Should you buy tea from Plum Deluxe? Read on to find out!
My partner has a friend out in Portland that I’ve talked to on occasion, and a while back, she found out that I’m a big tea drinker and fan of teas of all kinds. She’s a big fan of her local tea store, and decided to send me some tea. Unfortunately mishaps ensued, she had the wrong address, and we never got our box.
At the same time, said friend (hi Kira!) was talking to the proprietor of the tea store – Plum Deluxe – and mentioned that I have this blog. Well, some time later, a sampler box showed up on our doorstep, and I figured you know what? I’m going to review it. I’m already a fan of tea, I’m prepared to make loose-leaf teas of whatever variety, and I’m more than happy to share a good tea source with others. So why not?
What’s in the Box?
This box is a sampler pack of the spring flavor blends, with five varieties of tea and a few accessories.
- A strainer for steeping loose-leaf tea.
- An adorable heart-shaped tea spoon (about 1.5 tsp).
- A 4 oz. packet of rock sugar for sweetening tea.
- 1 oz. of Coconut Lavender Herbal Chai.
- 1 oz. of Full Body Reset Green tea.
- 1 oz. of Spring Romance Black tea.
- 1 oz. of Champs-Elysees Herbal tea.
- 1 oz. of Tropical Vacation Green tea.
- An informational card about the tea blends, with a quick reference table for steeping times and temps.
I was amused to find that the strainer is the perfect size to fit on a set of mugs I just recently bought, which made for perfect brews one cup at a time. It’s also a fine mesh, which is nice; my usual steepers have larger holes, which is fine for most teas, but lets a bunch of bits through when I make rooibos, and several of these blends have rooibos in them. It works a treat!
How Are the Teas?
With five teas to choose from, there’s a variety of flavor profiles to enjoy, and enjoy them I have. Here’s what I think.
Ingredients: Black Tea, Heather Flowers, Lilac Essence. Has caffeine.
This was the first of the teas I opened to try. I’m a big fan of black tea, but less so the floral teas, so I wondered how it would turn out. This is a lilac tea, and you can immediately smell the flowers. It reminds me of spring days at my grandparents’ house, with their fence lined with lilac bushes. The tea is brilliant to smell! It’s a little strong on the floral taste for me, though.
Ingredients: Rooibos, Green Rooibos, Lavender, Coconut, Orange Peel, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove, Vanilla Extract. No Caffeine.
After the strong lilac taste of the first blend, I was a bit worried that the lavender would be overpowering here, but it’s definitely not. You can certainly smell it, but it mixes well with the chai spices once you give it a bit of time to settle. The spices tone down what, to me, is a strong lavender, and make it very well balanced. Knowing that it’s a caffeine-free rooibos made it a great tea to relax with in the evening.
Ingredients: Green Tea, Coconut Pieces, Strawberry Pieces, Pineapple Pieces, Green Rooibos, Pineapple/Strawberry/Vanilla Essence. Has Caffeine.
Now we’re talking! Fruity green teas are a staple in my tea cabinet (and yes, I have a whole cabinet dedicated to teas) so this one was right in the middle of my comfort zone. When I see “tropical” I usually expect citrus and coconut, so the strong whiff of strawberry when I first smelled the tea was a welcome surprise. The coconut comes through with a bit of smoothness, but the strawberry and pineapple are the dominant flavors. I brewed it hot, but I’m already planning a pitcher of iced tea too. This one, I’d definitely get more of.
Ingredients: Green Tea, Ginger Root, Lemon Essence, Safflower, Calendula. Has Caffeine.
A simple green tea with lemon is another common staple when I’m feeling down, and the addition of ginger can be a potent flavor. I worried it would be overpowering, but it is, again, very well balanced. The ginger reminds me of fresh ginger (instead of the usual dried spiciness you get out of powdered ginger), and the subtle citrus scent of the lemon comes through nicely. It actually reminds me a lot of a lemonhead candy. It’s a great tea to start the day with, or have on a lunch break for a bit of relaxation.
Ingredients: Rooibos Tea, Hibiscus, Dried Cherries, Rose Hips, Apple Pieces, Cherry/Almond/Vanilla Essences. No Caffeine.
Out of every tea in the box, this was by far the one I was most excited about. I love cherry-almond as a flavor combination, and as a caffeine-free rooibos, it’s perfect for any time of day. I was not disappointed! Tart cherry and rooibos dominate the flavor profile, with the almond coming in with the apple as a subtle aftertaste. A bit of the rock sugar helps keep it from being too tart, and overall, it’s just wonderful. Easily my favorite of the five.
Should You Buy Plum Deluxe?
Right now, I’m a fan. I haven’t quite yet signed up for their monthly tea club (and consequently, I haven’t yet joined their tea fans community) but I’m looking forward to doing so soon. The tea blends are all richly flavorful and balanced, even if they aren’t all my favorites. You can really tell that they use good, fresh ingredients; it’s not faded or shadowed the way grocery store tea often is.
Thanks, Kira, for turning me onto this store. It’s a wonderful find, and I’m looking forward to getting more soon.