Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Time for a tea comparison!

National Hot Tea Month

Kaya, Kirsten, Xyra
(I chose red today because the links are green and I didn't want anyone to get confused.)

As National Hot Tea Month comes to a close...
We thought we should do at least one hot tea specific post.

French Blends

In the fall we reviewed Octavia Tea Company’s French Breakfast tea. The other day Xyra bought a carton of Stash Breakfast in Paris tea, so today we’re going to compare the two.

Octavia’s French Breakfast ingredients:  Fair trade certified black tea, vanilla bean, rose petals, natural vanilla flavor.

Stash’s Breakfast in Paris ingredients: blended black teas, lavender, bergamot extract, vanilla extract.

Today we did not “prep the cup” because we wanted you to see the colors of both. We’ve just poured the water and have set the timer to steep 3 minutes.

Both have a nice dark color and each has a distinct aroma.

Here we have added a tiny bit of sugar and a splash of milk to both cups. They look the same.

Let’s retry the OctaviaFrench Breakfast first.
Hmm, lots of vanilla with a hint of rose.
Yep, vanilla is first thing I think of.

Wow, the lavender is really powerful.
Very interesting, I get a bit of vanilla here too.

Octavia is very good, if you enjoy vanilla in your tea. Not overpowering, but very smooth and nice. (I’m not a huge fan of vanilla in my tea.)

Stash is okay, but the lavender is a bit overpowering (in my opinion). It reminds me a lot of Revolution Tea’s Earl Grey Lavender, but with more lavender.

I combined the two brews in my travel mug and headed off to work. They blend together nicely.

While we really like France, I don’t think we will restock these teas. We’ll try another new blend instead.

Prepping the Cup

Some have asked about how we “prep our cup.” When served a proper tea one adds the sugar and/or milk to the cup before pouring the brewed tea. As the tea enters the cup it stirs everything together and dissolves the sugar at one time. We practice this when making our own tea too, because we like not having to dirty a spoon in the morning. However, if you use your tea bag more than once (not advised) do NOT prep your cup. Milk and sugar will enter the bag coating the leaves. As the day goes by the milk will start to go bad and when reused could give you a tummy ache or make you ill.

I know we have asked before, but...what do you like in your tea?
How do you take your tea?

Stop by again soon! We love your comments.

Best wishes,



  1. I do not like vanilla or lavender, so I think I will be passing on French Breakfast tea. My son drinks Twining's Irish Breakfast tea and I used to drink the English Breakfast (all day), but I bought Taylor's Scottish Breakfast tea and I love it! Some day we are going to have a blind taste test to see if we can actually tell the difference between the three of them. I drink my tea with sugar and half and half. My son drink s his straight, no sugar, no dairy. Yucky. LOL!!

    1. Love Scottish Breakfast as well as English and Irish Breakfast. You will definitely be able to tell the difference.
      Oolongs I tend to drink straight up, but other black blends need a tiny bit of sugar and milk. Of course, I have made the mistake of putting dairy in an orange spice tea once or twice. Instant curdles. LOL