I wanted to wait just a little while before getting into my quarterly tradition of raving about the seasonal teas from The Spice & Tea Exchange. We are barely into autumn, and two of the three teas were out of the stock as of this post yesterday. As of today, two of three are now available. This is too funny, but it’s also the times we’re in.
I would say this is a faux pas of mine, and to some extent it is. It also speaks volumes of how good these teas are, how much so many of us embrace the change of the season and the impending well, you know…, and the power of tea (here is their complete list of teas, available at their stores and to purchase online) and how so many of us love it for the art of drinking, as a hobby, a passion, and the way it makes us feel. I think the place and the energy of many of their stores has a lot do with that.
This time it brings me to where I was born, Alexandria, VA, and their charming shoppe in the heart of Old Town. That was not meant to be as dramatic it sounded. Ah maybe it was…
A huge thank you to Jessica the manager for being so kind.
As I wrote about several months back, I was in a similar position spiritually, (and in many ways still am, and might be for a while) and a visit to a tea shoppe, especially their’s is always cleaning for the soul and the spirit.
I’ve been writing for long enough that the changing of the seasons is now synonymous with a visit to their stores, and knowing that three amazing teas will be presented to all of us.
And that’s exactly what happened once again. These guys are incredible. My past stories will confirm all of this.
It was still Summer when these teas were introduced and still Summertime when I bought these. I along with some of my close friends know that we shouldn’t rush these things. I had a sense that these flavors would be out of stock soon if not already. The packs were on the low side, and I didn’t think to ask if more were coming. You just know sometimes.
The three for us this time are the Tipsy Toffee, the Spiced Ruby Cider Herbal Tea (out of stock for now?), and the Pumpkin Chai Latte.
The ingredients are all on the back of the packs. I want to review this like I always do, with as light hearted and approachable as it can be. If things overlap then that’ll happen naturally. I have so much to say but sometimes the tea says all that need to be said, and we should embrace.
One thing that always stands out is while the aromas of their teas give the impression that they may be too sweet for many, but it’s so brilliantly deceptive. It almost tastes exactly the opposite of what you would expect. In many cases this is a good thing and I believe this is the intent.
The Tipsy Toffee has the strongest scent of all in my opinion. And while I love toffee, I was weary of how it would taste. Nah I’m kidding. It’s not that serious. There’s nothing to be weary of haha.
This is tremendous. While you might think the butterscotch and caramel flavorings may be overpowering, they were anything but. Everything has its place and complemented the other so well. I’ve said this before but so much about tea is what you don’t taste immediately until seconds later, or even longer. Understated yet endearing is what their teas are all about. Beautiful.
The color on the toffee among with the others was a little more special this time. All credit goes to the dragonfly infuser, which is also available through them. For significant, personal, and sentimental reasons I’m grateful to use this trusty friend for the first time, for this round of teas.
The Spiced Ruby Cider had this color of red that is perfect for this season and matches the color of things to come. Yes I’m thinking a little bit ahead too. In order to brew this, I had to break the pieces up a little.
Again, with cinnamon apple pieces, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, orange peels (I feel like a pendulum), cloves, and more cinnamon stuff, you would think this would be too sweet. Even if was, I think it would be awesome. The smell is great and once again this is a universally wonderful tea that everyone will love. However, that’s for you to judge and judge alone.
You can’t forget the Pumpkin Chai Latte. This is why we celebrate autumn right? We got more pumpkin then we know what to do with. You wouldn’t know it here though. And I’m not a fan of most chai, but once again this is nowhere near as rich and that full feeling chai you might expect.
I never tasted any whipped cream or caramel. But it’s there and so is that pumpkin!
I thought this would be the most potent of the three and I felt it was actually the most tame. This was my least favorite of the trios, and not in a bad way. You can’t go wrong, and you can only go right with all of them.
This sounds like a heavy bias, but with few exceptions The Spice & Tea Exchange clearly knows how to make superb tea with a lot of soul and a lot of feeling behind it.
Yes you see sweet treats with each cup, and while they were merely for display, it’s to prepare us for indulgence, because indulgence is coming. I’m so happy to begin the fall season with their teas and I’m so grateful for the opportunity once again.
One last thing, when you buy 3 packs, you get a free packet of sugar. What do with this Apple Cinnamon Crisp Sugar? I answered my own question by maybe wanting to add to these teas, but maybe it’s meant for something else.
Peace Be With You, and there will be another story much sooner than later. I’m purposely being vague because I honestly don’t know what’s next.
All in good time…