Teatourist’s Quintessentials Tea Adventure

Quintessentials Tea Adventure (March 2018) by Teatourist
£11-15 for 1 box, plus shipping (+£3-5 per box)

Teatourist has provided me with the Quintessentials Tea Adventure for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

This was the first month where Teatourist had updated packaging! I quite like it – the bright orange goes so well with the teal, and it’s less the sleeve, so there’s less packaging to go into recycling, which I quite like as well. This monthly box came with six different teas, and four of the six are straight teas! The only way I’d be even more excited about trying this box would be if this box contained fudge

The teas in this box are: Morgans Brew Tea by Morgan’s Brew Tea Company (black tea), Ceylon Tea by Cheeky Chai (black tea), Green Tea with Jasmine by Pure Leaf (green tea), Bright Afternoon by Brighteas (black tea), Earl Grey 1833 by CHASH The Fine Tea Co (flavoured black tea), and Safari Oolong by Nothing But Tea (oolong).

Morgans Brew Tea has a strong smell to it that reminds me both of a breakfast tea (think British or Irish), while having some apricot notes in the dry leaf. This straight black tea is a blend of a few East African black teas (from Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda). Ceylon Tea (Pekoe Fannings) has a mildly sweet aroma, and has a very familiar black tea aroma to it. Ceylon Tea consists of 100% small leaf ceylon tea (pekoe fannings). Green Tea with Jasmine smells exactly as expected (like green tea and jasmine) and, surprise, consists of Chinese green tea and jasmine flowers.

From left to right: Morgan’s Brew Tea, Ceylon Tea, and Green Tea with Jasmine.

Bright Afternoon has an interesting aroma that reminds me of a fresh after-rain smell, and has some mushroom-earthiness to it. The ingredients in this black tea are Chinese Keemun, Mao Feng, and Yunnan black teas. Earl Grey 1833 has a lovely bergamot/citrusy aroma to it, and smells like most Earl Grey teas that I’ve smelled in that past. Curiously, the ingredients are listed as being the finest Ceylon black tea and pure bergamot oil. However, there’s obviously flower petals in the blend that aren’t listed in the ingredients. Safari Oolong is the most intriguing to me, as it has a very light honey and floral aroma to the dry leaf. Safari Oolong is 100% oolong tea from Tumoi Teas, located in Nandi Hills, Kenya.

From left to right: Bright Afternoon, Earl Grey 1833, and Safari Oolong.

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Trudy Ann’s Bombay Masala Chai

Bombay Masala Chai by Trudy Ann’s
Black Tea / Flavoured
$11.99 for 40g (16 cups)

First Impressions

I first met Trudy Ann at the 2017 Vancouver Tea Festival, which is also where I made my first purchase of her Bombay Masala Chai. She’s a complete sweetheart, if you ever have the chance to interact with her at one of the shows or markets that she sells at. Now, onto the tea!

Bombay Masala Chai is made up of: black tea, cardamom, true cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and peppers. Inside of the kraft paper bag, you find black tea and a small pouch of ground spices. The instructions on the back of the packaging tell you to store the spices in a separate jar. The aroma of the spices is really inviting, I can definitely smell the cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon – those are the stronger aromatics so they’re the most obvious. The black tea smells like an assam (which, according to the product page on Trudy Ann’s website, it is).

Preparation

Trudy Ann includes directions for steeping this tea in a cup, on the stove top, iced, and how to resteep it. I’ll discuss the directions for steeping in a cup since that’s what I did.

Trudy Ann recommends adding 1 tsp tea and ¼ tsp chai masala (spices) to 1 cup of boiling (100°C/212°F) water, and to steep for 5 minutes prior to straining. Then, you can add cream and sweetener to tastes. For this review, I followed the steeping instructions and tried it plain.

First Taste

Bombay Masala Chai steeps to a beautiful golden orange and has a lovely aroma that comes up from the tea. You can definitely smell the cardamom and ginger, and I love those aromatics. The tea itself has a nice sweetness to it, and the combination of spice to black tea is well balanced. I enjoy the fact that it’s not too spicy – if you’ve ever had some chai blends, you might know what I’m talking about when the spices overwhelm the black tea base or when one spice just covers up the rest of them. Bombay Masala Chai has a nice balance though, I can taste the black tea, as well as the different spices.

A Second Cup?

Trudy Ann’s recommendations for a second steep is to double the steep time (from 5 minutes to 10 minutes). I found that at 10 minutes, the first resteep is fairly similar to the initial steep. It’s not as sweet as the initial steep, but that’s something that can be easily remedied with a bit of sugar or honey.

My Overall Impression

I loved Trudy Ann’s Bombay Masala Chai. If you’re a fan of chai but struggle to get the spice to tea balance right (like me!), I would recommend giving this blend a try. I love that the spices are right there and you can control how much you put in. You can smell the ingredients, there’s clear instructions for making the tea whatever way you want, and the flavours are just so well balanced against each other that it’s enjoyable and there’s not just one spice that’s overwhelming the rest.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Lemon Lily’s Rose Petal Chai

Rose Petal Chai by Lemon Lily
Black Tea / Flavoured
$9.00 for 50g

Lemon Lily’s Rose Petal Chai came to me as part of a subscription box from The Sugared Teacup.

First Impressions

As a fan of black tea blends, I’m a sucker for a good chai. There’s just something soothing about a black with with a whole bunch of spices… and sometimes I’ll add some honey or sugar and some frothed milk and make it into a tea latte. I was happy to see Rose Petal Chai in the box that I received from The Sugared Teacup, because while I love a good chai, I don’t always have all the ingredients on hand to blend it on my own, so having it blended for me helps a lot!

Rose Petal Chai came to me in a resealable bag, the aroma of the dry leaf is primarily that of cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon – yum! Lemon Lily’s Rose Petal Chai consists of: black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, rose petal, rosehip, and vanilla bean – all certified organic.

Preparation

Lemon Lily recommends steeping Rose Petal Chai in 212°F (100°C) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I opted to do an initial steep for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Rose Petal Chai steeps to a deep reddish-brown, and has a beautiful aroma that is mostly that of cardamom and ginger. It’s a very relaxing aroma if you breathe it in deep! I found that the flavour of the tea is well reflected by the ingredients list. I can taste the cardamom, there’s some gentle heat from the ginger, and I can taste the cinnamon for sure. I found that there’s just a hint of floral sweetness, which I attribute to the rose petal and rosehip. I can’t make out the vanilla bean, unfortunately, but the overall flavour profile definitely makes me think of a nice chai.

I did try Rose Petal Chai with a touch of honey and some frothed milk to make it into a tea latte and I was not disappointed! If you like chai lattes, I would definitely recommend trying this chai as a tea latte.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Rose Petal Chai twice. The first resteep was fairly similar to the initial steep in terms of flavour and strength of all the ingredients. The second resteep was missing the floral sweetness and the ginger was more lost. I would say that Rose Petal Chai is good for one more steep.

My Overall Impression

I liked Lemon Lily’s Rose Petal Chai. I found the blend of ingredients to be incredibly pleasant, and made for a very nice lightly floral cup of chai. The gentle heat of the ginger and the presence of cardamom make for a very nice cup of tea – made all the better when I turned it into a tea latte! I do wish the vanilla bean was more a present flavour, since I love the flavour of vanilla bean. I think this blend could do with some more rose petals, just to impart a stronger rose flavour into the tea.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.