Dessert by Deb’s Sugar Plum Berry Bars

Sugar Plum Berry Bars by Dessert by Deb
Black Tea / Flavoured
$6.00 for 25g

Sugar Plum Berry Bars came as part of my November/December subscription box from Dessert by Deb.

First Impressions

The first thing I noticed about Sugar Plum Berry Bars (besides the name designed to trip me up) was the pale pink pouch. Very lovely and just has a nice aesthetic behind it (I love the colour pink). Sugar Plum Berry Bars comes in a sealed, resealable pouch, with a colourful label on the front of it with the ingredients and steeping instructions printed on it. The idea of berry bars makes me think of like apple crumble tarts or square, just with berries instead of apples (and cinnamon!). So I’ve got it in my head what I’m expecting this to smell and taste like.

Sugar Plum Berry Bars consists of organic: black tea, elderberries, currants, raisins, hibiscus, Canadian maple, raspberry and blueberry pieces, cranberries, brown sugar, and pink cornflowers. The aroma is very strongly berries, and reminds me a lot of a mixed field berry jam (which is delicious, by the way). And I can also make out the brown sugar and maple, which really lends itself to reminding me of a baked good. The one thing that would really make it stand out as a baked good/dessert would be the addition of vanilla (which I also love).

Preparation

Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Sugar Plum Berry Bars in 212°F (100°C) for 4 to 6 minutes. I opted to follow the steeping instructions and do an initial steep for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Sugar Plum Berry Bars steeps to a golden orange that has a pink hue around the edges of my cup – which is so difficult to photograph but I wish I had been able to do so because it was just so pretty. The flavour of this continues to remind me of mixed berries – it has a moderate amount of sweetness to it, thanks to the brown sugar, fruity ingredients, and maple. I get a lot of molasses sweetness, which I think is thanks to the brown sugar, and I find that it’s just very pleasant. It’s fruity, and I get a bit of astringency at the tail end of each sip with an almost malty flavour that’s playing second fiddle to all the fruity flavours from the black tea base. I’m pleasantly surprised that I can taste it, albeit being overwhelmed by all the fruity flavours. I do like the blend of berry flavours though, because it just has a nice balance of fruity goodness to it.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Sugar Plum Berry Bars and I was disappointed in it – but not surprised – because the berry flavours were lacking. With almost all ingredients that aren’t tea, the flavours are just harder to come by when it’s not the initial steep. I would recommend Sugar Plum Berry Bars for just the initial steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Dessert by Deb’s Sugar Plum Berry Bars. It just does a beautiful job of invoking the idea of a berry crumble dessert and I think it tastes pretty good! I like the amount of sweetness that the tea has, and think that if you were going to add anything to it some brown sugar or a splash of vanilla would be just the ticket to really make it the perfect dessert. I think it’s a fun black tea blend, and I really liked the fact that I could taste the black tea base! This could be nice as a tea latte, but I had a lovely time sipping it as a straight cup of tea.

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

Dessert by Deb’s Hojicha Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding

Hojicha Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding by Dessert by Deb
Green Tea / Flavoured
$16.00 for 75g

Hojicha Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding came in my birthday box (a perk for being an annual subscriber) from Dessert by Deb.

First Impressions

Hojicha Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding (say that one five times fast!) comes in one of my favourite tea pouch colours from Dessert by Deb – just this pretty matte bronze-ish pouch. So pretty, it definitely gives some fall vibes and as a fan of most things autumn, I don’t mind seeing it in January. This blend is part of the Little Cottage Bakery Collection and it just makes me want to get into it! The name is really the part that makes me want to try it.

Ripping open the pouch and getting a sniff, it really does go well with its name! I definitely smell raisins, the brown sugar, and maple notes. All together, it makes me think of raisin buns from a bakery that I grew up near. Not a whole lot from the hojicha base, but there is a hint of nuttiness in the background that I’m going to attribute to the hojicha. Hojicha Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding consists of organic: roasted green tea, Canadian maple, cinnamon, raisins, brown sugar, and apple.

Preparation

Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Hojicha Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding in 200°F (93°C) water for 5 to 6 minutes. I opted to do an initial steep for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Hojicha Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding steeps to a very pretty reddish brown. It has some lovely raisin and cinnamon notes to it, and when I take a sip, the first thing that I notice is the raisins. Then it’s followed by some sweetness, molasses and maple notes, and just a hint of nuttiness. I did end up adding some evaporated milk to my cup, as the label suggests drinking it as a latte. Definitely adds a little something – some creaminess, a level of decadence. I’ve never had a cinnamon raisin bread pudding, but it definitely tastes like some kind of baked good to me.

A Second Cup?

I did attempt to resteep Hojicha Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding. It didn’t do very well with the resteep, I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that the brown sugar and Canadian maple would have dissolved fully in the initial steep, so a lot of those flavours were missing in the second steep. However, there was more of a nuttiness from the hojicha base, so it was nice to find that come out.

My Overall Impression

I loved Dessert by Deb’s Hojicha Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding. It has some great flavours that remind me a lot of a freshly baked raisin bun. I’d follow the recommendation from Deb to have this as a latte, as it just added a little something extra. However, the tea was very pleasant without the addition of milk, so it nice to have straight as well! I was a bit disappointed that the hojicha base wasn’t more prevalent in the flavour profile, but I still greatly enjoyed it and think it makes for a great dessert tea.

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

Dessert by Deb’s Coconut Cream Pie Chai

Coconut Cream Pie Chai by Dessert by Deb
Black Tea / Flavoured
$6.00 for 25g

First Impressions

Coconut Cream Pie Chai was one of those teas that when I first read the name of the tea out loud, I was impressed that I hadn’t mixed up the words. The name is on the longer side, but it really invokes an idea in my head of what it sound smell and taste like. I’m almost not a regular consume of coconut cream pie, so I’m not entirely too familiar with how it sound taste (fair warning!). But this black tea blend came to me as part of my Dessert by Deb subscription box, and I’m always of fan of trying new teas, so here we are.

Coconut Cream Pie Chai comes in a bright fuchsia metallic pouch that’s resealable – always a nice little bonus – with a clear front so you can see the tea blend inside. It has a nice mix of ingredients and consists of organic: black tea, coconut, toasted coconut, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and palm sugar. Coconut Cream Pie Chai primarily smells of toasted coconut to me, with hints of ginger throughout. I’m almost looking for some vanilla notes to really invoke the idea of a baked good.

Preparation

While there’s no steeping instructions on the packaging, it didn’t take me long to find them on the Dessert by Deb’s website product page for Coconut Cream Pie Chai. Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Coconut Cream Pie Chai in 212°F (100°C) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I opted to do an initial steep of 5 minutes.

First Taste

Coconut Cream Pie Chai steeps to a brownish-orange colour, with an oil slick that floats on the top. This comes from all the coconut found in the ingredients, as it naturally contains oils. The aroma of Coconut Cream Pie Chai lends towards being coconut, but the flavour isn’t as coconut forward as I was expecting. I get a lot of the ginger and cinnamon coupled with hints of the cardamom, and the warming quality of those spices, while the coconut is definitely forward in the fragrance of the steeped tea, it’s not very coconut heavy in the actual taste itself.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Coconut Cream Pie Chai, but found in lacking flavour compared to the initial steep. I would recommend Coconut Cream Pie Chai for just the one steep.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Dessert by Deb’s Coconut Cream Pie Chai was just okay. I think this blend had a lot of potential, but my expectations and reality just weren’t matching up. I think for those looking for a less spicy version of a chai will enjoy this blend because it does have the ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom flavours, especially in the initial steep. You do get the great warming quality of the spices, but I was hoping for more coconut-forward flavour, when compared to how the blend smells when dry and when steeped. Turning it into a tea latte would likely go a long way to making it taste more creamy and dessert-like, especially if you have some coconut milk on hand.

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