TEA FEATURE & TEA REVIEW: The Sugared Teacup Custom Box Featuring For Tea’s Sake, First Edition Tea Co., Tealish, T by Daniel, and The Honest Leaf

The Sugared Teacup Spoons

Today’s Tea Feature will be Deb from the Sugared Teacup and I will be also reviewing a Holiday Tea Box she curated for me. I came across Deb when I crossed paths with her on Instagram. Deb has been such a great part of my tea journey.

Deb was originally a food blogger and has now started her own business, The Sugared Teacup. She focuses on curating tea related boxes every month and showcasing businesses from Toronto and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area. She has monthly boxes as well as themed boxes such as Canadian Tea Box, Dessert Tea Box, Tea and Stationary.

I know Deb best from her Instagram, which is comprised of bright colourful photos, filled to the brim with pictures of tea, food, books, crafts and her tea boxes! One thing that is really great about her is that despite ups and downs, she always looks at everything from a positive light!

The Sugared Tea Cup Website

Since she started as a blogger, I really wanted to hear her thoughts on tea, and what it means to her:

“Hi everyone, I’m Deb, fellow tea blogger at The Sugared Teacup and the girl boss behind The Sugared Teacup gift boxes and tea box subscription!

In a word, tea has been transformative for me. Even though tea has been a part of my life and blogging adventures for some time, more than anything tea has allowed me to completely turn my life around from a time of darkness to one of joy. During the most difficult times in my life, tea was there to lift me up whether it was just a warm mug to soothe my worries or an afternoon tea that would brighten up my day.

Tea has given me a creative outlet for my own personal table settings and scrapbook projects, it has brought so many wonderful people and new friends in my life who I now consider family, and it’s given me the drive and passion to create a business that is my labour of love. I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it wasn’t for tea. Tea is many things to many people and for me, it’s changed my life in the most joyous of ways.”

The Sugared Teacup Box

I really wanted to support Deb in her endeavour because I know the struggles of having a small business. So, when I noticed she took custom box orders, I knew I had to buy one! I was pretty open with my box: I asked for no cinnamon or detox teas and if she could curate tea from brands that I hadn’t tried before.

The box itself was beautiful, with coloured paper and ribbons! I don’t think photos do it justice. The teas were wrapped and layered between different coloured tissue papers. I received six teas from For Tea’s Sake, First Edition Tea Co., Tealish, T by Daniel, and The Honest Leaf. The size of the teas ranged from 10 to 20 grams.

Overall, the box was a treat to open. I can’t wait to try the teas! Let’s go!

 

For Tea’s Sake: Let’s Go Green

For Tea's Sake Let's Go Green Tea Dishes

Description: “Subtly sweet and highly fragrant, jasmine tea is also a powerful anti- oxidant.”

Review: Deb admitted that one reason she added this to my box is that she knew that it would look pretty on my Instagram and boy, is this a pretty blend! It is comprised of various flowers and the blend smelled like a flower garden. When wet, the predominant smell of the blend was of roses whereas the orange-brown liquor smelled more like the amaranth petals.

As expected, there was a strong floral flavour as well. The sip started off with a green grassy flavour with floral undertones. I was able to taste the jasmine and roses. The lingering flavour was a mix of grassy and floral. The blend pretty hardy – I overstepped and there was no bitterness.

I found the blend very comforting and it would be great to sip on while working, reading a book or trying to wind down. It is a green tea so there will be some caffeine associated with it.

Lastly, the tin the blend came in is very cute and displays the tea beautifully. However, it hard to scoop out tea from it because it is so small and I was afraid to spill the blend. That being said, For Tea’s Sake does have lager tins so this might be a problem only for the sample size (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: Low caffeine
  • Ingredients: Green tea, jasmine flowers, cornflower and amaranth petals, mini rosebuds
  • Company: For Tea’s Sake

 

First Edition Tea Co.: The Great Gatsby

First Edition Tea Co. The Great Gatsby Green Tea Dishes

Description: “Perfect for a garden party. Starts out green as cash, brews up rich as gold. Tastes like Daisy’s favourite lemon cakes. Add a splash of gin for a really swell cocktail; a little party never killed nobody.”

Review: I have to confess, I’ve never read or seen The Great Gatsby, so if anything is a reference to something in the book/movie, I, unfortunately, wouldn’t know. Regardless, the dry blend smelled lovely – citrus and bright. I mostly smelled the lemon pieces from the liquor which. When sipping, the first flavours I tasted were lemon and lime. However, as the flavours developed, there was an underlying bitterness which reminded me of when you bite into the rine of the peels.

I wanted to give this a fair chance, so I tried to steep this blend again. I used the suggested brewing temperature of 100 C and decided to steep it for 3 minutes compared to 4 to see if the bitterness would disappear.

During the initial sip, I could taste lemon, but also the underlying feel the bitterness at the back of my tongue. I think that if I were to try this one more time, I would adjust the steeping temperature because green teas are normally steeped at a lower temperature. I see the potential of this tasting nice once the steeping parameters are adjusted (1/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Green tea, lemongrass, organic lemon pieces, lime pieces, organic lavender, calendula petals, sunflower petals, natural flavours
  • Company: The First Edition Tea Co.

 

First Edition Tea Co.: Toronto

First Edition Tea Co. Toronto Green Tea Dishes

Description: “This sweet blend is inspired by local apples and peaches blended with real maple syrup.”

Review: Toronto has such an energetic and vibrant vibe, so I wanted to see how this would be represented. So, living in Ontario, I admit, I was excited. The dry blend very strongly reminded me of maple syrup. The wet blend and burgundy liquor was more floral smelling.

The first flavours I tasted were grassiness, and then tartness from the hibiscus. It reminded me a bit of grape juice with some floral notes. The lingering flavour was sweet nuttiness from the maple syrup. There was the slight tingle of bitterness, but it quickly faded.

The website mentioned that this would make a good iced tea, so I allowed the liquor to cool. I found it refreshing and lovely both hot and cold. I have said this previously, but anything that tastes like maple syrup is something good in my books (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Green tea, hibiscus petals, rosehips, apple pieces, orange pieces, calendula petals, safflower petals, real maple syrup, natural flavours
  • Company: The First Edition Tea Co.

 

Tealish: Citrus Grove

Tealish Citrus Grove Black Tea Dishes

Description: “Premium black tea, orange zest, lemongrass and ginger unite for a glowing citrus aroma and taste.”

Review: This blend also came in a cute little tin! After opening the lid, the blend had a very pleasant smell and it was bit holiday-esque due to the berry, peppercorn, and sweet notes. The lemongrass and citrus aromas were more apparent in the wet blend and the liquor smelled a bit spicy.

The liquor tasted mostly of peppercorn and cinnamon with a faint bit of lemongrass. There was a slow burn at the back of the throat. I was hoping for more ginger, coconut, or even citrus notes.

Tealish mentioned on the website that this would be a great iced tea. I let the drink cool, and I found it nice and refreshing. I still was able to taste the cinnamon and the spicy sensation was more subtle. This would be nice for someone who likes cinnamon or a spicy blend (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Black tea 
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Black tea, orange peel, lemongrass, ginger, apple, coconut, cinnamon, pink peppercorns, flavouring, sunflower blossoms
  • Company: Tealish

 

T By Daniel: Almond Cookie Crumble

T By Daniel Almond Cookie Crumble Black Tea Dishes

Description: “A nutty dessert, this tea is the perfect way to start your day. Sip, sip, hooray!”

Review: I have tried T by Daniel multiple times in the past and the brand focuses on more unique blends, so I was happy to see this in my box! It smelled like what the name implied – nutty and sweet, like a dessert. The blend was mostly black tea with a scattering of almonds.

The wet blend took on more of a malty aroma and I wasn’t able to detect the dessert smell from the dry blend. The nutty, sweet dessert aroma re-appeared in the dark reddish brown liquor.

Taste-wise, the liquor tasted like how the dry blend and liquored smelled: sweet and nutty. The dessert-like flavour gradually shifted into an almond flavour which overpowered the other ingredients and lingered in the mouth. This blend fell strongly into the ‘dessert’ tea category and would be great for anyone who likes them (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Black tea
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Black tea, almonds, natural roasted almond flavouring
  • Company: T by Daniel

 

The Honest Leaf: Nourish

The Honest Leaf Nourish Herbal Tea Dishes

Description: “Berry and citrus with earthy undertones.”

Review: When I saw the dry blend and smelled it, the blend reminded me of straw, like in a barn – it had a hay and woody aroma. The wet blend and liquor had more of an earthy smell. Colourwise, the liquor was dark orange with a green tinge. The steeping recommendations are 1.25 teaspoons compared to the general 1 teaspoon to a cup of water.

This blend admittedly surprised me since based on the ingredients, it didn’t taste like what I expected it to taste like. It tasted earthy, woody, and mostly hay-like with an underlying sweetness. It was almost on the brink of ‘medical’ or ‘herbal’ but the sweetness helped steer it away from that. When I first sipped it, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but after a few sips, it grew on me (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Herbal tea
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: Caffeine-free
  • Ingredients: Rosehips, green rooibos, elderberries, orange peel, organic nettle, oat straw, calendula, orange extract
  • Other: Organic
  • Company: The Honest Leaf

 

Final Thoughts

The Sugared Tea Cup Teas

I have to say, I am pretty happy with the Holiday Tea Box that Deb curated for me! I think in a few months time, I may ask her to make me another box since I know she has rotating stock. I love how much detail she puts into each box! It took me a while to unwrap everything so I can imagine how much time she put into each box alone.

I think these boxes would be great as a gift, especially since she has so many options! They are bright, colourful and fun! As for the teas themselves, I enjoyed them. Despite the bitterness from First Edition Tea Co.’s The Great Gatsby, I do think that playing around with the temperature may help tone down the bitterness.

Lastly, I am really enjoying these last few posts! I enjoy being able to share my experience and thoughts!

If you could make your own tea box, what would you include?


One thought on “TEA FEATURE & TEA REVIEW: The Sugared Teacup Custom Box Featuring For Tea’s Sake, First Edition Tea Co., Tealish, T by Daniel, and The Honest Leaf

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