Hey there Teacups! – I hope you’ve all had a great November and you’re ready to dive straight into Christmas mode tomorrow! I know I am.
I’m back today with my monthly TeaTourist box review. So of course today’s post is all about their November box which houses their – Shine & Sparkle selection.
The Shine & Sparkle Selection
This month TeaTourist are celebrating their first birthday, so over at HQ they’re chinking the teaware and donning their party hats as a salute to an in credible year of tea tasting adventures. So, what could be better than a line up of industry recognised award winning teas. All at the top of their game and unique in their own special way’
Here’s to the most shiny, sparkling tea adventure so far. Cheers!
“An award-winning traditionally rolled orthodox black tea hand plucked from the second flush and sourced from tea gardens at the foot of the Himalayas. It’s smooth to taste with beautifully delicate muscatel and floral notes” -Pure Leaf
Ingredients : 100% hand picked second flush Darjeeling tea leaf. (Vegan Friendly | Suitable For Those With Nut Allergies)
There is a refreshing tanginess to this tea, as well as a small amount of dryness and very pleasant sweetness, that made this tea incredibly moreish. This would be a great blend for someone who want to slowly start introducing themselves to Darjeeling’s. It had a light brown coloured brew. It’s Relatively balanced, yet slightly astringent with muscatel tones. I tried it with and without milk but would probably have it with milk next time just to try and balance out the astringency. I steeped this twice but to be it seems rather delicate so I probably wouldn’t do more steeps than that.
Overall Teacup Rating : 4/5
Find out more about Pure Leaf and purchase this blend for yourself here
“A brisk, bold breakfast blend of Kenyan and Assam that has two great taste awards to it’s name (2015 & 2017). It’s crisp and fresh with a good astringency that works well without or without milk. A true rise and shine favourite” – Cheshire Tea
Ingredients: Luxury Black Tea Blend, Naturally Dried Safflower Petals (Vegan Friendly | Suitable For Those With Nut Allergies)
I’m a huge fan of Assam so I knew I was going to love this blend from the get go. The Assam used in this blend is a very smooth Assam. Assam is usually a hefty tasting tea, robust and just bordering on the edge of becoming bitter but I didn’t get any of that from this Assam which was a welcome change. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a super flavourful blend though. Normally I would add milk to any blend with Assam in it but this one just seem a little delicate to me so I had it straight instead. I do think that the Kenyan black tea also used in this blend really builds the overall body of this tea up a lot. It’s definitely the tea in this blend that provides the Astringency and the underlying Malty notes. I got a slight sweetness from the safflower but it was only noticeable in the aftertaste.
Overall Teacup Rating : 3/5
Find out more about The Cheshire Tea Company and purchase this tea for yourself here
” A 2016 great taste award winning spiced black tea that’s packed full of Autumnal colours, flavours and aromas. It’s a true delight for all of the senses and the perfect glowing companion for the sweetest of celebrations” – LEAF
Ingredients : Ceylon (Black Tea), Cinnamon, Orange Peel, Rose Blossoms and Almonds (Vegan Friendly | Suitable For Those With Nut Allergies)
This blend is my absolute favourite of them all from this months box. I’m a huge lover of Ceylon so knowing that, that was the base of this blend made it obvious I was going to love it. The only way I can describe this blend is that it’s like autumn in a mug. It’s the colours, the smells, the tastes and the atmosphere of autumn all rolled into one heavenly tea. It is very rich and flavourful, fruity, citrusy, exactly what you would want a Ceylon to be. The added Floral notes from the rose petals paired very well with the fruity notes of the Ceylon and were only amplified by the slight natural sweetness of the almond pieces. As I previously mentioned the Ceylon itself already had a citrusy note to it, so I’m sure you can only imagine how much the orange peel in this blend bought that to the forefront. because the base of this blend is a Ceylon there was some astringency but that’s not a bad thing at all. I would suggest having this blend straight with a little honey. While I think it would still be great with milk if you really want to taste this blend in all of its glory it hold off on it. (It’s safe to say that LEAF have made a great first impression with this blend, I can’t wait to try some more)
Overall Teacup Rating : 5/5
Fine out more about LEAF and purchase this tea for yourself here
“A refreshingly crisp organic green tea with a subtle vegetal flavour and lingering almondy sweetness. Made from leaves grown in the Baiyun (aka White Cloud) mountains, there’s no surprise it’s a great taste award winner!” – Good & Proper Tea
Ingredients: 100% organic Jade Tip Leaves ( Vegan Friendly | Suitable For Those With Nut Allergies)
To this date I think this might be one of my favourite green teas I’ve ever tried. With relaxing floral notes, vegetal notes, and a pleasant sweetness (How could I not have loved it – It all just works so well together to make the perfect green tea). For those that like a vegetal taste that is not too overpowering, this would be a perfect tea. It’s also surprisingly patient, the vegetal notes and the slight sweetness were a steady companion over at least three infusions. It’s extremely refreshing and would be a perfect iced tea in the hotter months. In the after taste of this I was very surprised to taste an extremely slight peachy note, so slight that you could miss it but it was definitely there and rounded everything off very well.
Overall Teacup Rating : 4/5
Find out more about Good & Proper Tea and purchase this tea for yourself here
“A multi-award winning hand-harvested oolong with delicate floral notes and a sweet milkiness that produces a beautiful golden liquor and a smooth aftertaste you’ll want to savour long after the flavour party ends”. – Golden Leaf
Ingredients: 100% Oolong Leaves ( Vegan Friendly | Suitable For Those With Nut Allergies)
As you all know my love for Oolong was ignited early this year, so when I saw that there was one included in this months box I was very happy. So happy in fact that this was the first of all of the teas I tried. The texture was very milky and somewhat thick while the flavour was amazingly light and aromatic. What I loved the most about this Oolong that it had NO bitterness or astringency. I’ve found myself to be quite picky with Oolongs but this one really hit the spot. The top notes that stood out to me in my first sips were intensely floral (in a good way) and the aftertaste is really rather sweet which took me by surprise to be honest. I will definitely be ordering more of this Oolong very soon as I think I’m pretty much hooked on it now. The amount I have left now will keep me in very good company for the short time I have it.
Overall Teacup Rating : 4 1/2 / 5
Find out more about Golden Leaf Tea and purchase this tea for yourself here
“A rich and smoky spiced black tea made with 100% natural ingredients. This 2016 two gold star great taste award winning chai is an opulent blend of seasonal flavours dominated by exotic notes of black cardamom”. – ICHAI
Ingredients: Black Tea, Cinnamon, Black Cardamom, Green Cardamom, star anise and cloves. (Vegan Friendly | Suitable For Those With Nut Allergies)
As you’ll all know very recently I attended a chai workshop at T2 and ever since I’ve been being a lot more adventurous when it comes to what chai’s I try. What I have noticed when it comes to chai the black tea included can some times end up being a little bitter when you try them straight. But ever since my work shop I’ve been steeping my chai on the stove in milk. This results in a much smoother taste and allows for all of the spices and the tea the fully flourish and bend perfectly. I did that with this blend and while it was very it is very heavy on the cardamom which resulted in all of the other spices being somewhat of a lack lustre aftertaste. (When I went back to this a second time I just took some of it out and added some cinnamon and nutmeg while dry and it rectified it completely). One of the greatest things about loose leaf tea is how customisable it can be.
Overall Teacup Rating : 3 1/2 / 5
Find out more about ICHAI and purchase this belnd for yourself here
This Months Brew Buddy
November’s Brew Buddy comes from Racheal’s Secret Tea Room. A Derbyshire based tea room that offers unique afternoon tea experiences.
For this months brew buddy Racheal’s have made TeaTourist Shortbread Hearts. They are Handmade Vanilla shortbreads infused with a caramel and pecan flavoured Rooibos tisane. Specially made to celebrate TeaTourist’s birthday, these heart shaped tasty treats are a little gift for you from TeaTourist with love.
Ingredients : Butter, Sugar, Flour, Vanilla extract, Cederberg Rooibos , Caramel Pieces, Natural Pecan Flavour and Calendula ( Vegetarian Friendly | Contains Gluten, Dairy and Traces Of Nuts)
Find out more and book at www.rachaelssecretteamroom.co.uk – I know I’ll be planning a visit soon.
As always Teacups if you have any questions at all stick them in the comments and I’ll answer them as soon as I can. If you want me to answer you’re questions quicker head on over to twitter and tweet me directly.
Speak To you all again soon, Happy Steeping – Kimberley
( Remember to use the code TEAISAWISH to get 25% off when you set up a subscription with TeaTourist!! )
*Remember I am a TeaTourist Brand Ambassador so the product featured in this post was sent to me free of charge for reviewing. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for*