like me who have a sweet tooth!) There is only a hint of citrusy bergamot that shines through. If I had one complaint about this blend it would be that it really needs a stronger base to balance everything out and tone down the sweetness. Without more of a contrast from the bergamot and base I think this blend is actually too sweet.

My Rating:75/100

Would I order this again? Probably not. Even though I enjoyed this tea there are many Earl Grey Cream teas are better quality and lower priced.

Disclosure

In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that Christa Jones a Steeped Tea consultant has provided me with tea for review. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday Tea - Coconut Calypso and Egyptian Chamomile - Steeped Tea

About Steeped Tea

Christa Jones, a consultant for Steeped Tea, contacted me several months ago with an offer I couldn't refuse. She sent me a package of teas of some of their best selling teas so I could share them with you. Before she emailed me I wasn't familiar with this Canada-based company so Christa urged me to take a peak at their seasonal brochure so I could get a feel for their offerings. In addition to the wide range of teas they stock they also carry teaware and tea inspired edibles like Chocolate Chai Muffin Mix and Matcha Mousse.

Steeped tea isn't your typical tea business. While they do offer ordering online, they're actually structured more like Mary Kay (makeup) or PartyLite (candles) and use direct sales to spread the word about their teas. The idea of a house party may not be for everyone, but it is a great way to share your love of tea with others. According to their website "this company began as a passionate search for the perfect cup of tea. Along the way we discovered that the secret was who you shared it with." Well Steeped Tea, I couldn't agree more.

Today I'll be sharing two teas with you, Coconut Calypso and Egyptian Chamomile. You can also read my reviews of the two teas I shared last month, Piña Colada and Crème Carmello.

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Coconut Calypso

Tea Description:

Coconut has never tasted so good with this fun and unexpected flavor.

Ingredients: Pai Mu Tan white Tea, coconut pieces, rosebuds, blue mallow flowers, natural flavors.

Other Information:

Leaf Type: White (flavored)

Suggested Brewing Tips:

Serving Size: 1 teaspoon per 8oz serving

Water Temp: 175°F

Steep Time: 4-5 minutes

Review:

Out of the six teas I've sampled from Steeped Tea, Coconut Calypso is the most colorful. The large leaves of white tea are sprinkled with blue mallow flowers and delicate pink rosebuds, giving it a somewhat romantic feel. As much as I love the way this tea looks, it is unfortunately the one I enjoyed the least. To start off, it has such an unappealing smell that I struggled to drink it. Scent is such a huge part of what I enjoy about tea, if the tea doesn't smell good it ruins the entire experience. The unpleasant scent does tend to dissipate as the tea cools and isn't nearly as noticeable when I cold steep this blend overnight. It seems to come out at its strongest when the tea is prepared hot. So as a solution, I've stopped preparing this tea hot.

Problem solved, well, sort of...

Unfortunately I didn't care for the taste of this blend either. There is a very one-note flavor that is supposed to be coconut, but doesn't quite taste like it. Instead it comes across as overly sweet and blatantly not coconut. Some flavors are more difficult than others to recreate believably in tea and coconut is squarely in the pretty well impossible to recreate category. This is why I tend to stay away from coconut heavy teas. As a side note, this blend also left an oily film on my ingenuiTEA, which I use for steeping, and on the drinking jar I put my tea in. It took a lot of scrubbing with baking soda and vinegar to remove it, which only added to my frustration with this tea.

My Rating: 62/100

Would I order this again? No. I didn't enjoy the scent or flavor of this blend.

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Egyptian Chamomile

Tea Description:

Ancient Egyptians enjoyed chamomile for its calming taste.

Ingredients: Egyptian chamomile blossoms

Other Information:

Leaf Type: Herbal

Suggested Brewing Tips:

Serving Size: 1.5 teaspoons per 8oz serving

Water Temp: 208°F

Steep Time: 4-5 minutes

Review:

Our second tea today, Egyptian Chamomile, is one of the first teas my mother gave me when I was younger. It was a staple in our household, normally reserved for those nights we couldn't sleep or weren't feeling good. It is known to be a mild sedative and also for its ability to calm an upset stomach, which is why my mother always pulled it out when we were sick. It is also naturally caffeine free so you'll commonly see it listed as an ingredient in various herbal and bedtime blends. The flavor is mild and somewhat sweet with a slight taste of apples. You can drink it on its own, blend it with other herbals, or serve it with a large drizzle of honey to ease a sore throat. While I don't generally purchase chamomile on its own, it is still something great to have on hand. You'll find it listed as an ingredient in many of the teas in my cupboard.

My Rating: 79/100

Would I order this again? Possibly. I prefer to grow my own, but in a pinch I'd pick up another package of this to keep in my cupboard for those nights I can't sleep.

Disclosure:

In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that Christa Jones a Steeped Tea consultant has provided me with tea for review. As always, all opinions are my own.