Dessert by Deb’s Lemon Sugar Cookie

Lemon Sugar Cookie by Dessert by Deb
Black Tea & Rooibos / Flavoured
$16.00 for 75g

Lemon Sugar Cookie is an exclusive blend for Dessert by Deb subscription subscribers and is available for purchase by subscribers only at this time.

First Impressions

Lemon Sugar Cookie is a black tea and rooibos blend that came to me as part of my subscription box. This blend is a subscriber exclusive, hence the labeling of The Tea Society Club. I find the exclusivity of tea blends to be a really neat treat for being a member. The blend comes in a pale pink pouch with a familiar and colourful label.

Lemon Sugar Cookie consists of organic: black tea, fair trade rooibos, lemon peel, vanilla, Canadian maple, and brown sugar. When I ripped open the packaging, the first thing I noticed was the citrus notes. The lemon is really bright and inviting and honestly smells like fresh lemon zest. The maple notes and brown sugar are blending well together in terms of fragrance, and it reminds me of baking. I can smell the rooibos base more than the black tea, which is unfortunate for me because rooibos just isn’t my favourite ingredient (to drink straight up). The vanilla is something I find that kind of lingers in the background, but it’s definitely present!

Preparation

Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Lemon Sugar Cookie in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I opted to do an initial steep for 5 minutes, just going for middle of the road with the steeping time.

First Taste

Lemon Sugar Cookie steeps to nice golden orange. The aroma is a blend of lemon and vanilla. There’s some molasses notes that I find as well when smelling the tea. The flavour is interesting. I can taste the lemon, the sweetness from the brown sugar and maple notes, and I can taste the rooibos. It does have that medicinal quality that I don’t particularly like when it comes to rooibos, but the sweetness from the Canadian maple and brown sugar do a lot to overcome that it and to hide it, so I’m not offended by the flavour of the rooibos (who knew?). The blend steeps really smoothly, and I find that the vanilla notes really pop at the tail end of each sip.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Lemon Sugar Cookie once, adding an additional 30 seconds for the second steep with the same leaves. I found that rooibos base was really flavour forward, so if you’re a fan of rooibos, I would continue steeping the leaves knowing that a lot of the sweetness is gone. If you’re not a fan of rooibos, I’d stick to just the initial steep.

My Overall Impression

I liked Dessert by Deb’s Lemon Sugar Cookie. I found the flavour of the initial steep to be great – I found lemon, molasses-notes, a creamy quality from the vanilla, and enough sweetness to off-set the medicinal notes from rooibos. The blend of ingredients was really great to make me think of a lemon cookie and I think it’s a great representation of the name in the ingredients. I would have liked the black tea base to be more forward and easier to find in the flavour, but the brown sugar and Canadian maple do a great job of hiding things with that high level of sweetness (which I greatly enjoyed!).

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Oteas’s Black Tea with Turmeric

Black Tea with Turmeric by Oteas
Black Tea / Flavoured
$7.49 for 33.75g (15 sachets)

Oteas has provided me with Black Tea with Turmeric for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

This is my first time getting to experience the new plastic-free packaging from Oteas. I noticed that the box is a bit shorter than the previous boxes, and doesn’t have plastic shrink wrap over the box. The cardstock box is recyclable, the inner liner and the tea sachets are all made from plant-based materials and are compostable in home composts – so nothing fancy is required! I think that’s really neat and shows a huge commitment to being environmentally friendly by using green-friendly materials.

Now onto the tea itself – it does come portioned out into tea sachets with a string and tag, I did open it up to get a better look at the tea itself. Black Tea with Turmeric contains just two ingredients: black tea and turmeric powder. Both ingredients are very visible in the tea itself. I mostly smell the turmeric, I can’t really smell the black tea base because the turmeric is such a strong ingredient.

Side note about turmeric – if you often use a plastic gravity tea infuser or steep in anything made of plastic, turmeric will stain it yellow. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it – it will stain. So to get away from that, steep in something ceramic or use a stainless steel infuser – much easier to clean and keep your teaware stain-free!

Preparation

Oteas recommends steeping Black Tea with Turmeric using 100°C (212°F) water for 5 to 6 minutes. I opted to do an initial step for 6 minutes at the recommended temperature.

First Taste

Black Tea with Turmeric steeps to a deep reddish orange – not nearly as yellow as one might expect, but I think the black tea base as a lot to do with that. I can definitely smell the turmeric. There’s a nice smoothness to the tea, with a strong turmeric flavour that gives it a bit of tang and mouthfeel that lends itself to a pucker. No astringency or bitterness noted, I did find that there was a nice malty flavour from the black tea base, which does shine through the strong turmeric flavour.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Black Tea with Turmeric. I found that it didn’t resteep very well as the turmeric wasn’t as strong. So if you’re a fan of the turmeric, stick to the initial steep (6 minutes over 5 minutes, for sure!). If you’re a fan of a black tea with milder turmeric flavours, keep resteeping!

My Overall Impression

I liked Oteas’s Black Tea with Turmeric. I love the environmentally friendly recyclable and compostable packaging, I think it’s a great direction for any company in this day and age to go, especially for something that is single use. The initial steep of Black Tea with Turmeric was definitely a favourite over the resteep, because the turmeric is just that much more strong and enjoyable – so it really depends on what you like in your tea (I really wished that the turmeric had more of a presence in the second steep!).

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Tielka’s Tielka Breakfast

Tielka Breakfast by Tielka
Black Tea / Straight
$13.00 for 65g

Tielka has provided me with Tielka Breakfast for the purposes of writing an honest review.

Until June 21st 2020, when you order a pouch of Tielka Breakfast from Tielka, you’ll receive a free storage tin with your order when you mention One More Steep in the comments of your order!

First Impressions

Tielka Breakfast comes in a printed white cardstock box that has a printed label on it. The label has a perforation right where the flap closes, which is a nice feature because you don’t have to peel it up to open the box. The tea itself comes in a vacuum sealed pouch that is not resealable, but that’s nothing that a plastic zip top bag won’t fix (I like to keep my tea in original packaging when possible, and using a baggie helps keep the tea longer since exposure to air, light, and moisture is usually what gets the tea stale, or moldy if it’s water exposure).

Tielka Breakfast is a Dianhong black tea from Yunnan Province, China. It’s a black tea that’s harvested in the May to August season (so summer), and Tielka describes it as being “hand harvested and crafted by organic artisan tea farmers”. This tea is certified organic and fair trade, which I think is awesome because it means that the workers on tea farms are being paid fair wages for their labour. The tea leaves themselves are a lovely dark brown with some golden pops throughout. There’s a rich aroma to the tea leaves – a mix of yeast that reminds me of baked goods, with some caramel notes.

Preparation

Tielka recommends steeping Tielka Breakfast in 100°C (212°F) water for 3 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions to a tee (to a tea?).

First Taste

Tielka Breakfast steeps to a dark reddish brown colour, and it has a caramel aroma to it. The tea itself is smooth with a mild astringency. I notice that there’s some yeasty notes again, it still reminds me of freshly baked bread, as well as some caramel flavours. There’s a slight sweetness to it, which I think could be easily boosted with some sweetener if that’s your norm for a breakfast tea.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Tielka Breakfast twice, adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the flavour was fairly strong still for the first resteep but was a bit weak for more with the second resteep. I would recommend experimenting a bit, if you’re not that picky you can definitely get three steeps out of the same leaves.

My Overall Impression

I loved Tielka’s Tiekla Breakfast. I really enjoyed the flavour of this straight black tea, it had some nice caramel notes and bread-y/yeasty flavours to it. It kind of lends itself to an almost malty flavour, like what you usually find in Assam black teas. It’s not as in-your-face as a traditional breakfast blend would be, there’s definitely some milder flavours in there, but I think it’s really well balanced. This tea would take to sweetener and creamer really nicely, in my opinion, so it’s a great option for afternoon tea if you’re setting something up at home.

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