Super cute Fox Tea Club were kind enough to send a selection of their tea! Again, can we just stop and appreciate how bloody cute the packaging is! Pretty packaging revs me up and has me raring to taste some tea!!
Ingredients: Black Tea, Cacao Beans, Caramel, Foxberry and Seabucktorn.
Tasting Note: Let’s face it, there are few of us who don’t like chocolate! As a chocolate lover I used to have high hopes for chocolate tea but, after a while, I started taking the term "chocolate tea" with a pinch of salt. Unfortunately, I've never tasted one that lived up to the real thing. This doesn't mean chocolate tea is bad, just, you know, be cool, don't get too excited.
The aroma on this blend does have a likeness to milk chocolate, but the brewed flavour is hard to get right. If under steeped the flavour is weak, if overdone the tea is bitter and tannic. The line between the two is very fine and hard to find (some steeping recommendations might have helped!). The good news? Whichever end of the spectrum you land, chocolate notes are present, ranging from mild to dark chocolate-like, with a vanilla creaminess.
Ingredients: Black Tea, Cranberry, Pine Buds, Rowan and Seabuckthorn.
Tasting Note: The black tea is malty and citric, without dominating the fruity elements. I’m not usually into fruity black teas, but this one was lovely, pairing well with Autumn due to its tantalising mix of dark fruity berries, musk and smokiness.
Ingredients: Black Tea, Calendula, Cornflower, Green Tea, Mango, Pineapple and Rose.
Tasting Note: I love rose, and this smelt exactly like a rose flavoured Turkish delight. Yum! There were even two big rose buds in the packet! That lovely rose aroma becomes weaker once steeped, turning instead to notes of vanilla, green tea and fruitiness. Although, the mix of robust black tea and delicate green tea means it’s easy to over steep and ruin the leaves. Be careful!
Ingredients: Pu-erh and whey.
Interested in Pu-erh tea? You can learn more about pu-erh!
Tasting Note: Ok, this smells exactly how you would expect it to. I’m a pu-erh novice, but I've drunk enough of it to recognise the peaty, earthy notes of a fermented tea. The classic earthiness intertwines with an equally rich creaminess. The leaves are soaked in whey before steaming and fermentation takes place, to give them the milky flavour. I've never heard of this technique before and, whilst the process unsettles me, it didn't stop me enjoying the tea. The only downside is, anyone striving for a plant-based diet or with a dairy restriction might run into some trouble.
Ingredients: Cherry, Foxberry, Hibiscus, Rose, Rosehip and natural flavouring.
Tasting Note: A tea like this is MADE to be cold brewed. Is it tasty? Yes, of course it is! It has a refreshing, confectionery like watermelon flavour and isn't too sweet or hibiscus-y. Honestly though, I preferred this one hot! It has a real sour kick to it! My mouths watering just writing about it.
My only criticism (and this is gonna turn into a rant, so sorry, but I am definitely not sorry) is to do with some ingredients, such as flavouring, not being listed. I accept that not everyone is ingredient conscious. Not all consumers will mind what is in a blend as long as the tea tastes good (and for the most part, these did). Yet, it bothers me when brands don’t disclose a full list of ingredients. In fact, it makes me instantly suspicious. More and more blends contain weird and wonderful ingredients to make tea shiny and exciting. That's totally ok! But... whether for dietary restrictions or health reasons, some of us want to know what we're drinking! Being transparent about what's in a product shouldn't negatively affect business. If anything it should draw the right customers to you and leave them satisfied.
Had I been a consumer buying these, I would have been disappointed. From a blogging perspective though, I enjoyed the tea. Especially that hot watermelon (my mouth is still watering BTW)! The blends are the right combination of adventurous, unique and comforting. They’re familiar enough that you may have tasted something similar, but with an added edge of… ohh that’s a little different. It’s intriguing!
After speaking with Fox Tea Club they have adjusted some of their ingredient listings to disclose flavouring.