There is nothing like the marriage of tea and books in my opinion! I almost always have a cup of tea on hand when reading. It’s so relaxing and soothing.
I gave up drinking coffee a little over a year ago and though I have been known to sneak a cup or two here and there, tea has all but replaced coffee for me. I found a couple of teas that I was pretty excited about, but I am always looking for new tea to try and as I was scraping the bottom of my latest tin, I was approached by Plum Deluxe Teas to see if I would like to give their teas a shot.
Without hesitation absolutely! The first thing that stood out to me was their mission and the fact that they are a local tea company for me. I live in Salem Oregon which is an hour south of their location in Portland. I love small local businesses because I always feel like there is such care and affection for their products that larger manufacturers have lost.
The second thing I love about this company is their message. The founders mother was diagnosed with cancer and it changed not just her outlook on life, but her son’s as well. Her son, Andy Hayes, went on to form Plum Deluxe Teas with that same spirit in mind. Their whole motto is to take time to relax and enjoy your special moments, practice self care and to celebrate every day. I absolutely love this and I think it’s so important in this fast digital age to cherish the little things in life and if that happens to be something as simple as a cup of tea, then so be it!
They also have a tea club for as low as $10 a month, which I am totally going to join by the way, which gets you one exclusive 1 ounce tea sample as well as a second sample from their shop, free shipping, brewing instructions/pairing, and members only discounts.
From beginning to end, the Plum Deluxe staff were helpful, kind, and most of all fun! I had three samples shipped to me and they arrived within 2 days. I was thrilled the see that they were packaged with care and included a note and brewing card so I could achieve the perfect cup of tea every time! Plus their loose leaf teas are organic, fair trade, and handmade!
I told my contact that there was one tea I really had my eye on and that was the Full Moon chai, and to surprise me with the other flavors. The flavors that came a black tea, Porch Sippin’ Pecan Black, Stargazer Caramel Mate Chai Tea, and of course the Full Moon Chai. As soon as they came I couldn’t wait to bust into them and share my thoughts with you guys!
Porch Sippin’ Pecan Black
I wish the internet had a smell feature! The second I opened this tea I melted. It smelled like pecan pie in a bag. It was the first tea that I sampled and I couldn’t have been happier. The brewing card said I should brew 1 teaspoon of the tea to 8 oz of water. I personally drink my tea out of a large 20 oz mug so I use a tablespoon in my diffuser, that way I can get about 3
‘cups’ of tea out of my diffuser. Sometimes with black tea that first cup is a little strong and bitter. That was NOT the case with this black tea. It was smooth, balanced, and flavorful. I didn’t need to add any sweetener, though I did use a splash of Nutpods non dairy creamer as that’s how I take my tea. The black tea didn’t taste overpowering but yet it was flavorful enough and had enough caffeine to get me going in the morning. Out of the tea samples, this is the one that I liked most. The smell alone was to die for and the taste was heavenly! 5 stars all the way for this tea!
Stargazer Caramel Mate Chai Tea
I have never had Mate before nor have I heard of it but it’s apparently a very popular drink in South America. I adore Chai tea in all its forms and flavors so I was excited to try something
new, different and exotic with this one. This tea contained Rooibos and orange peel so it smelled more like an herbal tea than a traditional Chai tea and the leaves didn’t plump up like I was expecting. This had a very unique flavor. I didn’t taste the caramel as much as I did in the black tea sample, but I could detect hints of it which was pleasant. Like the black tea it was well balanced and full bodied without becoming bitter. It had a lovely creaminess about it that I loved too. The only thing I was a little disappointed in was the caffeine. This is a caffeinated tea but it’s more for people who are sensitive to caffeine but still want a little bit of a pick me up. I didn’t think it had enough caffeine for me because I felt like I needed a lot more caffeine for this one. I can see how it would appeal to those sensitive to caffeine, but for someone like me who lives on caffeine, I needed more. This was a tea I wouldn’t normally have chosen for myself so I am glad I got to try it and I will definitely use it as my midday tea….enough caffeine to get me through the afternoon, but not so much that I am going to be up all night. I ended up giving this one 4 stars.
Full Moon Chai
This tea smelled so wonderful the second I opened it! It had a lot of full bodied spice and cinnamon with a hint of vanilla easily detectible. This tea was the one I was most excited to try and it didn’t disappoint. It was like a traditional Chai tea but with a little something extra to make it stand out. I found that with this one, it had a little bit more creaminess than the
others and I didn’t need to add as much of my Nutpods creamer as I normally do. Normally I add two tablespoons of Nutpods to all my tea, but with this one I only needed to add one. It did have a bit more sweetness than I expected but I wouldn’t call it a ‘sweet tea’ by any means. I just noticed that it was a little more sweet than a traditional Chai and I rather enjoyed that little bit of sweetness as I don’t ever add sugar or honey to my tea. This also had plenty of caffeine which I appreciated considering the day I tried this one I needed it! I ended up going with a 5 star rating for this tea!
In the end, if I had to pick a favorite between these three teas, I would definitely go with the Porch Sippin’ Pecan Black. It had such a unique flavor and the smells were delicious!
Plum DeLuxe Teas have proven to be balanced, flavorful, and bold. I absolutely love these blends and can’t wait to order more. Each ‘sample’ is $7 and comes in a 1 ounce pouch which makes about 15-20 cups of tea. The only thing I wish they had was a larger size option for teas that were a particular favorite. I like to order large batches of tea so that I always have it on hand. For example the last tin I ordered was 5 ounces. They only have the smaller option of the 1 ounce pouch. Right now, I have my eye on so many of their teas as well as their subscription membership, not to mention their tea gifts. This is a small company with so much potential. They have unique blends (some that scream Portland….Oregon Breakfast I am looking at you!) but yet there is still something for everyone.