Hello again! About 2 weeks ago, I posted about my 7 Favourite Basic Teas, but I love too many teas to stop there, so as promised, I'm back now with 7 of my favourite flavoured or specialty teas. I'm basically including anything you probably wouldn't drink every day, either because of the price, because of the seasonal flavours, or because the tea has a specific benefits. Considering the season, feel free to consider these lists recommendations for gifts for the tea lovers in your life, as well. I know I'd be happy to receive any of these teas as a gift myself!
So if you want to see which teas I've picked, keep reading!
Just like last time, I'm going to start with the one tea I don't currently have in my collection, but which I love and recommend anyways!
1. Tazo Passion herbal tea
(above image from store.starbucks.ca.)
If you're a Starbucks fan, you probably recognize this tea, or at least the name of it, since the Passion Iced Tea (with or without lemonade) is a pretty popular Starbucks drink. This is the original tea that was used to make that drink, and it's so so good iced! The tea that Starbucks now uses is the Teavana Passion Tango tea, I believe, which is very similar, but not quite as nice, in my opinion... there's a weird spiciness to it, and I often find myself wishing for this one when I order one!
That said, this tea is still available for purchase from Starbucks, as well as in grocery stores that sell Tazo teas, so you can easily make it yourself hot or iced. The fastest way to make yourself an iced tea is to pop a teabag or two (depending on the strength you want) into hot water and steep for 5-10 minutes (again depending on the intensity you like), adding sugar if desired, and pouring the tea over a big cup full of ice. Stir (and add lemonade if you like), if you have yourself an iced passion tea! Personally, I usually don't like fruity teas hot, so I only drink this one iced.
2. DavidsTea Blueberry Jam black tea
I hope you're prepared to see several teas from DavidsTea in this post, because I love them! They have so many great products, so I'm about to fangirl pretty hard here.
This tea was actually sent to me alongside a ChickAdvisor sample a while ago, but I absolutely love this tea! (probably more than the sample it came with...). My aversion to hot fruity teas totally doesn't extend to this one, it's delicious hot or iced, and so sweet and blueberry-tastic, like a cup of blueberry pie or something, and great sweetened or plain. I usually don't sweeten it, but it can be nice if you really want a sweet treat.
3. DavidsTea Cold 911 Herbal Infusion
You can buy this separately, but I got this one through the Cold Survival Kit (which I reviewed when I bought it, if you want to see all the teas included). This one may not sound the tastiest with the eucalyptus and peppermint... it probably sounds like Vick's Vapo-Rub to many people. Honestly, it kinda smells like that, but I love the smell of Vicks, personally, and maybe I'm crazy, but I love the taste of this tea! It's so soothing and feels great on the throat and also just the hot, minty, eucalyptus-y steam that comes off it is so nice to breath while you drink if you're sick. If you aren't sick, this tea is INTENSE, so it's really a medicinal tea... but you do you =P. I definitely recommend picking this up for the next time you have a cold. Oh, and it's all herbal, no actual tea, so it contains no caffeine, and you can drink it as close to bed as you want, if that's important for you.
4. The Earl's Garden
After my last tea post, you probably get the picture that I LOVE Earl Grey tea. But in case that hasn't hit home yet, this will probably prove my love. This is a delicious, fancy, fruity, summery take on original Earl Grey, containing the usual black tea and bergamot, as well as freeze-dried strawberry pieces! It is so delicious, and even just smells so good, it's definitely one of my favourite teas of all time. I've repurchased it, which isn't too common with my flavoured loose-leaf teas, because I like to try new ones, but this one is so good I didn't want to be without. I didn't even ask for an amount, I just had them fill the tin!
This tea is pretty great however you want to drink it: hot, iced, black, with milk, with sugar, with honey... it's all good. If you like Earl Grey, and you like strawberries, you should really give this one a go!
5. Stash Holiday Chai black tea
This one is a weird one, but in a great way! It smells and tastes so christmas-y it's insane, and it's only available each year around the holidays! It has all the regular chai spices, but Stash also added gingerbread flavour and Jamaican rum flavour, to give it an unmistakable Christmas taste! It honestly smells like fresh baked ginger bread and eggnog. It's like a Christmas-scented hug! Again, this is great in a variety of ways, though I've never tried it iced. It is good black, sweetened, or with milk and sugar (or as a latte!). If you want to make a latte, though, I'd recommend using an extra teabag, as the box is not lying when it says "one tea bag makes 8 ounces of hot tea." If you like your flavours stronger, brew stronger!
6. DavidsTea Hot Chocolate Pu'erh Tea
If you aren't familiar with the term, Pu'erh tea is black tea that has been fermented. Traditionally sold as bricks and brews a very dark black tea. It's rich and earthy, and quite tasty, though I can't say I have a lot of experience with different types. This Pu'erh blend is mixed with black tea, as well as cocoa nibs, chocolate pieces, and cocoa butter (among other things) to make a very tasty dessert tea! I'm glad that they are selling this one again this year, becasue I purchased it last Christmas and fell in love with the rich chocolatey tea. Usually chocolate pieces in tea can get a bit oily, but I feel they found a pretty good balance with this blend, because it doesn't bug me like some others I've tried.
This tea is great whether you want to drink it black for a low-calorie chocolate treat (one cup has ~5 cal.), or with milk and sugar for when you really cant choose if you want a hot chocolate or a nice cup of tea... this tea lets you have both in one delicious cup.
7. DavidsTea Mulled Wine Oolong Tea
I'm so sad that DavidsTea didn't bring this one out again this year (also, I'll be tacking on an extra tea just because you can't buy this one any more), but I had to mention it because it is delicious! I've talked about how much I like the rich, smooth earthiness of oolong tea before, so of course I love that this tea is based around oolong tea. In this tea, the oolong is blended with all the usual ingredients in a wine mulling spice mix: orange peel, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, plus apple for more fruity flavour. I suppose you could put together your own similar thing by using wine mulling spices and brewing it with some plain oolong tea, but that's a lot more work!
The scent of this blend in the tin is intense, it really hits you in the face when you take a whiff, but it makes a really beautiful, spiced, and slightly tart tea. I love it black, or with a little sugar, which really brings up the flavour of the orange. It's warming and comforting, and a perfect wintertime tea. Though I guess I'll be using it sparingly this year in hopes they put it out again before I run out!!
8. HONOURABLE MENTION: DavidsTea Super Ginger Rooibos Tea
This is another tea from the Cold Survival Kit. Honestly, I was sure I would hate it, because I don't like rooibos, and I hate ginger teas... but damn does this stuff work well!
Unless you like ginger tea... a lot... you aren't likely to drink this one for fun. It's strictly medicinal for me, and I ONLY drink it if I have a bad cold, sore throat, stuffy... you know the drill. This tea contains dried ginger, green rooibos, black, white, and pink peppercorns, and a bit of stevia. It's a bit spicy, as you can probably guess! But if you are super stuffed up, and can't taste a thing or even think, this is great! Its something you can actually taste! The ginger helps you smell again, soothes your throat, and helps you get better, and the peppercorns help to clear your sinus out as well! One thing I will note is that you should not leave the leaves in the water any longer than recommended... the longer they're in there, the spicier this gets... it gets really intense, but it also works even better... so do what you feel is right. I like to mix this one with honey, for even more throat soothing goodness.
So that's everything! I mean, it's certainly not all the teas in my collection, but definitely some of my favourites. Again, if you didn't see my first tea post, about my favourite basics and essential teas, check it out now! And don't forget to leave me your favourite teas in the comments, as well as suggestions for other non-beauty favourites categories you'd like me to share with you!
Thanks for reading!